Gov. Mike DeWine Has $50 Million Reasons You Should Move To Ohio
The Atlantic warned this week that so-called “superstar cities" are in trouble. If you can work anywhere now, why live in a cramped, overpriced apartment in a city where you can no longer do anything. There are only so many pigeons you can count on your New York fire escape. People need theatre or at least a front yard.
Los Angeles and New York residents are apparently searching Zillow for homes in Boise, Phoenix, and Atlanta. Those are very nice cities and Phoenix. But the
great state of Ohio has cities and Governor Mike DeWine would love for us godless, coastal elites to move there.
Jessie Balmert at the Cincinnati Enquirer reports:
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday that he wants to spend $50 million on a marketing campaign to convince East Coast and West Coast residents to live, work and spend their money in Ohio.
"We want to position Ohio as the place to be," DeWine said during a news conference unveiling his next state budget proposal.
DeWine might need more than $50 million to convince us Ohio is “the place to be." Sure, according to a 2007 episode of "30 Rock," Cleveland was the “hot spot" where all the “gone daddies move," but that was just before Barack Obama won the state twice. For the past eight years, as its population growth slowed, Ohio has transitioned to "North Kentucky."
DEWINE: Ohio is a welcoming place. I don't care who you are, we want you to come to Ohio. It's a progressive state.
Ohioans are probably friendly enough, but I'm not sure how welcoming the state is to women who've grown accustomed to their bodily autonomy. Just last month, DeWine signed a bill requiring women to “bury or cremate" the fetal remains from surgical abortions.The obvious intent is to further shame women who have abortions, as well as making abortions in general more expensive. This will discourage abortions, which anti-choice zealots consider a good thing for zealotry-related reasons.
It's interesting that DeWine would call Ohio a “progressive state." Republicans usually consider “progressive" a dirty word, unlike “insurrection." The previous White House squatter won the state twice, but Lt. Governor Jon Husted insists Ohio is one big, diverse melting pot.
We've got small towns with conservative values. We've got some cities with progressive values and all across the scope, Ohio is a place where no matter what you want, we've got it.
Ohio is also a place where you can acquire things you don't want, like COVID-19. DeWine resisted imposing a mask mandate in May because he didn't want to offend idiots, including the one-term loser. In fairness, he did finally stand up to former President Pandemic and issue a mandate in July, for which he took his fair share of abuse. The resulting mandate caused COVID-19 cases to plunge by a third (because of SCIENCE) so some small applause for DeWine is warranted.
DeWine's campaign also targets young people who flee the state the first chance they get. Democratic state Rep. Kent Smith thinks Ohio could achieve this more easily by reducing the cost of in-state college so young residents could grow their skills at home. That idea's probably worth at least $5 million.
House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes was also critical of the campaign and tweeted:
Instead of spending $50M for a PR campaign, Republicans could stop passing extremist legislation that keeps women, people of color, the LGBTQ community and working families from realizing their American dream in Ohio. It would be a lot cheaper. And much more kind.
While I can't disagree with Sykes, I do think a deliberate “blue" migration to Ohio isn't a terrible idea. The 2020 election was the first time since 1976 that Ohio voted to the right of Texas, and Democrats have almost conceded the state to the GOP. Biden's winning margin in California was more than 5 million votes, so we could comfortably spare some patriots willing to help us flip Rob Portman's Senate seat in 2022.
We can always change Ohio's lousy politics. Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do about Cincinnati's chili. That's what it is.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."