Thursday, April 4, 2013


UPDATE:  11:00 a.m

About 15 minutes ago, the SCPR received an email response from Frank Morris on The Report's question as to whether or not Morris will be filing an ethics complaint with the Ohio Ethics Commissions regard the "re-elect" part of Joe Cole's campaign signs being put up in the 9th Ward.

Here is Morris' response:
From: [F]rank [M]orris"

To: "Martin Olson" <>


A complaint with the Ohio Ethics Commission is definitely being considered.

I am hopeful that this will not be necessary, and that Cole will do the honorable thing and take down his misleading signs and stop using misleading materials.

We need to be focusing on the issues that affect Ward 9 (such as the need for more police).

Not on how crafty we can be with our campaign literature.


Ever since Councilman-at-Large Joe Cole took out petitions to run either for reelection or against fellow Democrat Frank Morris (first term councilman for the 9th Ward), it has been obvious that the makings of a real political brouhaha of a Canton councilmantic 2013 election were going to be a distinct possibility.

Well, why would Cole be taking out two sets of petitions anyway?

Because if long time Councilwoman-at-Large Mary Cirelli decided to stay in council, then it was going to be likely that Cole was going to be "the odd man out."

How so?

Because there are two other Democrats who are a cinch to be reelected in former long time councilman Bill Smuckler and Councilman-at-Large Jimmy Babock (the son of a former Canton councilwoman and former mayor of Canton).

So for the three spots, the choice of the voters was highly likely to be Cirelli, Smuckler and Babcock which, of course, leaves Cole on the outside looking in.

So as the SCPR sees it, Cole says to himself:  "Hmm, I live in the 9th Ward, the incumbent Frank Morris is a first termer and therefore somewhat vulnerable and rather than face off against Cirelli, Smuckler and Babcock; why don't I take a run at Morris?"

"And besides, I do not particularly like Morris.  He has more or less banded together with a more or less dissident group of councilpersons (Cirelli, Fisher, Hawk, Mack, Mariol and Morris) to the mayor's agenda.  I am a big believer in the mayor's plan for Canton.  Hmm?  Isn't it a no brainer?

Makes sense, no?

Well, comes along Mary Cirelli.

Mary sees that a peach of an "off to political heaven" opportunity has surfaced for the taking.

Bob Schirack has announced he is retiring at the end of 2013 as Canton treasurer.

And all she has to be able to do is defeat former Stark County auditor Kim Perez to be able to walk off into the blissful sunset of "if you don't screw up - you are set for the rest of your political life."

Perez lost his auditor's post in the 2010 general election, the SCPR believes, because Stark Countians perceived that he did not (even though he did contact the State of Ohio Auditor) do everything he could have (from his auditor's office vantage point) in terms of vociferously and not to be stymied in raising alarms that all was not right with Stark County treasury finances pre-Aprii 1, 2009 on which date  officials discovered that former Chief Deputy Treasurer Vince Frustaci had stolen upwards of $3 million from the county treasury.

Smelling an political opportunity, Cirelli also takes out a petition to run for treasurer.


So why doesn't Cole merely stay in the council-at-large race where he is likely to be the third councilman of three to be elected?

Answer:  Cirelli will not tell Cole which direction she is going.  Will she run for reelection or will she go for the treasury position?

So what we got was a outrageously hilarious political cloak and dagger standoff between Cole and Cirelli in the filing deadline date and time (February 7th at minutes before closing time at the Stark County Board of Elections).

(LINK to prior SCPR blog which goes into much more detail on Cirelli's hoodwinking of Cole - a must see!)

Needless to say, Cirelli successfully wore the cloak whereas Cole was the recipient of the "political" dagger in that he got finessed into believing that Cirelli was filing for reelection as councilwoman-at-large.  Hence, he filed for the 9th Ward only to be shocked to learn that he had been hoodwinked by Cirelli.

Canton city council pols are still belly laughing over that one!

But Joe Cole isn't.

He is smarting.

And according to Morris, Cole has done a "shameful" thing as the campaign has gotten underway, to wit:
I have included a copy of an email I received today.
Dear Frank Morris:

At approximately 6:15 PM on this date, April 3, 2013, I observed candidate Joseph Cole personally placing a yard sign in [a] lawn [in] my neighbor[hood] ... . Inasmuch as Mr. Cole is NOT a candidate for the position he now holds as a Councilman-At-Large and therefore NOT a candidate for "re-election", I believe this to be a misleading and possibly illegal sign. I am willing to sign an affidavit attesting both what I observed and my objection to the ethics of such signage by Joe Cole. I am attaching a picture I took of the aforementioned sign (picture taken approximately 6:30 PM April 3, 2013).


C. David Morgan

[The rest of the Morris email]
It seem[s] that Mr Cole is upsetting some folks in Ward 9 with misrepresenting himself as their councilman.
If Mr. Cole is going out of his way to deceive the people of Ward 9 as a candidate and a current member of council then one would surely wonder if he will be capable of any honesty if elected.
I guess the question the voters should ask is what is Mr Cole trying to hide?
He is hell bent on trying to trick some voters into believing he's the incumbent, why?
Is he ashamed of his track record as an at-large member or does he just have that low of an opinion of them?
One can only assume that this is the manner in which career politicians conduct themselves when their back is against the wall.
And Morris included a copy of the political sign that Cole posted in the 9th Ward that is at the base of his allegation of deceit (i.e. "Re Elect').

A SCPR source says that one of  Cole's prime supporters (obviously, in addition to Mayor William J. Healy, II) David Kirven, who is business agent for the Local 94 of the Plumbers and Pipefitters union, has promised to put $10,000 into the Cole campaign.

Kirven, while admitting his commitment of supporting Cole, denies the $10,000 allegation.   However, on yours truly checking back, The Report's source sticks by his account.

To top this political drama off, Morris is clearly the most pro union councilman inasmuch as he is a trades union member himself!

So the question offered up in the title of this blog stands.

How mean, how dirty are the candidates going to get in this campaign?

Likely answer.

We ain't see nuthin yet folks!!!

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