On January 20, inauguration Day, the official name of the Ohio Republican Party will become the Ohio Trump Party. It will be in the hands of Trump surrogate Jane Timken as the new chairman who replaced Matt Borges in a tightly contested vote by the the state central committee. It will mark the first time in modern Ohio political history that the party chairman was not under the influence of a sitting Republican governor.
But Trump prevailed by putting his own ally in the chairmanship with a number of phone calls to committeemen to support Timken, a political activist who raised $1 million for his presidential campaign with the experienced hand of theTimken family, Stark County industrialists. The Timkens’ strong financial presence in the state GOP landscape is legendary.
Borges, of course, set the stage for his ousting by serving as Gov. Kasich’s ditto in the GOP primaries – a risky move that went nowhere. Kasich, a lame duck, will now be a dead duck with no place to go after the 2018 election. Borges was awarded the consolation title of “chairman emeritus”. He waved off questions about his new role by saying he didn’t know what the title meant.
Under four-term Gov. Jim Rhodes, the chairmanship fit neatly in his hip pocket and opposition was suicidal to any Republican who dared to confront him. Kasich enjoyed the same preferential treatment when he took office as the party’s “rising star”.
But now with the Ohio Trump Party fully in control, and with the state officeholders playing pattycake with him in defiance of Trump’s pathology, what else is left in the Buckeye State for money to buy? Even the Hoofbeat legislators in Columbus will be no more than servile witnesses after their man has drained the Wall Street swamp of billionaires, once deplored, to people his administration.
Seems the perfect time to refer to historian Hendrik Van Loon’s description of the old Roman republic in his ”Story of Mankind”:
“It became a land of rich people, ruled by rich people for the benefit of rich people.
And their sons.