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Kasich campaign to be billed $40K for Ohio Union event

Gov. John Kasich announces the kickoff of his presidential campaign to a packed crowd of supporters July 21 at the Ohio Union at Ohio State. Photo by Robert Scarpinito / Copy Chief

Gov. John Kasich announces the kickoff of his presidential campaign to a packed crowd of supporters July 21 at the Ohio Union at Ohio State. Photo by Robert Scarpinito / Copy Chief

Ohio Gov. John Kasich seems willing to put his money where his mouth is after racking up a sizeable bill renting space at the Ohio Union of his alma mater to announce his run for president.

Ohio State has submitted an invoice to Kasich for America for the governor’s use of the Union from July 18 to July 21.

The campaign group will be charged $40,415, minus a returned security deposit of $5,726, bringing the grand total for his announcement to $36,259. This grand total includes a service charge and sales tax. OSU expects to return the deposit in full.

The invoice charges cover a myriad of details ranging from stage linens to Coca-Cola.

OSU is charging Kasich for America $4,200 for use of the Great Hall, the central space of the Union, for four days, according to the invoice.

David Isaacs, a spokesman for the Office of Student Life, said he believes Kasich’s announcement on July 21 was, in terms of logistics, the largest event held at the Union.

“We were pleased to be able to host such a large event that generated worldwide media attention,” he said. “It helped showcase the Ohio Union as truly a world-class facility.”

Kasich was invoiced $1,050 for July 18, $1,660 for July 19 and $14,171 for July 20.

For July 21, university catering costs totaled $6,466, reservation of the Great Hall Meeting Room is listed at $1,050, a press filing room at $2,500, Woody’s Tavern at $1,000 and 720 single exit parking vouchers are listed at $4,860.

Labor charges invoiced for all four days totaled $11,665, with $9,065 of those costs devoted solely to OSU security.

“By all accounts, the event was a success and the client seemed pleased with our operation,” Isaacs said.

Involved in the coordination of that operation was Hali Buck, assistant director of event services at the Ohio Union, who said the planning process for the event began in mid-June.

“Certainly, this was a historical event and a unique opportunity, and we always welcome those chances and the opportunity to facilitate those types of events,” she said.

She added the Kasich campaign worked closely with Ohio Union Event Services to help the event come together.

“We want to make sure that each client feels like they’re well taken care of, and that they have a successful event experience,” she said. “At the end of the day, that’s our objective, regardless of the size and the scale.”

The Union hosts about 22,000 events annually, Buck said.

Robert Rusbuldt, co-chairman of the Washington steering committee for Kasich, told The Lantern during the July 21 event that Kasich’s reason to announce his run for the White House at OSU was as simple as just two words: “alma mater.”

“He’s a graduate of Ohio State. His heart is here, it always will be here,” he said. “He considers this home, and he is very proud of this institution.”

The announcement to run for president adds Kasich to a group of 17 Republican nominees vying for their party’s nomination for the 2016 presidential election.

A call for comment was not immediately returned by Kasich spokesman Chris Schrimpf.

Kasich was tied with Senator Ted Cruz for eighth place in a Quinnipiac University Poll of national GOP candidates published on Thursday. Donald Trump leads the pack, polling at 20 percent, followed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 13 percent and candidate Jeb Bush at 10 percent.

Kasich will need to make the top 10 in an average of top national polls by Tuesday to qualify for the main debate of the Republican presidential primary on Thursday in Cleveland.



  1. Might be a good idea to do some fact checking here. That’s great that you got ahold of the invoice from the Union, but you completely forget about the costs to do a live television production, all the A/V equipment, in addition to the Colunbus Policd presence and having to shut down a whole lane of High St for two days.

    Also, largest event in the Union? Really? Because I’m pretty sure your students do a little thing called BuckeyeThon every year that’s a lot larger in size, scope, and attendance.

  2. There is a typo in the title. K is not a number.

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