Friday, September 25, 2015

PART 1 - SCPR "ELECTION SERIES - MASSILLON MAYOR'S RACE.


FACTORS AFFECTING OUTCOME

THE BRUNCKHART FACTOR

CANDIDATES' HEALTH?

CANDIDATES' DEMEANOR?


Video of Catazaro-Perry Auto-Accident Conduct
of
03/26/2015

HASSLING CANTON PD'S FINEST?

CANDIDATES' PRODUCTIVENESS?

AND 

ANYTHING ELSE THAT COMES TO MIND!

Today, The Stark County Political Report begins in earnest coverage of Massillon's 2016 general election for the office of mayor.



The outline at the beginning of this blog offers a clue to where The Report is going with this series of blogs.

THE BRUNCKHART FACTOR

Make no mistake about it, Republican Lee Brunckhart is pretty much a non-factor in this race.

Only those Republicans who will vote for a Republican even if he/she were dead and buried will likely being voting for Lee Brunckhart.

Brunckhart was absolutely obliterated in the November, 2011 general election versus Catazaro-Perry.


Undoubtedly a significant number of Brunckhart's votes came from disgruntled Democrats loyal to Cicchinelli who not stomach voting for Catazaro-Perry as the Democratic standard-bearer having defeated Cicchinelli in the Democratic primary election.


This time around Catazaro-Perry and Cicchinelli are likely to split the Democratic vote if the mayor's near loss to unknown and neophyte Democratic politician J. David Ress's vote in this year's Democratic primary is an indication of the dissatisfaction that Democrats have for the mayor.


The Report suspects that had Cicchinelli run in the primary, he would have handily defeated Catazaro-Perry which indicates that a number of Democrats voting in the primary had misgivings about the electability of Ress and decided against taking a chance of being on the losing side.

Using the May, 2011 Cicchinelli/Catazaro-Perry primary fight as the base, Cicchinelli only has to pickup 173 Democratic votes (4% of the total primary election vote) to turn the tables on the sitting mayor and putting challenger Cicchinelli back in the Massillon mayor's chair.

Doesn't the dissatisfaction of the voting Democratic sample of May, 2015 Ress/Catazaro-Perry contest clearly indicate that picking up a percentage equivalent to the 173 votes is highly likely in the November, 2015 election?

The Report thinks so.  And thinks that the pick up will be much higher given that the mayor now has a record to defend and that many Massillon Democrats (see the Ress vote) have not liked what they have seen from the Catazaro-Perry administration.

Most Republican votes will go to "independent" and former longtime Massillon mayor Frank Cicchinelli in this race.  Which, of course, is a parallel to what will be happening the the Canton mayoralty race of Democratic incumbent William J. Healy, II versus now "independent" but long term Democrat Thomas M. Bernabei.

While The Report is not prepared at this time to project Cicchinelli as the winner in November as in the Bernabei/Healy Canton match up, the SCPR does say that Catazaro-Perry has a high, high hill to climb the next 30 days or so.

In future editions of this series, the SCPR will share with readers chapter and verse on the factors that indicate that Brunckhart is likely to run a distant, distant, distant third candidate to Cicchinelli (who the SCPR thinks has the edge as stated above) and Catazaro-Perry.

Catazaro-Perry's main hope of eking out a victory lies in Brunckhart garnering a sufficient number of Republican votes in his column and concomitantly away from Frank Cicchinelli.

CANDIDATES' HEALTH

At least one Massillon citizen, the SCPR is told by a source, thinks that Massillon City Council president Tony Townsend should have been acting mayor from September 7th through yesterday due to the hospitalization of Mayor Catazaro-Perry when she was released.

Instead, the mayor chose to run Massillon from her hospital bed.

All of which brings up the health of a candidate for public office as an appropriate topic for thorough vetting.

We all should remember the situation in which the late Mike McDonald was elected sheriff of Stark County in November, 2012 only not to be able to take office on January 7, 2013 because of a health condition that ended with his death on February 22, 2013.

The SCPR was the only Stark County media outlet that constantly tried to keep tabs with McDonald and his health inasmuch as he had revealed earlier in his campaign that he had a serious health condition.

McDonald became highly sensitive to The Report's persistent inquiries.

As it turns out, the SCPR was onto something in terms of whether or not McDonald would be able to take office or if on taking office he would be up to serving four years.

If he wasn't able to take office or serve a full term, then it would be the "organized" Stark County Democratic Party's central committee who would be selecting a successor.

It is highly unlikely that a majority of Stark County voters would have placed an "X" beside a ballot entry "Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee" in the election which it turned out - unfortunately - turned out to be the de facto situation.

What the unvetted McDonald health issue led to was a bitter intra-party fight between the Massillon Maier (Johnnie A. Maier, Jr) Political Machine and its candidate and Maier, Jr. brother George and Stark County prosecutor John Ferrero and former sheriff Tim Swanson waged within the party for over a year (Feburary 5, 2013 through April, 2014) and involving much litigation.

Only in November, 2014 - two years later - did the Stark County voting public have a say in who would be sheriff.

Had the mainstream Stark County media done its job effectively, the issue of McDonald's health would have been vetted and perhaps there would have been a different result in the November, 2012 election.

The Catazaro-Perry hospitalization and publicly revealed health condition of Frank Cicchinelli highlight the importance of health issues being vetted in the run up to this year's election.

The Report is told that in today's Independent editorial interview of the Massillon mayoralty candidates, not one word was uttered as to the status - going forward - of the candidates' health.

Unbelievable!  Simply unbelievable!

Just terrific journalism, no?

The SCPR in future blogs in this series will probe the issue of health status of each candidate going forward so that Massillon voters have a reasonable assurance that who they are voting for can reasonably be expected to be able to take office and to serve for the entire four year term.

Cicchinelli has already shared with The Report his health viability going forward which this blogger will share with the SCPR reading public.

Will Mayor Catazaro-Perry do the same?  If not with the SCPR, another media outlet?

CANDIDATES' DEMEANOR

One Massillon councilperson has told the SCPR that when he was mayor Frank Cicchinelli repeatedly ran roughshod over disagreeing members of Massillon City Council.

The Report's source, of course, is not Kathy Catazaro-Perry.  But undoubtedly she would share that sentiment.

In this campaign, Cicchinelli should be grilled on what he thinks an appropriate relationship between him and council should be going forward.

The reports on Cicchinelli's alleged roughhousing of dissenting council members and Catazaro-Perry's bullying need to be out there for the Massillon voting public to know about.

And so should Mayor Kathy.

In her four years as mayor she has had a number of videotaped incidents in which she turned very ugly with council even to the point of accusing council as body as being racist and sexist.

That is in the heat of political battle, no?

Of course!

Well, the SCPR just came onto a freshly dugout video of the mayor acting - The Report thinks - conduct very unbecoming of a mayor in the context a minor, minor, minor auto accident which occurred on 3rd Street, NW in Canton as she was on her way to an Edmond Mack (Democrat - Ward 8, Canton City Council) and John Mariol (Democrat - Ward 7, Canton City Council) on March 26, 2015.

The SCPR's opinion of the "unbecomingness" on based on:
  • Her out-of-the-chute letting responding officer Watkins know that she is the mayor of Massillon,
    • Note:  an attempt at intimdation?  The SCPR thinks so.
  • Allowing her husband, who according to the other party to the accident, was not in the mayor's car when the collision occurred, to get involved in the interaction with investigating Canton police officers to the point that one of the responding officers on the video says that the husband was flirting with the possibility of getting arrested,
    • Note: the other party tells the SCPR that until her husband arrived on the scene, she was telling him that the accident was her fault,
  • Making a big show to responding officers of making a call to Canton mayor "Jamie" Healy (connoting, The Report thinks, she is the "personal" friend of Canton's mayor) when the officers are not appearing to accept her demand that the other party be given sobriety tests (reference:  at the 13:52 mark of the video below),
  • She insisted that the other party be given sobriety tests (including a breathalyzer which requires the legal standard of "probable cause") on her observations:
    • that he went to the nearby corner drugstore and came out with a drink he was imbibing on his way back to his car,
      • Note:  the other party's wife works at the drug store and officers determined he was notifying her (whom he was endeavoring pick up from work) that he had been in an accident,
    • that he had bloodshot eyes,
    • that he has a "beer belly,
    • that he was unable to do a walking test,
      • Note:  Officers were convinced that an ankle injury prevented him from taking a walking test,
      • Note:  This after officers informed her that after did administer an eye movement test and were convinced that on the basis of that test coupled with not smelling alcohol in his breath that there was no legal basis to ask the other party to do a breathalyzer test,
    • that she knew better than the officers in their assessment of whether or not the other party merited alcohol use testing on the basis of her having been a nurse for years,
  • Her demanding to know and writing down the names of the responding officers,
    • Note:  The SCPR takes the maneuver to be of a intimidating nature,
Take a look at excerpted video (see note of omitted footage) that the SCPR has extracted from the Canton Police Department video taken of its investigation of the accident.






The extracted video was edited by the SCPR to take out footage that is marking time (i.e. camera in cruiser still turned on and video looking through windshield until other officers responded) and to omit other material not related to accident investigation:

CANDIDATES PRODUCTIVENESS

The SCPR sees Mayor Catazaro-Perry has largely run her administration on two negative bas├Ęs.
  1. Frank Cicchinelli left Massillon government in a mess and that she has had to spend four years undoing the harm he has done,
  2. A majority of Massillon City Council has been against her from the get-go of her administration and not allowed her to move Massillon forward in a positive vein.
There is no doubt that Cicchinelli did leave some problems for Catazaro-Perry's administration.  One of which - he freely owns up to this one - was the addition of nine holes to The Legends Golf Course originally 18 hole course.

Another thing that the former mayor did that the SCPR did not think was wise was to budget on items on the assumption that the money would be there at the end of the year even though there was a real question about whether such would be the case when the budget was formed.

There were times during the later years of the Cicchinelli administration where the auditor had to withhold payment of certain city expenses way beyond a reasonable time for having made payment.

However, there are two things the mayor forgets to mention in her complaining:
  1. She knew going in as mayor what she was facing.
  2. Rather than make council part of the solution, she elected to play the political blame game even to the point of getting the city - unnecessarily, the SCPR thinks - declared to be in fiscal emergency even if on the slimmest of basis.
And, of course, she conveniently ignores that all Ohio local governments suffered devastating loss of tax revenues and other revenue cuts as a consequence of:
  • The Great Recession of 2008, and
  • The onset of the Kasich administration in 2010 and his draconian cuts in State of Ohio funding of local governments over his first term in office,
    Cicchinelli over his 28 years of being mayor of Massillon can tick off and undoubtedly will during the debate between he, the mayor and Brunckhart on October 14th at the Lincoln Theater quite a few achievements during those years.

    The question now becomes for the two viable candidates for mayor (i.e. Catazaro-Perry and Cicchinelli) how will their respective leadership going forward benefit Massillon?

    This question will be the focus of future blogs in this series in some detail.

    ANYTHING ELSE THAT COMES TO MIND

    The SCPR always reserves space for interesting and relevant material to intersperse in these pages in a serendipitous fashion for readers.

    Stay tuned for future parts of this series!

    For those readers who want the compare the edited version of the CPD video as published above, here is a copy of the full version as received by the SCPR.

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