Auditor right on challenge to JobsOhio

Published 9:19 am Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Auditor of State Dave Yost faces an unpopular and uphill battle with the governor and leadership of his own party over auditing the JobsOhio initiative, but the state official must stay the course because he is fighting an important battle for all of Ohio’s citizens.

The taxpayers should stand up and support Yost in this effort and we applaud the auditor for breaking Republican party lines and holding his ground on this issue that is vital to show that more than $5 million in public funds are working to create jobs as they are intended.

The dispute centers on the whether or not Yost should have access to the private funding portion of JobsOhio, a hybrid economic-development agency that uses public funds to generate private investment through bond sales.

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Because the entire program was built around initial public funding that came from state liquor sales, it clearly falls under Yost’s supervision and should be audited like other public entities in order to promote transparency and accountability.

Gov. John Kasich should do the right thing by backing off on his contention that any of JobsOhio’s documents should be private and push the agency for immediate compliance.

The governor could send a message to citizens and other government agencies that Ohio is open for business but also open to transparency.