John Kasich

Pioneer PAC
Oct. 31, 1998
March 10, 1999
March 10, 1999 Senior Internet Strategist - Mark Kvamme Chairman of the board of directors of USWeb/CKS, one of the largest internet professional services companies.

John Kasich. Nov. 1998. COURAGE IS CONTAGIOUS: Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things to Change the Face of America. New York: Doubleday Books. 
"...John Kasich profiles twenty people who are doing incredible things to help and inspire others, a celebration of individuals he's met whom he considers his 'heroes.'  Far more than a compilation of isolated acts of bravery and compassion, Kasich...sees the actions evidence by the people in his book as part of a larger, steadily growing crusade that is changing America.  He calls it the 'New Volunteerism...'"

Strengths:  Appeal to younger voters.  Position against corporate welfare could play well.  Will be able to start the presidential campaign with $1.5 million transferred from 1998 re-election campaign. 

Weaknesses: Little known nationally.  Has very limited experience outside of politics; is essentially a career politician.  The House of Representatives has historically not been a good starting point for a presidential bid; last to succeed was James Garfield, also from Ohio, in 1880.  Perception that Kasich is really aiming for the vice presidential slot.  Boyish persona may not be right for the times; after enduring adolescent behavior of Clinton, voters may put maturity at the top of their lists.


Aug. 7                    Speaks at 1999 Republican Midwest Leadership Conference in Omaha, NE.
Planned before withdrawal:  July 25-31 Iowa--RAGBRAI Bicycle Race; Aug. 13-14 Iowa Straw Poll, Ames, IA; Aug. 23-26 NH.
July 25                   NH.  "Thank You" reception at the Kimball-Jenkins Estate on No. Main in Concord.
July 17-18             Iowa.  "Thank You" tour, accompanied by Hall of Fame pitcher and Iowan Bob Feller.  July 17 Coffee hosted by the Hardin County Central Committee at Ellsworth College in Iowa Falls; coffee hosted by the Franklin County Central Committee in Hampton; reception at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Humboldt; reception/fundraiser for the Story County Central Committee at Indian Creek Country Club in Nevada.  July 18 Coffee hosted by Dick and Carolyn Koberg at their home in Carroll; picnic/BBQ hosted by Rick and Janet Young at their home in Jewell.
July 14                   Kasich announces he is ending his presidential quest and will not seek re-election to Congress in 2000.  Texas Gov. George W. Bush joins Kasich in a Washington press conference and receives the congressman's endorsement.
July 11                   Reports from Reuters "Kasich Mulls Dropping White House Bid-Sources" and AP "Kasich Campaign Uncertain"
June 30                  Kasich holds House Budget Committee Hearing on corporate welfare, highlighting such programs as the Advanced Technology Program, the Power Marketing Administration and OPIC.
June 9                    Kasich announces Social Security plan at the National Press Club.
Feb. 15-19             "Explor-a-Tour"
NH--Feb. 15 Main Street walk in Milford including haircut at Joe's Barbershop, speech to Merrimack Federation of Republican Women.  Feb. 16 Door to door with citizens in Merrimack, lunch with state legislators in Concord; town hall meeting at St. Anselm's College in Goffstown.  Feb. 17 (no public events)
Iowa--Feb. 18 Meet with citizens at local diner in Fort Dodge, Main Street walk in Fort Dodge, speech to Kiwanis/Exchange Club in Mason City; town hall meeting with pitcher Bob Feller in Des Moines.  Feb. 19 Main Street walk in Muscatine, Iowans for Tax Relief meeting, lunch with business leaders; Black Alliance meeting in Waterloo.
Feb. 15                   Formally announces formation of exploratory committee at his annual President's Day breakfast in Columbus, attended by about 1,200 people.  After an airport send-off rally, commences a four-day trip to New Hampshire and Iowa, dubbed "Explor-a-Tour."
Feb. 3                     Introduces legislation, H.R. 3, that would cut individual income tax rates by 10% across the board.
Jan. 20                   National Press Club speech.
Jan. 13                   Files with Ohio Secretary of State to establish presidential exploratory committee, Kasich 2000.  Gillespie "message of shipping power, money, and influence out of Washington" has been resonating.

Nov. 4                    The day after the election begins book tour at Cheryl & Co. in Columbus, OH.  In the month following the election he visits 14 cities in 10 states promoting the book, including NYC, other cities in Ohio, LA, Phoenix, and Atlanta.
June 5                    House passes budget resolution in a 216-204 vote.  A number of provisions were dropped to obtain support; the plan still calls for $101 billion in spending cuts over five years and elimination of the marriage penalty.
June 12-13            Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Republican Party of Iowa's First in the Nation Gala and State Convention.
early June              Pioneer PAC Web site launches.

May 20                  Kasich's budget plan, with its $101 billion in new spending cuts and reductions in taxes over five years, passes the House Budget Committee in a 22-16 party-line vote.  Three-quarters of the cuts are in the last three years of the plan.
May 14                  Responding to concerns of his Republican colleagues Kasich has reduced the amount of new spending cuts in his budget plan to $100 billion over five years and withdrawn a list of specific spending cuts.
April 29                  After months of work, Kasich presents to the House Republican Conference an ambitious budget plan calling for $154 billion in new domestic spending cuts over five years.  Among its many items, Kasich's plan would eliminate the Commerce and Energy Departments and President Clinton's AmeriCorps program, cut entitlements, and cut taxes by eliminating the marriage penalty.  However, there is a sense among a fair number of Republicans that the cuts are not politically realistic or acceptable; it is likely the plan will be modified.  [The budget resolution, which sets the broad outlines for federal spending and taxes for the upcoming fiscal year (beginning Oct. 1, 1998), was supposed to have been completed on April 15 so that the appropriations committees could get to work on the 13 annual spending bills].

April 8                   Karen Johnson starts as executive director of Kasich's Pioneer PAC.

April 4-8                Iowa.  "Back in Black" tour during the congressional recess.  (The Iowa state budget has been in a surplus--in the black--since Republicans took over in 1992 and the federal budget will be soon.)  April 4 speaks at reception before the Abe Lincoln Dinner-A Tribute to Gov. Terry Branstad in Des Moines.  April 5 Fundraiser for state rep. Dave Millage in Davenport.  April 6  Cedar Rapids: news conference at Cedar Rapids Public Library.  Waterloo, radio, evening fundraiser for MikeLannigan, challenger for the state senate seat in Waterloo.  April 7  Des Moines: press conference at the State Capitol Building, appearance on WHO.  Ankeny: fundraiser for Carmen Boal, challenger for state rep. seat.  To Omaha/Council Bluffs, big fundraiser for House majority leader Brent Seigrist in Council Bluffs and news conference.  On KKAR -AM.  To Sioux City.  April 8  On KSCJ-AM.  News conference at the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce.  To Dennison, a  fundraiser for Clarence Hoffman, running for state rep.  To Carroll, fundraiser Rod Roberts, state rep candidate.
April 1                    By a vote of 337-80 the House passes the 6-year, $217 billion transportation bill, the Building Efficient Surface Transportation and Equity Act, H.R. 2400.  Kasich, troubled that the bill put the 1997 balanced budget agreement at risk, had emerged as the bill's most outspoken critic, describing it as a "hog" and an "abomination."  His transportation turnback amendment, which would have returned control of transportation dollars to the states, failed in a 318-98 vote.  Under Kasich's proposal, most of the 18.4-cent-per-gallon federal gas tax would have been phased out by FY 2002 and the states would then be free to set a tax according their particular needs.
Feb. 16-20             NH.  Feb. 16 Merrimack Federation of Republican Women dinner at Madden's Restaurant.  Feb. 17 Meeting with state party people in Concord; briefing in Congressman Sununu's office on education issues; student forum at St. Anselm's College in Goffstown; town meeting with Sununu in Plaistow.  Feb. 18 Editorial board meeting with Concord Monitor; Madden's Restaurant in Derry; tour Sanders-Lockheed plant in Nashua; meet with the mayor of Nashua; Nashua and Manchester City Committee Lincoln Day Dinner, Center of NH, Manchester.  Feb. 19 Featured guest at fundraising breakfast for Cong. Sununu; press interviews; student forum at University of New Hampshire in Durham.  Feb. 20 Press interviews; New Hampshire Conservative Political Victory Fund, Manchester.
Jan. 29                   In his speech to CPAC, Kasich spoke of the need to "break up the monopolies and trusts of the federal government," listing education, welfare, health care and public housing.  After the speech,  when he was doing meet-and-greet photos in  the hallway and the possibility of a presidential bid came up, he urged supporters to write him and let him know.  Giving a hint of his inclinations, Kasich remarked of his travels, specifically going to New Hampshire, "I'm not up there for the maple syrup."
What happens when two potential candidates run into each other, as Lamar Alexander and Kasich did in the hotel lobby at CPAC?  They size each other up.  "Been getting around?" Kasich asked.  Alexander recounted a recent flight that had experienced technical difficulties and said he always flies with two pilots.

1997 Overview
Kasich was the chief negotiator for House Republicans in reaching an agreement with President Clinton to balance the budget by 2002, and he spent considerable time selling the agreement.  [The deal had its share of detractors: Quayle August 22: "Under this budget agreement the Government is going to get bigger."  Forbes September 13: "a patchwork of small victories, purchased by violating great principles."]  Kasich could appeal to younger voters but is seen by some as too effervescent.

Sept. 12                 Addresses the Christian Coalition's annual conference, Road to Victory '97 in Atlanta.
May 17                  Iowa: Lincoln Day Dinner at the Polk County Convention Center.
May 2                    After months of negotiations over the size and form of cuts in domestic programs, cuts in taxes, and growth in Medicare spending, President Clinton and the Republican leadership reach an agreement to balance the budget in 5 years.  Kasich and Sen. Pete Domenici led the Republican negotiating team.  For the next several months, Kasich speaks out in support of the budget plan in all manner of venues from Sunday newsmaker programs to letters to the editor.  The House approved the plan in a 346-85 vote on July 30.
April 4-5                NH.  Hillsborough County Lincoln Day dinner and a town hall meeting in Bedford.
March 24              Marries Karen Waldbillig, a hospital communications director from Columbus.

Non-connected sites:
Oct. 31, 1998   Greg Trangmoe, a Ph.D. student in  electrical engineering at the University of Arizona (Tucson), established a Kasich Web site and e-mail list in September 1997.  The site evolved from a top-ten reasons page he had put up in September 1996.  "I saw Kasich on 'Meet the Press' and liked what he said so I started looking into his background.  Needless to say I was impressed.  His heart and enthusiasm to make a better government brought me out of political apathy.  I think he could do the same thing for the rest of the country."  By the first part of 1998 the site had grown to the extent that Trangmoe filed with the FEC to form a committee so he could "use any proceeds for keeping the site active and getting materials to volunteers around the country."  He wrote, "Forming a PAC will allow the web site to sell t-shirts, bumper stickers, etc. and pass any proceeds on to local volunteer groups who would like to spread the Kasich message."   On May 1 Trangmoe announced the committee would be called Caring about America 2000 (CA2K).  He wrote that CA2K is "a union of volunteers acting locally to bring about John Kasich's vision of America in 2000."  Trangmoe set out the primary goals of the committee as: "1. Build name and message recognition for John Kasich as a Presidential candidate in 2000; and 2. Build a national citizen base to support the Kasich legislative agenda and a Presidential campaign."    Greg Kinzelman established a Kasich Web site that was running by April 1998 under the moniker Frontier 2000 Pioneers Committee--not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Copyright © Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action