Right on cue, as if reading from a script, Ohio Republican Party Executive Director Jason Mauk whined on Twitter about how establishment Republicans are tacking fire during a Primary and how that violates Reagan's 11th Commandment.
So-called moderate and liberal Republicans always cite Reagan's 11th when they are being beaten with the facts. In this case, Mauk and friends are being accused of engineering a situation where conservatives while have to square off against conservatives while clearing the field for nepotism in another race.
Reagan never intended to stifle debate on who the better candidate is in a primary. Reagan himself had challenged many of his fellow Republicans along the road to greatness. The purpose behind the 11th Commandment is to discourage smearing a fellow Republican. It isn't a smear if it is true. It also isn't a smear if the candidate in question ran a race one way and then takes the easy way out.
Dave Yost has nobody but himself to blame for the arrows being slung his way. He's the one who went around the state telling everybody that he was a prosecutor, not a politician. So, he really shouldn't be too surprised to be held accountable when reveals himself to care more about party politics than the principles by which he espoused.
The DeWine Family also shouldn't be complaining. If Kevin DeWine can't take the heat, he ought to get out of the kitchen. Mike DeWine couldn't win without Kevin's meddling in both of these races. Those are the facts. Party bigwigs and fat cat donors (read "lawyers") ought to be ashamed of themselves for putting up with the threats of pay-to-play action. That Mike DeWine had to resort to that tired Bennett-era tactic ought to tell the electorate all they need to know about the Republican's candidate for Attorney General.
John Kasich and Mary Taylor have their own roles in this fiasco. Kasich keeps talking about taking the politics out of everything BUT the party and Mary Taylor's exit from the Auditor's race is the catalyst for this whole misadventure.
Lastly, the rank and file -- myself included -- should have done more to support Dave Yost for Attorney General when it became apparent that the establishment abandoned principle in order to rescue a 60-40 loser to Sherrod Brown. With the news of Yost winning endorsement after endorsement -- including from two county parties who suspended they bylaws to do so -- one could understand why the rank and file had no idea that the Yost for AG campaign was in any trouble. But the truth is that insufficient fundraising -- due in part to the DeWine Family's strongarm tactics -- is what ultimately killed the run. It is in that vein, that I encourage readers NOT to donate to Yost for Auditor, let the DeWine Family foot that bill since they caused this particular mess.
These aren't smears. This is how I see it. And if you shot these people up with truth serum and sat them down at a polygraph this is the story that would emerge. My sources have been right throughout this entire episode and yet I had the Communications Director of the ORP tell me that I needed to vet my sources because the story was "not accurate." Who's violating Reagan's 11th Commandment? The Ohio Republican Party is...