Welcome to 2011, Ohio. It’s the year of the conservative, ushered in by such right-wing icons as House Speaker Bill Batchelder of Medina and Gov.-elect John Kasich of Westerville.
Kasich will be sworn into office Jan. 10. The official ceremony will take place right after midnight, as per the state constitution. However, in a peculiar turn of events, Kasich will be barring the media from the get-together.
This is troubling news for Ohio. Kasich’s move effectively ignores the media-related precedents set by state politicians in the past. He’s treading his own path now – one that leads him away from democratic governance.
Playing the Republicans’ tune and trumpeting the almighty cause of “small government” is Kasich’s game. But now he’s using his elected office to restrict reporters and, for all intents and purposes, the eyes and ears of the people from newsworthy events.
To pull a particularly disheartening quote from the PD article linked above, it’s apparent that Kasich’s ideologies do not jive with the press at large.
At a news conference naming Ohio Inspector General Tom Charles to director of public safety, Kasich complained about questions about whether Charles’ appointment poses a possible conflict of interest since his wife and son work for the State Highway Patrol.
“I find myself tripping over the ant hills on the way to the pyramids,” Kasich said. “We have so many stupid rules and regulations that prevent us from getting the best people to come in here. You just can’t believe it. And I blame it on all of you,” Kasich told reporters. “All the transparency and conflicts and other stuff. I want to just tell you, it is a problem to get quality people to come and work in the government.”
“All the transparency and conflicts and other stuff.”?? It’s gonna be a rough year if we have to hear Kasich blathering on about random stuff and junk. Although, if he keeps up his anti-press sentiments, we won’t even be able to hear such jackassery.