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Monday, March 14, 2011

John Kasich Bans Cameras for State Budget Announcement

Posted By on Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 4:24 PM

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It's a busy news day for Ohio's governor, even if he wishes news didn't exist.

John Kasich will deliver the highly anticipated budget for the state tomorrow, but he doesn't want anyone to watch it. Kasich's camp announced no TV cameras will be allowed to film the speech. Reporters will be allowed only pen, paper, and recorders, but only for the sake of accuracy, not to be broadcast. No confirmation that this was a compromise, and that initially he told reporters to, "Just try and remember stuff."

Sound familiar? Like the inauguration incident where Kasich at first said reporters wouldn't be permitted to attend the official swearing-in, only to double back later on? As the Dayton Daily News points out, Kasich thinks of government transparency like the crew from Jersey Shore thinks about condoms.

"He has said open records laws dissuade good candidates from applying for government jobs; and he reorganized the state’s job development functions to be run by a private, non-profit organization that will not be subject to the same open meetings and public records laws," the paper writes.

Sound strategy for a guy sitting with a brand spanking new 40% job approval rating.

The state is looking at an estimated $8 billion shortfall, so balancing the budget is tricky stuff. Kasich has said he will not raise taxes, so the much needed dough won't come from the taxpayer's pocket. He will, however, announce plans to lease the Ohio Turnpike and sell five prisons, according to sources who spoke to the PD.

Via the PD, Kasich's spokesman had this to say:

"We're not trafficking in rumors and speculation nor are we confirming or denying details of the budget before it's released since things can change until the last minute," said an e-mailed response from Scott Milburn, Kasich's director of communication. "The budget will be released on Tuesday."

Milburn really wanted to add, "Now go away. And you really don't need to come tomorrow, it's totally cool if you skip it," at the end of the e-mail, but thought better.

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