Monday, March 4, 2013


UPDATED:  03/05/2013 at 10:00 AM


Council President Schulman
Announce Delay on 
Slesnick & Schuring
Coming to Council

Council president Allen Schulman announced at last night's meeting that due to scheduling conflicts state Rep. Stephen Slesnick postponed coming to council.

Accordingly, the SCPR retrieves his "Hip, Hip, Hooray" Award and places it in escrow until such time as he does show up.

Schulman also announced that Representative Schuring has indicated that he is willing to come and engage council at a time that his conducive to his scheduling.

Schulman told the SCPR that he cannot say exactly when Slesnick and Schuring would be appearing. 


Note on prior blog:  Healy Finally Acts on Tree Commissioner Appointees (See on Update of 2/26/2013 blog:  LINK)


 Schulman on His Frustration with Legislators

Schulman Takes on Repository's Hillibish

Cerilli Wants to Help Get Legislators to Canton

Hawk:  Ask Them Head-on Why They Are Not Coming!

At the February 11th meeting of Canton City Council it president Allen Schulman as he is wont to do in miscellaneous business got on his soapbox and decried the financial troubles of Canton due to the State of Ohio (and to a lesser extent - because of sequestration - the federal government) "pulling the financial rug from underneath" The Hall of Fame City.  (LINK to prior blog)

He then initiated an invitation to Stark County-connected state and federal legislators to come to Canton City Council (originally February 25th, rescheduled for tonight March 4th) and explain what is going on.

At council's meeting on the 25th, a number of them (Schulman, Cirelli and Hawk) and Mayor Healy are seen in the following video expressing consternation, disbelief and even outrage that Canton is being blown-off by Hagan, Oelslager and Schuring.

Tim Ryan (Democrat, the 13th Congressional District - the Alliance area; a man who is considering a run for governor of Ohio next year) did have one of his PR people send the SCPR a copy of a communication bearing on the funding of local governments from the federal/state level.

However, unlike other area media, The Report refuses to provide any space for such communications when the office holder will not respond to specific and critically attuned questions regarding the PR piece.



Initially, only Scott Oelslager (Republican [Plain] - the 29th Ohio Senate district) did the courtesy of even responding to the invite.  And that was to say "'No,' I am not coming."

The SCPR did contact his office and was told this past Friday that he is too busy and if any council person or President Allen Schulman wants to talk to him about Ohio General Assembly funding of Ohio's cities, they should telephone him.

Oelslager who has been a member of the Ohio General Assembly since the late 1980s (about 25 years) is now chairman of the powerful Senate finance committee and could be of help to Ohio's urban centers in coping with their financial woes if he was inclined to do so.

Or could he?

Perhaps not.

As most politically sophisticates know, the Republican Party seems to be the captive of the party's right to extreme right wing elements these days.  These political rightists have their base in rural areas of the country.

And Ohio is no exception.

The Ohio Republican Party controls the Ohio Legislature with a supermajority and has done it by electing representatives and senators from "rural Ohio."  Moreover, they have gerrymandered themselves into somewhat of a more or less permanent structure of control by creating cockeyed legislative districts to herd Democrats into relatively few and mostly urban of the 132 Ohio General Assembly seats.

They have done the same thing in Ohio's sixteen congressional districts.

This is hardly a recipe for either the state of federal Legislature to have any interest whatsoever in helping Canton (Ohio's eight largest city) and Stark County (Ohio's 7th largest county) or urban school districts with their finances.

So to be fair to Oelslager (who is largely viewed as being one of the Republican Party's few remaining moderates); he likely has his hands tied by the rural-based supermajority and pretty much has to do its bidding.

Scott is not the most courageous legislator around.

And he has forgotten who elected him in the first place.

It is obvious to yours truly that he is thoroughly ensconced in the Columbus Beltway and only makes it back to Stark County for cameo appearances and a little glad handing.  He is not into taking on tough questions from constituents. 

His office says he is busy.

Busy doing what?  Who is he busy working for?

It doesn't appear to be for urban/urban cluster areas like Canton, Ohio.

Nevertheless: Canton, Massillon, Alliance, North Canton, Louisville, Minerva, Canal Fulton, Hartville, East Canton, Magnolia, Brewster, Navarre and Waynesburg keep sending him back to Columbus with big majorities.


With that kind of response for getting kicked in the teeth, why wouldn't he and the others (who likewise have no problems getting reelected) continue to blow them off in spades.


A Stark County-based legislator since 1995, J. Kirk Schuring (Republican - Jackson Township - 48th Ohio House district) apparently is also going to be a "no show."

Although he is going to be in Canton on Tuesday at a Stark County Council of Governments (SCOG) meeting to be held at Canton City Council chambers at 4:30 p.m., the word as of late last week was that he is not going to be at tonight's meeting.

Could it be that Schuring is afraid to come to Canton at night?

Witness this statement (videotaped, but has been pulled from public view) he made back in June, 2008 when he ran against Democrat John Boccieri to succeed the-then retiring Ralph Regula as Ohio's 16th district congressman.

Schuring as a political persona is not a right-wing, extreme right-wing Republican.  But he does appear to be intimidated by them.

He seems to want to help local office holders when they ask him to do so, but has to grovel to likes of Lynn Watchtmann (Republican - Napoleon, Ohio).

A couple of years ago, Stark County Court of Common Pleas judge Taryn Heath chaired a county task force to get certain Ohio Legislature "unfunded mandates" eliminated (thereby saving Stark's local governments significant money) and at a meeting of Stark County commissioners got Schuring to agree to be Stark County's point man to work on the goal.

To the SCPR, his failure to achieve much on the announced objective of getting the unfunded mandates eliminated say all you need to know about Schuring's effectiveness. 

What's more, he introduced a bill at the behest of The Report to require local politicians to report the identity of vocation/organization that large contributors ($200 or more) make to their campaigns which he proved totally ineffective at getting through the Legislature.

And there are countless other examples of Schuring's failure to deliver for Stark County notwithstanding his repeated reelections spanning 18 years.

Oh yes, he produces here and there.  But the SCPR believes that if one were to take the requests for Stark County legislative benefiting action compared to this success rate, the success rate would be in the single percentage digits.  That's how confident The Report is on yours truly's take on the ineffectiveness of J. Kirk Schuring for Stark County.

Schuring's legislative record so far this year:


Cities like Canton can just totally forget Christina Hagan (Republican - Marlboro Township - 50th Ohio House district).

If anyone is symbolic of the Ohio General Assembly being dominated by small town, rural Ohio, she is it.

And to boot, she is clearly the personification of being a religious right, right-wing Republican.

Totally, totally out of touch with urban Ohio.

She does like to send press releases out to area media trumpeting her meager legislative accomplishments to area media (i.e. the one located at 500 Market Avenue, South) which seems to dutifully report them as written without any critical questioning).

This is what Hagan has done so far in 2013:

The SCPR seriously doubts that she can find her way to Canton City Hall.  Nor is she inclined to learn.


Well, Stephen Slesnick (Democrat - Canton - the 49th Ohio House District) is coming to council tonight.  So the SCPR is told.

The only problem is that as a marginalized Democrat he has absolutely NO CLOUT in the Ohio General Assembly. His being at council will definitely be as a "hand-holding" exercise.

But at least that's something.

That is why the Stark County Political Report has created the "Hip, Hip, Hooray Award" to bestow on him.

Just showing up is enough to win the award!

Otherwise, as readers of the SCPR know, The Report is totally unimpressed with Slesnick.

Though he represents urban, working class folks; he is not one of of the 47%.

Even if he were a Republican, The Report believes that he would get no respect at all from the Republican supermajority currently in charge of the Ohio General Assembly.

He appears to The Report to be a person who has nothing to do but be a state legislator.

You know, the sort of thing that children of well off families do just to have something to do.

Anyway, here is his legislative track record so far in 2013:


Kudos to Allen Schulman for trying to get the attention of area legislators.

But is he likely to ever take on a "I'm mad as Hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" and organize - for example - an "anybody but Scott Oelslager" effort at election time?

The SCPR thinks not.

And Oelslager and his fellows from Stark County are banking on their knowing (in their political heart of hearts) that Stark's urban/urban cluster elected officeholders will never, ever take punitive political action against them ignoring their plight.

For many of their years in the Ohio Legislature, Stark Countians need to keep in mind that Oelslager and Schuring have been a part of Republican majorities/supermajorities as they have switched back and forth between the House and the Senate.

What a waste of seniority/legislative experience status, no?

In the end, all the SCPR thinks will come out of it is:

The SCPR Hip, Hip, Hooray! Award to state Representative Stephen Slesnick for merely showing up!

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