Quip from Ohio gov’s spokesman draws Dem criticism

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A quip from Republican Gov. John Kasich’s spokesman about a state representative is drawing disapproval from Ohio Democrats.

Democratic Rep. Debbie Phillips of Albany has asked Kasich’s office for records related to an ousted veteran environmental regulator. George Elmaraghy of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has said his resignation comes after pressure from the coal industry.

Rob Nichols wrote in an emailed statement to The Columbus Dispatch that Phillips had a history of opposing “job creators.” He said if the lawmaker had her way, Ohioans would be eating a grain-like seed called quinoa (KEEN’-wah) “over a dung fire.”

Democratic leaders blasted the comments in a media conference call Friday. Phillips says in a statement she expected better from the governor’s office.

Nichols says Phillips’ request is being processed.

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