COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Republican Gov. John Kasich has made no apologies for championing the confidentiality of Ohio’s job-creation office, a structure currently shielding records that could show what incentives the state has offered to attract Amazon’s second headquarters.
Ohio is among more than 15 states and cities, including Chicago, Cleveland and Las Vegas, that declined requests from The Associated Press to release documents on the promises they’ve made to try to lure the company. Columbus released responsive records related to its bid and Cincinnati is processing the request.
Kasich endured years of litigation, political resistance and media investigations after pushing creation of JobsOhio, a privatized economic development entity. A former investment banker, he argued placing it outside most public records and lobbying laws allowed Ohio to move “at the speed of business.”
Amazon’s search for a second headquarters city has triggered an unprecedented competition among governments around North America to attract a $5 billion project that promises to create 50,000 jobs. The retailing behemoth has made clear that tax breaks and grants will be a big factor in its decision. It received 238 proposals and said it will announce a decision sometime this year.
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