Despite having zero chance at accumulating enough delegates to legitimately contend for the GOP nomination, Ohio Governor John Kasich continues on with his crusade. Kasich remains the establishment’s ace in the hole for rigging July’s Republican Party convention in his home state and isn’t going away. He also has the ability to mobilize the National Guard if needed to combat Trump supporters who may not take the coming screw job well and may justifiably riot. Without a way to win, the key for Kasich is to remain relevant by staying in the media which will be easy given the institutional loathing of Trump and his supporters. So Kasich is now whining over Trump’s ability to use the media to his advantage.
Kasich made his claims on NBC’s
Press the Meat Meet the Press on Sunday morning and according to the website Politiifact “John Kasich calls out Donald Trump’s ‘$1.8 billion worth of free media’”:
Part of the reason billionaire Donald Trump is enjoying such a lead in the GOP presidential primary is because he hasn’t had to pay much to get his message on the airwaves, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said.
Kasich told Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press that with a less-crowded field, voters are starting to hear his message and platform. But he said Trump had the market cornered on media coverage without spending a dime.
“Guess what? In the grassroots, people are getting it,” Kasich said in a pre-taped interview for the March 20, 2016, show. “Now, they didn’t get it because, frankly you put me on the tube a lot, but Trump got, you know, $1.8 billion worth of free media. I got, like, none. Okay?”
We know it feels like it’s all Trump, all the time on TV (and in print and on the radio and the Internet) these days. But could it possibly be that Trump has gotten billions in equivalent media coverage and Kasich has gotten almost none? Let’s go to the tape!
The Ohioan joins others now departed in carping about Trump’s uncanny ability to dominate the news cycle and not paying a nickel for it. It has completely neutered the dark money super PACS and big donors in the era of Citizen’s United which never accounted for a charismatic outsider with his own money entering the race for the White House. Kashich’s insistence on staying in the race would appear to be a fool’s errand or indicative of a man with a messianic complex – it is mathematically impossible that he can get enough delegates to wrest the nomination from Trump but he also serves as a drain on Cruz. It’s only when pondering the really cynical game that the RNC-Wall Street-Chamber of Commerce axis of avarice is playing does his continued presence make sense.
Politico Magazine ran an interesting piece on an arcane procedure that would make Kasich even more relevant come July in the article “How John Kasich Could End Up Picking the Next President”:
There’s a legally sound scenario in which John Kasich could single-handedly pick the next U.S. president.
And it’s all thanks to a federal law that’s been on the books since 1887.
It’s a far-fetched outcome, to be sure, but here’s how that could happen—and why Congress should consider revising that 130-year-old law.
It starts with a serious ballot dispute in November, something like the contested results in Florida during the 2000 election—the odds of which aren’t trivial. Setting aside the very real prospect of a Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump nail-biter, the risk of a recount and related litigation is higher than it was in the past, thanks to a greater number of absentee and provisional ballots, which often get counted after Election Day.
In this situation, the Supreme Court could step in to resolve the dispute. But the odds of that happening have probably decreased due to the vociferous criticism of the Bush v. Gore decision. Not to mention that in the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, there could still be only eight sitting justices in November; that also makes it more likely the court will stay out of the matter this time.
Under the Constitution’s Twelfth Amendment, the fight would then fall to Congress—which entirely lacks adequate procedures to decide a presidential election. In fact, the process for settling election disputes is so messy and uncertain that even experts disagree about how it’s supposed to work.
What Congress does have is that tangled 809-word statute passed in 1887 as part of the Electoral Count Act. The statute is intended to resolve disputes when a single state submits two different Electoral College vote counts—for instance, if there’s a contested county and its votes are enough to swing the state—and the Senate and House then split over which of the two counts to accept. With language so convoluted it was deemed “unintelligible” by the nation’s leading political scientist at the time of enactment, the law leaves debatable exactly what’s supposed to happen in this situation. Passed as a stopgap measure, it has never been replaced with a clearer or more executable plan.
A key provision of the act says that if the House and Senate are split, the governor of the state in dispute becomes the tiebreaker.
The Politico piece for all intents and purposes looks like a trial balloon but rest assured that armies of consultants, lawyers and even sitting Republican congressional leaders are plotting furiously to deny Trump the nomination and later the presidency. Kasich figures heavily into the plans because there is no other reason that he is still in the race when many with better numbers than he has ever had have already dropped out.