Year one of John Kasich’s time behind the desk was marked with a lot of bullish and baiting commentary issuing out of governor’s mouth. Now it seems like the governor is trying to turn around his public image and show Ohio he’s got a warm gooey center just like the rest of us — even if that means pulling back from his own party’s hardline agenda points.
This week Kasich told reporters he wasn’t so sure about a proposal circulating the legislature to drug test welfare recipients, according to the Columbus Dispatch. The idea — which hasn’t worked out so well in other states, mainly Florida — was introduced by Lancaster Republican Tim Schaffer as a way to ensure our hard earned tax dollars aren’t going straight into some basehead’s pipe.
However, on Tuesday, a kinder, gentler Kasich said he’d like to see more help offered to addicts on welfare, not finger wagging.
“There are a lot of people hurting out there, and so I’m not sure this is the time to start saying to them, ‘If you want to get something, you’ve got to go through these hoops,’ ” Kasich said, responding to a question from the audience after his speech in Columbus to a conference of Ohio county commissioners and engineers.
The governor counted off good reasons for avoiding the measure, and even couched the issue in terms of moral compassion:
On tying welfare benefits to drug tests, Kasich listed a host of reasons to pause, including considering the children of parents who fail drug tests, sending people who fail tests to rehab, and privacy laws that could prevent the tests.
“You’ve got to balance the taxpayers off about what’s the common-sense thing to do with the right thing to do, the compassionate thing to do,” Kasich said. “What’s the right thing for the kids?”
Oh John . . . we might have been all wrong about you . . .