If you are a polical wonk in Ohio, you know about Plunderbund, the big left-wing blog in the state. If you love Obama, Sherrod Brown, and their statist policies, you love the Plunderpals. And if you love Ted Strickland and hate Governor Kasich, well, you probably have them set as your browser’s home page.
Of course, you expect them to often be on the same side as other left-wing blogs, and the Ohio Democratic Party. What you wouldn’t expect is for a supposed self-described “tea partier” to join up and collaborate with them to attack the governor. But that’s exactly what is happening.
Meet Justin Higgins. He’s a 22 year old ego-maniac who thinks he’s God’s gift to politics. He’s started and ended so many self-promoting blogs, nobody remembers them all. Higgins, for some reason, thinks Kevin DeWine has done a terrific job and that we should look past his corruption and disloyalty to Ohio’s elected Republicans like Governor Kasich and Ohio House speaker Bill Batchelder. So in DeWine’s pocket is he, that he came out and declared victory for DeWine after the primary, and predicted a DeWine reelection in December.
While the faction devoted to Governor John Kasich picked up a few seats, the coalition backing current Chairman Kevin DeWine was victorious. He is in all likelihood going to be re-elected after the November elections, save disaster in the Buckeye State.
Yeah, DeWine was so victorious, that he all but admitted he has lost majority support of the new committee by announcing that he won’t run for reelection in December.
Worse, he lies about his motivations. He claims to be upset about who might replace DeWine as chairman, as none of people rumored to be interested are considered to be from the more conservative end of the spectrum. While this may be a valid concern in a normal chairperson election, it does NOT excuse keeping such a corrupt and backstabbing person as DeWine in place.
Even most Tea Party leaders around the state have rallied to oust DeWine. They know, like Governor Kasich does, that he has betrayed Republican candidates and hurt the state party. They know the people who are rumored to replace him, and that some of them are more liberal, and they still support getting rid of DeWine, because they know of the damage he has done, and could continue to do this year.
Higgins doesn’t get this. But worse still, if that were his only concern, this supposed “conservative” wouldn’t be attacking John Kasich for spite on completely unrelated topics. But that’s exactly what he is doing now. Last week, he put up a post where he claims that people from the governor’s office are reading his blog, and he is aghast that it happened during working hours. His proof that Kasich is stalking his website during business hours? The visits came from a state computer.
Ummm…does Justin know that there are thousands of computers on the state network? Those visits could be from the Department of Natural Resources or the Department of Taxation for all he knows. Additionally, OARNET includes even more computers, because it serves mostly state universities. But Higgins instantly assumes it was Kasich’s people watching his site, and accuses them of abusing the system. (As an aside, I’m sure that there are people on the governor’s staff whose job it is to read what is being said about the governor. If it was those people, that’s not an abuse of taxpayer dollars, that’s their job.)
But why this attack in the first place? It has nothing to do with the ORP struggle over Kevin DeWine or who might replace him. It’s an attack right off the pages of Plunderbund. And here’s where they come in. Higgins takes the Plunderpals advice on how to further leverage unsupported attacks on Kasich.
Update: I got a tip from Joe at Plunderbund that I might want to look into Verizon Wireless traffic as well. Kasich staff have cell phones on the taxpayer dime, which I am fine with, but they shouldn’t be used for political purposes. We’ll never know for sure whether it’s Team Kasich looking at my posts using VZW or not, but it makes traffic results like these (shortly after I posted tonight’s updates) all the more curious. All were on a Columbus area network (non-VZW redacted):
Wait a minute…somebody with a Verizon phone in Columbus looked at his blog, and he assumes it must be the governor’s staff? Are you kidding me? How many thousands of Verizon smartphones are there in the Columbus area? And again, even if it was, the logs he posted were at 10:00PM. Who cares if they are looking at blogs at 10PM?
The question is, why is he attacking the governor in the first place? One reason is desperation. The DeWiners know his time is up, so they are looking to tear everyone else down. Two, this guy is a traffic whore. The amount of self-promotion he does is gagful. If he thinks he could get a major blog like Plunderbund to link to him and send him traffic to brag about, he would attack the governor to do it.
Want proof? He tried pasting an entire post from his blog in our comments here in an attempt to get our readers to his site. See my response after deleting it. We aren’t going to allow people to do that. He later denied having been the one who did it. But, guess what? We keep logs here, too. The post was pasted in our comments at 10:59PM. Our logs show it was from a computer in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Guess who lives in Blacksburg, VA?
You’re busted, Justin.
Another example: consider this tweet of his from last year regarding his last blog.
Funny…I don’t detect any disgust in this tweet about computers from the Ohio or U.S. House being used to look at blogs. Why? Because he didn’t care. In fact, he was boasting about it in another pathetic show of self-promotion. (We get visits from the House and Senate daily, it’s no big deal.) But, fast forward to today where his idol Kevin DeWine has lost almost all support from Ohio Republicans, and all of a sudden he wants to assume that the governor’s people are reading his blog, and then pretends to be disgusted by it.
And that brings me to the final bit of lameness in Higgin’s attacks. He later updated his post to show an IP address from a state computer, and again accused it from being Kasich’s people.
I fully expect for allies of both DeWine and Kasich to keep tabs on what people are saying about the fight. What I don’t think is acceptable is people keeping tabs on it on the taxpayer dime. Given he’s the man in charge of Ohio, this visits are far more likely to come from Kasich backers. Unfortunate.
Guess what? You can track that IP back to a certain office in Ohio government. It ain’t the governor’s office, Higgsy. That IP address belongs to your buddy Kevin DeWine’s best friend, in the Secretary of State’s Office.
Seriously, if hacks like this, who are willing to join arms with Plunderbund in attacking the governor, are the last line of defense that Kevin DeWine has, he is truly desperate. Please spare us all the trouble and resign now.