Thanks for your report, Michael.
Jeb Bush joined John Kasich yesterday for a discussion about the business environment in Ohio. Over 200 business owners, ranging from sole proprietors to employers of thousands gathered to discuss the problems they are facing, things other states have done, and ways to fix our current system. The host of the event was FANUC Robotics, the leading producer of manufacturing robotics in the world.
Workers comp horror stories were exchanged by several business owners prior to the start of the event, and groans could be heard in the crowd when the topic was brought up by the panel. Ohio's income tax, and more specifically, the recent tax hike were also a hot topic.
Jeb Bush was very diplomatic about it but did admit that while Governor he was able to convince companies to move from Ohio to Florida because of the superior business climate that he helped create in that state.
There was definatly enthusiasm in the room for John Kasich. "I usually don't get very involved in campaigns, but I'm ready to get behind a leader dedicated to making some real top down changes in this state,” said a small business owner from Dayton. “Jeb Bush's insight on how another state has created an favorable business climate was very valuable."
One panelist summed up the whole event today in Mason by saying, “The state of Ohio, in one voice, must plant the flag and announce to the rest of the country and world that Ohio is Open for Business again, and the person to do that is John Kasich.”
As Kasich/Portman/et al travel the state over the next several months, please send in your reports from the events. I'm particularly interested in learning not just what was discussed, but the environment of the events and how people are responding to the message from our GOP candidates.