Friday, November 4, 2011


The "Yes! for Safety - Issue 29" (YFSI29) campaign has done a superlative job raising money for it campaign.

Since Watergate days, Americans have been fine-tuned to "follow the money" in determining who is behind a given candidate, operation or issue.  Many times the money trail is hard to follow.  And it takes a herculean investigative journalism to uncover the trail.

But there is nothing secretive about the YFSI29 contributions.

The SCPR has obtained a copy of the group's statutorily mandated 2011 pre-general campaign finance report and presents the following analysis:


As readers can see in the above graphic, through October 19th of this year YFSI29 raised $65,809.18 (NOTE:  The cover sheet above shows only $55,939.18 which does not include a $9,470.00 [specifically for billboard contribution] by the Stark County Deputies Ass'n coupled with $200 each from the Alliance FOP and the Canton CPPA.

Breaking down the contributions by "interest? groups," here is The Report's analysis:

First on the list is the business community:   The Timken Company ($15,000) and the Aultman Health Foundation ($15,000) head up the list which the SCPR computes to be a total of $37,525 or 57% of the pre-general election contributions.

What voters should be asking themselves is what, if anything, do these contributors have to gain - other than just "old fashion civic pride" at helping Stark County - by making these contributions?

Second is the Stark County Deputies Association (SCDA) and the police community, in general.

SCDA financing comes in at $11,470.00 or 17.4% of total pre-general-election contributions.

(NOTE:  The only other than SCDA police connected contributions [except, perhaps, for individual policemen that the SCPR cannot identify on the report] were from Alliance's Fraternal Order of Police ($200) and the Canton Policemen Patrolman's Association ($200) which pushes the total percent of police associated contributions to 18%.

Of course, we know that the deputies have to gain:  their jobs, their very livelihood.

Third is the prosecutor's staff.

Most of the contribution from this office, understandably, came from the assistant prosecuting attorneys (listed below).

The office contributed "about" $4,000 which is 6% of the total YFSI29 receipts.  (note:  it is probably a little bit higher however the SCPR does not know the names of most of the supporting staff so as to identify them and thereby arrive at a precise figure)

If you believe Prosecutor Ferrero, a sales tax levy loss means that most of the assistant prosecutors will be looking for private sector work come December.

Interestingly enough, Ferrero is not the largest contributor from his office as listed in the campaign finance report.  He is second.  Ferrero was bested by Katie Chawla who is a criminal trial attorney for the office.

Records show she contributed $300 whereas Ferrero appears to have contributed $250.


Maybe when he sees this blog (oh, I forgot, he tells yours truly that he does not read the SCPR); okay, then when someone from his office tells him about his being second, it will be interesting to whether he correct this "who would have thunk it, phenomenon."  We shall see when the post-general campaign finance report comes out.

Fourth is the elected officials group.

It appears that the word went out that an appropriate donation for county elected officials was $250.  It seems as if most made the $250, but not all.  In all they collected $5,300 or 8%.

Are Randy Gonzalez (Jackson Township fiscal officer) and Joe Martuccio (Canton law director) the only non-county elected officials to make a contribution?

How interesting, no?

No Mayor Healy,  no "likely to be" Massillon mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry, no Alan Andreani nor Steve Okey (vying for the Alliance mayoralty), and no North Canton Mayor David Held (likely to be re-elected)!

Can you believe it!

If this levy goes down and the post-election analysis is that the YFSI29 needed to have had more financial resources, are these folks going to look awfully bad to their constituents when reality sets in and their cities have no place to take their prisoners.

Another interesting tidbit.

Sheriff Tim Swanson was the leading public official contributor.  He contributed $500 rather that "the expected?" $250.  Hats off! to Sheriff Swanson!

And yet another point.  Yours truly was surprised to see no contribution listed in the individual name of Dick Reinbold. The same Dick Reinbold who went after anti-sales-taxer Craig Conley.  (The Report hears they have patched things up since their "fuss" last Friday at Bender's Tavern)

With the passion he has for the sales tax, one would figure on him at least doubling down on his spouse and Clerk of Courts Nancy Reinbold's contribution, no?

It was surprising to see no contribution in the name of Alex Zumbar.  The Report knows he is wholeheartedly in favor of the tax.  He probably got distracted with all the replacing Gary Zeigler turmoil?

In summation, the private sector (mainly Timken and Aultman) together with law enforcement types contributed some 80% of the total contributions to the levy effort.

 "Following the money"  certainly reveals a picture of who the  stakeholders are in seeing to it that the sales tax gets passed.  As usual, it boils down to those who have the most to gain.

For the average citizen, the best we can expect is county government limping along even with the tax passing as the proponents could not see that it was politically doable to propose as tax (1%) that would have really fixed the county's financial woes.

Below is the entire list of contributors (except for the billboard contributions of the Stark Co Deputies Ass'n [$9,470], the Alliance FOP [$200] and the Canton CPPA [$200]):

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