News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

NOCHE

Akron General

Hospice of the Western Reserve


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Ohio


Year In Review: JobsOhio's rocky path continues in 2013
The public-private partnership is still dogged by ethics questions
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
Gov. Kasich has called JobsOhio “the most important economic development tool in America"
Courtesy of Karen Kasler
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
The second full year of operation for the state’s public-private economic development organization was nearly as rocky as its first one. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reviews the year that was for JobsOhio.
A look back at JobsOhio in 2013

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:14)


Gov. John Kasich has made it clear many times that he stands behind his keystone creation, JobsOhio. At his final public speech in December, he called it “the most important economic development tool in America.”

"JobsOhio went through some political nonsense, and we’ve kind of cleared the brush on that. I guess they’ve kind of given up on that. And now this organization is starting to grow.”

Kasich says the state has gained nearly 175,000 jobs since he took office, which he says puts Ohio halfway back to what it lost in the recession. But Democrats say the state is 44th in the nation for job growth, and they lay the blame on the governor and JobsOhio.

Democrats propose legislation...
Several times during 2013, they presented bills related to JobsOhio – the most comprehensive of which was the so-called JobsOhio Accountability Act. It would require salaries, meetings and records of the publicly funded group to be made public. It also would require that JobsOhio subject to audit and for a website to be set up to track its funds.

Rep. John Carney of Columbus was asked how he expected the bill to be received by a Republican-dominated Legislature that has embraced JobsOhio.

“I think we certainly expect to be taken seriously by the taxpayers of the state of Ohio. Whether or not the Republican Legislature wants to wake up to the fact that right now, they are allowing all of this money to be shielded – they’re acting as if liquor profits are private money. John Kasich didn’t bless this money and turn it into private money.”

...and so do Republicans
But the only JobsOhio bill that Republicans took up was one that would ban the state auditor from auditing its books, but would require an appointed outside auditor to review them. Republican Auditor David Yost protested that measure, and subpoenaed JobsOhio’s records in March. An independent audit of JobsOhio released in October showed it finished the fiscal year with around $182 million after receiving almost $188 million, most of that from the $1.5 billion dollar lease of the state’s liquor profits. A month later, Yost released his audit of JobsOhio with records that were grudgingly turned over to him. Yost’s audit showed concerns about $60,000 that was spent with no receipts, and it found some JobsOhio directors failed to sign ethical conduct pledges.

Six of nine members with connections
However, Yost said there were no problems that resulted from not having those pledges in place. But ethics questions still dogged JobsOhio, especially after a July investigation by the Dayton Daily News showing that six of the nine members of JobsOhio’s board of directors had direct financial ties to companies that got tax credits from JobsOhio or from the state. Democratic candidate for governor Ed FitzGerald used that report to call for an investigation of JobsOhio – and to once again highlight the Democrats’ key campaign issue in 2014.

“Part of what’s frightening about this situation is we don’t even know what other conflicts are out there. We don’t know what other lines might have been crossed. We have to guess based on the disclosures of the privately held corporation.”

To market
Meanwhile, the man who’d been brought in from California to be the first head of JobsOhio had left that position, but became an Ohio resident. He bought a farm in central Ohio and turned up at the annual Sale of Champions auction at the Ohio State Fair:

“And here is our buyer, Mark Kvamme, as I get that right? Mark, you’re from where?”
“I’m from Sunbury, Ohio.”
“And what do you do?”
“I’m in the investment business.”

A few months later, a $50 million investment from Ohio State University in Mark Kvamme’s firm Drive Capital raised questions about the $9 million in fees Kvamme stands to receive, and whether his friendship with former OSU President Gordon Gee helped him secure the deal.

And a big ruling on JobsOhio lies ahead. If the Ohio Supreme Court decides that a coalition of progressive and conservative activists have standing to sue, that could open the door for a ruling on the constitutionality of JobsOhio itself.
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Crystal Ball says Ohio governor's race is done
How much is the Kasich campaign paying you to keep repeating the phrase "woman who is not his wife"? Fitzgerald was in the car with a friend who happens to be f...

Plane that crashed killing Case students is a popular training aircraft
The following is incorrect. The last few words should read "UNDER maximum gross take-off weight." “They have a normal take-off speed and all those take-off...

Exploradio: The never-ending war against superbugs
Super Federico ,we are so proud of you ,and very lucky to be among your friends . Keep it up human kind needs people like you to survive .Thanks for being so d...

Ohio's Lyme disease-carrying tick population is exploding
Interesting report. The last sentence needs some editing. It isn't a good idea to "save garments carrying ticks for analysis." The garments carrying t...

Teach for America enters third year in Ohio
For more background on TFA, check out http://reconsideringtfa.wordpress.com/

Faith leaders hold week-long prayer vigil at Ohio Statehouse
I think this is the wrong link to the audio. Its Andy Chow about cigarette taxes.

A $30 million plan to turn Cleveland's Public Square from gray to green
The current plan is for the Land Bank, RTA, and Mr. Jeremy Paris to run a bus line through the new Public Square and cutting the park in half. Save Public Squar...

Medina County residents question safety of proposed natural gas pipeline
I'm very concerned about this nexus project. I've received mail requesting my permission to allow the company to survey my property. I don't understand how thi...

A small group of tea party and Democrats protest at Kasich campaign stop
Enjoyed your excellent coverage of the statehouse for sometime now, never dreamed I'd be on. The feedback from people has been great. Thank you. Doris Adams

Top staffers are leaving the FitzGerald gubernatorial campaign
I's too bad that the dirt on Fitzgerald dug up by Kasich's operatives and publicized heavily by the Yellow Plain Dealer has caused the weak staffers of the Fitz...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University