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.

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  • Fotogirlcb2002

    oh man — a glimmer of hope
    I wish they would all go to the third frontier
    I am sure some of the robsohio people could pay for the trip
    by the way wasnt that the coolest thing today– the wisconsin dems took a day off –not to vote — my kinda of folks

  • Annakarima

    So, is this a case of the best and brightest appointing the best and brightest?

  • Victoria_ullmann

    It is my goal as a lawyer to file every kind of extraordinary writ at least once but I am really lagging in my goals. I have only done a few mandamus and a prohibition. Quo warranto baby. I had assumed when I questioned this the Senate had rushed the consent through like they are trying to do everything else. No. No Senate consent on either yet.

  • Halloween Jack

    This is really disturbing. If it turns out that Kvamme is ineligible and all of his actions as Development Director up to this point must be nullified then that will be a huge disruption for state economic development – they’d have to nullify all previous Third Frontier awards and any incentives that have previously been approved by the State Controlling Board up to this point (I haven’t looked at the previous CB agendas, so I don’t know if that’s really an issue at this point).

    Same goes for the EPA… including the permit that Kasich made such a big deal about in the press, resulting in his little shaming session in Columbus with all the EPA employees from around the state. This is what happens when government is headed by people who think the law (and traffic violations!) doesn’t apply to them.

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