Sunday, December 28, 2008


Ohio's 50th District has gotten the shaft in terms of quality of representation going back to the days when it was Ohio's 56th District and the days of now Stark County Democratic Party chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. and Republican and Canton South Basketball Coach Red Ash.

Maybe just maybe newly elected Republican Todd Snitchler will prove to be a marked improvement over all his predecessors.

The standard for Snitchler is not very high.

Ash was a popular figure because of his on-court success as a coach. But he did not leave a mark in a positive, signifcant sense as a state representative.

Maier is nothing more than a political operative who wouldn't know how to identify and promote a "productive for the people" substantive policy initiative if it hit him square in the face. As if his own limitations as a legislator wasn't enough, Maier tried to inflict Tuscarawas Township trustee Celeste DeHoff on the 50th. The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) believes that, had she been elected, Democrat DeHoff would have challenged the vacating Republican John Hagan as a literal "bottom of the barrel" variety of politician in terms of being in the thrall of others (highly partisan politicians like Maier, Matthews, Budoff, Batchelder, Harris and Cafaro) and not a tough, independent minded elected official looking to do good for the people he/she represents.

The Report has not exactly been overflowing about the prospect of having Snitchler. But The Report sees promise in this new legislator.

Snitchler has vulnerabilities:

As new representative he will be "learning the ropes" and MAY become enthralled by an experienced politico, let's say a Scott Oelslager. Oelslager is one of those politicos who loves to be helpful. Even to a Democrat (e.g. William Healy - when he represented the 52nd House District). And this is nice of him. But Scott is essentially a "go along to get along" politician that doesn't have the leadership fortitude to press forward with innovative programs and policies that will pull Stark/Ohio out of the economic nightmare we are now in.

Another trap for Snitchler is his symbiotic relationship with the chamber of commerce movement. The Report keeps reminding Stark Countians that the Ohio Chamber of Commerce (OCOC) has been the main "economic policy" adviser for the Ohio Republican Party as it controlled Ohio government over most of the past 20 years, some of it in supermajority control - to what end? Ohio is one the most desperate cases of economic depression in the entire nation. So you rely on a failed organization (the OCOC) as a source to undo its own past misjudgments?

So The Report will be looking at Snitchler to see whether or not he is his own person who demonstrates that he has a first-rate mind coupled with political courage (like a Stark County Commissioner Todd Bosley) to do what is effective to solving the 50th's, Stark County's and Ohio's problems in addition to making meaningful progress towards meeting his self-defined goals as set forth below - notwithstanding that he is a minority party representative.

In a article on his swearing-in, The Repository provides a pithy quote on Snitchler's communication to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), to wit:
“We are in an economy where Ohio families are struggling to make ends meet, and where Stark County has been among the hardest hit,” said Snitchler. “A request for this large of a rate increase by an already profitable company, particularly for a basic need like electricity, is out of step with good corporate citizenship. It also would likely make Stark County less attractive to existing and future employers.”
An equally important part of The Rep's piece are the three standards of success or failure that Snitchler sets for himself (much like Governor Strickland set for himself on the issue of fixing public education or "he will be a failed governor") at his swearing-in:
When Snitchler takes office, his plans include pushing [FIRST] for creation of a more business-friendly climate in the state to attract new jobs, as well as [SECOND] a comprehensive review of the state's school funding formula and [THIRD] working to help Ohioans find more affordable health care.
Snitchler has an opportunity to be the best area legislator since the days that former Ohio Senate president Oliver Ocasek to serve in the Ohio General Assembly. What was Ocacek's forte and contribution to the future well-being of Ohio: yes, education!

For the sake of Stark County and, indeed, all of Ohio we all should be pulling for Snitchler.

The Report will be here to analyze, question and evaluate each step-of-the-way.

Congratulations Representative Snitchler, here's wishing you well!


Anonymous said...

God help us all in 2009!

Anonymous said...

I think we need to give Snitchler a chance to prove himself. At least he has not screwed up a township like Celeste DeHoff has. She could have been the worst selection for State Representative on record. Even worse than John "the plummer" Hagan. Tuscarawas Township will have the opportunity to vote "NO" on DeHoff again in 2009 IF she decides to run for reelection.