August 18, 2010; Source: Business Journal Daily | John Kasich, a Republican candidate for governor in Ohio is proposing to replace the state’s $1.2 billion economic development agency with a nonprofit that he says should be funded by private and public money and should be guided by a trustee group made up entirely of business CEOs.

A spokesman for Governor Ted Strickland likened the proposal to a fox guarding the hen house, saying, “After years of supporting unfair trade deals and outsourcing that cost Ohio over 460,000 jobs and helped Wall Street, it’s not surprising that Congressman Kasich wants to outsource economic development to corporate interests at the expense of working Ohioans. Ohioans know that this economic recession started with economic greed on Wall Street and the bankruptcy of Wall Street investment firm Lehman Brothers, where Congressman Kasich worked for eight years.”

One of Kasich’s arguments for the measure is to “draw upon the expertise of Ohio’s business leaders to meet the needs of businesses seeking to overcome regulatory and permitting snafus . . .”

Beyond the obvious problems of governance of these new entities, is this also another worrisome indication of the desire of government to offload or privatize through nonprofits some of its core responsibilities?—Ruth McCambridge