Tuesday, September 15, 2009


They are throwing fits over at 500 Market Avenue, South these days.

Really?  How so?

As late as September 6th, the editors at The Rep realized they had been scooped by the Stark County Political Report (SCPR/The Report) yet again.

If you will look at the e-mail that yours truly sent Jeff Matthews (deputy director as well as chairman of the Stark County Republican Party) and Jeanette Mullane (director), on August 20, 2009 The Report requested that the Stark Board of Elections (BOE) put campaign finance reports online.

Did Mullane or Matthews call or mention to someone at The Rep The Report's e-mail?

Could be.

The Repository (its editorial board and reporter staff) have ingratiated themselves so much so with local government officials that a case can be made that the reading public has to read whatever appears in the pages of The Rep with great, great skepticism.

A case in point.

Consider the exchange of e-mails between "Karen" (the initiator) and the SCPR:

Is Karen correct?

Could be.

There is no doubt about it.  Whether its a reporter (with the management's approval) buying interviewee (Canton Safety Director "to be," at the time), Tom Ream a beer or Mayor William Healy inviting himself down to The Rep's editorial offices to explain away his blunders as mayor or The Repository being the paid publisher of Canton's glossy propaganda public relations piece,

The Repository is so hooked into special "we'll treat you with kid gloves" relationships (and its implied "please call us with inside information, first") that its reporting and editorializing is bereft of any value as far as Canton's/Stark County's public officials go - to the general public.

Do you ever get a disclaimer from The Rep on its special relationships?

Only the Stark County Political Report fearlessly reports on the doings of Stark County's political kingmakers without being a respecter of persons.

The Rep only works over the "unconnected" or they are good to "pile on" as a public figure is going down.

Back to the BOE aspect of this blog.

Mullane called The Report a day or two after the e-mail and danced all around the request.

Nevertheless, yours truly did pin her down as she was trying to be non-committal.

After a "its like pulling-teeth" exercise, Mullane did tell the SCPR that the BOE was in the process in bidding out for a new copier and as soon as it was on board, she anticipated that campaign finance reports (also validated petitions to run for an office) would be available without yours truly or any Stark County citizen needing to traipse down to the BOE.

The timeline?

October.  Some time in October before the next campaign finance reports are due.

Mullane requested that the SCPR sit on the story until the board members approved the purchase of the copy machine.  No follow up at all from Mullane.  In fact, right around the time The Rep did its editorial, the thought occurred that Mullane needed to be followed up with. 

So did Mullane do a number on the SCPR and transmit the information to The Rep?

Could be.

It also could be that The Rep got lucky.

However, Mullane is the political handmaiden of the Stark County Democratic Party and former chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.  and current chairman Randy Gonzalez.

No doubt about it, one has to wonder.   Undoubtedly, this duo would probably love the opportunity to "one-up" the SCPR,  given the incisive blogs The Report has done on both of them.

Did one or both instruct Mullane to make the "new access to public information" plans known to The Rep?

Could be.

The point of this blog is that the credit for getting the general public access to public records in this instance is not the newspaper industry (and it high profile "Sunshine Week" highlighted in  March of each year) and its local outlet - The Repository.

No, its a "little-ole-one-person-operation" called:  THE STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT!

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