John Kasich, Lobbyists and the Consumer’s Counsel kneecapping


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Quote of the day comes early today… Here’s one of John Kasich’s best friends, referring to the Governor:

“I don’t want to get yelled at”

No, we didn’t really believe a word of the article (suuuuure nobody hires Kasich’s best friends to influence him), but it’s pretty funny when your own BFF admits you have got a nasty temper when hearing things you don’t want to hear.

The really fascinating bit was that, despite the entire premise that the Governor doesn’t listen to his good friends who are also suddenly-popular lobbyists, they admit the Don Thibaut lobbied the Governor on behalf of “one of his clients” regarding the Consumers Counsel. You may recall that Kasich cut the funding for the office in half, suggesting that its function is duplicative (it’s not). The mentions that one of Thibaut’s clients is Interstate Gas Supply (IGS). The OCC filed a complaint last October alleging IGS engaged in deceptive marketing.

Another of Thibaut’s clients is Columbia Gas (Thanks, JLEC!). In the Consumers’ Counsel’s budget testimony, she discussed that her office performed an audit and determined that Columbia Gas customers had paid $545 million more as a result of retail “competitive” natural gas markets. The House would have none of that type of muckraking, and added a provision forbidding the OCC from positions not in support of “competitive markets.” Why all this aggression toward the Consumers Counsel, anyway? The budget opens up state lands to natural gas drilling. It would sure help to start that whole enterprise off on the right foot by eliminating the loudest and best-funded consumer advocate in the state by taking away her legal authority to say anything about your industry.

So does it surprise anyone that the one exception Kasich admits to in allowing his best buddy Don Thibaut to lobby him was on behalf of natural gas companies for gutting the consumers counsel? Actually it kind of surprises me that they’d admit it since it seems so transparently obvious that Kasich helped his buddy by cutting the OCC’s funding in half.

For the record, this post was updated. I missed the paragraph where they identified IGS as one of Thibaut’s clients. If you read an earlier version, we apologize.

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3 Comments

  1. It might also be helpful to point out the IGS used the Columbia logo for their marketing. They claimed that it was not deceptive marketing. However, they only used the Columbia logo in Columbia’s service territory. That makes one wonder why they used it then and how that is not deceptive. Also, their claims about gas prices used a very misleading pricing model.

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