A top Tea Party leader directed harsh words toward a conservative blog after it reported about a possible challenge to Gov. John Kasich in the Republican primary. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow has the story.
It started with an article posted Monday afternoon. ThirdBasePolitics.com, a right-leaning blog, was reporting that two Tea Party Republicans were trying to get on the ballot to challenge Gov. John Kasich in the primary.
Tom Zawistowski, president of the We The People Convention, slammed the article and said people around Ohio will now try to dig up dirt that will hurt the two Tea Party activists trying to pose a challenge.
“The people who run that blog are paid by the Republican Party, Kasich Administration or one of their crony capitalist flunkies to work full-time to destroy anyone that says anything about the governor," Zawistowski said. They are thugs. Okay? And they don’t represent the people. And they don’t represent American values.”
Nick Mascari wrote the article on Third Base Politics. He stands by his report and adamantly denies receiving any assistance from the Ohio Republican Party or the Kasich Administration.
“I don’t know where Mr. Zawistowski got his information, but we make absolutely no money off the blog," Mascari said. "We don’t even host advertisements and we’re certainly not paid by anybody. So those are absolutely false accusations.”
Mascari believes Zawistowski’s comments may also be connected to another article by Third Base Politics about two weeks ago. The blog reported that another possible Tea Party contender -- who eventually dropped out -- had a running mate with unpaid taxes.
“You know, we didn’t call anybody any names or attack them," Mascari said. "If he wants to call simple reporting 'thuggery' that’s -- that’s his prerogative.”
Zawistowski did say that two Tea Party members—Donald Allen of Youngstown and Kelly Kohls of Warren County—were in the process of collecting signatures in an effort to appear on the primary ballot.