April 4, 2012

Almost Breaking … Really Close to Breaking … Kevin DeWine Will Resign on April 13 (Bennett to Replace … But PD Says Bennett Hasn’t Decided)

Filed under: Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:14 pm

… Someone involved in the “Brief Brown County Encounter” described here is apparently on the verge of not getting his way tonight.

Not quite ready to say who.

Breaking, 8:50 p.m.: Just received an email from 3BP’s Bytor telling me that “I have 2 excellent sources who have both confirmed” that Kevin DeWine is either resigning shortly, or has done so already. Will update when more info is known.

Breaking, 8:55 p.m.: In the Columbus Dispatch, via Joe Hallett (HT Politico; bolds are mine) –

Ohio GOP chief DeWine to resign to end battle with Kasich
Former party Chairman Bennett to lead at least on interim basis

Under unrelenting pressure from Gov. John Kasich and his political aides, Kevin DeWine will announce his resignation tonight as chairman of the Ohio Republican Party.

DeWine, 44, has prepared a letter to the 66 members of the GOP state central committee, saying he will step down when the party’s governing body meets to reorganize on April 13.

Party chairman since January 2009, DeWine has been under siege from Kasich to step aside, causing a bitter fight for control of the central committee in the March 6 primary election and tearing apart the state party at a time when Republicans need to carry Ohio to defeat Democratic President Barack Obama in the November general election.

On March 18, DeWine said he would not seek a new two-year term in January, but Kasich, through his political operatives, insisted that DeWine step aside immediately. Kasich was preparing to overthrow DeWine at the April 13 meeting, but DeWine will remove that possibility, even as his allies contend that they have enough votes on the central committee to beat back the governor’s coup attempt.

Friends of DeWine said the chairman concluded that Kasich and his allies would make his life miserable until he left.

In his letter, obtained by The Dispatch to be emailed at 9 p.m., DeWine addresses the intraparty battle: “Now, factions within our party are aligned to fight over who is best to lead us forward. A meeting looms where that fight could erupt into a party-splitting dispute that no one will win and everyone will lament.

“I am honored by the large number of State Central Committee members who are willing, even eager, to fight to sustain my leadership. Yet I cannot in good conscience let that fight go forward. If I did, it would be putting my personal interests over the party’s best interests. And I care too much about our work to do that.”

Former Ohio GOP Chairman Robert T. Bennett, 73, is poised to come out of retirement to lead the party, at least on an interim basis. He is expected to take over at the April 13 meeting.

… DeWine, who will keep his position on the state central committee, will leave the state chairmanship with a record of never having lost a race — except, ironically, his own. In 2010, Republicans won all five statewide executive offices, both houses of the General Assembly, and 6-1 control of the Ohio Supreme Court.

“I’m proud of our collective triumphs, and the fact that together we have made our party stronger organizationally and electorally over the past three years than at nearly any time in history,” DeWine wrote in his letter.

Since he didn’t absolutely have to do what he did, and though it took far longer than it should have, I do want to congratulate Kevin DeWine for putting the party (and the state) first.

As to Bennett’s return (not a sure thing; see Update 2 below), let’s just say that there were many far worse alternatives, like this guy. Whew.

Friday the 13th will be the Ohio Republican Party’s lucky day.

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UPDATE: Matt has the full resignation letter at WoMD. Maggie Thurber also has a post. Also Ohio Liberty Council.

UPDATE 2: At the Cleveland Plain Dealer, via Reginald Fields, Bennett’s return is not a sure thing —

… Former state GOP Chairman Bob Bennett potentially could replace DeWine on an interim basis through the Nov. 6 election. Bennett, however, said he has not yet decided if he is interested in returning to a post he held for many years before DeWine.

DeWine has been under pressure to leave his leadership post from the moment Kasich took office in January 2011. Last month he announced that he would be willing step down next year. But that wasn’t soon enough for Kasich and his aides, who demanded he leave now.

For nearly a year their squabbling largely was kept behind closed doors. In recent months it had become an embarrassing election-year public spat for Republicans who want to focus on political campaigns.

Kasich fielded a slate of candidates to run for the 66-member state Republican party central committee, which elects the party’s chairman. It is believed that enough Kasich-backed candidates were elected to call for a vote during the April 13 meeting and kick DeWine out of office.

DeWine decided to step down after days of negotiating with key party leaders. Kasich’s office offered a tempered response to a situation that had been growing more volatile by the day.

“It’s good to be able to put this behind and move forward,” Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said.

UPDATE 3, April 6: At Third Base Politics, which stayed on top of this saga as well or better than anyone in the establishment press —

(Bytor) Just like when Reince Priebus took over a damaged RNC from Michael Steele, we need to put our party back together. Bob Bennett as a temporary chair would be a good choice, given his long years of previous experience at the job.

I’m ecstatic that we are putting this behind us and can focus on beating Barack Obama and electing Josh Mandel this fall.

(Jason Hart) History may prove us wrong for siding with Governor Kasich, but the argument that DeWine is loved by all save a few angry rubes has completely dissolved.

… I commend Kevin DeWine’s decision to step down and end this ugly chapter of ORP history; now let’s get back to work.

From the Administration’s Press …

It’s all about how “Geithner criticizes proposed GOP budget cuts.”

No mention of the fact that President Obama has proposed a budget which was rejected unanimously, or that the “cuts” are really “reductions in projected spending.”

Just another day at the wire service whose CEO is such an effusive Obama supporter.

Susan Who? DOJ Agrees to Pay Prolife Sidewalk Counselor It Sued $120,000; Media Mum

The Department of (I don’t know what kind of) Justice has decided to drop its case again prolife sidewalk counselor Mary Susan Pine and pay her $120,000 in legal fees. DOJ had no case in the first place.

If this were an antiwar protester or someone else favored by the left, this would be “DOJ run amok” news. But you will search in vain for a story about Ms. Pine at the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Los Angeles Times (searches are on “Pine abortion,” not in quotes). You will find 18 references to her in a Google News search on “Pine abortion” (not in quotes, sorted by date, with duplicates), only one of which is an establishment press outlet (Fox News). What follows is the press release from Liberty Counsel, which defended Ms. Pine, and excerpts from J. Christian Adams’s related column at PJ Media (bolds are mine throughout):

(more…)

Passage of the Day: ‘He Knows What Judicial Review Is’

Bill Wilson at Net Right Daily cuts through the clutter on President Obama’s Supreme Court-related pronouncements of the past two days:

He knows what judicial review is.

Obama is attempting to intimidate the Court by delegitimizing it. This is what you’d expect from a thug dictator like Hugo Chavez or Robert Mugabe, not from the President of the United States. Overtly attacking the Court in such a shameless way is beneath the dignity of his high office.

It may be nothing new, but that does not make Obama’s attack on the Court any less contemptible either.

One hopes that even if he does not embrace the likely ruling against Obamacare’s constitutionality, he at least complies with it. If not, we may well have an extraordinary constitutional crisis on our hands just months before the election.

It is new in the post-World War II era. Wilson’s most recent citation of court intimidation is FDR’s attempt to pack the Supreme Court, after which, as Wilson notes, the Court started giving okey-dokeys to some of FDR’s statist efforts and positions.

I certainly am not assuming that he will take heed of the Supremes if they rule against him. Yours truly, along with Mark and Matt at Weapons of Mass Discussion, had this guy pegged as a Chavez/Mugabe wannabe in 2008.

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (040412)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:15 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.

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Wow (HTs to Family Security Matters and BigGovernment; headline is BigGov’s, text is CBS News):

It’s On: 5th Circuit Dares Obama to Deny Power of Judicial Review

In the escalating battle between the administration and the judiciary, a federal appeals court apparently is calling the president’s bluff — ordering the Justice Department to answer by Thursday whether the Obama Administration believes that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law, according to a lawyer who was in the courtroom.

The order, by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, appears to be in direct response to the president’s comments yesterday about the Supreme Court’s review of the health care law. Mr. Obama all but threw down the gauntlet with the justices, saying he was “confident” the Court would not “take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”

Overturning a law of course would not be unprecedented — since the Supreme Court since 1803 has asserted the power to strike down laws it interprets as unconstitutional. The three-judge appellate court appears to be asking the administration to admit that basic premise — despite the president’s remarks that implied the contrary. The panel ordered the Justice Department to submit a three-page, single-spaced letter by noon Thursday addressing whether the Executive Branch believes courts have such power, the lawyer said.

In my view, there is missing constitutional logic in this: Once the Court “strikes down” a law, Congress, assuming it agrees or acquiesces, is supposed to formally follow through on the Court’s opinion and actually repeal it. I believe I’m correct when I say that this rarely happens. If Congress doesn’t go through the process, the law in question is still on the books, because the legislature, which is the only body constitutionally able to make law (or formally repeal it), hasn’t removed it.

Also: If Congress doesn’t want to follow through with the repeal, either because it disagrees with the decision or is just plain lazy, it doesn’t have to. And if it doesn’t, exactly what can the Court do about it? “Judicial review” is not the same as “automatic judicial approval or nullification.”

A link to audio of the exchange is here (“Physician Hospitals of America, et al v. Kathleen”); the judicial review discussion begins at the 18:00 mark (“Let me ask you something a little more basic …”) and goes for about three minutes.

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At NewsBusters: “NBC’s Lauer: With Economy Recovering, Why Should Voters Take ‘Chance’ on New President?”

Well Matt:

  • This is “The Worst Economic Recovery in History.” Why would voters want to continue that for another four years?
  • Additionally, at the same link — “… we have never really recovered from the recession. The economy has not even returned to its long-term growth rate and is certainly not making up for lost ground.” Why should voters endure another four years of “not making up for lost ground”?

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Illegal and untraceable Obama campaign contributions to the Obama campaign, first exposed by Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs in 2008 (two of her key posts are here and here) and chronicled at this PJ Media column by yours truly just before that year’s election, are back and just as brazen (here, here, here, here, and here).

The Obama campaign has no integrity, no shame, and apparently no concern about being widely exposed, betting (probably correctly) that the establishment press will likely ignore it.

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Via Matt Sheffield at NewsBusters: “AP President Dean Singleton Slobbers Over Obama in Gushing Speech.” Excerpts from the middle and final parts of Singleton’s introduction:

As President, he inherited the headwinds of the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. He pushed through Congress the biggest economic recovery plan in history and led a government reorganization of two of the big three auto manufacturers to save them from oblivion. He pursued domestic and foreign policy agendas that were controversial to many, highlighted by his signature into law of the most comprehensive health care legislation in history.

We’re very honored today to have the man currently holding the office and aspiring for it for another term. And, with apologies to Al Green, my new favorite singer. Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States of America.

Singleton supposed runs a news organization which has the following to say about “expressions of opinion”:

Anyone who works for the AP must be mindful that opinions they express may damage the AP’s reputation as an unbiased source of news. They must refrain from declaring their views on contentious public issues in any public forum, whether in Web logs, chat rooms, letters to the editor, petitions, bumper stickers or lapel buttons, and must not take part in demonstrations in support of causes or movements.

Those words clearly mean nothing to Dean Singleton.

Is there anyone left who can credibly object to my characterization of AP as the Administration’s Press or the Administration’s Propagandists?

Things are getting more Orwellian with each passing day.

Positivity: Former atheist promises encounter with God through saints’ relics

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Denver:

Mar 29, 2012 / 04:14 am

Father Carlos Martins never expected to be a priest, or to be touring North America to promote devotion to the saints through their sacred relics. For much of his life, he did not believe in God.

“I was raised in a very nominally Catholic family. We didn’t go to church,” the 37-year-old priest told CNA on March 27. “The Catholic school that we went to was ‘Catholic’ in name only.”

“By the time I became an adult, aside from being a ‘practical atheist,’ I became an intellectual one as well. I thought it was impossible for God to exist, given the state of the world.”

During his university years, some “very committed Catholics” made him question his atheism – leading to a profound encounter with Christ in Eucharistic adoration.

Sixteen years and one priestly ordination later, Fr. Martins helps others encounter God, through another traditional Catholic practice: the exposition and veneration of sacred relics.

He leads the Treasures of the Church ministry, which brings thousands of relics by request to locations in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Its collection includes relics of St. Maria Goretti, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Faustina Kowalska.

Fr. Martins spoke with CNA during his March 25-April 1 tour of Colorado. After a 60-minute presentation explaining the veneration of relics, attendees can spend time in prayer with a selection that includes a large piece of Christ’s cross, and fabric from the Virgin Mary’s veil.

As his presentation makes clear, the experience is unlike anything that most attendees have experienced before.

“I do not have a ‘traveling museum,’” he explained. “What I have, is a ministry of evangelization and healing.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.