One of the resumes we were interested in seeing with the Kasich’s Administration would be Third Base Politics’ Jon Keeling—the one-man blogging machine for the Kasich campaign and select Republican candidates.  But first, let’s do a little flashback to remind people just how pathetic Jon Keeling’s willingness to whore out his reputation to help the Ohio Republican Party really is.

you_fail-12825Back in July 2009, Eric and the rest of us noticed a new player on the conservative blogsphere calling himself “DJ Tablesauce.”  Eric noticed that the guy seemed to be particularly interested in the potential gubernatorial campaign of John Kasich.  After a little digging, Eric found out that the Twitter account for Third Base Politics was registered to… Jon Keeling under both his real and pseudonym.

I wrote at BSB that Keeling was linked to Kasich as a former employee, something Keeling never disclosed in his writings.

“I bet we’re one campaign finance report away from finding out this guy is a paid consultant by the Kasich campaign.  It’s only a matter of time.”—Modern Esquire in 2009.

Well, now that we’ve gotten Keeling’s resume as submitted to them through their FixOhioNow website, we have the rest of the story.

In addition to being fascinated with Kasich, Keeling took a particular interest in the Congressional campaigns of Bill Johnson and Bob Gibbs.  Suddenly, Keeling was covering those races in pretty remarkable detail for a guy living in Virginia at the time.  Every slimy attack the Republicans could present, particularly on Charlie Wilson, found its way to Jon Keeling first.

For the longest time, we suspected why, but we could never prove it.


Thanks to the resume Keeling submitted to the Kasich Administration, which we obtained pursuant to the public records request that the Kasich Administration initially tried to block from happening, we know the missing pieces.  We’ve attached redacted copy of the resume below (I redacted his personal contact information for his protection.)

First, here’s what Keeling says about his site, Third Base Politics:

“Working in free time as writer of a conservative blog designed to analyze and interpret both national and Ohio campaign and political developments on a daily basis.”

Working in free time, huh, Keeling?  Well, the only problem with that is that Keeling’s resume also discloses that in July 2010 he left his job at Interpics to begin working as a self-employed “political consultant” at RWR Strategies, LLC.  We’ve confirmed through the Virginia State Corporation Commission that Keeling filed to form the LLC in August of last year.  He is the statutory agent.  As far as we can tell, he is the only person employed by RWR Strategies, LLC.

Despite going out on his own as a “political consultant” with apparently no staff or another else, Keeling also never created a website for RWR Strategies, LLC.  He never disclosed the existence of RWR Strategies, LLC, or ever disclose who its clients were.

And according to Keeling’s own resume, here’s what he claims RWR Strategies, LLC did during the 2010 campaign:

Provided strategic communications advice and consultation to several targeted congressional candidates in Ohio, including State Senator Bob Gibbs and Bill Johnson. Coordinated volunteers from the Washington DC-based Team Ohio volunteer organization to provide communications assistance throughout final months of the 2010 campaign in the form of letters to the editor, press release development, new media utilization, rapid response, and research. Assumed responsibility for content and distribution of information on the “Turnaround Ted” website and new media tools as developed by the Ohio Republican Party. (emphasis added)

In other words, astroturf for the Ohio GOP from northern Virginia and D.C. just like he did on Third Base Politics.  Tell me if you can draw a line between what he describes above and what TBP did all last year.

And here’s what Joseph found on the Secretary of State’s website:

image In addition to the $3,000 from the statewide candidate state fund for “research,” Keeling’s company was also paid another $8,000 for “research” by the Ohio Republican Party’s federal account since the company was founded in August.  But is that really all Keeling got paid?  Are we to really believe that he got nothing for his travel to/from Ohio?

Third Base Politics was nothing more than a way for Keeling to yet again astroturf for Ohio politics on behalf of the Ohio Republican Party without making it easy to tell he was getting paid to do so.  You can’t look at Keeling’s own resume, see what Third Base Politics did, and the $11,000 his company earned from the Ohio Republican Party and conclude anything other than Third Base Politics was part of communication work he brags about in his resume.

Payola, pure and simple.  He wasn’t writing in favor of Kasich because he was a volunteer blogger working stories like a citizen journalist.  He was a political whore consultant posing as a citizen journalist.  He was nothing more a communication apparatus of the Ohio Republican Party disguised as an independent actor.  And he went to great lengths to hide it.

If you believe that the $11,000 Keeling was paid for “research” is wholly unrelated to the very activities he did on Third Base Politics he brags about in his own resume to the very Administration he astroturfed for two years to get elected, then I’ve got oceanfront property in Nevada to sell you.


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  • Anonymous

    Um because paid political speech is supposed to be disclosed as paid political speech as opposed as passing off paid speech as free speech?

  • Pratt

    A Republican campaign consultant wanted Republican candidates to win and kept a personal blog about it. Wow. Shocking… I’m surprised CNN hasn’t picked this up yet.

    You mention someone being fascinated with John Kasich. I think you are fascinated with Jon Keeling.

  • Rgtmwlly

    Eureka! You guys figured out that a political consultant had a blog and got paid for some work he did. And you found out by reading finance reports filed at the Secretary of state s office! Now that is some sleuthing.

    Ok, now that we know this, I think you have established sufficient grounds to undo the results of the election.

    Congratulations. You’re Pulitzer awaits!

  • It’s completely shady, but remember, nobody reads blogs, so they essentially overpaid for a bunch of posts that basically just irritated you. Now here is a stupid question. Why, if he was so tightly connected to Kasich, would he need to submit a resume?

  • Sethdawkins

    Um…guy puts himself out there as supporting so and so. Writes a lot about them.

    Months go by and you find out the guy was getting paid for everything he wrote. That he was basically full of crap and just an arm of the campaign.

    That’s blatantly dishonest and skirts the law at best. Yea, that’s a story. And it destroys all of Keelings cred.

  • Anonymous

    It’s completely unethical for a blogger to write about a campaign that he’s getting paid by and not reveal that fact. That’s all.

  • Anonymous

    On a related note, I don’t know WHY he felt the need to brag about his role so much in the campaign in the resume.

  • Anonymous

    This doesn’t mean that Kasich STOLE the election. Thanks for mocking something NOBODY said. What it does mean is that Third Base Politics was nothing more than a paid astroturfing operation for the Ohio Republican Party masquarading as a volunteer blog.

    Right or left, we’ve all had one cardinal rule: if you are being paid to blog by a campaign or political party, you MUST disclose it. People have the right to know whether the material they read on the blog is really paid for advertising by a political party or campaign.

    It’s a legal gray area as ordinarily you’d expect such marketing efforts to have a disclaimer disclosing that this site or whatever is a paid for by a campaign or political party.

  • Anonymous

    The guy would ROUTINELY put him out into the media to be interviewed as a “blogger” to comment on the very races he was getting PAID by the Ohio Republican Party to help get their message out without ever disclosing those payments.

    He positioned himself as an outsider of the campaign (a partisan one, but an outsider) allowed himself to portrayed as such in the media, comment on those campaigns whie at the same time accepting THOUSANDS from the State Party quietly.

  • Anonymous

    The guy would ROUTINELY put him out into the media to be interviewed as a “blogger” to comment on the very races he was getting PAID by the Ohio Republican Party to help get their message out without ever disclosing those payments.

    He positioned himself as an outsider of the campaign (a partisan one, but an outsider) allowed himself to portrayed as such in the media, comment on those campaigns whie at the same time accepting THOUSANDS from the State Party quietly.

  • Anonymous

    Obama’s birth certificate isn’t a secret. There’s difference in being just a partisan blogger and then posing as one while you’re on secretly on the payroll of the party to do the very things you do on the blog which is to execute communication strategy.

    Keeling was the ONLY blogger who covered Kasich favorably and he did it while not living in Ohio, and now we know while he was taking THOUSANDS from the Ohio Republican Party to execute, in his own words, their “social media” strategy.

    If you honestly think that TBP was not part of that social media strategy, then that’s your constitutional right to have an uninformed, naive opinion.

    And I hardly comment on every article at 3BP. I can stand the criticism of Ted Strickland. And I’m willing to respond to it. I have that right in this society. I’m sorry that conservatives like yourselves cannot stand the idea that someone on the other side would actually DARE confront one of your own with their lies and blatant misrepresentations.

    You can pretend this is nothing… but you seem to protest too much.

  • Guest

    if he were writing in any type of print medium, he’d be required to disclose the fact that he was writing what amounts to paid advertorials.

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