Thursday, April 30, 2009
WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT? HAROLD WITHDRAWS FROM RUN AGAINST ZEIGLER; NOW HE'S PILING ON?
UPDATE: 05/01/2009 at 5:30 PM
Interesting enough, Stark County Treasurer office staff attorney Lem Green responded lickety-split on Alan Harold's letter regarding the use of potentially misleading language by Harold.
If Frustaci is charged and is convicted in connection the theft of funds from the Stark County treasury, Treasurer Gary Zeigler is NOT required to resign as some may infer from Harold's declaration that Zeigler "must" resign.
Yours truly has the advantage of being an attorney and therefore always took Harold's use of the word "must" to mean "should;" not that the law required resignation if the conditions materialize.
This is an appropriate occasion to take a dig at Repository editorial page editor Gayle Beck. Ms. Beck scrutinizes some letter to the editor writers very closely and refuses to publish their pieces for the most arbitrary and asinine reasons or at least delay the publication until the writer knuckles under to her editorial demands.
In any event, Lem Green did the right thing in writing to make up for Editor Beck's failure and help Alan Harold get to the correct word usage.
Original article follows
Leading Stark County Republican Alan Harold had a letter to the editor published (Treasurer must resign if chief deputy is charged, convicted) in The Repository yesterday castigating current Stark County treasurer Gary Zeigler for his handling of the operations of the county treasury and for his failure to adequately supervise former chief deputy Vince Frustaci.
Although the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report/SCPR) agrees with Harold's assessment and his prescription, The Report is less than impressed with Harold for bailing out of running against Zeigler in 2008, when (according to both Republican and Democrat sources) pressure was brought to bear by his employer (Huntington Bank) for him to withdraw.
The Report asked Harold direct whether or not the sources are correct. He declined to answer saying that he and his employer have a confidentiality agreement prohibiting him from discussing the substance of their discussions with third parties.
Harold seems to be an impressive person who could be the type of individual that the Stark GOP needs to bring along if it is to bring competitive politics back to Stark County.
But is he?
There is the Republican-activist Alan Harold who appeared at a John Boccieri campaign event on July 1, 2008 as one among a group of Stark Republicans sent to politically harass Boccieri.
And then there is the Huntington Bank VP Alan Harold who can't withstand pressure to get out of the treasurer's race.
Republicans offer the excuse that Harold was the victim of Democrat incumbent treasurer Gary Zeigler putting pressure on Huntington through then Ohio treasurer Richard Cordray (Democrat) to ask Harold to stand aside. A key Stark Democrat elected official tells The Report that Zeigler substantiates the Republican account.
One can empathize with Harold, if indeed Huntington was putting on pressure on. It is understandable that he would yield. Most people would.
However, in The Report's book, doing so disqualifies him from running for public office when he will end up as the person in charge.
When one holds political office, pressure comes fast and furious from many different interest groups and persons. It is essential that the officeholder be able to stand his/her ground on behalf of the public interest. The Report doubts that Harold could handle the pressure.
Harold demonstrates that he stand across the street and yell at a Democrat candidate with political sign in hand. And he can write pointed letters like the one under discussion in this blog.
On the other hand, it is also clear to the SCPR that Harold cannot handle the "heat in the - political - kitchen."