Report: Kasich Met with Billionaire GOP Donor

Dems accuse governor of courting special interests; POLITICO speculates on 2016

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click to enlarge Ohio Gov. John Kasich
Ohio Gov. John Kasich

UPDATE 12/5/12: In a video posted by the Ohio Capitol Blog, Gov. Kasich responds to reporters' questions about the meeting: " He’s a big Republican activist, so I went over to talk to him. I talk to lots of people.," Kasich said. He said topics of conversation included the planned Ohio Statehouse Holocaust Memorial, but not donations for 2014 or 2016. "Hey, I wuld like everybody to help me, but I didn't get into, 'Hey, I need this from you.'"

A political news organization is reporting that Ohio Gov. John Kasich last month met with a Las Vegas casino billionaire who regularly donates millions to Republican candidates and causes.

POLITICO says Kasich met privately with billionaire Sheldon Adelson at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino during last month’s Republican Governors Association winter meeting. A call to Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols to confirm the meeting and inquire as to what was discussed was not immediately returned.

POLITICO, which often deals in political gossip, postulates that Kasich could run for president in 2016. The newspaper reports that Adelson also met with Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Bob McDonnell of Virginia — also rumored 2016 GOP candidates.

Adelson and his family have donated $84 million to Republican groups. Those donations include $20 million each to super PACs supporting Romney and Gingrich.

“After shadowy outside groups spent more than $40 million to support Josh Mandel’s losing campaign for Senate, Governor Kasich is actively positioning to be the next Ohio darling of the special interests,” Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Jerid Kurtz said in an emailed statement.

“Ohio voters should be deeply disturbed that over two years away from his re-election campaign, Kasich is already showing signs he’s willing to serve the special interests and take the same path as Josh Mandel.”

Adelson is under federal investigation by the Justice Department for allegations of bribery and money laundering. A majority of his casino empire is based in Asia.

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