Thursday, January 5, 2017

Kasich's Bill Comes Due

Understand that Trump and his administration are motivated by greed and petty revenge, and as we get closer to his inauguration, you're going to start seeing those in the GOP who dared to oppose Trump start to pay a higher and higher price for doing so.  Ohio GOP Gov. John Kasich is definitely on the top of that list.

On Friday, President-elect Donald Trump and Gov. John Kasich will face off in their latest proxy battle for the hearts and minds of Ohio Republicans – and the president-elect himself on Thursday entered the fray.

Trump supporter Jane Timken, a Cincinnati native and Walnut Hills High School graduate, is challenging Kasich-backed incumbent Matt Borges for the Ohio Republican Party's top spot.

On Thursday, Trump himself called at least two Southwest Ohioans who have a vote in the race for chairperson, pushing for Timken's election, according to a person close to the situation. Kasich has also made personal calls.

Kasich and his supporters installed Borges as chairman in 2013 after they deposed former leader Kevin DeWine and replaced much of the party's governing body with supporters. But some Republicans, including Trump, aren't thrilled with Borges' tepid support of the president-elect – or with the opposition Trump experienced this fall from Kasich.

Why would a president-elect care about a state GOP chair?  Just to piss off Kasich, of course.

Even before Trump started making phone calls on her behalf, Timken had Trump's support to challenge Borges. "I spoke with President-elect Trump and he agrees that it is time for a leadership change at the ORP," she wrote in an email to the Ohio Republican Party's 66 central committee members.

Kasich is backing Borges. "He has done an outstanding job running a complex organization and has an unparalleled record of winning," the governor said in a statement.

Trump and Kasich waged a war of words throughout the GOP primary campaign, when both were presidential hopefuls, and into November. In July, Trump's then-campaign manager Paul Manafort bashed Kasich before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Kasich later refused to endorse Trump or even vote for him.

Borges largely stood by Kasich, speaking out against Trump's policies and demeanor before ultimately backing him in the general election. Many Republicans thought Borges should have kept his mouth shut.

The Trump-Kasich fight continues with this latest round, the battle for control of the Ohio Republican Party. If the state's top Republican is out of step with the nation's top Republican, where will the state party stand?

And they'll have to tread carefully.  Maybe it'll make an opening for Ohio Dems.  Maybe.  We'll see.

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