Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Kasich-O-Meter

Promote Ohio as a place to locate businesses


"As governor it's going to be my job to be like Jim Rhodes was and that is to chase around this country and chase around the world, if necessary, to convince people that Ohio is a place to locate their businesses."

Sources:

John Kasich 2010, "John Kasich Live Webcast," Aug. 26, 2009

Subjects: Economy, Jobs

Updates

Governor shows he has a flair for salesmanship

Jobs and Ohio"s troubled economy were the top issues of the 2010 gubernatorial race, and Gov. John Kasich vowed to make them top priority.

Kasich pledged to emulate a previous Republican governor.

"As governor it's going to be my job to be like Jim Rhodes was and that is to chase around this country and chase around the world, if necessary, to convince people that Ohio is a place to locate their businesses."

Kasich hit the ground running when he took office in January. In early February we rated his performance on this promise as In the Works on the Kasich-O-Meter.

By then he"d already reached out to American Greetings in Northeast Ohio, a company that he said was considering leaving the state and taking hundreds of Northeast Ohio jobs with it. He"d also paid visits to Wright Patterson near Dayton, General Electric in Cincinnati, Kenworth in Chillicothe, the General Motors plant in Lordstown and several small businesses.
   
He also had met with the Big 3 automakers in Detroit to be sure they were happy with their plants here and to gauge their interest in bringing more work to Ohio.
   
And to all he delivered his signature message: "Ohio is open for business."
   
He"s repeated that mantra countless times in appearances on national television news shows.

In July, for example, he touted the state in an appearance on NBC"s "Meet the Press,”
telling host David Gregory: "Ohio was dying, and we are beginning to really become business-friendly. ... In Ohio, because we faced our $8 billion budget deficit and provide tax relief, what's happened? CNBC says we've jumped 11 points, 11 places in terms of business-friendly."   

His comment was a reference to the state"s improved performance in CNBC's annual rating of "America's top states for business," which the business channel released in June.

Kasich returned on Aug. 23 from another trip to Detroit after meeting again with executives from Chrysler, Ford and General Motors.  

Chrysler announced it would invest $72 million in its Perrysburg Township machining plant near Toledo, retaining 640 jobs -- a commitment it made with cooperation from the state on an incentives package.

The governor also expressed optimism about a possible expansion of Chrysler"s Jeep operation in Toledo, which could result in a $365 million investment and 1,100 new jobs.

And after meeting with the governor, a General Motors executive told The Columbus Dispatch that in its view Ohio"s business climate had improved.

"We"re very encouraged by the changes we see happening in Ohio,” Bryan Roosa, GM"s executive director for state government relations, wrote in an email. "The attitude toward manufacturers is very supportive, and it"s helping create a very strong environment for business. We"re very pleased with our relationship with Ohio and like what"s happening there for GM.”

The governor has shown a flair for salesmanship. Based on his performance, we move the Kasich-O- Meter for this promise to Promise Kept.

 

Sources:

John Kasich 2010, "John Kasich Live Webcast," Aug. 26, 2009

The Toledo Blade, "Kasich lobbies Chrysler, GM for new manufacturing jobs,” Jan 12, 2011
   
The Plain Dealer, "American Greetings officials meet with Gov.-elect John Kasich,” Nov. 4, 2010

The (Youngstown) Vindicator, "At GM Lordstown, Kasich pledges to drive jobs into state," Jan. 26, 2011

The Columbus Dispatch, "Governor, automakers make plans for Ohio,” Aug. 24, 2011

CNBC, "America"s top states for business,” June 28, 2011

PolitiFact Ohio, "Meetings between Kasich and corporate leaders held to preserve jobs, lure new ones to Ohio,” Feb. 9, 2011

PolitiFact Ohio, "Gov. John Kasich touts Ohio's improvement in a CNBC business survey,” July 21, 2011

Meetings between Kasich and corporate leaders held to preserve jobs, lure new ones to Ohio

Gov. John Kasich likes to fashion himself as Jim Rhodes re-incarnated.

The late Rhodes is the only four-term Ohio governor, a Republican political icon most favorably remembered for his success at luring businesses and jobs to the state in the 1970s with his memorable "Rhodes Raiders" platform.

Kasich has expressed the same kind of determination for creating jobs for Ohio, including the willingness to trek across state lines and recruit companies to the Buckeye State like Jim Tressel going after a blue-chipper for the Ohio State football team.

"As governor it"s going to be my job to be like Jim Rhodes" was, and that is to chase around this country and chase around the world, if necessary, to convince people that Ohio is a place to locate their businesses," Kasich said during his campaign.

So, how"s he doing at keeping that promise?

Kasich doesn"t have a lot of results to tout yet, but that isn"t for a lack of effort.

Kasich didn"t officially take office until Jan. 10, but he got started on this campaign promise the same week he was elected, reaching out to American Greetings in Cleveland, a company that the governor said is considering leaving Ohio and taking hundreds of Northeast Ohio jobs with it.

Since then, the governor has paid visits to Wright Patterson in Dayton, General Electric in Cincinnati, Kenworth in Chillicothe, the General Motors plant in Lordstown, and several small businesses, to name a few.

He and his development director, Mark Kvamme, also traveled to Detroit with to talk with the Big 3 auto makers to be sure they are happy with their plants here and to gauge their interest in bringing more work to Ohio.

The Chevy Cruze is made in Lordstown. But Kasich told a gathering in Lordstown last month that Chevrolet executives he met with in Detroit expressed concerns about Ohio"s business climate. The governor said his message to Chevrolet and others is this: "Ohio is open for business."

The statement has become the governor"s calling card to the business world signaling his willingness to negotiate with trinkets like tax incentives in return for new jobs.

To his dismay, much of the governor"s efforts have been more toward retention than recruiting, as he found more companies, like American Greetings, contemplating leaving Ohio than he had anticipated.

Kvamme said that in his first four hours of his first day on the job he learned about three companies that were either strongly considering leaving or had already decided to go. In total, it amounted to another 100 jobs loss — not many in the overall big picture but significant nonetheless.

General Electric isn"t thinking of pulling out of Cincinnati but it was still important for the governor to touch base with the company, and other major employers like it, said Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols.

"It"s sitting down with executives, ‘how are you doing? How can I help,"" Nichols said.

The governor is barely a month into his four year term but on this campaign promise he has clearly hit the ground running. The outlook for Kasich fulfilling it is, well, promising.

At this point he has done enough for us to move the Kasich-O-Meter for this promise to In the Works.

Sources:

The Toledo Blade, "Kasich lobbies Chrysler, GM for new manufacturing jobs,” Jan 12, 2011

The Plain Dealer, "American Greetings officials meet with Gov.-elect John Kasich,” Nov. 4, 2010

The (Youngstown) Vindicator, "At GM Lordstown, Kasich pledges to drive jobs into state," Jan. 26, 2011