Friday, November 14, 2008


The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) has been saying for some time that there is no way for John Hagan (or any other Republican) to win countywide, IF the Democrat running runs even a marginally credible campaign.

Peter Ferguson is not the most skilled politician in Stark County. But he ran enough of a campaign to beat John Hagan, who is a well-known politician, and whom Ferguson never should have been able to defeat based on that factor alone.

It did help Ferguson that Hagan is probably the "laziest" politician in Stark County. He got so used to running in the gerrymandered Republican 50th House District that he adopted the same "ho-hum" posture running countywide. Ferguson (probably because of his political inexperience) ran only a slightly more energized campaign than Hagan - and yet he won.

Todd Bosley won over household Stark County Republican name Richard REGULA for county commissioner because Bosley hugely out hustled Richard (another lazy Republican). Initially, The Report did not think Bosley could win. But he did and he won because he worked the county as outlined by Robert Wang in the November 13th Repository in an article describing Obama's victory in Stark County on November 4th, to wit:

Obama won by wide margins in urban areas such as Canton, Massillon and Alliance, with the help of strong support from black voters. In Canton Wards 2, 4 and 6, which have significant number of blacks on the city's east side, Obama captured roughly 80 percent to 90 percent of the vote. Black voters in Alliance Ward 2 and Massillon Ward 4 apparently boosted Obama's percentages to about 70 percent.

Obama, who won 70 of 71 Canton precincts, also kept Perry Township, Canton Township, Pike Township and Sandy Township in the Democratic column.
The Report writes this article as yet another wake up call to the leadership of the Stark County Republican Party. If Chairman Jeff Matthews and his fellows (where is Sarah Brown when you need her?) don't get their act together soon, no realistic Republican will want to run in Stark countywide. The consequence? Stark Countians will be the loser for it.

How's that? Because "political competition" is the primary means to keeping local governance open, transparent, honest, energetic and accountable.

It has be proven many times over that one-party-rule becomes abusive and corrupt over time (Republican or Democrat). While one party can be dominant and not slip in to arrogance and disregard of the public interest, it cannot be permitted to become automatic. Just look at Cuyahoga County these days and the state of Ohio pre-Strickland.

To you Republicans out there, go to Matthews and insist on forming a task force to develop a plan to (borrowing a Ted Strickland expression) "turnaround Stark County" into Republicans being competitive countywide.

Yes, Republican can and do win locally (school boards, townships, villages, et cetera better than Democrats). But not countywide. On January 1, 2009 there will be no non-judicial countywide Republican officeholders. Not good for Republicans but, more importantly, not good for day-in, day-out Stark Countians.

Is The Report correct? Is the Stark County Republican Party on life support in fielding and winning countywide candidates? Are the Matthews et al of the Stark County Republican Party responsible?

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