Kasich and his supporters defended their harsh tactics to take control of the Ohio Republican Party by claiming that the existing leadership was corrupt and needed to be removed. But as we are quickly finding out, Kasich seems to have even lower standards for who he puts in control of the party now that his people are calling the shots.
As we reported recently, the FBI is investigating Kasich and his allies for the tactics they used to take over the ORP.
The complaint that triggered the investigation was filed by Andrew Manning, a fellow Republican who was told by Kasich’s representatives he needed to withdraw as a candidate for the central committee race to allow a Kasich supporter to take the seat. If he followed orders, he was told he’d be “designated as the ‘Governor’s Guy’ in Portage County” and he “would be given influence.” Manning claims he was under ” ‘relentless’ pressure from two former governor’s office employees, Ben Kaiser and David Luketic.”
Luketic has moved up quickly as part of Team Kasich, switching jobs regularly while making more and more money for hands-on, often dirty political work.
Dave starting worked for Kasich’s campaign in July 2010, making $2,480.45 a month, and continued to be paid a similar salary after the campaign through the transition fund. He was hired on at the Governor’s office earning $55K/year, but soon left to work for Building a Better Ohio, the group organized to defend SB5 against repeal, where he was paid $26,766.00 as a consultant for three and a half months’ work.
According to the Dispatch, Luketic then went to work for the “oust DeWine” effort organized by Kasich and his allies where he helped Doug Preisse et al intimidate and promise Kasich’s way into control of the Ohio Republican Party. It’s unclear who was paying him during this time, but we’ve heard it might have been Restoring Ohio, the shady organization Kasich used to run ads in support of his central committee candidates.
But back to the important part of the story: Luketic was one of the key figures named in the complaint that sparked the FBI investigation into Kasich and his allies. You want to take a guess where he just got hired?
The Ohio Republican Party, of course!
According to Joe Vardon of the Dispatch, Luketic was hired last week as the new Political Director for the ORP, adding to already questionable cadre of characters put in place after the Kasich coup.
After slashing and burning their way into control of the ORP, supposedly to rid it of corruption, Kasich’s people have hired Matt Borges as Executive Director, a guy who plead guilty to political corruption charges, and Dave Luketic, one of the individuals specifically named in the complaint that initiated the Kasich-focused FBI investigation.
Jeez guys, who’s next?