Friday, May 30, 2014



UPDATE:  11:28 AM (05/30/2014)

The SCPR has been told by a number of sources that Stark County Democratic Party  (SCDP) chairman Randy Gonzalez has sent out a letter to those central committee (CC) persons who voted for George T. Maier to be the Dems' appointee as sheriff of Stark County  . . .  (only kidding Randy, for background see this SCPR blog) announcing his retirement as party chairman effective June 5th with the selection of his replacement by the SCDP-CC on the 5th.

Gonzalez's former boss at the Canton Municipal Court clerk of courts office (from which Gonzalez retired as chief deputy clerk of courts in December, 2013); namely, Phil Giavasis is rumored to have Gonzalez's blessing as his successor.  However, he reportedly has been having second thoughts about becoming chairman.

One source mentions Gonzalez son Kody as a potential player.

Kody succeeded Randy as chief deputy on the latter's retirement.

About a year ago rumors were rampant that Randy was stepping down as Party chairman, which, of course, did not materialize.  The SCPR at that time asked the senior Gonzalez about to son-succession speculation.

His answer?

"I wouldn't wish that (the Dems' chairmanship) on anybody, certainly not my son!"

We shall see very soon now!

Gonzalez has been chairman since 2009 when he took over for his political protege Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.

His tenure as chairman has included the most difficult thing that any political party chairman has ever had to do with his having to guide the SCDP-CC through the process of appointing a Republican to an important Stark County office.

On October 31, 2011 he presided over the appointment of Alliance Republican Alex Zumbar as Stark County treasurer.

Democrat Gary D. Zeigler had resigned/retired as county treasurer on October 11th in a deal with the Stark County commissioners in resolving a lawsuit filed by Democratic Stark County prosecutor John D. Ferrero to make recoveries on behalf of Stark County under the provisions of Ohio statutory law.

From a October 19, 2011 SCPR blog:
Zeigler has been under public fire since April 1, 2009 when Stark County was rocked by a revelation that his Chief Deputy Vince Frustaci had stolen, by some accounts, $2.96 million (Frustaci has only ever admitted to $2.46 million.

Ever since the revelation, Zeigler has been under public pressure to resign.  But he, until today, refused to do so saying that he had done nothing wrong.

Zeigler was not implicated in the theft by federal, state, or local law enforcement officials.
Another storied  political legend happening during the Gonzalez reign as chairman was the appointment of George T. Maier as the Dems' successor to Mike McDonald as sheriff of Stark County.

McDonald, elected in November, 2012 was unable to take office on January 7,2013 due to an illness which tragically claimed his life on February 22, 2013.

In a touch of irony, it was McDonald who helped Gonzalez corral resistant SCDP-CC members to supporting the chairman in his quest to have Republican Zumbar appointed with this speech to SCDP-CC members on October 31, 2011.

In a tortured process, Gonzalez was under a lot of strain in working through the process (February 5, 2013 and December 11, 2013) in getting Maier appointed.

Chairman Gonzalez may think that it is "mission accomplished" with respect to the Maier appointment with his (Maier) having survived a Stark County Board of Elections process (followed by a secretary of state and Ohio Supreme Court process) over his right to be on the November ballot.

However, in a conversation that the SCPR had with a leading player in the BOE fight, The Report was impliedly told that Maier's status as sheriff is still subject to further legal challenge.

It will be interesting to see whether or not this was mere "huffing and puffing" or Stark County is in for another round of turmoil on the sheriff situation.

To Gonzalez, the Maier appointment sticking and his election has to be on reflection the major accomplishment of his tenure as chairman.

As far as the SCPR is concerned, the Gonzalez time as chairman has been example of the statement of humorist Will Rogers when he said: "I am not the member of an organized political party, I am a Democrat."

Stark County's "organized" Democrats have proved to be a rather "unruly" group during the Randy Gonzalez stint as the Stark County Democratic Party chairman.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Boards of Elections in Ohio is all about the state politicians (e.g. Chris Redfern of the Ohio Democratic Party/Matt Borges of the Ohio Republican Party) and  and their political interests and very little about thorough and meaningful services to everyday citizens, local candidates and journalists who serve the political subdivision level of state government (i.e. counties, villages, cities and school and other districts).

And the Stark County Board of Elections (at the board level) in particular is steeped in political warfare a la the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Socialists Republics of the 1945 through early 1990s era of international relationships.

All one has to do is to harken back to the political fight that erupted with the local board a mere two months ago between the Republicans (Braden and Cline) and the Democrats (Ferruccio and St John) on the question of whether or not George T. Maier was qualified under Ohio Revised Section 311.01 to stand for election as sheriff of Stark County.

The Stark County Political Report has had ample experience dealing with the Stark County Board of Elections (BOE) going back to 2010 and has come away with an impression that the leadership is manned by fuddy-duddy types who appear to not evolved much since the days that William McKinley walked the streets of Canton.

The Report has had to fight with the Stark BOE over whether or not:
  • its proceedings can be videotaped,
  • it can scan in campaign finance reports so that the reports are more easily accessed by the general public and
  • it can provide copy finance reports online.

In the past and to a considerable degree continuing,  Stark BOE with its "labor-intensive" ways have to cost Stark Countians (i.e. the taxpayers) thousands upon thousands of dollars.

Many of the records of the local BOE are only available by a manual operation whereby a BOE worker has to retrieve requested records and then photocopy them.  All the while, those wishing to obtain the records have had to make a trip (spending $3.60 or so for a gallon of gasoline) to the board offices to get the desired records and sometimes (if an advance telephone call requesting the records has not been made) wait for the records to be retrieved.

And, of course, the Stark BOE has been housed in what has to be the most depressing facility of all 88 Ohio Boards of Elections.  Only a flood from a roof leak of April, 2013 prompted the board members to get up off their collective duffs to find a more adequate facility to protect the Stark's historical voting records and to ensure that users of board election services feel secure in their persons when visiting the BOE on business.

And, of course, election nights in Stark County in terms of getting expeditious results seem to lag more than most other Ohio counties.

As the SCPR is wont to do, an electronic canvas of how the Summit County Board of Elections serves its public reveals that our neighbors to the north are "light years" ahead of the Stark BOE in providing its citizens, candidates and journalists access to "our" (i.e. the public's) data in a convenient, speedy and thoroughgoing manner.

The Report presents several graphic extracts from the Summit BOE to make the case that Braden, Cline, Ferruccio and Sherer, Jr (St. John's successor) are indeed administrative fuddy-duddy types who are firmly ensconced in yesteryear processes and procedures who need a "kick in the duff" and put in the glare of public light on how backwardly and inaccessibly they connect with the public when compared to what can be and is being done.

Let's say a Summit County voter in the comfort of her living room wants to get a look at the ballot she will be voting on in an upcoming election.


On the Summit BOE website all a citizen has to do is to click on menu item Elections and then Ballot (on the submenu) and lickety-split there the ballot is (and one can even go back and look at past ballots).

Want to check a voter registration?

Hit the "submit" button and again Bingo! you have it.

For you candidates out there.

Want a voter list?

Real simple and inexpensive in Summit!

Take a look. (yellow highlight added)

The SCPR asked for a list of Libertarian/Green Party voters in Green (the Summit County city just to the north of northern Stark County), and, again Bingo!

Want a precinct map?

Click on the "Green" map and presto!

How about a campaign finance report?

Like to get instant access to those report 24/7?

And on and on and on goes the list of information that citizens, candidates and journalists can access in a "click of the fingers" on the Summit County BOE website.

The SCPR has worked with the Stark BOE website for years now and there is absolutely no comparison between the two.

And guess which one comes up way short?

Messers Braden, Cline, Ferruccio and Sherer, Jr need to get off their collective duffs and at least equal the Summit County effort to provide Stark's citizens, candidates and journalist with access to voter enhancing information, no?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014




It could be that North Canton hit bottom yesterday.

Not that anybody is indispensable, but the loss of Jon Snyder as Ward 4 councilman with his resignation yesterday, effective this coming Sunday, June 1st is one of a long line of calamities that has hit The Dogwood City since the sale of the venerable Hoover Company in 1985.

And on top of the Snyder resignation, you have the resignation of Clerk of Council Gail Kalpac to coincide with Snyder's step-down.

While Kalpac, the gracious person she is,  gave family reasons (helping to care for her parents and spending time with grandchildren) as the "why" for leaving, the SCPR has reason to believe that her difficult relationship with Law Director Tim Fox going back a year or so and an incident during the week immediately preceding her resignation letter were "the straws that broke the camel's back" insofar as Kalpac's sudden departure is concerned.

These two resignations are likely to cripple North Canton government in the foreseeable future and it will be interesting to see whether or not council can get a Kalpacesque quality of clerk from this advertisement in The Repository classified ads sections:

There is talk that Snyder's wife (Kathy,  who currently works part-time in Canal Fulton city government and who formerly worked at the Stark County Board of Elections) will be candidate to replace Kalpac.

The SCPR's take is that it will take somebody with extraordinary"strength of personality" to work with Law Director Tim Fox.  Kathy Lewis Snyder appears to have the experience of working with egotistic government leaders to perhaps be a leading candidate.

But of course it is way too premature to either endorse or not endorse the selection of a particular person for the job.  Remember, applications are open until June 16th.

That is unless you are Chuck Osborne.

Osborne is a former councilman (of about 13 years ago) who also has run for mayor and for a return to council who witeh the resignation of Snyder may now be the most knowledgeable North Cantonian in terms of knowing the "ins" and "outs" of North Canton government.

He, since he lost his post as a councilman, has been "a thorn in the side" of North Canton councilpersons and officials of the North Canton administration as a civic activist.

It appears to the SCPR that he sort of has a political "love-hate" relationship with Snyder.

Here is the substance of an e-mail he wrote last evening to the SCPR.

        Chuck Osborne
        May 27 at 10:11 PM

To:  Martin Olson

Hello Martin,

... .

Jon Snyder called me late this afternoon and I just returned his call. Mr. Snyder was very gracious but I think he was hoping to mute any criticism of the timing of his resignation in regards to the opening of the Clerk of Council’s position.

While I understand it would be gratifying for her to find a full-time position I just do not think it would be a good appointment given the situation. Jon gave me a myriad of reasons as to why he is stepping down now but when I asked him if his resignation opened the door for his wife to apply, he could only say that was true.

Personnel changes like this are for the most part choreographed and I suspect that is what we are going to see played out.

I am sorry to say this but Government exists for the players who like to play with the public’s money.


Chuck Osborne

It is amazing that North Canton Council (principally members Ceretta, Griffith and Kiesling [who may now be vacillating], Snyder and Stephanie Werren [Fox came from a law firm that a member of Stephanie Werren's family has been associated with] but who (i.e. Werren) is now said to be now allied with members Foltz and Peters in a desire to replace Fox, has seemingly allowed him - in the opinion of the Stark County Political Report - to be "a one-man-wrecking-crew" on the stability of North Canton government administration.

And the SCPR thinks Mayor David Held is part of Fox's political support system.

The Report is told that in the opinion of one key player in North Canton government and politics that Fox's future with North Canton hinges on the success/failure of a lawsuit filed in the Stark County Court of Common Pleas  seeking a declaratory judgment that civic activist Chuck Osborne's "cutting council out from health care coverage" ordinance (Issue 5 in the November, 2012 general election which passed overwhelmingly) was defective and therefore invalid.

On Friday, May 23rd, Osborne filed an answer to that lawsuit and also filed a lawsuit of his own (called in legal parlance "a counterclaim") against North Canton.

It was on Fox's legal interpretation of Issue 5 that several council members (including Snyder) accepted city financial subsidy of health care benefits.

That North Canton government did not recognize the November, 2012 vote on Issue 5 resulted in a political firestorm being unleashed and the members of council participating in the health care subsidy program (Peters, Snyder, Kiesling and Werren) terminated their respective coverages and made returns of premium subsidies received.


Note the question mark.

Both "yes" and "no" with the "no" being with reference to the failure of North Canton government officials over the years (from 1985 on) to see the gathering storm clouds which in time would let loose a torrent bad financial/economic factors which the SCPR believes has pretty much brought this one proud city to her very knees.

And, with the loss of the likes of Daryl Revoldt (a former mayor, council person and council president), Kalpac and now Snyder, it appears to The Report that North Canton is now in a survival mode and it is not all that clear that the city will survive intact over the long haul.

In a conversation with Snyder yesterday, he told the SCPR that still riding on the coattails of the  glory days of a thriving Hoover Company, North Canton, as late as 1997, had $24 million in reserves invested and earning about 20% per annum and apparently not a cloud on the horizon.

In hindsight, the fact of the matter is that there were indeed "clouds on the horizons" beginning with the purchase of "the cash cow" Hoover Company by "the coming out of bankruptcy" Chicago Pacific Railway in 1985.

As Snyder tells it, Chicago Pacific seemed to be forking out $535 million for Hoover whereas the truth of the matter is that the buy was actually acquiring Hoover for its richly funded pension account which, Snyder says,  Chicago Pacific used to pay for the Stark County based vacuum cleaner company.

So the underpinnings of the transfer of the company from the Hoover family to North Canton "outsiders" seems to the SCPR to have been such that North Canton government leaders and civic leaders should have "read the 'tea leaves'" and started planning for the day when The Hoover Company would no longer be the city's cash cow.

But they didn't and North Canton is now at the door of financial disaster that Stark County's other major cities (Canton, Massillon and Alliance) are also gracing.

While North Canton has historically had "the best of times," its overall political/governmental leadership proved to be deficient of foresight and consequently the city faces "the worst of times."


Answer:  It depends!

Depends on what?

Whether or not North Canton's voters can figure out who to bring into the council/mayoralty of North Canton government that have the qualities required to bring North Canton back to a semblance of "the best of times."

The SCPR does not see those folks for the most part currently being in place.

The loss of Revoldt (it does not appear that he will be Snyder's replacement), Kalpac and Snyder seem to have gutted the city of what few resources that North Canton has to right it to a "true North" direction.

And David Held in the stance he took in the MEDA (Mutual Economic Development Agreement) negotiations with Canton, Jackson Township and Plain Township showed the SCPR that he is one very confused leader in terms of finding his way  "to the light" for the well-being of North Canton's future.

Time will tell whether or not council president Jeff Peters and veteran councilman Doug Foltz are enough of a leadership factor to redirect North Canton "northward."

A question remains as to whether or not council has the political will to get control of its legal leadership factor.  Right now it seems to be a 50/50 factor.  And it clearly appears to be a case of "the tail wagging the dog."

How can the city move in a positive direction with such being the case?

City officials appear to have banked the future of North Canton on the restoration of the Hoover complex (i.e. Maple Street Commerce) as its prime time commercial/industrial complex.

But that project (which the city has invested $5 million in) is not likely to be nearly enough even if it fully develops and matures to bring bring back "the best of times.

The SCPR thinks these are critical times for North Canton in terms of telling the tale of whether or not The Dogwood City will have a return to an approximation of "the best of times" or continue to be mired in downward spiral into the abyss of "the worst of times."

Whom in North Canton from among the citizenry will step forward to get the city headed "true North?"

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


The SCPR has learned (confirmed minutes ago to The Report by Snyder himself) that Republican Ward 4 councilman Jon Snyder will be submitting his resignation as councilman to the clerk of council later this afternoon to be effective, The Report is told, on June 1st.

In a blog last week the Stark County Political Report wrote that in a direct conversation with Snyder he indicated that he was considering stepping down.

He gave as a reason his (if he were to resign) to The Report the hardship it was working on him not to have health care insurance.  By resigning/retiring (Ohio Public Employees Retirement System [OPERS]) Snyder will be saving considerable dollars on his health care expenses.


The Stark County Political Report began a new series focusing on gender (equal pay for equal work) five weeks ago with Volume 1 with an examination of "the commissioners office," "the Stark County treasury" and "the recorder's office."

Four weeks ago  in Volume 2 the perusal was of the county auditor's and prosecutor's office.

Three weeks ago (Volume 3 in this ongoing series) the look was at the clerk of courts office and the Stark County sheriff department.

Two weeks ago  (Volume 4) the SCPR examined the Stark County Engineer's office and the Stark County coroner's office.

So far The Report has been less than impressed (in an overall sense) of how Stark County's elected officials are doing on the matter of gender equity. 

And that experience squares up with the state and federal governments.

A primary document to be familiar with for anyone who cares whether or not American women are treated equally in the job market is in the Equal Pay Act of 1963.  However, the fight for fairness for more than half the American population continues inasmuch as the fact of the matter is that the 1963 act has not resulted in pay equity for women.

Still, in 2014, on average, women are paid 79 cents for every dollar that men are paid in the American workplace.

Of course, the law is one thing.

The underlying facts of the rampant discrimination and hardship that American women from the early 1600s on have had to endure and thereby necessitating the 1963 law is something that we all should familiarize ourselves with.

The SCPR recently completed reading Gail Collins' America's Women and recommends that readers of this blog series take time to read.

Anyone who thinks that our great nation has overcome this blight, needs to think again.

In 2009, population demographics showed that women outnumbered men 158.6 million to 151.4 million.  And there is no reason that the tilt to a distinct majority women is not growing.

One danger in citing national statistics is that you, I and our neighbors might think that here in "good ole Stark County" there is very little if any gender employment discrimination going on.

Already, the SCPR believes that this blog's series is showing that the fact of the matter is that there are pockets of real and substantial differences in how men are paid depending on what department of Stark County government one is looking at.

Of course, the only place that information is readily available to assess is in government.  There is no right to obtain data from the "private sector" as to what the pay scales are between males/females as there is in the public sector. Accordingly, we have no choice but to rely on national statistical studies to get a feel for what is going on locally among privately owned entities.  And there is no reason to believe that the Stark County private sector varies significantly from the national scene.

As far as Stark County is concerned last week's blog (i.e. the Court of Common Pleas, Family Court and the Public Defender's departments of Stark County government) showed complete turnaround from Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4 in terms of women getting equal treatment in terms of pay and position.


A small department of Stark County government, this does show itself to be male-dominated in terms of pay equity and perhaps job opportunity.

The SCPR wonders whether or not Catherine Patterson was provided with an opportunity to advance to deputy director when Richard Weber was hired in December, 2007 in view of her having already been on the job with the agency six years prior to the hire?

Consequently, here you have someone who is paid nearly$14,000 less a year notwithstanding her deeper experience in emergency management services.


Obvious questions that Stark Countians interest in pay equity ought to be asking about Stark County Board of Elections (BOE) operations is why Democratic Deputy Director Jeanette Mullane (a former director during Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner's tenure) with upwards of three (3) years more seniority than Republican Jeff Matthews is paid less than Matthews.

Moreover, Democratic Holly Tichnor has 20 years seniority over Travis Secrest and yet they are paid the same for the same job title.

The SCPR believes that if tables were turned, Secrest would be making considerably more than Tichnor.

And The Report brings into the SCPR's discussion of pay equity and perhaps job opportunity in Stark County "taxpayer financed" employment that Theresa Large (1990) and Christine Jones (1992) have lesser pay and lesser titled jobs than Secrest (2011)?

One more note about the BOE.

Ohio's county boards of elections are structured along political "cold war" lines (a la the history U.S./Soviet Union model post World War II and the early 1990s) which of course means that in terms of employment these jobs are split between Republicans and Democrats in roughly equal numbers.

Moreover, it appears that to get one of these jobs, one needs to have a political sponsor and/or have a political pedigree.

The SCPR recognizes many of the names on the BOE employment list (full or part-time) as being politically connected persons.

Several months ago Stark County Commissioner Richard Regula asked Director Matthews at a commissioner work session on the 2014 county general fund budget (Matthews having announced BOE plans to hire four new employees in the near future) whether or not the jobs were going to be posted.  All of us attending the meeting laughed.

And, of course, Matthews was astonished to get such a question.

To the SCPR the structure of county boards of election is in and of itself an outrage and then to add insult to injury (here in  Stark County) with indication of "gender unfairness" under the guise of "the political cold war structure" should get the dander of all of us up to new heights.


Of the departments of Stark County government covered in today's blog, the Veterans Service Commission (VSC) does best on gender pay equity and employment opportunity.

 However, there is a question as to why there are "NO"  female VSC board members?

Women haven't and/or aren't presently serving in the armed forces of the United States of America?

The Report has two daughters who are commissioned officers in the United States Air Force.

They were raised in Stark County.

Haas, May, Kemp, Hoskinson and Datz, the SCPR understands, are concerned about their pay grade.

The VSC board recently got into a tiff with the Stark County commissioners over the commissioners' rejection of they (and certain VSC administrators) being provided with a county general fund appropriation so that they could stay at a Cleveland area hotel/motel for a training conference earlier this month to be held in Independence, Ohio.

The Report's take is that in retaliation to the commissioners' rejection, VSC board member Frank Kemp, Sr launched an attack on the commissioners' hiring practices in terms of adding positions and hiring in pay rate.

In challenging the commissioners, Kemp worried that he and others were not going to get raises to the equivalent of member Haas.  

And that was all well and good.


In this back and forth, it came out that perhaps the matter of pay raises within the VSC has not been done heretofore according to Ohio statutory law, to wit:

5901.04 Payment of expenses and compensation of commissioners.

On the presentation of an itemized statement, the board of county commissioners shall allow the persons composing the veterans service commission their reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, and shall fix a fair compensation for their services. The county auditor shall issue a warrant upon the county treasurer for the amount so allowed.

Effective Date: 07-22-1994 
(emphasis added)

As The Report understands what has been going on insofar as anybody can remember, is that the VSC board has been setting pay rates for themselves and employees of the VSC.

Stark County Chief Administrator Brant Luther (whose pay rate was challenged by Kemp) that the matter of ORC 5901.04 is under review and that the commissioners have made no determination on past, present or future pay rates at the VSC.

Undoubtedly, the folks at the VSC want to be treated fairly.

Well, doesn't it stand to reason that those who seek fairness mete out fairness?

In that respect, how about Kemp et al (i.e. the board as a whole) seeing to it that a female board member or two or three be brought onto the board?

Monday, May 26, 2014




Soldiers National Monument at the center of Gettysburg National Cemetery.

The ceremonies and Memorial Day address at Gettysburg National Park became nationally well known, starting in 1868. In July 1913, veterans of the United States and Confederate armies gathered in Gettysburg to commemorate the fifty-year anniversary of the Civil War's bloodiest and most famous battle.[33]

The four-day "Blue-Gray Reunion" featured parades, re-enactments, and speeches from a host of dignitaries, including President Woodrow Wilson, the first Southerner elected to the White House after the War. James Heflin of Alabama gave the main address. Heflin was a noted orator; two of his best-known speeches were an endorsement of the Lincoln Memorial and his call to make Mother's Day a holiday. His choice as Memorial Day speaker was criticized, as he was opposed for his support of segregation; however, his speech was moderate in tone and stressed national unity and goodwill, gaining him praise from newspapers.

Since the cemetery dedication at Gettysburg occurred on November 19, that day (or the closest weekend) has been designated as their own local memorial day that is referred to as Remembrance Day.[34]

Friday, May 23, 2014


To the Stark County Political Report, the upcoming general election between Republican incumbent Christina Hagan (Marlboro Township) and Democratic candidate Debbie Cain (Lake Township) has from the get go been a slam dunk for Hagan.

But, on second thought, maybe not?

The Report was asked by a top Stark County Republican elected official what the SCPR's take on the race is?

On reflection, the mere asking of the question is a clear indication that - at the very least, the Stark County GOP - is not so sure Hagan is going to breeze through on November 4th.

After re-evaluation, The Report stands by the SCPR blog of January 2, 2014.

Notwithstanding apparent Republican concerns, the SCPR still sees Hagan as a cinch to win in November.

The Report hastens to add that Christina Hagan being part of the Stark County delegation to the Ohio General Assembly, Stark County is the worse off because of it.

And to be non-partisan about it, the same needs to be said for Democrat Stephen Slesnick.

It is not enough that Slesnick is a highly ineffective legislator (owing more to his lackluster legislative abilities than to his being part of a superminority Democratic Ohio House caucus), he had to embarrass himself and Stark Countians in being cited by the State Highway Patrol on February 13th for DUI.

It only took local mainstream media about 90 days to ferret this news out.  And, of course, Slesnick did not send them a press release about the occurrence when it happened.

So why would anybody connected with the Stark County Republican Party wonder at all about whether or not Hagan is going to reelected?

Probably because in looking at the contributor base in Cain's campaign, it is clear that she is "the candidate" that the Stark/Ohio Dems are pushing for in this election cycle and the hope that Cain with:
  • some campaign money, 
  • some big Dem names behind her, and 
  • the fact she is a member of the State Board of Education (having been its president during the Democratic Strickland administration years),
combined with Hagan:
  • being an undistinguished member of the Ohio House for over four years now, and
  • being in lock-step with the Tea Party/religious right crowd
might just sneak up on Hagan and bounce her out of her Ohio House 50th District seat.

While Cain as of the pre-primary campaign finance reports has more money that Hagan, don't look for that to last long. 

(SCPR Note:  Campaign finance data in this blog was extracted from campaign finance reports located on the Ohio secretary of state's website)

Compared to the Hagan reports:

To The Report,  that the Dems think they can unseat Hagan with Cain in 2014 is evidence that they are on a nomadic trip across a political desert and are experiencing a mirage.

They may think they see some sort of political oasis off in the distance, but as they approach "the spot" of their attention they figure out there is nothing there but more desert.

Recently, Canton's treasurer Kim Perez appeared at Canton City Council and spouted off about how local governments are getting screwed by the Ohio General Assembly.  And, the SCPR agrees they are.

The Report laughs at Perez because it appears that his spouting off is nothing but political rhetoric.  Look at his support of Democratic candidates for state office going back to 2010 (when Kasich was elected).

And where is his support for Debbie Cain?

For a man of Perez's mouth, there is very little evidence that "he puts his money where his mouth is," no?

And The Report has heard Stark County Dems chairman Randy Gonzalez (a Cain contributor) do the same thing as Perez, repeatedly.

But guess who Gonzalez got to run against 48th Ohio House/Senate (the 29th, formerly) J. Kirk Schuring?

How about nobody!

Of course there is nothing wrong with the likes of Gonzalez (Jackson Township fiscal officer) getting along with Schuring (Republican - Jackson Township) even though they are of different political persuasions, but the SCRP's take is that Gonzalez likes Schuring in that Schuring has helped him get legislation passed (e.g. SCOG matters and funding sources for 9-1-1 centralized dispatch) and it seems to the SCPR he only puts a lukewarm, at best, effort into getting a viable a candidate to run under the Democratic Party label against Schuring and Republican state Senator Scot Oelslager as well.

It is one thing for a state legislator to do a few good things for his constituency and be appreciated for the production, but is quite another to roll over for him when it comes to provide stiff opposition to him come election time.

The SCPR has always said that Kirk Schuring does not depart from the Ohio House Republican Caucus position (usually bad for the hoi pollio) on "the really big issues" that affect all Ohioans and therefore on balance (the bad outweighing the good) is deserving of a vigorous test of whether or not he should be reelected.

All of which makes the SCPR wonder whether or not Gonzalez (a Democrat in a sea of mostly Republican voters) is looking out more for his own political hide at the sacrifice of local government services ( due to inadequate state funding) to Stark Countians and, indeed, all Ohioans in not seeing to it that Schuring is meaningfully challenged.

So Perez can grandstand all he wants about the shafting that the Republicans are giving local governments, but with the likes of his Stark County Democratic chairman not providing a candidate, let alone a viable candidate, against a member of the "screw you, local governments" crowd;  who is going to take Perez's rant seriously?

The Report doesn't know why Natkin withdrew but suspects that she figured out that she clearly was going to be a political sacrificial lamb.

Something that Debbie Cain has not figured out.

If this was a presidential year election (about the only time Democrats vote in significant numbers), there might be some basis of optimism that someone like Debbie Cain can be elected.

She is clearly the substantive superior to Christina Hagan.

But 2014 is not a presidential election year and Republican governor John Kasich is going to take Democratic challenger Ed Fitzgerald to the cleaners on November 4th and any thought of a Cain upset of Hagan will perish in flood that is going to engulf down ticket Democrats.

It is prudent that Stark Republicans should worry about Hagan because she is in way over her head as a legislator.

To repeat, so is Democrat Stephen Slesnick.

Stark GOP chairman Jeff Matthews has done a "virtual" Gonzalez (reference:  the 48th and Schuring) with regard to Slesnick in that their is only a write-in Republican running against him.

However, Matthews has not been heard to sign the praises of Slesnick as the SCPR has heard Gonzalez do of Schuring.

Interesting, no?

Who would want to be the candidate of a Party chaired by Randy Gonzalez?


Debbie Cain.

A bit of SCPR political advice for Ms. Cain.

Figure this year's race as "a dry run" for 2016.  Only in presidential years does a Democrat have a chance to win in the gerrymandered 50th.

In a few words, Christina Hagan and the Republicans "have nothing to worry about" for election year 2014!