Governor Kasich Launches Anti-Idiot Initiative

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Ohio’s new governor stepped up his innovative piss-everybody-off approach to leadership Wednesday, just one day after 1,000 cops, firefighters, teachers, and other public workers showed up at the Statehouse in Columbus to protest a bill that would strip them of their collective bargaining rights.

In our latest episode: A video from January 21 has emerged in which Governor John Kasich is addressing state workers from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. At one point, your governor refers — twice — to a police officer who ticketed him as an “idiot.”

“I had this idiot pull me over,” he says, referring to a 2008 traffic stop for not yielding to an emergency vehicle. After saying the officer told him, “You must report to court. If you don’t report to court, we’re putting a warrant out for your arrest,” Kasich responds, “He’s an idiot. We just can’t act that way, and what people resent are people who are in government who don’t treat the client with respect.”

Kasich spokesperson Rob Nichols said the story was a meaningless “anecdote” that had no bearing on the collective bargaining debate. But it’s not likely to make the opposition any friendlier.

“Every officer is going to take offense to that,” Columbus Fraternal Order of Police president Jim Gilbert told Columbus’ NBC4. “It’s always going to be in the back of the minds of police officers from this point on.” — Anastasia Pantsios

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