Thursday, July 25, 2013


Recently, I was switching radio stations while out in the car and in the process checked into WHBC 1480 on your radio dial to catch a little bit of Ron Ponder's Points to Ponder.

Disappointing to me, Ponder was not hosting. Rather a gentleman by the name of Lin McDowell was.

Just about ready to tune-out when I heard a familiar voice that froze my dial-turning-hand.

Is that her I asked myself?


Her - who?

State Representative Christina Hagan (Republican - Marlboro - the 50th).

Indeed, it was!

Well, I have to hear this.

Maybe she has some "phenomenal" (you will get the play on "phenomenal" as you read on)) news out of Columbus to share with us listeners, I thought.

And she did not disappoint.

She blessed us with "phenomenal" news from straight out out of Ohio's capital city at least six times in the space of about 15 minutes on the air with McDowell.

But other than her prolific use of the word "phenomenal" interspersed with the word "powerful" or a variant thereof, I cannot recall anything equaling substance that graced her lips during the interview.

It was all fancy-mancy talk straight out of political "talking points" book of one her Ohio House mentors/minders.

I do remember that both she and McDowell are graduates of Malone University.

And, one other thing.

She said that college is not for everybody.  That is straight out of the playbook of her father John who held the "old" 50th District House seat 2000 - 2008. Must have been referring to himself.  As he is the personification of the statement.

Of course, she, McDowell and the like are exceptions.

For others:  merely having a high school education is enough.

Apparently, only the "phenomenal" go on to higher education.

Mind you folks, this is 2013 and advanced technology has taken hold on nearly everything and she thinks most of us are "good to go" with little or no advanced education.


But anyhow, she spent nearly all the time with McDowell talking in glittering generalities and superlatives.

Hagan has been a member of the Stark County delegation to the Ohio General Assembly for better than two years now.

In March, 2011 she was appointed by the Republican Ohio House Caucus to succeed Todd Snitchler who went on to bigger and better things as political godfather John Kasich's (current Republican governor)  PUCO chairman.

In the Republican primary of 2008, she got wiped out by Snitchler.  And in the course of her challenge of Snitcher, she said some pretty nasty things about him and the leaders of the Republican caucus.  Even accused them of trying to buy her off.

Now that she is on the inside looking out, Hagan thinks Ohio's Republican leaders are?  Can I say it again?  Okay - "phenomenal!"

In contrast to her view of the Republican bigs running the Statehouse, one thing should be clear to all but her family and friends; "phenomenal" she is not.

All she has shown so far is that she knows how to crank out press releases touting her participation in some pretty mundane legislative mishmash and other "style-driven" concoctions designed to get her maximum publicity without having to answer the question:  "Where's the beef?"

I said to myself:  "I need to find something for Christina to do in Columbus that is 'substantive' and which could be "phenomenal" for Stark County right down to the tiny hamlet of Marlboro Township which consists of some 4,000 or so souls."

So I have had my ears and eyes open looking for something of substance.

And, lo and behold! I think I have found something.

Yesterday, I received a press release from Attorney General Michael DeWine, another accomplished cultivator-extraordinaire of the media, to wit:

For those of you who are regular readers of the SCPR, you know that the Canton-Stark County Crime Lab (CSCCL - a unit of the Stark County Council of Governments [SCOG]) has run into some tough times of late.

The delays in processing evidence for criminal cases up for prosecution have stretched out so much that the Stark County police chiefs have taken the DNA work away from the locals and are sending it to Ohio's BCI regional facility located at Richfield which is just north of Akron.

With all the funding problems that Ohio's local governments are having at the hand of - you guessed it - the Ohio General Assembly with the help and assistance of one Christina Hagan; it does not appear that things can get better any time soon at the CSCCL.

And it is risky business to shift all the forensic work to the state of Ohio.  Whereas the floodgates of money are open for BCI now because Governor Kasich has decided that analyzing evidence is a top priority, such may not continue into another administration post-Kasich.

So the question becomes what to do to make sure Stark County has access to a first rate crime lab for the foreseeable future?

Answer:  Get Christina Hagan, Kirk Schuring (R-Jackson, the 48th) and Scott Oelslager (R-Plain, the 29th Ohio Senate District to push for the creation of a Kent State - Stark/BCI facility in the image of the BCI/BGSU project.

Richfield is not a good interstate highway interface for a regional BCI site and does not have the advantage of a university connection.

Canton/North Canton/KSU-Stark would serve northeast Ohio much more ably.

And let's make Christina the lead in doing something "substantive" for her political career, for Stark County and for Marlboro Township.

Marlboro Chief of Police Ron Devies was among the first to blow the whistle on the shenanigans on Canton's Healy administration that made existing CSCCL problems even worse.

Connecting a BCI lab to an institution of higher learning makes its long term funding much more secure than if left to the whims and caprice of a successor governor.

Moreover, such a setting would be a boon for workforce development in that the university will be training lab workers and scientific-oriented investigators (for government and private industry) in a hands-on, clinical environment that satisfies Hagan's bias towards vocational training as the best basis for employment for the rest of one's life.

And so what if the lab workers get some college exposure and maybe develop a mind powerful enough to become, perhaps - you know this is coming - "phenomenal!"

Read the rest of the DeWine press release:
... . “This new facility will enhance the laboratory and investigative services we provide to our law enforcement partners in Northwest Ohio,” said Attorney General DeWine.  “We’ll also be able to work with BGSU to advance forensic science in Ohio and help prepare our state’s next generation of scientists and investigators.” 
"The collaborative possibilities between the University and the BCI lab are endless," said Mazey. "Not only will it enhance our already strong science and criminal justice programs, we will be able to offer a number of research opportunities to develop new cutting edge techniques." 
The new BCI facility will elevate BGSU to the select group of colleges nationally that have on-campus crime labs.  BGSU will begin offering forensics as an undergraduate specialization this fall through the departments of criminal justice, chemistry, and biology to help students prepare for careers in public safety and forensic sciences.   
The expanded BCI location will encompass about 30,000 square feet and serve law enforcement and prosecutors in a 22-county area with on-site laboratory and investigative resources.   ... .
Now readers, you tell me.

If Christina Hagan puts her nose to the grindstone and leads the way to bringing a BCI/Kent State - Stark collaboration project to Stark County, wouldn't we all be willing to say:

"Christina Hagan:  yes she has "style," but she is one powerful and PHENOMENAL substantive legislator!"

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