GOP man says Libertarian challenge not Kasich’s plan


COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Republican who spearheaded a challenge that bumped a Libertarian gubernatorial
candidate from Wood County off Ohio’s November ballot testified Monday to extensive communications with
Gov. John Kasich’s re-election campaign ahead of the protest, but he rejected suggestions Kasich’s
campaign orchestrated the effort.
Terry Casey, a former elections official turned GOP consultant, testified in federal court that he
discussed his petition challenge against Libertarian Charlie Earl, of rural Bowling Green, with top
Kasich campaign advisers and exchanged many emails and calls with them seeking assistance with research,
paperwork and what he called “mechanics.”
Casey said he acted by himself to mount the challenge to Earl’s petitions, however — driven by evidence
he uncovered that a lawyer and consultant connected to Democrats had helped Earl onto the ballot.
“It just stuck in my mind as a little un-American,” he testified before U.S. District Court Judge Michael
Watson. “I mean, Democrats being for Democrats, Republicans being for Republicans, is normal. But one
party having two candidates on the ballot didn’t seem to be right.”
The Libertarian Party of Ohio is suing to have Earl and Libertarian attorney general candidate Steven
Linnabary restored to the Nov. 4 ballot. On Monday, Watson gave each side a day and a half to present
its case.
Libertarians allege Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted’s decision to disqualify Earl and Linnabary
is unconstitutional because it was based on partisan reasons. Husted has said politics did not play a
role in his decision.
Court filings in the case show Casey was in frequent communication with Matt Damschroder, Husted’s
director of elections, around the time of Earl’s disqualification.
Mark Kafantaris, an attorney for the Libertarians, noted that Casey occasionally was blind carbon-copying
Damschroder on emails addressed to Kasich campaign operatives about the Earl challenge, and the two
exchanged 20 text messages during Earl’s disqualification hearing. The attorney said that on a couple of
occasions, Damschroder visited Casey’s home.
Casey said that he and Damschroder have been friends for 15 years and that he was asking for public
information, such as the date a hearing had been scheduled.
Kafantaris noted that Kasich campaign staffer Dave Luketic addressed on email to “the team” and included
Casey in the group, and in another email Casey described his research on Earl’s petitions as “a
high-priority project for the governor’s folks.” Casey said it was an overstatement.
With the estimated legal bill for the Earl challenge exceeding $250,000 so far, Kafantaris questioned
whether Casey’s interest in the case was on par with that of a single individual — or whether the donors
he plans to seek to help pay the legal bills might have an interest in getting Earl off the ballot.
Casey reiterated the challenge was his idea alone: “I’m kind of a self-starter,” he said. He said his
primary purpose in mounting the challenge to Earl was to embarrass the Democrats who helped get him on
the ballot.

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