Recently, Governor Kasich’s administration chose to spend $1.4 million from JobsOhio to support a marketing campaign including in-state print and television ads touting Ohio’s economy. In response to this campaign, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald sent the following letter to Governor Kasich:
November 20, 2012
Dear Governor Kasich,
I write to express my concern, and the concern of many in Northeast Ohio and across the state, about your recent use of $1.4 million dollars in state funds to place television and print ads that strongly seem meant to bolster your personal job approval numbers. These ads are an improper waste of state funds and seem intended to boost your gubernatorial re-election effort rather than actually help with economic development here in-state.
Like most Ohioans, I’m deeply thankful that President Obama and Ohio’s partners have helped foster an economic recovery for our state that began in February 2010 and continues to this day.
Because our partners were committed to saving our auto industry and providing Ohio with temporary financial assistance during our nation’s darkest hour, our state is in position to lead the nation back from the worst recession since the Great Depression. We’re proud of our story, but we don’t need to waste money patting each other on the back.
By targeting these ads at Ohioans on television and newspapers around the state, this expense is not aimed at luring out-of-state investors or companies to relocate here in Ohio. Many in the state legislature trusted you to exempt JobsOhio from public disclosure because you suggested that was necessary for economic development. That very lack of disclosure requirements for JobsOhio now prevents us from determining whether those associated with your re-election effort are personally benefitting from Ohio’s assets.
Even if this expense was not a blatant misuse of state assets for campaign purposes, it would still be questionable following the massive cuts your state budget imposed on schools and communities across the state. Here in Cuyahoga County alone, the $1.4 million spent on these ads could be better utilized by nearly fully restoring the cuts your budget imposed on school districts across the state, including several in my home county which could have been made whole with this money.
Ohioans are resourceful, optimistic for the future, and thrifty. We are not the ones that need to be convinced of our own improvements, after all, we have lived through them.
hope you will consider immediately discontinuing this waste of taxpayer
dollars and dispelling the impression that you are using state
resources for your re-election effort.
Cuyahoga County Executive