If you’re angry at the financial industry, corporate-controlled media, and the enormous control they have over our elected officials and our national policies, consider the story of Ohio Governor John Kasich – a product and wholly-owned subsidiary of Wall Street and Fox News – and Issue 2. A vote for No on Issue 2 is a vote against Wall Street, Kasich, and the war on working families they continue to wage.
John Kasich served as a Republican Congressman from Ohio for 18 years. Once out, he used his political connections to get a job with the now-infamous Lehman Brothers’ investment banking firm, where he remained until the firm imploded in September 2008. Even though Lehman Brothers’ collapsed and thousands of Americans lost their investments, Kasich received a salary of $182,692 and a performance bonus of $432,000 – almost ten times Ohio’s median household income.
Also during his post-Congress years, Kasich used his political and financial connections to get his own program on Fox News, and filled in regularly for Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. Kasich continued to appear as a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel during his 2010 run for governor, and Fox personalities “lauded, defended, and fundraised for his campaign.” (Said Glenn Beck to Kasich on his radio show: “I think I love you.”)
Given this background, it’s no surprise that in less than a year Governor Kasich has shown himself to be one of the most anti-worker, pro-corporate executives in Ohio’s history. His signature legislative achievement, Senate Bill 5 (on the ballot as Issue 2), strips collective bargaining rights from over 300,000 of public workers, including police officers, firefighters, nurses, and teachers. In addition to Issue 2, Kasich has moved to privatize state services and property, including the Ohio Turnpike, while at the same time cutting taxes for already profitable large businesses.
What was harder to predict is the blatant callousness and open disrespect Kasich has shown to Ohio’s public servants. He said of those who opposed his agenda “If you’re not on the bus, we’ll run over you with the bus.” He called a police officer who gave him a ticket an “idiot” – not privately, but in front of a large crowd. In an odd delusion of grandeur, he demanded teachers unions take out a full page ad apologizing for not supporting his campaign. According to one source, he even openly referred to Senate Bill 5 as a “war” on public employees.
It appears that Kasich believes that no matter what he says, the friends he has made along the way – the Koch Brothers, the Wall Street hedge-funders, his friends at Fox News – will be there to defend him, fund him, and aid his continuing assault on the very people who make Ohio function.
Tomorrow, Ohioans will take to the polls to vote on Issue 2. A “Yes on 2” keeps the corporate-backed, politically-motivated attack on over 300,000 Ohio workers. “No on 2” repeals the measure.
We admire and support those who have taken to the streets in New York City and elsewhere as part of #OccupyWallStreet and the 99 Percent Movement. But if John Kasich succeeds and Senate Bill 5 is kept, it will be a victory for the Wall Street investors and Fox News spin-artists that have pushed Kasich for his whole career – and it will be a another defeat for American workers.
Remember the saying: “As Ohio goes, so goes the nation.” If you want to lay down a marker for the 99 Percent, show Governor Kasich and his corporate backers that the War on Workers doesn’t pay. Occupy a field office. Occupy a voting booth. Defeat John Kasich, defeat Wall Street and the 1 percent; help us turn the tide.