Suddenly, seemingly out of the blue, two of the last holdovers of the failed Bob Taft era of state governance (1999-2007) will soon be gone, the result of conservative voters taking control of their government in the March 6 primary election.
First, as COASTers know and have celebrated, Jean Schmidt was unceremoniously hoisted on her petard in her crushing six point defeat at the hands of Lt. Col. Dr. Brad Wenstrup in the Second Congressional District of Ohio. Ultimately, Schmidt was dispatched for a series of sins, starting with her multiple votes in slavish obedience to the Taft/Householder agenda while she served in the Ohio legislature. Her pedigree as a Taftie was firmly embedded in her during these years. Those instincts manifested themselves in vote after vote in Congress, all in lockstep conformity with the spend-and-borrow ways of the Republican House under Speaker John Boehner.
Second, Governor John Kasich courageously challenged Kevin DeWine's leadership of the Ohio GOP through elections for the members of the Republican State Central Committee. DeWine sits as a proxy for Ohio Secretary of State, John Husted. Both Husted and DeWine were also loyal votes for the Taft agenda of higher taxes and spending in the legislature, Husted as Speaker of the House and DeWine as his lieutenant.
Well, it has taken a few weeks for the results of that election to sink in. We knew conclusively that DeWine was in trouble when he announced this week that he would not stand for election in 2013 as Party Chairman. But that was not enough for the principled insurgents, and today, the GOP Chairman of Ohio's seven largest counties wrote to DeWine asking for his immediate resignation.
Yes, the walls are closing in quickly on the remaining Tafties. As of January, Schmidt and DeWine will be gone, and hopefully Husted will soon be following them.
After the damage they have done to Ohio, it won't be soon enough for COAST.