Ohio gov's team discussed targeting 'eco-left'

By By JULIE CARR SMYTH

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — New records show top advisers to Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) knew the Ohio Department of Natural Resources planned to target environmental groups and two state lawmakers while promoting drilling in state parks and forests in 2012.

The governor's spokesman acknowledged Tuesday that top advisers met with department officials about the plan. Invitees included Kasich's chief policy adviser, chief of staff and then-environmental czar Craig Butler, who now leads the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

The state says the plan wasn't implemented.

A memo outlining the department's strategy for pushing hydraulic fracturing in parks labeled the "eco-left" as adversaries. Halliburton and other energy companies the department regulated were labeled as allies.

A liberal group that obtained the memo through a records request called it a "Nixonian" government enemies list.

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