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Group Targets Gov Kasich For 'Privatization' Efforts

A national anti-privatization group has targeted Republican incumbent Gov. John Kasich over his signature policy decision, his public-private entity that replaced the state Department of Development. Gov. Kasich has defended JobsOhio on transparency and accountability for years, including in a sit-down interview recently… “Well, I mean, I think it’s the most transparent private organization in the state. First of all, you have a public audit that’s released. You have a compliance audit from the auditor of the state. You have a board of directors whose ethics are reported the same way as people at Ohio State and University of Cincinnati, same rules. We have a review board on top of all that that reviews the decisions of JobsOhio,” says Kasich. But a national group that tracks and criticizes privatization and outside contracting cites Kasich in a report blasting him and the governors of six other states for the outsourcing of state services, which they say has enriched private companies with public dollars. Lisa Graves with In the Public Interest notes the state auditor is now prohibited from doing a full audit of JobsOhio. “The Ohio state auditor, David Yost, who’s a Republican, had to file subpoenas to get the agency’s financial records. That’s certainly not transparent. That’s not a model of how an entity ought to operate. And I think that for Gov. Kasich to stand by it in that way really shows a huge blind spot on his part,” says Graves. Ohio and Michigan were also singled out for contracting with Aramark to provide food service in prisons. There have been food shortages and maggots in inmates’ meals in both states.