This morning Third Frontier and the Third Frontier Advisory Committee were both scheduled to meet today. I’m told from reliable sources that the meetings were essentially cancelled. No public explanation has been given.
However, word in Columbus, unofficially at least, is that the Administration’s lawyers are kind of spooked at that whole Mark Kvamme may not be able to be the Development Director under the Ohio Constitution issue.
I’ve hit the phone circuit today, and I can tell you that the Republicans are in full “what the hell do we do” mode over it. You see there’s a problem that there’s no real clear way to get them out of this without, well, first admitting it’s a real issue. They don’t want Kvamme to issue (any) more Third Frontier awards that may later be challenged as invalid. Without a Chair, Third Frontier can’t proceed until Kvamme has assurances that he can legally serve. Yet another causality of “moving at the speed of business.”
You see, this is one of those rare times where the law seems, well, pretty damn clear. Is Kvamme an elector in Ohio? No. Not even debatable. Is Kvamme appointed to an office in this State? Yeah, not even a close call. There’s no doubt that this provision applies, a Cabinet post is a public office and he is appointed to it (even subject to Senate confirmation).
The Republicans supposedly were thinking about asking Attorney General Mike DeWine to issue an Attorney General’s Opinion on the issue. However, that is risky. Generally speaking, official Attorney General Opinions are prided on being non-partisan and mostly just under actual court cases. And the legal issue is such that, well, it’s kind of hard for him to ignore.
And here’s the real kicker. You see, if Attorney General Mike DeWine determines that one or two members of Kasich’s Cabinet are not eligible to serve in their appointed offices, he’s legally obligated to file a legal action to remove them.
So, yeah, it’s kind of a risky strategy to get DeWine involved. Seriously, someone may have to file a writ of mandamus action against DeWine to get an Ohio Supreme Court order forcing DeWine to file a quo warranto action to remove Kvamme (and if applicable, Nally from the Ohio EPA.)
Stay tuned… I promise you more is coming on this front.