There's good as well as the bad and ugly about JobsOhio

Editorial from The Plain Dealer At this stage of Campaign ’14 –- formalities aside, it’s well under way -– Democrats seem be advancing two key arguments for replacing Republican Gov. John Kasich with Cuyahoga County’s Democratic executive Ed FitzGerald.

The first is this: That Kasich and fellow Republicans in the General Assembly are reducing the financial subsidies that local governments (among the multitude, 88 counties, 938 cities and villages and 1,308 townships) have long received from Columbus. That topic requires comment all its own, in a later editorial.

The second anti-Kasich thrust is this: The General Assembly authorized Kasich, as he desired it to do, to incorporate the quasi-private JobsOhio to replace most functions of the very public Department of Development. And that law requires JobsOhio to promote “economic development, job creation, job retention, job training, and the recruitment of business to [Ohio].”

Politically, that’s as safe as praising motherhood. In so many words, though, Democrats imply JobsOhio is (a) little more than a publicity stunt to sell brand Kasich; (b) a now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t scheme to make Kasich’s rich allies richer by shoveling state resources their way; or (c) both.

Actually, JobsOhio’s political message (as opposed to its policy message) is that Kasich, at a time when confidence in government action is low, uses a private-sector model to promote private-sector jobs. That has to be a powerful theme to out-of-state Republicans looking over other Republicans for higher office.

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