Will Kasich be the Cuccinelli of 2014?

How is Terry MacAuliffe going to win the Virginia Governor race with less than 50% of the vote?  Because the Libertarian will suck just enough votes away from the Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli.  It’s no surprise that John Kasich and his team have just as many tea leaves as I have sitting in my underwear in my parent’s basement, and they are worried about their conservative wing.  Kasich won the big Tea Party year of 2010, the year that Ohio sent FIVE Democrat Congressmen packing, by only 80,000 votes which is just 2%.  He didn’t even get 50% because the Libertarian and Green parties pulled in 150,000 votes or about 4%.  Kasich and his team think they will LOSE in 2014 and are pulling the levers NOW to prevent that from happening.  As an example, the Ohio Republican Senate has passed a bill preventing third-party candidates from getting on the ballot next year – https://www.toledoblade.com/Politics/2013/10/09/Ohio-Senate-approves-minor-party-bill.html.

Now there is the power of incumbency, and Kasich will have the support of the loyal Republicans who supported him last year.  But Tea Party members are a bunch of rascals if ever there was one.  We don’t care about the agree-with-me-80%-of-the-time meme.  For us, there is a single litmus test.  Do you support an EXPANSION of government, or not?  There is little room for error on this, and Governor Kasich has unfortunately failed this test.

The two big items that have Tea Party members’ hair in a bun are Common Core and Medicaid Expansion.  Common Core is the national education plan that is being pushed by progressives on the left and on the right with possible 2016 candidate Jeb Bush leading the charge.  But Medicaid Expansion has been the biggest newsmaker in recent weeks, and (Spoiler Alert) the Governor recently received a congratulations phone call from Valerie Jarrett.  For a Republican, that’s called “doing it wrong.”

The Ohio Legislature decided against Medicaid Expansion after considering the pressure it received from those in favor and from those against.  Instead of taking “No” for an answer, Kasich went to the executive branch Controlling Board and got their permission to spend federal Obamacare money on Medicaid Expansion.  (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/21/ohio-medicaid-expansion_n_4138618.html)  Now this is a common tactic in Obama’s federal government and is probably illegal, so some legislative members have sued the Governor to prevent this money from being spent – http://www.wfmj.com/story/23764355/lawsuit-challenges-expansion-of-ohio-medicaid-program.  It is sad to see a Republican governor to go around the will of the legislature, but that’s exactly what he’s done!

This fight will go on for the rest of 2013 and certainly through some of 2014.  But I expect John Kasich will find a lonely summer and fall as he campaigns throughout Ohio.  A number of conservatives in Ohio will push hard for Republicans in the Ohio House and Senate as well as for members of the cabinet (all of whom are running for re-election), but they will not work for the Governor.  They may write in the name of Libertarian candidate Charlie Earl or they may not vote at all, but John Kasich CANNOT win without Tea Party support and he will find that out next year.

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