The worst kept secret in Columbus right now is that the FBI has started looking into Kasich’s staff and allies over allegations they used unethical and possibly illegal threats and promises in their ongoing struggle to oust Kevin DeWine as Chairman of the Republican State Central Committee.

Unfortunately for Kasich, it looks like he may have put himself and his friends in this potentially calamitous position for nothing. Despite their announcements of success in the recent committee elections, Kasich has some problems that seem to indicate he may not have the support he needs to win control.

The first clue: DeWine is still in power and no one has called for a vote to replace him. If Kasich supporters did win a majority of seats in the recent elections then they could have called for a vote already. According to the bylaws of the Central Committee, any 15 members can call a meeting as long as they provide the rest of the members 5 days notice. And as long as a majority of the members participate they’ll have a quorum allowing them to transact any business of the committee – including calling for a vote on the chairman.

If Kasich has so much support in the committee, why hasn’t he called for a vote yet?

The other problem: Kasich doesn’t officially have a candidate to replace DeWine. The list we’ve been hearing for a few weeks is: Doug Preisse, Jo Ann Davidson and Betty Montgomery. Blogger Justin Higgens has the same list with Alex Arshinkoff added.

It’s hard to enough to drum up support for a non-existent candidate. But Kasich’s potential candidates all have their own issues that might make it difficult for Kasich to hold on to some of his supporters once the name is officially announced.

While Kasich is getting support from Tea Party Republicans because of their distrust (disgust?) of DeWine, the people mentioned above are going to be a hard (read: impossible) sell to many hardcore social conservatives and Tea Party supporters. The reasons range from being pro-choice to being openly gay, but I think it’s sufficient to say: if any of the people on this list end up challenging DeWine, Kasich can count on losing some of his supporters on the committee.

The last problem Kasich faces is the heavy handed way in which he approached this challenge. We know Kasich has used his position as Governor to influence the makeup of the committee. And while the threats and intimidation and ‘bribes’ may have won over some fearful friends, they also created some even more resolute enemies.

The case of Andrew Manning, Portage County Republican Party Chairman, is probably the most notable. Manning was offered “influence” if he would drop out of the committee race. He was so concerned over the behavior of Kasich’s allies that he asked the FBI to open investigation into the matter.

We also know he has used threats. An ethics complaint filed two weeks ago details four individual cases of threats used by Kasich’s staff and allies related to Kasich’s quest for control of the committee.

And this week heard rumors that Mary Taylor may have been responsible for similar acts of intimidation against two committee members on her staff. Taylor and her Chief of Staff Laura Johnson supposedly placed serious pressure on two of her employees (and members of the state central committee) to vote with the Governor and speak out against DeWine. They even attended the most recent committee meeting to ensure one of the employees complied. We should have more on this soon.

It’s also worth noting that the bylaws of the Republican State Central Committee require that a secret ballot be used for all votes, which undoubtedly makes Kasich supporters nervous. You can bribe or intimidate people all you want, but it does little good if you can’t actually monitor their votes to see if they followed through.

What it all boils down to is this: Kasich and his team are talking like they have won enough seats on the State Central Committee to vote out DeWine, but since they haven’t taken advantage of the opportunity, you really have to wonder. And even if they did have the votes, they haven’t announced a candidate – most likely because the candidates on their short list can’t win support from the extreme right wing of the party.

In the mean time, it appears as though Kasich’s threats and intimidation have made enough enemies in his own party to cause fellow Republicans to file ethics complaints and ask for federal investigations into his actions.

In the middle of a presidential election year the Republican Governor of Ohio SHOULD be raising money to help beat Democrats, especially President Obama. Instead he has thrown his own party into disarray, forcing everyone to spend millions of dollars on internal battles over control of the Republican State Central Committee. And the longer he waits to announce a candidates, the more the fighting goes on, and the more support Kasich is going to likely to lose.

Personally I’d like to see this fight go on and on as long as possible. But if Kasich really does have the support he says he does, he’s going to need to put up or shut up very soon.

  • Just curious, no 1 s called for a vote to replace this like a mutiny? They r on the same side… it’s like everything else…like a RECALL but they dont bother having legislation…ask the people…Ohioans who elected him…clearly “a secret vote…” everythings such a secret…why? They r grown elected officials..professional, leading somewhat Ohio…So, they, he..ksuck had Shannon Jones take fall 4 sb 5..even though we all know he pushed the agenda, just like Right 2 work is work n The Cleveland Scam..I mean Plan…Why is everything a secret vote? Y cant they just mature , elected officials..They represent, or were elected too, the people..Ohioans…The “Secret Vote?” lmao..Is that so no 1 knows who stabs the Republicans , in the back? f they will do things in secret for wtf eva reason to their own party…hmmm…brings back memories of childhood games, ..1 in particular where ur blindfolded, spun around 3 x, given a sharp needle w..a tail on the end n then pushed, towards ur task..blindfolded..yup..Sounds like an adult version of pin the tail on the donkey…¬† all makes sense now…prepares you for “gettn blind sighted..” Pinning the tale¬† or not..if if walks like a n Azzzzzz donkey, looks like a donkey, etc…its probably a donkey…Another of several “secret meetings/votes..” I dont see secret anywhere in the definition of Democracy, justice, or in the bill of rights or the Constitution…When Kasichs quiet…time to prepare…n the little smoke screens used to take the focus off of the real agenda…are gettn more n more predictable…ohhh drat! Shhhhh…forgot Kasich n crews other secret meetings…Me n my big mouth! drat!

  • Debbie Rudy-Lack

    THIS kind of behavior on the part of the GOP is so highly entertaining….let em’ keep playing their stupid power games…..between Ka-sick and “little boy” Mandel, this is better than reality TV!

  • As always, Mr/Ms GoingDown1, I would be glad to post a correction if you would provide the least bit of evidence that “everything [I] wrote is entirely wrong”.

    Hell, I’d post a correction if you just provided ONE piece of evidence.

    But as always you just show up in the comments and post random crap about possible lawsuits.

    It’s getting old, buddy.

  • I’m not arguing Kasich doesn’t have the votes on a generic ballot. But if he puts up any of his top choices, then he’ll definitely lose some of those votes.

    He’s going to be stuck settling on someone like Johnson who isn’t necessarily in his inner circle.

    And the nasty, arguably unethical methods he used to achieve his victory have made him and his team some lifelong enemies.

    Regarding the meeting, Ohio Revised Code (3517.02 to 3517.05) specifies a time frame for county committees (6 to 15 days after election), but not State Central Committees. Instead it says state central committees should meet according to their bylaws.

    Republican SCC bylaws specify January of odd-numbered years for the reorganizational meeting. But as I point out, they also allow for earlier meetings to be called.

    As you correctly mentioned, they have now called for a meeting on April 13th, and I will update the post accordingly.

    Obviously I have an opinion on this, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want the facts be correct.

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