UPDATE AT 03:45 PM
Representative Snitchler has contacted the SCPR with a response to the anecdotal story that comes from Stark County Commissioner Pete Ferguson (Democrat) about a conversation he overheard from several supporters of Snitchler at an area event to the effect that the incumbent Republican is down in the polls and that he needs to get cracking.
Snitchler tells The Report that the anecdotal piece does not square up with reality. He says that in fact his recent poll (within the past week) done by a professional Columbus-based polling organization shows him up "north of 10 percentage points."
A distinguishing mark of the Stark County Political Report is to provide space to candidates for public office to respond to points made in SCPR blogs.
Last evening 50th Ohio House District candidate Commissioner Todd Bosley (Democrat - Marlboro) called the SCPR to give The Report a heads up on a flyer sent out by the Ohio Democratic Party (ODP) headed up by Chris Redfern.
The Report took the Bosley phone call as an effort to distance himself from the highly derogatory piece. To call someone a rat is an ultimate dissing. Bosley says that he has no control over what the ODP does and that he has made it clear to the Columbus operatives not to be putting out pieces like the one pictured above.
While Bosley denies thinking Representative Snitchler is a rat, he does outright call him an obstructionist. Bosley says that Snitchler has infuriated many House Democrats and that consequently the ODP/Ohio House Democratic Caucus combo is targeting Snitchler.
According to the flyer, Snitchler is a rat because (according to Commissioner Bosley err - The Report keeps forgetting - the ODP) he is:
- a job killer
- stretches the truth
- is not a friend to our [the 50th District] community
Well, Snitchler is a co-sponsor of House Bill 400 which is Republican gubernatorial candidate John Kasich's plan to do away with Ohio's income tax over a number of years.
And if there were a realistic chance of the bill passing, the ODP might be on to something. But as the SCPR sees it, the chances are between slim and none that the measure passes during the 128th Ohio General Assembly and Slim just left town.
Snitchler like most Republican candidates are fervent opponents of government taxation at all levels. Though the SCPR buys Snitchler's argument that HB 400 has virtually no chance of passage, the ODP is right in its suggesting a re-visitation to HB 400 in the upcoming 129 General Assembly?
The Republicans have a stranglehold on the Ohio Senate and there is no chance for the Democrats to gain control this election. Moreover, it is looking more and more like Republican Kasich might defeat Democrat Governor Ted Strickland come November 2nd. Kasich is currently holding about a 10% lead in a number of major polls.
So if Kasich wins, then the only domino left to fall is the Ohio House. With Republicans in control of the executive and legislative branches of government, then the Kasich idea as put in legislative form by Representative John Adams and a whole host of Republicans is as least (in the words of Representative Snitchler) "on the table for discussion."
Snitchler goes on to point out that while the topic of jettisoning the income tax will be on the table in the 129th, Minority Leader Billy Batchelder (who will become Speaker of the House if Republicans take control of the Ohio House) has said that the current depressed Ohio economy will not tolerate abandoning the income tax a la House Bill 400.
The real point of "the rat flyer" is whether or not the Snitchler/Bosley campaign is headed for ugliness.
Right now both Bosley and Snitchler are saying that if the campaign does devolve into a morass of political mudslinging, it will be the fault of the other.
Bosley can disassociate from "the rat flyer" all he wants, but the public perception is going to be that he is part of what comes out in his name. He can argue that he cannot control what comes out of Columbus. But it does not wash with the public.
Same can be said for Snitchler for when the Ohio Republican Party/House Caucus inevitably sends out a nasty piece in his name.
Snitchler tells the SCPR that he is going to try to keep the campaign on the high road but that he does have Plan B at the ready. The focal point of his attack? You've got it, Bosley's (as a commissioner ) "spearheading" (to use Snitchler's word) the imposition of the 0.50 of one percent sales tax increase on Stark Countians in December, 2008.
Snitchler knows how unpopular the tax was as evidenced by the voters rejection of retaining the tax by a 2 to 1 margin in November, 2009. He also noted that it is questionable that Bosley will be able to keep his promise to Stark County voters to maintain a 50/50 split on the imposed tax revenues between the Stark 9-1-1 rehab project and the county's general revenue fund.
About $2.75 million remains segregated in the Stark budget for 9-1-1. The Stark County Political Report believes that the new set of commissioners who will take over on January 1, 2011 will be under enormous pressure to take some of the $2.75 million and put it into the general fund. The county faces an average of 16.1% in Stark County departmental cuts over Fiscal Year 2011.
On another Snitchler/Bosley front, Commissioner Pete Ferguson tells the SCPR that he recently was at a public event at which he heard some Stark Republicans talking about a poll that the Snitchler camp has showing Snitchler (who is an incumbent Republican running in what appears to be a favorable Republican year) behind Bosley, and the quipping further that he had better ratchet up the campaign.
Early on in this campaign season, The Report tabbed Bosley/Snitchler as one of the leading closely contested races in all of Stark County. The control of the Ohio House of Representatives could depend on who wins between Bosley and Snitchler in the 50th located right here in Stark County. The 50th is indexed as being a dependable Republican district and a Bosley win would have to be taken as a "political upset."
Stay tuned to the Stark County Political Report for indepth analysis of how each of the highly contested Stark County races are playing out with the Stark County voting public.