Ohio Governor Kasich Reports on the State of the State – and More

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March 8, 2011; Source: Office of Governor John Kasich | John Kasich had to deliver his state of the state speech while passing a gauntlet of thousands of protesters filling the rotunda and the lawn of the statehouse, most of them there protesting against pending legislation (SB 5) that would strip public sector unions of their collective bargaining rights.

Governor Kasich chose to forego speaking from a prepared text, much less using the ever-present teleprompter of nearly all political speeches in this era. His extemporaneous hour-long speech is one amazing read as he barreled from issue to issue at what seems to be hyper speed. There's no way to summarize his text, so we have highlighted some of the more impressive statements and phrases:

“We lose the jobs, we lose their entrepreneurial spirit, we lose their ingenuity. See, they're the ones that can see the future…and they've been leaving. And now they take their charitable giving and they give it to a faraway place to maybe build an opera house in Naples, Florida, rather than helping to rebuild the opera house in our small communities across Ohio.

We are putting a budget together that can transform our state…If you've seen a lot of change in these first seven weeks, you ain't seen nothing yet…(W)e believe in not just cutting a budget — oh, there will be cuts, but that's not the way to get there. We believe in restructuring.

You know, let me give you one other astounding thing, do you know that Teach for America is not in Ohio? Do you know that we have kept them out? Because we're – we have to jump through hoops and cross T's and dot I's while the best and the brightest are available to teach in other parts of America? Oh, Teach for America is coming to Ohio. I promise you that.

I'm most concerned about people who relied on stimulus money to continue to operate or even expand their programs. They're the ones that are going to have the hardest time coping with the change. I warned for two years, do not take stimulus money and use it to operate your budget. Do not take stimulus money and use it to expand your budget, because I've always known that what the federal government giveth, the federal government taketh away.”

Also worth an entire Newswire is Kasich’s story about fighting poverty in Africa with Ted Kennedy, Jesse Helms, Bono, and the Terminator.—Rick Cohen

  • Sheri Jones

    Rick — I appreciate your interest in Ohio Governor’s State of the State address, but I am unclear of your point of view regarding this piece. You failed to mention his commitment to reforming mental health which will require the partnerships of many non-profits, his dedication to home health care options, which are funded by 11 non-profits in the State, as well as criminal reform which will require the support from non-profit community programs. I summed it up as good day for the sector.

  • rick cohen

    Dear Sheri: I would have loved to have written about what he wrote about on home health care (a big issue I’ve raised here) and his thoughts about working with people from the prisons. However, given his budget cut and SB5 plans, I don’t think it comes out to a good day for the sector. His speech overall was odd. It touched down here and there with potentially good pieces, though those are dependent on funding, but it was hard to put a finger on the Governor’s overall thrust toward the sector. Do realize that in these tiny newswires, we’re often constrained by the word limit to do little more than introduce the topic and provide, in Kasich’s case, some quotes. But you’re given me an idea–maybe we should do some content analysis of several state of the state pieces and see how the governors directly and indirectly propose to help (or not) the nonprofit sector. Thanks for your very useful prod.