Monday, August 11, 2008


This episode's issue raised by Larry Dordea's website:


In his face-to-face interview with the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report); something Dordea refuses to do even though he complains that The Report comments on his positions without knowing him, Swanson responded to the Dordea charge this way.

Swanson asserts he works on-the-job and not as a politician a full week's work without fail (double full week's work 60% of the time). The sheriff did tick off a series of activities that he says more than takes up a normal work week: taking citizens calls, handling complaints, checking on deputies activities out on road patrol, working on grant applications, coordinating with law enforcement agencies throughout Stark County, monitoring centralized 9-1-1, promoting the 800 radio system, working on budgeting issues and on and on goes the list.

No one would tell the sheriff he is not entitled to take a vacation. But The Report raises this question. Are there any circumstances under which the sheriff breaks off a vacation and returns to duty?

Readers will recall that Swanson was on vacation when the Jesse Marie Davis (Bobby Cutts) matter was dominating local headlines. Shouldn't the sheriff have broken off the vacation and returned to Stark County to take charge of the investigation?

Swanson responds by saying he has a very capable staff headed by Chief Deputy Rick Perez (brother of Stark County auditor Kim Perez) who was more than up to handing the matter. In fact, Swanson says - even if he had been in town during the Davis/Cutts event; Perez would have been the man-in-charge anyway.

The question: Does Swanson's absence during the most major criminal case in Stark County in recent times give credibility to opponent Larry Dordea's charge that Swanson is not committed to being sheriff on a full-time, daily basis?


Larry Dordea said...

Mr. Olson,

I am very surprised that you would bring up Tim Swanson's absence during the Jesse Marie Davis/Bobby Cutts investigation. His absence in this instance was inexcusable.

You have been more than kind to Tim in this thread and one must wonder if it is due to his donating to your most recent bid for public office. Even in this blog you simply indicate that this "matter was dominating local headlines". Mr. Olson, this was major national news, for an extended period of time. The front parking lot at the Sheriff's Office was home to major media for days and yet you choose to label this a "local matter". We elect a sheriff to represent us not to make excuses. This is a prime example were he chose self over service. He failed us and his office by not returning immediately.

If I thought that you could be fair and honest in your analysis of this race I would have been happy to sit down and discuss any issues or concerns that you or your readers may have.

Unfortunately, you have shown a bias and inconstancy toward my opponent which leaves me to doubt your objectivity on this matter.

I do want to thank you for reviewing my web site,, I hope you and your readers visit it often.

Martin Olson said...

Thank you Larry Dordea for leaving your comment.

I renew my challenge that you do an interview with The Report "on camera" and I assure you that you will have your say "unfiltered" edited for size/length of time of a particular episode (readers, for the most part, will not stay with a long video or written piece)

Moreover, if a candidate talks about matter irrelevant to the campaign, I will edit that material out.

I do have an opinion on candidates based on their public statements, actions and my personal contact with them and am not shy about publishing my assessment. And, if you decide to do an interview with The Report, I will assess your answers.

The readers of The Report can decide for themselves if my observations are merited.

Perhaps "once I get to know you," I will have a more favorable opinion of you. On the other hand, it could be that you will confirm my suspicions that you are afraid to get out into the public square of voter scrutiny.

Quite frankly, right now I see you as being holed of in the protective enclave of a self-serving website and only appearing in safe public venues. It goes without saying that candidates are biased in favor of themselves and are self-protective. Everyone expects that. Even so, I do troll candidates websites for material to use on my blog. But on the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT, the self-serving statements do get examined: Republican, Democrat, independent, political friend, political foe, et cetera.

As you note, I have criticized Swanson for not returning to Stark County to oversee the Davis/Cutts matter. For people "who know me," no surprises here.

Additionally, I have criticized him on his retire/rehire plan and noted that Democrats get upset with him because he is known to support Republicans (Betty Montgomery and Kirk Schuring to mention two).

Let me try your line on you (i.e. "once you get to know me").

Undoubtedly I have had contributions and support from Swanson and other area Democrats inasmuch as I have run for public office as a Democrat. However, anyone who "knows" me, knows that I critique one and all. People like me are essential to keeping our democracy vibrant.

Just look at all the Democrats I have criticized on my blog. Take Todd Bosley. I think highly of him. But I have criticized him. He takes the criticism with maturity and grace.

Dan Fonte former president of the Local 94 Pipefitters told me one time: "Martin you are an equal opportunity basher" after I criticized Governor Strickland in a letter to the editor in the an Akron Beacon Journal. Though I reject the word basher, I do ask incisive questions and I do point out unresponsive, evasive, silly and non-answers.

Political criticism is the life's blood of the political health of America's democracy.

Whether or not you decide to do an interview, The Report views this campaign as of utmost importance to Stark Countians and both you and Swanson will be subject to intense scrutiny.

And by the way, Mr. Dordea, thanks for reading the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL BLOG. Send all your friends and supporters over and let them comment on your behalf.

As long as they stay away from personal attacks, they will get published whether or not The Report agrees with their "take" on the issues and the candidates.

Again, thanks for commenting.

When can we set up that interview?


Erica Simonsen said...

"n the other hand, it could be that you will confirm my suspicions that you are afraid to get out into the public square of voter scrutiny"

I would like to point out to you Mr. Olson that Mr Larry Dordea is the one putting himself out into "public square of voter scrutiny" by marching in as many parades as he can and approaching people. I have NEVER seen Tim Swanson out in ANY parade- he sends his deputy to stand in his place. You would think with this being an election year where he actually has a challenger that he would at least go to parades to show the people in his community that he supports each town within in Stark County- not just Canton.