Friday, March 6, 2009


There are lots of questions the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) has about Canton Mayor William J. Healy, II's mayoralty run campaign finance report.

The overriding question is this: Why are there so many out-of-town contributors to the Healy campaign for mayor of the city of Canton, Ohio?

The Report asked Healy administration Communications Director Adam Herman merely one question on a particular contributor to Healy's campaign. Herman responded that he only spoke for the Mayor as mayor. However, he promised to pass on the campaign related question to Healy's campaign finance people (The Report had already called the campaign's treasurer but the phone call remains unresponded to) and that yours truly should expect an answer shortly.

On February 26th, The Report advised Herman via e-mail that the campaign folks had not responded to the question and asked for follow-up.

Herman has not responded to the 26th's e-mail.

The Report believes that Mayor Healy has told Herman and his campaign finance folks "not to talk with Martin Olson." We all know about previously issued gag orders which are still in place that he has imposed on his staff and departmental administrators.

Healy does not act like a small letter "d" democrat. But he does act like the Mayors father-Daly and son-Daly of Chicagoland. Kind of like "a law unto himself."

Healy knows he can finesse the folks who staff The Repository's Editorial Board. On the flip side, he knows that he will get asked penetrating questions by The Report. If Healy can't manage something, he gets rid of it or avoids it.

When Healy was state representative (52nd), he had to do campaign finance reports. But there is one VERY importance difference. Local candidates are not required for contributions of $100 or more the title/job of the contributor nor who the contributor works for.

How so? Here is the answer provided by the Ohio secretary of state's office:
Pursuant to ORC 3517.10(B)(4)(b)(ii) ONLY a statewide candidate or candidate for the office of member of the general assembly is required to provide the employer/occupation of any contribution received over $100.00. (emphasis added)
Mind you, Healy on his state rep reports filled in the "employer/occupation" of Form 31A.

In running for mayor of Canton, Healy has been getting contributions from all over the United States (e.g. Las Vegas, Cleveland, Columbus, Maumee, Akron et cetera) and questions have been posed by scrutinizing local media as to whether or not there is any connection between the contributions and the contracts entered into at the Mayor's behest.

One might expect Healy from his state representative days to go ahead and fill in the "employer/occupation" part of Form 31A. How naive. Politicians rarely go beyond the law. Healy is no exception. The Report projects that Healy (though not a lawyer) in figuring all the loopholes that the law provides.

Obviously, Healy et al are avoiding The Report because as one gets into his campaign fiance report, the list of questions about particular contributors has grown by volumes.

Where the questions have been asked, the "employer/occupation" information has largely been dug out by folks like yours truly.

Because of the failure of the Healy folks to be forthcoming, The Report has asked state Senator Kirk Schuring to work on changing the law to include local offices in the $100 and higher "employer/occupation" requirement. Schuring has agreed to pursue the change.

Such a change will only snare in the high-rollers like Healy. Most city council, board of education, village council and trustee do not get may $100+ contributions. For those that do, it is a simple step to gather and report that information.

One thing that Mayor Healy can bank on is this. The Report will doggedly pursue the identity of his contributors in terms of their financial interests and examine city of Canton contracts to determine whether or not any of these contributors have ended up with contracts (other than the one we already know about). If so, then The Report will press the Mayor to tell the public how the contracts came to be and the justification therefor.

It is in the interest of good government that there be transparency and openness. It appears to The Report that such is not what Cantonians are getting out of the Healy administration.

Readers can depend on The Report to pursue the Healy money trail like there is no tomorrow. So can Mayor William J. Healy, II - himself!

1 comment:


Thanks Mr. Olson!!

There's a skunk in the woodpile, for sure.

Please keep digging.