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Strickland: Kasich should keep some of my initiatives

Published: Tue, December 28, 2010 @ 12:07 a.m.


Ohio Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland

For this three-part series, Vindicator correspondent Marc Kovac interviewed Gov. Ted Strickland on his four years in office.

Sunday: Strickland’s legacy.

Monday: Strickland worries about federal and state cuts in funding.

Today: Strickland’s outlook on Ohio’s future.

By Marc Kovac



Outgoing Gov. Ted Strickland remains hopeful that Ohio will “stay on track,” with the incoming administration of Republican Gov.-elect John Kasich by leaving a few of his initiatives in place.

“I am absolutely convinced that Ohio is well positioned for economic growth,” he told the Statehouse Bureau of Dix Newspapers and The Vindicator. “I think that’s reflected in the fact that we’re one of only two states that have seen eight straight months of continuous decline in the unemployment rate — 21 states had increased unemployment last month; we went down for the eighth straight month. I think we’re primed for growth.”

He added, “I think our Department of Development has done a wonderful job. I hope that we’ll stay focused. I also think that the economy remains fragile, and I have some concern at both the federal and state level that there will be such efforts to reduce investments and to cut back on spending that it could push us toward a double-dip recession.”

Q. You worked on education reform, passenger rail service and other plans that Gov.-elect John Kasich has said he does not support. Which of your administration’s initiatives do you think will survive the new administration?

A It does seem as if anything that was my idea is considered fair game for elimination by the incoming administration. I don’t fully understand that kind of motive. But the fact is that we’ve already given to California and Florida $400 million that should have been right here in Ohio creating jobs, building our rail infrastructure, improving our freight system and establishing passenger rail service, making it much more likely that Ohio would actually be a state where rail cars were built and manufactured. Four hundred million dollars is a lot of money. It was something that I fought for, and it was a sad day when California and Florida were able to rejoice in getting our money. That was sad.

Now, I think the energy bill that we passed will probably remain. Our renewable and advanced energy portfolio I think is likely to be kept in place. I certainly hope so, because I think if that were to be altered, it would be tragic for the state. Our education reforms I hope are salvaged. I know there’s been a lot of talk about eliminating the evidence-based model. That may be easier said than done. I think the fact that we created the University System of Ohio and tried to bring collaboration and cooperation among our community colleges and branch campuses and major campuses, I hope that remains in place. Our emphasis on a comprehensive transportation system, not only focusing on roads and bridges but focusing on ports, water ports and airports, as well as intermodal facilities and urban transit activities, I think that’s a good thing. I hope that remains a part of the new administration’s planning, but I don’t know for sure.”

Q When you took office, you released the r sum s of all of the people who applied for jobs in your administration. Was that a difficult decision?

A No, it was not, because I felt like it was consistent with what I was obligated to do by the law. And my obligation as governor is to do everything I can to try to be compliant with the law. So we didn’t look for gimmicks and tricks that would enable us to violate the spirit of the law. So, no, it was not difficult.

Q Do you think Ohio gets lesser-quality applicants for government jobs because people are afraid their names will get out there in the public realm?

A No. I always find it a little humorous that some people who have a high opinion of themselves would consider that there should be rules for them that don’t apply to everyone else. If you want to serve in a public position, then you ought to be able to be candid and open about your desire to do that, your experiences, your background, what skills or talents you might bring to that position. And quite frankly, I have never felt like those who work in the public sector are lesser qualified or have fewer skills than the people who work in the private sector. The fact is that state government is a big business, billions of dollars are dealt with and major decisions are made which affect the life and safety and well being in Ohio of about 11.4 million people. I’ve never referred to those who worked for the public as bureaucrats and that kind of mocking way. I consider them to be public servants. Most of them do a wonderful job. Occasionally, just as there is in the private sector, there are incompetent individuals or unethical persons. But by and large I think those who serve the public as public employees do a wonderful job.


1UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

I hope John Kasich learns from Ted Stricknine's mistakes - tax and spend is a bad thing to do in a bad economy. We need to recover those 400,000 jobs and get Ohio's economy going again. The key to the state's recovery is changing the 1983 collective bargaining public employee bill that forced the state to over pay for union services. The state now needs to move in the "Right to Work" direction eliminating arbitration and allowing state workers who strike to be fired as John has proposed.

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2MFC997(261 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Sore ... loser ...

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3palbubba(790 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Ted wants to talk about the decrease in unemployment for 8 straight months, which finally got it down to the national average. Let's talk about why it was one of the highest in the country after 3 years of Ted's leadership. Is he really that arrogant? Does he really believe we are that dumb?

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4faith(200 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

unionforever is the most anti union person on here.
palbubba, Ohio lost 400,000 jobs because Bush and the right wing wackos sent our jobs overseas. Does Kasick really think we are that dumb. he won by a small margin and will only move our state in the wrong direction. Ted was a real person not a greedy politico, i can't say the same for Kasick.
The right has an agenda to get the Midwest all right to work, this will only further the wage disparity between the rich and the poor. This will create more working poor, more workers with disability's, and will put more strain on social programs. Every worker should have the right to collectively negotiate with their employer. The stereotypes of unions are false. I have worked in both and know that the union shops are safer and more productive. The bosses dont like the union shops because they may be required to share some of their bonus with the people who do the real work. Regardless of your opinions on unions, they are an important part of the fabric of our nation. Just as they are in most other parts of the world. When workers have no protections they are exploited.

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5LogicAndGrammar(19 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Wow, faith, you're painting merit-based companies with a rather broad brush, don't you think?

What makes you think that non-union companies don't give bonuses to deserving employees?

As far as being "exploited", the last time I checked, this is a free country, and if an employee feels that he/she is being mistreated or taken advantage of, they are free to seek employment elsewhere.

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6borylie(946 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Faith, I really don't know why I bother,you're a lost cause. But,for one example wasn't Packard Electric losing jobs to Mexico in the nineties? In addition Ohio's Packard operations were sending jobs to Mississippi,a more worker friendly state. And you're one of the left wing wacko's that a couple of years ago that was blaming President Bush and Cheney for the high gas prices. You remember,Bush/Cheney in bed with big oil and their rich oil friends. Gas is now well over a dollar more since Obama took office. You're so blinded by your ideology and stupidity that you have no hope of ever being relevant in an intelligent debate.

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7farmforfun(15 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Does Strickland really believe this crap, Anybody with common sense can see that the state is going in the wrong direction. Education- For the 3rd straight year State funding was cut to the schools. Yet we still have unfunded mandates. Rail System - $400,000,000 money pit. This would have been a burden on Ohio tax payers for decades to come. If you don't believe it look at WTRA or any other transit service in the state, Without Federal, State, and Local funding they all would fail. Strickland sold out Ohio's Agriculture industry as well. After the voters agreed on a Livestock Care Standards Board to monitor Ohio's Livestock industry, Strickland struck a back room deal with the US Humane Society- (just a fancy name for a bunch of left-wing vegans who despise anyone who eats meat.) Ohio has already started to loose producers to other states. With many more to follow. If you think all this has been progress, Then you must be overjoyed with all the progress we seen in Washington. the past 2 years.

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