UPDATED 09:30 AM (SATURDAY)
A major issue of contention betwee John Rinaldi and Eric Resnick has been the use by Rinaldi of what is known as being "the Union Bug" (The Bug) in his campaign literature (which label indicates that "union workers and/or union licensed shops" were part of the work product).
Resnick claims that Rinaldi's use is an unauthorized use of The Bug in that he alleges that it was faked in at least one piece of Rinaldi's campaign literature.
Rinaldi's counter is that the allegation by Resnick is bogus and that he obtained the right to use The Bug in the objection lodged with the Graphic Communications International Brotherhood of Teamsters in ordering letterhead from local printer PPI Graphics.
Today, Rinaldi provided a copy of an invoice for the letterhead from PPI Graphics.
To the SCPR, Resnick's campaign tone and in particular the flap about Rinaldi's use of The Bug is a sign that Resnick thinks he is running behind in his race for election as an at-large representative to the Canton City Schools' board of education.
The SCPR has done some checking around with Canton officials and The Report's thinking on Resnick "running scared" appears to be shared by a number of these officials.
One official told the SCPR that he has never seen a CCS Board of Education race generate such intense interest.
And, of course, The Report thinks that such is the case because there are larger stakes at play in terms who is going to control the Stark County Democratic Party over the longer haul.
UPDATED: 02:53 PM (FRIDAY)
With reference to that part of today's blog, to wit:
He [Resnick] brought Hall of Fame AFL-CIO [HOF/AFL-CIO] president Dan Sciury into the points he was making about the Gonzales,I did not go into the specifics of that part of Resnick's press release that questions whether or not the Hall of Fame AFL-CIO endorsement of John Rinaldi was on merit or merely based on Rinaldi being a longstanding union member and therefore as a matter of the requirements of the bylaws of the union Rinaldi was entitled to endorsement irrespective of his merit of receiving same.
Moreover, Resnick references three HOF/AFL-CIO union members who he says contacted him to tell him about the perfunctory nature of Rinaldi's union endorsement.
In the press release's and Resnick words, to wit:
The Hall of Fame Labor Council has a provision in its bylaws that mandates that when a member runs for office, they must endorse the member. Rinaldi was an Ironworker, and claims to still be a dues paying member. Venerable labor leader and fellow Ironworker William Sherer Sr. is Rinaldi’s uncle. Bill Sherer Jr. is the current Ironworkers president and Rinaldi’s campaign treasurer as well as his cousin.
“Three people who were in the room when the vote for the HOF endorsement was taken called me to apologize and explain about the bylaws."
"I get it, and I respect Organized Labor’s need to look after their own, I know that Rinaldi’s Labor endorsements are based on his pedigree, not merit, and the people who contacted me were very clear about that."(Note: The material in quote ("...") marks are the actual words of Resnick)
The SCRP received an e-mailed letter from HOF/AFL-CIO 3rd Vice President Joseph Liolios early this afternoon which is a response by the union to the quoted material (note: there is another matter which The Report chooses not to deal with). The Resnick quoted material was taken from his campaign Facebook page.
Here is an "extract" from Lilolios' response:
As implied above, the SCPR chooses not to publish specific material referred to in the union e-mail and on which Liolios says the HOF/AFL-CIO used in evaluating Resnick for endorsement and declining to do so.
Except for his response to the material from Liolios not published by the SCPR in this blog, here is what Resnick had to say about the Liolios' points on endorsement criteria.
I certainly have more integrity than to out people [i.e. the three union people referred to by Resnick in his original press release and picked upon by Liolios] who have told me things in confidence.Hmm? A quintessential dodge, if you've never seen one, no?
And if you want to verify the HOF Labor Council's policy on endorsing members, I suggest you contact Dan Scuiry. He is good at explaining it.
Not much else in Mr. Liolios' letter merits response.
Finally, Resnick has written this on his Facebook page:
I call your attention to Martin Olson's blog today, which is about as conspiratorial and crazy as you can find ... .My response?
I wouldn't expect anything else from Resnick.
It seems to me that if one has a look, an assessment, an opinion different than Eric's, then it's time to smear and denigrate.
When Rinaldi first told me about what he thought was going to be Resnick's campaign strategy, I was skeptical.
But it is looking more and more to me like Rinaldi was "right on the mark."
Although I have limited knowledge of his [Resnick] way of interacting with others; my take on him is my belief is that he sees politics in rather stark terms and on the left side of the political spectrum where left, right and center are in play.
However, I must say I was surprised to see his lashing out at Rinaldi the way he has.
Of course, one should expect that no one is immune when one operates the way Resnick seems to.
As I wrote in the original blog: "It appears to the SCPR that Resnick is 'the main man' in dragging the campaign to the 'lowest common denominator.'"
All I can say is that Resnick needs "political maturity" in spades.
At least, if he is elected, the users of the Canton City Schools better hope he acquires it in a hurry!
Yesterday about 2:30 p.m., the SCPR received an e-mail from Eric Resnick (candidate for an at-large board of education slot with the Canton City Schools) with nothing but an attachment.
And the attachment was?
A press release.
And what did the press release have to say?
In its essence it was an allegation by Resnick that his opponent John M. Rinaldi had committed fraud in using a fake Graphic Communications International Union (GCIU) label on a fund raiser flyer.
See this LINK for the particulars on the "union" printing label.
Resnick in the press release indicated that he had referred the matter to GCIU president Christopher Farrand who is located in Cleveland and that Farrand has the matter under investigation.
Resnick went on to say: “This is serious because it is fraud, and an affront to the unions who have endorsed Rinaldi and their families.”
The SCPR telephoned Resnick within minutes of receiving the press release.
Here is where it becomes apparent to The Report that there is more to the Rinaldi/Resnick square off than the CCS board of education seat.
The SCPR has written previously on this contest and was told by Rinaldi that Resnick had decided to take the low road as a campaign strategy.
And it appears to The Report that Rinaldi may be correct in his assessment.
In the conversation referred to above, Resnick brought Stark County Democratic chairman Randy Gonzalez and his son Kody into the discussion.
What do they have to do with Resnick's allegation?
Absolutely nothing insofar as the SCPR is concerned.
Resnick mused to himself that it was hard for him to believe that the chairman (who is a contributor to Rinaldi's campaign) and son Kody (the head of the Stark County Young Democrats) could support John Rinaldi.
Resnick claims that Kody is helping Rinaldi with flyer design work and such explained why the Stark Young Democrats have endorsed Rinaldi.
And he went further than that.
He brought Hall of Fame AFL-CIO president Dan Sciury into the points he was making about the Gonzalezs.
How could Stark's long time union leader possibly support Rinaldi in light of Resnick's allegations (which included a charge that Rinaldi had done the same thing during his 2003 campaign for a CCs board of education seat)?
And, just as an aside, how Resnick could think he makes a plausible point that "unions do not "authentically" support Rinaldi is on the absurd side, is it not?
Just look again at Rinaldi's pre-general campaign finance report (above). Compare to Resnick's below. How many union contributions does Resnick have? How about none.
The largest block of financial support for Rinaldi ("the mother's milk of politics) comes from where?
You've got it: Stark County-based unions.
One notable exception for Rinaldi on union support is his failure to get any funding from the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 94 which is run by Healy ally David Kirven.
The Local 94 exception fits nicely in the The Report super theme (see the argument below) that at its base the Rinaldi/Resnick battle is a manifestation of a larger fight taking place within the Stark County Democratic Party.
I got to thinking that with Resnick bringing the Dem chairman and son into the fray was a signal to me that, perhaps, the Resnick/Rinaldi (both former board members) fight had a larger picture to it.
Maybe, just maybe, this race is a skirmish in what the SCPR believes is a subtle effort by Canton mayor William J. Healy, II (a known supporter of Resnick; despite his not appearing on Resnick's pre-general campaign finance report as a contributor), to undermine the chairman.
Healy appears to The Report, for the chairman's the chairman's friends consumption, to say all the things that one would expect in terms of support for the chairman's leadership for intra-party appearances sake. But the SCPR is not buying.
The Report has written in previous blogs that it appears that the mayor is laying in wait to, perhaps, in concert with Dave Kirven of the Plumbers and Pipefitters union to make a move on Gonzalez's continued tenure as chairman.
Not that the SCPR thinks Healy has anything in particular against Gonzalez. But we political junkies all know that he has to be "'the all' and 'end all" that he is involved in.
That's why The Report believes that the Rinaldi/Resnick race is more than simply a political face-off between the two.
I think Healy likes to lurk in the background "seeking whom he may devour." And Resnick, wittingly or unwittingly, may be a convenient tool with which to ply his mischievous politics.
Of course, the SCPR contacted John Rinaldi about Resnick's allegations. Resnick told me that he had not confronted Rinaldi on the matter.
So what does Rinaldi have to say in response to Resnick?
In part: (click on graphics to enlarge)
The SCPR has written that Resnick seems to be the stronger of the two candidates on "purely educational Issues" and was impressed in his 2007 successful school board candidacy run in getting out in front on pushing for a tax increase for the CCS.
However, The Report is not impressed with his campaign style this time around.
It smacks of desperation.
Additionally troubling was his bringing the Gonzalez factor into our discussion.
Such suggests to the SCPR that there is more at play here than simply Rinaldi versus Resnick.
The only CCS board member who impresses the SCPR is member Richard Milligan, the lone Republican.
The Democrats and their "we are not part of any organized political party [a la humorist Will Rogers)" standard fare gig is playing out full tilt in the Rinaldi/Resnick match up.
Moreover: Is the mayor of Canton up to his political intermeddling once again in his quest to be "the go to guy" insofar as Stark County Democratic politics is concerned?
In the final analysis one must ask how having folks like these (i.e. either Rinaldi or Resnick) on the board is going to help with the dire state of affairs with the Canton City Schools?
It appears to the SCPR that Resnick is "the main man" in dragging the campaign to "the lowest common denominator."
The kids of Canton's prime school system deserve better than this!
But the politicos are apparently willing to sacrifice the students/parents interests to the primacy of the politics of personal destruction.