It's Never Too Early To Target A Republican

You have to give credit to old media. While an Obama appointee who failed to pay his taxes, even after having been reimbursed for the money by his international employer, is dismissed as only a speedbump for an incoming Democratic administration –  speculation that an otherwise successful Republican pol, media personality and businessperson may want to run for Governor of Ohio in 2010 is enough to start drawing misdirected fire his way.

Wall Street ties might hamstring GOP hopeful Kasich

A run for governor is likely to bring former job into play

Such fire is mostly misdirected because while Kasich did work for Lehman Brothers before its downfall, he didn’t work for an area of Lehman tied to their downfall. And based upon contemporaneous accounts, he pursued his post-political career without the usual DC to easy money tendencies of other pols. He did it with the same energy, discipline and work ethic that resulted in his being credited as “the architect” of a balanced Federal Budget and resulting surplus. Heavens, who would want one of those things these days?

2001: (Kasich was) the architect of the 1997 budget agreement that led to today’s budget surplus … don’t mistake Mr. Kasich for a rain-making Vernon Jordan type-happy to swoop into the city for a few power lunches and the discreet phone call or two. He has already passed his Series 7 (the multi-hour test that all in the securities industry must pass), and now, his sleeves rolled up, Mr. Kasich is ready to do some deals. “A lot of people thought that when I came here, I would be a politician,” he says. “But I wanted to do banking. If you were to look at all the Washington types that came to Wall Street, how many do you think took the Series 7? No one expected this.”

The Dispatch might also want to keep its own coverage from back in March on why Kasich may consider a run in mind before election season approaches, as opposed to carrying Strickland’s water being dispensed by a hyper-partisan hack in California, Chris Lehane. Lehane seems to be a regular source for the Dispatch and was even touting Strickland, among others, as a possible VP pick for Obama. What a coincidence, huh?

Christopher Lehane, a California-based consultant who was spokesman for Democrat Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, said Kasich’s perceived “wallet-to-wallet, bad derivative-to-bad derivative, credit swap-to-credit swap” association with Lehman undermines his ability to run as an economic populist.

From March: Kasich said he feels compelled to run because Ohio needs a governor willing to take dramatic action to stem Ohio’s job losses, low personal-income growth and flight of young people.

 “Every economic factor you look at, we’re in the bottom of the barrel,” he said. “The only reason I’m interested in this is because I think our state is in a death spiral.”

Kasich said sweeping changes are needed in Ohio’s tax and regulatory systems and in workforce development to attract businesses.

“Frankly, I believe the (state) income tax has to be phased out,” Kasich said, promising to detail in the future how he would make up for a tax that provides the state with more than $9 billion a year, or 34 percent of its operating money.

Why on earth would Ohio want an apparently honest, hard working guy who doesn’t like taxes and has experience balancing a huge budget and also making money in the private sector, as opposed to a sitting Governor pushing an over-priced $1.7 Billion “stimulus” package back even before the word became a governmental talking point– with much of it going to the usual suspects? I can’t imagine, can you? Now try to imagine how you help a state economy longer-term with recreation trails? Geesh!

DeMora, executive director of the Ohio League of Conservation Voters, an environmental advocacy group in Columbus, is especially supportive of the $400 million that would go to extend the life of the Clean Ohio Fund. The seven-year-old program, popular with environmentalists and developers, has pumped $400 million into revitalizing contaminated industrial sites and funding so-called green projects, such as farmland preservation and recreational trails.

At least someone speaking on Kasich’s behalf indicated he had no role in Lehman’s mortgage arm via the Dispatch report. They should get credit for including that … at the end, I guess.

“John had absolutely no role in the holding or underwriting of mortgage-backed securities or with the proprietary real-estate investments which led to the downfall of Lehman Brothers,” Chabria said, adding that Kasich received no bonus or “golden parachute” when Lehman went under and he left.

“John was one of 30,000 employees of Lehman Brothers and, like many others, he lost much equity after years of hard work for the firm.”