Far and away, Plunderbund reported more than any other news outlet on the 2014 case involving top aides to Gov. Kasich conspiring to dump Libertarian Party candidate for Ohio governor Charlie Earl from the ballot. The case was brought by Capital Law School attorney Mark Brown with co-counsel Mark G. Kafantaris.
One person central to the case brought first to the Ohio Elections Commission was Columbus attorney John W. Zeiger, who among other distinguished clients has represented The Columbus Dispatch newspaper, a newspaper whose friendliness to Gov. Kasich has gone above and beyond the call of duty.
Zeiger’s law firm, Zeiger, Tigges & Little LLP, also represented a long-time political friend of John Kasich’s, Terry Casey, who took it upon himself, he says, to find someone willing to challenge LPO’s Charlie Earl. Kasich needed a solid win in the governor’s race to advance himself into the GOP presidential primary process and Earl posed a risk to that win. As we reported at the time:
“The attorney’s law firm, well connected in Republican circles, was paid $300,000 by the Ohio Republican Party [ORP] to represent a man whose embarrassing testimony in federal court showed he was used as a “guileless dupe” to help Gov. Kasich to an easy primary win by eliminating from the ballot the candidate for The Ohio Libertarian Party, Charlie Earl.”
The Lantern, OSU’s student newspaper, connected some dots on Zeiger’s involvement with the Earl case and his financial support for Republicans including Kasich.
“In total, the law firm was paid $300,000 by the Ohio Republican Party after their reported involvement challenging the Libertarian campaign. After the challenges were made, it was ruled that signatures on petitions nominating Earl to the gubernatorial ballot were invalid, which led to a suspension of Earl’s campaign.”
“Zeiger continues a trend of OSU trustee members financially-backing Kasich and his party. Zeiger and his firm gave donations to congressional campaigns for Rep. Steve Stivers and Rep. Pat Tiberi, as well as a contribution to the Ohio Republican Party just months before representing them in court, according to public records reviewed by The Lantern.”
The real reasons why Gov. Kasich appointed Mr. Zeiger to the OSU Board of Trustee at this time may never be known, but speculation says playing the central role he did in the Charlie Earl case, that cleared Kasich’s path of political obstacles so he could run for president, didn’t hurt.
As one Republican familiar with Capital Square antics over the decades who commented on Kasich’s appointment of Zweiger told Plunderbund, “suborning perjury has its perks.”
Zeiger has been rewarded with a nine-year term that began May 15.