|Citizen John Kasich in 2010 with running|
mate Mary Taylor
Republicans, including Kasich's "wicked smart" lieutenant governor, Mary Taylor, as he once called her, will have to figure out how they criticize the sanctimonious but petulant one without actually naming him, for fear of appearing too partisan.
The same reluctance to name names seems to apply to Democrats, who have mountains of reasons to impale the former congressman, Fox News TV pundit and Lehman Brothers banker, yet who have yet to name him as the governor responsible for so much bad government.
But one candidate just might find the gumption to take Kasich on by name. That candidate, Dennis Kucinich, is now an official candidate.
"The same person, battle scars and all, is before you today, with a wealth of experience, no less ready to stand up, to speak out, to take on corrupt interests on behalf of the people of Ohio, ready to be the voice that bridges left and right, a clear voice unafraid to call things like I see them," Kucinich said in published reports.
The political war horse he is, Kucinich has an agenda that isn't unfamiliar to his other primary challengers: infrastructure spending, broadband internet expansion, increasing the minimum wage to $12.50, broadening access to health care and expanding public transportation are part of what he'll campaign on.
What Kucinich can do that Ohio media has failed to do, is to prosecute Gov. Kasich and his like-minded right-wing legislature for the state of corruption in state government. When corruption in state government was all the rage, back in 2006, Democrats won four of Ohio's five statewide seats, including governor. That level of corruption is here now, but Ohio media has little in the way of headlines or investigative reporting to show for it.
"The state has given away billions in tax breaks while destroying programs essential for health and education," the battle-scared politico whose so-called "quirkiness" could be the breath of fresh air this years race for state CEO needs. "You cannot have communities where some people are living in third-world conditions unless the politics of the state itself reflects or tolerates deep corruption."
Kasich has been essentially free of any real attempt to delve into his corrupt practices, from his cabal of inner-circle confidants waging a campaign to derail a potential challenger in 2014 to the obscene fees Wall Street hedge fund managers have raked in from state pension funds whose returns are dismal by comparison, to the billions of dollar in tax breaks and wasted spending on for-profit charter schools.
The barrel of corrupt fish is there for the shooting, but media who endorsed Kasich in 2010 and then again in 2014, and who followed his every move as he mounted a second losing campaign for president, have show their watchdog credentials have expired.