Ohio gov’s team discussed targeting ‘eco-left’

FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2014 file photo, Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks about a new drug abuse prevention initiative being started for the state at West Carrollton Middle School in West Carrollton, Ohio. Kasich seemed at first to relish the idea he'd be a one-term governor, having presumably alienated partisans, lobbyists, unions and voters as he made painful but necessary changes to government operations. More recently, the 61-year-old Republican has taken on a more conciliatory, politically moderate approach that observers say could be intended to position him for re-election in his perennially purple state or for a repeat run for president. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2014 file photo, Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks about a new drug abuse prevention initiative being started for the state at West Carrollton Middle School in West Carrollton, Ohio. Kasich seemed at first to relish the idea he'd be a one-term governor, having presumably alienated partisans, lobbyists, unions and voters as he made painful but necessary changes to government operations. More recently, the 61-year-old Republican has taken on a more conciliatory, politically moderate approach that observers say could be intended to position him for re-election in his perennially purple state or for a repeat run for president. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — New records show top advisers to Republican Gov. John Kasich  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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