Thursday, November 28, 2013



Judge Kristin Farmer was appointed by Governor Kasich to replace Judge Charles E. Brown, Jr not Judge V. Lee Sinclair as previously reported.

Original Blog

The Stark County Political Report wishes each and every reader an abundantly thankful Thanksgiving Day, 2013.

On this day, which was first celebrated in Plymouth colony is 1621 because of a bountiful harvest that year, the SCPR takes a pause to be thankful for the good deeds enhancing our democratic-republican institutions performed by various Stark County elected officials and public figures.

In no particular order of importance, only that each recipient made the coveted SCPR "the top 5 billing," I elaborate on the reasons why each merited making this year's list.


Stark County's prosecutor since 2003, Ferrero, never heretofore a SCPR favorite, outdid himself early this year (January, February) "he did the right thing" in "standing his ground" to the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr Massillon-based political machine and looked his successor "in the eye" and declared by affidavit that brother George was not qualified under Ohio statutory law to be Stark County sheriff.

In so doing, The Report sees Ferrero as having placed himself in "a front and center" for "the rule of law" in this specific situation.

It had to be under great duress that he faced off against the Maiers inasmuch as Ferrero himself is - make no mistake about it - a Stark County Democratic Party insider (SCDP chair from 1996 - 2003) who has benefited greatly from such status as a base and an accelerant to his rise in Stark County elected officialdom.

The SCPR doubts that the challenge to George Maier (manifested by the 84 votes against him) would have gotten to first base BUT FOR Ferrero's courageous act.

You can bet that the Maiers (George and Johnnie) will long remember the year of political Hell that Ferrero initiated for them with his affidavit.

John Ferrero's deed established the base for the quo warranto Ohio Supreme Court challenge to Maier's right to hold office under the Stark Dems appointment.

The Report figures that the Maier forces were figuring on bullying their way through the selection process and that none one who wanted a future in Stark County Democratic Party politics would dare oppose them.

That Ferrero stood in their path was a surprise to the SCPR and likely astounded Stark County Democratic Party chair Randy Gonzalez, Maier and Maier.

Of course, the SCPR does not know the "inside himself motivation" for John Ferrero having "stepped up to the plate," but The Report does know the "effect" of his having done so.

Because of the action of Prosecutor John Dee Ferrero, in Stark's political future, folks like George Maier will think twice about trying to steamroller "the rule of law" in arrogantly asserting:  "I guaranty that if I apply, I will be qualified."

All Stark Countians who care about our democratic-republican process should pause for thought in appreciation for Ferrero's "standing in the breach" and giving "the rule of law" a fighting chance.


The SCPR was skeptical that this daughter of one of Stark County's most pre-eminent elected/political officials; namely, Judge Sheila Farmer (Republican), now of the 5th District Court of Appeals would "anytime soon" be up to striking a blow for the proper application of Ohio's election laws in the Stark County context and thereby enhancing and strengthening "the rule of law" in our county.

Appointed by Ohio Republican governor John Kasich in December, 2012 to replace the highly respected Charles E. Brown, Jr, on the Stark County Court of Common Pleas when he retired, I was one who thought that Kristin Farmer (also, of course, a Republican like her mother) was one who traded on her maiden name and heritage to get the appointment.

Not to be naive, I do believe she used the Farmer name to gain the advantage in getting the appointment and like any savvy candidate for elective office will continue to use her "politically powerful," in Stark County, family name.

However, the SCPR remains open-minded, notwithstanding appearances.

Farmer distinguished herself in the case of North Canton councilman-at-large Mark Cerreta of earlier this year in which he was ruled off the ballot in what turned out to having been an "abuse of discretion."

Per a prior blog published by the SCPR, to wit:
But Judge Farmer was able to see that it is in the interest of the North Canton voter base to have a "real" choice and was able - in yesterday's decision - to find legal justification to side with "the spirit of the law" in finding that the BOE "abused its discretion" and "clearly disregarded applicable law" in jumping on a legal technicality to keep North Cantonians from having that freedom loving choice.
Unlike her colleague on the Stark County bench (Judge Frank Forchione) in the Stark Dems qualification process in SCDP-CC Ohio Supreme Court ordered re-do of its sheriff appointment as referred to in the Ferrero piece above, in the opinion of the SCPR, her legal decision was a well reasoned decision with cited legal authority.

The Report's take on Forchione's action is that his re-opening of the application process to new applicants was an arbitrary decision that should not be validated by Ohio's "court of last" resort given its opinion in Swanson v. Maier in the consideration of the Swanson/Darrow v. Gonzalez "mandamus" action currently on the court's docket.

To repeat the point of the cited earlier SCPR blog, for a new judge to demonstrate the sound judgment and well-reasoned basis in finding for Councilman Cerreta was "Simply Impressive."

Stark Countians too should be well taken with Judge Kristin Farmer and, what's more, be thankful for her making "a rule of the case" determination that enhances the election process in our democratic-republican system of government.


Democrat Timothy Swanson is a storied person in Stark County politics and government.

As Stark County sheriff from 1996 through 2013 (currently as interim sheriff), he has both his admirers and detractors.

You can bet that George T. Maier and his allies who control the leadership of the Stark County Democratic Party are not among his admirers.

The SCPR is impressed with Swanson on two counts.

First, notwithstanding that the SCPR has been a on, off, on-again, off-again critic of his over the nearly six years of existence of The Report (e.g. his ragging on Stark County voters who opposed and rejected [November, 2009] an imposed 0.5% sales tax by the-then commissioners Bosley, Harmon (Democrats) and Republican Jane Vignos), he has remained open and accessible to The Report when I have had questions for him to respond in his capacity as sheriff.

Second, his having "the intestinal fortitude" to stand up for "the rule of law" in the face of (one would presume) intense pressure of the Gonzalez/Maier faction of the Stark County Democratic Party for him "not to challenge" what turned out to be SCDP-CC's illegal appointment of George T. Maier to the Stark County sheriff's office.

Of course, The Report is cognizant that Swanson does have a stake in the outcome of the whole "replacement of the sheriff" scenario.  Pure and simple he wants his guy Lou Darrow appointed.

Nevertheless, Tim Swanson is standing tall and will be leaving his long-held sheriff's post in dignity.

And Stark Countians should be among the admirers of and be appreciative of the Swanson's contribution to "the rule of law," especially at this season of thanksgiving.

We all should be appreciative of not only material bountifulness but also of the fruit of doing what is right in support of our precious constitutional way of life.

Swanson could have chosen to disdain (as only one of three officials who have legal standing) challenging the Stark Dems illegal process and walk off into the sun of Florida never to be heard of again in Stark County official circles.

But he did not and we should all be thankful and this sacrifice should be his lingering legacy in Stark County.


Craig T. Conley is a very outspoken conservative Republican.

However, he demonstrates time again that he is able to set aside his political biases and push Stark County officials and public figures "to do the right thing" by Stark Countians.

Too quite a few Stark County officials he has proven to be the proverbial "pain in the arse."

Whether it has been dealing with former Stark County treasurer Gary D. Zeigler, Prosecutor John Ferrero, Judge Frank Forchione or the Stark County commissioners (Bosley, Harmon and Vignos [2008/2009] all very powerful figures in Stark County government - he has pushed for accountability in behalf of Stark County taxpayers.

Yesterday, he picked up the challenge to go after George T. Maier in order to recover for Stark County taxpayers monies he feels are returnable to taxpayers on account of Maier's appointment being void ab initio to the office of Stark County sheriff on February 5th of this year.

If one wants local government officials to be accountable and transparent and adherent to "the rule of law, then ought to be bullish on Craig T. Conley.

His latest target is Ohio Supreme Court tagged George T. Maier as usurper sheriff from February 11th through November 6, 2013.

While he recognizes that Maier certainly has historical policing credentials and performance indicators to be able to say that Maier was during his time in the Stark County sheriff's office a de facto qualified even in light of the the Supreme Court's determination on the 6th that he was not de jure (as a matter of law) qualified, goes further than the de factor factor to evaluate Maier.

Today the Alliance Review published a letter to the editor written by Conley questioning whether or not Maier has the requisite character (his expression:  "character counts") to be sheriff, to wit:

It is clear to the SCPR that one does not want to be in Conley's "line-of-fire."

He is dogged, he is persistent and he is tireless in his utmost devotion to "the rule of law" and concomitant ethics in the discharge of public duties by public officials.

And he follows up with taking on legal causes (many times "free of charge") as an attorney in the way of obtaining public official performance accountability.

At least one detractor has endeavored to tarnish his public repute as a dedicated supporter of the American/Ohio system of justice, but he has been vindicated.

Stark Countians need to reflect on Conley and think back over the years that he has taken on public interest legal enterprises that have benefited the Stark County public.

On this November 28, 2013 the SCPR highlights Conley's contributions to the public good as a recognition of what surely is a deserved public thankfulness for his standing up of the public interest.


On October 4th of this year the SCPR did a blog on Canton Ward 5 councilman Kevin Fisher (Democrat) and his tireless effort to put legislation in place (2012) to give Canton a fighting chance to solve - over the longer haul - its neighborhood blight problems which gets in the way of Canton turning around the city's over downturn and get heading into a better and rehabilitative direction.

His 2012 legislation was just the beginning and he stayed with the effort and 2013 was instrumental in putting the finishing touches on the legislation so that it provides city officials with the legislative and enforcement teeth to stop the blight and thereby stabilize Canton's neighborhoods.

He has worked diligently and tirelessly in the trenches of Ward 5 neighborhood life to become an effective force in neighborhood turn around.

Witness his work with SWIFT (Southwest Investment For Tomorrow) which is ensconced in Ward 5.

Undoubtedly, Fisher has the thankfulness of his constituents on this Thanksgiving Day for his hard work towards reviving and redirecting his neighborhood in a better direction.

A SCPR "Happy Thanksgiving Day Weekend" to the readers of The Report!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


UPDATED:  AT 2:30 P.M.




The Stark County Political Report has learned (weather permitting) that Stark County resident Thomas M. Marcelli will be filing a civil lawsuit today against "ousted-from-the-sheriff's office" George T. Maier to recover for Stark County taxpayers sums received/spent by Maier during his time (February 11, 2013 through November 6, 2013) at 4500 Atlantic Boulevard.

Marcelli's attorney, Craig T. Conley, back on November 12th sent Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero demanding that he seek recovery of monies received by and paid by or on behalf of Maier.

Ferrero declined to do so on his own initiative.

He did offer to join with the Stark County commissioners in requesting the Stark County Court of Common Pleas to appoint a "special prosecutor" to assess whether or not legal action be initiated to recover Conley thinks is some $120,000 that ought to be retrieved from Maier and restored to county revenues for the benefit of Stark County taxpayers.

However, after last Wednesday's regular weekly meeting, Commissioner Tom Bernabei tells the SCPR in the following video that the commissioners to be in the nature of "an informational letter" of Ferrero's willingness but not an "actual" request that the commissioners join him.

Bernabei added that the commissioners saw no need to pursue Maier for recovery of taxpayer funds and therefore would not be taking Ferrero up on his offer.

In the lawsuit, the SCPR has reason to believe that the following allegations will be made:
  • During Maier's unlawful and void ab initio [from the beginning] tenure as Sheriff, he was, with taxpayer funds, was paid salary and benefits as though he were lawfully Sheriff; i.e., Maier was, upon information and belief,  and was compensated in the total amount amount of $88,511.75,
  • [D]uring Maier's unlawful and void ab initio tenure as Sheriff, he caused taxpayer funds to be expended to change and "re-brand" with his name inter alia [among other things] building and vehicle signage and stationery, and in doing so, Maier, upon information and belief, used $13,671.37 in public funds,
  • [D]uring Maier's unlawful and void ab initio tenure as Sheriff, a bond was, with taxpayer funds, obtained for him at, upon information and belief, a cost of $1,399.88,
  • [D]uring Maier's unlawful and void ab initio tenure as Sheriff, his attorney's fees related to Swanson quo warranto action, with taxpayer funds, were directly paid or reimbursed to him in the amount of, upon information and belief, of $20,000
An interesting sidelight to the Marcelli lawsuit is the possibility (speculated by the SCPR) that Conley may be going up against pre-eminent and highly regarded Stark County personal injury attorney Allen Schulman.

Conley (a conservative Republican) is an excellent attorney his his own right and has considerable experience in bringing taxpayer lawsuits.

The two know each other well and are said to have a history in engaging each other on various and sundry political and philosophical issues (Schulman is a liberal Democrat) in a number of encounters over the years.

Moreover, Schulman is one of Stark County's foremost Democrats who serves as president of Canton City Council and is currently one of a team of Stark County attorneys (i.e. Warren Price [of Schulman's firm], Steve Okey and Michael Thompson) representing the Stark County Democratic Party and its chairman Randy Gonzalez in a mandamus lawsuit filed by interim sheriff Tim Swanson and Lieutenant Lou Darrow in the Ohio Supreme Court on November 22nd.

Of course, the Stark County Political Report will be covering this political/legal drama as it unfolds - in thoroughgoing detail.

The November 22nd action is a follow on to the high court's ruling on November 6th (Swanson v. Maier, quo warranto) wherein the court removed Maier from the sheriff's office and ordered the Stark Dems' Central Committee to re-do it February 5, 2013 original appointment.

At dispute in the mandamus is whether or not the articulated,  in the Swanson v. Maier decision "qualification date" of February 6, 20 is binding on the Stark Dems in its re-do meeting scheduled for December 11th.

But that is "all beside the point" as far as Conley is concerned inasmuch as he believes that by the Swanson v. Maier decision Maier was never "as a matter of law" sheriff of Stark County and therefore was not entitled to be paid direct or on his behalf or for him to spend any taxpayer dollars that are tied to his personhood (i.e. signs/stationery and the like displaying his name as sheriff).

Stark County auditor Alan Harold balked at paying Maier any county monies at the outset of Maier's appointment but the state of Ohio auditor overruled Harold.

It is going to be awfully embarrassing to the state auditor (Republican David Yost) and to the Stark County commissioners if Conley prevails for Marcelli in the name of Stark County's taxpayers.

One of the things that the commissioners have staked their reputation on as county governors is their watchdog function of taxpayer funds.

They are on record now as giving Maier a pass on the need to recover any monies from him.

If Conley/Marcelli succeed, then the commissioners will certainly have a "political" black eye.

Republican commissioner Janet Creighton has taken out a petition to run for reelection.

Could it be that in the run up to the 2014 elections she might have some "explainin" to do?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013



UPDATED:  11:45 AM



  • Commissioner Tom Bernabei
  • Commissioner Janet Creighton
  • Paul Stoffels of AT&T
  • Andy Kopystynsky of AT&T
  • Jeroen Witte of Cassidian
  • Director Tim Warstler of Stark EMA
  • Joe Concatto, Project Mgr. Stark 9-1-1
  • Tracy Houge, Jackson Twp Fire Chief
  • John Bacon, North Canton Fire Chief
  • Bruce McAllister, SC Sheriff Dir of Info Svcs

If a Stark Countian had a emergency between the approximate hours of 9:30 through Noon on Sunday, October 6th, there was a very high probability that any 9-1-1 emergency calls to the Canton Communications Center and the Stark County Sheriff Department Call Center were going to go "unanswered!"

Of course, most of us were unaffected.

But if you were one of the affected, it could have been "a matter of life and death."

Plaudits go, quite naturally, to those folks in the loop of emergency call receiving for Stark County who identified the shutdown and took remedial measures as soon as they possibly could.

A Stark County Political Report "Hats Off" to those Stark County based fire, police and administrative officials who acted quickly.

Once an incident ("problems do happen") like the one of the 6th occur, it is important to find out:
  • why it happened?
  • who is responsible?
  • what is the remedy for making sure it never happens again? and
  • who has the responsibility to implement the fix?
One way answers to these questions generally come is because someone in the day-in, day-out media digs, digs and digs some more in a fevered quest to ferret out the why, who, what and who questions set forth above.

Another way is for government to conduct an open to the public thoroughgoing inquiry meeting.

Before the election of Democrat Thomas Bernabei and Republican Janet Creighton to the Stark County Board of Commissioners, it was likely that no such meeting would have ever crossed the minds of the collective former boards of commissioners who have served the Stark County public.

With their election in November, 2010 and being in office as a tandem as of January 1, 2011, the two then-neophyte commissioners declared that the board was not meeting nearly enough and to boot needed to institute work sessions in which they could do far ranging scrutiny of anything connected in any way to Stark County government operations.

Since the meeting began in 2011, the commissioners have used the work sessions to delve deeply into Stark County government and take much needed corrective action for problems identified as being such, or, alternatively, to press those county officials who are charge of the problematic item(s) to apply a fix.

With the October 6th incident and Stark County government's prime role in providing for the safety and general welfare of Stark Countians, the commissioners called a work session meeting for November 18, 2013 in which all the "prime-players" in the 9-1-1 call receiving outage were called to account.

And that included players from the private sector (mainly AT&T) who contract with various aspects of county government to provide essential emergency communications services.

The Stark County Political Report was at the work session and recorded almost all (missed the first few minutes because The Report was interviewing a previous work session participant) of the commissioners' generated inquiry.

The key player in the provision of emergency services to Stark Countians is Tim Warstler who has the official title of being the director of the Stark County Emergency Management Agency.

Here is a video of a SCPR interview with him following up on some of the points made by participants as seen in the video above.

All-in-all, the Stark County Political Report believes that Stark Countians should be highly impressed and pleased that the Stark County commissioners did dig deep in their November 18th work session into the October 6th failure in their quest to get answers and provoke fixes so that none of us will ever experience needing emergency help - which could be a "life or death" matter - only to find that "the 9-1-1 call receiving/dispatch system" is down.

Many of us complain when government fails.  But do not give "credit where credit is due" when government works.

The November 18th meeting is a concrete example of government succeeding in fixing accountability where it lies and to do so in a transparent, effective (results producing) way.

Kudos! to the Stark County commissioners!!!

    Monday, November 25, 2013



    Apparently, things have not been controversial enough for Stark County Court of Common Pleas judge Frank Forchione over the past eleven (11) months in terms of his being a focal point in local media.

    Follow "the chronology of the Forchione publicity run" under the ensuing list of Datelines.

    Dateline No. 1.

    Late last week, His Honor seemingly injected himself into the fight between the George T. Maier and Tim Swanson/Lou Darrow camps fight as to whom is going to be eligible to be appointed sheriff of Stark County to replace sheriff-elect Mike McDonald who was too ill to take office on January 7, 2013.

    Stark Dems botched the original replacement appointment on February 5th in appointing former Massillon safety director George T. Maier.

    According to the Ohio Supreme Court in a November 6, 2013 decision (Swanson v. Maier), he was not eligible under the requirements of Ohio statutory law to be appointed despite Maier's "guarantee" (pre-February 5th meeting) that he would be eligible, "if he applied."

    Ohio's "court of last resort" has ordered the Dems to do a "do-over" to correct the February 5th mistake.

    The Democrats re-do is slated for December 11th.

    Dateline No. 2.

    In December, 2012; January, 2013, Forchione made a decision in a criminal case (the Studer case) he presided over that a $5,000 fine he exacted of the defendant be paid for the benefit of the victims of the mass shooting of students in December, 2012 at Sandy Hook (located in Newtown, Massachusetts).

    Only problem was that, despite the obvious compassionate and charitable impulse that many Stark Countians think motivated Forchione to order what he did; not all Stark citizens were willing to let him be compassionate/charitable with Stark County taxpayer money.

    And one of the particularly "important" unwilling ones was local attorney and civic activist Craig T. Conley.

    He has a history of discord with Forchione.

    In 2011, Conley had filed an Affidavit of Disqualification in a case he had before Judge Forchione.

    Conley lost the case, but then Forchione recused himself post-decision.


    One must ask, what was that all about, no?

    Dateline No. 3

    February 1, 2013.

    Conley files suit.

    Ohio statutory law provides that fine money can ONLY be deposited in the appropriate county's general fund.  Saying that his motivation was that "the rule of law" has to prevail, Conley filed a civil suit against this judge.  The SCPR, for one believes, was instrumental in Forchione asking the Newtown/Sandy Hook charity to return the $5,000 so that he could place it into the Stark County treasury.

    For his effort, an anonymous Stark County person (believed to be a Stark County attorney) filed an ethics complaint with Ohio's Disciplinary Counsel against Conley because Conley was reported in local media of saying that in ordering the diversion of Stark County taxpayer money Forchione was grandstanding.

    Conley subsequently was exonerated of any ethics violation for his "grandstanding" remark by counsel assigned to make a determination of whether or not Conley had committed a violation of the Ohio's Professional Responsibility Code in place for lawyers.

    If Conley was correct in his "grandstanding" assessment, one needs to ask:  why would Forchione want to grandstand?

    Well, Conley did not specify.

    The only thing that the SCPR can think of is that Forchione is up for election in November, 2014 and like many incumbents may have been thought by Conley of using his official position to enhance his electability.

    Dateline No. 4

    Later in February (the 28th), Forchione had to be surprised when a former Stark Countian (Louis Demis formerly of Navarre, but now of Columbus) filed a rarely used legal procedure (Affidavit Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Sections 2935.09/10) in an attempt to get the State of Ohio to prosecute Frank Forchione for "theft-in-office" for having originally diverted the money from the Stark treasury to the Newtown, MA based charity.

    Guess who stepped forward to "volunteer" his "pro bono"  (for the public good) legal services to Demis?

    Of course, Craig T. Conley.

    Conley has a track record of offering his considerable legal skills as a public service free-of-charge to the taxpaying public going back years.

    Back in 2009, the SCPR believes that Conley was instrumental in forcing Stark County prosecutor John Ferrero to more sooner that later in recovering (as provided for in Ohio statutory law) monies lost on account of the theft by former Chief Deputy Treasurer Vince Frustaci of upwards of $3 million of Stark County taxpayer dollars.

    While the-then treasurer Gary D. Zeigler was not implicated in the Frustaci theft, Ohio statutory law does make a public official - in a civil suit context - "strictly" liable to the public for monies lost without regard to fault in administering his/her office.

    Zeigler has always denied that he failed to properly administer the treasurer's office while he was treasurer.

    Dateline No. 5

    In an April hearing, Conley, arguing the Demis position, failed to convince a visiting judge (retired Barberton Municipal Court judge Michael McNulty) in a proceeding in the Canton Municipal Court, to find probable cause.

    But Conley pressed on.

    Dateline No. 6.

    The Demis appeal to the 5th District Court of Appeals on May 20, 2013.

    On November 5th, Conley argued probable cause to the 5th District Court of Appeals (based in Canton).

    He argued that the visiting judge erred in not finding probable cause.

    A decision is due any day now.

    Return to Dateline No. 1

    Here we are in the week of November 18 - 22, 2013 and we have Frank Forchione "in the headlines" once again in the Swanson/Darrow - Maier face-off on whom is going to be sheriff come December 11th.

    As stated by Judge Forchione in area media reports, his only role is to be ministerial in the determining base-level eligibility (matters that are susceptible of absolute factual determination) factors.

    And yet, there are those Stark Countians who think that Forchione is injecting himself in a more substantive way than that into the the sheriff eligibility controversy.

    Saying that he is "erring on the side of democracy," (which seems to the Stark County Political Report as being more "political" question rather than a "judicial" question") is apparently Forchione putting himself in the position of determining the field of candidates "anew" for appointment at the December 11th SCDP-CC meeting.

    Forchione appears to be substituting his judgment for that of the Supreme Court notwithstanding that the only date of eligibility articulated by the court in its November 6, 2013 opinion is a "qualification date" of February 6, 2013."


    Forchione was adventuresome in ordering the Studer fine money be paid for the benefit of the Sandy Hook victims.  He apparently ate "legal" crow in retrieving the money and having it deposited in the Stark treasury in compliance with Conley's law-based demand.

    The question is:  Is he going to be eating "legal" crow once again?

    The SCPR is hearing that there are Stark Countians who think that Forchione
    (a Democrat who has served for years in the Canton Law Department under current director Joe Martuccio and his predecessor and current county commissioner Tom Bernabei)
    in opening up the application process for a qualification date beyond February 6th has "in effect," (presumably not an intentional act) taken sides with the likes of Stark County Democratic Party chairman Randy Gonzalez (a zealot Maier supporter, who has announced he will re-apply) and his prominent Democratic legal advisers Allen Schulman, Warren Price, Steven Okey and Michael Thompson.

    Commissioner Bernabei is on record of being a big George T. Maier booster.

    Undoubtedly, there are "legal eagle" eyes looking at the legal propriety of Forchione's decision to open up the application process in light of the Swanson v. Maier opinion.

    The "fresh eyes," if The Report's conjecture is correct, would be in the supplementation of a writ of mandamus filed on November 18th by Swanson and his top lieutenant Louis Darrow (also a candidate to be the Dems appointee) followed by motions for injunctive relief filed this past Friday.

    The mandamus and injunctive relief requests are specifically designed to stop Gonzalez led Dems from including Maier in the ordered "re-do" selection process.

    Why, pray tell, would Forchione risk being legally wrong again?  Is the re-open another "bit of grandstanding" a la Conley's charge on Studer/Sandy Hook matter? 

    The SCPR would not be surprised to see Judge Forchione himself be drawn into the Ohio Supreme Court legal proceeding(s) in light of his decision to re-open the application process.

    Dateline No. 7.

    Whether or not he is validated on this decision, it is becoming likely that he is making himself a political lightning rod come the November, 2014 elections.

    Forchione was first elected in 2008 and with one term under his belt, he would likely - under normal circumstances - be pretty much a shoe-in for re-election.

    The Report is told that Forchione's 2013 judicial activism has given birth to an effort to find "a worthy" Republican opponent against him come next year's election.

    Conley (a Republican, but not part of the Stark County Republican Party leadership) makes no bones about it.

    Forchione is a prime political target for defeat in next year's general election insofar as he is concerned.

    Many, many Stark County judicial elections are uncontested.

    However, next year, a rare year indeed in Stark, four of the five Stark County Court of Common Pleas, General Division judgeships are on the ballot and two for the first time (Farmer and Werren).   

    Werren has already drawn a daunting rival (in terms of the clout and regard she has in the legal community) in Chryssa Hartnett who is a Stark County assistant prosecutor and an assistant chief prosecutor of the criminal division.

    The SCPR has written that she deserved to be considered by the Stark County Republican Party/Republican Governor John Kasich for either of the appointments that went to Kristin Farmer or Curtis Werren.

    But we all know that the politicos look out for their respective political parties first and the public interest - maybe - second.

    Normally, only first time judicial candidates are thought to be vulnerable to being unseated.

    But the question is fast becoming, is second time candidate Frank Forchione in his 2013 activism putting himself into the vulnerable category alongside Farmer and Werren?

    Historically, it has been unusual for state judicial races (of course, there are no federal judiciary elections; all positions are appointed) to draw the interest of political action groups (PACs) which are putting increasing amounts of money and effort into the election face-offs.

    While the Stark judicial elections are unlikely to draw any PAC money, the Forchione, Farmer and Werren races will likely all be contested and the campaigns could become testy.

    The testiness is highly unlikely to come from the candidates themselves because the Ohio Supreme Court has strict rules on what candidates can do in the way of the substance/finances of their campaigns. 

    It is hard for the SCPR to see how Judge Forchione is enhancing his chances of being reelected next year in view of the notoriety he has achieved with his 2013 judicial activism.

    His break from the tradition of how sitting judges comport themselves in terms of generating public notice may be a sign of the times we now live in, which is to say, perhaps:

    A New Politics of Judicial Elections
    , Stark County style?