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Gov. Kasich to work on plan to market Ohio

Published: Wed, January 1, 2014 @ 12:07 a.m.

By Marc Kovac


Last of a three-part series


Gov. John Kasich has made no secret about his desire to reduce — and someday eliminate outright — Ohio’s income taxes.

He was not cryptic during a speech before chamber of commerce groups recently, urging business leaders to pick up the banner and be more vocal about the issue.

“I would encourage you as members of the chamber to always be for tax cuts,” he said. “I haven’t always seen that over the last few years.”

Tax Cuts

“We have to do it,” Kasich continued. “If you want Ohio to move faster, we have to reduce this personal income tax. Seventeen billion dollars walked out of this state since 1995. Where’s it go? Anybody want to guess? Florida, Nevada, Texas, Tennessee. Guess what all of them have in common: no income tax. We need to reduce these taxes for another way in which we can encourage people to move to our state. ... Promise me you’ll be for tax cuts. We can debate where it ought to be, but at the end of the day, you have to get to that conclusion.”

Ohio’s Image

The governor wants to do more to enhance Ohio’s image to residents elsewhere, enlisting the help of a big-name Columbus businessman to spearhead the effort.

“We do have an issue with image,” he said. “And I’m pleased to say that [Limited Brands CEO] Lex Wexner has agreed to take a look at a marketing plan for our state, because sometimes when people live in California, I don’t want their spouse getting worked up if they wanted to move into somewhere in Ohio [because we] don’t have an ocean. We’ve got to tell them, once they get here what they’re going to have. And you know what? When people get on an airplane and they move to Ohio, they never leave. It’s getting them here to understand what we have, and Lex Wexner is going to help us to put together a marketing plan. And you might say why Lex Wexner? Well, I have two daughters, and they’re not playing football, but if I had a son and he was going to play football and Peyton Manning said, ‘Hey, let me show him how to pass,’ I think I’d take him up on it, OK? So I don’t know if we’re going to have a Victoria’s Secret-type marketing plan for Ohio, but it isn’t a bad thought is it? Talk about cool and exciting, we’ll see. ...

“When people get to Ohio, when they realize, one, there’s no traffic. Some of you may think there’s traffic, there’s no traffic. Two, the cost of living is so much lower here than it is on the coasts and even in places like Chicago. Three, we have great schools. Four, we’ve got neighborhoods that are terrific. But the issue is how do you get them here. When they’re out somewhere on the East or West Coast and they’ve got an ocean and, of course, it costs them a fortune to live there. How do you tell people about what we have? ... We have to let them know about this, because once they know, they want to be here. And there is an element of cool.”

Drug Addiction

Kasich said his administration will continue to focus on prescription-drug abuse, adding to policy decisions implemented in recent years to shut down pill mills, hold doctors more accountable for the state’s addiction epidemic and keep better track of opioids distributed in Ohio’s communities.

“Do you know that the problem of drug addiction is everywhere?” Kasich asked. “You know that? Our young people have moved from Oxycontin to heroin, and it’s everywhere, and it breaks your heart. And some kids caught in that trap ... it is not easy to get out. It threatens to destroy families and destroy lives and their God-given purpose. ... Beginning of the year, you’re going to hear about a program we’re taking to every school, to all the parents across the state of Ohio. It’s already started. ... The highway patrol meeting with all the sports teams so they can go into the schools and talk about the dangers of drugs. And we need to give them a reason to say no. Just saying no doesn’t work. ... We have to give our children a chance to say no, and when mothers and fathers talk to their children extensively about drugs, there’s a reduction in usage. You’re going to hear about a big program. It’s exciting.”

School Reform

The governor continued to tout the school-reform plan implemented in Cleveland and urged other communities to undertake comparable efforts.

“The school plan, reform plan, that passed Cleveland is a miracle ...,” he said. “You want to fix your schools, folks? You want to put children first? You bring us your reform plan, because the best kind of education reform in a state is when it comes from the bottom up. They tried it in Columbus, they’re going to keep at it in Columbus. Youngstown? ... How many times do we have to say, Youngstown, bring us a school-reform plan so children are not left behind. Build a coalition in your communities to fix your schools, and we will help you. ... Bring us your plans.”

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.


1bornhere(44 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Youngstown will never have a viable education plan until its racism is transformed into trust and mutual respect, and judging from the primarily hate comments posted here after Vindicator stories regarding crime, that's not about to happen.

I tried retiring there after 30 years in California but it was like living in Father Knows Best land, with all the pretense of great families and very few ever actually speaking emotional truth. A movie that reflects Ohio and Pennsylvania? Prisoners. The victimized family doesn't communicate.

If it's true that all of life's riddles are answered in the movies, Youngstown has to live the plot of How to Train Your Dragon where a boy risks past the sins of his father to understand that his enemy is not evil, just afraid. Everyone is afraid. I had to move back to California.

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2dontbeafool(901 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Great, a marketing plan to insource Californians, and failing charter schools. Just what we need! Just sell the turnpike like you want to do and get it over with.

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3theotherside(333 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Kasich's Youngstown school talk is just that. Talk. He already has his state school superintendent puppet in place and his academic commission is already running the Youngstown Schools. Why aren't they delivering? He says "bring me a plan". Why isn't a plan already in place since his people are already in charge? Oh, that's right. His plan is to blame teachers so he can enrich his charter school campaign contributors.

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4theotherside(333 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

JobsOhio. Why the secrecy? Why no public scrutiny? What is Kasich hiding there? Stinks to high heaven of corruption.

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5theotherside(333 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

The teacher's union has already been eviscerated in the Youngstown Schools because of Kasich's academic commission. He already broke that union. Teachers have no say in school management. Nice try though. And teacher's union is two words.

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6theotherside(333 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

For John Kasich to claim that the public has no right to scrutinize JobsOhio, even though it is funded by public tax dollars, is the height of arrogance. Of course, that is true to form for Kasich. He always has thought he is better than everyone else. Of course, unless he talking to his pals the Koch Bros. that is. In that case, he has to follow directions. If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it must be a duck @eivo. What is Kasich hiding? Answer the question.

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7theotherside(333 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Teachers never had a say in school management. Anywhere. Again, nice try.

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8dontbeafool(901 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

States need revenue to function, and these states will have to make up for the lack of income tax somehow. New Hampshire and Texas, for example, make up for it in property taxes. Both states have some of the highest property taxes in the nation. The cost of higher property taxes, sales taxes, fuel taxes, and other taxes could amount to higher overall taxes in some of these states. Ohio will get their money from your pockets one way or the other.....AND STILL NOT PLOW OR FIX THE ROADS.

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9theotherside(333 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Sure, teachers have a seat at the table (sometimes) when decisions are made, but they don't get to make those decisions. Management does. Sorry to confuse you with the facts. Again, answer the question @eivo. Why is Kasich denying public scrutiny of JobsOhio?

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10theotherside(333 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

So your answer is that because of one wrong, the other wrong is now right? Hmm. Since the Obamacare sign up numbers will eventually be scrutinized because they are public record, I guess that means Kasich will have to allow public scrutiny of JobsOhio under your logic?

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11theotherside(333 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Yeah, I have this funny little fixation about keeping politicians honest through public scrutiny of their actions. And when politicians say "trust me", I like to quote Ronald Reagan who said "trust but verify". Again, it is the height of arrogance for Kasich to simply expect the public to allow him to be exempt from public scrutiny. Particularly when public tax dollars are being used. That alone should raise serious questions as to whether Kasich should be re-elected.

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12dontbeafool(901 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Ethics questions still dogged JobsOhio, especially after a July investigation by the Dayton Daily News showing that six of the nine members of JobsOhio’s board of directors had direct financial ties to companies that got tax credits from JobsOhio or from the state.

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13dontbeafool(901 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

It's official.... 2 million signed up so far.

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14JoeFromHubbard(1036 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Let's back up to the beginning, the Columbus business man is Les Wexner, not Lex.

Eliminating the Ohio income tax is a great idea but we know that revenue will come from under some other shell on the tax game board.

The teachers union is great if you're a teacher. A tough nut to crack if you're in government management. It drives operating costs ferociously.

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15dontbeafool(901 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I wonder what Les' fee for getting the word out on Ohio is going to be? We will probably never know since it is probably restricted information. I think the average American knows all they need to know about Ohio already. Come to Ohio, we are ranked 44th in job creation rates, you will never want to leave. Yay!

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16dontbeafool(901 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago


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17biggieshortlegs(28 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

It's quite clear the current staff of the Youngstown school system is dysfunctional. Look at the graduation statistics. Let the state come in and close the doors. I say lets try charter schools, can It get any worse? I don't think so.

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18theotherside(333 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Oh I never meant to give anyone the impression that I like what Obama has done. Far from it. All I'm interested in is full disclosure, access to information, and accountable politicians. That goes for Obama as well as Kasich. All politicians and their programs/agencies should be subject to public scrutiny, particularly when they are spending public tax dollars, and in Kasich's case, specifically as it pertains to JobsOhio. Now if you are done trying to obfuscate @eivo, since you think Obama should disclose, why wouldn't you want the same from Kasich?

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19theotherside(333 comments)posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

@biggieshortlegs, the evidence points otherwise regarding charter schools. For instance, the largest charter school in the state, ECOT, which is a huge campaign contributor to John Kasich, ranks well below the inner city schools in test score results yet Kasich has increased funding to ECOT while cutting funding to traditional public schools. Why is that?


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20Askmeificare(700 comments)posted 8 months ago

Why doesn't Ohio already have a plan? Shouldn't we have a 5, 10, 15, and then also a soft 20 year plan?

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21dontbeafool(901 comments)posted 8 months ago

Explain to me why you eliminate state taxes to lure more people into Ohio where jobs are hard to come by? Wouldn't traffic increase with the influx of all these new Ohioans? What is the incentive for bringing all these new people in? Like I said before, no income tax=higher other taxes such as property and sales taxes. He should be bringing corporations with job opportunities and decent salaries into Ohio, not families.

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