“More so than any other leading Republican,” Gov. John Kasich (R) “is using his perch to promote a blend of conservative orthodoxy leavened with liberal policies meant to help the poor, the mentally ill and the uninsured. To hear him tell it, the 61-year-old onetime Lehman Brothers executive wants to rebrand the Republican Party by refashioning what it means to be a conservative in the 21st century.” Kasich has seen vigorous opposition from conservatives and praise from liberals for his push on Medicaid expansion. He has also “steered millions more dollars into local food banks, forced insurance companies to provide coverage for children with autism and signed legislation to make it easier for recently released felons to clear their names and find jobs.” Kasich: “I have a chance to shape what it means to be a Republican. … I have a chance to show what it means to be successful economically but also to have a compassionate side, a caring side, to help lift people up.”
Former GOP chair Ed Gillespie: “John is showing, perhaps more visibly than anyone, that conservatives can care deeply about those who are overlooked and are at risk of being left behind. … This is a very important thing for our party to demonstrate.”
Conservative leader Tom Zawistowski: “Kasich is so far off the reservation, it’s incredible.”
State Rep. Bill Patmon (D): “He is becoming the people’s governor.”
A June Quinnipiac poll showed his numbers rebounding greatly from their dismal lows in 2011. (Wall Street Journal)
BIGGER COMPLAINT. Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald (D) “has expanded an ethics complaint involving practices of the state’s new privatized job-creation office.” In a letter Thursday, FitzGerald cited an AP report “detailing Kasich’s financial and political ties to a Fortune 500 steel processor whose subsidiaries are cleared” to get $619K in state tax incentives recommended by JobsOhio. “FitzGerald requested the commission add review of Kasich’s relationship to Worthington Industries to a complaint he’d already filed seeking panel input on potential conflicts of interest on JobsOhio’s board.” (AP)
LITTLE DEBBIE HELP. DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz will join FitzGerald and others for a $500-a-plate fundraiser this month to benefit the Ohio Democratic Party. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
— Julie Sobel
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."