Tuesday, November 2, 2010


UPDATE: 11/02/2010 - 4:30 p.m.

Stark County Democratic Party Chairman Randy Gonzalez contacted yours truly with a different version of the event than reported in the original blog which came from a source who was in a position to know the account provided by the chairman.  Obviously, the source failed to relate to The Report everything that he knew or was in a position to know.

Gonzalez says he had no say over how Saturday's rally was handled.  Moreover, he says that the program of, the content of, the order of, the location of and the participants in the event were directed by a combination of Clinton and Strickland aides,

Gonzalez said that he was only able to get seven persons into the greeting/reception event that occurred inside Tozzi's.  The inside event was, according to Gonzalez, a fundraiser for Congressman Boccieri.


It was supposed to be a Stark County Democratic Party love-in.  But did it turn out to be that?

Perhaps not.

The Stark County Political Report has learned that there was a list of the top 40 Democrats who were allowed into Tozzi's on 12th Street NW to meet and greet former president Bill Clinton, Governor Ted Strickland, Attorney General Richard Cordray and Congressman John Boccieri when they arrived at the restaurant early Saturday afternoon to a "get out the vote" (GOTV) rally.

As usual at these events, the dignitaries were running late.  In this case about an hour, hour and one-half late.

It was cool and somewhat windy day, but not intolerably so for those (including the media) who were patiently waiting for the luminaries to show up.

However, a few of Stark's top Democrats apparently felt discomforted with the brisk weather and had the option to be inside of Tozzi's restaurant (the site of the rally being outside to the rear of the building). 

The Report hears that a couple of such persons were former Stark County Democratic Party chair Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. (also clerk of courts in Massillon, a member of the Stark Co. Board of Elections and a member the state of Ohio Board of Nursing) and his staunch Massillon political ally Kathy Catazaro-Perry (a member of Massillon City Council and thought by many to be in line to challenge Democrat Mayor Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr. in next May's Democratic primary).

So as the story goes, one of the two says "let's go inside."  Standing nearby was Stark County Commissioner Pete Ferguson who apparently was also feeling the chill.  On hearing the talk about moving inside, Ferguson reportedly asked if he could go with them.

Answer:  "No, you are not on the list."

Hmm?  A list.

The Report hears that a list of 40 Stark County Democrats was put together and in addition to Commissioner Ferguson, some of Stark's top Democrats who were not included.  Not included was long time Stark County of Common Pleas judge Richard Reinbold (running today against Republican Scott Oelslager in Ohio's 29th Senate district) and Commissioner Todd Bosley (running against Republican Todd Snitchler in Ohio's 50th House district).

So, you have to cut the list off somewhere, no?

Of course.

But when you hear that Catazaro-Perry was on the list as well as Commissioner Steve Meeks (running against Republican Janet Creighton for the vacated Bosley commissioner seat) and Tom Harmon (who holds not an elected office) and a friend of Tom Harmon, you just have to wonder what the criteria was for being on the list.

Apparently, being on the list was a function of being politically close to Stark County Democratic Party Chairman Randy Gonzalez and Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. (who many believe did not "really" give up the party chairmanship about a year ago now).

Chairman Gonzalez has come under fire from Democrats running for office this year for not providing them time and space on the platform to ask the the estimated 1,000 for their vote and campaign support in the waning days of the 2010 campaign.

News clips of a competing Republican rally at congressional candidate Jim Renacci's headquarters, show that the Republicans did have their Stark County-based candidates on the dais.

A local Democrat who did get time and space before the 1,000 person throng was Canton Mayor William J. Healy, II.

To The Report, Healy's appearance was sort of ironic.

Healy's main point was to cajole members of the audience into staffing a GOTV effort for today.

Hmm?  Let's see.  A member of the Stark County Democratic Top 40 asking the "unprivileged" to make him and his fellow elites look good today and in some cases to put or keep them in office.

A neat trick if you can pull it off, no?

Here is a video of Healy exhorting the crowd.

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