Wednesday, September 23, 2015



The Stark County Democratic Party is a "classic" case study in self-destruct politics.

Its operations over the past 16 years should be top drawer stuff for political science professors across American as "the way NOT to do 'local political party politics' and expect to survive as a dominant political party even in a county which 'overall' is a Democratic county.

Perhaps Healy's campaign guru will want to do this at Mount Union University where he is a political science professor.

One can go back in modern Stark County political history let's say to 1999 when the Stark Dems appointed Gary D. Zeigler Stark County treasurer to replace "the training/certification deficient" Mark Roach and track a "self-destruct" phenomenon that haunts the Stark County Democratic Party to this very day.

As a consequence of appointing/nominating questionably qualified persons to various Stark County offices, the Dems have lost the treasurer's office (having endured the insult of "having" to appoint Republican Alex Zumbar to that office on October 31, 2011), the auditor's office and now likely the mayoralty of Canton.

All of this in the midst of numerically having the political upper hand county wide and certainly within the cities of Alliance, Canton and Massillon.

The SCPR thinks Stark County - of late - is 'overall' for a properly run campaign, a Democratic county.  In 2012 and 2008 countywide Democrat president Barack Obama won Stark.

And, Canton, for sure - at least since 2003 - should not (given the approximate 9 to 1 'voting edge' for Democrats when factoring in Democratic leaning "non-partisan" voters)

One local media person has honed in on official registration records which show "only" a 3 to 2 Democratic registration numbers over Republicans as being an accurate read of the partisan divide in Canton.

What that reporter does not understand is that in Canton most non-partisans vote Democratic in general elections whereas in a place like Jackson Township most non-partisans vote Republican in general elections.  In an area like Perry Township, the split on non-partisans in general elections is about 50/50.

If Canton were truly a 3 to 2 edge to Democrats, do you think that 11 of 12 councilpersons and the council president would be Democrats?

And the lone non-Democrat (Richard Hart who has an uphill battle to be re-elected) tough historically a Republican runs as an "independent."

Do you think that if Stark County Republican Party chairman Jeff Matthews thought that Republicans were within striking distance (which, clearly, a 3 to 2 register voter edge suggests) of Democratic candidates for elective office within Canton that he would stand by and allow Democratic candidates for council, mayor, law director, treasurer and mayor run unchallenged?

The end of the line for Republicans as viable candidates within Canton city limits was in 2003 when current Republican Stark County commissioner Janet Creighton edged out Democrat Bill Smuckler by some 300 votes.

That particular election should have an "*" next to do.

Why is that?

Answer:  Smuckler and current Democratic mayor William J. Healy, II had gone through a bitter Democratic primary battle and Healy and his Democratic Party supporters (i.e. many of the 2,741 Healy voters) were not - the SCPR thinks - supporting Smuckler in the general election inasmuch as Healy had to hoping for a Smuckler loss so that he could pick up the pieces for the Dems when Creighton ran for re-election in 2007.

As a consequence of "a [Democratic Party] house divided" within the Canton branch of the Stark County Democratic Party, Smuckler was almost certain to lose, no?  And he did.  Healy did in 2007 challenge Creighton's re-election bid and won handily.

Healy's 2007 election and the loss of Republican Mark Butterworth in Ward 8, Canton's most Republican ward (now represented going into his third term by Democrat Edmond Mack) in 2011 was a clear signal to the politically astute (OMG - how can the SCPR say that about Jeff Matthews?) that Republicans cannot win in Canton.

To jump ahead to the theme of this particular blog regarding the 2015 Canton mayoralty general election:  a case of "what goes around, comes around" as Healy now trying for a third term is likely to lose to former Democrat and now "independent" and currently Stark County commissioner Thomas M. Bernabei as a consequence of the treatment he has meted out to certain key members of the "organized" Stark County Democratic Party.

Recently the SCPR had a conversation with a Stark Dem politico who told The Report that he/she? figures Bernabei to defeat Healy on November 3rd by as much as a 55% to 45% margin, but, perhaps, as little as 52% to 47%.

With Bernabei's certification as an "independent" by the Stark County Board of Elections on the tie braking vote of Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted as validated by the Ohio Supreme Court, it is "deja vu all over again" in terms of a divided Canton branch of the Stark County Democratic Party.

This time around Healy is likely to be "the house divided victim" in an ironic twist of Healy having fired Bernabei as his chief of staff and service director in 2009 after being on the job for only one year.

Double up the political irony on Healy having humiliated the-then Democratic Plain Township trustee Louis Giavasis (brother of current Stark Dems' chair Phil Giavasis and Stark clerk of courts employee once brother Phil switched over to being the Canton Municipal Court clerk of courts) when he applied to be service director in Healy's administration.

Fast forward to a fundraiser by "independent" Tom Bernabei at The Canton Brewing Company on September 15 and who should show up at the fundraiser?

You've got it:  "the Healy humiliated Louis P. Giavasis!

Though Louis likes to paint himself paradoxically as a more or less non-partisan Democrat, the SCPR does not buy it.

Louis does do some politically strange things and perhaps politically inexpedient things from time-to-time (e.g. fighting the oil/gas fracking in Plain Township, the Giant Eagle exclusionary of other grocery stores lease in Oakwood Plaza, et) cetera); he is otherwise a consummately loyal Democrat.

He was really over-the-top for George T. Maier in Maier's successful race for sheriff in November, 2014 and may have been the key factor of Maier edging out Republican Larry Dordea.

Certainly Maier recognizes Louie's key role in his election as he shown up with deputies in tow in support of Giavasis in his gaining commissioner and Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee appointment as successor to recently retired Stark County clerk of courts Nancy Reinbold who had received the appointment (2007) when Lou's brother Phil became the Dems' appointee as Canton's clerk of courts when Tom Harmon retired.

Interesting enough, in the wake of the SCPR having reported Louie's appearance at the Bernabei fundraiser, The Report received this e-mail:

Sep 21 at 2:06 PM

Seems like many Democrats were upset that Louis Giavasis was at the fundraiser for Tom Bernabei and that those Democrats conveyed there disgust to his brother Phil Giavasis.  Time will tell if Lou switches sides now.

The Report made a number of telephone calls to various Stark County Democratic Party connected persons and learned that the e-mail is "right on the mark" in terms of the complaints against Louis.

As the SCPR is wont to do, an inquiry was sent to both Louis and Phil, to wit:

Martin Olson <>  Sep 22 at 6:39 AM

To:  Phil Giavasis


Any response?


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Martin Olson <>


Sent: Monday, September 21, 2015 5:42 PM

Subject: Are you in hot water with the DEMS because you attended Bernabei's CBC fundraiser?


An e-mail I received from a reader:

Seems like many Democrats were upset that Louis Giavasis was at the fundraiser for Tom Bernabei and that those Democrats conveyed there [sic] disgust to his brother Phil Giavasis.  Time will tell if Lou switches sides now.

Your reaction?

Here it is September 23rd and no answer.

In the past, both have been quick to respond to SCPR inquiries.

The "silence" is interesting, no?

Some folks take "silence" to be an admission of the points presented.

The SCPR would not be surprised for it to come out in due course that Lou has recanted his Bernabei support.

If that happens, it will be too late.

There is no doubt that there is division in the Canton branch of the Stark County Democratic Party that the SCPR thinks will peel off enough normal "solid for the Democratic candidate - whomever she/he may be" (which, in this case, would be William J. Healy, II) when coupled with the substantial number of Democrats who are personally devoted to Bernabei (e.g. form Canton Municipal Court/Stark Co. Court of Common Pleas judge Harry Klide) no matter what his political identity might be to carry Bernabei to a substantial victory.

Readers should keep in mind however that Healy has demonstrated that he is a political person who is "the envy of the proverbial cat of nine lives" and one ought to and The Report does hereby acknowledge that his one chance at re-election is "to pull a proverbial 'rabbit out of the hat'."

It would be a mistake to foreclose any possibility at all that Healy's demonstrated "I am survivor" history might once again save the day for him.

If Healy loses as the SCPR expects him to, he has only himself to blame.

The mayor has left a long trail of strewn political bodies on his political pathway in his divide and conquer political way of being.

Moveover, the SCPR sees him as being arrogantly contemptuous of any who disagree with him or whom he counts as not being politically significant.

In mistreating Louis P. Giavasis and others along that pathway, he planted the seeds of his own political destruction in fostering the development of "a house divided" within the Canton branch of the Stark County Democratic Party.

To say it one more time - especially in politics - "what goes around, comes around."

Consequently, William J. Healy, II is now scrambling to put "Humpty-Dumpty [the fractured Canton branch of the Stark County Democratic Party] back together again!"

No comments: