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John Kasich

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John Kasich
Governor John Kasich.jpg
69th Governor of Ohio
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 10, 2011
Lieutenant Mary Taylor
Preceded by Ted Strickland
Chairman of the House Budget Committee
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Martin Olav Sabo
Succeeded by Jim Nussle
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 12th district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Bob Shamansky
Succeeded by Pat Tiberi
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 15th district
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 13, 1982
Preceded by Robert O'Shaughnessy
Succeeded by Richard Pfeiffer
Personal details
Born John Richard Kasich
(1952-05-13) May 13, 1952 (age 63)
McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary Lee Griffith (m. 1975–80)
Karen Waldbillig (m. 1997)
Children Emma Kasich (daughter)
Reese Kasich (daughter)
Residence Ohio Governor's Mansion
Alma mater The Ohio State University
Religion Anglican

John Richard Kasich (/ˈksɨk/; born May 13, 1952)[1] is an American politician who has served as the 69th Governor of Ohio since 2011.[2] He is also a candidate for the Republican Party's nomination to the 2016 presidential election.

Kasich served as a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Ohio's 12th congressional district from 1983 to 2001.[3] He was a commentator on Fox News Channel, hosting Heartland with John Kasich (2001–2007). He also worked as an investment banker, as managing director of Lehman Brothers' Columbus, Ohio office until the firm collapsed in 2008.[4][5]

In the 2010 Ohio gubernatorial election, Kasich defeated Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland, 49% to 47% in one of Ohio's closest gubernatorial elections.[6] He was re-elected in a landslide in 2014, defeating Democrat Ed FitzGerald, the County Executive of Cuyahoga County, 64% to 33% and winning all but two counties, Athens and Monroe. He announced his 2016 campaign for the presidency on July 21, 2015 at an event in Columbus, Ohio.[7]

Early life, education, and family

Kasich was born in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, an industrial town near Pittsburgh.[8] He is the son of Anne (Vukovich) and John Kasich, who worked as a mail carrier.[9][10] Kasich's father was of Czech descent, while his mother was of Croatian ancestry.[11] Both his father and mother were children of immigrants.[9] Kasich described himself as "a Croatian and a Czech".[12] Kasich was raised a Catholic, but considers denominations irrelevant, and stated that "there's always going to be a part of me that considers myself a Catholic." He drifted away from his religion as an adult, but came to embrace an Anglican faith after both his parents were killed in a car crash by a drunk driver.[13][14]

After attending public schools in McKees Rocks, Kasich enrolled at The Ohio State University, where he joined the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity.[15] As a freshman he wrote a letter of admiration to President Richard Nixon, requesting a meeting with the President. The letter was delivered to Nixon by the University's president Novice Fawcett and Kasich was granted a 20 minutes meeting with Nixon in December 1970.[16]

Earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University in 1974,[17] he went on to work as a researcher for the Ohio Legislative Service Commission.[18] From 1975 to 1978, he served as an administrative assistant to then-state Senator Buz Lukens.[19]

Kasich was married to Mary Lee Griffith from 1975 to 1980, had no children with her, and Griffith has campaigned for him post-divorce.[20] He has been married to his second wife, Karen, since 1997. They have twin daughters, Emma and Reese.[20]

Early political career

In 1978, Kasich was elected to the Ohio Senate, representing the 15th district, after defeating Democratic incumbent Robert O'Shaughnessy with 56% of the vote.[21] At age 26, Kasich was the youngest person ever elected to the Ohio Senate.[22] One of his first acts as a state senator was to refuse a pay raise.[23][24]

U.S. House of Representatives (1983–2001)

In 1982, Kasich ran for Congress in Ohio's 12th District, based in Columbus, Ohio. He won the Republican primary with 83% of the vote,[25] and defeated incumbent Democrat U.S. Congressman Bob Shamansky in the general election by a margin of 50%–47%.[26] Kasich was re-elected eight times after 1982,[27] winning at least 64% of the vote each time.[28]

John Kasich Official Portrait in the 99th Congress, 1985.

In 1994, Kasich was one of the Republican leaders to support a last-minute deal with President Bill Clinton to pass the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. After a series of meetings with Clinton's Chief of Staff, Leon Panetta, who was also a long-time friend of Kasich, the assault weapons ban was passed when 42 Republicans crossed party lines and voted with the Democrats to ban assault weapons.[29] Kasich's support of the assault-weapons ban angered the National Rifle Association, which gave Kasich an "F" rating during the 1990s as a result.[30]

During his Congressional career, Kasich was considered a fiscal conservative, taking aim at programs supported by Republicans and Democrats. Kasich worked with Rep. Ron Dellums to cut spending on the B-2 Bomber, and with Ralph Nader in seeking to reduce corporate tax loopholes.[31][32]

During the 1996 presidential campaign, Republican nominee Bob Dole was reported to have considered Kasich as a vice presidential running mate but instead selected Jack Kemp, a former congressman and HUD Secretary.[33]

Budget and economic legislation

As Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Kasich was the lead architect of the 1997 balanced budget deal. This marked the first time the federal budget achieved balance since 1969 and ultimately led to a federal budget surplus. Kasich also chaired the congressional conference committee that overhauled welfare, requiring new work/training requirements into the system.

Foreign policy and defense

While in congress, Kasich participated in nine international trips where he visited ten foreign countries. He also played a key role in passage of the Goldwater–Nichols Act, the most significant restructuring and streamlining of the military command structure since the creation of the Department of Defense in 1947. He was invited by President Reagan to be one of four House members present at the bill signing.

Committee assignments

Official congressional portrait of Kasich for his service as Budget Committee Chairman

In 1993, he became the Ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee where he authored an alternative to Clinton's deficit reduction plan that he presented as relying on spending reductions rather than tax increases. Later that year, the Penny-Kasich Plan, which proposed $103 billion in cuts to federal spending over 5 years, including a politically risky reduction of Medicare payments for recipients who earn $75,000 or more in adjusted gross income, failed by only six votes.[34]

In 1995, when Republicans gained the majority in the United States Congress, Kasich was selected to become Chairman of the House Budget Committee. As Chairman, Kasich worked towards balancing the Federal Budget, and was the chief architect of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. As Chairman of the Budget Committee, Kasich claimed credit for the only U.S. Budget Surplus since 1969.[35]

In 1995, when Kasich assumed the position of Budget Chairman, the U.S. Federal Budget had a deficit of roughly $163 billion, and upon the conclusion of his tenure as Budget Chairman, the U.S. Federal Budget had a surplus of over $236 billion.[35]

2000 presidential election

Kasich did not seek re-election in 2000, but instead decided in February 1999 to form an exploratory committee to run for President.[36][37] After very poor fundraising, Kasich dropped out in July 1999, even before the Iowa Straw Poll, and endorsed Texas Governor George W. Bush.[38][39]

Private sector career (2001–2009)

After leaving Congress, Kasich went to work for Fox News, hosting Heartland with John Kasich on the Fox News Channel and guest-hosting The O'Reilly Factor, filling in for Bill O'Reilly as needed. Kasich also frequently appeared as a guest host and analyst on Hannity & Colmes (the title of which was later changed to Hannity).

Kasich has also authored three books. Courage is Contagious, published in 1998, made the New York Times bestseller list. His second book, Stand for Something: The Battle for America's Soul was published in 2006. Kasich's most recent book, Every Other Monday, was also a New York Times bestseller.[40]

Business career

Kasich served on the board of directors for several corporations, including Invacare Corporation and Chicago-based Norvax Inc. In 2001, Kasich joined Lehman Brothers' investment banking division as a managing director.[41] He remained at Lehman Brothers until its bankruptcy and collapse in 2008. Lehman Brothers paid Kasich a $182,692 salary and $432,200 bonus in 2008. Kasich stated that the bonus was for work performed in 2007.[42]

Political activities

Republicans tried to recruit Kasich for Governor of Ohio in 2006, but he declined to enter the race.[43]

Kasich "always had an independent streak", said his friend, Curt Steiner, former chief of staff to former Ohio Governor and U.S. Senator George Voinovich. "He's a solid Republican, but he's always had his own views. [He's] a biological Democrat" [... his parents were Democrats]. "He came from an average background. He's in touch with people. He's not a Beltway thinker."[44]

In early 2007, Kasich was reportedly considering making a serious run for Governor of Ohio in 2010, seeking the Republican nomination to unseat incumbent Ted Strickland.[45] In March 2008, Kasich said that Ohio's state income tax should be "phased out."[46]

In 2008, Kasich was named the Honorary Chairman of Recharge Ohio, an organization with the stated purpose of electing leaders who would "get our state back on track."[47] Kasich said that he hoped that through Recharge Ohio, he could "provide the framework necessary to allow Ohio to become a leader in economic and educational success."[48]

Ohio governor

2010 gubernatorial election

On May 1, 2009, Kasich filed papers to run for Governor of Ohio against incumbent Democratic Governor Ted Strickland.[49][50] He formally announced his candidacy on June 1, 2009.[51] On January 15, 2010, Kasich announced Ohio State Auditor Mary Taylor as his running mate.

During a speech before Ashtabula County Republicans in March 2009, Kasich talked about the need to "break the back of organized labor in the schools," according to the Ashtabula Star Beacon.[52] Ohio's teachers' unions supported Democrat Ted Strickland, and after Kasich's gubernatorial victory, he said, “I am waiting for the teachers’ unions to take out full-page ads in all the major newspapers, apologizing for what they had to say about me during this campaign."[53]

Elsewhere, he said he was willing to work with "unions that make things."[54]

On May 4, 2010, Kasich won the Republican nomination for governor, having run unopposed. On November 2, 2010, Kasich defeated incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland in a closely contested race to win the governorship.[55] He was sworn in at midnight on January 10, 2011, in a private ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. It was then followed by a ceremonial inauguration at the Ohio Theatre at noon on the same day.[56]

First term (2011–2015)

Economy

Kasich's first priority when he came into office was the elimination of the projected $6–8 billion state budget shortfall.[57] Kasich utilized a number of cost-saving reforms without raising taxes and signed the new balanced budget on June 30, 2011. The budget included the elimination of the estate tax and the continuation of a previously passed income tax cut for all Ohioans.

Kasich's first major piece of legislation signed into law was the creation of JobsOhio, a private, non-profit organization designed to manage economic development in Ohio.[citation needed]

As a result of Kasich's budgeting efforts throughout his first term, Ohio's rainy-day fund (or surplus) went from $0.89 to $1.5 billion today.[citation needed]

Kasich has cut taxes in Ohio by a net total of more than $3 billion. This includes the income tax cut implemented in his first budget, the 10% income tax cut in his second budget, the 50% income tax cut for small businesses, and other tax reforms that included a quarter-percentage-point increase in the state sales tax.[citation needed]

During Kasich's first term in office, 316,800 new jobs were created in the state of Ohio and the unemployment rate dropped from 9.4% to 5.1%.[58]

Education

As of 2014, funding for K-12 education was at the highest level in state history.[59]

Kasich was an opponent of the Evidence Based Model Program of his predecessor, Governor Ted Strickland.[60] During his tenure, he has pushed to tie teacher pay to performance and for state aid to follow students if they attend charter or private schools.[61]

Health care

Kasich has taken advantage of Obamacare funding to expand Medicaid in Ohio,[62] he says he wishes to keep that part of the law, and "repeal and replace" the rest of the law.[63] Additionally, reforms within the Kasich budget have allowed for $3 billion in savings that have slowed growth in the program from 9% to 3%, one of the lowest rates in the nation.

Staff

Upon taking office, Kasich received criticism from Phillip Morris of the Plain Dealer for the first appointments to his cabinet which failed to include a minority. Kasich responded to the perceived lack of ethnic/gender diversity in his cabinet by saying, "I don't look at things from the standpoint of any of these sort of metrics that people tend to focus on, race or age, or any of those things. It's not the way I look at things... I want the best possible team I can get."[64]

Transportation

Throughout his first gubernatorial campaign, Kasich opposed the Ohio Hub rail project and promised to disband it. Once governor, Kasich fought to use the money on freight rail projects instead. However, in a letter from Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood (who served with Kasich in Congress), it was stated that the money was specifically allocated 'only' for a high-speed rail system, nothing else (which was a condition of its approval by Congress). On December 3, 2010, in a meeting with President Barack Obama, Kasich once again lobbied to use the grant money for transportation projects that did not include 'high-speed' rail.[65] Ultimately, Ohio lost out on the $385 million, all together; it was instead diverted to other states (e.g., California, Florida) that were cooperative about using the grant money for its Congressionally-intended purpose.[66] According to Kasich, the state's transportation budget in 2013 was the largest in its history.[67]

Labor laws

On November 8, 2011, Ohio voters strongly (61 percent to 39 percent) rejected the restrictive new collective bargaining law for public employees that Kasich had championed.[68]

Criminal justice

As of September 8, 2014, Kasich had presided over the executions of 12 inmates and commuted the death sentences of five inmates.[69][70] In January 2015, Kasich announced that, due to pending litigation and other issues, he was delaying all seven executions scheduled through January 2016. At that time, the most recent execution had occurred in January 2014.[71]

Kasich has implemented a number of criminal justice reforms, including collateral sanctions and a stronger effort to mitigate drug addiction in inmates. As of early 2015, Ohio's prison system had one of the lowest rates of recidivism in the nation.[67]

Abortion

Also in June 2013, Kasich received both criticism and praise for signing into effect a bill that included controversial anti-abortion measures such as mandating any woman seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound and cutting funding to Planned Parenthood. Meanwhile, the bill provided funding to crisis pregnancy centers, which do not provide abortion referrals and are often run by religious groups. Further, under this bill, rape crisis centers received funding for the first time in Ohio history, but a requirement instituted by the legislature stated that in order to collect the funds they would not be allowed to inform sexual assault victims about abortion options.[72]

Other

While Kasich's predecessor Ted Strickland signed an executive order allowing collective bargaining opportunities for in-house ("domestic") child care workers, Kasich stated he would not continue those subsidies.[73]

During a speech in January 2011, Kasich referred to a police officer as "an idiot" for pulling him over and issuing a traffic violation 3 years earlier for passing too close to an emergency vehicle.[74][75] Kasich initially did not apologize, but eventually did so after he received some criticism from the Fraternal Order of Police among others.[76][77]

He has declared a "war on human trafficking" and has implemented programs to prevent the practice.

In response to Obama's announcement of executive actions for delayed deportation, Kasich said that United States citizenship may have to be provided to illegal aliens.[78]

2014 re-election campaign

Early on in the election campaign, it appeared that Kasich would have a difficult reelection campaign. However, in November 2014, Kasich won re-election in a landslide, defeating Democrat Ed FitzGerald, the County Executive of Cuyahoga County, 64% to 33%. He won 86 of 88 counties and increased support among conservatives, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Minorities and Women when compared to his victory in 2010.

Kasich, who was elected with Tea Party support in 2010, faced some backlash from select tea party activists. His decision to accept the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's expansion of Medicaid caused some Tea Party activists to refuse to support his campaign.[79] Kasich supported longtime ally and campaign veteran Matt Borges over Portage County Tea Party chairman Tom Zawistowski for the position of Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party. Zawistowski secured just three votes in his run for the chairmanship.[80] Tea Party groups announced they would support a primary challenger, or, if none emerged, the Libertarian nominee. Zawistowski said, "John Kasich is going to lose in 2014. We don't care who else wins."[81]

Ultimately, Zawistowski failed to field anyone on the ballot and the Libertarian nominee, former Republican State Representative Charlie Earl, was removed from the ballot because technical faults in collection rendered many of his ballot-access signatures invalid.[82] Kasich's victory is considered the 2nd biggest in Ohio history.

2016 presidential campaign

In April 2015, he had announced the formation of his "New Day For America" PAC.

In May 2015, sources close to him had said he was "virtually certain" to run for the Republican nomination for President,[83] and on July 21, 2015, Kasich announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination during a speech at the student union of his alma mater, the Ohio State University.[7][84][85]

Electoral history

Election results[86][87]
Year Office Election Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1982 U.S. House of Representatives General John Kasich Republican 88,335 50% Bob Shamansky Democratic 82,753 47% Russell A. Lewis Libertarian 3,939 2%
1984 U.S. House of Representatives General John Kasich Republican 148,899 70% Richard S. Sloan Democratic 65,215 30%
1986 U.S. House of Representatives General John Kasich Republican 117,905 73% Timothy C. Jochim Democratic 42,727 27%
1988 U.S. House of Representatives General John Kasich Republican 204,892 80% Mark P. Brown Democratic 50,782 20%
1990 U.S. House of Representatives General John Kasich Republican 130,495 72% Mike Gelpi Democratic 50,784 28%
1992 U.S. House of Representatives General John Kasich Republican 170,297 71% Bob Fitrakis Democratic 68,761 29%
1994 U.S. House of Representatives General John Kasich Republican 114,608 67% Cynthia L. Ruccia Democratic 57,294 33% N/A Write-in 443 0%
1996 U.S. House of Representatives General John Kasich Republican 151,667 64% Cynthia L. Ruccia Democratic 78,762 33% Barbara Ann Edelman Natural Law 7,005 3%
1998 U.S. House of Representatives General John Kasich Republican 124,197 67% Edward S. Brown Democratic 60,694 33%
2010 Governor of Ohio General John Kasich Republican 1,889,186 49% Ted Strickland Democratic 1,812,059 47% Ken Matesz Libertarian 92,116 2% Dennis Spisak Green 58,475 2%
2014 Governor of Ohio General John Kasich Republican 1,944,848 64% Ed FitzGerald Democratic 1,009,359 33% Anita Rios Green 101,706 3%

See also

References

Citations
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Bibliography
  • Kasich, John (1999). Courage Is Contagious: Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things to Change the Face of America. New York: Random House. ISBN 9780385491488. 
  • Kasich, John (2010). Every Other Monday: Twenty Years of Life, Lunch, Faith, and Friendship. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781439172186. 
  • Rechcigl, Miloslav Jr. (2013). Czech American Timeline: Chronology of Milestones in the History of Czechs in America. Bloomington, Indiana: Author House. ISBN 9781481757065. 
  • Weisskopf, Michael; Maraniss, David (2008). Tell Newt to Shut Up: Prize-Winning Washington Post Journalists Reveal H. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781439128886. 

External links

U.S. Representative (1983–2001)