Candidate Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Trump

It’s Mid-April and both the Republican and Democratic primaries are still contested. We have such a slate of disappointment on both sides it is rather remarkable to watch. What conservatives are left with is a choice between a solid conservative who is pretty easy to dislike, and someone even more unlikable: a businessman-turned-TV entertainer-turned-politician who the left (as well as many on the right) just can’t help but attack on a daily basis.

 

Donald Trump loves it. Trump THRIVES on it. And he has proven to be able to turn the tables and often have the last laugh. How did we get here?

 

The factors behind Trump’s rise and popularity are finally clear to me. Until recently I was in denial about how we got to this point in the Republican Party. I kept asking myself: why do people like this guy? At events I would laugh and joke with other GOP friends: we would amuse ourselves by calling him a buffoon, would make fun of his hair, and frequently interject little quips about his YUGE WALL. We thought we were just hilarious, because there was no way he is serious… right? How wrong I was.

 

The best part of Trump’s ascension has been to figure out that fighting it is simply very not effective. Quite literally, Resistance is Futile. Because no matter what Trump does, a majority of his supporters simply do not care. My peers in the party either refuse to see this, or will simply not allow themselves. They, as well as the media, continue to belittle Trump. Their efforts are simply useless at this point.

 

“Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room.”

 

Well here we are folks. There is a better than not chance that Trump is the Republican nominee. As I am writing this I am waiting for the results from New York, but an easy prediction is that Trump takes most, if not all of the delegates in that state. So in a few months we will have Trump on one side and Hillary on another. Curiously enough both have their respective party’s establishment to thank for their ascension.  Yes, I am claiming that Trump has the Republican Establishment to thank for his (moderately) successful campaign. While the Democrats intentionally stacked their Super Delegates to allow a Hillary win, the Republicans have inadvertently given Trump a path by abusing their own party supporters.  

 

The Republican Establishment created the environment that allowed Trump to be a legitimate candidate. If we look back at the last 8 years of the Obama Presidency all the signs are present. The GOP took over the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014. During those years what came out of Congress that was requested by grassroots conservatives? Not a thing. The last budget deal is a perfect example of the complete lack of concern that the Republican Establishment has for the grassroots. The only winner from the budget deal was the donor class of the party. What did your regular GOP voter get out of the deal? Lower taxes? NOPE. Defund Planned Parenthood? NOPE. Legitimate spending cuts? NOPE. More southern border security? NOPE.

 

So it should come as no surprise that Trump is building his campaign on a list of everything the grassroots has wanted, but has not been taken care of by the GOP higher-ups. Trump has consolidated his base with a sizable portion of the GOP voting base, as well as attracting independents and some blue-collar democrats into voting in the primary. I observed his attraction of blue collar Democrats in my home county in northeast Ohio just a month ago.

 

His supporters love him, and they love that he doesn’t play the politics that they themselves are so tired of. 

 

There’s only one option left: let’s all sit back, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over.

Cuyahoga County BOE would be wise to learn from Hamilton County’s problems with vendor Tenex

Last November, you probably recall that we had a controversial statewide ballot issue in an otherwise tame off-year election. The full legalization of marijuana, both for recreational and medical use, was up for vote, and it drove a lot more people to the polls than usual in an odd year.

Unless you’re from the Cincinnati area, what you may not have heard is that there were technical problems in Hamilton County. A judge eventually ordered that the polls stay open an extra 90 minutes so that no one was denied the opportunity to vote.

Judge Robert Ruehlman argued everyone should have a chance to vote even when system glitches happen. “I think just to be fair make sure everybody gets a chance to vote that’s the right decision, that’s what I’m going to do, alright,” said Ruehlman in court.

The Hamilton County BOE was already looking ahead to this year and expressing worry over getting it right for the presidential election.

The delays, mistakes and technological glitches that plagued Tuesday’s vote caused headaches for everyone involved in the process. But election officials know that’s nothing compared to the epic migraine they’d get if those errors are repeated next fall, during a presidential election that could hinge on Ohio and Hamilton County.

“We’re in a crucial state in a presidential election year and we’ve got to get it right,” said Alex Triantafilou, a board of elections member and the chairman of the county GOP.

“There’s no sugarcoating it,” he said of Tuesday’s vote. “Last night was a disaster, and we need to fix it.”

Hamilton County was using a new system of electronic poll books and sign-ins from a company called Tenex that was supposed to make the process faster. Unfortunately, it appears that neither the BOE nor Tenex was completely prepared. In a post-election report to the Secretary of State, the BOE stated that:

  • 65% of voting locations reported problems with router to printer connectivity.
  • 43% of voting locations had problems finding voters in the new e-Poll books. Those voters had to vote provisionally.
  • 2,764 voters were told by the system that they had “registered too late” and were forced to vote provisionally. In actuality, they had registered in time, but Tenex had failed to update a key database that was left over from a special election in August.

From WVXU,

Ravi Kallem, the president of the software company Tenex, apologized to the board, the poll workers and the voting public for the problems.

Kallem assured the board that the problems would be “a simple fix” and could be accomplished in plenty of time for the March 2016 presidential primary.

One of the biggest problems encountered was that a programming error by Tenex set a wrong date. Voters who had registered after the August special election and before the Oct. 5 voter registration deadline were not showing up as registered voters when their IDs were scanned.

That probably accounted for several thousand voters being forced to cast provisional ballots – which will be counted before the election results are certified by the board Nov. 24.

“Change of this magnitude is going to come with problems, big or small,’’ Kallem said.

There were other problems as well, but these were some of the bigger issues that caused so many delays that day.

Now Cuyahoga County is in the process of converting to electronic poll books, and Tenex is one of the vendors they are considering.

Since it’s a presidential year, and Ohio is always a key state, the upcoming election in November will have much much greater turnout than we saw in 2015. Does Ohio’s largest county want to risk having the same type of problems that Hamilton County did?

Let’s pray that both Hamilton and Cuyahoga County get it right and that Ohio’s election results this November don’t come into question because of the same type of problems we saw in 2015.

The EPA Is Trying To Its Flex Muscle But Ohio Should Continue Saying NO!

The federal government has grown into something it was never intended to be. Its lust for power and control continues to snowball over the rights of the states and local control. And this is incredibly prevalent in the EPA’s overreach.

This overreach is a real problem for states like Ohio. We are fortunate enough to have a bounty of coal here. This keeps our energy rates lower. But, the Obama Administration has made attempts to choke and cripple the coal industry in the name of climate control. That will have a massive impact on those of us who rely on coal to keep our lights on.

The EPA’s Clean Power Plan intends to reduce carbon dioxide from coal and gas fired power plants in 47 states. But, this plan’s effect on global warming is meaningless. It is simply an attempt to take down a cheap source of energy.

Ohio is one of those states the EPA has targeted. Along with 26 other states, Ohio sued the EPA to stop the Power Plan. And the Supreme Court took an unprecedented step of staying the plan on February 9. This stay means the plan cannot be enforced until SCOTUS has a final ruling on the legality. So, states are not obligated to implement these cumbersome regulations. The court will not likely rule for another year or two.

But, the EPA continues trying to put the screws to the states and encourage them to enact the Clean Power Plan. There is no reason for Ohio or any other state to do this, especially at this time. In a time when so many of us are crunched for cash, we cannot handle the undue burden of higher energy bills.

The EPA is likely pushing this because they want it to be part of the Obama legacy. SCOTUS will give a final ruling after Obama’s second term ends. But, Ohioans have no reason to unnecessarily pay higher energy bills simply to help provide a checkmark for Obama’s agenda.

Imagine one of the roughly 2 million families in Ohio that bring home around $1,900 a month and spend 17% of their income on energy. If those prices are increased, as this plan will absolutely do, it will devastate these people, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck. But, this is the effect the EPA would have with its plan. Our rates are projected to increase by double digits if these regulations are put into place.

It would be a waste of money, time and resources to enact this plan that may very well be deemed to be illegal. And we have no reason to enact it at this time. So, why should we gamble on it? We cannot demand Ohio families sacrifice for the greater good of the climate change police and offer next to no rewards on the environment.

Hopefully, Ohio stays the course and doesn’t move forward with this EPA overreach. We can’t afford these choking regulations.

 

 

Kasich keeps Ohio’s 66 delegates from Trump

160315_vod_mar15_johnkasich_speech4_16x9_992I admit it, I didn’t think John Kasich would make it to Ohio’s primary. But he did, mainly by focusing only on a couple of states, staying out of the crossfire between the frontrunners and keeping his powder dry for Ohio.

Yesterday he soundly defeated Donald Trump. That makes it more difficult, but not impossible, for Trump to earn a majority of the delegates needed to avoid a contested convention. (A little education for Donald here: A majority is not “some random number”. It’s 50% of the delegates plus 1. Someone with “a great brain” like you should know that.)

Kasich cannot mathematically win the nomination outright. But if he has a couple hundred delegates at a contested convention, he may indeed play a role.

Obviously, Governor Kasich was not my first choice, but he and his team deserve congratulations for a hard-earned win.

I’m a Rubio Delegate, and I Just Voted for Kasich in Ohio. Here’s Why.

[The following is a guest post from a personal friend, Phil Van Treuren. I am also a Rubio delegate, and already cast my vote for Rubio weeks ago. But Phil has a point here and if I still had yet to vote, I would be thinking long and hard about this. -Nick]

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By Phil Van Treuren

No doubt about it: Marco Rubio would be one hell of a standard bearer for the GOP in a general election. He’s the best candidate to beat Hillary in November, boost our underticket candidates, and grow our party. I’m proud to be a Rubio delegate, and would be proud to call him my president.

But I voted for John Kasich, not Rubio, in the Ohio primary yesterday.

My reason is simple: to stop megalomaniac Donald Trump from clinching the nomination and leading our party into a train wreck this fall.

Listen: Ohio is a winner-take-all primary state. The top vote-getter receives every one of our 66 delegates. If we handed them out proportionally, I’d gladly vote for Rubio in hopes of him clinching a few.

But that’s not the reality here, folks. Neither Rubio or Cruz have a hope of winning Ohio; polling consistently shows them far behind Trump. John Kasich, though, is running neck-and-neck with The Donald here, and a few extra votes could put him over the top.

If Trump gets the nomination, you might as well start calling Hillary “Madam President.”

Worse than that: with Trump on the ballot, we’ll have a slaughter of the Republican underticket in Ohio unlike anything you’ve seen in a generation. Say hello to a Senator Strickland, GOP losses in the state legislature, and a bloodbath for Republican candidates in counties across the Buckeye State.

I get it: a lot of you Rubio and Cruz supporters don’t like Kasich. You want to cast your ballot for your favorite candidate out of principle, even if they don’t have a chance of winning Ohio.

If this were any other year, I’d say go for it. But this year we’re faced with the prospect of a candidate who could saddle every Republican in Ohio with his narrow-minded, bullying brand of politics.

I refuse to giving Trump the delegates he needs to hang that albatross around our necks.

Here’s the long and short of it: a vote for anyone other than John Kasich in Ohio is a vote for Trump. I hate that it’s reached that point, but it’s reality. And I hope that my fellow Rubio supporters — and Cruz folks, as well — will join me in doing whatever it takes to keep Trump from taking Ohio.

Phil Van Treuren is a city councilman in Amherst, a former winner of the Ohio Young Republican of the Year Award, and a member of the Lorain County Republican Party Executive Committee.

Team Kasich: No, we didn’t file enough valid signatures to qualify for the Pennsylvania ballot

Last week, we reported that a challenge to John Kasich’s ballot petitions was filed in Pennsylvania. A college student filed a challenge alleging that enough of his signatures were invalid to prevent Kasich from meeting the minimum threshold of 2000.

Yesterday was the court hearing for the challenge.

John Kasich’s lawyer agreed with the plaintiff that he did not file enough signatures to make the ballot. But he may get away with it, depending on how the court interprets what exact time of day was the deadline to file a challenge. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

HARRISBURG — Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s own lawyer agrees the presidential campaign submitted fewer valid signatures than are required for the candidate to appear on Pennsylvania’s primary ballot. But he argued in court Wednesday that it doesn’t matter because an objection to Mr. Kasich’s nominating petitions was filed 13 minutes too late.

At issue is whether challenges to Pennsylvania nominating petitions are due by 5 p.m. or 11:59 p.m. on the last day to file.

Attorneys for Mr. Kasich and the objector have stipulated that the campaign filed no more than 2,184 signatures with the state, and that 192 of those signatures were not valid. Republican and Democratic candidates for president must submit 2,000 signatures to appear on the ballot.

And from Penn Live:

Kasich’s campaign has stipulated it does not have enough valid signatures from registered Republican voters to meet state ballot requirements. As a result, it is hoping for a technical reprieve to help the governor keep his Great Lakes strategy afloat.

Wow.

What’s really crazy here is that apparently Pennsylvania does not validate signatures turned in on petitions. Under such a system, somebody could submit pages of invalid signatures, and the state puts the burden of proving that they are valid on the general public, with only 7 days to do so.

Here in Ohio, individual county boards of elections review signatures to make sure they are valid, such as confirming voter registration, address and political party. Apparently not so in Pennsylvania.

Kasich still has a very real chance of being removed from the ballot. Or he could remain due to a technicality, since we now know that he didn’t meet the same requirements that the other candidates apparently did. Remember that Pennsylvania is a big part of his “home game” strategy, since it is next door to Ohio and the state where he grew up.

We will find out what the courts rule within the next couple of weeks.


ORP cries foul over logo use on mailers

Most average voters are unaware of this, but in Ohio’s primary on March 15th, we won’t just be nominating candidates for the GOP ticket in November’s races. We’ll also be choosing who makes up the State Central Committee for the Ohio Republican Party.

There is a man and a woman elected in each of Ohio’s Senate districts, for a total of 66 members.

The ORP committee routinely votes every year to endorse themselves (all the incumbent members) and uses party money to promote keeping themselves in their current seats, instead of using donor money to defeat Democrats.

However, we have covered past instances of the party using dirty tricks to avoid endorsing and supporting certain members that they don’t like. Weeks ago, we showed you how they filed a bogus challenge against one member, so that they had an excuse not to endorse and support him. Even after their bogus complaint was dismissed by the local board of elections, ORP refused to support him like they do for all the other incumbent members.

Here in my district, there are challengers to the incumbent State Central Committee members for the 13th district. Mr. Michael Witte and Ms. Kirsten Penton Hill are campaigning together and sent out postcards to the GOP voters in the district. Below is one of their postcards.

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Normally, voters only receive mailers from the ORP endorsing the incumbent members, so it’s clear that these two candidates are determined and working hard to earn votes.

Not long after these cards went out, however, Mr. Witte says that he received a threatening letter from Chairman Matt Borges over the use of the ORP logo.

They are running for a position in the Ohio Republican Party, after all. And the cards do not claim that they are endorsed.

I asked Witte about the mailers and the letter from Borges. Here was his response.

We had the cards printed prior to the week of 2/14 and they were mailed on Tuesday Feb 16. When formulating the layout, we considered using the Ohio Republican Party Logo, as we are Republicans, in Ohio, running for a position on the Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee.

We discussed this with others who are also running, and the consensus was that there was nothing prohibiting it, so we included the Logo on our mailer.

On Friday, Feb 19, I received a letter from Matt Borges dated Feb 18, stating the use was an unauthorized use of their (The ORP) trademarked logo. This was disturbing to me, as I was under the impression that there was no trademark.

So I researched it, and found that the Logo in question is not registered on the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) database. Searching the Ohio SOS site, I found that the subject Logo was registered as of Wednesday, February 17, 2016.

Here is the letter he received from Borges.

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Indeed, Witte is correct in his assertion that at the time he sent his post cards, the logo was not registered. The ORP only rushed out and registered the logo after the fact, and then sent out the letter. The registrations with the Secretary of State’s office, on 2/17/16, can be viewed here and here.

Borges’s letter also contains mistakes. He accuses Witte of representing the NW Ohio Conservative Coalition. But Witte says he is not associated with them in any way. Lorain County isn’t even located in NW Ohio. Borges also refers in the letter to an included exhibit, but none was included.

All that being said, I can understand the ORP’s desire to control their own brand and intellectual property. But since they hadn’t registered the logos, it appears they were quite sloppy in doing so.

For his part, Mr. Witte says that now that the logo is registered to the ORP, he will no longer use it.

I can only laugh about this, because it reminds of the old adage, “Turnabout is fair play”. Years ago, when the ORP sent out mailers to promote their incumbent members, they emblazoned the postcards with a logo that proclaimed “Tea Party Values”.

One last note about Mr. Witte’s race. He is challenging incumbent member Matt Cox. Cox was recently featured in the blog RedState for being a big donor to Democrats, including Sherrod Brown, Chris Redfern and John P. Carney, among others.

Some of the names many not be familiar, but John Carney was running to unseat Republican Dave Yost who is the Ohio Auditor of State. Chris Redfern is the former Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party and a former member of the Ohio House of Representatives. Sherrod Brown is a left wing Democrat who defeated Josh Mandel (currently the Ohio State Treasurer) in 2012 in his re-election fight.

It doesn’t make much sense his PAC gave money to candidates looking to defeat Republicans.

Cox was appointed to his current seat on the SCC on the recommendation of Chairman Borges, after Bob Rousseau passed away while occupying the position.

Yes, you heard that right. Borges recommended and placed on the Republican SCC a person who donated major funds to defeat the same Republicans that the ORP was trying to elect or reelect.

I can tell you one thing. I have never seen such an effort in a SCC race. Witte and Penton Hill have blanketed the district with signs, which is pretty unheard of in these types of races. (Apologies for the poor picture, it was obviously raining!) The handwritten note on their postcard was also a nice touch. They are working hard.

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There is also a second challenger in the race, but I have yet to see any campaigning from that party. Whether Cox continues to hold his seat or he is replaced will be up to the GOP voters of Lorain and Huron Counties on March 15th.

Mysterious letters sent to Ohio Cruz and Rubio supporters urging them to vote for Kasich

I received a letter today. It was postmarked as being mailed from New York City but had no return address. This is what I found inside with the letter.

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My phone was also inundated with messages from other people who received the same letter. They were also sent to people who support Ted Cruz.

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The letter was sent from someone named Eric Hoffman, who purports to be a born-and-raised Ohioan who now lives in Connecticut. He doesn’t explain why the letter was mailed from New York City.

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(Update: Mr. Hoffman contacted me and said that he works in NYC and mailed the letters from there.)

He explains in his letter that he looked up who the delegates for Cruz and Rubio are in Ohio, and is sending them the same letter in hopes that we can help swing the vote in Ohio to John Kasich in order to stop Trump. (I am a delegate for Rubio). The full letter can be viewed here: Page 1, Page 2.

Mr. Hoffman’s idea sounds like a strategic one. After all, Mitt Romney advised people in Ohio to vote for Kasich to stop Trump. But Romney also advised voters in Florida to vote for Marco Rubio to deny that state to Trump.

I emailed him and asked him if he also contacted Cruz and Kasich delegates in Florida to urge them to vote for Rubio, and he said he did not.

I do take some issue with his letter. A vote for Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio is also a vote against Trump. Even if I was tempted to follow his advice, which I am not, it’s too late anyway, since I already voted early.

As long as Mr. Hoffman is not connected to the Kasich campaign or his supper-PAC, what he did was perfectly legal. What’s not known is if Mr. Hoffman is trying to help Kasich, or truly wants to stop Trump.

I agree completely with him that Trump would be a horrible choice as our nominee, but as a delegate for Rubio, I promised to support Rubio, so that’s what I will be doing. I presume the Cruz delegates and my fellow Rubio delegates feel the same way.

Puerto Ricans Speak Loud and Clear: Do Not Nominate Ted Cruz or Donald Trump

On Sunday, a crucial bloc of Hispanic voters had a chance to weigh in on the GOP Presidential Primary. They made a statement, loud and clear. In Puerto Rico, Marco Rubio won by a landslide. He took 71 percent of the vote. Donald Trump, the national frontrunner, received 13 percent while Ted Cruz only received a paltry 8 percent. The results of this race potentially has wide implications for not only the nomination battle but the general election as well.

The immediate result is that Mr. Rubio received all 23 of Puerto Rico’s delegates, which is the same amount that Mr. Cruz won in Maine the night before. In the race for the nomination, any increase in the delegate count helps. But more importantly, the result could help Mr. Rubio in his crucial (and tight) race to win his home state of Florida. Puerto Ricans are a large and growing voting bloc in Florida and they typically tend to follow the lead of voters on the island. With this blowout, Mr. Rubio’s path to victory in his home state may have just gotten a little easier.

But the results also show that Hispanic voters may not be enamored at all with either Mr. Trump or Mr. Cruz. It should be especially concerning for Mr. Cruz, as he was rejected soundly and unequivocally. Mr. Cruz could not even reach double digits in a territory that his campaign clearly expected to do better in. They had people on the ground for months. They were openly discussing the possibility of competing in Puerto Rico and the results showed that Mr. Cruz barely beat the collective vote of people no longer in the race.

That Mr. Cruz and Mr. Trump, the two men currently leading the national race, were beaten so soundly in Puerto Rico is a bad omen for the general election if either one is the nominee. It shows that Mr. Trump, who loves to brag that he will win the Hispanic vote, has in fact alienated these voters (as polling suggests) with what is seen as anti-Hispanic language and behavior.

For Mr. Cruz, it shows that he too has alienated a critical bloc of Hispanics with his rhetoric. The results in Puerto Rico are a wake up call and a reality check to any Cruz supporter who believes that he would be as competitive as Mr. Rubio among Latino voters.

The Republican Party must perform better among Hispanics in order to have any shot at winning the Presidency. Mitt Romney won only 27 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012, a disaster that was caused, in large part, by the same anti-immigration rhetoric currently used by Mr. Cruz and Mr. Trump.

In order to offset the losses among black voters and the constant decrease in white turnout, the GOP needs a minimum of 40 percent of Hispanic voters (some say it’s now as high as 47 percent) to win the White House. They are going to have a hard time doing that if they nominate either a man who refers to Mexicans as “rapists” or a man who refers to illegal immigrants as “undocumented Democrats”. Even though those issues pertain to specific subgroups, it sends an antagonistic message to all Hispanics, including Puerto Ricans, who are American citizens.

A Rubio volunteer who participated in Get Out the Vote efforts in Puerto Rico told me that the general attitude was that those voters were motivated to make a statement against Mr. Trump. A voter told her, “We are all here for Marco because we don’t like Trump”. The margin of victory was no accident. Puerto Rican voters are not impacted by immigration policy, so the fact that they were so passionately against both Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz should be a red flag to those concerned about winning the general election.

Regardless of how the Trump campaign tried to spin the results of the Nevada caucus, the truth is that the race in Puerto Rico was the first that Hispanics in large numbers let their voices be heard in the GOP primary. The results were clear. They wholeheartedly embraced Mr. Rubio and soundly rejected both Mr. Cruz and Mr. Trump. If either of the two leading candidates are nominated and lose the Hispanic vote by historic proportions, no one should be surprised. Puerto Rico tried to warn you.

Darvio Morrow is the CEO of FCB Entertainment, Inc and co-host of The Outlaws Radio Show on iHeartRadio.

Could John Kasich be removed from the Pennsylvania primary ballot?

Ohio Governor John Kasich faces the possibility of being removed from the primary ballot in his home state of Pennsylvania. In the days before the deadline, I heard rumors that his campaign may have fallen short of qualifying for the ballot. Those rumors appeared to be disproved when he was approved to appear on the ballot. However, there is now a legal challenge to the validity of hundreds of the signatures on his petitions.

Kasich’s campaign filed 2,184 signatures to appear on the ballot in the Keystone State. 2,000 signatures were required for the primary election to be held on April 26.

But Nathaniel Rome, a University of Pennsylvania student who supports Marco Rubio, claims that over 800 of the signatures are not valid and has filed a challenge.

Specifically, Rome claims that many of the signatures of Kasich’s electors do not match the signatures of their voter registration cards. Other electors, he says, are either not registered to vote, are not registered in the specified district or are not registered as Republicans. In several instances, the petition challenges illegible signatures or handwriting that appears to belong to third parties other than the stated elector.

As a result, Rome is asking the court to set aside Kasich’s nominating petition and remove him from the state’s April 26 primary ballot.

Rome would not have filed the challenge if he were not confident that at least 185 signatures were invalid or ineligible, Bravacos said.

There is a hearing scheduled for March 9th, where we will find out whether this is frivolous or legitimate.

The Kasich campaign is no stranger to ballot challenges. In 2014, Kasich and Ohio Republican Party associates spent half a million dollars to have Libertarian candidate Charlie Earl removed from the May primary ballot. Before Kasich’s Democratic opponent, Ed Fitzgerald, had a campaign meltdown, it was feared that Earl would siphon away voters from Kasich. The circulators for Earl’s petitions failed to disclose that they were being paid, and the petitions were thrown out, removing Earl from appearing on the ballot.

If indeed Kasich is found to have not qualified for the primary ballot, it would be an embarrassing episode to the campaign that has frequently boasted about its ground game, especially in the state right next to Ohio where the governor grew up.

According to Real Clear Politics, Pennsylvania is a winner-take-all state and a treasure trove of all 71 ballots are up for grabs. Assuming he is still on the ballot, Kasich has a real shot of winning the primary there. A recent poll shows him trailing Donald Trump by 7 points and Marco Rubio by 1 point.

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