Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Recently the Ohio Democratic Senate Caucus announced that a Youngstown area 29 year old lawyer and political novice has been selected to fill out the term of Congressman-elect John Boccieri for the 33rd District of the Ohio Senate.

In a news report concerning the pick, Maier's words indicate a party boss spurned and filled with the concomitant "furry" that goes with the well-known phrase adapted to this piece.

Anyone with an ounce of "realpolitik" knew the replacement would be from Mahoning County and that Maier's pick (Alliance Councilman Steve Okey had no chance at all).

Anyone but Stark County Democratic Party chair Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., that is.

Maier got bested by the obviously still powerful Harry Mestel of Youngstown.

The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) has heard Maier opine frequently about his continuing ties to Democrats in the Ohio General Assembly.

Well, Harry Mestel hasn't been there since 1993 (when he was in the Senate) whereas Maier was last there in early 2000. Apparently, Mestel has more of a voice in the Ohio General Assembly than Maier despite Maier being more proximately connected to Legislature.

Rather than accept "realpolitik" as he constantly preaches to one and all, Maier hurled insults at the Democrats currently serving in the Senate. Undoubtedly, this will endear Maier to Governor Ted Strickland who needs all the goodwill he can garner from legislative Democrats.

This is the way the Youngstown Vindicator described Maier's reaction:
... Stark Democratic Chairman Johnnie Maier had a lot to say.

Maier complained about the lack of communication he received from the caucus, saying he had to rely on a reporter from The Vindicator for information about the process.

The 11-member caucus, which will add Schiavoni as its 12th member Jan. 5, “disrespected” the Democratic parties in all four counties with the appointment.

“Nobody knows him; I’m sure they’ll have great success in getting him elected” in 2010, Maier said with sarcasm. “There’s only 12 of them for a reason.”

This the second of political humiliations suffered by Maier over the last two months.

First, there was the DeHoff debacle. Notwithstanding the support of the open pockets of the Ohio House Democratic Caucus and of leading Ohio Democrats Strickland, Glenn, Cordray and Brown; Maier was not able to engineer anything close to a victory in Ohio House District #50 for his political protege and loyalist Celeste DeHoff.

Now the Okey snub.

Maier had better pick his next challenge to be one he can win (he is usually good at picking straw men). Or, even his most loyal of the loyalists to his political leadership will have to start entertaining nagging doubts.

If they can look at the political reality of their chairman's failure, certainly DeHoff and Okey have to be wondering how much political wisdom/clout remains with the chairman.

Could the day be not that far away that no one who wants to win will seek the political advice and counsel of Stark County Democratic Party chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr? Is the Maier mystique vanishing?

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