Wednesday, November 20, 2013




UPDATE:  11:20 A.M.

My wife, Mary J. Olson, a registered Democrat, made application today (post-publication of today's blog) with Chairman Gonzalez to be appointed precinct committeeperson for Precinct 13 in Lake Township in anticipation of the December 11th vote on whom the Democrats will appoint to be sheriff of Stark County.

Chairman Gonzalez got back to her and told her that the Stark County Democratic Executive Committee will not making any appointments of precinct committee persons before the vote.


For those readers who are not familiar with why the Stark Dems are selecting a sheriff, here is a LINK for your review.

Stark County Democratic Party chairman Randy Gonzalez seems bound and determined to make George T. Maier the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee (SCDPCC) appointee, once again, to be sheriff of Stark County.

Unless, of course, Sheriff Tim Swanson and his "top lieutenant" Lou Darrow are successful in their new litigation (writ of mandamus) to persuade the Ohio Supreme Court to order the Stark Dems to exclude Maier from the December 11th ballot.

As we all now well know, Swanson successfully convinced (quo warranto, filed Feburary 12, 2013) the high court that Maier, appointed by the SCDPCC back on February 5th, should be ousted from office as a usurper.  On the day after this year's general election, the Columbus-based justices found that the Dems appointment was illegal in that Maier was not qualified under the criteria of Ohio statutory law to be sheriff and moreover, as a consequence of his being disqualified, was never sheriff.

But it took Ohio's "court of last resort" nearly nine months to come to a decision and by virtue of its 5 to 2 vote for ouster threw Stark County government into a state of uncertainty.

If Stark County is in a state of uncertainty, then the SCDPCC is likely in a state of turmoil.

Maier, though he does not know whether or not he will be allowed by the Supreme Court to be on the SCDPCC December 11th ballot, has already sent out a campaign letter to SCDPCC members terming his ouster as being on "a mere technicality" and asking members to once again appoint him to be Stark County's "top cop."

And the SCPR is hearing reports that Chairman Gonzalez is betting that the Supreme Court justices will permit Maier to vy once again to be the lead person at 4500 Atlantic Boulevard and has already begun efforts to shore up support among the SCDPCC membership in support of Maier.

The SCDPCC membership by the SCPR's count based on the precinct races held in the 2012 primary election (they are up for '''political party' voters only' every two years) is at 285.

However, many (about 80 by the SCPR's count or approximately 30%) precincts go unfilled in the election and only a few are contested.

Of the unfilled variety, Lake Township (decidedly Republican) takes the prize on precincts not represented in the Stark County Democratic Party.

The Report hears that Chairman Gonzalez has called a special meeting of the Stark County Democratic Party Executive Committee (SCDPEC) scheduled between now and December 11th (the date of the sheriff appointment selection) one of the purposes of which is to fill "unfilled" precinct positions.

It will be interesting to watch Lake which has 18 unfilled positions.

That Lake has 18 unfilled positions appears to mean that those relatively few Democrats (my wife being one of them) are less than enthused about the state of the "organized" Stark County Democratic Party as it currently exists.

The dearth of Democratic Party precinct representatives from Lake goes back to the reign of George T. Maier brother Johnnie A. Maier, Jr stint (2003-2009) as party chairman.

Of course, Maier, Jr remains as a key player (some say that he is the de facto chairman) as executive vice chairman.

A favorite story of mine back in the days I was a member of the SCDPEC was one in which I took seriously Maier, Jr's call for executive committee members to find Democrats willing to serve as SCDPCC members.

So I got to work.

"Right off the bat," I found two willing to fill two of the many (even at that time) Lake vacancies.

I telephone Maier, Jr with the "good news."

In typical Johnnie A. Maier, Jr fashion, came back the response:  "Why would I do that?"  Which is to say, by my inferred interpretation, "are these folks Johnnie A. Maier, Jr supporters?

Just being a tad naive about my initial take that the call of filling vacancies was about getting "grassroots" Democrats involved in their political party and nothing else, I was taken aback by what I believed to be the chairman's clear implication.

There was no way in "God's little green acre" that I was going back to my prospects with a:  Can you assure me that you will supporting the chairman in disputes that come before the central committee?

That incident folks was the beginning of my disillusion with Mister Johnnie A. Maier, Jr as a party official.

So if reports are accurate that there is a major push prior to the December 11th selection date to fill the 80 or so vacancies, the "realpolitik" Martin Olson has to believe that it is an effort to shore up support for George T. Maier in light of his narrow 92 to 84 triumph over Lou Darrow back on Feburary 5th.

The SCPR thinks that Johnnie A. Maier, Jr political faction (one of a number) of the "organized" Stark Dems is overrated.

They do, from time-to-time, get cocky and "go asleep at the wheel."

Witness the 2012 elections in Massillon (Maier's base on the basis of his being Massillon's clerk of courts) in which and his political "gofer," namely; Stark County Political Director Shane Jackson, pulled off a big-time political coup in engineering the defeat of 24 year mayor Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr.

But what they forgot in their post-election "high-fiving" was the Massillon City Council races.

Everyone (including the SCPR) was stunned, when Massillon Republicans took control of Massillon's council in the November, 2011 elections.

The Maier forces have not recovered even with the coming and going of the 2013 elections.

Of three candidates - what the SCPR believes to have been Maier front people (Irwin, Ward 2; Stinson, Ward 4; Litman, Ward 6) only Stinson won.  And that was by a relatively small margin in Massillon's most heavy Democratic registered voters ward over a candidate who does not seem to be a political cognosente.

While the Dems now have the votes (5 to 4) to control council, only Stinson appears to be a "Maier (Mayor Catazaro-Perry) centered Democrat.

But "you can bet your bottom dollar" that Johnnie and Shane are "as busy as beavers building a dam" working hand-in-glove with Chairman Gonzalez building up a defeat-proof margin from among the "unfilled" SCDPCC positions to ensure an easier ride for brother George to victory on December 11th.

Opponents to the Maier political machine were encouraged by the closeness of the February 5th vote.

The SCPR believes that it would be a major mistake by the opponents to assume that it is just a matter of convincing five of eight deciding voters to switch sides.

They must do much better than that.

We will see just how politically sophisticated the Maier opponents are in dealing with the many facets of political organizing that is going on in anticipation of the December 11th fight.

About a week ago, Chairman Gonzalez appeared on a local radio talkshow and took "softball questions" from the host on the Stark County Democratic Party squabble over the George T. Maier appointment.

The host left untouched (probably because he really doesn't understand "inside baseball" politics) Gonzalez's assertion that central committee members are "just like any other elected official."

Balderdash!  Pure and simple!!

Gonzalez's legal counsel don't say that.  They term the central committee persons as being "quasi" elected officials.

First of all, they are "elected" only to represent Democrats in their respective precincts.

Second, of the 285 positions, only 40 (less than 15%) were contested.  And 2012 was an exceptional year for precinct committeeperson contests.

The Report hears that there is considerable dissatisfaction with the Chairman Gonzalez and Johnnie A. Maier, Jr leadership of the Dems.

And there was in March, 2012 focused, but considerable, a play in Canton, Massillon, Perry Township and Plain Township precincts over which faction (among the Gonzalez/Maier, Healy and Ferrero factions) were going to be the main players in future intraparty issues.

Thirdly, while the Ohio Revised Code does assign to political party central committees the role to select replacements when a vacancy occurs, this limited role can hardly be equated to the power Ohio invests in non-political-party elected officials such as the govenor of the state, state legislators, judges, mayor, city/village council members, judges and school board members.

For the radio host to allow Gonzalez's glib comparison without challenge was truly amazing to the SCPR.

One of Gonzalez's phony-baloney (in the opinion of The Report) assertions was that just like elected officials (e.g. state representatives and state senators), the public is entitled to know how their precinct committee persons voted in the Maier/Darrow/Dordea contest of Feburary 5th and that is why the leadership of the Stark Dems required voting precinct committee persons to sign their ballots when they voted on the 5th.

Okay, Mr. Chairman, where is the list of how those 177 recorded as voting actually voted?

The SCPR gets peppered with emails from a Stark County Democratic Party gadfly-type who has been seeking since the vote to get access to the list and how each precinct committeeperson voted.

His success to date?


I rest my case!!!

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