The Stark County Political Report, now in its eighth year of publication, has had a very gratifying response to the three blogs done so far in the series:
Today, The Report returns to an ongoing post-election analysis series with the focus for now being on allegations that the organized Stark County Democratic Party set up Canton Municipal Court judge candidate Angela Alexander (a Stark County resident who as a legal professional works in Summit County) to believe that the Stark Dems leadership was going to be neutral in the recently concluded Democrat primary election (May 5, 2015) against Canton Law Department official and Plain Township Board of Education member Kristen Guardado.
In ensuing days, yours truly will be continuing with the remaining seven - undoubtedly coveted - spots to be filled as the SCPR wends it way to #1 which will be The Report opinion as to who Stark's absolutely worst elected official is.
Readers have been invited to weigh-in with The Report as to whom they think will win top billing as the worst. So far two readers have successfully guessed who #1 is. Yours truly will be taking votes right up to the evening before the publication. For those of you who want to try to get into the mind of the SCPR, write your guess to: email@example.com.
Anyone who voted before yours truly revealed (yesterday that the #1 position will not go to a member of the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr Loyalty Club and voted for a member of the group, please feel free to weigh-in again.
Undoubtedly, some of them will occupy #7 through #2, but not #1.
Believe it or not, there is a Stark County official who tops any of the Maier folks, the SCPR thinks, in deleterious effect on Stark County government and politics.
One reader has in effect asked that The Report reconsider and name an elected official member of "the club."
ALEXANDER VERSUS GUARDADO
CANTON MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGE
THE SPECIFIC CHARGES OF "UNFAIRNESS"
Links to previous Alexander/Guardado blogs in this series:
The judgeship had opened up on account of sitting judge Stephen Belden (a Republican) resigning/retiring on reports that he was being investigated by Ohio Disciplinary Counsel on charges that he was mishandling debt collection cases.
The Alexander folks were told according to the SCPR's source:
- that he was pleased to hear that she was considering running for judge because the party has a difficult time recruiting candidates for office,
- that the names Kristen Guardado, Corey Minor-Smith and E.J. Wise had come up as potential candidates but that he did not consider Minor-Smith as viable inasmuch as party officials felt she had not run an effective campaign in 2013 against Judge Richard Kubilus (a Republican) in that she would not listen to party officials,
- in the event that there was a primary election contest, the SCDP would be neutral,
- that it would cost about $30,000 to run an effective campaign, and
- that Kody Gonzalez:
- Giavasis' chief deputy clerk of courts who Giavasis had selected to succeed his father Randy Gonzalez as chief deputy,
- owner (president) of K and R Industries, Inc
- that Shane Jackson:
- chief deputy clerk of courts for Massillon clerk of courts Johnnie A. Maier, Jr (a former Stark County Dems chairman and current Executive Vice President)
- Stark County Democratic Party political director
were folks to meet with for advice on the Alexander campaign.
And The Report understands that Alexander did meet with Kody in very early January.
There was to be follow up with him later.
However, the SCPR is being told that "Gonzalez the Younger" was not returning Alexander campaign telephone calls
Later into January, it was becoming apparent that Chairman Giavasis and the Stark Dems' leadership were anything but neutral.
Several sources (a Canton City Council member and a former high official in the SCDP) are thought by the SCPR to have been telling Alexander that despite Giavasis' pledge that the SCDP was going to be neutral, he and his top SCDP leadership (official and de facto [e.g. brother Louis, a Plain Township trustee and a chief deputy clerk of courts for the Stark County clerk of courts]) were in fact working feverishly for Kristen Guardado.
From January on there were a literal flood of events that made it crystal clear that Giavasis' pledge of neutrality was a lot of phony-baloney, to wit: (a partial list of claims)
- There is an allegation that the Stark County Dems' December, 2014 Christmas Party included a big laugh about how certain political operatives were in line to make money off a futile Alexander campaign,
- At the January Stark County Dems' Jefferson Jackson Club meeting, Chairman Phil is said to have intervened to get Kristen Guardado a speaking opportunity even though she had not filed petitions as Alexander had,
- Unions were saying that they were beholden to Stark Dems' leadership decision on whom to support notwithstanding the long and deep history of Alexander extended family members being union members,
- In February, the Stark County Bar Association did a spread in its magazine on Kristen Guardado but is reported to have refused to do an intro piece on new member Alexander until after the election had come and gone,
- In February, Chairman Giavasis, Louis Giavasis, and Kody Gonzalez "like" Guardado's Facebook page. Nothing of the sort for Alexander,
- SCPR Note: Brothers Giavasis are said to make a point of cultivating many, many "friends" on Facebook apparently in effort to parlay their "likes" into a political advantage for "liked" candidates.
- SCPR Note: Kody Gonzalez, the SCPR is told, went on to become a primary person in the management of the Guardado campaign,
- Louis Giavasis, a founder of the very recently formed Northern Stark County Democratic Club (NSCDC), is alleged to have set up a club meeting for a Guardado/Alexander presentation on their respective candidacies for a time when Alexander was on vacation and is said to have resisted - as club Vice President Connie Rubin eventually did - setting it for a time with Alexander when she was available.
- At a Stark County Democratic Womens' Club meeting, Chairman Phil reportedly mispronounced Candidate Alexander's name and said she was running for clerk and proceeds to sit down at Guardado's table on finishing the introductions,
- Randy Gonzalez (a former Stark County Dems' chairman) asking only Candidate Alexander (at the NSCDC meeting) why she didn't make herself available to run against Republican Kirstin Farmer,
- Kody Gonzalez (at the NSCDC meeting) minimizing the scope and degree of domestic violence cases on the Canton Municipal Court criminal docket, and
- Louis Giavasis (at the NSCDC) suggesting that felony cases are not an important aspect of Canton Municipal Court proceedings,
As disturbing as allegations that Chairman Giavasis failed to give substance to his assurances that the SCDP would be neutral in a Democratic Party primary election for Canton Municipal Court; accusations that Kristen Guardado finessed her qualifications to be judge should trouble Canton Municipal Court voters as we move on to the November general election.
These allegations include:
- Guardado is not an FOP member as stated on campaign literature,
- Guardado could not possibly (time wise) review each and every domestic violence case filed in the Canton Municipal Court as she claims given that she is a part-time employee (20 hours a week),
- Guardado using the title Senior Trial Attorney when records show she has not tried a case since 2007, and
- Guardado only recently became in the Canton Municipal Court diversion program, Polaris which is at odds with a claim that she started the program,
The SCPR has written numerous blogs about how unprepared Republican Curtis Werren was to be appointed Stark County Common Pleas judge by Republican governor John Kasich to replace the retired V. Lee Sinclair back in 2013.
Thankfully, he could not fool the Stark County voters as they elected the much more qualified Chryssa Hartnett.
And the SCPR has written that with Kasich appointing him to replace Judge Belden, he was in line to be "a two time loser" on the same county.
But that is all changed now.
With the revelations of the political shenanigans of Messers Phil Giavasis, Louis Giavasis, Randy Gonzalez and Kody Gonzalez together with the finessing referred to above (allegation of which are detailed below), the SCPR thinks that Werren is now definitely in play to retain his appointment.
Alexander will be leaned upon to "get over it" (what clearly appears to have been utter nonsense, that is to say Giavasis' promise of neutrality).
Already one of her key supporters is saying that is what she needs to do.
The word is that she is already looking at running for several judgeships (a combo of Common Pleas and Municipal Court) that may open up in the next several years.
The question is: What will Angela Alexander do?
It is hard for the SCPR to see her endorsing, but as the saying goes: "politics makes for strange bedfellows."
And beyond that question is: Does it make any difference?
If the Democrats lose in November, it will be because of the stumbling, bumbling, fumbling of the Stark County Democratic Party leader and chairman Phil Giavasis!
Giavasis seems to have shown himself to be an incredible party leader.
And Kristen Guardado appears to have some major repair work to do over the next five months plus.
Curtis Werren has to be jumping for joy over the bungling Phil Giavasis as chairman of the Stark County Democratic Party.