An Establishment Blog Sides With . . . the Establishment

Third Base Politics has a post up arguing that Dave Yost for Auditor of State is the best thing for Ohio. The rationale is that State Rep. Seth Morgan (R-Huber Heights) will have to build a statewide organization and raise money quickly, in 3BP’s opinion more quickly than he can. Meanwhile, Dave Yost already has a statewide organization that can raise money quickly — just not for the Attorney General’s race, because donors are too afraid of Kevin and Mike DeWine to donate to Yost for that race.

So 3BP is arguing that DeWine should run uncontested for Attorney General and Yost should run for Auditor of State. What about Seth Morgan? Well, he should just drop out. It’s not good for Ohio if we have a primary for this race right now, don’tchaknow?

My favorite part is when we’re told that this won’t really matter to 99% of Ohio voters:

Ultimately, Ohio Republicans shouldn’t get too worked up about how this process works itself out. Fortunately, about 1% of the electorate, and that’s an optimistic number, pays attention to the mess we make when building a good sausage. And unlike previous years, Ohio does have a solid slate of Republican and conservative candidates to choose from.

Several problems here. First of all, we’re not building a sausage here. Kevin DeWine is building the sausage. Let’s be clear on that. What the people want has now become completely irrelevant for DeWine and the Ohio Republican Party. As long as Mike DeWine gets his nomination for Attorney General, it’s all gravy. Otherwise Kev-Kev would be encouraging Mikey to drop out of the Attorney General’s race.

Second, it might be true that voters don’t pay attention to the internal drama in the process of building a good sausage. The problem with that statement is that when you insert Mike DeWine into the statewide ticket, you insert a giant portion of rotten meat into the very core of the sausage. Voters know Mike DeWine. 3BP argues that this is a problem for Dave Yost, that Mike DeWine is better known among voters than he is. I disagree. Voters know Mike DeWine and they don’t like him. Voters are going to care that Mikey’s cousin Kev-Kev manipulated the ticket to hand DeWine the nomination for Attorney General. Do you really think Rich Cordray won’t bring that up? DeWine will drag down the entire statewide ticket.

Ultimately, this post at 3BP rests on a number of questionable assumptions. The biggest of these assumptions is a pessimistic (I’m sure 3BP would say “realistic”) view of these races. 3BP assumes that Dave Yost cannot beat Mike DeWine, despite clear evidence to the contrary (his five county party endorsements to DeWine’s zero, for example). 3BP also assumes that Seth Morgan cannot build a statewide organization and raise money fast enough to be a strong candidate for Auditor. All of this ignores the current political climate, in which grassroots ordinary folks are willing to work hard and donate to authentically conservative candidates who are running against the establishment.

If we had applied 3BP’s pessimism to Massachusetts, Martha Coakley would be the senator-elect from Massachusetts right now. Think about that before you jump on 3BP’s pessimistic bandwagon. The idea that Dave Yost cannot beat establishment candidate Mike DeWine and that Seth Morgan can’t beat establishment candidate David Pepper are ludicrous in this political environment.

I also think that 3BP is underestimating the effect that Yost’s switch into the Auditor’s race will have on those who have been working for Dave Yost for Attorney General. This is not particularly surprising. 3BP has sided with the establishment here. In fact, 3BP is part of the establishment — “current/former campaign hacks, Hill staff, political appointees, lobbyists and think tank analysts.” An establishment blog like this can be forgiven for not understanding why people might be upset if Yost drops out of the Attorney General’s race and tries to run Seth Morgan, another candidate supported by the conservative grassroots, out of the race for Auditor of State.

But let me remind everyone exactly why folks might be upset. From my previous post on this drama:

While I’m at it, a stern warning to Mr. Yost: Don’t even think about it. According to your spokesman, you’re “very seriously considering” the Auditor’s race. Well, stop. I can tell you right now, Mr. Yost, I will still be casting my ballot for Seth Morgan in the Auditor primary. Sure, you’re qualified. But if you switch to the Auditor’s race now, you say three things about yourself. First, you say that you’re prepared to let a less qualified man run for Attorney General so that you can win what you perceive to be an easier primary. Second, you say that you don’t really care which statewide office you hold, as long as you hold one. And third, you say that you are the man who will hand Ohio voters Mike DeWine as the only Republican choice for Attorney General.

A guy who would switch to the Auditor’s race because it’s easier for him to win. A guy who doesn’t really care which statewide office he gets, as long as he gets one. A guy who will help Kevin DeWine shove Mike DeWine down our throats as the only Republican choice for Attorney General. If that’s the guy that Dave Yost turns out to be, then he’s not the candidate I thought he was, and he’s not a candidate I’m inclined to support. He needs to stay in the Attorney General’s race. I guarantee you that many of those who have been working for him in the race for Attorney General, who are enthusiastic about him now, feel the same. They will not be so enthusiastic if he switches to running for Auditor of State and forces Mike DeWine on us while simultaneously forcing Seth Morgan out.

But, like I said: Third Base Politics is an establishment blog, and its contributors can be forgiven if they don’t understand what’s going on in the grassroots. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you when enthusiasm for the statewide ticket collapses under the weight of Mike DeWine’s giant RINO rump and Dave Yost’s betrayal of the grassroots conservatives who have been working for him.

Call ORP Chairman Kevin DeWine today and let him know that you want him to stop meddling in the statewide ticket. Tell him you want Dave Yost for Attorney General and Seth Morgan for Auditor of State:

Ohio Republican Party
211 South Fifth Street
Columbus, OH  43215
(614) 228-2481

E-mail Dave Yost for Attorney General campaign manager Matt Borges and let him know that we want Yost to stay in the Attorney General’s race and out of the race for Auditor of State.

But most importantly…


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