Tuesday, July 5, 2016
ANOTHER "TRUST IN GOV'T" BUILDER EMERGES IN STARK COUNTY?
On April 1, 2009 "all Hell broke lose" in terms of trusting Stark County government.
For it was no April's Fools joke.
Stark Countians learned on that day of political/government infamy that we were the victims of an "inside job" in which in came out over the course of time that Stark County Chief Deputy Treasurer Vince Frustaci had stolen upwards of $3 million from us the taxpayers.
As government officials are wont to do, many of Stark County's started pointing fingers at each other as to who was not minding the store to allow the Frustaci misdeed "right under their noses."
Even then Ohio auditor Mary Taylor (thought to be maneuvering to run for governor in 2018) was accused by some local officials as not doing a proper job o monitoring Stark's treasury so as to detect the theft much, much earlier than her office.
She, in turn, accused then treasurer Gary Zeigler of not having practices, procedures, policies and physical facilities of the first "secure" order so as to have prevented Frustaci from doing what he was ultimately convicted of doing.
Then county auditor Kim Perez came in for criticism.
And on and on goes the list.
It took the election of Thomas M. Bernabei and Janet Creighton in November, 2010 to being the process of restoring a "relative" modicum of trust to Stark County government's ability provide protection of public monies.
The SCPR uses the word "relative" as a descriptor of the measure of trust restored because as a whole we Americans do not trust our government officials.
According to the November, 2015 Pew report, only 19% of Americans trust government as compared to 77% in 1958.
A very good year if I must say so myself. A 16 year old at the time, I can remember basking in the comfort of "I Like Ike" and feeling that by and large all was well with American government.
But in 1972 that all came to a crashing end.
It was not enough for Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CREEP, LINK) that President Richard M. Nixon was going to crush Democrat George McGovern in the November, 1972 election.
CREEP broke into the Democratic National Committee office suite in Watergate to obtain information about McGovern campaign plans and strategies.
A phrase that has become a investigative truism surface out of the Watergate fiasco: "Follow the Money."
We all know that it seemingly takes lots and lots of money to get elected to office in America this day and age.
And we also know that once a candidate becomes indebted to contributors, some of those contributors are highly likely to think they get special access to candidates who become elected officials.
Nowhere in our political/government system is it of critical importance that the public think that campaign contributions have nothing whatsoever to do with outcome than with the administration of justice.
Just within the past week, thinking that the American system of justice of fairness may be under attack came with reports of former president William Jefferson Clinton paying a visit to Attorney General Loretta Lynch as their airplanes sat on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport.
For as we all know, Clinton's wife Hillary, a candidate for president of the 240 year old USA is under investigation by the Lynch run U.S. Department of Justice for perhaps violating law by communicating government business on a private Internet server.
At the very least, Bill Clinton showed in seeking and carrying out the visit with Lynch despite his having being a Oxford Rhodes scholar and thought by many to be a political genius that he is quite capable of being super stupid.
While the Clinton/Lynch incident does not apparently have a campaign finance factor to it, nonetheless it is a prime example of why there is a slow but continuing slide (i.e. 77% to 19% over nearly 60 years) of public trust in our government: at all levels; not just the national level.
What Stark County and the nation needs are the likes of Thomas Bernabei and Janet Creighton to surface with agendas designed to build public trust. Not derogate public trust like many public officials do in the performance of their duties.
It appears to the SCPR that Stark County prosecutor Republican candidate Jeff Jakmides may turn out to be a public trust builder in the specific area of campaign finance as it impacts the Stark County justice system.
At the cost of $150,00 to $200,000 (his own estimate), Jakmides will self-finance his campaign to unseat Democrat incumber prosecutor John Ferrero.
Jakmides (a well known and highly respected Stark County criminal law and family law attorney) joked last Thursday night at a campaign "kick-off' event that earlier in this political year he and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump were trumpeting (no pun intended) self-financing the respective campaigns and that now only he—Jeff Jakmides—is left.
While Jakmides is unmistakably a partisan Republican, he does not have the political pedigree of Ferrero. And therefore, it appears that he has the capability to rise above political connections (financial and otherwise) and administer just to all who come before the Stark County bar of justice: fairly and impartially.
The Report suspects that there are those within his own political party who rely on being politically connected who would not want to see Jakmides elected Stark County prosecutor.
But "the proof will be in the pudding" of actually being prosecutor and his showing that he is "no respecter of persons" of those who come under his office's scrutiny.
Ferrero is a former Stark County Democratic Party chairman who resigned his chairmanship in 2003 in an obvious attempt to shed himself of being perceived by the voting public as primarily being a highly partisan politico holding a Stark County "fair and impartial justice to all" position and accordingly suspect as to his devotion not being influenced by political factors in his administration of justice.
The SCPR has written quite a number of blogs which question his devotion to the "fair and impartial administration of justice."
Of course that has gained the SCPR his ire. (LINK)
Such is part of the territory when one does what The Report does. (LINK)
All of us should be watching Jeff Jakmides very carefully to make of final determination of whether or not he is "the real deal."
If he is, his self-finance model should be at the top of the list as to whom Stark Countians should vote for.
If he shows in one way or another that he is not, then scratch the ethics distinguishing feature and go to the next tier of determining: "the lesser of two evils?
The Report is somewhat skeptical that Jakmides will be all that different from the likes of Ferrero.
It is understandable that Jakmides would want to tap into the rupture in Stark County Democratic Party between Ferrero and the Maier brothers (Sheriff George T. Maier and Massillon clerk of courts Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.) and court the Maier brothers to "on the political sly" tell their supporters through the political grapevine to vote for Jeff Jakmides. (see above interview video)
But The Report thinks that if they do so and can make a case that they were a critical difference in his election, they will have no compunction whatsoever in exercising political leverage if they perceive a need to do so.
The SCPR believes that the Maier brothers are the most consummately political officials in all of Stark County.
Especially so with former Canton mayor William J. Healy, II seemingly having vacated the Stark County political scene.
Posted by Martin Olson at 8:45 AM