REP/LWV PROPOSED DEBATE "OFFICIALLY" DEAD
WHBC/POINTS TO PONDER "EVENT" TENTATIVELY SET FOR THURSDAY, 10/15/2015 AT MAYFIELD CENTER
The SCPR spoke with "independent" Canton mayoralty candidate Thomas Bernabei minutes ago and confirmed with him that as of the writing of this blog it appears there will be no classic style political debate between Bernabei and incumbent Democratic mayor William J. Healy, II.
It does seem that Healy will get his way in insisting that any discussion of the many, many issues that candidates should be expressing their views upon for the consumption of Canton's voters be limited to WHBC's Points to Ponder tentatively scheduled for next Thursday beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Mayfield Center located on 13th Street in Canton.
It is unknown as to whether or not the Canton League of Women Voters (a non-partisan, non-candidate endorsing civic group) will be participating in the anticipated WHBC/Ponder event as the League - the SCPR understands - did in the lead up to the Democratic primary election between Healy and Canton treasurer Kim Perez.
In material published in the body of the blog, LWV president Amy Dreussi expressed concerns about the WHBC/Ponder format inasmuch as only four questions were fielded by Healy and Perez.
The Report's take is that is the way Healy wants it.
His chances for a third term seems precarious at best and maybe non-existent.
Normally, incumbents who are reluctant/unwilling to participate in debates take that position because polling information indicates that they are far ahead. Consequently, they want to limit opportunities within which to commit a political gaffe in the days of early voting in the timeframe leading up to and of course including general election day.
The Report does not see such as being the case in the Healy/Bernabei matchup.
The SCPR has already projected Bernabei as the likely winner by some five to ten percentage points.
There are reports of a poll which indicates as much as a 15% victory margin for Bernabei.
Accordingly, The Report sees Healy's debate reluctance as being "a sour grapes" type phenomenon.
However, the SCPR is NOT counting Healy totally out.
The mayor as survived many, many political crisès over his nearly eight years in office and has survived each and every one of them.
He is one of the nation's top politicians in terms of being the envy of the proverbial cat of nine lives!
TODAY'S ORIGINAL BLOG
NO "CLASSIC DEBATE FORMAT" LIKELY
HEALY IS DODGING BERNABEI
The word is that when Thomas M. Bernabei was service director and chief of staff in the then new Canton mayor William J. Healy, II administration (January, 2008 through January, 2009), it was a frequent occurrence that Bernabei would sit the mayor down and lecture him on the proper way to be mayor.
As a consequence, the SCPR's conjecture is that Healy developed a phobia of Bernabei that lingers to this very day.
The current manifestation of that "in the sinews" fear is Healy's refusal to debate Bernabei in a classical debate forum in the run up to the November 3rd general election.
DEBATE SETUP TIMELINE
On August 18, 2016 the Canton League of Voters (Amy Shriver Dreussi, president) sent this identical letter (the Bernabei version shown) to the candidates for Mayor of Canton.
August 26, 2015
September 10, 2015
September 11, 2015
September 21, 2015
September 25, 2015
September 28, 2015
September 30, 2015
October 1, 2015
Bernabei Summation of Timeline
Ron Ponder (Points to Ponder-WHBC)
to Bernabei, Rink et al
Matt Rink (Editor, The Rep) to Ponder, Bernabei, et al
So there you have it folks!
Only on The Stark County Political Report will you get a complete and comprehensive look at "the story behind the story."
Oh! One more thing.
Does Healy have a written response to the foregoing?
It appears so.
The SCPR has obtained a copy of the following apparently written on Healy's behalf by and another Healy campaign connected person, to wit:
Re-Elect William J. Healy II for Mayor of Canton, Ohio.
The debate is not confirmed yet...
We have a couple tentative dates for next week but I'm still waiting for it to come together.
We do have an "interview" with the Repository that will be a recorded "side-by-side" question and answer session that is very much like a debate.
- [Additional SCPR Note: "interview ... very much like a debate." Really?
- Which by the way is set to be done today.
- For those who have participated in a Repository Editorial Board endorsement interview probably do not see it that way.
- It is an interview to find out the positions of the candidates on various issues for as the editors endeavor to find factors to endorse on.]
Plus there are several candidate forums coming up over the next several weeks that should have the candidates available to answer there will other opportunities over the next month to learn more about out achievements and plans for the future.
As soon as dates and times are set, we will post.
As far the SCPR is concerned, the foregoing Healy campaign "spin" is cover for the frightened mayor.
He knows that Bernabei knows what all of the skeletons in his administration are and wants no part of having them exposed.
And, of course, as pointed out at the beginning of this blog; the mayor has a personal history with Bernabei in which he - the mayor - was totally intimidated by the much more able Tom Bernabei as an administrator.
William J. Healy, II could not stand the Bernabei heat and so he fired him.
And the mayor's fear of Bernabei lingers.
Hence, no debate in the classic sense of debate is likely to materialize within the next 30 days!