Kasich allies offered a deal if he quit race
By Joe Hallett
March 9, 2012
chairman of the Portage County Republican Party says that allies of
Kasich offered him special influence over gubernatorial appointments if
agreed not to run for the state GOP central committee, which Kasich has
trying to take over.
Manning sent a notarized affidavit to state and federal law-enforcement
officers yesterday, asking them to investigate whether laws were broken
alleged effort to get him to drop out of the committee race.
provided a copy of the sworn statement to The Dispatch and said in an
that he felt uncomfortable with what he perceived as the offer of a
quo and “relentless” pressure from friends of Kasich.
opinion, I felt it was unethical and it crossed the line, but I don’t
about it being against the law,” said Manning, who has been on the
central committee, the state party’s governing body, since 2008.
who said he didn’t “see a reason why (Kevin) DeWine should be kicked
chairman,” noted that in 2010 he “worked very hard to see John Kasich
He said he
mailed the affidavit to the FBI in Cleveland and Cincinnati, the
attorneys of Franklin, Summit and Portage counties, and to the Ohio
not be anything there, but it’s worth them looking into,” said Manning,
that he has talked with other central committee members who are “under
a lot of
pressure” from Kasich associates.
Nichols, the governor’s spokesman, said Kasich would never permit
anyone to do
what Manning alleges in his name.
be how it used to be done or how other folks do it, but it’s not how
governor works,” Nichols said.
his allies mounted an all-out campaign to wrest control of the Ohio
Party and oust its chairman, Kevin DeWine, in Tuesday’s primary
Kasich fielded a slate of central committee candidates in his attempt
at least 34 of his loyalists on the committee, the number needed to
DeWine, whose current two-year term expires in January.
against DeWine has caused a civil war in the state party, resulting in
of thousands of dollars being spent in the central committee races.
his lieutenant governor, Mary Taylor, made robocalls on behalf of their
have declared victory, but the true result won’t be known until April,
Kasich’s allies are expected to force a vote on DeWine by the newly
said the outcome of his race for re-election to the committee from the
Senate District against challenger Jamie Callender, a former state
representative from Lake County, was undetermined yesterday and might
recount. The committee is composed of a man and a woman from each of
state’s 33 Senate districts.
affidavit, Manning said he met on Feb. 4 at the Portage Country Club in
with Bryan Williams, a Kasich appointee to the Ohio Board of Education,
Summit County GOP Chairman Alex Arshinkoff to discuss his candidacy.
of the meeting, Manning said, “was to get me to withdraw as a candidate
it was perceived by ... Kasich and his advisers that I was supporting”
agreed to withdraw as a candidate, they told me I would be designated
‘Governor’s Guy’ in Portage County and that I would be given influence
Gov. Kasich appoints to Kent State University boards and other state
appointments as they come open.
meeting,” Manning added in the affidavit, “I felt somewhat
have always tried to conduct myself ethically, and this did not sit
told The Dispatch that he thought Williams and Arshinkoff “were acting
representatives” of Kasich and that he perceived them to be offering a
quo “to be able to have a lot of say in who is appointed to boards and
overt,” he said, “but this is pretty much how I understood it: If I was
be a candidate, then I would get the governor’s support and help.”
did not return a phone message, and Arshinkoff declined to comment
had a chance to read the affidavit.
said he also received “relentless” pressure from two former governor’s
employees, Ben Kaiser and David Luketic. Kaiser joined the Capitol
lobbying firm owned by Robert F. Klaffky and Douglas J. Preisse, key
to Kasich. Luketic also is working on the dump-DeWine campaign,
at the Klaffky-Preisse firm.
didn’t return a phone call, but Kaiser said he could remember two phone
conversations with Manning.
point did I ever threaten him or anyone in this process,” Kaiser said.
just trying to find out where people are and what’s going on so I have
picture.” He said the notion that any representative of the governor
inducements “is crazy.”
swirled for weeks about threats, inducements and intimidation in the
committee battle. Pro-DeWine allies previously steered The Dispatch to
Simpson, a central committee candidate from southwestern Ohio, alleging
had been offered a quid pro quo by Kaiser and Luketic. But Simpson
saying “they were very cordial and professional and mostly wanted to
I did for a living.”
refused to comment beyond saying, “I’m fully focused on uniting this
defeat Barack Obama in the fall.”
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