Geez, I can come up with six reasons Kevin DeWine should resign from ORPINO (The Ohio Republican Party In Name Only) without breaking a sweat (more links may be added later) — plus a seventh which should go without saying, but must be said anyway.
1. Letting Jon “AWOL” Husted skate.
DeWine defended Jon Husted instead of denouncing him when Husted was a State Rep and then a State Senator not living in his district, and was therefore not really representing his constituents. This made a total mockery of Kevin’s short-lived 2006-2007 “Leading Ohio” ethics pledges. The fact that everyone was blindsided by NCR’s departure from Ohio is in large part Jon “AWOL” Husted’s fault — and I don’t care that the courts said that Husted’s residency gambit was okay. If you don’t really live in your district, you shouldn’t represent it.
2. Promoting Husted as the guy who should be Ohio’s next Secretary of State.
A full year in advance of the 2010 primary, DeWine and the ORPINO strongly encouraged party regulars to promote the integrity-compromised Husted in speeches and conversations as the best choice for Attorney General, thereby making it clear to anyone else among party regulars who might have considered running that their task would be an uphill one. Too bad; anyone but Husted would at least entered office with some semblance of integrity.
3. The Voter-ID Betrayal Silence.
DeWine to my knowledge has never said a word in opposition to Husted’s decision as Secretary of State to turn his back on voter-identification requirements at the polls, which:
- Kevin sponsored when he was still a state legislator;
- Husted specifically supported when he was a legislator;
- Husted claimed he supported in the GOP primary when he ran for Secretary of State in 2010 — “somehow” changing his mind only a year later.
Don’t you stand for anything, Kevin?
4. The Anti-Tea Party Shuffle
Upon John Kasich’s choice of Mary Taylor to be his Lieutenant Governor, DeWine “convinced” Dave Yost (not a CPA), who would have been a far better candidate for Attorney General than Kevin’s cousin Mike, to instead run for Auditor, thereby elbowing out Seth Morgan (who is a CPA), who declared his candidacy shortly after the Taylor move and would have been a tremendous choice.
5. 2010 Primary Interference
Having engineered the coup described in #4, and in the interest of defending favored Central Committee candidates over Tea Party insurgents, DeWine and ORPINO spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on highly customized campaign literature falsely and deceptively portraying the statewide slate and its Central Committee candidates as having “Tea Party Values.”
Kevin and ORPINO clearly feel that 2010′s general election results vindicated their strategy. Horse manure; the wipeout would have been far greater across the board with Morgan as Auditor and Yost as AG. Mike DeWine won the AG race by less than 50,000 votes.
(House Speaker Bill) Batchelder sent a memo to House GOP members accusing DeWine of undermining the incumbents among them during the 2010 election campaign. Batchelder said DeWine attempted to persuade donors not to give money to the members’ campaigns. Batchelder also said in the memo that DeWine, in a speech to central-committee members on Friday, accused Kasich of trying to push him out as chairman “for personal profit, ego and power.”
… “It is especially distressing me to know that while we are working every day to improve our state, the leader of our political party is undermining the accomplishments we have made.”
… A source close to Kasich said that DeWine, a month before the 2010 elections, asked donors not to give to Kasich, and instead to give to the candidacies of Republicans Jon Husted and Dave Yost, who were running for secretary of state and auditor, respectively.
… DeWine added: “I refuse to let this party be overtaken by lobbyists.”
(… Excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor from laughing my a** off at the final excerpted statement …)
Kevin DeWine ended up doing the things of which he is accused, and of which I believe he is guilty, because he compromised the party’s finances in the course of carrying out Item #5. Besides heading off Tea Party-sympathetic challengers in statewide races, the May 2010 primary splurge’s main purpose was to ensure that Kevin would continue to have a Central Committee which would do his bidding, not one that would look out for the best interests of the party (the Ohio Republican Party, not ORPINO) and the state.
I’ll also add (this is probably the worst-kept secret in the Buckeye State; Update: Oops, I forgot Urban Meyer’s hiring as football coach at OSU) that Kevin and many others at ORPINO who should know better would not have minded one bit if John Kasich had lost to Ted Strickland in 2010, because it would have set up their guy Jon “AWOL” Husted for a 2014 gubernatorial run.
Reason #7 really trumps the six mentioned above — Substantial personal animosities aside, a state’s governor has every reason to expect that his party’s state chairman will at the very least not work against him.
If the state chairman isn’t comfortable working with the governor, he should recognize that the situation is inhibiting progress, do the honorable thing, and get out of the way, regardless of how much his nearly hand-picked Central Committee supposedly supports him. But expecting Kevin DeWine to do the honorable thing appears to be hoping for way too much, as is expecting the ORPINO establishment to advise Kevin to do the right thing.