Lack Of Diversity In Kasich Administration Questioned

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Gov. John Kasich's selections to head his cabinet agencies are nearly in, but none of them are minorities.

Members of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus said Thursday they were patient during the transition, but that patience is now wearing thin, reported ONN's Jim Heath.

State Sen. Nina Turner said Kasich told her "I don't need your people" when she complained about the lack of diversity in his administration. That prompted the Cleveland Democrat to unleash this scathing attack.

"Through his actions and deeds, Gov. Kasich has declared that Ohio is open for business, but if you are African-American you need not apply," said Turner.

Turner and members of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus complain that Kasich has appointed no minorities to serve in his cabinet or senior staff.

Now the group is threatening a lawsuit.

"We want 100 percent transparency as to who has applied for these positions, what they have applied for and reasons as to why these people have not been qualified to work in his administration," said Turner.

Rep. Sandra Williams said minorities make up nearly 20 percent of the states population and that should be reflected in the governors office.

"That means whoever he has appointed already, feel the need to get rid of them if you need to.  We want our fair share of the seats at the table," said Williams.

Kasich was criticized earlier this month for issuing a resolution mistaking Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday in January for Saint Patrick's Day in March. Since his election, the governor has insisted he just wants to hire the best people.

"We pick people on the basis of who's qualified.  We don't pick them on the basis of quotas.  I mean I think quotas are yesterday," Kasich said on Jan. 2.

Kasich said he's color blind when it comes to hiring.

"I mean let's get the best people for the job," said Kasich.

The governor's office said that Turner's statement "I don't need your people" was a reference by Kasich to Democrats, and had nothing to do with race.

Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said the governor did offer two African-Americans a cabinet position, but both of them declined the offer.

Jobs that so far include no people of color.

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