Tuesday, November 3, 2015






The Stark County Political Report should have gotten out of the election results prediction business after the 2008 elections.

In that election, The Report pretty much hit it on money in predicting that Democrat John Boccieri would best Republican Kirt Schuring in their face off to succeed long time Congressman Ralph Regula in the16th Congressional District which at the time included all of Stark County.

From a July 15, 2008 SCPR blog (LINK), to wit:
For now The Report is sticking with its 52% - 48% ranging up to 55% - 45% Boccieri over Schuring prediction and the spread could go even higher if Schuring keeps following the RNCC advice.
The actual results:

Even higher?

Well, in Stark County, it was Boccieri 57% to Schuring 43%.


SCPR NOTE:  Although yours truly thinks the SCPR camera (thereby denying Stark Countians an inside look at his campaign) was banned by Candidate Healy from Sunday's meeting (The Repository was allowed in) at the Stark County Democratic Party Headquarters as some sort of vendetta against The Report, to show that The Report bears no animosity provides Hizzhonor equal billing with SCPR preferred candidate and challenger Thomas Bernabei in making sure that the very large audience which views the SCPR compared to his Facebook page for The Report's motto in life is "turn the other cheek."

It is pretty unbelievable that the mayor of Ohio's eighth largest city is so insecure that he gets into banning and censoring.  And William J. "Turn the Camera off, Martin" Healy, II has shown that is preferred mode of operations when things are not going his way is to turn to bullying.

Now one has to wonder whether or not openness in a value upon which voters might fix in order to determine whether or not to vote for a candidate?

Just for the fun of it, the SCPR in this blog predicts the outcome of some key Stark County Political Subdivision elections.

In the graphic at the head of this blog, readers see the SCPR predicted outcome in the Healy/Bernabei contest for mayor of Canton.

Actually, The Report thinks it is likely that Bernabei's margin could run up higher:  55% to 45?  58 to 42?

Bernabei rolls up impressive margins in Wards 7, 8 and 9 notwithstanding the respective Canton City councilmen (Mariol, Mack and Morris) working a fever pitch for the mayor as they did in the May primary election in the overall victory of Healy were a key factor in persuading fellow Democrats to stick with the man who brought into the mayorship in Healy's 2007 defeat of incumbent Republican mayor Janet Creighton.

The man that the SCPR labels as being "the envy of the proverbial cat of 9 lives" finally runs out of political life as he has been in too many scrapes over his nearly 8 years in office and opponent Tom Bernabei has been a master at exploiting them.

Accordingly, Bernabei by at least 52% to 47%; likely a higher spread.

We shall see!


Brunckhart 35%
Catazaro-Perry 34%
Cicchinelli  31%

Folks, this one is entirely based on an intuitive feel.

The science of politics (to the degree there is a logic in political campaigns) clearly assigns Brunckhart to the bottom most rung.

Brunckhart has had some good things happen to him since October 15th in clearly being the victor in the League of Women/The Repository & The Independent sponsored candidates' forum.

Massillon TV honcho Robert Gessner (formerly a Catazaro-Perry) embraced the results of the forum and took on a mission to help Brunckhart to narrow victory.

If Brunckhart wins, he owes Robert Gessner.  Without Gessner's help, there is no way Brunckhart wins.

The Report is told that Gessner is upset that yours truly has identified him as being in Brunckhart's corner and sharing some of the way he has been helping the Republican.

The SCPR further understands that Catazaro-Perry de facto managers Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. (a former Stark Dems' chairman) and his Tonto (R. Shane Jackson, political director of the Stark Dems) were highly upset with Gessner.

And if Brunckhart wins this race, they were right to be upset with Gessner for his support is THE ONLY WAY Brunckhart wins.

However should it turn out that the SCPR's gut (err intuitive) feeling is touched with a case of indigestion, then one would likely see:

Cicchinelli 42%
Catazaro-Perry 39%
Brunckhart 19%

This scenario unfolds in the event that the Brunckhart's stellar candidates forum performance is lost on most of the Massillon electorate and on the financial reality (as of the October 15 campaign finance reports) that Brunckhart had about $1,000.00.

This is where Brunckhart political naivete comes into play.  The Report is told that he had a fundraiser this past summer was not a fundraiser because the event was more or less a "come and meeting the candidate" event.

A political truism is that "early money is like yeast" (EMIILY) which of course Maier and Jackson understand better than probably any other Stark politicos.

Accordingly, Brunckhart's lack of political sophistication may cost him the election.

The Report is also told that he has been slow to take if not outright resistant to take the advice of Stark County Republican Party officials like Jeff Williams Matthews (sorry The Rep, just being funny) and the GOP's political operative Jason Wise.

The Report's takeaway is that Brunckhart bringing up the bottom is a more likely scenario than his edging out a narrow victory.

However, this is the year of Donald Trump and Ben Carson among Republicans (both political neophytes) and just to appear to be a political genius if a political miracle occurs in Massillon the SCPR opts for purposes of this blog to say "Yes, Brunckhart's religious house is in order and the political pros like Maier, Jr, Jackson and Jack DeSario (Cicchinelli's campaign consultant) will be saying 'it's a miracle!"

Voters likely will buy Brunckhart's pitch that both Catazaro-Perry and Cicchinelli have had their go at making Massillon go and have failed and therefore it time to turn to the political unsophisticated Lee Brunckhart.

Coming full circle, the SCPR says:

Brunckhart 35%
Catazaro-Perry 34%
Cicchinelli  31%


This race is really, really, really difficult to get a handle on.

Republican Curtis Werren having been an a judge in the Stark County Court of Common Pleas (appointed by Republican governor John Kasich)  and now the recipient of a second Kasich appointment to replace the troubled Republican judge Stephen Belden (who decided to resign/retire) rather than have to deal with possible Ohio Supreme Court disciplinary proceedings should win this race.

If he does, it will have been with the help of his father (John Werren, a top-flight-rain maker at the law firm Day, Ketterer, Curt's haunt way back when he was a practicing lawyer).

In the hole for extra assistance when needed, Werren has his father-in-law Randy Snow who is himself a blue-blood attorney from the famed Black, McCusky law firm.

Some people say that Curt Werren, when asked, tells people he was born in third base.

A few months ago, Randy called yours truly demanding that The Report call and talk to Curt prior to doing any writing about him.

To which, The Report responded:  "Have Curt call me."

Of course, Randy can go pound salt for the SCPR takes orders from nobody and yours truly makes the determination as to whom is key to talk to before putting pen to paper.

Guys like Randy have had people kowtowing to them most of their professional lives and come to expect it from everybody.

Well, he knows better than to try that on the SCPR.

In that vein of having bigwigs Kasich, father Werren and father-in-law Snow, the SCPR thinks the contest may break down:

Werren 51%
Guardado 49%

But The Report thinks that Guardado (as unimpressive as candidates that the SCPR thinks she and Werren are) may have more political clout than is generally known and appreciated.

One big plus is to have her boss and Canton law director Joe Martuccio solidly in her corner.

Martuccio ranks up there with his former boss as preceding law director; namely, Tom Bernabei as among Stark County's most respected jurists.

Martuccio and Bernabei (Guardado's campaign treasurer before he became an "independent" candidate for mayor of Canton) if they talk her up (Bernabei, of course, is preoccupied with his battle to unseat Democratic Canto mayor William J. Healy, II) they along with her strong political base in Plain Township (where she was a school board member for many years) could be enough to reverse those numbers cited above to become:

Guaradado 51%
Werren 49%

This latter number is the one that the SCPR is going to go with.

Werren did best now sitting Stark County Court of Common Pleas judge Chryssa Hartnett on the vote exclusively within the bounds of the Canton Municipal Court District boundaries by about 1,000 votes and one would think could be parlayed into a victory today in their November, 2014 face off.

Subtle factors at play include:
  • How much if any help will Guardado get from William J. Healy, II?
    • He backed Guardado's Democratic opponent Angela Alexander (who the SCPR thinks, by he way, is way more qualified to be judge than either Guardado and Werren) and, of course, his opponent Tom Bernabei was, as mentioned above, Guardado's campaign treasurer until right before the May, primary election when Bernabei was scurrying about cutting his ties to Democratic Party groups and campaigns (if there was a formal connection as in Guardado).

As a sidenote, the SCPR notes that while Alexander's husband tells the SCPR that Angela is supporting Guardado BUT does not have much of a role.

In keeping tabs on the Healy Facebook page, The Report sees Angela is weighing in on Healy's campaign.

How wise is that?

A guy that the SCPR thinks has a very good chance to lose later today and therefore would be absolutely useless to her in announced intention to in the relatively near future seek another Stark County-based judgeship.

The SCPR has written extensively over most of Healy's nearly 8 years as mayor on what The Report thinks is Healy being a retaliatory/recriminatory politician who never forgets thinks like the Guaradado/Bernabei ties.

Given those political personality traits, one normally would think that any Guardado/Bernabei political mash up is the political death knell to Guardado going forward.

But, of course, the hand that Healy is playing now is that Democrats ought to be supporting him if for no other reason that he is a Democrat and loyal Democrats should spurn former Democrat and now turncoat independent Bernabei.

The Report does not know what Mayor Healy does in his spare time, but Guardado better had scrubbed the following photo from her campaign Facebook pate because one of Healy's activities might be to go out check the social media and find material upon which he can recriminate on, to wit:

So if he is consistent with his Democrats support Democrats position, then he is duty bound to support Guardado.  One should assume that he is doing so in at least the perfunctory sense.  The degree of his support given his own political preoccupations could be significant in what figures to be a very, very, very close Guardado/Werren match up.

The likelihood is that he is sitting on his hands in doing anything for Guardado (i.e. recrimination-light) which is highly justifiable has he pursues his own political survival.

Another factor:
  • How much can Stark County Dems' chairman Phil Giavasis (the elected clerk of he Canton Municipal Court District) and his chief deputy Kody Gonzalez (the son of former Stark Dems' chairman Randy Gonzalez and the predecessor of Kody in the chief deputy job) do to help fellow Democrat Guardado?

Certainly Republican Curtis Werren understands the political realities at play and though a political neophyte is not so naive to think that Giavasis and Gonzalez are neutral in his face off with Guardado.

And, don't get the SCPR wrong on this.  Undoubtedly, Giavasis and Gonzalez are smart enough and principled enough to be keeping Guardado/Werren off the radar screen when they are working.

In other environments both Giavasis and Gonzalez have to be marshaling their political contacts both Democratic and Republican in support of Guardado.

This Werren understands and undoubtedly has no problem with just so long as the Giavasis/Gonzalez partisanship does not show up in the workplace.

A Werren who might not be so cool on the Giavasis/Gonzalez stance is Werren wife Stephanie.

Stephanie (fighting for her own political survival as North Canton's Ward 3 councilperson) is known in the Stark County legal community to taking her political fights right into the centers of political power located here in Stark County.

The Report has word and believes that there is truth to claims that Stephanie has vigorously attacked powers that be at The Repository and some within the inner sanctum of the Stark County Court of Common Pleas itself for not being supportive enough of husband Curtis in his narrow loss (a mere 31 votes) to Democrat Hartnett.

Yours truly has a confirmed an email to the SCPR led to the discovery by The Report that some time ago Stephanie was at a Stark County civic/social event and "out-of-the-blue" grabbed a hold of a lady's ponytail hairdo and pulled the lady to the ground thereby leaving the onlookers speechless.  The Report is told that there was no history of bad blood between Werren and the victim.

The question becomes:  How is that Republican appointed Judge Werren says that he can deal with unsavory types who come through the Canton Municipal Court but cannot control his wife?

About 30 minutes ago, The Report received an e-mail (complaint) as follows:  (the email complaining text is in gold italics and the SCPR rejoinder is in purple
You’re information on Stephanie Werren is wildly inaccurate. The picture isn’t even accurate -that is not Stephanie. The absurd rumor that she grabbed someone by the ponytail and dragged them to the ground is 100% false. 
The Report recontacted the original source an confirmed the account exactly as written above. 
I talked to Stephanie that night and she told me about the event, and I talked to her at length the next day after someone posted that disjointed claim to their social media account. That rumor was posted on Facebook and in reality had something to do with a drunk woman losing her balance and an awkward hug. Stephanie was not drunk and did not grab anyone by the hair, and certainly did not “pull” anyone “to the ground."  
In the description of the event as written in this blog says nothing about nor does the language imply that Stephanie was drunk.
Look at the e-mail above:  "Stephanie was not drunk."
Discussion of that point was initiated by the writer of the complaining e-mail which one wonders why the complainer introduces the drunk or not drunk discussion.  The SCPR has not gone there and is not going there and if Ms. Werren is unhappy with that aspect of things being addressed in the complaint to the SCPR, she undoubtedly knows who sent the complaining e-mail and therefore will have to go to that person. 
However, The Report's source confirmed for the second time now that the lady was grabbed by the ponytail and take to the ground 
Her sister confronted the person who posted the nonsense to social media and it was taken down -to my understanding 
Of course, the SCPR has no idea what the sister (Chrissy, is the name The Report is told of the sister).  And the material is NOT nonsense and has NOT been taken down.
Do you really think Stephanie Werren could have assaulted someone in a public place with plenty of onlookers and never felt any repercussions? That would be criminal. I really can’t believe you would post that Martin. 
The Report's source does say making a police matter out of the incident which was witnessed by a number of people at the March, 2015 Repository 200th Anniversary Black Tie Dinner.  But in the end was not done.  However, The Report is told that the Werrens clearly understand that they are to have no future contact with the victim and her family going forward. 
The SCPR will publish relevant, verifiable information about public official public conduct whereas it is highly likely in The Report's experience that The Repository will cover for this folks. 
The Report is told that contact was made with the victim by a representative of the Stark County Republican Party who intimated that the Facebook entry needed to be withdrawn, which it has not been as of the date of this specific blog.
Now resuming the general text of this blog, the SCPR will say that yours truly appreciates having been contacted by the complainer.  The original responsive call by The Report was to remove the complained about text (see green text above) so as to confirmed absolutely that The Report had things right.

In the meantime, substitute text was inserted, to wit:
(Note:  Material in this spot in this blog has been removed at temporarily inasmuch as the SCPR has had input to the effect that it is inaccurate.  As indicated when the material was first placed in this blog, the material was confirmed with a person closely connected to the lady who as it now stands experienced the alleged incident.  As always the SCPR endeavors to be accurate with blog material and appreciates input that puts the authenticity of something in question.)
To repeat, the SCPR not only does critiquing, yours truly welcomes scrutiny of the material that appears in The Stark County Political Report and listens very intently to different interpretations of what appears in these pages.

It was gratifying to this writer to receive this response from the complainer:
I cannot argue with you. All I can say is that in the many, many hours I have spent with Stephanie and talking to her we have become very close and I have never once seen or heard her joke about a physical altercation in such a way that would lead me to believe that incident could ever have taken place. I also know firsthand she was very upset when those allegations surfaced. I do appreciate you checking with your sources all the same.
The Report appreciates those readers who contact with tips, information, suggestions and, yes, even criticism

Some at The Repository and the likes of WHBC like to look down their noses at the SCPR.

Go right ahead folks.

You all ought to be embarrassed at all the input the SCPR receives as being far superior on topics that The Report covers as compared to Stark County's for profit media.

This publication will be eight years old on March 12, 2016.  And this author is 73 years old.  Obviously, this blog will not be continuing for much longer.

And The Rep just celebrated some 200 years of existence and now is a mere shell of its glory days all to the detriment of the Stark County public.

The oldsters of The Rep would be horrified to know of the number of times a solitary individual scoops Stark County's ONLY countywide newspaper.

There have been times that yours truly has seriously considered dropping the blog.

Because doing it the way it done takes a lot of time, attention to detail and hassling at the hand of (e.g. the Maier group, Healy, Matthews, Braden) "the nobody goes unscrutinized - no matter how powerful they are - standard" of Martin Olson by extension the SCPR.

We all know that as we grow older, the stamina abates.

Right now, the stamina is fine.

But the worry is, when the SCPR has to close down, who is going to pick up the charge?

And The Report doesn't blame "would be bloggers" for thinking twice, three times and even more about taking on such a responsibility in the manner that yours truly does.

However, everyday Stark Countians will be at a disadvantage when yours truly makes he decision to do something else in life.

It is not unknown (just ask Stark County commissioner Janet Creighton) for The Report to withdraw erroneous information when convinced of same.

It has only happened maybe two or three times over the years.

It needs to be kept in mind though that much of the criticisms the SCPR receives are from folks with an axe to grind or an interest to protect and aren't above trying a little bullying with the SCPR into removing or diluting a given blog.

As pointed out in yesterday's blog, on the Healy refusal to allow the SCPR into the Dems' canvasing and phone bank meeting while allow The Repository in, notwithstanding that Healy had called yours truly twice in Friday (the day after the mailer story broke) but left no message.

Knowing Healy as perhaps only the SCPR does, these calls were likely going to be attempts to push The Report around.

But just in case, yours truly went to what anybody who has ever been involved in political campaigns know to be excruciatingly boring meeting but with an agenda.

An agenda?


Okay Mayor Healy you want to talk to the SCPR, let's do it all "on the record."

The Stark County involved media should want to know why Healy was avoiding the SCPR.

Unlike Canton mayor William J. Healy, II when confronted with allegations of inaccurate blog information, the SCPR took immediate action first in removing the material put in question and second to confirm for a second time the accuracy of the material.

While not quite the same thing, the SCPR thinks that Healy was obligated per force of being a public official to do more than offer a blanket denial of allegations in the mailer (LINK to original SCPR blog on the mailer).

As Stark Countians know, The Canton Repository apparently does not have an inclination to vet candidates on material that comes to the public as did the mailer in showing up at some 4500 Canton homes.

The SCPR tried to get access to Healy with the SCPR camera on Sunday but was denied admission to a Healy/Strickland event on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at the Stark County Dems' Headquarters in Oakwood Square.

Readers can bet their bottom dollars that when the Duncan Edwards' (likely a false name) hit the public square, it became the obligation of Stark County media to vet the mayor on the allegations.

The Report agrees with Mayor Healy that the timing of the mailing of the message is suspicious in terms of its timing so as to very little time for a Healy response in terms of what information he has which might be relevant to the allegations.

The Report joins Healy in roundly criticizing the timing of the mailer release.

As we all know, life is full of unfairness.  It is an infliction common to mankind.

Nonetheless, when allegations are made that if proven to be true impacts on how people might vote in Canton's mayoralty race, questions need to be raised by the media.

Unless something has happened between The Repository, WHBC, The Akron Beacon Journal and the Healy campaign very recently, it appears that the dominant players in the Stark County media market are remiss as guardians of the public's right to know everything Healy knows.

It could be that the allegations are absolute bunk.  And, of course, to prove the negative is extremely difficult to deal with.

But Healy needed to be pressed by the media to do so.

And he should have been anxious - given his outright, blanket denial - to do what he could to shed light on why somebody might be mistaken in their perception of what did or did not happen.

It appears that he is content to sit behind and general denial with what perhaps may be bravado about filing an elections commission complaint and a lawsuit against the generator of the mailer.

It is hard to understand why Healy doesn't want to be as helpful and specific as the information he does have about some very specific allegation details that one would think might be relatively easy to check into and documentation, statements obtained which tend to confirm Healy's denial.

As it is now, Mayor Healy, especially if reelected mayor, better come up with a way to disprove the allegations.

For as the SCPR sees it, if those allegations are not dealt with forthrightly, it impairs his and his administrations' work to continue his announced project and plans to restore Canton to some semblance of the city's former greatness.

But bottom line, subject to the caveat written above, where is the Stark County mainstream media on this matter?

The Repository had a golden opportunity on Sunday and chose to send what appears to be a rookie reporter to deal with the super-sophisticated William J. Healy.

These folks do not do the news and reporting on public officials for free.

Subscription fees and advertising support a gigantic operation down at 500 Market Avenue, South.

What is going on down there?

Obviously, yours truly has gotten off "somewhat on a tangent," but just as the SCPR non-profit, truly public service entity did in in listing the Stephanie Werren material and "checking it twice;" mainstream media involved in the Stark County marketplace has an obligation to vet the statements of public officials.

It could be that such has or is happening, but if it is, the SCPR is not aware of it.


The Report is not aware of any action by Stephanie to warn Giavasis and Gonzalez to lay low not only in the Canton Municipal Court venue but also more generally.  But yours truly thinks that if such is the case and Giavasis and Gonzalez feel intimidated and have therefore muted their "out-of-court" political activities for Guardado, such (i.e. dampened down activity on her behalf) could loom large in the final result if this election is as close as the SCPR thinks it will be.

Just being funny now, folks.

But it might be a good idea if Giavasis and Gonzalez wear the hair especially short these days.  In fact, if the SCPR prediction of a close Guardado victory materializes, they might want to get the hair completely shaven off, no?

It could come down to a handful of votes, again.  That's what the SCRP thinks and the outcome could hinge on the subtle factors of degree (greater or lesser) of political activity zeal for Guardado on the parts of Healy, Giavasis and Gonzalez.

Last night the Olson household received three mailers from the Werren campaign.

Three in one day!

And all along in the current campaign season, the SCPR has reason to believe that Werren has been mailing appreciably more campaign literature than Guardado.

Some politicos think mailings are of the most effective ways to get a candidate's message out to voters.

And they can be.

But one of Werren's core messages "A Great Judge," lacks credibility given that the guy has been a judge combined Common Pleas and Municipal for a grand total of 2 years and before that he had not practiced law for at least several years.

Sound's like Werren is taking a page out of the William J. Healy, II's book of how to self-promote with very little if any basis for he claims made.

A sure mark of an insecure person, no?

Many politicos do not want to include their children in their campaign literature. But that does not appear to be the case with the Werrens.  The Report has seen seemingly countless images of the Werrens' tripletts in Curt and Stephanie's campaign literature.

Interesting, no?

Ya never know, there may be some voters out there who also have tripletts and in a close election (remember Hartnett versus Werren, he only lost by 31 votes) ya have do what ya have to do to bring those votes in, no?

To say it again, this judicial contest will likely be a razor-thin margin either way but in a close contest, the SCPR predicts:

Guardado 51%
Werren 49%

And Giavasis Gonzalez may need go hide from Stephanie, IF Curt does not win.

For after all Guardado has a job.  Curt, if he loses, does not. How's the guy going to be able to support his family.  (A paraphrase of a reported Stephanie Werren comment after husband Curt lost to Hartnett).

He's entitled, no?


This may be the toughest of all the races journalized upon to predict.

As readers of the SCPR know, yours truly goes where angels fear to tred.

Here goes.

Arnold 50.5%
Whitiaker 49.5%

Now how's that?

If Republican appointee Jennifer Arnold had enough foresight to keep her propensity for hilarity off Facebook and Twitter, the SCPR thinks she would have won in a romp over Democrat Mark Whitaker.

What the Arnold social media goofs did for her was to create a very large pathway for her Democratic opponent to perhaps stun everybody in Stark County political junkie world and win what was prior to the Arnold social media gaffes - according to a leading Alliance Democrat - what was otherwise "unwinnable" post.

Consequently, the Alliance Law Department may turnover with today's election from being Republican controlled to being taken over by the Democrats.

No comments: