Monday, February 22, 2010
SCPR FILES TWO COMPLAINTS WITH OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE OVER CONDUCT OF STARK BOARD OF ELECTIONS
The SCPR got up bright and early this morning to attend the Stark County Board of Elections regularly monthly meeting (BOE).
The meeting began at 8:00 a.m. The hour of the meeting should be a clue about the basic attitude of the Board towards the public.
Well, why was the SCPR at this particular meeting anyway?
The Report had asked Director Jennette Mullane (an appointee of the Stark County Democratic Party which board member Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., is a former chairman of and who recently hired Mullane's sister to work for him as clerk of courts in Massillon), to place an item on the Board's agenda.
What was the item?
That the Board set up a plan with a timetable to scan in petitions and campaign finance reports as they are filed so that these documents are speedily and readily available to the Stark County Public.
Well, was the matter on the agenda?
So, what did The Report do next?
After the meeting, yours truly asked Mullane about the omission.
The Board would not allow her to place the matter on the public meeting agenda.
So that was complaint #2 filed with the Ohio secretary of state.
Board member and Chairman William Cline (Republican of North Canton) denied the SCPR's effort to video-tape the meeting. No vote was taken of the entire board. No. Cline, unilaterally makes the decision. But after having to delay the meeting's start to have a private tete-a-tete with board member Maier.
What do you suppose that little confab might have been about?
While the discussion with The Report and Cline was going on, member Maier (in a sub voice) set upon disparaging blogs and the audacity of a blogger to be expected to be treated on a par with the likes of The Repository (which did have a reporter present).
The SCPR understands Maier's disdain for blogging because for him blogging appears to be a partisan political weapon; not the equal opportunity incisive critic that the SCPR is.
While Stark Politics was still up and running, Maier and his Stark County Democratic Party political director Shane Jackson (who is Maier's chief deputy at the clerk of courts office) were going bananas over the blogs attacking Democrats and a scant few Republicans who were less extreme than the anonymous Stark Politics blogger..
They wanted yours truly to do a countervailing blog.
What an insult!
But Maier is, in the opinion of The Report, a master of political insult and arrogance.
Of course, the rest is history. Not only did yours truly reject the request, but went totally the opposite and put together the SCPR to put both Republican and Democrat officeholders and candidates under intense scrutiny.
Mutual acquaintances have fed back to The Report that Maier has been known to go into spasm with some of the political critiques appearing in the SCPR.
In fact members of the Stark County Board of Elections, Director Mullane, Deputy Director Jeff Matthews (chairman of the Stark County Republican Party) have all been the subjects of various blogs by The Report.
The SCPR suspects that hostile attitude on the part of the Board and its executive leadership is comeuppance for the straightforward editorializing that The Report has done on several of personages cited above.
After the meeting, Cline very solicitously engaged The Repository reporter (ever wonder why you don't get hard-hitting journalism out of The Rep), but went out of his way to equate The Report to being "merely" (impliedly) a citizen attending a public meeting.
Cline may even have been taunting The Report in pointing out that the recording that the BOE makes is available in transcript form.
What exactly is the difference between an audio recording and a picture recording. Aah, yes. The picture. Why wouldn't the board members want their facial expressions seen when they discuss matters? Could it be that they betray a deeper meaning than would not appear on the printed page or necessarily in an audio?
The SCPR is the worst nightmare for many Stark County public officials and political candidates because of The Report's independence.
No advertisers, beholden to no sources, no family in government and the SCPR is willing to go eyeball-to-eyeball with those whom The Report criticizes!!!