Monday, October 25, 2010


The SCPR caught up with Ohio Democratic Party chair Chris Redfern when he appeared the Akron Press Club on September 9th.

The 9th was the day after an Afro-American union leader from Canton (Robert Thompson of AFSCME - American Federation of State, County, Municipal Employees) appeared at Town Hall meeting which Republican 16th District congressional candidate was holding at the North Canton Civic Center and confronted Renacci about his views on civil rights enforcement.

The SCPR believes that some Congressman John Boccieri's supporters had pre-arranged with Thompson and others to show up at the Town Hall meeting knowing that Boccieri was going to show up unannounced at the Renacci event and ask questions designed to put Renacci in a bad light and Boccieri in a good light.

Renacci took the bait and, The Report believes, misspoke in saying that civil rights enforcement should be handled the local level.

In doing so, Renacci may have hurt himself with "on the fence voters" who remember the days when civil rights were pretty much a state and local government matter.   As we all recall, in the South this was not a good thing for minorities.  It took Dr. Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s to get the federal government to intervene and deal with state and local government inadequacies to provide basic civil rights in such areas as education, the right to sit at the front of public buses and the right to vote.

While nobody believes that Renacci wants to move back to a time when discrimination against minorities abounded in local government settings especially in the South; in sounding out a return to local government enforcement of civil rights, he appears to be a tad naive as to what that might mean in certain U.S. localities.

So it would be Renacci's apparent naiveness that would be disturbing to some 16th District voters and may affect some votes.  As far as the SCPR knows, Renacci has never retracted his "local enforcement of civil rights" comments.

In a close race, which the Boccieri/Renacci contest certainly will turn out to be, a few votes here and a few votes there could make the difference in the outcome of  the election.  The SCPR believes this race could be decided by a handful of votes.

An effort that Democrats are making is to "get out the vote" (GOTV).  A statement like Renacci's could provide an incentive for urban voters whom are, for the most part,  located in Stark County (Canton, Alliance and Massillon) to vote in greater numbers than they normally would in an off-year election.  In fact, President Obama is out on the political hustings trying to persuade those voters to reverse the trend of their not voting in off-year elections. Those voters are not likely to be Renacci voters.

It appears that Congressman Boccieri has decided on a Stark County strategy to eke out a victory in this year's election.  As the election draws to a close in eight days, his campaign appearances are heavily, if not exclusively, Stark County.

Starting today, he is making stops at senior centers in various Stark County locales and has former President Bill Clinton doing a tailgating event at the Massillon-McKinley football extravaganza in Massillon on Saturday.  On Saturday, Stark County unions hosted a Boccieri event at the Golden Lodge on Harrison Avenue in Canton at which Clinton campaign advisor (1992 and 1996) and CNN political consultant Paul Begala appeared.


Of course, the Democrats jumped all over Renacci about his comments in North Canton.  Included in the Democrat onslaught (predictably so) was Chris Redfern in his capacity as chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party as seen in the video accompanying this blog which The Report recorded on September 9th.

Additionally, Redfern weighs in on the Bosley/Snitchler race for the Ohio House:

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