When the SCPR talked with Canton Councilman-at-Large Bill Smuckler a few days ago, his conversation reeked with glorying in the fact that two of the Timken's heavy hitters (CEO James Griffith and VP - Gov't Affairs Bob Lapp) had come out as being for Smuckler for Mayor as between Smuckler and Mayor Healy.
But The Report asks: for how long?
Probably until next Tuesday when the results of the Democratic primary become known as to who wins between incumbent Mayor William J. Healy, II and challenger Bill Smuckler.
Obviously, if Smuckler loses; the Timkens and their company leaders are not going to be supporting Healy against either Republican (Leon Gerig - A.R. "Chip" Conde), and, moreover, The Report, believes that it would be incredibly naive for Smuckler to think the Timkens would stay with him in the general election.
Nevertheless, it is important for Cantonians to be getting a signal from W.J. Timken et al (inasmuch as the Timken Company is about the only good thing going for Canton on the economic front these days) that in their judgment the Healy administration has not gotten the job done for Canton.
When one looks at Smuckler's pre-primary campaign report as well as that of Healy (the "out-of-towner") one is struck by the fact that most of the contributors are high rollers. Smuckler is being bankrolled by a large number of company presidents, owners and the like. However, Healy is not exactly standing on the street corner begging for passers by to contribute to his campaign effort.
Healy is getting heavy union support but not from individual contributions of folks who happen to be union member. The contributions are "top-down" decisions to support Healy with large contributions that outstrip anything Smuckler is getting from the entrepreneurial/corporate bigs.
If Smuckler wins - and he is saying that his pollster indicates he enjoys a double digit lead currently - he will have to find a way to get back into the good graces of the Stark County union movement. For the Timkens (the family and their company leadership) and their "good government fund" will be long gone and ensconced in the Republican cause. After all, Bob Lapp is on the executive committee and the central committee of the Stark County Republican Party.
Undoubtedly, Smuckler is enjoying the Timken flirtation for as long as it lasts. For the general election, he will have to turn to his "old" and "reliable" friends like the Slesnick family (relatives of his) for a good chunk of his campaign financing.
Here is Smuckler "entire list" of contributors as set forth on his pre-primary campaign finance report filed last Thursday: