Sunday, December 15, 2013

Kasich gets a challenge from the Right.

               Well John Kasich has a talent for annoyance. You only have to look back at his career in the House or his tenure at FOX to see examples.

Since leaving the House in 2000 he has consistently claimed HE balanced the Federal Budget, ignoring it was a bi-partisan effort, signed by a Democratic President. Since then, Newt Gingrich has claimed credit during his 2012 run for the GOP Presidential Nomination. As has Bill Clinton. So, John's claim to fame gets a bit crowded.  Paraphrasing the old canard, Failure is an orphan, success, not so much.  During his campaign for Ohio Governor politi-fact rated his claims half true.That is pretty amazing for a politician.

During Kasich's run on FOX he hosted his own show, "From The Heartland" where he espoused his pseudo populist views and opinions. John was also the go-to guest host for Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly.On Hannity's show, Candidate Kasich was tossed softballs and Hannity stressed how important it was we take Ohio's top elected office. Rupert Murdoch kicked in a million dollars to Kasich's campaign.

Kasich squeaked into office with a two point victory in the WAVE election of 2010. Kasich won by 77,000 votes with Libertarian and Green challengers on the ballot. This was one of the closest elections for Governor in Ohio history.

Kasich blamed the collapse of Ohio's manufacturing based economy on high taxes,too much regulation and failed Democratic policies. The meltdown of the world's economy had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Kasich's vicious campaign touched on all the Tea Party political orgasm buttons.

So, like President Bush in 2004, he treated a tiny victory as a sweeping mandate. The Education portions of the Budget were slashed . Local monetary aid was gutted. The social safety net was shredded. Taxes were cut, favoring the wealthy. Draconian abortion bills were introduced to varying success.

Then they went after the Public Sector Unions and had their asses handed to them by Ohio voters.

Ohio once again was convincingly won by President Obama. This presented a quandary to the Ohio Tea Party controlled Republican Party. Due to massive gerrymandering and extremely creative redistricting the GOP effectively had a stranglehold on the Legislature. So, do they recognize that the Conservative attacks on social issues was rejected? No. Like most on the Right , they went with had the Candidate been a true conservative they'd have won denial.

So Ohio doubled down. They loosened gun laws. They enacted some of the most restrictive abortion regulation in the nation.  They rivaled Arkansas, North Dakota and Texas for taking a shot over the bow of Roe v Wade. The Legislature also ignored the Governor's call to expand Medicaid per the provisions of the hated ACA. Kasich pushed on his own party, the Majority in the Legislature, to act to provide low income Ohioans help with healthcare. They refused. It also fueled with anger with the let 'em die wing of the party.

So, citing his faith, Kasich used his line item veto on a provision forbidding expansion in Ohio. This immediately lit up the far right.They screamed betrayal. Kasich had turned his back on those who got him elected, they whined. There were calls for a challenge from the right. His action was immediately challenged in court.

So, Kasich responded by having his remaining allies push through what has been called "The John Kasich Reelection Protection Act". This is a change to how Third parties get ballot access. It is likely not going to survive judicial review. See, the law keeps the minor parties off the ballot for not polling 3% of the vote in 2012. OK. The problem is that was not a requirement to remain a party with ballot access in 2012. Changing the law after the fact is a no-no. It's called ex post facto. Most first year law students will tell you that's unconstitutional. That's not an interpretation. The Constitution actually bans the practice.

So, the Libertarian Party, the Constitution Party and The Green Party have been legislated out of existence. They have to have a primary which they can't get on the ballot for. This law is so close to the primary filing deadline any court action may be too late to address the action. Thus Kasich is safe from having a candidate from the right siphoning off votes.

The Republican Legislature is also moving on voter suppression. I know, Ohio was the Northern Poster Child for it in 2012 until the courts (IncludingSCOTUS) smacked Secretary of State Jon Husted down. So, the legislature, undeterred, shortened early voting. They're going after acceptable ID. All to thwart non existent in person voter fraud. So they are either solving a problem that doesn't exist or trying to kneecap the opposition party and protect the Governor. These laws also reduce the minimum number of voting machines per precinct. Remember the videos of the lines in 2004? Let's do that again.

There were Right to Work bills introduced in the Legislature. Now, the last thing Kasich wants is another fight with labor energizing voter turnout as he seeks reelection. The sponsors of these bills were told to back off until AFTER the Gov is reelected.

John Kasich wants to be President. Please, stop laughing.

In 2000, fresh off singlehandedly balancing the Federal Budget, Kasich ran for the GOP Presidential Nomination. He had fundraising problems and repeatedly polled at 0% which is tough to do. His campaign collapsed under massive voter indifference. So, John withdrew and endorsed W. He went to work for FOX and Lehman Brothers.(Yeah, THAT Lehman Brothers)

FOX threw their support behind his campaign for Governor. Almost the day after President Obama's decisive reelection Kasich was being mentioned as a viable GOP hopeful for the 2016 nomination. Surprisingly these statements came from FOX talking heads. Since then in his appearances on the network Kasich has been handled with kid gloves. It seem Rupert and Ailes like him. Aww.

So, a cynic, such as myself, would say Kasich's actions on the 2012-13 budget are politically motivated.

The horrendous abortion regulations that were sneaked through in a budget, for example. Politically active friends of mine felt Kasich would use his line item veto to strike these regs. Kasich had been making small moves towards the center. He had called for expansion of Medicaid over howls from the right.

I saw Kasich use every media appearance to remind every one he was "pro-life" and always has been. He made sure to wave that banner in front of every news outlet. I was not surprised when he let those anti woman regulations stand, unscathed. He was touting his "pro-life" creds for the national base. He did this to attempt to offset anger over his veto of a Medicare expansion prohibition.

He's running.

It will be interesting. John tends to go off script. His handlers cringe when he opens his mouth. Right after he took office, he was given a traffic ticket. So, Kasich then spent time calling the officer an idiot. Yeah, it wound up on YouTube. Surprise. This as his party was trying to crush Public Sector Unions.

John also has anger issues. So there is always a possibility he could melt down in front of the National media. I think Hillary could make him go off.

His Presidential ambitions rest on him winning decisively in 2014. Thus pushing the Minor parties under the campaign bus. Thus keeping voters that don't support you from using their right to the ballot.

So, this weekend the President of The Ohio Liberty Coalition and a founder of the Clearmont County Tea Party Ted Stevenot took the first formal step to challenge Kasich in the 2014 Republican Primary. His running mate is said to be Brenda Mack, former president of The Ohio Black Republicans association.

We've seen from the earlier actions on voting and Minor Parties That the State GOP wants a clear path for Kasich. It seems that the Tea Party disagrees. No one really thinks Stevenot, should he run, actually has a prayer of upsetting Kasich. However, a Tea Party challenge tends to push a GOP candidate to the right. Kasich would tend to have a problem finding his way back to the center. John tends to go all pit bull as he campaigns not letting issues go.

Now, with a favorable court ruling letting the libertarian Party back on the ballot will cause problems for John if the race is tight. A year out the Democrat is in a virtual tie.

So, if the Minor party law is tossed in the courts, of which there is a decent chance, a Libertarian Candidate could siphon enough protest votes from disaffected Tea Party supporters to make a real difference in the results.

To run for President Kasich has to win big. A close election is nearly as damaging as a loss. I doubt after a loss he could emulate Rick Santorum. Santorum ran close in 2012 in spite of a crushing Senate loss in 2006.

So expect John to run his usual vicious campaign both in a primary challenge, which could farther erode his standing with the Tea Party, and the general election. Kasich thinks he can beat Hillary or anyone the Dems run. But, to do so he has to crush any opposition. He also has to bring his Tea Party infused Legislature in line.

It's gonna be fun to watch.

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