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Keith Faber on John Kasich: ‘We got a lot of great things done together’ — Ohio Matters podcast: Episode 33

September 28, 2018

Keith Faber on John Kasich: ‘We got a lot of great things done together’ — Ohio Matters podcast: Episode 33

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Keith Faber said that when he was president of the Ohio Senate, he and Ohio Gov. John Kasich had a good partnership.

When Kasich took office in 2010, the state was in dire financial straits — the famed 89 cents in the rainy day fund. But as the national economy turned around, Kasich and the Republican-controlled state legislature were able to restore the state’s finances, he said.

“We had a pretty good relationship, the ability to talk and get things done,” Faber said during a recent interview for Ohio Matters, cleveland.com’s politics podcast. “And we got a lot of great things together.”

Kasich has become somewhat of a political pariah in the Ohio Republican Party ever since Donald Trump won the presidential election and replaced the pro-Kasich state party leadership with his own. Faber is notable in that he was a huge supporter of Kasich’s run for president — even campaigning for him in 14 states — who turned around and vocally backed Trump after he won the nomination. 

In that way, he represents a political bridge between the two sides.

“I think we’re still friendly. I had a great conversation with him a couple weeks ago,” Faber said of Kasich. “I asked him to give me advice and to do things. But in the end, I think he’s been a good governor for Ohio.”

Faber is this week’s guest on Ohio Matters, the weekly political podcast by cleveland.com. Each week, reporters Mary Kilpatrick, Andrew Tobias and Seth Richardson sit down with political figures from around the state for in-depth interviews.

Faber, a conservative Western Ohio resident who’s now a state representative, is the Republican candidate for state auditor. He said he is running for that job because it’s the “one state agency that can make government work better.”

“Maybe it’s a little bit because I’m a wonky geek,” Faber said. “But I want to go in and figure out how we can use data analytics and performance metrics that we can use ... and we can go through the agencies to get them to do things faster, better and cheaper.”

Faber also addressed the infamous 2016 Columbus Monthly article that named him, among other things, the state legislature’s “most arrogant” and “least compassionate” state legislator.

First, he said if he’s upsetting people in Columbus he’s probably doing something right. But he also said his role was to be a forceful advocate for Republican policies.

“Look, if you were somebody who advocated for things that were, in my opinion, wrong, at times my job was to point that out, and stand up and defend our side,” Faber said. “I was pretty effective at that.  You asked me how I became president. That’s how you become president. To be the strongest advocate for your side.”

Other topics Faber touched on include life in Celina, Ohio, his college job that led him to cross paths with Liberace and Bob Dylan, why he likes youth baseball and his contentious relationship with former House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger.

Check out past episodes of Ohio Matters, which include interviews with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine and a special episode on the Cuyahoga County corruption scandal.

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