Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chris Redfern's latest attack is just plane stupid

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman and Buckeye State Pirate Chris Redfern has opened his mouth again. And as usual, it had nothing to do with helping Ohioans or improving the state, just another pathetic attempt to twist the governor's every waking move into some lame political attack.

The Dayton Daily News came out with a silly hit piece about Kasich's increased use of the state planes.
Gov. John Kasich’s entourage for a 144-mile trip from Columbus to Cleveland last month was so large his office used two state-owned planes to transport the group, costing taxpayers $2,199.50.

In his first 81 days in office, the Republican Kasich used the Hawker-Beechcraft King Air planes for 16 in-state trips and four out-of-state treks at a total cost of $31,400. By comparison, former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland spent $31,849 on plane travel during his first 13 months in office.
Never missing an opportunity to put his diarrhea of the mouth on display, get a load of what Redfern says about the two planes owned by the state for its governors to use to travel around Ohio: The governor should stop using the planes to travel around Ohio.
“I think we ought to sell the damn planes,” Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said. “The governor loves privatization. He ought to drive down to Port Columbus Airport and fly coach like the rest of us.”

Ridiculous. The plane is there for the governor to do his job. Ohio is a large state. No matter who the governor is or what party they belong to, that's exactly what the planes are there for. For the governor to use in pursuit of the state's business.

Brian Tucker of Crain's Cleveland Business agrees.
The only people who care about this are those who intend to criticize Gov. Kasich for one reason or another. Frankly, I'm impressed with how much he has traveled the state for a variety of reasons. A governor should be visible to the people he governs, and if that means taking the state plane because of schedule demands — well, isn't that why we have them?

We should expect the news media — in their critical watchdog role — to blister the governor if he was jetting around the state for personal reasons, but that doesn't appear to be the case. But to write this story, and then let the state Democratic Party chair say something as useless and partisan as "He ought to drive down to Port Columbus Airport and fly coach like the rest of us" is nothing more than transparent political sniping.
Not only is it the stupid political hackery that we're used to from Redfern, it would actually cost the state more money if we followed his suggestion.

So it cost $2200 to fly the governor and a number of his staff to Cleveland. The DDN piece mentions that for this particual trip, the group was large enough that they used two planes. Since each plane can carry 10 passengers, lets conservatively assume that there were 10 people in the group total.

That comes out to $220 per person, round trip. That's a bargain, folks. Go do a search on a round trip commercial flight from Columbus to, er...Cleveland. They start at $800. And for all the traveling that a governor has to do, Redfern would have him sitting around in commercial airports for hours, several times a month? Yeah, that's an efficient use of the governor's time, not to mention his staff!

Finally, would Redfern have us believe that during Ted Strickland's entire 4 year term, he never traveled with the governor on the state plane? I don't have the actual data on this, but I would be shocked if Chris never did.

Tucker concludes his piece with this comparison between the two governors, and their attention to Northeast Ohio.
I only wish Ted Strickland would have used the planes a bit more and been in Northeast Ohio the way his successor has been. And, while I'm in the wishful mood, can't people stop trying to make political points in useless ways?

Irrespective of party, Ohio's governors should be visible to the electorate. They need to be talking to the people across this state, learning firsthand about the particular challenges facing them. We have state-owned planes to make productive use of any governor's time.

I hope they all follow Gov Kasich's lead in the future.
Ya know, judging by their underperformance in Cuyahoga County last November, I bet Ted Strickland and Chris Redfern secretly wish they had used those planes to visit Northeast Ohio more often, too.

Follow Bytor on Twitter


  1. a Pirate? You are too gracious. I think he picked that avatar on Halloween, just before elections. Here I thought it represented poison.

    But then I'm in Cuyahoga Co where the Dems turn out to be rather poisonous by undermining the auditor's office and local school boards. Who knows how many scales, property values, "hunting lodges", etc. have been compromised by their actions. Redfern sits and watches and does nothing. He couldn't care any less about Ohio. From what I have read he has brought nothing constructive to any conversation. He's out for himself alone.

  2. Here's what one political blog said about the Governor's use of the State plane:
    "What amazes me is the number of flights he's taking. Over 24 in just three months? Seriously? Is that a good use of taxpayer dollars?"

    Was that me in 2011? Nope, that was THIS BLOG a year ago back when Strickland was flying 1/5 of the amount Kasich is:

    IOKIYAR syndrome strikes again.

  3. Hmmm...Kasich flies two full planes to Cleveland for state business at a cost less than commericial and that's...bad?

    Strickland flies empty planes 24 times for pure convenience...and that is...just as bad?


  4. Modern, you have missed the point in the year old post. Each of Stricklands 24 flights included TWO "empty" short hops... One from KOSU (where the plane is parked) to KCMH to pick up the guv... and then a second empty flight from KCMH to KOSU after the guv was dropped off.

    That's 48 short, empty flights.

    I believe the post was taking exception to the governor having the plane make all those extra empty trips. Re-read the post.

  5. lol, Modern being a liar again.

    The issue of Strickland's use of the plane was that it flew literally one 3 minute empty flight after another costing the state THOUSANDS because he did not want to drive an extra 15 minutes.

    ted did not fly as much because he did not have an agenda to sell. He was an empty suite, loser, shell of a man who failed to lead a single day he was in office.

    Good riddance.

  6. Um... the quote was "number of flights HE'S TAKING" not number of flights he WASN'T taking.

    Learn to read before you wrongly accuse someone of lying.

    Yes, even Rob Nichols said at the time a year ago that Ohio should consider getting rid of the plane altogether. It's in the Other Paper story linked to the post from here I posted the link to.

    Kasich's flying to make staff announcements. But that's not a waste? LOL.

    If you're trying to justify this as Kasich selling his agenda, then it's even more wasteful because Kasich's sales job isn't working for Mr. 30% Job Approval rating.

    Ohio last year had twice the job creation rate as Indiana and most the rest of the nation. Thirteen straight months of dropping unemployment. The best economic recovery for the State since the one in 1983.

    If Ted Strickland didn't do anything, then why does John Kasich keep taking credit for the things Ted did (preserve the tax cut, Goodyear, federal approval of Medicaid EHRs reform?)

  7. I guarantee you that the short hops trips cost far less than it did for John Kasich to fly to do nothing more than a photo op for a staff announcement.

  8. The point is that a year ago the Kasich campaign, Rob Nichols, and THIS VERY BLOG, was making the exact same point you're attack Redfern for making.

    At least address your own hypocrisy on the matter before you attack someone on the other side of the aisle for agreeing with what this site said a year ago.

  9. This blog said Governor Strickland should sell the planes and drive to Port Columbus and fly commercial?

    I'm trying to find that in the post, and having a lot of trouble.

  10. Well, Bytor, I don't know how else Strickland would have been expected to fly as Governor wihtout the State plane as this blog and Rob Nichols advocated.

    Why don't you call Deputy Press Secretary Keeling up and ask him why he and Nichols failed to convince the Administration to get rid of the plane.

  11. It's nice to have a governor getting out and doing things a governor is supposed to do (like keep a company from leaving the state).

    Strickland sat on his ass for 4 years and did nothing as job after job went away.

    The whining we're hearing from Democrats now is simply that -- whining.

    I must say, though, it's more substantive content than they put out there when NCR was leaving the state.


No profanity, keep it clean.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.