Just when Gov. John Kasich says his 0-22 win record in GOP primaries and caucuses is exactly where he wants to be to win the Republican nomination for president this year, and in advance of his debate tonight with Donald Trump, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz in Miami, two small but potentially damaging glitches have cropped up that could spoil the delivery of his first, improbable inaugural address next January.
The first of his new duo of problems comes from Pennsylvania, his home state, where his campaign admitted it failed to meet state requirements to be on the ballot. It looks like what Camp Kasich did two years ago to bounce Libertarian Party of Ohio candidate for governor Charley Earl off the primary ballot is the same strategy being employed by a pro-Marco Rubio initiative that aims to take Kasich down before he gets up in the Keystone State. According to a report at PennLive, Mr. Kasich is facing a legal battle to stay on the April 26 primary ballot in Pennsylvania.
Problem In PA
University of Pennsylvania student Nathaniel Rome, state chairman of Students for Rubio, is hoping to topple the Ohio governor from the primary ballot by doing to Kasich in Pennsylvania what Kasich did in Ohio to Libertarian Party of Ohio candidate for governor Charley Earl in 2014.
PennLive reporter Charles Thompson writes that “Kasich’s campaign has stipulated it does not have enough valid signatures from registered Republican voters to meet state ballot requirements. As a result, it is hoping for a technical reprieve to help the governor keep his Great Lakes strategy afloat.”
To be elected president these days, candidates need to win two of three big states—Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida. If Kasich is knocked off the KeyStone State primary ballot in April, he’s toast, even if he manages to pull off a win in Ohio over GOP league leader Donald Trump, who two recent polls show beating the 63-year old, term-limited governor while a third shows the governor winning his adopted state. After all, John Kasich was a refugee from Pennsylvania, so he’s not a natural born Buckeye for the benefit of Ted Cruz supporters who may find that an issue at the national level if Donald Trump has anything to say about that. And he does.
Thompson writes, “A Rubio win here could be a killer to Kasich’s spring strategy of becoming the hot candidate going into the Republican convention.” With zero wins so far, Kasich says they have everyone else just where they want them.
Call To Investigate Kasich Ethics
In separate news Thursday, The American Democracy Legal Fund has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission to investigate whether John Kasich violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 and FEC regulations by using official resources for campaign purposes. The American Democracy Legal Fund says it “holds candidates for office accountable for possible ethics and/or legal violations.”
“As early as April 2015, Governor Kasich and New Day for America, an independent expenditure-only political organization, launched a committee to “start getting around the country more,” and posted a web video featuring Governor Kasich speaking directly to camera, announcing the creation of New Day for America. New Day For America filed a Statement of Organization with the FEC on July 23, 2015. Weeks earlier, on July 8, 2015, New Day for America entered into an advertising contract for advertising time in the New Hampshire media market, listing “John Kasich for the Republican Presidential Primary” as the “name of the legally qualified candidate(s) the programming refers to.” The form for the New Hampshire ad buy specified that the ad included a “candidate (Republican) discussing his values/beliefs.”
“In a July 21, 2015, interview with Bloomberg Politics, a media strategist for New Day for America, Fred Davis, acknowledged that he had shot multiple ads of Governor Kasich paid for by New Day for America that were airing in New Hampshire and had worked with Governor Kasich for about two months. He clearly signaled that New Day for America and Governor Kasich had been coordinating up until the moment Governor Kasich publicly announced his candidacy.”
The two key players behind ADL are David Brock, who established it, and Brad Woodhouse who operates it. Both are strong advocates for Hillary Clinton, in particular, and progressive issues in general.
Adding to Kasich’s worries is a new report alleging Camp Kasich has skirted the rules barring candidates from coordinating with independent groups, USA Today reports.
Kasich has refused to step aside in spite of zero first-place wins in 20 contests so far. The battle inside the GOP race has been among Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. John Kasich has been a non-factor so far, but now that he’s in the final four, more scrutiny by national media into what he’s really done, especially the piñata of scandals waiting to drop, could take the shine off his positive, conservative message of being the sane, adult Republican in the room.
With an ego as big as the great outdoors, Gov. Kasich probably won’t drop out of the race in Ohio, as he said he would if he loses, if Trump doesn’t blow him away like Trump has did to him in New Hampshire and all other states. Gov. Kasich’s strategy is to stay in until Republicans convene later this summer in Cleveland, where a brokered convention is his only hope of being the candidate party leaders settle on.