Sunday, November 6, 2011


Though he is used to carrying heavy loads as a bus driver for the Stark Area Regional Transportation Authority (SARTA), Repubican Lee Brunckhart's race against Democrat Kathy Catazaro-Perry (the star and darling of the Massillon/Stark County Democratic Party) is not one he can manage.

Going into the final weeks of the campaign,  Catazaro-Perry had about $11,600 to spend whereas Brunckhart had a mere $700 or so.

Of course, both will have raised and spent more money by Tuesday, but the disproportion will continue, perhaps, even grow.

Moreover, there are other contrasts between the two candidates:
  • He is Ralph Cramden; she is Tina Fey,
  • He has a robust physique; she is trim,
  • He is straight talking; she is smooth and polished,
  • To the extent he has any support, it will come from "dyed-in-the-wool Republicans and, perhaps, a few blue dog Democrats; she get support from the "poobah set down through rank-and-file unionists,
  • He throws footballs; she's a cheerleader, and
on and on and on goes the list of contrasts.

Massillon is still basically a Democratic town despite the dramatic downturn in manufacturing which typically hires blue collar, if not Democratic-supporting unionists, workers.

Looking over Ralph's (err Lee's) pre-general election campaign finance report, the SCPR does not recall seeing one line item which bespeaks any union support whatsoever.

Kind of odd for a candidate who is a union member himself.

But who can resist the charm of Kathy Catazaro-Perry.

Apparently, very few.

The SCPR combed through her pre-general campaign finance report and it is notable how diverse her support is.  At the end of this blog, The Report lists all of her contributors in the pre-general report.

A few observations:
  • The Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. faction of the Massillon/Stark County Democratic Party is present in spades:
    • Maier, 
      • his brother George (rumored to be Catazaro-Perry's pick to succeed Mike Loudiana as safety service director), 
      • his brother Chuck (a former Massillon councilman, 
      • Johnnie's chief deputy of Massillon clerk of courts and "go-fer" Shane Jackson, 
      • Shane's mother and former Stark County commissioner Gayle Jackson,
      • Maier's stand-in as chairman of the Stark County Democratic Party Randy Gonzalez,
      • Randy's son Kody who is Rick Campbell's chief deputy as the Stark County Recorder (Rick, by the way is married to Lisa Jackson Campbell and is the chief administrator for Plain Township,
      • Rick Campbell, who is a card carrying member of the Maier entourage.  And on and on and on goes the list.
  •  Canton Mayor Willam J. Healy, II has many, many non-Cantonians who contribute to his campaign.  Well, so does Kathy Catazaro-Perry have many, many non-Massillonians contributing to her campaign.
  • If one believes that campaign contributions by not only access to elected officials but also a lot of control, then it is hard to see how Catazaro-Perry can do anything in Massilon without getting prior union approval.  Stark's unions that contribute to political campaigns are a huge factor in her fundraising.
Sooner or later, in apparently appealing to everyone (from poobahs down through unionists), a Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry is bound to run into a lot of trouble in trying to broker political satisfaction to both the upper-crusts and the just "ordinary and union member" everydays, no?

Well, the SCPR thinks so.

And with outgoing Mayor Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr leaving her a bleak financial picture and legacies factors that her administration is not going to be alleviate anytime soon, a Mayor Catazaro-Perry is after a few weeks/months in office is likely to take training in juggling because that is exactly what she is going to become proficient at to do what she campaigned on doing in terms of straightening out Massillon's horrible financial/economic outlook.

In addition to leaving her horrendous legacy problems, does anybody doubt that in one way or another he will continue to be a political problem to her.

Additionally, she will have to deal with her de facto co-mayor Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.

When Catazaro-Perry emigrated into Massillon from nearby Perry Township in the early 2000s, being the political opportunist he is, Maier latched onto her - determined to make her "a" if not "the" premier Democratic candidate/officeholder in all of Stark County.

He may succeed.  Who knows.  We all know that "countywide" Democrats are desperate these days.

They just lost the Stark County treasury to the Republicans probably for decades.  Last November they lost the auditor's office to the Republicans probably for decades.  And it is likely, the SCPR believes that the Republicans have a real opportunity to take over the sheriff's department and the prosecutor's office.

If they get real ambitious, they might even go after Maier devotee and Stark County recorder Rick Campbell.

If Catazaro-Perry succeeds in Massillon (despite all odds being against it), she could help Maier/Gonzalez reverse the steep slide the Stark County organized Democrats are taking these days.

But there will be a price to pay by Catazaro-Perry for being so dependent on Maier for getting her to "political" star power in Massillon.

In addition to having to satisfy both the unions and those who feel more comfortable with Wall Street, she will have to get Maier's blessing on just about everything she does as Massillon's mayor.

The SCPR wishes Catazaro-Perry good luck.

God knows that Massillon desperately needs her to succeed.

Take a look at the list of contributors to Catazaro-Perry.  It is a very, very interesting read:

No comments: