In a nearly 40-minute press conference Tuesday at the Ohio Statehouse, Gov. John Kasich had a lot to say about a lot of topics, including the health of Lake Erie, whether he’ll endorse Mike DeWine for governor, immigration reform and more.
He even did some parental bragging.
Kasich was in such a chatty mood that he cut off an aide who tried to shut down press questions, and the governor twice returned to the table to add more comments.
Here is what we learned.
1. Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow. If fraud was committed at the online charter, as a recent state audit suggests, it should be pursued, Kasich said. “I think these things all have to be looked at carefully. If there is a problem there, you got to deal with it,” he said.
2. Lake Erie. Earlier this year, Ohio declared Lake Erie “impaired” but on Tuesday the governor clarified that that designation only applies to parts of it. “The idea that the entire lake is impaired is nonsense,” he said. The governor attributed algae blooms plaguing the lake’s western basin to fertilizer runoff from agricultural property. “Here’s what I know. The single biggest thing that we can do right now is to make sure that we stop this non-source pollution from getting into the lake and that requires rules. A lot of times people don’t want to have rules because rules make somebody upset,” he said. “In this case, somebody is going to be upset because they’re not managing their land the right way.”
3. Mike DeWine. The Republican governor has yet to endorse the Republican-nominee for governor. Although the two men talked Tuesday, Kasich declined to issue a full-on backing. Kasich said he is concerned about what the next governor will do with JobsOhio, a non-profit economic development arm of the state created by Kasich, and will do to help people with mental illness and drug addictions. “I’ve expressed myself very strongly to Mike DeWine how I feel about this.”
4. Politicians. The governor expressed frustration with politicos who fail to take a stand on issues such as immigration reform, out-of-control federal deficits or gun control. “You are either for taking guns out of the hand of somebody that presents a danger to themselves or others, or you’re not. Say it! Don’t weasel around on it. Say it.”
5. Proud dad. The governor gave a shout out to his daughter, Emma Kasich, who is a senior at Worthington Christian High School and a member of the track team’s 4x100- and 4x200-meter relay squads. The governor wished her good luck in the postseason competition.