- - Tuesday, March 13, 2012

DAYTON, Ohio — President Obama came to see March Madness, but he also got lobbied by Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio on developing natural gas in the state.

Mr. Obama flew here on Air Force One on Tuesday with British Prime Minister David Cameron to watch an NCAA men’s basketball game between Western Kentucky University and Mississippi Valley State. They were joined by Mr. Kasich and sat in the student section behind one of the baskets at the University of Dayton arena.

During the game, Mr. Kasich talked to the president about the development of shale gas in Ohio. ?He’s concerned about the environment,? Mr. Kasich said. ?We can do it where it’s environmentally sound, and we can get the jobs.?

Asked if they discussed gas prices, Mr. Kasich said, ?A lot of this is having a chance to spend some time. I don’t want to get into all the details of what we talked about.?

The president ate a hot dog at the game, chatted with students and appeared to be explaining the finer points of basketball to Mr. Cameron.

At a cost of roughly $180,000 per hour to operate Air Force One, the trip cost taxpayers at least $365,000, not including the staff costs and other expenses.

FLORIDA

AFL-CIO plans to go door-to-door for Dems

ORLANDO — The AFL-CIO is endorsing President Barack Obama’s re-election bid and says it will mount a big door-to-door effort for Democratic candidates to counter the flood of outside money that conservative groups are pouring into the campaign.

The labor federation said Tuesday its strategy is to spend less money on political parties and candidates this election cycle and place more emphasis on old-fashioned, get-out-the-vote shoe leather.

AFL-CIO officials say up to 400,000 union members will be manning phone banks and knocking on doors to persuade voters to support federal, state and local candidates.

A 2010 Supreme Court case allows union campaign workers to visit the homes of any voter, not just those of union members. The same ruling allows corporations and unions to spend unlimited cash in support of candidates.

PENNSYLVANIA

Santorum picks Corbett adviser for state blitz

HARRISBURG — Rick Santorum is naming Gov. Tom Corbett’s top political adviser as director of the Santorum campaign in Pennsylvania, but Mr. Corbett says he remains neutral in the Republican presidential race.

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