Gov. John Kasich was one of six Republican candidates on stage in South Carolina Saturday night at the debate sponsored by CBS News. Kasich chimed in on a couple questions, but CBS moderators didn’t know enough, apparently, to ask him about the toxic stew of campaign tricks he’s alleged to have participated in two years ago.

According to court documents, Kasich successfully derailed his Libertarian Party competitor for governor in 2014 in order to clear his path of obstacles so he could win without worry, then launch his second bid for president.

“The Kasich Campaign, Borges, Schrimpf, Damschroder, the Governor’s staff and Casey from the very beginning were in constant contact about the protest,” wrote plaintiff attorneys for Libertarian Party of Ohio (LPO) candidate Charlie Earl in court documents. According to filings from Mark Brown and Mark G. Kafantaris, co-counsels for Charlie Earl,”They shared a common objective — to keep Earl off the ballot. Their minds had met; they acted together.”

Filed nearly three months ago, Brown told me today, “They concisely collect the evidence showing that the Kasich Campaign, the Ohio Republican Party, Casey, Borges and officials in Husted’s office were all involved in removing Earl.” Now that Kasich finished second in NH, attorney Brown said, “I have been receiving inquiries about the evidence and thought I would send the evidence around to those who are interested.”

Gov. Kasich has adopted a new campaign strategy that presents him as non-political, while simultaneously maintaining a so-called positive attitude that contrasts him with some of the GOP rivals who went at each other last night with gale force winds. Those winds were most evident in the verbal brawl between Donald Trump, who won New Hampshire last week and is expected to win again in South Carolina, and Sen. Ted Cruz, who won in Iowa two weeks ago and is expected to do well in South Carolina. Their clash soaked up the bulk of headlines from the evenings contest.

Meanwhile, as Kasich tried to elevate above the fray, back home he’s mired in some deep, dark political dirty trickster activities that haven’t broken through to Ohio or national media but are in plain view nonetheless and promise to spoil his advancement once reporters get wind of just how manipulative he can be when the curtain of secrecy is drawn.

Three court documents help lift that curtain of secrecy. They tell the unfolding story of how John Kasich, who’s described himself of late as the “prince of peace and light,” is anything but, if the filings from Mark Brown and Mark G. Kafantaris, co-counsels for Charlie Earl, are accurate. Earl at the time was representing LPO and was thought popular enough to drain off a substantial number of votes from Gov. Kasich, as he undertook reelection following his first-term win in 2010.

In the case of Libertarian Party of Ohio v Jon Husted [Case No. 2:13-cv-00953], Federal Court Judge Watson and Magistrate Judge Kemp agreed with LPO counsel that supplemental evidence is relevant to plaintiff’s count seven in the case, the right to compete for ballot access on an “equal footing.”

“A civil conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to injure another by unlawful action. Express agreement among all the conspirators is not necessary to find the existence of a civil conspiracy. Each conspirator need not have known all of the details of the illegal plan or all of the participants involved. All that must be shown is that there was a single plan, that the alleged coconspirator shared in the general conspiratorial objective, and that an overt act was committed in furtherance of the conspiracy that caused injury to the complainant.”

On March 4, 2014 [Terry] Casey wrote [Brad] Schrimpf, with blind copies to Polesovsky and Luketic, thanking Schrimpf for clarifying what “Borges Telling Media??” Six days later, after Schrimpf had reported that “Chrissie Thompson … was just skeptical that ORP wasn’t involved,” Casey forwarded this report to Wehrkamp, a Kasich Campaign staffer, 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.”

Matt Borges, who in spite of a prior conviction for public influence peddling became chairman for the state party when Gov. Kasich orchestrated a take over of the party shortly after winning election, testified at his deposition that he “did not recall” communicating with Casey in February and March of 2014, according to court documents. “Borges testified that it ‘would be news’ to him if Schrimpf [now with Kasich’s presidential campaign] had communicated with Casey about Earl’s protest. Borges was obviously attempting to hide ORP’s involvement. Borges is not credible. ORP was involved from the beginning,” Brown and Kafantaris wrote.

The Ohio Republican Party, under Borges’ direction, began making payments to the Zeiger firm on Casey’s behalf on November 19, 2014. The first payment was $100,000 on November 19, 2014. The second payment for $100,000 was made on December 22, 2014. The third payment, $50,000, was made on December 29, 2014. The fourth payment, $50,000, was made on February 24, 2015. The four total $300,000, though more may have been made,” the co-counsels wrote. Casey on November 11, 2014 hand-delivered his November 10, 2014 invoice reflecting a $552,305.26 bill.

“These payments not only prove ORP’s part in the conspiracy, they ratify the conspiracy’s action,” Brown and Kafantaris wrote, according to court documents.

Terry Casey, for his part, has stated that his objective was a political one. “The documentary evidence proves that Casey’s animus was shared by others in the conspiracy — notably members of the Kasich Campaign, the Ohio Republican Party, and even in the Secretary’s Office,” co-counsels wrote.

LPO attorneys ask whether a factual conspiracy existed and whether anyone involved was a state actor. “Regarding the first question, the evidence leaves little doubt; even the Defendants appear to concede (after eighteen months of denials and several discovery violations) that Casey acted together with either the Kasich Campaign, the Ohio Republican Party, or both.”

On the second question, plaintiff attorneys argue that Terry Casey was a state officer engaged in state action, as was Matt Damschroder, a state agent engaged in state action. Each was also involved with Ohio Republican Party and the Kasich Campaign.

The full court documents can be downloaded here: