The irony and hypocrisy of John Kasich’s campaign for president is so great sometimes that followers of the crusty CEO governor should swallow their morning coffee to avoid having to clean up an involuntary “spit take” after Camp Kasich whines about secret money being spent against him.
What goes around comes around, it’s said, and Gov. Kasich knows that political bromide well since he’s been on the delivering end of shady attacks during his four decades in contact politics.
Turnaround Is Fair Play
The AP reports today that Gov. Kasich’s PR handlers are complaining about secret funds being spent in New Hampshire to attack him. The American Future Fund [AFF] is one of many funds that due to their tax status don’t have to reveal who it’s contributors are. In his one-state campaign for president, John Kasich is all-in on “doing well” in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary on Feb. 9.
The short-lived good news for the Ohio governor, who has essentially relocated to the Granite State to pitch his pitch of being the only GOP candidate qualified by tenure in Washington and governor in Ohio to be president, is that he’s landed in a distant tie in New Hampshire for third place with Florida Marco Rubio. Donald John Trump, meanwhile, continues to enjoy a big lead over the crowded GOP field. Another new poll by Emerson College Polling Society validates that Mr. Kasich is in third place.
A Federal Communications Commission filing by AFF says it’s going up with a 30-second TV ad taking on Kasich over his support for Common Core, Obamacare, Medicaid expansion and raising taxes. The thrust of the attack advertisement portrays Gov. Kasich as “an Obama Republican.” Banking on success by selling himself as a moderate Republican, AFF pegs Kasich as “Not a conservative. Not even a moderate.” A Kasich spokesman accused AFF of “shadowy, desperate, misleading attacks,” the AP reported.
Camp Kasich’s super-PAC, where friends and allies of the 64-year old governor donate money, promised to file a complaint against AFF, claiming it’s run by “shady donors with concealed identities.” Attacking AFF, Kasich communicators said, “New Hampshire voters, not faceless out-of-state millionaires” will decide Kasich’s fate soon enough. The Koch Brothers, billionaires who are no fans of the Ohio governor and didn’t invite him to an event they sponsored in Columbus last year, are alleged to be AFF associates.
Another person on the AFF squad is a former partner of Rex Elsass, the crazy Christian and former buddy of John Kasich who has done campaign PR for the governor before. Mr. Elsass would like have worked for Mr. Kasich again this election cycle but for signing one with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s presidential campaign. A strong backer of the term-limited governor over the decades, The Columbus Dispatch tarred Elsass’ former partner and AFF helper Nicholas Everhart. The paper cited Everhart was guilty of “misdemeanor charges of obstructing official business and falsification in exchange for the dismissal of separate felony charges, and separately was found guilty by a Delaware County jury of illegally engineering searches of Elsass’ company’s computers when he was being fired – a fifth degree felony.”
The irony again is that the same capital city newspaper appears oblivious to the case involving a long-time friend and political operative of Mr. Kasich who has a wrap sheet related to his confessed guilt 20 years ago regarding violations of state campaign finance laws. Mr. Casey claimed he was a “self-starter” in undertaking dark work to get a candidate for governor in 2014 out of the race so Kasich could waltz to an easy win, then crow about his popularity.
Even though Terry Casey committed crimes 20 years ago as treasurer for the Franklin County Republican Party when John Kasich was a congressman from central Ohio, he was among Gov. Kasich’s early hires, landing a well-paid state job running a personnel review board. John Kasich’s fingerprints are also all over the palace coupe of the Ohio Republican Party he orchestrated shortly after winning election in 2010. John Kasich replaced Kevin DeWine, the heir to Bob Bennett, with a wrecking-ball player, Matt Borges, who came with his own bona fides and wrap sheet.
The case against Casey, brought by defense counsel for Libertarian Party of Ohio’s candidate for governor, Charlie Earl, was dismissed in a 5-2 vote by the Ohio Elections Commission, even though ample evidence was provided by the defense team headed by Capital Law School professor Mark Brown. Mr. Brown’s case now sits in the hopper of a Franklin County administrative judge who could blow up the Kasich campaign if he sends it back to OEC for further review or let it die a quiet death by gifting the Kasich campaign another El Chapo-like escape tunnel to freedom from the press.
Now that it’s coming down to crunch time, John Kasich is trying to hide from his strong support for Common Core—a set of clear college- and career-ready standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts/literacy and mathematics. His new strategy is an old one, scrambling what Common Core means so he can confuse voters, especially GOP base voters who oppose it by wide margins.
“Well, I’ll tell you what I believe and it’s not about Common Co. I don’t even know what that means,” the obfuscating governor told voters in New Hampshire.