While Gov. John Kasich readies his presidential announcement, which will include his boilerplate call to rise above politics, new documents show that the governor’s team spared no expense last year when it successfully derailed the Libertarian Party of Ohio’s candidate for governor, Charlie Earl, from appearing on the ballot. Had Mr. Earl been on the ballot, he was guaranteed to take votes away from Kasich, who would have won anyhow but not by the thundering margin he crows about now.

Team Kasich Spares No Expense To Plow Field Of Competitor

A report by the Associated Press, based on a recent court filing, shows the Ohio Republican Party paid legal bills twice the amount known so far that were spent by Team Kasich to plow the field of obstacles, including Charlie Earl. Through court documents previously brought to light by LPO’s attorney Mark Brown, it was known that those operating on behalf of Gov. Kasich spent over $300,000 with a well connected lawyer who represented a previously convicted influence peddler from 20 years ago, Terry Casey. Mr. Brown alleges in the complaint that Mr. Casey conspired and colluded with Kasich campaign officials and others to bounce Mr. Earl from the ballot after polls showed him taking upwards of six percent of Republican primary voters.

The AP reported that nearly $600,000, or nearly double the amount previously disclosed by Mr. Brown, was spent on behalf of Gov. Kasich.

The additional spending was documented as part of LPO’s lawsuit against Ohio’s chief elections officer who disqualified Charlie Earl. “The GOP reported and previously disclosed payments toward the disqualification effort totaling $300,000. Records show by March the bill had risen to $592,000,” the AP wrote.

“The party paid Zeiger, Tigges & Little, a firm hired by a Republican consultant Terry Casey, who spearheaded the challenge. Casey says he acted on his own. The party says Casey only sought its financial help after the fact,” the AP said.

Back To OEC

The Ohio Elections Commission voted 5-2 on May 21 to dismiss a complaint filed by the LPO alleging illegal coordination between Gov. Kasich’s campaign team, the Ohio Republican Party and a long-time Kasich friend and political operative to plow the field for his reelection bid. Stacking the deck in preparation for running for the White House, Kasich’s romp to victory would have been muddied had Charlie Earl been on the ballot.

Dodged Bullets

With flagging and floundering national poll numbers, Gov. Kasich is juicing up his chances to rise above the bottom dwellers among the growing number of Republicans jumping into the race for the White House. His first TV ad running in New Hampshire is a clone from last year’s ad buys, as it repeats the master showman’s carefully crafted narrative that his resume makes him the best qualified for the job, and that he rises above pedestrian level politics and speaks his mind as the Lord has called on him to do.

Gov. Kasich and his team dodged a big bullet in May when OEC chose not to pursue an investigation of campaign finance laws as presented by attorney Brown.

Brown said he would discuss options with Earl and others after OEC dismissed their case that while it didn’t deliver any smoking-gun evidence that Kasich and his cohorts directed the attack on Earl that included more than $300,000 being spent to drum up a know-nothing dupe who could challenge Earl’s candidacy, did reveal the extent to which Team Kasich went to produce a lopsided victory the governor could claim in his run for president showed how popular he was in a state critical to winning the 270 Electoral College votes needed to be elected president.

Kasich is a master at portraying himself as focused on big ideas, when he’s actually a micro-manager whose expert at the inner workings of politics so much so that he hired a convicted political influence peddler to run the Ohio Republican Party, while appointing Terry Casey, who was previously convicted for violations of campaign finance laws 20 years ago to an important state post he currently holds.

Mr. Brown told me via email that his clients have requested reconsideration before the OEC. “Assuming that is denied Plaintiffs are prepared to appeal to Franklin County Court of Common Pleas,” he said. When asked if the case would use Ohio RICO laws to force top Kasich campaign officials and others to produce documents they have been able so far to keep hidden, that would show the complicity and coordination between the governor, he said RICO is off the table.

“It will be an administrative appeal,” Mr. Brown, the Newton D. Baker/Baker & Hostetler Chair at Capital University Law School, told me. Successfully stonewalling discovery efforts to date, Team Kasich doesn’t want anyone prying into his collaborative cabal.

Black Ops: Basic Kasich

The case is significant because it shows how black ops is basic Kasich when it comes to winning at all costs. John Kasich has dodged many bullets over his long and lucrative career in politics. High among them is his secret job group, JobsOhio, that is unconstitutional on its face but remains operative with billions in bonded taxpayer funds to spend.

Savvy reporters who take the time to understand LPO’s complaint should have many questions to ask Gov. Kasich the next time his invites media to interact with him, which isn’t often.