Tuesday, May 5, 2009
WHEN A PARTY DOMINATES; POLITICAL MATURITY IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL
UPDATE: MAY 07, 2009 - COMMENT BY MEGAN TADARO - MAIER OPPONENT IN 2005 MASSILLON CLERK OF COURTS RACE
Landing upon this article, I realized my 2005 candidacy was mentioned to highlight the ridiculousness within Stark County politics. The year I ran I remember quite well the stronghold an individual like Johnny Maier has on Stark County’s political process. I had to remind myself I live in a Democratic society who values competition and I wasn’t a horrible person for exercising my political freedom and rights.
Through the years, I haven’t seen any productive results under the Maier regime. With an overall unemployment rate of 10.7% (as of March 2009) it is hard to see the “good” a one-sided political power has on a community. I realize the citizens of Stark County really believe the political talk spewed by Democrats. When a desperate community hears words like, “will work for the working class and poor”, “understands the needs of the community”, “will help find jobs”, oh and the best “all of this is Bush’s fault”. It makes me laugh to think a “Party for the Poor” can be led by a man who makes 90,000 plus annually in a community with an average salary of 28,000. How does one represent “the people” if he is so disconnected from their needs? Don’t get me wrong, I am a proud supporter of capitalism. Live and work where you want. Create the American Dream as you can. But when you choose political dominance over the communities’ well being, you should be utterly ashamed.
Would Johnny Maier ever cross political lines and work with others? Absolutely not. Why work with others? The importance is not community growth and development. The real importance is power. As I think about it I become rather sad. At first I became angry. I mean, seeing your community crumble, while its’ politicians are only concerned with maintaining their seat and devising a plan to keep moving up the political office ladder causes much frustration. However, I realized early on anger doesn’t solve anything. Now I just find myself sadden that the people are most affected when politicians are only concerned with playing their childish political games.
Following the 2005 election I returned to higher education to obtain my MA in political science and I am currently finishing my J.D at the University of Akron. I have found myself between a rock and a hard place. Do I stay within my community, attempt to serve its’ citizenry, and give back to my hometown, or do I chalk it all up as a loss and move on to other areas of the County where progression and economic stability are more important rather than what my title is and who I work for. I teach my students everyday that they should remain in the community, give back, help its’ progression, but sometimes I wonder if my words are fruitless. How can I preach these things when I know deep down nothing will ever change unless the citizens finally stand up for themselves and demand change! As long as Stark County will continue voting the same old same old into office the community’s best and brightest will continue moving away. If the community thinks that hope and change is going to come with an Obama Presidency, they are so mistaken. Real change will only come when the citizens stand up and demand local change!
Original article follows
As yours truly was driving home from voting early this morning, a report came up on NPR. It was about President Barack Obama and his thought on the real possibility that the U.S. Senate will come under filibuster proof Democratic control.
The question? Wouldn't getting 60 Democratic U.S. Senators make it easier for Obama to get his programs and policies through the Congress.
His response? "I am under no illusions that 60 votes will give me a rubber stamp Senate. There are Democrats in the Senate who disagree with me and that is the way it should be."
The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report/SCPR) agrees with Obama: "that is the way it should be."
But don't count on Stark County Democratic Party chair Johnnie A. Maier, Jr to be chiming in on that statement.
Stark Democrats dominate more countywide than national Democrats do in Washington. But the de facto head of nationwide Democrats (Obama) is a lot more tolerant, evening engaging of dissent from majority control than the de jure head of the Stark County Democratic Party.
Since Stark County has an utterly decimated Stark County Republican Party (and the attendant missing political competition as a check on the Democrats), it is essential that local Democratic leaders and officeholders consider the public interest over and above the party interests and even above their personal political ambitions and interests.
Obama should be their political model, not Maier.
Obama came away untainted from the Chicago political machine and the Blagojevich political scandal because he navigated through those waters to the Illinois legislature, the U.S. legislature and the presidency with an arms length distance.
Stark County Democratic Chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. is a disciple of former Ohio House Democratic bossman Vern Riffe. When Rife was Ohio Speaker of the House, hewas clearly my way or the highway type of guy. That's what Maier learned from Rife; that's how he runs the local Democratic Party which, in turn, suffuses into Stark County governmental units the leaders of which are Maier loyalists.
Obama had to fight his way through the political thicket to get to the presidency. We all remember how no one gave him a chance in the beginning. Hillary Clinton was the heir apparent to the nomination. It was the Clinton people who took the low road in the campaign; not Obama's. Yet Obama brought Hillary into his administration as secretary of state.
Maier bristled at the audacity of Republican Megan Todaro running against him in the 2005 Massillon Municipal Court clerk of courts race. Even when he trounced her 69% to 31% he could be heard fuming about the temerity of Todaro to take him on.
Just for the sake of discussion, let's assume that Todaro a la Clinton had some real ability that could help make the clerk of courts office a more effective, efficient and citizen serving entity. Can anyone, who knows how Maier operates, imagine in their wildest dreams that Maier would go to Todaro and beseech her to "put politics aside" and come be my ehief deputy so we can build a better government operation?
No, never! He brings personally politically loyal folks like Stark County Democratic Party political director Shane Jackson, Tuscarawas Township trustee Celeste DeHoff and the like. Moreover, he insinuates his political loyalists throughout Stark County government. It would take quite a stretch to believe that Maier is looking for the best available person to help make local government be all that it can be.
Other Obama/Maier political comparisons could be made. But enough have been made to show glaring differences.
What do the differences boil down to?
Political maturity which is grounded in knowing that your primary agenda is being for what benefits the citizens over and above personal political ambition and standing.
Maier needs to focus on Obama as his political ideal and follow suit.