Ohio Governor John Kasich has turned down Federal Aid for tornado victims.
Kasich has said he believes the State of Ohio can handle all aspects of the cleanup associated with the destructive tornados that leveled homes, and basically blew the small-town of Moscow, OH off the map.
Other states effected by Friday's storms, Indiana and Kentucky, have already declared various counties disaster areas. Both have indicated they will accept FEMA's assistance in the cleanup and providing for displaced residents.
“I believe that we can handle this,” Kasich told Clermont County storm victims who had taken shelter in a local high school. The Governor said the State will do its own assessment and develop a plan from there.
One on hand, in this age of empowering the States and weaning ourselves off the Federal Government's teat, its not insane to praise Kasich for his go it alone approach. On the other hand, Ohio - we've been told over and over again - is in a fiscal crisis. Its hard for me to understand how with limited funds the Buckeye State is prepared to financially cover the scope of the cleanup, the temporary housing needs, the rebuilding, etc. without any Federal assistance or financial aid. The residents of Ohio have paid, via their federal taxes into FEMA and are entitled to receive the benefits of those funds if and when the time comes.
The time, most would say, came with great fury last Friday...Its a helluva thing to make a point about smaller government on, nonetheless.
Some have said this is merely a political stunt by Governor Kasich. Clermont County Democratic Party Chairman Dave Lane said, "I question his judgement. " "It would appear at first blush that he's playing politics. " Reaction has also reached social media with a page already created on facebook called "Tell Gov Kasich to accept Federal relief money, support Moscow, OH. "
The wisdom of this decision by Governor Kasich won't be known immediately. We'll need to see how the towns effected by the disaster progress compared to those in Indiana and Kentucky who are accepting federal aid. If the recovery in Ohio is comparable and there isn't a lack of aid for those displaced by the storms, then we'll need to tip our hat to Kasich for backing up his political beliefs of less federal government in our lives. However, if the recovery in Ohio falls behind that of our neighboring States or if other worthy programs see their budgets effected by capturing the funds to pay for the storm effects, then Gov. Kasich will be guilty of playing politics of the worst kind.