Friday, September 27, 2013



On July 23, 2010, the-now-former-governor of Ohio Ted Strickland (a Democrat) came to Stark County for a campaign event at the posh Mill Ridge Path home of then-councilwoman (Ward 3 - Massillon) Kathy Catazaro-Perry.

ln what the SCPR said at the time was a huge mistake, he allowed Catazaro-Perry to NOT invite sitting Massillon mayor Chicchinelli to the event.

While I cannot make the case that the Catzaro-Perry Cicchinelli snub cost Strickland the election, it certainly did not help him over a 5,000 plus vote deficit in Stark and 77,000 plus vote deficit across Ohio to have folks like Maier, Jackson and Catazaro-Perry involved in his campaign.

Catzaro-Perry's chief political adviser, Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., was the first Stark County Democratic Party chairman to endorse Strickland when he first ran in 2006.

Maier likes to imply (and Strickland plays along) that his endorsement was a critical factor in Strickland obtaining the Democratic Party nomination.

I think Maier overplays the significance of his move, but what would one expect from the politically self-aggrandizing Maier.

More pertinent to this blog discussion is that Catazaro-Perry being snubbed on this past Saturday night when she was thought to be the most appropriate person (i.e. female mayor of Massillon) to introduce Ohio Democratic treasurer candidate Connie Pillich.

The occasion was the annual clambake of the Western Stark Democratic Club which is held on the 3rd Saturday of September.

This event was started by former Massillon councilman Glenn Gamber 18 years ago.  Its purpose was and remains raising campaign funds for Massillon city Democratic candidates/Democratic officeholders who participate in the event by selling tickets.

Net proceeds are distributed according to a formula in proportion to numbers of tickets sold by candidate/officeholder participants.

According to Gamber, this year only two candidates did not participate:  Mayor Catazaro-Perry and council president Tony Townsend.

Gamber tells me that the event has raised tens of thousands of dollars over its 18 year life.

Another source told me that Mayor Catazaro-Perry was recommended as Stark County Democratic Party chairman Randy Gonzalez's choice to introduce Pillich.

Gonzalez had been invited to emcee the event but could not do so because he was on vacation.  Gamber then turned to Stark County prosecutor John Ferrero confidant John Kurtzman (president of the Western Dems organization) who deferred in favor of Prosecutor Ferrereo.

Catazaro-Perry is reported to have had another obligation (a wedding to attend) for the evening.

However, she must have thought, for such an honor she could carve out a smidgen of time.

So she shows up expecting to do the honors but not to stay as participant in the evening long event.

I am told that Ferrero (who is a former Stark County Democratic Party chairman and whose political base is in Massillon where he served as the city's law director) took charge and began making introductions of prominent Stark County Democrats in attendance.

On the completion of the local dignitaries intros, it was expected by Gamber (as he had made it clear that she was there for that role) that Ferrero would yield the floor to Catazaro-Perry for the Pillich introduction.

But that did not happen.

In what had to be an intentional snub of the mayor, Ferrero, to the horror of Gamber, proceeded to introduce Pillich.

It is thought that Ferrero's "humiliating to Catazaro-Perry act" was done on purpose on the background of political discord between him and the mayor over various Massillon issues including, for an example,  her persistence in insisting that Massillon City Council reduce the income tax credit that folks like Ferrero, though he lives in Massillon, works in Canton and pays the Canton city income tax offset by a full credit on his Massillon city income taxes.

If her presence at the event had been a balloon version of herself rather than being in-person; one would think, on Ferrero usurping the Pillich introduction, the noise and ferocity of the deflating balloon would have been spellbinding/dominating for those attending.

But a balloon representation was not the form of her presence, Mayor Kathy herself "live and in person" was at the event.

And as soon has she could manage an exit, she did so, I am told, with an unmistakable "I am pissed off" flourish.

Gamber tells me that she is mad at him.

What an injustice that is.

Gamber described to me in detail all the care that he took to ensure that Chairman Gonzalez's request was honored.

I am convinced that "the snub" was all the work of John Ferrero.

And, as SCPR blog readers know, I have written frequently that Ferrero is more than capable of doing what he appears he did to Mayor Kathy.

While former mayor Frank Cicchinelli had nothing to do with the Ferrero snub, he had to take a great satisfaction in this political humiliation of Mayor Kathy.

As folks who read this blog know there are three Democratic political factions in Massillon:  former Mayor Cichinelli's (who Catazaro-Perry defeated in the May, 2011 Democratic Primary), John Ferrero's and the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr./Shane Jackson,s one.

A bit of qualification about the Cicchinelli and Ferrero factions and their relationship is in order.

Though each has his own set of political loyalists, they are not adversaries and should Cicchinelli decide to run for the Democratic nomination for mayor in 2015 (and he is thinking about it), expects Ferrero to support him.

While most people do not like to see the type of humiliation that Catazaro-Perry most certainly had to feel Saturday night; the same could be said about Frank Cicchinelli on his being snubbed by Mayor Kathy when the-then Governor Strickland came to town.

As the Stark County Political Report sees it, her experience is clearly a case of being:

Turnabout is fair play!

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