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Friday, July 31, 2009

IS NEW STARK COUNTY DEM CHAIRMAN RANDY GONZALEZ INTENT ON ENDING THE OLESLAGER/SCHURING GAME OF MUSICAL CHAIRS WITH THE 29TH & 51ST?

Could Stark County Democratic chairman Randy Gonzalez be a different cup of tea for Ohio General Assembly fixtures Scott Oelslager and Kirk Schuring, both Republicans in a county that former Dems chair Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., has declared to be s solidly Democratic county?

The SCPR has a conversation with Stark County commissioner Todd Bosley this past week in which he indicated that the Stark Dems are asking him to run against Oelslager.

Bosley is one Stark County Democrat who could defeat Oelslager. But why would he run? He has small children and the back and forth between Columbus and Marlboro Township would not play well with the Mrs. Moreover, there is very little chance that the Democrats can take control of the Ohio Senate and therefore he would be a back bencher - which, knowing Bosley, would not set well with him.

So, the SCPR thinks there is virtually no chance Bosley will take Oelslager on.

But the question remains: does this inquiry to Bosely mean that the "free passes' courtesy for former chairman Maier to Oelslager and Schuring" are coming to an end?

Both Oelslager and Schuring supported "term limits" as a way to get the Republicans in control in Columbus. Now in playing a game of musical chairs (ha, ha) with the 29th (the Ohio Senate) and the 51st (the Ohio House), in which they conspire to exclude fresh-minded Stark Citizens from the Legislature by the power of "transferred" incumbency; they damage Stark and, derivatively, the rest of Ohio (hence the tears flowing from the map of Stark County).

Though Oelslager and Schuirng obey the "letter of the law" on term limits; they violate the "spirit" of the law so that they can maintain their "entitlement" attitude that is inherent in looking after oneself first and foremost. No doubt, their old friend Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. (from the days he represented Ohio's 56th) as been a major asset in the "thumbing their noses" at the real intent of term limits.

Oelslager has been either the state representative from the 51st or state senator from the 29th since 1985 (24 years).

Here is is bio from VoteSmart:Schuring has been either the state representative from the 51st or state senator from the 29th since 1993 (16 years).

Here is is bio from VoteSmart:

Oelslager and Schuring: a combined 40 years of producing very little for Stark County and Ohio.

Note that both are on the education committees of their respective chambers of the Ohio General Assembly (OGA).

Has either made any progress over the combined 40 years to solve the problems the funding of public education?

Other than Oelslager's "open records" work, this duo has little to recommend themselves about.

And with these two Stark County remains without much of a voice in Columbus.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

TRACKING OUR LEGISLAGTORS SERIES - BOCCIERI: IS HE HIS OWN MAN?

When Congressman John Boccieri (D-Alliance) first graced the halls of the U.S. House of Representatives, one of his first feedbacks to 16th district constituents was to complain how Republicans voted on a particular measure in lock-step.

The implication was that Boccieri would not follow the Republican model but rather be his own man in Congress.

But is he?

Remember, how he was "against" cap-and-trade (looking Obama in the eye and telling him so) before he was "for" cap-and-trade," '

Now the congressman seems to be evaluating the Obama administration proposal on health care reform.

But is he?

The SCPR suspects that John Boccieri is not who he pretends to be in the political sphere of his existence.

Boccieri wants us to think he is a "for the people," and a "I chart my own course" congressman.

But is he?

The SCPR doesn't much like Congrssman John Boehner (Republican - Ohio) who is the Republican leader is Congress. But he does make an important point that might be right on target when it comes to Congressman John Boccieri:
" ... Democratic leaders break arms to rush through [cap-and-trade and now] ... health care"
Politicians will be politicians and leaders on both sides of the aisle do arm twist. Probably the best ever was Lyndon Baines Johnson when he was Senate majority leader.

The question 16th district voters should be asking themselves over the next 15 months is this.

Is Congressman John Boccieri just posturing, manipulating politician like so many others or is he the real deal?

He is the real deal when it comes to his service to this country as a C-130 pilot flying in and out of Baghdad as a major in the USAF reserve.

But is he as a politician?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

9-1-1 JAKMIDES/BOSLEY FUSS SUPPLEMENT: DID GEOCOMM'S REPORT REFLECT ON STARK CALL CENTER'S EMPLOYEES?

One of Jeff Jakmides' displeasures with Stark County Commissioner Todd Bosley's comments on the quality of Stark's 9-1-1 system was an inference that Jakmides took that Bosley's comments reflected on the employees of the Stark Call Center run by the Stark Emergency Management Agency's Tim Warstler.

Bosley had Warstler contact GEOCOMM and to obtain a follow up to the February, 2008 report from Paul D. Linnee, ENP - Emergency Communications Strategies.

Yours truly has asked Jakmides to review the material provided on the basis of the SCPR culling from the larger GEOCOMM report relevant portions and, if he thinks something material to the discussion was left out, to please let yours truly know and any such material will be added.

Linnee's response is provided in its entirety below: (to get a larger picture, click on the graphic)


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

9-1-1: WHO IS RIGHT AND WHO IS WRONG? STARK COUNTY COMMISSIONER TODD BOSLEY OR STARK CITIZEN JEFF JAKMIDES?


A couple of weeks ago, Stark County citizen Jeff Jakimedes made a telephone call to the Stark County Political Report saying, in essence (hear the actual recording of the voice mail left with the SCPR which is set up below in this blog) that Stark County Commissioner lied recently on WHBC's Ron Ponder show (Points to Ponder) about the condition of Stark's 9-1-1 system.

Now, Jeff is not just any citizen. From Alliance, Jeff is a well-known and very capable criminal trial attorney who the SCPR witnessed first-hand in action along with former judge and now practicing attorney Richard Reinbold in the recent trial of Marlboro police chief Ron Devies and his son (charged with fourth degree felonies), convince Stark County Court of Common Pleas trial judge Lee Sinclair to "dismiss" the charges after the prosecutors had put on their case. No defense needed to be put on. Talk about a "slam-dunk" for the defense!

Back to 9-1-1.

Here is the Jakmides' call to the SCPR alerting yours truly to Bosley's statement:

What was Jeff Jakmides reacting to?

Here is the audio Jakmides was referring to and of copy of which he provided to the SCPR (Bosley answering a question on Ron Ponder's "Points to Ponder)

So, who is right? Bosley or Jakmides?

Of course, yours truly has an opinion. But the most important opinion to Bosley and Jakmides is, most likely, yours.

How can you decide?

Well, the SCPR has gone through the GeoComm Incorporated report commissioned by the Stark County commissioners and picked out 14 selections from the report that appear to The Report to provide the information needed to evaluate the Jakmides and Bosley positions.

Here is that presentation:

One more thing that some may find relevant to this discussion.

Commissioner Bosley provided a 9-1-1 audio tape of an incident that occurred in Stark County that is absolutely spellbinding. It happened in late 2003 to early 2004.

But the question is this. Obviously, this tape is anecdotal; however, the question is this: is it indicative of huge problems with Stark's 9-1-1 or is it just an unfortunate but rare incident?

To answer this question, some might want mull over the full report done by GeoComm.

To read the entire report CLICK HERE.

Monday, July 27, 2009

2010 ELECTION SERIES - THE 16TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: WHO MIGHT BE RUNNING AGAINST INCUMBENT JOHN BOCCIERI? MATT MILLER, FOR THE THIRD TIME?


Last week the SCPR got a call from a leading Stark County Republican who shared some names of Republicans who are looking at challenging Congressman John Boccieri in November, 2010.

In another conversation with Kirk Schuring (Republican - Ohio Senate - 29th), the SCPR was told that the chances of Schuring running are "between slim and none and Slim just left town."

An old name that came up in the first conversation was Matt Miller. Former Ashland County Commissioner Miller (he left office in December, 2008 after eight years in office) a courageous young man (31 years old), has taken on two of the strongest political names in Stark County and done well.

Here are the results of his previous races:
It may appear from the numbers above, if he were to run again, that Miller needs to focus on Stark County. And he does. However, in the view of the SCPR he can only win in Stark if he moderates his "right wingishness on social issues"

Moderation is essential not only to win the Republican primary. But, if he would win the Republican primary, to have any chance at all to defeat Boccieri in the general election.

The SCPR does not see Miller moderating and therefore a Miller primary victory would likely mean Democrat Boccieri victory.

The Report went out on the Internet and looked up information about Miller and rather than repeat that information here, here are some links for you to click on to find out more about him:

Saturday, the SCPR ran a piece on Phil Kiko who is also said to be exploring a race against Boccieri. Yesterday, the possible run of Jim Renacci was covered.

As the campaign progresses, the SCPR will be right on top of the inside story of who which Republican will end up as the Republican National Campaign Committee (RNCC) candidate for the 16th.

In the opinion of the SCPR Boccieri will be both more vulnerable and less vulnerable. More defeatable in the sense of having a voting record, if the challenger can use the record to separate some "independent" voters from Boccieri.

Less like to lose in the sense that Boccieri as an incumbent is building up a campaign war chest from sources that weren't up to supporting him prior to his election to the House and Boccieri voting their way. Morover, he gets opportunities for publicity on his work in Congress that are not available to challengers.

No matter who the Republican nominee is, the odds do not favor taking out incumbent Democrat John Boccieri. Any chance that the Republicans to reclaim this seat is probably in the 2010 election. If Boccieri wins in 2010, then it gets progressively more difficult to unseat him in succeeding elections.

Although the SCPR does not believe the report that Boccieri is considering abandoning Congress to run for lieutenant governor of Ohio as Ted Strickland's running mate, stranger things have happened in politics.

A challengers correct or incorrect assessment of Boccieri's future political plans could loom large in this race.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

2010 ELECTION SERIES - THE 16TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: WHO MIGHT BE RUNNING AGAINST INCUMBENT JOHN BOCCIERI? JIM RENACCI?

Last week the SCPR got a call from a leading Stark County Republican who shared some names of Republicans who are looking at challenging Congressman John Boccieri in November, 2010.

In another conversation with Kirk Schuring (Republican - Ohio Senate - 29th), the SCPR was told that the chances of Schuring running are "between slim and none and Slim just left town."

An new name that came up in the first conversation was Jim Renacci. The Renacci name is not likely one that Stark Countians are familiar with. But he has quite a track record in Wadsworth, Columbus and in Pittsburgh, PA, his hometown area.

He is a certified public accountant with a strong, strong business background. With Stark County now experience 12% unemployment, could Renacci - with his business acument - be an attractive candidate to locals?

The Report went out on the Internet and looked up information about Renacci and rather than repeat that information here, here are some links for you to click on to find out more about him:

Yesterday, the SCPR ran a piece on Phil Kiko who is also said to be exploring a race against Boccieri. On Monday, the SCPR will publish a similar introductory piece on a third person who is considering getting into the "retire John Boccieri" political sweepstakes.

As the campaign progresses, the SCPR will be right on top of the inside story of who which Republican will end up as the Republican National Campaign Committee (RNCC) candidate for the 16th.

In the opinion of the SCPR Boccieri will be both more vulnerable and less vulnerable. More defeatable in the sense of having a voting record, if the challenger can use the record to separate some "independent" voters from Boccieri.

Less like to lose in the sense that Boccieri as an incumbent is building up a campaign war chest from sources that weren't up to supporting him prior to his election to the House and Boccieri voting their way. Morover, he gets opportunities for publicity on his work in Congress that are not available to challengers.

No matter who the Republican nominee is, the odds do not favor taking out incumbent Democrat John Boccieri. Any chance that the Republicans to reclaim this seat is probably in the 2010 election. If Boccieri wins in 2010, then it gets progressively more difficult to unseat him in succeeding elections.

Although the SCPR does not believe the report that Boccieri is considering abandoning Congress to run for lieutenant governor of Ohio as Ted Strickland's running mate, stranger things have happened in politics.

A challengers correct or incorrect assessment of Boccieri's future political plans could loom large in this race.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

2010 ELECTION SERIES - THE 16TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: WHO MIGHT BE RUNNING AGAINST INCUMBENT JOHN BOCCIERI? PHIL KIKO?


Last week the SCPR got a call from a leading Stark County Republican who shared some names of Republicans who are looking at challenging Congressman John Boccieri in November, 2010.

In another conversation with Kirk Schuring (Republican - Ohio Senate - 29th), the SCPR was told that the chances of Schuring running are "between slim and none and Slim just left town."

An intriguing name that came up in the first conversation was Phil Kiko. Yours truly asked: you mean the well-know Canton Kiko family? The answer: "those Kikos."

The caller went on the explain that this potential candidate against Boccieri is now an attorney located in Washington, D.C., where he took up work in the Justice Department after graduating from a Washington area law school.

The Report went out and looked up a bunch of information about Kiko and rather than repeat that information here, here are some links for you to click on to find out more about the possible candidate:
Credential wise, this guy is impressive. But being a full blown lobbyist might be fodder for the Boccieri forces to use in a head-to-head campaign.

One has to wonder why his name didn't surface in 2008?

On Sunday and Monday, the SCPR will publish a similar introductory piece on two other individuals who are considering getting into the race.

As the campaign progresses, the SCPR will be right on top of the inside story of who which Republican will end up as the Republican National Campaign Committee (RNCC) candidate for the 16th.

In the opinion of the SCPR Boccieri will be both more vulnerable and less vulnerable. More defeatable in the sense of having a voting record, if the challenger can use the record to separate some "independent" voters from Boccieri.

Less like to lose in the sense that Boccieri as an incumbent is building up a campaign war chest from sources that weren't up to supporting him prior to his election to the House and Boccieri voting their way. Morover, he gets opportunities for publicity on his work in Congress that are not available to challengers.

No matter who the Republican nominee is, the odds do not favor taking out incumbent Democrat John Boccieri. Any chance that the Republicans to reclaim this seat is probably in the 2010 election. If Boccieri wins in 2010, then it gets progressively more difficult to unseat him in succeeding elections.

Although the SCPR does not believe the report that Boccieri is considering abandoning Congress to run for lieutenant governor of Ohio as Ted Strickland's running mate, stranger things have happened in politics.

A challengers correct or incorrect assessment of Boccieri's future political plans could loom large in this race.

Friday, July 24, 2009

FINALLY! SOMETHING THE SCPR CAN AGREE WITH JOHNNIE A. MAIER, JR. ON

The graphic to the left is the basic attitude of Massillon clerk of courts Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.

So, when one agrees with Maier, one does has to pinch him/herself.

One of the fundamental tenets learned by lawyers is that there are always two sides to everything. Apparently, this is not something Maier was schooled in. Yours truly's experience with Maier indicates that there is one way - the Maier way and that's it and if you don't agree me "Hit the highway, Jack and don't come back no more, no more, no more ... "

It is fitting and proper that Maier, who served as a political party chairman (Stark County Dems) for some six years; because he filters everything through self-interest, be a man who lives by the motto "you can agree with me .. . or you can be wrong." And that's fine for Maier, his family, friends and political loyalists. But its not good for the well-being of the body-politic-at-large.

But every once-in-awhile, even a Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. hits on an undeniable truth and Maier can say "you can agree with me ... or you can be wrong" and be in tune with the general public perception.

The Massillon Independent reports that Maier said of the current budget crisis in Massillon:
“It’s not a balanced budget and seven, eight months later they’re shocked they are still in the hole, I’ve said to several of them that’s not the way you do budgeting.” (City Officials 'scrambling," July 21)
A truism, if there ever was one.

But who are the "several of them" he has admonished?

Could one of them be Kathy Catazaro-Perry?

The lady who many of us think is "chomping at the bit" (no that she;s a horse getting ready for a horse race) to get at Mayor Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr.

Catazaro-Perry keeps saying that Mayor Cicchinelli doesn't have a plan. And the SCPR agrees with her that such appears to be the case. He appears to be just getting form day-to-day. But is Council and Catazaro-Perry any different?

Where is her plan? Why hasn't Catazaro-Perry prevailed with Council leadership and her colleagues on council to implement a basic "financial-fact-of-life plan" that her political mentor and protege Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. is mouthing?

All of this proves that Massillon city government is in an absolute mess. It is getting to look more and more like Canton. However, Massillon has seasoned, stable mayor. Canton does not. Massillon has a chance to pull out of the morass. Canton does not.

Massillon and Canton and their affliction of Democratic Party dominance are proving disastrous for these two communities. Both Massillon and Canton are an application of Will Rogers famous quip: "I am not a member a any organized political party. I am a Democrat." And the disorganization is permeating into local institutions of government.

One would like to believe that if Republicans were more prevalent in both cities' government, Massillon would have a "balanced budget," Canton would have checks on an out-of-control mayor, and on and on goes the list of beneficial effects that might inure to the citizens of Massillon and Canton if there was a competitive two party system in Stark County.

Though he hit on a "kernel of truth" in describing the malady that afflicts Massillon city government, Maier's "you can agree with me ... or you can be wrong" fundamental attitude and its inherent self-service ramifications - given Maier's role as a Stark County leader whether one likes him being a leader or not - is not, in general, good for Stark.

However, in this instance yours truly is absolutely thrilled to agree with "his Stark County political eminence" (Maier).

Massillon Council would be wise to heed's Maier's observation, come next year's budget.

Another interesting note about Maier.

As clerk of courts and being elected in his own right, he has no obligation to make the 20% cuts asked by Mayor Cicchienlli.

But he is helping out.

What will be interesting to watch is when he lets people go, is who he keeps and who he dismisses.

The SCPR is told by a source that his recent reduction in staff was a Ferrero relative whereas he elected to keep on a Maier family relative. Also, he recently hired Greg Hawk (a Canton councilman who owns his own hot dog shop business), who, apparently, is staying on.

These are interesting times in Massillon and you can be sure that former Stark County chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. will be a major player.

The question becomes: a major player for who's benefit?

IS MARLBORO TRUSTEE DAVE WOLF BEING OVER OPTIMISTIC?


In Marlboro Trustees Meet in Regular Session (July 17), Karen Humphries of the Hartville News reports:
... Dave Wolf stated that he "personally" feels that the issue regarding reimbursement of Ron and Kyle Devies for legal fees ... is "behind us."
Well, the SCPR is not so sure about Wolf's "personal" feeling.

Yours truly spoke with Ron Devies a few days ago and he says that still expects to be reimbursed for legal and medical expenses. However, the thinking now is that these matters are better left to a new board of trustees. Devies seems to be confident that a new board will treat him and Kyle fairly which, if fairness prevails, could obviate the need for litigation.

Devies believes that Wolf will not be running again and that Wise will be soundly defeated if he actually files to run.

Devies says that things have settled down in the township except for a needling irritation or two from at the hand of Trustee Wise.

Devies cited the example of his taking a police vehicle that is some ten years old to a local auto body person for an estimate for repairs so as to extend the useful life of the vehicle. According to Devies, Wise got wind of it and insisted that he get competitive bids which Devies says he is okay with.

Apparently, the getting multiple bids scenario grew out of challenges made to the trustees for going out and getting Compu-Tek to replace Kyle Devies as the maintainer of the township computer system without first getting competitive bids.

It appears relationships are still tender in Marlboro.

In the opinion of the SCPR, it will take the Wolf not running (or being defeated, if he does decide to run) and Wise being defeated, if he chooses to file and run, before normalcy returns to Marlboro Township.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

HEALY'S PROPAGANDA PIPELINE TO STARK COUNTY? THE CANTON REPOSITORY EDITORIAL BOARD!


Somehow Mayor William J. Healy, II has gained the confidence of The Repository Editorial Board.

When things are not going well for Healy and he needs to explain his actions to the public or he needs to prime the positive publicity pump, he has his communications director Adam Herman go into action with The Rep.

An example from a July 12th editorial by Executive Editor Jeff Gauger:\
Healy asked Tuesday to meet with The Repository’s editorial board to discuss annexation. In the meeting later that day, Healy expressed reservations about whether the annexation agreement was good for Canton, saying the city might give up too much or get too little. He said a “cost-benefit analysis” was needed to determine whether the city should proceed.
One can imagine the following conversation going down on the eight floor at Canton City Hall.

"Adam, Adam!" (Adam Herman, Healy's communications director and closest confidant)

"Yes, Mayor, what is it?"


"Call Gauger"

"Why, boss, why?"


"Cause we need to get the word out how I am one up on Bill Smuckler."

"What word?"

"Adam, I am surprised. You ask - what word. You know, you know."

"I was just kidding, boss. There isn't a thought that enters your mind that doesn't hit me. You know we have a "wireless relationship" - instant communication." "Yeah, your right. We know that Bill Smuckler is trying to upset your re-election apple cart. And your annexation plan is brilliant, simply brilliant."

"Yeah, Adam and I came up with it on my very own (snicker, snicker, snicker). And they call Sam Sliman 'Darth Vader to the townships'"


"Okay, boss, I'll give 'good ole Jeffy boy' a call. He's always good to make The Rep available - on call - to get our message out."

"Yeah, Adam, with Martin Olson at the Stark County Political Report telling it like it is with my administration, we have done good counteracting him by greasing Stark's only countywide newspaper.

You're right boss, but I have work to do with Olson.


What's that Adam?


"I need to find the leaks that we have here on the eight floor. It's frustrating. Olson keeps coming up with story after story that don't make us look too good."


"Frankly, Adam (Healy, sneering) I don't worry about Olson and his Stark County Political Report. He can take his report and stick it where the sun doesn't shine. We got The Rep folks right where we want them - at a beck and call."

"You're right again, boss. Take Olson's story about your new safety director. What a stroke of genius - that appointment. Wow, how do you do it! Ream will do nothing but fortify our good relationship with The Repository. Just outstanding, boss; simply outstanding. How do you come up with these ideas"


Well, Adam, thanks. But you know where my genius comes from. After all I didn't go to the New York Stern School of Business for nothing. And throw Jack DeSario in there too. DeSario has to be one of the very best political consutants in the US of A as Archie Bunker says.


"You know, boss. You are too good for Canton, Ohio. You have skills that could help the nation in these times of trouble."


"Aw shucks, Adam. What you say is true. But Canton needs me. You make me blush. Well, you know before Boccieri decided to run for the 16th district congressional seat the Democratic National Congressional Caucus offered to finance a Healy campaign to the tune of $1 million cool smackeroos. Did you know that Adam?"


"Oh yeah, boss. I hear that little ditty in my sleep. You gotta remember, we're wireless!
"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

WHY HAS THE FBI SHOWN UP AT THE STARK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS' OFFICE?

The SCPR has learned through a law enforcement source that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has shown up at the Stark County Office Building a couple of days this week to question Stark County commissioner Pete Ferguson (elected in November, 2008).

Why?

The source does not know.

There is no indication that Ferguson has done anything wrong.

The conjecture is that the questioning has something to do with the Vince Frustaci investigation that Mary Taylor of Ohio auditor's office requested when Frustaci was fired as chief deputy by Stark County treasurer Gary Zeigler on April 1st amid allegations by Zeigler that he suspected Frustaci had stolen money from the county treasury.

Ferguson is said to have known Frustaci for a long time.

If the questioning is related to the Frustaci matter, it gives credence to those who do not think that indictments will be coming down any time soon.

As an aside, it is interesting to note that The Repository recently did a story (County finds that seeking bond for treasurer amid probe to be problematical, July 17)to the effect that Treasurer Zeigler may not be able to be sworn-in for his new term as county treasurer because of difficulties in securing a $1 million bond set by the county commmissioners.

If Frustaci gets charged with taking the county money, it is interesting to note that he was covered by a $500,000 bond. The allegations are that $2 to 3 million is missing from the treasurer's office.

These, indeed, are troubling times for Stark County government.

The SCPR believes this is the price citizens pay when they vote in "one-party-rule."

Only Democrats serve in countywide office (except for judicial office).

CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS: NOT ONE YEAR IN OFFICE AND TALK IS THAT BOCCIERI WILL STEP DOWN AS CONGRESSMAN AND BECOME STRICKLAND'S RUNNING MATE IN 2010

One thing that the SCPR is sure of is that 16th District Congressman John Boccieri is a VERY ambitious politician.

So, last evening, when yours truly was told that Boccieri was already growing weary of being the "Congressman on Your Corner," and that he was looking at becoming Ted Strickland's running mate in 2010; it was not a total surprise.

The SCPR believes that current lieutenant governor Lee Fisher will best Ohio secretary of state Jennifer Brunner in their fight to be the Democratic nominee to replace the retiring George Voinovich in the United States Senate.

Of course, that will leave Strickland without a running mate for his re-election bid in 2010.

Who will replace Fisher?

A suggestion that was totally laughable (and, tragic for Ohio - if true) to the SCPR was the idea that former Stark County Democratic Party chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr was positioning himself to be that person.

A much more believable suggestion is that Boccieri is the one who will be stepping in to run with Strickland should Fisher best Brunner to be the Democratic senate nominee. But the SCPR is highly skeptical of this report.

Why?

Well, it would make Boccieri look really, really bad to have run for an office and have gotten elected and not really have achieved anything to let his overriding ambition to be "the man-in-charge" some day (i.e. governor of Ohio).

But then again, Boccieri is consummately ambitious.

A drive to the "top" makes a person do strange things. No?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

TRACKING OUR LEGISLATORS SERIES, BOCCIERI: TRYING TO DECEIVE 16TH DISTRICT CONSTITUENTS?

Notice how hard it is to see the phrase: "This mailing was prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense."

The SCPR enlarged the phrase and put it in the middle of the graphic above so you could "sort of" see it. On the actual brochure the disclaimer is in small print and obscured in darkness (a strong mask of opaqueness).

Shame, shame on Congressman Boccieri for the attempted deception!

Yours truly got this piece in the mail yesterday. Interesting.

Just a few days ago Boccieri cut off the SCPR off from press releases because he did not like the "cap-and-trade" (not what he calls it, but what it really is) piece The Report did back when he voted for it after saying all along he was against it (even looking Obama in the eye and telling him that),

Boccieri and his staff thought they were punishing the SCPR. Actually they had done yours truly a huge favor. While The Repository, The Massillon Independent and The Alliance Review parrot almost line for line the Boccieri public relation-esque "talking points," the SCPR never has (always using direct quotes from the release and identifying the material as such).

Now readers of The Report will be spared seeing Boccieri spin, even out of his own mouth. A big thank you is in order for Boccieri and his "handlers."

AT NOTE TO CONGRESSMAN BOCCIERI
======================================================================

Well, Congressman, please take my name off your mailing list for this "campaign-esque" literature disguised as a "Constituent Service Guide." Apply the preparation, printing, card-stock and postage savings to the national debt.

Just answer the questions I emailed to you immediately after you flip-flopped on "cap-and-trade."

And, by the way, I am personally for "cap-and-trade" but, on reflection, probably in a different form that you voted for.
======================================================================
The Boccieri faux-"Constituent Service Guide" is a 400 square inch (unfolded, printed front and back) 6 panel, color printing card stock mailing.

Talk about expense!!!

When Congressman Boccieri talks about saving taxpayers money, take it with a grain of salt.

16th District voters should be getting an inkling now that the congressman speaks with a forked tongue!

For an addon, here is a copy of the front page of the Boccieri brochure.

MAYOR WILLIAM J. HEALY - THE MASTER AT FUMBLING "POLITICAL" FOOTBALLS? ALSO, CANTON DEP. CHIEF THOMAS REAM & REP'S LORI MONSEWICZ BLOW OFF THE SCPR

A month or so ago the SCPR had a discussion with a Healy administration official who lamenented "if he could only stop shooting himself in the foot."

Or, to use another metaphor: "quit fumbling the football" in cruicial situations.

As everybody who is familiar with Canton politics knows, Mayor Healy insists as mayor on being the star on everything and he and he alone carries the football. Only trouble is that time-after-time-after time he fumbles the ball at critical times.

The big laugh about Healy is that he named his campaign organization "TeamHealy." A Stark County countywide elected official has told the SCPR that Healy is impossible to work with. "TeamHealy?" "Really?"

His administration, not that far from half-time of his four year term, cannot advance "the betterment of Canton ball" because of all his fumbling: Bernabei, Schulman, Hawk, Nesbitt, ethics questions, "achieving zero-tolerance," and on-and-on-and-on goes the Healy fumblitis.

Recently Healy appointed Canton Police Chief Deputy Thomas Ream as safety director to replace the outgoing Thomas Nesbitt (Ream to replace Nesbitt as safety director, The Rep, July 1st). Question is: Has Healy fumbled again?

If so, Healy may have squandered his last chance to regain the confidence of Cantonians.

What are opinion upon that the Ream appointment may be another Healy political fumble?

First, there is the problem with the Ream appointment (effective August 4th) in that the beleaguered (at the hand of the Healy administration) McKimm working for his former deputy who The Report believes will be under continuing pressure from Healy (as yours truly believes Nesbitt was) to terminate McKimm.

Moreover, there may be a question of Ream's judgment.

The SCPR has learned Deputy Ream went to the White Crown Cafe shortly after a triple murder occurred outside the bar - in his words or to the effect thereof - "to establish a police presence in order to reassure neighborhood residents of their safety."

The Report's understanding is that even though Ream was there to establish a police presence (apparently in uniform), he may have been off duty at the time. Does this make sense?

Furthermore, he was seen allegedly consuming alcohol at the time. And to boot, he was observed being in conversation with a Repository reporter Lori Monsewicz who reportedly purchased Ream a beer?

The SCPR did place a telephone call to Monsewicz for a confirmation, denial or an explanation. However, the call has gone unanswered. Moreover, Monsewicz has not answered the SCPR's e-mail on the subject matter. A reporter not answering telephone calls? Not responding to e-mails? Very interesting indeed.

"A reassuring police presence?" Sitting around talking to a reporter allegedly drinking beer? Doesn't sound like very good judgment to the SCPR on Deputy Ream's part, if true. The SCPR has telephoned Canton-safety-director-to-be Ream to ask about all the matters touched upon by this report. But like Monsewicz; no response.

There's another interesting tidbit about Ream. The SCPR has learned that he was high on the list of candidates to be hired as Perry police chief (at the time Escola ended up getingh hired) until he refused to take a lie detector test. Taking such a test is probably routine for anyone applying for such a sensitive position.

What are Ream's reasons for refusing the test? A matter of principle? Perhaps Ream and the Healy administration owe the public an explanation.

And finally it is noteworthy that when Healy hired Nesbitt as safety director, Ream reportedly was a candidate. So, Ream was not good enough in late 2007, early 2008, but now he is?

Does Healy have an explanation about what changed over the course of time?

To the SCPR, this Healy choice of Ream as safety director is the equivalent of carrying the ball in one hand as a easy target for approaching tacklers to knock out. Bingo! Another fumble. If this appointment proves to be a fumble, could this be a fumble that costs TeamHealy (and, unfortunately, Canton) the game?

Or, at the very minimum, the Healy administration and Canton is back on defense once again. Of course, defense is familiar territory for this administration. Just when it appears that Canton is going to get its offense started, what happens? Another fumble?

Time and time again that is exactly where Healy has placed Canton with his malady of "political" fumblitis.

Does Healy care about the well-being of Canton at all?

Or, it is all about William J. Healy, II?

How much more can Canton take?

CANAL FULTON'S "BRIDGE TO NOWHERE?" OKAY, WOULD YOU BELIEVE "SEWER LINE TO NOWHERE?"

Is there a Sarah Palin among the members of the Canal Fulton City Council committee considering the expansion of sewer (and later, water) lines to the far reaches and, indeed, outside the city limits.

Remember, Palin of "bridge to nowhere fame" (the Gravina Island Bridge) who was for the bridge(a federal pork project) before she was against it but used the money as governor designatedf or the bridge for other state purposes.

Are we about to get the same thing from Canal Fulton City Council?

The SCPR has learned that a committee composed of Councilpersons Cihon, Downing and Moellendick are working with City Manager Mark Cozy, formerly a Plain Township administrator (Canal Fulton's version of Canton Director of Annexation Sam "Darth Vader to the Township" Sliman - by virtue of his aggressive annexation attitude) to be in a position to attract business and industry to Canal Fulton by having in place sewer and water to the outskirts of Canal Fulton and beyond (in Lawrence Township).

Councilperson Moellendick is said to have admitted in a meeting on July 14th that there is "no line of waiting businesses" to hook onto Canal Fulton's planned sewer/water infrastructure expansion.

What expansion is planned?

From Canal Fulton out to the intersection of Route 21 and Marshallville Road (extending some 3000 feet outside Canal Fulton proper) and out Portage Road.

The SCPR understands that Canal Fulton does not have the money on hand to finance the planned expansion. But the $800,000 to $1,000,000 project is to be paid for with federal stimulus money but with nearly $500,000 planned as city owed bond debt.

One resident has told the SCPR that he thinks it makes no sense at all to go into debt to build additional sewer/water infrastructure capacity that may never be used.

Another interesting thing that the SCPR has learned about Canal Fulton is that it has a "cost of living allowance" (COLA) escalation on sewer/water fees charged to city customers. Isn't that a new twist on on COLA. Maybe this revelation will inspire the rest of Stark County's political subdivisions to mimic Canal Fulton?

Interested in still more unusual tidbits about Canal Fulton government?

Here goes.

The SCPR understands that up to 70% of some city adminstrators salaries (including the city manager) are paid out of the Water/Sewer Department budget.

Isn't that interesting?

Another intriguing question has been posed by a Canal Fulton resident to the SCPR. Does the City Manager Cozy spending 70% of his time on water and sewer matters?

Here's still another Canal Fulton gem. City Manager Cozy does not mind working with uncertainly. As things stand now Canal Fulton is on the losing site of a lawsuit by Lawrence Township trustees over an annexation on Warwick Road (Canal Fulton Farms annexation - 32.76 acres) which Lawrence Township trustees contend will be "unannexed" if the courts decide that a connecting railroad line is a "property owner" and needed to "consent" for a valid annexation to have occurred.

Here's a sample of what Cozy had to say to The Massillon Independent reporter Amy Knapp (Canal Fulton still standing behind annexation, July 14).
“As far as the annexation being nullified, it hasn’t happened yet, The way it is going on right now could go on for years. All the while, the city is providing services ...
The city is making the investment in the property we annexed. We have spent more money on that property in one year than the township ever did. There are a lot of questions and a lot of issues but all the while the property is in the city. We are not going to stop making investments.”
Cozy seems awfully confident of ultimate victory. Isn't this risky in the sense that it Canal Fulton could lose in the end and it is out it's costs of providing services and its investment dollars?
With that annexation, the school district was relieved of its payment toward a waterline that was brought in by the city to service the schools. The district paid the city an estimated $60,000 in annual fees plus two and a half times the water rate.

With the annexation, the district can save nearly $73,000 a year.The annexation also allowed the city to collect a 1.5 percent income tax from Northwest employees. City officials estimate it will raise as much as $165,000 a year. (As reported by Amy Knapp, The Independent, July 13, Lawrence trustees think they've won annexation fight
Trustee Hargrove (Lawrence Township) was a little more pointed on the possible consequences to Canal Fulton if they lose. He said to Kapp:

“Will they [Canal Fulton] have to give that money back[?]!

Yet another goodie.

This is an "outfoxing oneself caper perpetuated by Canal Fulton city government.

Yours truly could scarcely believe what his ears were hearing as a resident unfolded the tale of Canal Fulton creating a "paper township" thinking it was going to get in the neighborhood of $55,000 (confirming: Canal Fulton officials discuss eliminating paper township, Knapp, The Independent, 02/17/2009 in was is known as "inside millage" money. So, Canal Fulton went ahead and did the paper thing.

Well, it didn't work. The law of Ohio prohibited both Milan Township (Canal Fulton's "paper" township and Lawrence Township from collecting the money. So the geniuses of Canal Fulton city government cost the taxpayers about $115,000 a year (when calculating the lost funds and the "make up" funds from the city budget) until Milan Township can get dissolved which will then enable Lawrence Township to collect the money and get back to square one with the city in a cooperative arrangement that was in place before someone in Canal Fulton had a "brainstorm."

Before Canal Fulton created the "sort of fictional township," the SCPR is told that Lawrence Township collected the money and spent most if not all of it on road maintenance for Canal Fulton.

All these Canal Fulton revelations bring these questions to the mind of yours truly:

Are the citizens of Canal Fulton exercising oversight over the doings of the Canal Fulton administration and City Council? Are taxpayer dollars being put to their most needed and efficient use?

Are City Manager Mark Cozy and council members really for sewer/water line expansions at the tune of $800,000 to $1,000,000 with no buyers in sight?

Is this Stark County's version of pork (stimulus money) and - even worse - going into debt unwisely?

Maybe the "Sarahs" of Canal Fulton might want to rethink all this? Perhaps they will mimic her and turn out to be - in the end - against this "porkish" project when it hits the "light of day" after having been for it?

And maybe the voters of Canal Fulton ought to be thinking about electing smarter people to run their government!

Monday, July 20, 2009

WOULD THE POLITICAL RESURRECTION OF JANET CREIGHTON HELP STARK COUNTY?

Repository Executive Editor Jeff Gauger wrote an intriguing piece on former Canton Mayor Janet Creighton's possible return to Stark County political life. (reference: Creighton looks ahead

Not that Gauger offered any meaningful political insight insight on what a Creighton might or might not mean for the future well-being of Stark County.

Gauger is not a political writer and it shows in this piece.

He is first and foremost a newspaper administrator who has likely reached the zenith of his administrative career being EE at The Rep.

But the topic (Creighton's political future in Canton/Stark County) is an important one for Stark Countians to ponder. The past could have been left alone except for the anecdote about the "chance" meeting with Healy at WHBC.

Why?

Because her loss to Healy will drive Creighton to seek Canton/Stark County based political redemption in some way or fashion within the next two years.

You can be sure that there are a number of Stark Democratic elected officials who are shaking in their boots.

Who might that be?

Todd Bosley, Kim Perez and John Boccieri, that's who.

Why not Healy?

Healy is finished as a viable politician in Stark County, unless, of course, Slesnick wants to give up his Ohio House seat. Any Democrat wins the 52nd Ohio House seat. Even Healy.

Sure Creighton could become mayor again, even if Healy runs again - and easily. And the SCPR thinks Healy will run again unless certain circumstances unfold that would make It impossible for him. But don't look for that to happen. Healy is the envy of all of those "9 lives cats" that we all talk about.

But does she want to be mayor again?

Why should she? Healy will have totally wrecked Canton by the time the race comes up again. So, with Canton in a deeper hole than it was when Creighton was elected mayor, what would make her think she could be a difference maker and second time around?

She did have her picture taken with GOP gubernatorial hopeful John Kasich at this year's annual Stark County Republican Party McKinley event.

Why bring that up?

Think she going to be Kasich's running mate?

Could be, but not likely. There is another reason. A more Canton-esque reason.

Don't you folks remember?

When Creighton ran against Bill Smuckler her coup-de-gras and probably the difference in her narrow win over Smuckler was "special" relationship with Republican controlled state government and Governor Bob Taft, in particular.

She was going to tap into state government resources to help get Canton out of its economic swoon. Remember, now?

She won and Canton continued its downward trek and the state Republicans had their own problems and were unable to bail Creighton out.

If anything, Janet Creighton is a savvy politico and the SCPR believes she will pass on running for mayor again because of the impossibility of "turning - Canton - around" (thank you Governor Strickland) anytime soon.

Well, how about running against Bosley?

Not a chance!

Creighton is used to running her own show. She would go bonkers having to work with the likes of Tom Harmon and Pete Ferguson.

It's all Bosley can do to abide those two and he used to working with hangers-on (reference: his stint as Nimishillen Township trustee).

Janet is way too smart to get caught in the mire of commissioner politics (two Democrats at that).

Okay, okay. There is county auditor Kim Perez, right?

Maybe. When Creighton was county auditor, she was the the power of the Stark County Political Party. All, then chairman, Curt Braden had to do was follow orders from Janet.

She controlled a lot of political patronage during her stint as auditor and she used it to groom future Stark County Republican leadership. Stark County Democratic Party chairman (at the time) Johnnie A. Maier, Jr drooled at the thought of getting control of this office.

Kim Perez had done his best to emulate Creighton, but tax dollars are hard to come by these days and, accordingly, he is no match for the Creighton "auditor's-office-based-political-machine."

Sorry about that Kim!

In the Creighton days, the county actually had money to fund all those public salaries to stable the future of the Stark County GOP.

In the judgment of the SCPR, the auditor's office is the best place for Creighton IF she has any inclination at all to help the Stark County Republican Party out of its political morass.

If she doesn't and merely wants to finish her political career on a high note, then, perhaps she should consider running against Democrat Congressman John Boccieri.

Whoa, Martin. You have to be kidding!

Boccieri is methodically going about creating a political machine, the likes of which Stark County has not seen in modern political times.

This guy puts out press releases like he's handing out penny candy along a parade route. And all that "stimulus money" with more reportedly to come, how would Creighton compete with that? And do you think the Democratic National Congressional Campaign Committee is going to sit idly by and let the Republicans take back a seat that the Dems have only help two years over a life span seemingly forever?

I know, I know.

It would be tough.

But Creighton is probably the Republicans' only hope to take Boccieri out. Chances are great. With Kirk Schuring telling the SCPR as soon ago as Friday (the 17th) that Republicans who most people in the 16th have never heard of are "testing" the waters about opposing Boccieri, prospects are not real good for the GOP to take back the Regula seat.

If the Republicans don't take on Boccieri now and wrestle the seat back, the 16th is going to be a Democratic seat for long time to come - unless, of course, Boccieri does himself in a la some infamous congressmen have amply demonstrated is possible.

If Creighton were to take Boccieri on, it would be the fight of her political life.

Lose: "good try Janet," people would say.

Win: "what a political redemption!" She would be a national headliner. This time she would go to Washington - not as a refugee from the political storms.

But as a triumphant political overcomer!

IS OHIO'S GOVERNMENT LOOKING TO GET ITS HAND ON PUBLIC PENSION FUNDS? WILL THE STARK COUNTY DELEGATION FIGHT TO PROTECT PUBLIC PENSIONS?

The Stark County Political Report remembers when ENRON went belly up (2000/2001) and cost members of the Ohio State Teachers Retirement System $56.6 million. PERS lost $58.8 million.

One of the guardians of STRS and PERS was supposed to be state Senator Kirk Schuring (R - Jackson). At least that's what the SCPR thinks. Schuring gets very angry (which is rare for him), when yours truly makes this allegation.

Why does the SCPR assign Schuring the guardian role during the time the ENRON fiasco unfolded?

Because Senator Schuring was president of the Ohio Retirement Study Council (ORSC) at the time. And the SCPR believes the ORC failed many of Ohio's retired public employees in neglecting to uphold its obligations spelled out in Ohio Revised Code Chapter 717.

Now Schuring is vice chairman of the ORSC.

One has to wonder whether or not a repeat of ENRON is in the offing for Ohio's public employee retirees? If not, what has been done to prevent a repeat?

It would be reassuring for Ohio's public to hear from Senator Schuring that ORSC security is improved.

In 2009, it is not the private sector that bears watching. Now it is Ohio's government.

Governor Ted Strickland is desperate to have the money to keep Ohio going. Until the state budget god tight, Strickland was against expanding gambling in Ohio. But just days ago he signed an executive order command the Ohio Lottery Commission to begin installing slots at Ohio's racetracks.

Now comes word that he and the Ohio General Assembly took at look at "borrowing" money from PERS (Ohio's Public Employess Retirement System).

Although STRS (the State Teachers Retirement System) was not being eyed by the governor, his look at PERS was not lost on STRS:

Here is a few excepts from an e-mail that STRS sent out:
OPERS CONTRIBUTION REDUCTION PROPOSED TO HELP STATE BUDGET
On June 19, 2009, Gov. Ted Strickland proposed that the state's contribution to public employees' pensions be reduced from 14 percent to 8 percent for two years, with a payback to the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) to occur over the subsequent 10 years. This proposal was made as a way to help balance the state's budget.

...

While STRS Ohio and the other public pension systems in the state were not included in the proposal, the executive directors of STRS Ohio, School Employees Retirement System (SERS) and the Highway Patrol Retirement System sent a joint letter to the governor and the members of the Ohio General Assembly also voicing their opposition.

...

The proposal was eventually rejected by lawmakers and was not part of the state's final budget. Going forward, all the systems will need to be vigilant to ensure such proposals do not surface again.

How much would the proposed raid on PERS brought the governor in his frantic search for dollars?

Here is what Akron Beacon Journal Statehouse reporter Dennis Williard has to say (Scrutiny missing in state budget, July 19):
... Strickland's proposal to reduce the state's contribution to the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System ... would have been a $250 million raid on the pension plan.
The SCPR believes Stark's public employees should heed STRS's warning. The questions that Stark County's public employees should be asking themselves should include:

"Do I want my pension fund to be making a ten year loan to the state of Ohio?

And, if not: "Can I trust my legislator to stop this from happening?"

Now that we know he uses The Repository opinion pages to explain his votes; perhaps, the good Senator Schuring would explain why public employment retirees have no worries about the security of their pension. Seeing as he is an expert of sorts on protecting public employees pension dollars.

And for good measure, maybe Oelslager, Slesnick, Okey, Snitchler and Schiavoni will chime in?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

TRACKING OUR LEGISLATORS SERIES: SCHURING (R-29TH) "NO" ON BUDGET BILL, OELSLAGER (R-51ST) "YES" /SIDES WITH STRICKLAND, INTERESTING, NO?



State Senator Kirk Schuring acts like a small letter "d" democrat in voting no on the next two year budget bill whereas Governor Ted Strickland was for denying the people a vote on the matter of whether or not Ohio is to have slots at racetracks.

Interesting indeed.

In an Op-ed (The Repository, July 17th, Kirk Schuring: Why I voted no on state budget), Schuring recognizes that Ohioans and Stark Countians have voted consistently by substantial margins not to allow expanded gambling in Ohio and believes that voting Ohioans should have the final say.

Not only do Ohioans/Stark Countians not get to vote on the "slots at racetracks," the Strickland administration insisted on cover from legal challenge (except in the "discretionary jurisdiction of the Ohio Supreme Court)

Stark County voters by the 2010 election should be getting a better take on Strickland. In 2006, he was the "aw-shucks" guy from Duck Run, Ohio who seemed "as innocent as a lamb"

But Strickland is proving he is not the open, accessible, democratic person his handlers have endeavored to project.

Schuring is more open, accessible and democratic that Ted Strickland.

It is hard to believe, but that clearly seems to be the case.

Strickland is in for a much tougher time in 2010. Why is that?

Because Ohioans are becoming more and more aware that he is not the man the public relations types successfully created in the 2006 election.

Oleslager?

Kind of spineless if you ask yours truly.

From The Rep's Robert Wang account of why Oelslager (Oelslager breakes with Republicans, July 14) says voted sort of with Strickland:
Oelslager said he opposed the governor’s plan to install slot machines at race tracks. He said the issue should have been placed on the ballot, but he noted that the bill was a package deal and that he could accept all of it or none of it.
Run for political cover Scott!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

TRACKING OUR LEGISLATORS SERIES - BOCCIERI LACKS POLITICAL MATURITY?


The SCPR used to be on Congressman John Boccieri's "press release" list. Apparently that was until The Report wrote a piece depicting Bocceri as a "flip-flopper" on cap-and-trade legislation.

Communications Director Jessica Kershaw called yours truly and audaciously attempted to scold because the SCPR did not initially go into a lot of detail (as provided by the Boccieri press office) why Boccieri flip-flopped. The premise of the scolding from the SCPR's perspective was that somehow The Report has an obligation to be public relations arm for the Boccieri message.

The basis of the SCPR story was that Boccieri changed from "looking Obama in the eye and telling him he wouldn't vote for cap-and-trade" to - in the end - voting for it.

The SCPR never believed and still doesn't that Boccieri would vote against any legislation that was crucial to the Obama administration.

Now Boccieri seems to have instructed his communications director (Kershaw) to "punish" the SCPR for not writing a public relations (PR) piece for him as The Repository, The Massillon Independent and The Alliance Review did and will undoubtedly continue to do off the press releases he sends them.

To the SCPR, press releases are for background and informational purposes only. If the SCPR uses material from a press release, readers are clearly informed of such.

Now that yours truly has seen the releases (at least in the past) and Boccieri pieces that appear in Stark County's major three newspapers, it obvious to yours truly that the newspapers' dutifully pump out Boccieri propaganda laced - err - public relations-esque articles.

The SCPR doesn't know for sure at this point if punishment is being meted out, but no Boccieri releases have been forthcoming since the SCPR cap-and-trade critical analysis piece and therefore it is likely that yours truly is being "sat in the corner" by Congressman Boccieri.

If such is the case, it shows how utterly politically immature John Boccieri and his staff are.

Hell will freeze over before the SCPR capitulates to Boccieri or any other elected and/or public official/figure who holds out conditional "carrots" as a way to force favorable coverage.

The SCPR may be the only Stark County publication that is not in the Boccieri spin zone.

Readers can be sure that the SCPR will assess and analyze the man who says is a "Congressman on Your Corner."

But is he?

Friday, July 17, 2009

SNITCHLER'S REAL FIGHT - TO RETAIN HIS SEAT IN 2010 (err 2012) - MAY NOT BE WITH THE DEMOCRATS AT ALL. IS JOHN HAGAN ON THE "COMEBACK" TRAIL?


UPDATE: JULY 19, 2009

MIKE WRITES THE FOLLOWING COMMENT:
Mike has left a new comment on your post "SNITCHLER'S REAL FIGHT - TO RETAIN HIS SEAT IN 201...":

Since Hagan is term limited out, he can't run for eight years. At that point, Rep. Snitchler would be rotating out of the seat also. It will be impossible for Hagan to ever run against Snitchler. He's just running for township trustee because he needs the health insurance.
SCPR RESPONSE:

Mike raises a good point on the "break" required before a former "term limited out" legislator and run again FOR THE SAME OFFICE, but he has the wrong period of time.

It is 4 years rather than 8. See the actual Ohio constitutional provision in the graphic to the below:

The question becomes: will Hagan run against Snitchler in 2012 on the premise he will biding his time as Marlboro Township trustee?

Here is the constitutional provision:




ORIGINAL POST:

It appears that former Ohio representative John P. Hagan (Republican - Marlboro) is on the political comeback trail. He has taken out a petition to run for Marlboro Township trustee.If things had gone well for Trustees Tim Wise (Democrat) and Dave Wolf (Republican) who were elected in 2006, then Hagan may have thought twice about embarking on a political comback.

But they didn't. Wise and Wolf got themselves embroiled in a fight with Marlboro Police Chief Ron Devies and lost. Now both are likely unelectable in Marlboro Township. The word is that Wolf won't even try. However, Wise is likely to actually file and run. So Hagan has to figure he is an odds on favorite to win one of the two seats up in November this year.

If Hagan loses in Marlboro, he is finished politically in Stark County.

So, John Hagan is taking some political risk in running for trustee. Marlboro trustee is a post he held for a number of years before being elected Ohio House representative - the 50th - in 2000. He went on to serve 8 years in the Ohio House before being term limited out.

Was he done?

No, he "persuaded" his college student daughter to run in the Republican primary to succeed him. Only problem was that Republican Todd Snitchler was the "heir apparent" anointed by then Stark Republican chairman Curt Braden.

Columbus Republicans worked vigorously to get Chistina Hagan to drop out of the race. Christina made statements to local media that the Ohio Republican Party promised her a job if she would step aside and pave the way for Snitchler.

But she wouldn't and a blood feud ensued between the Hagans and Snitchler. How bitter was the fight. When Christina lost to Snitchler in the primary, the Hagan supported Democrat Celeste DeHoff in the general election.

For himself, Hagan - like so many politicians - couldn't see life continuing outside the public sector. So, he ran for a open county commissioner seat.

Surprisingly, to nearly all but the SCPR, is lost in a race against Democrat Pete Ferguson to be the county commissioner to replace Republican Jane Vignos who retired.

The SCPR believes that Hagan can only win in a district like the 50th where there is a lopsided Republican registration plurality. Accordingly, it was no surprise to yours truly when he lost handily to political novice Ferguson countywide (which now leans Democratic).

The amusing thing about the Hagan/Ferguson race is that "political insiders" were openly talking about who was the laziest candidate between Hagan and Ferguson.

The SCPR believes that should Hagan win in Marlboro (which is highly likely), the will then begin to zero in on Todd Snitchler for Hagan/Snitchler Round II.

Hagan himself could be highly troublesome to Snitchler. However, Snitchler is one of the few good things going for the Stark County Republican Party. Accordingly, he probably is best described as the "darling" of the Stark GOP.

He was selected to be the emcee at the annual Stark Republican McKinley event recently.

Ironically, "the darling local party" role might be one many Stark political observers believed Hagan to hold at one time.

After it is all said and done, the SCPR thinks Hagan will give Hagan/Snitchler Round II a go. But he likely to loss and when the political realities settle in he will settle into being Marlboro trustee for the rest of his political life.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

THE HAMMER IS ABOUT TO FALL IN THE FRUSTACI INVESTIGATION - WHO & HOW MANY WILL BE INDICTED?


UPDATE: JULY 16, 2009 AT 4:30 PM

The SCPR has new information which suggests that the number of indictments will more likely be on the low side of the estimates in the original piece below. Right now the SCPR believes the indictments will most likely be two in number and that the end of July is probably too early to expect indictments to be handed down.

The SCPR will update this blog as more information is forthcoming.

ORIGINAL BLOG


The Stark County Political Report (SCPR/The Report) has learned that as many as seven indictments may be coming down in the investigation of the Stark County Treasurer's office and the reported loss of $2 to 3 million in taxpayer funds.

County treasurer Gary Zeigler fired his chief deputy Vince Frustaci alleging that Frustaci pilfered the money. The firing occurred on April 1, 2009.

The SCPR has two primary sources on the question of who and how many Stark Countians will be indicted as a consequence of an investigation being conducted by the FBI.

One source says seven people will likely be indicted, but could not definitely say that all seven would be Stark Countians.

The other SCPR source says that seven is too high.

But both agree that indictments could be forthcoming soon. Perhaps, by the end of July.

The SCPR believes that one of the persons to be indicted will be Frustaci and that another highly likely indictment will be of a high ranking Stark County bank official who allegedly facilitated the theft.

The bill is in on Ohio auditor Mary Taylor's forensic audit of the Stark County treasury in light of the FBI investigation and it will total $150,000.

This $150,000 coupled with the likely $100,000 deductible that the county will likely pay on the reported settlement of the Hope Steffy case is not exactly news that Stark County taxpayers want to hear.

MAYOR HEALY WANTS YOU TO BELIEVE THAT OUTGOING SAFETY DIRECTOR NESBITT HAD ISSUES WITH CHIEF MCKIMM; MAYBE HE DID, BUT HEALY IS BEHIND THE CURTAIN


The Wizard of Oz (err - Canton) is at it again.

Yes, Mayor William J. Healy, even when he is out-of-town, leaves this mark on Canton. As reported in The Repository (Canton police chief reprimanded, July 15), Safety Director got the jump on Canton Chief of Police Dean L. McKimm and cited him with three reprimands on Wednesday.

But the SCPR does not buy that this is primary a Nesbitt/McKimm tete-a-tete despite being categorized as such (actually much stronger - harassment) by McKimm's attorney Craig Conley.

The McKimm disciplinary actions has Wizard (in his own mind) Healy written all over it.

Healy's modus operandi is to lurk in the background and have others do his dirty work for him. A person who works for Healy needs to wear a "back protector" not a "chest protector!"

The machinations:
  1. Nesbitt cites McKimm for insubordinate activities.
  2. Nesbitt schedules hearing on citations.
  3. McKimm ask for a public hearing.
  4. Nesbitt denies McKimm public hearing.
  5. McKimm goes to court to get public hearing.
  6. Nesbitt cancels hearing altogether and issues reprimands.
The last thing in the world that the Healy administration can abide is "the light of day."

McKimm through his attorney called the administration's bluff in terms of the administration trying to do its dirt "behind closed doors."

The Healy administration pre-emptive promulgation of reprimands were a face saving way out of an embarrassing situation for the Healyites (aka "the loyalists").

Now we have a situation where the chief deputy (Ream) is now going to be monitoring the chief when he assumes the safety directorship. On that count alone, the appointment was a dumb move.

But Healy, for all his chest-thumping about his own brilliance, keeps doing dumb thing after dumb thing after dumb thing.

No matter who he acts through (Price, Nesbitt [Ream] or whomever), when the curtain is pulled back "the light of day" reveals none other than the Wizard of Canton - Mayor William J. Healy, II.

HOW INCONSISTENT ON THE RIGHT TO VOTE CAN YOU GET? COMMISSIONERS HARMON & FERGUSON "ANTI-CONSUMER" ON PROPOSED STARK COUNTY ELECTRIC AGGREGATION ?

It was December 30, 2008 when the Stark County Board of Commissioners voted to "impose" a 0.50 sales/use tax on Stark Countians. So you and I are "involuntarily" paying more taxes since April 1, 2009.

In July, 2009 they are in a more "democratic" mood. Now all Stark Countians get to vote on whether or not some Stark Countians will save money on their monthly electric bills. But we must wait until November to vote.

Note: According to a Repository report (Commissioners: Let voters decide about about electric aggregation, July 15) about 100,000 who have Ohie Edison/First Energy - OE/FE) are likely to save money.

However, the way the commissioners plan to set up the plan if voters approve county aggregation, the SCPR believes that "uninformed" Stark Countians could end up paying more.

Who might they be?

Folks who are American Electric Power (AEP) customers, that's who.

Because AEP is significantly cheaper than OE/FE, AEP customers may not save money under an aggregation plan but under the commissioners' plan will be automatically included and must "opt out" to not be included.

If it turns out that AEP customers will not be benefited, think a few might not know they need to opt out or forget to opt out?

Why would the commissioners make the gas aggregation plan an "opt-in" and the electric aggregation "opt-out?"

Is the county going to be put to extra expense in postage and administration costs notifying Stark Countians who turn out not to benefit that they need to opt-out?

Yours truly is not a part of the the county gas aggregation plan because cheaper rates are available under the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) "Apples to Apples" program.

Apparently, most Stark Countians are AEP customers. Let's say in the run up to the vote that the AEP customers take the position that they will not benefit and therefore vote down a county electric aggregation plan. Is that fair to the 100,000 or so who very likely will benefit?

In the final analysis it seem as if the commissioners are all turned around on what Stark's citizens ought to be able to vote on and what the commissioners should simply - err, not impose; let's say implement.

Voters in Stark County should have the right to vote on the sales/use tax.

The Commissioners should vote to "implement" an electric aggregation plan NOW and rethink the opt-out part of the plan. Opt-out (a mainstay of the credit card industry as a way for companies to use consumer information for indirect purposes unless the customer "opt-out") in an anti-consumer approach in that it is laced with consumer burdens and therefore needs to be scrapped.

According to The Massillon Independent's account (Stark County resident to vote on opt-out electric aggregation program, Rinker, July 15), Commissioners Harmon and Ferguson favored the opt-out plan whereas Commissioner Bosley was for the opt-in plan. Obviously, Harmon and Ferguson are doing the bidding of Mark Burns of Independent Energy Consultants, Inc. Why?

Bosley has it right with the opt-in, and, as usual, Harmon and Ferguson are on the anti-everyday person side of the issue and bending over backwards to accommodate the Mark Burns and his corporation. Again, why?

While the commissioners are rethinking the electric aggregation plan, they may also order up some "IronY Out" treatment in order to get the irony out of Stark County government.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

TALK IS CHEAP? SCHURING - ONCE AGAIN - PROVES TO BE A "COOKIE CUTTER" REPUBLICAN

Yours truly has spoken with state Senator Kirk Schuring quite a few times over the last few years.

One of the frequently uttered lines by Schuring over this space of time has been: "I know, Martin. You think I am a "cookie cutter Republican."

Now is the time to make a definite attribution. State Senator J. Kirk Schuring is a "cookie cutter Republican."

Schuring had the perfect opportunity yesterday and break ranks with the run-of-the-mill senate Republican (the leadership voted for the bill, giving it the margin it needed to pass) by voting for the next biennium Ohio budget bill or alternatively taking the lead in the Ohio Senate and offer a alternative to the Strickland/Ohio General Assembly compromise being voted upon.



The SCPR believes that this is one more reason to be added to the list of reasons that his candidacy for Congress against Democrat John Boccieri failed last year. Schuring loss was truly astounding. Particulary the margin he lost by in Stark County.

Apparently, the votes he got in Stark were from the Republican base with very few coming from Democrats and independents. The moral of the political story for Schuring is that - if the Democrats run a strong candidate - he loses countywide in Stark.

Accordingly, look for Schuring to run once again in the seat that Oelslager is vacating (the 51st) in their game of musical chairs (thereby defeating the spirit of Republican initiated term limits legislation) where the registration number favor Republicans.

The Stark County Republican Party is on life support. Even though many Democrat officeholders are trying to self-destruct (Healy, Swanson and Zeigler for sure); Republicans won't let them.

Under Jeff Matthews feeble leadership (aided by Republican operative Jason Wise), there are no strong Republican candidates in sight to take on Democrat Stark County auditor Kim Perez and Stark County commissioner Todd Bosley in 2010.

Schuring has suggested to the SCPR that one of the options that he was looking at for 2010 was running countywide.

Yours truly now believes that would be foolhardy. In view of his staggering loss to Boccieri (2008) and his hewing the Republican Party line, how can he win against strong Democrats such as Perez and Bosley in a Democratic leaning county?

If Schuring were to run against either and lose, he would be finished politically in Stark County, except in Republican dominated areas of the county.