May 29, 2009

An Open Letter to John Kasich

Filed under: Activism,Economy,OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:56 pm

Note: This post has been carried to the top and will stay until early tomorrow morning because of the importance of the topic.

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Hey John,

I understand you’ve got an announcement coming up on Monday. Assuming that you’re going to formalize your run for governor, congratulations on your decision. Ohio needs someone with a proven record of controlling government spending and balancing budgets.

Of course, assuming you win the GOP primary next May, you’ll be running against Governor Ted Strickland.

But to be successful, you also have to run against the way the Republican Party governed this state for at least a dozen years prior to Strickland’s arrival at the Statehouse. As you well know, the sad fact is that your beloved Buckeye State has been run economically like a blue state since the mid-1990s. This is why Ohio has gone from economic leader to economic laggard during that time.

Having seen you speak last year and having followed your efforts since, it is clear that you realize the need to make a clean break from a deeply flawed past. You also surely know that the 2010 Republican statewide ticket must unequivocally make that break, and that if it doesn’t, it will be unnecessarily courting failure.

Fortunately, the ticket as it is currently shaping up is mostly heading decisively in that the right direction. Incumbent Auditor Mary Taylor has been a shining star as a consummate but outspoken professional. Treasurer candidate Josh Mandel redefines “breath of fresh air.” Dave Yost looks to be the kind of no-nonsense, no-cronyism leader that the tarnished Attorney General’s office desperately needs.

That brings us to the one glaring exception. His name is Jon Husted.

Let’s not kid ourselves. Jon Husted does not belong on the GOP’s statewide ticket. Almost everyone except Jon Husted and the Ohio Republican Party instinctively knows this.

It is not arguable that Husted violates at least the first and last items in Chairman Kevin DeWine’s “10-point plan for building a new Ohio Republican Party.”

Jon Husted does not have “conservative credibility” (Point 1). He voted for Bob Taft’s 2003 tax increases, the largest in Ohio’s history, and has to my knowledge has never expressed remorse for having done so. Six years later, I’d say it’s too late for believable mea culpas. By contrast, a courageous state representative was kicked off of a House committee for voting against that tax increase. That representative was Mary Taylor.

The ORP’s silence and inaction on Husted’s residency problem – even though he “admits spending most of his time in his Upper Arlington residence, outside of his district, as opposed to his home in Kettering” –- is a clear breach of the Party’s alleged “zero-tolerance policy” (Point 10). The idea that the person running to be the enforcer of the state’s election laws has himself more than likely violated election laws (and definitely has violated their spirit) is simply intolerable. Again, almost everyone except Jon Husted and the Ohio Republican Party instinctively knows this.

In fact, if anyone but Jon Husted with Jon Husted’s record and baggage attempted to run statewide, the Ohio Republican Party would be working night and day to marginalize him. Instead (and let’s not kid ourselves), there is plenty of evidence that the ORP is promoting him. If they weren’t, why am I hearing that so many speakers at Lincoln Day dinners throughout the state, many of whom have barely shaken hands with the guy, are going out of their way to tell their audiences what a great candidate Husted is, and that people should get behind him?

You, John Kasich, should not be expected to swallow hard and accept or even quietly ignore Jon Husted. His presence on the statewide ticket would tarnish the so-far correct perception that you will leave no stone unturned to reform this state. His residency problem is a ticking time bomb.

What should you do about Husted? Well, you’re the one running for governor. I can only suggest that how you deal with this cancerous situation will be an important early test of your leadership, and that Ohioans will be watching.

Be assured that there are many of us in Ohio’s center-right, sensible conservative blogosphere who will fight just as hard to keep Jon Husted off the November 2010 ballot as some of us in Southwestern Ohio worked in 2005 and 2006 to keep Bob McEwen — another deeply flawed candidate with a record of illegal voting -– from returning to Congress. Also be assured that we will not hesitate to express our disappointment at any indication that you are willing to accept a Secretary of State candidate who is clearly unacceptable.

Ohio’s center-right, sensible conservative bloggers would rather not spend our limited energies defeating Husted. We’d prefer to deal with other, more positive things, like how to bring Ohio back to its former greatness. That’s where you come in.

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16 Comments

  1. Preach on, my brother…

    Comment by Matt Hurley — May 29, 2009 @ 10:53 am

  2. Good show Tom. I agree completely. Let’s hope Kasich is listening and will go for the full ORP reboot.

    Comment by dave — May 29, 2009 @ 11:11 am

  3. Excellent!!!!Husted take notice!

    Comment by Brian — May 29, 2009 @ 11:17 am

  4. Tom, I couldn’t agree more. My best guess is that as payback for his moderate behaviour, the ORP is allowing an extremely weak Husted to ride on the backs of the strong candidates vs. allowing a lesser-known, but equally strong/better/conservative one to do so.

    As Matt et. al alluded to over at WMD (http://massdiscussion.blogspot.com/2009/05/coughlin-to-orp-butt-out.html) each candidate should run on their own merits (which means Husted would lose). Presenting them as the “all-or-none,” especially with all the baggage Husted has will only affirm the [lack of] credibility issues of the “powers that be.”

    I cannot imagine Kaisich’s team being dumb enough to fall for Husted’s/ORP’s “endorse him and we’ll endorse you” tripe. I mean he doesn’t have to bad-mouth Husted, but he doesn’t have to act like their engaged either.

    Sad that this whole thing still brings us to the HUGE hole of leadership in Columbus. They are absolutely the worst and will probably blow the best chance to turn this state around.

    Comment by Dagny — May 29, 2009 @ 11:41 am

  5. I really hope Kasich is smart enough to avoid hitching his wagon to the slugs running the ORP.

    Comment by Alo Konsen — May 29, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

  6. Jon Husted doesn’t deserve support…

    I echo Tom Blumer’s open letter to John Kasich. Politicians like Husted aren’t the solution to Ohio’s woes. They’re a big part of the problem…….

    Trackback by Brain Shavings — May 29, 2009 @ 2:57 pm

  7. I agree. Right now, Sandy O’Brien is planning to run in the SoS primary, and if she’s the only other person besides Husted on the primary ballot, then I’m voting for Sandy O’Brien.

    If Husted wants to further his career in elected office and wants to climb to a higher rung on the ladder, I would suggest that he turn his attention to the Congressional race against Kilroy. That might be more winnable.

    Comment by Daniel Jack Williamson — May 29, 2009 @ 5:56 pm

  8. This is spot on. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Veterans have a long list of issues with Mr. Husted who was part and parcel in taking advantage of their loyalty and work and then not sticking up for them… Be it tax raises on those in the Military out of state, not fighting to allow the Military ID acceptable ID or letting Strickland come off as the only one looking out for Vets.

    With over 975,000 Veterans in Ohio, most of which lean right, it is not a group to take for granted… it is a group to celebrate and defend.

    Comment by Brian The Squeaky Wheel — May 30, 2009 @ 2:35 pm

  9. #8, elaboration would be welcome.

    Comment by TBlumer — May 30, 2009 @ 3:05 pm

  10. #7, there are only two problems:
    - Husted says he doesn’t live in Kilroy’s district, and a non-resident shouldn’t run for Congress to represent a district in which he doesn’t reside.
    - he doesn’t have a conservative record.

    He needs to either move back to the Senate District he claims to live in, and stay put long enough to build a record as a conservative, which he currently doesn’t have.

    If he won’t do both of those things (odds are that he won’t), he should be driven out of politics. Hopefully, that can be arranged.

    Comment by TBlumer — May 30, 2009 @ 3:11 pm

  11. Well said.

    Comment by Connie Carr — May 31, 2009 @ 10:25 am

  12. Re: #10 I wouldn’t lose any sleep over driving Husted out of politics, but I should point out that the residency required for Congressional elections is that a candidate reside in the state that one wishes to represent (which differs from the residency requirements for the Ohio General Assembly). An example: When Betty Sutton began her initial campaign for the 13th Congressional District seat, she wasn’t even a resident of the district, but she was a resident of Ohio. So as long as Husted is an Ohio resident, he could cherry-pick any Ohio Congressional district and declare himself a candidate. As for Husted not being conservative, just so you know, neither is Kilroy.

    Comment by Daniel Jack Williamson — May 31, 2009 @ 11:02 pm

  13. #12, I’m aware that Husted COULD run for Congress, but I said he shouldn’t.

    It would redefine comedy for Husted to run for Congress based on his claim to know the people and needs of that district when he’s been claiming all along to be a Montgomery county resident. Even a weak candidate like Kilroy would carve Husted up into teeny, tiny pieces.

    Comment by TBlumer — June 1, 2009 @ 12:14 am

  14. [...] This is not “new way, new day” politics, guys. Related: “Somebody” warned you about this kind of thing, [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — January 25, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

  15. [...] in spite of the weather. The speakers were Dave Yost (procured before “the switch,” and Jon Husted (no comment). Jean Schmidt & Tom Niehaus also spoke. Funny…Jean didn’t mention her [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — February 6, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

  16. [...] first order of business was to flip an early bird to Ohioans by choosing to fill Jon Husted’s [vacated] District 6 Senate seat with liberal State Rep. Peggy Lehner. Tea Party groups had joined [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — December 27, 2010 @ 9:17 am

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