Even without knowing whether those asking questions at campaign events are for him or against him, John Kasich has a habit of talking down to women.
During a campaign stop at the University of Richmond, the Collegian noted Kasich’s markedly different responses to the female and male students. The student paper printed a column from Kayla Solsbak, 18, who was nearly jumping out of her seat to get noticed, and was offended when he responded with a laugh and told her, “I’m sorry, I don’t have any Taylor Swift tickets.”
“Kasich barreled through a Planned Parenthood question, dismissing the young woman who posed it, and derided me when I had the audacity to raise my hand,’’ Solsbakk wrote. “Kasich came to Richmond to pander to retired Republicans. He could gain points by belittling me and my peers, so that’s what he did.”
“What continues to strike me is the hypocrisy of his condescension. He touted his ambitious energy as an 18-year-old man, but as soon as I, an 18-year-old woman, exhibited ambition, I became the target of his joke.’’
In Iowa, while trying to explain his experience with the state’s budget, he turned to a woman in the crowd and said, “”Have you ever been on a diet?” She replied, “Many times.”
“OK, you’re the perfect example,” Kasich said after laughing. “So you set a goal and you reach it, and then what happens? How about a little spumoni?’’
You can watch the video
He rarely mentions his wife in public speech but used to his first State of the State address to tell the crowd, “Kasich still will not reveal how he snagged that hot wife.’’ And while campaigning with Mitt Romney, Kasich noted, “It’s not easy to be a spouse of an elected official. You know, they’re at home doing the laundry and doing so many things while we’re up here on the stage getting a little bit of applause, right?’’
Since taking office in 2011, Kasich has signed every legislative proposal restricting abortion access – 17 so far.
Some directly block access to abortions. He has:
Banned insurance coverage of elective abortion in all ACA exchange plans
Banned abortions at 24 weeks with a “viability” testing requirement at 20 weeks
Banned public hospitals from performing abortions unless a women’s life is at risk
Banned local governments from offering healthcare coverage for elective abortions
Banned publicly funded rape crisis centers from counseling rape survivors about abortion
Require ultrasounds before all abortions
But many seem aimed at making it difficult for providers to operate. Ohio requires abortion clinics to have patient transfer agreements with local hospitals to operate. Kasich has almost entirely eliminated providers’ ability to obtain these by prohibiting public hospitals from entering into these and mandating the hospital be located within 30 miles of the clinic.
In the past 5 years, 8 of Ohio’s 17 abortion providers have closed. No state, other than Texas, has lost so many clinics in this span of time.
And Ohio women are forced to travel miles out of state at great expense to terminate non-viable fetuses.
Kasich has used the power his office provides to further this extreme agenda.
Recently, uncovered emails reported by the Associated Press show that Kasich’s office helped craft anti-abortion legislation, and in 2012 Kasich appointed Michael Gonidakis, President of Ohio Right to Life, to the State Medical Board. Gonidakis has no medical or public health experience.
The Ohio Department of Health has discretion over abortion clinics, and Kasich’s policies have forced out career professionals and he has appointed a Cabinet director who does not meet the legal requirements for the job: Either a medical degree or significant public health experience. Health Director Richard Hodges used to run the Ohio Turnpike Commission – but also is a favorite of anti-abortion crusaders.
Following the South Carolina primary, Kasich signed legislation that defunds Planned Parenthood, passed in early February by the Ohio legislature. The bill strips about $1.3 million in grants that Planned Parenthood receives from the State of Ohio. These funds were used to help address Ohio’s shamefully high infant mortality rate, reduce domestic violence, provide HIV testing and breast and cervical cancer screenings.
Kasich also has promised he would sign a bill that seeks to ban abortion in cases of Down’s Syndrome diagnosis – should lawmakers send it to his desk.
In addition to his support for abortion restrictions and limiting birth control options, he opposes paid parental leave and supports paying women staff less than men.
An August 2015 analysis showed Kasich’s office had more women on staff than men but he men had almost exclusive access to the top spots. It showed that the top 8 highest paid staffers in Kasich’s office are all men, 17 of the top 25 highest paid staffers are men and, on average, men are paid much more than women.