I’ve already given my two cents on the conflict between ORP chair Kevin DeWine and Governor Kasich, so I won’t belabor this point: DeWine should step down. I do not assume Kasich’s team is blameless, but the criticisms Ohio House Speaker Batchelder shared earlier this month cannot be discounted. Whoever threw the first stone, a public disagreement of this scope between a governor and a party chairman doesn’t leave many options.
My position was affirmed by an Ohio News Network (ONN) interview airing yesterday and covered in Friday’s Columbus Dispatch. The Dispatch story ran under the headline “Kasich’s staff used in effort to oust DeWine,” which says everything you need to know about how destructive a prolonged fight would be:
In an exclusive interview, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine revealed that members of Gov. John Kasich’s staff were used in an ongoing effort to oust DeWine as head of the party.
So now Ohio’s Republican chairman is conducting opposition research against the sitting Republican governor and using it to criticize the governor’s staff on television. This makes a great headline and terrific fodder for leftists dying to smear Governor Kasich, even though the political activity in question was conducted on the staffers’ time off.
From the ONN segment:
Jim Heath, ONN: Even if Kasich’s team receives a majority of the seats in the central committee next March, DeWine says he will not step down.
DeWine: I’m going to be the chairman of the party through January 2013.
With three years remaining in his first term, Governor Kasich has already balanced a miserable state budget without raising taxes and shown a keen ability to make Ohio more employer-friendly. Another year with Chairman DeWine is a less exciting prospect for anyone interested in showing Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama the door.