Today I was seeing something flying about on social media about John Kasich. He hugged it out with a crying supporter and said "We don't have enough people who sit down and cry with that young man."
Here's some video if you can stomach it:
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 18, 2016
So Kasich is trying to play up this image of himself as the "nice guy" who stands in contrast to the big meanies who were all being mean to each other on Saturday night during the GOP debate in Greenville, South Carolina. It's basically an act. The people who know John Kasich best -- the people from Ohio -- know the real John Kasich. The one who was vindictive enough to use the power of his office and the Ohio Republican Party to keep a libertarian candidate off the ballot in order to clear a path for himself and have an easy re-election.
Now, conservatives and Republicans might think, "Well so what? It was a libertarian. What does that have to do with the GOP?"
It's not a question of party politics. It's a question of ethics and throws a huge bucket of cold water over this facade Kasich has built up for himself. If he was so confident in his ability to win re-election in Ohio, then he wouldn't have bothered. Granted, it is very unlikely the Libertarian in question, Charlie Earl, was going to win anyway. The point is, Kasich didn't want a blemish. He wanted a crushing victory over Edward Fitzgerald. To do that meant, he had to get Earl off the ballot:
Playing Granite State voters for rubes by masquerading as a positive, Zen-like Republican conservative candidate, the 63-year old disciple of Ronald Reagan, John Kasich, won a big victory back home when Federal Magistrate Judge Terrence Kemp only verbally lashed lawyers representing political confidants of Team Kasich for behavior that could easily have warranted sanctions, as LPO’ plaintiff lawyers wanted but was denied.
A successful and expensive collaborative effort that orchestrated a clear path for Mr. Kasich to win reelection included a well-known Republican lawyer, the leader of The Ohio Republican Party [ORP] and a long-time friend and political operative.
Writing for the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Eastern Division, Magistrate Judge Terrence Kemp rejected on technical arguments assertions made by LPO counsel Mark Brown, that Gov. Kasich, long-time ally and political confidant Terry Casey, Matt Borges, Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party and John Zeiger, a well-known GOP attorney whose clients include The Columbus Dispatch, conspired to remove Mr. Earl from the ballot by engaging a so-called “guileless dupe” to make Gov. Kasich appear more popular than he is.
“The overall conduct of discovery in this case, especially on the part of Mr. Felsoci’s and Mr. Casey’s counsel, demonstrates a pattern of technical and begrudging responses and objections to discovery requests, which pattern was clearly designed to delay or obstruct the Plaintiffs’ ability to learn that the Ohio Republican Party [ORP] was involved in the effort to keep Libertarian Party candidates off the ballot,” Judge Kemp wrote in a 10-page decision released last Friday.
Information contained in court documents show Terry Casey found Gregory Felsoci, the “intervenor defendant” who subsequently challenged Charlie Earl in court, a “guileless dupe” who Mr. Casey convinced to be a pawn for Camp Kasich. After much delay and opposition from Mr. Casey and his attorney John Zeiger, LPO counsel learned through discovery that $600,000 and maybe more was paid to Zeiger by Mr. Borges at the ORP to cover Mr. Casey’s attorney’s costs.
Magistrate Judge Kemp wrote that the most comprehensive motion by LPO plaintiff attorney Mark Brown “concludes that Mr. Felsoci’s participation on this case was ‘political espionage’ designed to thwart legitimate discovery and that his tactics were ‘of the scorched earth’ variety.”
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.”
It's pretty damning stuff and really blows a hole in Kasich's persona - the fake one. He can talk about being nice and handing out bibles and giving hugs to blubbering supporters, but the fact is, John Kasich is just as ruthless, if not more so than anybody else in the 2016 field.
Don't believe the hype about Nice Guy John. He doesn't exist.