Thursday, September 17, 2009


When you are "second banana" and are always getting your brains beat in by the competition, what do you do?

What is the prescription for what ails you?

For many it means spying on your competition to see what you can learn to turn things around.

For instance, many - if not most, countries around the world spy on American industry to learn our technological secrets and then one-up us.  Of course, international political spying has been around at least going back to biblical days.

 But Stark County politics?

 It seems so.

The SCPR has learned that former Canton mayor Janet Creighton didn't just wake up one morning as say to herself:  "I think I'll run against Todd Bosley for county commissioner.  You know what, I better get cracking on some Bosley research to find out what 'Toddy-boy' has been up to over the last three years at the good ole comish."

No, she got a phone call from a Republican/Republican sympathizing mole that works or once worked in the Stark County commissioners office.

THE SPY:  "Janet, I hear you might be running against Todd Bosley and do I have some juicy information about him for you.  But you'll have to ask for it by making a 'public records request.'  If I were you, I'd ask for 'a listing of all the boards, commissions or assignments of Commissioner Bosley, those he serves in his official capacity'"

Of course, Creighton's ears perked up. 

"Great idea!" she says.  And off goes the e-mail public records request.

What Janet forgot is that she was up against one of the wiliest politicians Stark County as seen in many a year.  And he plays political "hardball" too.

When Bosley got county administrator Hanke's e-mail informing the commissioner on Creighton's request, he embarked on a relentless quest to track down the "internal" Creighton/Stark GOP spy.

And he found the spy!

The spy had told Creighton that Bosley was not attending meetings on a commission that Bosley serves on as a representative of the county commissioners. 

But the spy was not in full command of the facts of the situation.  It turns out that another commissioner (Ferguson - an absolute favorite of the SCPR) has been attending in Bosley's stead.

The SCPR has learned that Bosley believes that fellow commissioner Tom Harmon was an "unwitting" facilitator of the Creighton/Republican Party spying.

What else can Bosley say?

Yours truly thinks Bosley is being very generous to Harmon in applying the label "unwitting."

The more profound part of this story is this. 

Does Janet Creighton really believe that whether or not Bosley attends boards/commission meetings is going to be a big deal with voters?

Bosley has handed her or any other Republican challenger at least three issues on a silver platter.

First, the imposed sales/use tax (if it gets repealed).

Second, his failure to fix 9-1-1 (an issue he used against Richard Regula to devastating effect) during his three years - so far - in office.  It is not likely that the fix will be done by November, 2010, even if the repeal is not successful, and

Third, he and his fellows have failed to reverse the slide in the Stark County economy.  The Republicans do own some of this negative because Republican stalwart Jayne Vignos was in office through 2008.

So what is all this "cloak and dagger" stuff, Janet?

Reminds the SCPR of former Stark County Democratic Party chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.

Yours truly has heard Maier go on and on about a Republican who would call him up from time-to-time (apparently just ot chit-chat) that Maier was convinced was a Republican spy.

Also, Maier used to go on and on about a certain county elected official (a Democrat) that he suspected of passing inside Stark County Democratic Party information to the Republicans. 

The joke was that this official would be in a meeting with his fellow Dems where politically sensitive information was discussion and to party officials' astonishment, Stark Republicans had the information by the time the officials had settled in back at home.

All this Stark County political spying stuff is simply rediculous.

Although she looks good now compared to the disaster that William J. Healy has visited on Canton; Creighton was not the solution for the "already under way slide" that Canton was experiencing when she took office.

Creighton is personable and a good "rah, rah" type.  But she does not possess leadership qualities that are catalytic. 

Stark Republicans need to bring someone forward to run for commissioner who has a dynamism about him/her and has a track record of being imaginative, innovative and be willing to fight for what is good - long term - for the Stark County public.

Janet Creighton is yesterday's political bread.

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