With permission from the author, Robert Bodi, President of the Westlake Republicans club, we are posting this email exchange between he and Nicole Kostura, Northeast Ohio Regional Liaison for Governor John Kasich. In his letter, Mr. Bodi, who once “had high hopes for the Kasich administration” and was a “very vocal supporter of [Kasich’s] reelection” expresses his extreme discontent with Governor Kasich’s recent “outrageous power grab” to bypass the legislature and expand Medicaid via the Controlling Board. Mr. Bodi boldly states “[Kasich] is also a threat to the very democratic institutions we hold dear” and courageously calls out Kasich on his lies “to the people by implying that this move was done in concert with the state legislature”, a move that he would expect from the left, but “not a Republican governor of the state of Ohio.”
Mr. Bodi, we sincerely thank you for putting words into print what so many of us have thought about the Governor’s disrespect and Obama-like treatment of our system of governance.
Oct 23, 2013, at 12:19 PM, “Robert F. Bodi” wrote
You can tell the governor that he just lost a very vocal supporter of his reelection. For months now, I have been defending the Governor amongst staunch conservatives, who have argued that any vote is better than a vote for Kasich, as he has not shown himself to be a true conservative. I have argued in response that Kasich is certainly more conservative than his opponents in the governor’s race, and hence deserves our vote, and that a vote against him will only hurt the conservative cause.
But I will no longer make such arguments. By taking a legally suspect move to make policy without the consent of the legislature, Kasich has shown that he is willing to use executive power in ways that are clearly not appropriate. This is no longer an issue of Medicaid expansion, but has become one of a fundamental issue of state governance. The Governor had his chance to make his case to the Ohio Assembly, and he should have been a gracious loser in that debate. Instead, he has usurped the authority of the legislature to commit Ohio to a program that he was not able to convince the people’s elected representatives was worthy of their support. Like Obama, the governor has apparently decided that the ends justify the means, and he has set a precedent that does not bode well for conservatives in this state. As a lawyer, I am particularly sensitive to the legal ramifications of the Governor’s action. This is nothing more than a blatant power grab, with the state executive improperly bypassing the rightful realm of the state legislature. Not only can I not support such a move, but I will oppose it with every breath in my body.
Hence, in addition to no longer arguing on the Governor’s behalf, I will now be arguing to those who will listen that this outrageous power grab by Ohio’s chief executive is a threat to our state and its democratic institutions, and I will consider supporting any conservative challenger to the Governor who condemns this action as executive overreach. If no such challenger arises, I may not vote at all for the office of governor. This is no longer a matter of conservative vs. non-conservative ideas or candidates. This has become a matter of using improper means to obtain one’s policy goals; it has become an issue of the improper use of executive power. Like a petulant child, the Governor has shown that he will stop at nothing to impose his will on the state and on the people, and hence it is time to oppose him on fundamental grounds of traditional democratic values.
It pains me to have to write these words, because as a conservative I had high hopes for the Kasich administration. But in one likely illegal act, the Governor has shown us all that he is not only a threat to the conservative cause, but that he is also a threat to the very democratic institutions we hold dear, regardless of our political views. That I cannot, in good conscience, ignore, and I will not. The Governor has even stooped so low as to lie to the people by implying that this move was done in concert with the state legislature, when in actuality it goes against their express desire as reflected by their actual votes. I expect the left to lie in order to get their way, not a Republican governor of the state of Ohio.
I am sure that it was not his intent, but it is likely that Governor Kasich has now ensured that the conservative turnout for his reelection will not only follow the path of Mitt Romney, but more so. Conservatives like myself who hold democratic ideals dear will not be able to support the Governor in this next election. He has ignored, in fact he has pushed away, his most vocal and motivated base in this state, and the consequences for his reelection will be drastic. Even if reelected, he has lost his most vocal supporters, and only the left will be heard in universal opposition. One does not wage a battle by turning on one’s natural allies. By one desperate and illegitimate act, the Governor has tarnished his name, his reputation, and his administration. And that is a real shame. We all expected more from him. I know that I certainly did.
-Robert F. Bodi, President
From: Kostura, Nicole
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 4:06 PM
To: Robert F. Bodi
Subject: Re: Medicaid Expansion & Ohio Controlling Board
Thank you for taking time to share your heartfelt thoughts about a matter that Governor Kasich appreciates is of great concern to many Ohioans, including those who sincerely disagree with him in this instance. The governor has taken this course because he believes it is in the best interest of our state and all its citizens. He has been guided as well by his deep commitment to building on the very real progress Ohio been making to rein in the costs of Medicaid and make it more efficient and effective for Ohio taxpayers. We very much respect your differing opinion on this issue and understand that you may not always agree with every action and decision the governor and his administration may take over time. Hopefully, we will make you proud as Ohio continues to get back on track.
From: Robert F. Bodi
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 4:26 PM
To: Kostura, Nicole
Subject: RE: Medicaid Expansion & Ohio Controlling Board
I appreciate your response, but I must reiterate: the ends do not justify the means. The Governor has taken an approach to impose his policy that is clearly at odds with the Ohio Constitution, and also at odds with the legislative intent and judicial interpretation of the legislation authorizing the Controlling Board. This is not even a close call. Even with respect to policies that I strongly advocate, I would not support this means of achieving them. We have a constitutional republic for a reason, and there is absolutely no excuse for acting outside of the bounds of the law.
Please make it clear to the Governor that there are many of his (unfortunately former) supporters who believe that extra-constitutional action is clearly not in the best interests of Ohio or its citizens, regardless of his motivation. Good intentions cannot make up for the illegitimate means utilized for achieving them. In my opinion the Governor has violated his oath of office: to uphold the laws of the state of Ohio. And his misrepresentation that this was done in conjunction with the state Assembly just confirms that he has lost his moral compass, as that statement is just not true. I am forced in good conscience to withdraw my support from any leader who acts in such a manner.