Bully Kasich pounds on Northeast Ohio

Every the ideological, partisan bully, Governor John Kasich just can't keep himself from beating up on Northeast Ohio for the sin of being too Democratic. It's like he wants to grind the region into dust so that we have a weaker, more impoverished but more Republican state.

It's not enough that he and his minions in the legislature smash the county's congressional representation into four pieces. Now there's this, which reeks of political blackmail:

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2012/01/post_551.html

ODOT is now claiming it doesn't have the money to complete the already underway Inner Belt Bridge project which connects downtown Cleveland to, well, everywhere else in the region.

Anthony Fossaceca, the Democrat running for state representative from the 6th district comprising eastern and southern Cuyahoga suburbs, says, "This is going to be a job killer for sure. Tremont, Ohio City, Gateway, Warehouse District, the new casino, are all facing a serious crisis if we don't resolve this quickly. Worst of all, and barely mentioned, are the safety concerns of extending the life and capacity of this bridge."

The Plain Dealer outlines some of those concerns:

Delaying the second Inner Belt bridge could result in several scenarios.
It could mean continued use of the existing Inner Belt Bridge, which underwent $10 million dollars in repairs in recent years and is three years beyond its designed lifespan. The bridge carries about 120,000 cars daily on Interstate 90 and has a construction similar to the Interstate 35 bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis in 2008.
It could also mean a much longer, two-way use of the new Inner Belt Bridge, under construction now and scheduled to open in 2013.

Many people, including me, are now suspicious that this ominous talk about lack of funding is all about softening up Northeast Ohioans to accept something they hate for good reason: privatizing the turnpike. That would be an even bigger job killer, considering the drag of skyrocketing tolls on the entire economy of northern Ohio, which would make it even less competitive with central Ohio.

It's rare that a commenter at Cleveland.com posts anything worth reading, let alone repeating, but this was:

Columbus has had an interesting track record on Cleveland this past year and a half:

- Delaying the opening of the Higbee Casino for legal reasons
- Redistricting that cuts our influence into pieces
- Returning of the 3-C money to Washington
- Westshore Blvd pull out of support
- Delaying bridge and other infrastructure funding by a decade
- Anti-urban legislation

Yes. Isn't it interesting?

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