The SCPR has learned that the big buzz coming out of the 65th Annual McKinley Stark County GOP event was the emotional tripping out of Stark Republican Party chairman Jeff Matthews.
Well, what did Jeff get so emotional about?
Jason Wise, that's who. Wise, who is executive director of the Stark Republican organization is reportedly leaving in May to do a stint in the U.S. military.
Attending Republicans were blown away by the emotion displayed as Chairman Matthews took center stage to thank Wise for his service as director. One Republican told the SCPR that "Matthews has all the emotion of a statute" as a matter of his persona and to see him cry real tears was a sight to behold.
In a way, the Matthews demonstration does not surprise The Report. Clues about the closeness of the relationship was evident in the wholehearted support Matthews gave Wise in Wise's putting together the Tax Day, Tea Day political rally on April 15, 2009.
Wise kept saying at the event that it was not a Republican event. But it was. GOP director Wise organized the event and a prime role was played by Wise pals Matthews and 50th House District representative Todd Snitchler. Congressman John Boccieri (Democrat - Alliance) was the only Democrat on stage at the tea party festival and host Matt Patrick made the most of it. Boccieri's appearance would not surprise Medina County Democrats, many of whom see Boccieri as a Democrat in Name Only (DINO).
The SCPR noted at the time that it was a conflict-in-interest for Matthews (also a director at the Stark County Board of Elections - BOE) to be at the event bashing the imposed 0.50 commissioner imposed sales/use tax (December, 2008.)
It is interesting to see that the Board of Elections has asked the Stark County commissioners for nearly a million dollars more ($2 million - 2009; $2.9 million - 2010; a 45% increase) and is in the process of adding four full time employees.
Hmm? A tea party protesting increased taxes and Matthews - a director at the BOE participates in putting together a whopping increase in what Stark County taxpayers are to pay for elections services. Add a large portion of political hypocrisy for Matthews.
Other things of local political interest did occur at the GOP gala.
Janet Creighton received a standing ovation and was the "local" star attraction at the McKinley festivity. Creighton had pulled petitions to run for one of the two open county commissioner seats that very day. Republicans see the former Canton mayor leading the way to Republicans once again holding non-judicial countywide office.
As reported previously by the SCPR, state Representative Todd Snitchler used the occasion to sound the keynote of "Taxing Todd" in a reference to Commissioner Todd Bosley who is taking on Snitchler for the right to represent the 50th House district.
One has to wonder, though, in light of the Matthews tears, what the musical theme was for the evening.
"It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To?"