John Kasich on Government Reform

Republican Governor; previously Representative (OH-12); 2000 candidate for President


My judicial appointments are solid conservatives

I've appointed over a hundred judges as governor. I even appointed a judge to the Ohio Supreme Court. And you know what they are? They're conservatives. Go check it out. They are conservatives. They don't make the law. They interpret the law. That's all they do. And they stick by the Constitution. So I will do that.
Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

Country too partisan to appoint justice before election

The country is divided right now. I wish the president would think about not nominating somebody. We're going to have an election for President very soon, and the people will understand what is at stake in that election. I believe the President should not move forward, and I think that we ought to let the next President of the United States decide.
Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina , Feb 13, 2016

Freeze all federal regulations for one year

Q: This stock trading year is the worst start to a new year ever. Many worry that banks and financial stocks are particularly vulnerable. What actions would you take if the Great Recession meltdown happened all over again?

KASICH: [I would do] the same thing that I did in Ohio. It's a simple formula: common sense regulations, which is why I think we should freeze all federal regulations for one year, except for health and safety. It requires tax cuts, because that sends a message to the job creators that things are headed the right way. And if you cut taxes for corporations, and you cut taxes for individuals, you're going to make things move, particularly the corporate tax, which is the highest, of course, in the world.

Source: Fox Business 2016 Republican 2-tier debate , Jan 14, 2016

Let states decide how to govern themselves, not DC

In order to get this economy moving again, I call for freezing regulations for a year except for the problem of public safety. I believe that we need to cut these taxes down, we need to be on a roadmap to balancing the budget, and we need to send power, money, and influence, the welfare department, the education department, job training, infrastructure, Medicaid, all of that out of Washington back to the states so we can run these programs from where we live to the top, not a one size fits all mentality that they have in Washington.
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

Move power, money and influence out of Washington

I'm both an inside and an outside player. I can deliver change; and I've done it. You know, it sounds like a cliche. I hate to use cliches. But throughout my career, whether it's balancing the budget, being involved in major defense reform or turning Ohio around, I hope that gives me credibility so people know when I'm president, I know how to move power, money and influence out of Washington, how to bring about the reforms we need and understand how that system works.
Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 20, 2015

Skinny-down bureaucracy & kick out special interests

Make Government More Efficient And Effective--Skinny-down state bureaucracy to ensure taxpayers are getting their money's worth, and reform state government into a 21st century partner with Ohio's job creators--not one that punishes business with outdated or unnecessary regulation;

End The Influence Of Special Interests--Build common-sense solutions to our problems and kick out those who, for too long, have kept us from fixing all that is wrong in our state

Source: 2010 Gubernatorial campaign website, kasichforohio.com , Nov 2, 2010

Bible study group swelled during 1992 House banking scandal

In Bible study, we were all elected officials except for a leader. We met once a week in the chapel of the Capitol. I attended regularly, but I didn't think anything of it if I couldn't make it one week.

From time to time, our numbers would swell, such as when there was a scandal brewing in town and elected officials were scrambling for whatever good-luck charms they could stuff into their pockets. During the 1992 banking scandal, for example, when it was revealed that the House of Representatives had allowed members to overdraw their House checking accounts without penalty, we had 30 or 40 members trying to join our group, and I had to laugh, because, of course, you can't just go through the motions of reconnecting with God and expect it to make a whole lot of difference in your life right away. You need to work at it, with a trusting spirit. You need to carve out some time for reflection and prayer.

Source: Every Other Monday, by John Kasich, p. 47-48 , Jun 15, 2010

Separating church and state is goofy misinterpretation

I said, "Karl Marx put it out that God was phony. Anybody in the Soviet Union who practiced religion was subject to arrest and imprisonment."

One of my Bible study members wondered if that type of thinking was behind our apparent attempt to separate matters of church and state. For the longest time, this has been one of my pet peeves, because I've always thought it was one of the goofiest misinterpretations of our founding fathers' intentions. Our founders didn't say that government should be somehow separate from religion, or that religion was in any way unconstitutional or un-American. In fact, up until the late 19th century, there were state-sponsored churches in this country. The men who drafted the Constitution were in no way frightened or put off by religion. They were just careful to ensure that our government should not force people to believe a certain way or put any kind of stamp on their faith, so it's funny to me how the impulse behind it has been co-opted over the years.

Source: Every Other Monday, by John Kasich, p.195-196 , Jun 15, 2010

Limited government supported by our Judeo-Christian ethics

American is a special place because of our Founders' vision. They believed that a nation could be built on the back of self-governance, that making laws didn't necessarily give us the solutions that free markets and conscience-driven individuals would also approve. They believed in the limits of government as much as they did in the power of government. And they believed that a free market economy and a limited government would be supported by our shared Judeo-Christian ethics to provide a fundamental sense of duty and conscience to all American citizens. Indeed, our moral foundation continues to flow from the shared values that have been passed down for generations, and these values are simple, straightforward, and widely held: honesty, integrity, personal responsibility, faith, humility, accountability, compassion, forgiveness. They're a part of us, whether or not we want to cop to them. What's wrong with America is that on a societal level we have swung away from these fundamental values.
Source: Stand For Something, by John Kasich, p. 3-4 , May 10, 2006

1970s: No judge pay raise until state employee pay raise

In the State Senate in the 1970s, I found myself in another tense meeting with a group of local judges who were pushing for a pay raise, this at a time when state employees were feeling the economic strain of a decades-old wage scale. I finally said, "Gentleman, I'm not going to vote for a pay raise for judges until our state employees get a raise."

If any one of these guys had a gavel, he would have cited me with contempt of court. As it happened, all I got was their contempt. These people were just furious with me, and I'm not sure I was right and that the judges weren't entitled to pay raises for all their hard work and good counsel, but I told them what I thought. It was a priority to these judges, but only on a personal level; in my mind the lower-level state employees had to come first.

Source: Stand For Something, by John Kasich, p. 81 , May 10, 2006

Money affects ability to honestly assess policy situation

A great majority of the people who initially set out for a career in politics do so for reasons that are noble and admirable. It's what happens next that's got me so concerned. You need money to win elections--and yet it's the reliance on money that gets us into trouble, and it's the insatiable desire for more of it that ultimately limits independence. You get your money from the people who have it, and too much of that money comes from special interest groups.

Just because someone or some group gives money to your campaign, it doesn't mean they own you. Like every other politician, I took money from special interest groups, but it never amounted to much, and these special interest groups became less inclined to contribute to my campaigns because they could never count on getting anything in return. I worked hard to ensure that money never got in the way of my good judgment, but a lot of folks don't make that effort. It takes the edge off someone's ability to make an honest assessment of a situation.

Source: Stand For Something, by John Kasich, p. 83-84 , May 10, 2006

Allow faith-based institutions to address social ills

The government must stop bearing down on faith-based institutions because these groups are often solving our society’s toughest problems. Take for example, an organization founded by two homeless men to help homeless people get off the streets, introduce them to Jesus and get them working. [When the program] began accepting government money, a founder said: “Now we can’t have God in it--Now that government is involved, there’s all that paperwork and all the rules.”
Source: Columbus (OH) Urban League Speech, May 17, 1999 , May 17, 1999

Ax Commerce and Energy Depts.

[Kasich, speaking in NH,] reiterated his desire to cut government (he would ax the commerce and energy departments), shore up social security with the budget surplus, and cut taxes. “I want the bureaucrats to realize they work for you,” he said. “You don’t work for them.”
Source: The Concord (NH) Monitor, “Kasich Taps In”, 3/22/99 , Mar 22, 1999

Voted NO on banning soft money and issue ads.

Campaign Finance Reform Act to ban "soft money" and impose restrictions on issue advocacy campaigning.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Shays, R-CT; Bill HR 417 ; vote number 1999-422 on Sep 14, 1999

Limit punitive damages; term limits on Congress.

Kasich signed the Contract with America:

[As part of the Contract with America, within 100 days we pledge to bring to the House Floor the following bills]:

The Common Sense Legal Reforms Act:
“Loser pays” laws, reasonable limits on punitive damages, and reform of product liability laws to stem the endless tide of litigation.
The Citizen Legislature Act:A first-ever vote on term limits to replace career politicians with citizen legislators.
Source: Contract with America 93-CWA11 on Sep 27, 1994

Government is too big, too intrusive, too easy with money.

Kasich signed the Contract with America:

This year’s election offers the chance, after four decades of one-party control, to bring to the House a new majority that will transform the way Congress works. That historic change would be the end of government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public’s money. It can be the beginning of a Congress that respects the values and shares the faith of the American family.

Like Lincoln, our first Republican president, we intend to act “with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right.” To restore accountability to Congress. To end its cycle of scandal and disgrace. To make us all proud again of the way free people govern themselves.

    On the first day of the 104th Congress, the new Republican majority will immediately pass the following major reforms, aimed at restoring the faith and trust of the American people in their government:
  1. Require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress;
  2. Select a major independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste, fraud, and abuse;
  3. Cut the number of House committees, and cut committee staff by one-third;
  4. Limit the terms of all committee chairs;
  5. Ban the casting of proxy votes in committee;
  6. Require committee meetings to be open to the public;
  7. Require a three-fifths majority vote to pass a tax increase
  8. Guarantee an honest accounting of our federal budget by implementing zero baseline budgeting.
Source: Contract with America 93-CWA2 on Sep 27, 1994

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Page last updated: Mar 24, 2016