NOTE: The Bocceri/Renacci campaign heated up big time yesterday with the filing of a defamation lawsuit by Renacci against one of Boccieri's prime 16th District union supporters.
An interesting side note is that Richard S. Milligan, a member and past president of the Canton City Schools Board of Education, is one of the lawyers listed as filing the complaint on behalf of Renacci.
The Stark County Political Report is starting to get the idea that freshman Congressman John Boccieri (Democrat - 16th) is not at his best as a U.S. representative when it comes to constituent services.
His predecessor Republican Ralph Regula was excellent when it came to serving the day-to-day needs of Stark, Ashland, Wayne and Medina Countians.
Another former area congressman who was outstanding on constituent services was Republican Congressman William H. Ayers (the 14th Congressional District - a Democratic district with a big labor union presence) who served from 1950 through 1970. When yours truly was a student at The University of Akron, Ayers was roundly criticized for his lack of gravitas when it came to substantive national issues, but he was given high, high marks for his constituent services.
What brings this topic up is and interesting happening at the regular Stark County commissioners meeting on this Wednesday past.
During the "public speaks" portion of the meeting, a Green Card Stark County resident who is an Australian asked for the floor and was granted a hearing by commissioners.
She could not get the help of area public officials in her quest to solve a housing problem she has been experiencing for a number of years. One of the public officials she singled out was?
You've got it! Congressman John Boccieri.
The Report was not surprised - based on personal experience with Boccieri as congressman - to hear about this lady's claim that Boccieri would not help her. And maybe he has an explanation as to why she would be saying the things she said at the commissioners' meeting on Wednesday. See the video below to capture her frustration.
Normally, the SCPR would contact the congressman's office to inquire further about the matter. However, Boccieri and his office personnel have demonstrated to yours truly that they will not engage hard or uncomfortable questions and want to spoon feed area media with press releases and the like in order to propagate the Boccieri spin.
Moreover, The Report has heard a considerable number of complaints about Boccieri being loathe to engage the folks that make up the 16th District.
If Boccieri has a problem answering the questions and serving the needs of "eligible to vote" 16th District residents, what chance does the Green Card holding - ineligible to vote - lady from Australia have to get his ear and assistance.
Answer: between "slim" and "none" and "slim" just left town.
John Boccieri has an unexciting Republican opponent in Jim Renacci this November.
His 2008 opponent Kirk Schuring was a world ahead of Jim Renacci. But the timing of Renacci running is such (with the popularity of Democrat president Barack Obama at all time low as November comes into focus) that the less qualified Renacci may eke out a close victory.
Boccieri cannot control what the voting public thinks of Barack Obama. But he can promptly, effectively and efficiently serve his constituents.
Undoubtedly, if he loses, Boccieri will want to blame the tide against Democrats because of some of the unpopular programs and policies of the president.
But the real reason for a loss may be his unwillingness to face up to tough questions and to deal with constituents who don't hit his fancy.
Back in 2008 the SCPR predicted that Boccieri would win by about 10 percentage points. And that is about where he finished.
Just a few months ago it looked like to the SCPR that Boccieri would defeat Renacci by about 4 to 5 percentage points.
However, as each day passes, it is looking like this race could be neck and neck by November 2nd.
In the end, the critical difference could be Boccieri's inability to be the match of Ralph Regula and William H. Ayers for constituent services.
Here is the video referred to above.