Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 16, 2011

KASICH DOESN'T NOTICE THE CONTRAST OF WHITE ON WHITE.... Ohio is a pretty large, diverse state. Someone probably ought to let its new governor know. (thanks to reader R.S. for the tip)

John Kasich, like any other chief executive, deserves an essentially free hand to choose his Cabinet and inner circle. After all, voters elected Kasich as Ohio's 69th governor, and they will judge will him on how well his administration performs.

That said, it is disconcerting -- in 2011 -- to look at a composite of the 20 permanent state agency heads whom Kasich has hired so far and see only white faces and barely a handful of women.

Kasich, a former congressman, Wall Street executive, and Fox News personality, has hired 20 full-time agency directors to make up his cabinet. Of the 20, 16 are white men, four are white women. No African Americans, no Hispanics, no Asians.

Keep in mind, in the last half-century, Ohio has had 10 governors, most of whom have been Republicans. All of them had at least some racial diversity in their cabinet -- until Kasich, who's the first Ohio governor since 1962 to have so far picked an all-white cabinet.

It's always best to be cautious before throwing around casual accusations of racism. That said, Kasich's move is hard to understand, especially given the size and diversity of a state like Ohio.

Today, enlightened businesses and the U.S. military push their personnel officers to find candidates who reflect the robust racial, ethnic and gender mix of modern-day America. They understand that a workplace -- from top to bottom -- that includes people of many different backgrounds and experiences is a lot more likely to come up with the kind of creative, break-the-mold thinking that Kasich promised Ohio when he ran for governor.

Kasich quite correctly says that he wants the world to know that Ohio is open for business. But surrounding himself with department heads who don't even look like Ohio -- where the Census Bureau estimates that 15 percent of the population is nonwhite -- let alone the United States or the global marketplace, has to make that a harder sell.

For his part, Kasich insists he doesn't pay attention to "any of these sort of metrics." As far as the governor is concerned, he has jobs to fill, and he went out and looked for the best person for the job.

But given the results, I'm curious: how hard did he look?

Steve Benen 10:45 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (23)

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In today's climate, Kasich probably reckons he would take more heat for pursuing diversity than not.

Posted by: jimbo on January 16, 2011 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

The argument is that Kasich is color blind, like Stephen Colbert. He doesn't see color at all, so he just hired the most qualified person for each position. It isn't his fault that the best qualified, in almost every case, was a white man. Oh, and the women? He doesn't see gender either. His marriage and those daughters - he doesn't know where they came from. ;o)

Posted by: majun on January 16, 2011 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

The people of Ohio deserve what they're gonna get from this turd. I think that they should learn how to recite the phrase thank-you sir may I have another sir. Doing this with your ass raised in the air will be the most effective response to the next 4 years of Kasich.

Posted by: Gandalf on January 16, 2011 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

RepubliKLANs: Who should run governments? People who are a 'whiter shade of pale.'
I mean how completely color blind can you NOT be?

Posted by: c u n d gulag on January 16, 2011 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Let's not pre-write this story!

If indeed the newly elected governor means what he says and says what he means, his decisions need to be vigilantly followed to weigh just how the "best and the brightest" are doing while grappling with real social and economic troubles afflicting the citizens of the great state of Ohio.

If his appointees happen to be all of the European ancestral persuasion, so be it. The proof of how effective a chief executive is in how he provides as equitably as possible to all he is elected to represent.

(I won't hold my breath when it comes to just whom Kasich does choose to represent!) -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on January 16, 2011 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

OT - yesterday I wrote a post on
Jared Loughner ***
Cranky read it as an attack, and used that word.

Cranky - get your head on straight, you seem to be full of shit as well as Cranky.

If I had a son like Jared Loughner, and the cops from Pima CC came to advise of his suspension (based on the video) I'd make every effort to get him help. And NO, I could never afford private psych help. That's me.

My post was not an attack.

The defensive crouch

Jared Loughner edition

His family saw this video, after the cops from Pima CC came to the home and advise of his suspension (based on the video)

yet, no record of mental health intervention?


Posted by: SteveADor on January 16, 2011 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, you have one of them in the White House! What the H more do you want?

(After yesterday's gulag kerfluffle, I must add this disclaimer: for any tender newbies dropping by, that is snark. . .)

Posted by: DAY on January 16, 2011 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

The question for me is how far he looked outside his own network. Are all these people known to him or known to his friends? Was any effort made to widen the circle beyond people who think just like he does and who have the exact same life experiences? Because if he picked only the people like himself, then he's not even going to be aware of his blind spots.

Posted by: johio on January 16, 2011 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Is that a Counting Crows reference in the post title? Where the fuck do you think you are, Balloon Juice?

Posted by: Joey Maloney on January 16, 2011 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Kasich has also raised the pay levels for his top aides (e.g., a $47,000 raise for his chief of staff, for instance, while his: http://www.ohio.com/news/break_news/113060194.html ), while cutting the numbers of low-level staff and their pay levels. "Special Assistant, Cassandra Cartier, an administrative assistant, had her salary cut from $35K to $30K a year. Ann Brubaker, the receptionist, had her salary cut from $33K to $32K per year. And Maggie Toal, an administrative assistant ...... making $35K/year has had her salary cut down to $23K!" (http://www.plunderbund.com/2011/01/12/kasichs-revised-payroll-screws-lowest-paid-staffers/ )

I suspect that this pretty much foreshadows the next four years for Kasich's buddies versus everyone else.

Posted by: N.Wells on January 16, 2011 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Wait 'til he resegregates the schools...

Posted by: Daddy Love on January 16, 2011 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Just guessing, but did it also happen that the "best person for the job" also happened to be Republican?

Posted by: martin on January 16, 2011 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

@johio: Check out Plunderbund - it appears that Kasich is mostly hiring from within his own network. He says he's paying them more than their predecessors to attract them to public service, but few have ever worked in private industry. And the newspaper editorial boards who supported Kasich are shocked!

Posted by: SciMom on January 16, 2011 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

These choices send that subliminal or not so subliminal signal to a certain sector of the electorate

Posted by: neil b. on January 16, 2011 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't this what the Tea Party Revolution is all about: returning to a time when only white men ruled, and when all in government can turn their backs with impunity on everyone else? When their new Governor of Maine can tell the NAACP to 'kiss my butt' and get away with it? When George Allen might once more be "free" to call a dark skinned American 'macaca'?

This is the speech, these are the actions the Tea Party is calling on America to allow them to indulge in. White minority rule.

What ugly souls they have.

Posted by: jjm on January 16, 2011 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Kasich always struck me as a guy who took a few business courses and went around pretending to be an expert economist. Kind of like Newt and his doctoral thesis on the educational system in the Belgian Congo during colonial times. Now he's a resident genius, philospher, historian, etc. Most of these guys can't wait to drive back over the cliff spouting the same old bromides about the brilliance of Milton Friedman's failed ideas. Hide your sheckles.

Posted by: max on January 16, 2011 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Considering that blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are all overwhelmingly Democrats, any Repubican elected leader is faced with either not having in non-whites in his administration or appointing quota blacks (See Alphonse Jackson, Condi Rice, Michael Steele, Mel Martinez). An all white Republican adminitraiton will probably be better run than a quota black filled administration.

Posted by: superdestroyer on January 16, 2011 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Just delurking for a moment to agree with the commentator who recommended the http://www.plunderbund.com/ site. Lots of details on everything Kasich is up to. Very scary & depressing, though.

Posted by: Ohio Mom on January 16, 2011 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

It takes a special sort of person to 'economize' by cutting the salaries of staff earning 35K a year, especially while increasing other salaries. It seems as if Kasich is determined to live out and prove the cliches about Republicans--uncaring about working people, insensitive (the polite phrase) about race and gender, mean in fact, and so on.
On his head be it.
Yhe question for me about American politics has never been 'what is the matter with Kansas?', but for some elections past now I haven't been able for the life of me to figure out what is the matter with Ohio?

Posted by: brendan on January 17, 2011 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

The New GOP is your grandfather's GOP

Posted by: Jamie on January 17, 2011 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

He's a rich Republican right? He probably doesn't know too many non-white people so he didn't think of them.

Posted by: Raptor on January 17, 2011 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Ohio is 13% nonwhite. But let's say for argument that minorities qualified to be in the cabinet are only 5% of the pop, from historical reasons. The odds of randomly picking 20 and all of them are white are .95^20==35%

Posted by: steve on January 17, 2011 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK


Less than 5% of blacks are Republicans or even conservative. What is the probability of finding that 5% of the 13%? In addition, virtually all blacks interested in a career in politics are just not Democrats but liberal Democrats. Why would Kasich want a liberal Democrat running part of the government in Ohio?

Posted by: superdestroye on January 18, 2011 at 7:28 AM | PERMALINK



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