Monday, January 11, 2016




On November 3, 2015, North Canton civic activist, former North Canton councilman and candidate Chuck Osborne lost another election in his continuing quest to be a North Canton government official.

So, of course, the question immediately becomes:  Is this a case of "sour grapes" on Osborne losing to Werren in last fall's North Canton Council elections?

To which The Stark County Political Report responds:  to number of North Canton voters, probably so.

However, there is undoubtedly a number of them who think not and applaud Osborne's effort to compel Werren to explain what appears on the face of her post-General 2015 election campaign finance report (CFR) to have filed what seems to be an implausible CFR.

Of course, the difference between the two groups likely is seen by the majority of November, 2015 participating North Canton voters as being "so much politics."

Isn't it a touch ironic that the current director of Leadership Stark County (a project of the Greater Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce) and formerly (as assistant director) ran the Chamber's Government Leadership Academy is being questioned on her making her CFR numbers jives.

After all, a recently published bio (LINK) shows she certainly is well educated, to wit:
A Canton native, Werren holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Malone College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science/international studies from Miami University.
Take a look at Osborne's letter of complaint to Deputy Director of the Stark County Board of Elections Jeanette Mullane:

Additionally, a copy of Werren's actual post-General CFR:

Finally, here is a copy of Osborne's research on his take as to why he thinks Werren's CFR data is suspect:

In focusing on Osborne's objective, let's recite his plea for a remedy, to wit:

I ask that the Stark County Board of Elections require a full and honest accounting of realistic, fair-market costs of campaign expenditures from Stephanie Werren. A good start in accomplishing this would be that Mrs. Werren submits the United States Postal Service Postal Statement, PS Form 3602-R1 for each of the three mailings of her PAC, as well as invoices from the vendor who printed her campaign flyers. 

I also would like an update from your office on how you intend to proceed in this matter.
The overriding question to the SCPR is whether or not Osborne can get:
  • the likes of the Stark County Board of Elections, 
  • the Ohio Elections Commission, the Stark County Prosecutor Offices and 
  • whomever might have a role to play
    • to take his complaint at face value, 
    • investigate, and 
    • determine as objectively as possible
      • without reference to his history as community activist as being a "pain in the butt" to many North Canton officials including Werren
    • in accordance with the law of Ohio
      • as to whether or not Osborne presents a compelling case that cries out for remediation in the interest of showing that Ohio campaign finance law does have teeth?
As readers of the SCPR of know, yours truly has a rather dim view of North Canton government (NCG) in terms of (for example, and not as a comprehensive list of what the SCPR thinks constitutes NCG shortcomings:
  • council as a whole not respecting citizens who question council's actions,
  • appearing to allow Law Director Tim Fox to discharge the function of North Canton government's legal officer to assume the role of a virtual one-man-rule phenomenon,
  • only reluctantly respecting the right of North Canton voters to determine the compensation that elected officials receive (i.e. the health care imbroglio), and
  • seeming to endorse "a hard way to go" approach in citizens getting public records through public records requests,
The SCPR is skeptical that other players (i.e. other than North Canton government officials themselves) can lift themselves above the smear job that it appears various North Canton officials have over some 15 years or so have built and perpetuated in order to make Osborne into a "not to be taken seriously" citizen activist.

To be circumspect, The Report sees Osborne as having played into the hands of his detractors in:
  • being a chronic elective office seeker notwithstanding that North Canton voters have since his two year stint as a councilman have by convincing margin,
  • getting hyper-technical in holding various North Canton officials accountable for their official actions, and
  • demonstrating personal belligerence vis-a-vis non-cooperative/facilitating North Canton officials
If Osborne were just a little more consistently convivial with those with whom he deals in his community activist work without, of course, abandoning his cause; the SCP sees him as being much more effective.

But that horse likely has been out of the barn for some time now.

Nonetheless, outside-of-North Canton government officialdom should ignore the acrimony that has marked the long term interplay between Osborne and his antagonists.

What Stark Countians should be watching these outside-of-North Canton officials and their ability to administer the rule of law.

Can they do it?

Can Osborne expect a fully vetted, no-respecter-of-persons response to his question, to wit:

I also would like an update from your office on how you intend to proceed in this matter.

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