John Michael Spinelli has been covering Ohio politics for a very long time. The former credentialed Ohio statehouse journalist worked for the Hannah News Service, but now bills himself as “one of Ohio’s leading independent reporters,” recently contributing to the Columbus Government Examiner and AllVoices. He also happens to write for Plunderbund, and it seems this fact has not only gotten Spinelli removed from Governor Kasich’s press list but also banned from covering Kasich’s latest State of the State speech in Wilmington, Ohio tomorrow.
Kasich Spokesman Rob Nichols contacted Spinelli earlier today to let him know that he was being denied credentials to tomorrow’s speech. When asked why, Nichols informed Mr. Spinelli that he didn’t “want to argue” with him, he didn’t “want a press conference” and also because he “wrote at Plunderbund” – our humble progressive political website that is often critical of Kasich and his policies. Note: The Right-leaning political website ThirdBasePolitics.org was granted access to last year’s SOTS.
Understandably, this speech is important to Kasich as he tries to drum up support for his 2016 presidential campaign. Kasich can’t afford any major missteps or any more of those crazy “wackadoodle” moments that made his earlier SOTS’s so damn hilarious. But since the speech will be broadcast live online and on television and since Kasich will do his best to avoid talking to the press anyway, what’s the harm?
If past behavior is any indicator, Kasich will officially announce his 2016 run with the friendly folks at Fox News. But he can’t hide forever. If the wannabe-President can’t handle a few tough questions from an Ohio political reporter, how can he expect to perform on a national stage being grilled by media professionals from across the political spectrum and around the world?