Monday, November 24th, 2014

John Kasich's victory culminates Truth-O-Meter-taxing campaign

Republican John Kasich celebrates election results that confirm his victory.
Republican John Kasich celebrates election results that confirm his victory.

John Kasich"s victory over Gov. Ted Strickland was the culmination of a hard-fought campaign in which both candidates at times taxed the Truth-O-Meter.

Kasich, who led a Republican sweep of statewide offices in Tuesday"s election, criticized the governor throughout the campaign for the condition of Ohio"s economy and slow recovery from the recession.

PolitiFact Ohio ran eight of Kasich"s statements through the Truth-O-Meter, rating one True, one Mostly True and two False, with the others in between. His average Truth-O-Meter rating was slightly less than Half True. (For his part, Strickland"s average grade was Barely True for seven statements, including one that PolitiFact Ohio thought worthy of it"s lowest rating, Pants On Fire.)

Kasich earned his True rating for accurately citing Ohio"s voting record in presidential contests in the 20th century as he put emphasis on the importance of this gubernatorial election.

His claim that Strickland raised taxes "last year to the tune of $840 million," was rated Mostly True. PolitiFact Ohio agreed that stalling a scheduled rollback of the income tax, when taxpayers were expecting to pay less the next year, was an increase.

But PolitiFact Ohio gave him False ratings when he said Ohio "didn"t have a development director for over seven months" and again when he charged that "Ted Strickland destroyed Ohio jobs when he busted the budget."

Kasich also earned a Half Flip for his position on repealing Ohio"s income tax.

In June 2009 Kasich stormed the stage in his hometown of Westerville to declare his candidacy for governor. On one point he was emphatic: "We"ll march over time to destroy that income tax that has sucked the vitality out of this state."

But a funny thing happened over time. Kasich stopped calling for it"s elimination, and grew more and more reluctant to talk about it.

Kasich continued to insist it could be done, so he wasn"t awarded a Full Flop on the Flip-O-Meter. But his refusal to offer up details or talk about it on the campaign trail prompted PolitiFact Ohio to give him the Half Flip.