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Redfern seeks email exchange between Ohio and Florida governors

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Ohio Democratic Party chairman Chris Redfern, shown here at an event last year in Toledo, requested today documents to find out whether there was inappropriate political coordination between the governors of Florida and Ohio to help the Mitt Romney campaign for president.

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Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern requested documents today to find out whether there was inappropriate political coordination between the governors of Florida and Ohio to help the Mitt Romney campaign for president.

The broad records request seeks copies of all communication between Gov. John Kasich’s office and the Mitt Romney campaign.

It comes after a Florida newspaper reported an email conversation between the press secretaries of the Republican governors of Florida and Ohio on how they plan to respond to the ruling expected this week from the U.S. Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the national health care law.

Mr. Redfern contends the emails between the two offices are for political purposes, to help the presumptive Republican nominee, Mr. Romney, at the expense of Ohio taxpayers.

On Friday, the Miami Herald newspaper published the text of an email from Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s press secretary, Lane Wright, to Mr. Kasich’s press secretary, Rob Nichols, on the ruling, expected to be announced Thursday.

In his letter to Governor Kasich’s legal office, Mr. Redfern said he asked for the documentation “to better understand the level of involvement he has allowed Mitt Romney and other partisans to hold in the Ohio Governor’s office. It is my hope that in the interest of dispelling the appearance of these improprieties, he will satisfy this request quickly.”

Ohio is one of 25 states that joined Florida’s lawsuit seeking to strike down the health care law’s mandate that all individuals obtain health insurance.

In his email to Mr. Nichols, Mr. Wright said that if the court overturns the health care law, Governor Scott will focus on the cost of the health care law and a lost opportunity to recover from the recession. It says that President Obama “wasted resources, time, and energy trying to implement a massive social program that injected nothing but uncertainty and doubt” and “squandered any chance of fixing our economy.”

The email alludes to an earlier conversation between Mr. Wright and Mr. Nichols on the upcoming Obamacare ruling, but doesn’t indicate what Mr. Nichols said in the early discussion.

Last week, it was reported that Mr. Romney’s presidential campaign asked the Florida governor to tone down his statements heralding improvements in Florida’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama. Governor Kasich is wrestling with a similar dilemma because of the state’s promising economic numbers at a time when Mr. Romney is trying to make the case that Mr. Obama bungled the recovery.

Mr. Nichols labeled the public information request “typical silly politics from Chris Redfern” that “come[s] close to admitting what everyone else already knows — that Obamacare is very problematic for Ohio and poses $27 billion in additional Medicaid costs to our state over the next six years.”

“He also seems to have forgotten that Ohio is a plaintiff in the lawsuit seeking to overturn Obamacare. Had he remembered, he would have understood our interest in following the court proceedings and our anticipation of the court’s decision on Thursday,” Mr. Nichols said.

Contact Tom Troy at: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419-724-6058.

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