Gov. John Kasich will be in Fairlawn this evening to speak at a GOP fundraiser, but you won’t read what he had to say in this newspaper.
Kasich’s talk at the Summit County Republican Party’s annual finance dinner will be closed to the media, and Kasich has declined interview requests the Beacon Journal has made.
Rob Nichols, Kasich’s spokesman, said if Kasich granted the Beacon Journal’s interview request, the same courtesy would have to be extended to other media across the state. He wasn’t persuaded by the argument that the governor wouldn’t have to give interviews to everyone just because he agreed to one.
Nichols said Kasich’s talk would be the “same speech he always gives” and would focus on jobs. He said there will be plenty of time in the future to discuss the most important issues in the governor’s re-election bid next year.
The Beacon Journal often has covered speakers at Summit County GOP events, including Rick Santorum speaking at the party’s Lincoln Day dinner last February. (Santorum, who was still in the running at that point to be the Republican presidential nominee, gave the newspaper an exclusive interview.)
Summit County party leaders said it was Kasich’s and his campaign’s decision to make today’s finance dinner closed to the media. The event will be at the Hilton Akron Fairlawn, with tickets going for $300 each. A cocktail reception will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner at 7 p.m.
The Beacon Journal requested an interview from Kasich through emails and phone calls to his spokesman and messages on Twitter.
“Akron wants to hear from you, governor,” read a reporter’s tweet sent about noon today.
Kasich didn’t respond to the tweet.
Nicholas Buis, who heads the campaign for Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, Kasich’s Democratic opponent in the 2014 election, did respond.
Asked whether FitzGerald would grant the Beacon Journal an interview if he held a fundraiser in the Akron area or make the event open to the press, he said, “Of course.”