It didn’t take the Ohio Supreme Court long, two sentences, actually. On Tuesday, the justices dismissed a complaint requesting that JobsOhio, the privatized element of the state economic development operation, produce documents under the state’s public records law.
The court noted the obvious: JobsOhio largely is exempt from sharing its records. Gov. John Kasich and his fellow Republicans in charge of the legislature made it happen, arguing that such treatment is essential to JobsOhio making a big contribution to improving the state economy, fruitful deals more likely to emerge.
The court ruling puts to rest those suggestions from Team Kasich and others that JobsOhio is somehow transparent enough. The whole purpose has been to avoid transparency, Ohioans giving the administration leeway to deliver.
The risk in all this is that the public has more at stake than the condition of the state economy. JobsOhio is fueled in a key way by public funds, the routing of state liquor money for its use. Thus, it would be helpful to have a fuller picture of its dealings and decision-making. But as the court made plain in quick order, there are things JobsOhio doesn’t want the public to know.