Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ruckus in the Ohio Republican Party

A month after an election with mixed results for the small-government cause, Ohio conservatives are suffering through a very public GOP power struggle. Governor Kasich's push to replace Ohio Republican Party (ORP) chairman Kevin DeWine has national implications: the Issue 2 campaign proved how low Democrats, Progressives, and unions (but I repeat myself) are willing to go to win the Buckeye state.

Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama would love nothing more than an Ohio divided, so let's get this over with.

Even without the laundry list of inside-baseball complaints cited by House Speaker Bill Batchelder, it makes more sense than you might expect to oust DeWine despite ORP's success riding the 2010 tea party wave.

Too many ORP leaders from the Taft era (concluded in 2007 amid scandal, scandal, scandal, and more scandal) were unprincipled go-along-to-get-along "moderates," and signs abound that Kevin DeWine falls into that category. How could DeWine expect to chair an effective party in 2012 - to say nothing of 2014 - given his fracas with Governor Kasich? Why should anyone in the POTUS field trust that campaign stops with DeWine will reach the voters they need to reach?

Case in point, Romney and DeWine's botched October visit to a Cincinnati call center, where Romney failed to endorse either of the issues volunteers were working to pass. Commentators speculated that Romney was being used as part of an ongoing DeWine/Kasich feud - not exactly the press coverage you want in a key swing state.

In early 2010, solid conservative candidates lined up for the attorney general and auditor races. ORP had other plans: enter Mike DeWine, Chairman DeWine's cousin and a former US senator (lifetime ACU rating: 79.8) unseated by Sherrod Brown in a 2006 election fraught with Iraq war fatigue and aforementioned Taft-era scandals.

ORP nudged Dave Yost into running for auditor instead of attorney general, bumping Seth Morgan out of the picture to make room for Attorney General DeWine. DeWine narrowly defeated Richard Cordray - now President Obama's Vital Bureaucrat of the Week - but DeWine family maneuvering contributed to lingering distrust between ORP and Ohio conservatives.

Chairman DeWine has also taken heat for his allegiance to Jon Husted. Husted, a former speaker of the Ohio House, positioned himself as a conservative during the 2010 secretary of state campaign only to kneecap election reform a year later. When the House tried to pass a photo-ID voting requirement, Secretary Husted opposed the measure, handing a rhetorical victory to the Ohio Democratic Party's race-baiters and class-warriors.

Whatever DeWine's merits or Kasich's mistakes, Ohio needs Republican leaders on the same page going into 2012. DeWine should step down, Kasich should offer a replacement conservatives can rally behind, and we should all get back to work against Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama.

Follow me on Twitter: @jasonahart


  1. DeWine is toast. I just wish he was gone long before Issue 2. Other than tweeting, the ORP did NOTHING to help win that battle. Having such an impotent state party organization is a disaster for the reforms Batch and Kasich want to make. It's like the other side can say whatever they want, and the ORP just sit their and laughs.

    I hope Kasich is able to pull this off.

  2. LOL When the Republicans try to line up their lackeys, all this compost heap of a blog can do is write, Please Stop. No in-depth analyis, no criticism, no research. Just whining.

  3. Thanks for stopping by the ol' compost heap, Anonymous #2. It's big of you to spend your valuable time trolling the comments, considering that everything I write is so irrelevant!

    I won't ask you to actually read what I wrote. I know you have more important things to do.

  4. Hopefully Mr. DeWine will be gone. He, not Mr. Kasich is partly to blame for the Issue 2 defeat.

  5. How stunning. This blog continues to be the mouthpiece of Kamp Kasich while the rest of the State looks at Kasich's partisan power grab as nothing more than an effort to personally enrich his friends' lobbying business.

    No mention about how John Kasich is responsible for Issue 2's defeat and how he's hurt the GOP brand in Ohio. No word on how DeWine's decisions helped Morgan win and thus, guarantee GOP controll over reappointment.

    The arguments against DeWine are pathetic, especially when weighed against the people Kasich want to replace DeWine with.

  6. Modern, I'm glad you found a Republican you like! Surely Plunderbund's affection for Kevin DeWine has nothing to do with his current disagreements with the governor.

    I would (and have, and will) argue that $30 million in union cash for the disgusting smear campaign you cheered on was responsible for Issue 2's defeat, but oh well. You're so bipartisan!

  7. I am with Kasich. He is delivering on what he promised. We actually have Jobs coming into the State and not leaving. Too bad Ted could not figure it out like JK has done, and so quickly too!

  8. Jobs aren't leaving? Um Chaquita?

  9. LOL at using Chiquita as an example.

    So Ohio was supposed to throw as much money as NC did and not see a return on investment for 15-20 years?

    This isn't the Strickland Administration anymore. They're not dumb.

  10. But this site crucified the previous administration for doing the EXACT SAME THING with NCR. Besides kasich is thowing an insane amount of money at Sears, a company that will probably be broke in two years

  11. Hey Anonymous', put your name on you comments so that I can tell if I am dealing with one fool, or if there are multiple Ohioans who have no clue.

    Sure, Kasich lost out on Chiquita, the rest have been hits. I'll take my governor batting .900 any day. Your boy hit .186 and now gives speeches to empty buildings and get 35 hits on youtube.

    Strickland's name should never be uttered in Ohio, but for some reason you people bring it up all the time like he was great. Move on, pick someone new, stop holding that loser up as a beacon of success.

  12. Not holding him as a beacon of success, he is a moron, much in the same way that kasich is a moron, as stated before, this state has had a long line of idiot governors since voinavich left office. Taft strickland and kasich are all terrible for this state, plain and simple.

  13. I always forget how great you were as Governor. Oh yes, the good old days for Ohio with Governor Anonymous at the wheel!

  14. Really? That's the best retort you can come up with? Really? Was I know you are, but what am I not available? Really? Wow it really is like arguing with a coffee table here. Name me one thing that any of the past three governors of this state managed to accomplish? And I'm not talking about bringing in 1000 whole jobs, one thing that will impact this state 15 years from now?


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