Franklin County Common Pleas Court [FCCPC] Administrative Judge Patrick E. Sheeran, a Republican, could blow a big hole in the presidential campaign of Ohio Gov. John Kasich if he decides that the Ohio Elections Commission [OEC] erred when it voted 5-2 in May to dismiss a complaint lodged against Camp Kasich by the Libertarian Party of Ohio [LPO].
If Judge Sheeran were to seek truth and justice and not fear GOP pressure to dismiss it because of the damage it would do to Mr. Kasich, the millions already spent in New Hampshire just might go up in smoke should plaintiffs in Earl v Casey have their complaint alleging illegal campaign activity remanded back to OEC for further review.
Plunderbund, more than any other news group, has reported on the alleged illegal collusion and coordination between and among key Kasich political operatives to force one competing candidate for governor, Charlie Earl, off the 2014 primary ballot in order to clear the governor’s path to reelection of any serious obstacles or embarrassing blemishes.
Kasich Vulnerable In Earl v Casey
Over the next four months, based on $5-million-plus in political advertising already spent in New Hampshire to promote John Kasich and his presidential campaign’s announcement to spend $6 million-plus more in the run up to the Granite State’s early primary on February 9, Kasich’s New Day America campaign will have effectively spent about $9.30 per capita in a small state with just four Electoral College votes and barely enough population to justify two congressional district.
After all this spending to buy goodwill where little appears to exist, Ohio’s twice-elected, term-limited chief executive, stuck at just two percent in national GOP polling and seventh in New Hampshire, might find his uphill to win the Republican nomination for president even steeper. Camp Kasich cannot afford any bad news above and beyond his glaring gaffes and poor debate performances to further weaken his case that he’s the mature Republican who says he can bring people together to fix problems.
The Brief, Briefly
Mark Brown, the pro bono Capital Law School attorney representing LPO along with Mark Kafantaris, filed a brief in the FCCPC on September 8 asking for an administrative ruling on the case, which could be political dynamite for Mr. Kasich since it features a long-time friend and political operative of the governor, who according to Mr. Brown’s work so far spent about $600,000 to find a “guiles dupe” in order to bounce Mr. Earl from the ballot in order to assure Mr. Kasich of a slam dunk win without complications.
Charles Earl was LPO’s candidate for Governor in 2014. Had Earl, who filed a sufficient number of signatures in early February of 2014 in order to run, unopposed, in the LPO primary, appeared on that election ballot, a single vote would have insured his place as the LPO candidate for Governor on Ohio’s 2014 general election ballot in November. Earl would not appear on the LPO primary ballot, nor would he or any other LPO gubernatorial candidate appear on the November 2014 general election ballot in Ohio.
John Kasich’s Tower Of Secrets
Gov. Kasich and his Administration value secrecy so much that it was very important to Terry Casey, Ohio’s chair of the State Personnel Review Board and a long-time adviser of Governor Kasich who OEC previously found guilty of campaign finance law violations about 20 years ago, and the Kasich Campaign for Governor that their identities remain a secret.
“It was so important, in fact, that Felsoci’s lawyers swore to the federal court that these secret partners needed to keep their identities a secret, attorney Brown wrote in his September filing to Judge Sheeran, according to court documents obtained by Plunderbund.
“Further, it took two separate federal court orders to force Felsoci and ZTL to disclose that Casey was paying their bill. Further still, it was so important that Casey failed to disclose when questioned under oath in the federal proceedings that the Kasich Campaign had assisted him. Last but not least, secrecy was so important that Casey has to date spent almost $600,000 protesting Earl and covering up the involvement of the Kasich Campaign.”
As Brown stated in his brief to the court, it took months, but three days before Earl’s renewed preliminary injunction hearing in federal court, Zeiger, Tigges & Little[ZTL] belatedly produced documents that proved Casey had not acted alone. “Indeed, the Kasich Campaign was fully behind Felsoci’s protest and Earl’s removal,” Brown said, adding, “These documents, more than a dozen e-mails between Casey and three high-ranking Kasich Campaign agents (Matt Carle, Kasich’s Campaign Manager, Jeff Polesovsky, Kasich’s Deputy Campaign Manager, and Dave Luketic) over a four-day period, established that the Kasich Campaign had been deeply involved in Casey’s plan as early as February 17, 2014, four days before the protest against Earl was filed.
LPO’s brief asks Judge Sheeran to deny OEC’s motion to dismiss Earl v Casey.
Observers of this case consider it very important for plaintiffs to raise the question of Mr. Casey’s initial retainer to ZLT. If Casey did not secure substantial funds at the start, that could show advance knowledge of the Ohio Republican Party paying, which could only happen with Camp Kasich knowledge and approval and show Terry Casey committed perjury. Furthermore, John Ziegler, the high-priced Republican insider attorney, could be guilty of suborning perjury, along with knowledge of and likely conspiracy in support of perjury by Kasich.
LPO Files Brief in Federal Court
On October 12th, Brown filed in Federal Court Case No. 2:13-cv-00953 with Judge Watson and Magistrate Judge Kemp a brief full of emails between and among the players that included references to Ohio media.
In February, Terry Casey wrote to Mike Gonidakis, leader of Ohio Right To Life and a staunch supporter of Gov. Kasich, with blind copies to Kasich campaigners including Polesovsky, Luketic and Carle, as well as Jai Chaibra, Senior Adviser to Governor Kasich, Rob Nichols, Governor Kasich’s Press Secretary, and Connie Wehrkamp, another Kasich PR handler, about “the number of voters a Libertarian candidate will drain off.”
In early March of last year, Terry Casey e-mailed Polesovsky, Luketic, Chris Schrimpf, a former spokesman for the Ohio Republican Party who has since moved up to Kasich presidential campaign staff, and Carle that LPO would be filing in federal court. “Casey stated that ‘Per discussion with the State GOP folks, I strongly encourage staying ‘low-key’ ….,” Brown’s brief stated.
On March 10, 2014, after Schrimpf had reported that “Chrissie Thompson … was just skeptical that ORP wasn’t involved,” Casey forwarded this report to Connie Wehrkamp and blind-copied Carle, Polesovsky, Luketic and Rob Nichols, stating “lets the lawyers (sic) work on making sure that the final nails are driven into the Charlie Earl coffin.”
Agents in the Governor’s Office, in addition to agents involved with his re-election Campaign, were aware of Casey’s, the Kasich Campaign’s and ORP’s effort to remove Earl, Brown notes. Jai Chaibra, a senior Adviser to Governor Kasich, was made aware of Casey’s, the Kasich Campaign’s, and ORP’s efforts to remove Earl as early as February 19, 2014, two days before the protest was filed. Scott Milburn, the Communications Director for Governor Kasich, was likewise first informed on February 19, 2014 and informed again on March 7, 2014 when Earl was removed. Rob Nichols, Governor Kasich’s Press Secretary, was first notified on February 19, 2014, and repeatedly notified of events surrounding Earl’s protest thereafter,” the court filing said. Milburn and Nichols have moved to Kasich’s presidential campaign.
“The Kasich Campaign, Borges [the former confessed influence peddler John Kasich installed as Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party soon after he was elected in 2011r, Schrimpf, Damschroder [who works for Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican] and members of the Governor’s Office were all intricately involved in the planning of the protest of Earl from the beginning,” Brown said. “The Kasich Campaign, Borges, Schrimpf, Damschroder, the Governor’s staff and Casey from the very beginning were in constant contact about the protest. They shared a common objective — to keep Earl off the ballot. Their minds had met; they acted together.”
Gov. Kasich dodged a bullet when OEC dismissed Brown’s protest on behalf of Mr. Earl and LPO. The story of the extent to which the governor and his staff went to silence a potential obstacle on their way to reelection and a run for the White House has been dropped by mainstream media, which in Ohio is all about cheer leading the governor forward.
Plunderbund, however, has the case firmly in its sights and will continue to follow it regardless of whether its again dismissed by Judge Sheeran, a Republican, who has little reason other than to seek truth and justice to remand it to OEC for another review.