Monday, July 25, 2016


UPDATED:  11:20 am


(Creative Commons "None of the Above" logo overlaid on SCPR Clinton/Trump Graphic)



In one respect, the country of India is ahead of the greatest democratic-republic in the history of the world.

And in American, Nevada stands out alongside India in offering the opportunity to vote "None of the Above" (NOTA) instead of "the lesser of two evils."

Unfortunately, these votes in both India and in Nevada do not effect the results of a given election. The NOTA votes are merely recorded as a "for the record" dissatisfaction with the candidates presented to the voters.

It could be different.

A Wikipedia article NOTA sets out possible consequences that would make NOTA votes consequential, to wit: (LINK)

When None of the Above is listed on a ballot, there is the possibility of NOTA receiving a majority or plurality of the vote, and so "winning" the election. In such a case, a variety of formal procedures may be invoked, including having the office remain vacant, having the office filled by appointment, re-opening nominations or holding another election (in a body operating under parliamentary procedure), or it may have no effect whatsoever, as in India and the US state of Nevada, where the next highest total wins regardless.

Locally, NOTA could have, if Ohio had an authorizing law, "the winner" in the Perez/Healy race for mayor in the Democratic primary election of May 5, 2015.

The SCPR did a blog on that election which pined for Cantonians to have had that opportunity.

Fortunately, for Cantonians, Thomas M. Bernabei "stepped-up-to-the-plate" changing from a registered Democrat to being a political independent and successively negotiated a mine field of potential legal obstacles and ran against Healy in November, 2015 defeating him in is bid for a third consecutive term.

On the national level, many Americans hoped for a viable opponent to Republican Donald J. Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton would surface so that we (myself included in the word "many") would have clear "on the merits" candidates.

An opponent to Trump hoped for because he is an egotist of extreme proportions who thinks he can cure what ails America single handedly.

An opponent to Clinton hoped for because she has had opportunities nearly two decades to effect real change in this country but, if anything, has been a significant part of the worsening of the USA.

Readers should follow links to Washington Post editorials on both Trump and Clinton.
The foregoing editorials focus on the chapter and verse of the manifold foibles of both.

Both, indeed, are highly flawed candidates.


All of Trump's challengers were second rate with the possible exception of our Ohio governor John Kasich, to wit:

"We want politicians to stand on principle and then whenever they do, if it's not the principle we like, we're not so much into them standing on principle. When you stand on principle, sometimes you're all alone."

And this from a Los Angeles Times article (LINK):

Delegates hadn't even finished unpacking their elephant pins and other pachyderm paraphernalia when Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign chairman, unloaded on Kasich, another former rival of Trump's, hitting him for refusing to endorse the GOP nominee or even set foot inside the convention hall. Kasich was ubiquitous everywhere else in and around Cleveland.

The week-long carping between the Trump and Kasich camps, which included Kasich criticizing Trump's statements about possibly not defending NATO allies — continued into the weekend when Kasich, in an interview with, poor-mouthed Trump's chances of carrying Ohio in November.

A "divider" like Trump will have a hard time winning Ohio, Kasich said. "Ohio's a snapshot of the country. People in Ohio want a positive way forward."

On Sunday's Meet The Press (NBC News) Trump said he probably will form a political action committee to funnel money to a Kasich opponent in order to take him down politically.

At the Thursday concluded Republican National Convention, Kasich took a stand on political principle in not showing up in support of Trump and in refusing to endorse him.

He and the "Never Trump" movement and their ilk appear to be Republicans capable of espousing and acting upon political principle.

Those who fall-in with Trump seem not to have that capability.

For many of them, it is political party interests over having political principles that benefit America as a whole.

It was not that long ago that The Report witnessed one elected Stark County Republican pooh-pooing the notion that Trump could become the Republican nominee. 

At the time, he was certain that Jeb Bush would end up being the nominee.

His real message was that whoever won the Republican nomination is the person he would be supporting.

The SCPR has learned that several Stark County Political Subdivision Republican elected officials are saying within the past week that because of Kasich's stand in not supporting Trump, they will not support Kasich in the future political ventures.

To The Report, such is so much political "hot air" born of the "heat of an 'emotional' moment."

And silly, too.

There is no comparison whatsoever on character factors when assessing John Kasich with Donald J. Trump.

What are these people thinking?

And, of course, that is with the SCPR being quite aware that John Kasich has a rich history of engaging political expediency as a touchstone of his political career.

However, his fuss with Trump shows that he does have a capacity to rise above self-interest and political party interest when a person a flagrant in conduct as Donald J. Trump is.

That capability, if he has ever possessed it, has long been missing from the make up of Trump.


During the Republican presidential primary campaign Trump had savaged him along with most of the other multitude of candidates.  Trump and his people repeated a political assault on Kasich last Monday

It was gratifying to see Jeb Bush lose early and badly in the Republican primary but not because he is a bad person as charged by Trump. 

He, like Clinton, is yesterday's political news of failed politicians of old.  Moreover, he is part of a family that more or less have been a political dynasty which has been part of the run up to the deep, deep dissatisfaction that nests in the being of many, many Americans.

Trump is attractive way to millions of voters merely because he says things that resonate with the frustrations of government ineffectiveness experienced day-in, day-out by nearly all of us from the school house (i.e. local boards of education) all the way to the White House.

What many of us have not realized is that were he to be elected, it is highly likely that Donald J. Trump would prove to have been a "deadly attraction" on the basis of his fear mongering who would accelerate a decline in democratic-republican basic values that we all cherish.

Would it not be terrific to have a NOTA with teeth in it so as to allow for a "do-over" in the event the NOTA vote proved to be the plurality vote?

But no dice.  We are stuck with an absolutely horrific choice in the Clinton/Trump match up.

Trump would likely prove to be a national disaster with his "I am your voice.  I alone can fix itI will restore law and order" Thursday night acceptance speech.

Donald thinks he doesn't need anybody's help except, perhaps, for a $1 million kickstarter at the hand of his father as he started on third base on becoming a wealthy man.

Otherwise, according to him, he's America's Horatio Alger of the 20th and 21st century.


While we might muddle through with Hillary, that's the best we can hope for.

But with the revelations of the e-mail scandal, she showed amazing poor judgment for someone who should known better.

Because of her poor judgment, her obsession with secrecy and her non-stop political calculating modality, it is not hard to see that she will commit a blunder in the political/governance mix that becomes costly to everyday Americans in an "up close and personal sense."

While Bernie Sanders in terms of being qualitative is a step up the Republican candidates taking on Trump, he is too extreme in embracing a clearly socialist agenda for a Sanders presidency.

Sanders deserves the respect of all of us for "more or less" standing on principle.  But his knees did buckle in endorsing Hillary.  Shame on him for that especially in light of the WikiLeaks publication of Democratic National Committee e-mails showing that he was a victim of an "inside job" at the hand of DNC officials.

Had he been elected as a delegate to the DNC Convention in Philadelphia, Democratic state Representative candidate John Juergensen (the 50th, Republican opponent Christina Hagan) was committed to support Sanders.


American are left with a "lesser of two evils" standard.

Already in discussions with locals of varying (Republican/Democrat) basic political persuasion the phenomenon of "rationalizing" as set in as they seek to justifying voting for the respective political party standard bearer, the SCPR notes that they seek to create "a feel good about themselves" justification for their partisan motivated votes.

The USA (as both political camps like to chant as if they personify "what's good for America) consequently will elect electoral majority "lesser of two evils" come November.




Most troubling for Stark Countians should that Stark's foremost Republican; namely, Commissioner Janet Creighton is reported in the local press as having said that she would do what she could to assist the Trump campaign.



Does this mean she buys into the ugliness, distortion of if not fabrication of facts and arrogance of the Republican nominee?

Does she really think with her experience in Stark County government that one person can fix thing?

If so, such is a clear departure for the Janet Creighton that has served Stark County well over her storied political career.

One of her motivations (the SCPR's takeaway from one-on-ones with her) is her political animus towards Hillary Clinton.

Creighton is likely Stark County foremost woman leader in blazing a pathway for women in Stark County government.  And she forged her "woman as capable leader" in the face of much local official Republican Party opposition early in her political career.

So it is strange to hear her land on Clinton in a seeming "over-the-top" manner given the obvious barriers that she and many American women have had to overcome in assuming their rightful place in American government and politics.

To boot, her man Trump is viewed by many to be sexist.


There is a personal political stake for "Commissioner" Janet Creighton.

If Trump does not do well in Stark County which the SCPR thinks is likely, one of the casualties could be her good friend and likely colleague Bill Smith (now a Canton Township trustee) who is running to fill the seat of Canton mayor and former Stark County commissioner Thomas M. Bernabei.

Trump doing well in Stark given the lack of an effective field organization as witness political infighting that has occurred within the volunteer Trump organization post-primary does not seem to be a viable objective.

If such was doable, Bill Smith would win in a walk.

The Report thinks Creighton should focus on the Smith/Slesnick and Jakmides/Ferrero (for Stark County prosecutor) and supporting incumbent Republican county treasurer Alex Zumbar.

These are credible candidates.  Donald J. Trump is not.


If one out of a sort of "party loyalty) needs to impliedly play "I'am lukewarm about Trump" game, the Auditor Alan Harold (the SCPR's #2 Stark County elected official) model might be one to follow.

"I will campaign for all Republicans this fall," he is reported in local media as having said at the RNC.  Avoiding a specific commitment to tout Trump.

And make no mistake about it.  Alan Harold is a devout Republican. 

But the SCPR thinks that the "all" in —"I will campaign for ALL Republicans"— will in reality be a focus on the Smith, Jakmides and Zumbar campaigns and very little for Trump.

The SCPR still carries a Harold picture in mind of him demonstrating with other local Republicans anti-John Boccieri at the Sunoco service station near downtown as Boccieri went up against then-state Senator Kirk Schuring in 2008 for the right to succeed Ralph Regula as congressman for the 16th congressional district which at the time included all of Stark County.

Apparently, contrary to Creighton, Harold is able to discern how utterly flawed Donald J. Trump is as a candidate in terms of personal qualities (without even talking about his yo-yo effect on policy and program federal issues) for the highest office in the land.

Accordingly, as between the two, Stark County Republicans would be better served in terms of electing local candidates to follow the Harold model.


State Representative Kirk Schuring seems to present the very best model (comparing him to Creighton and Harold) for Stark County Republicans to follow in adhering to political principle is one's standard a la Kasich.

The Report has heretofore thought that Commissioner Creighton would be foremost in following  the Kasich lead in his "on principle" stance and action.

But it appears that Kirk Schuring has "trumped" her on standing with Kasich.

Last week he lauded Kasich for his stand on principle and his focus re-electing Rob Portman (as has Kasich. i.e.  "all-out for Portman") to the United States Senate.

Portman himself has embraced Trump which is kind of weird given the "I have your back" of the "all-out for Portman" stance of Kasich.

If Portman loses for being too closely connected to Trump, he will only have himself and, perhaps, the likes of Creighton and Harold to blame; not Kasich and derivatively not Schuring. 

And you might be able to throw Bill Smith and Jeff Jakmides in for extra measure. Jakmides has embraced Trump's commitment to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico as a way keep heroin out of Stark County.

It will be interesting to see how local Republican candidates handle Trump association questions going forward to November.

If Stark County Democratic chairman Phil Giavasis is any measure of what approach Smith, Jakmides and Zumbar and other local Republican candidates might have to endure at the hand of their Democratic opponents trying to connect them to "an unseemly" Trump as head of the Republican ticket, the local Republicans appear to have nothing to worry about.

For Giavasis says that the Stark Dems' leadership is not recommending that local Democratic candidates endeavor to tie local Republican candidates to the outrageous side of Trump.

That's what he says. 

The SCPR doubts that will be the reality.


There is sort of an irony in this mayor of Massillon being a Stark County premier woman elected public official being  "all-in" in supporting a woman for president of the United States.

SCPR thinks Democrat Hillary Clinton is, like her or not, destined to be the first woman to become a president of the United States.

In contrast to Creighton, who fought "tooth and nail" with local Republican "male" leadership to establish herself as a first-rate Stark County elected offiicial, Kathy Catazaro-Perry has been the political puppet of former Stark County Democratic chairman and Massillon clerk of courts Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.

Accordingly, The Report thinks that she comports with Donald Trump's vision of what an ideal female elected official should be like rather than the "feisty," in the context of her relationship with male politicians, Janet Creighton.

Catazaro-Perry has worn a pathway from her office to that of Maier's as she gets her daily marching orders from Maier on the process and substance of governing as a chief executive officer of Massillon.

Massillon's mayor will undoubtedly be in her "seventh Heaven" this coming week as she votes at the Philadelphia sited Democratic National Convention to nominate Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate for president of the United States.

Maier, Jr. will be euphoric also.

When Hillary's husband Bill was president, Maier, Jr. went to his 1992 (yours truly's recollection) inauguration.

This local hardened politician came back to Stark County with "stars in his eyes" notwithstanding Bill Clinton's well known character flaws.

Interesting, no?

Should Clinton be elected, Mayor Kathy will be in "the catbird's seat" as the "be all, the know all" on women in politics as far as much of Stark County media is concerned.

Doesn't seem quite fair in the light of how hard Creighton has had to fight to make a place of women in Stark County government and politics, no?

If Clinton carries Stark County and Ohio, a likely casualty of the Democratic triumph will be former Democratic governor Ted Strickland.

And that would be just fine with Catazaro-Perry and her political "Kitchen-Cabinet" of Maier, Jr., Jackson and Elum.

Maier, Jr., forever became beholden to Maier, Jr when the latter became the very first county Democratic Party chairman to endorse Strickland in his successful run for governor in 2006.

As a consequence, the SCPR believes Maier was able to place a number of his political friends (Jackson) and family (George T. Maier) into state government positions.

Many Americans think it is high time for a woman to be elected as an American president, just not Hillary Clinton.

Nevertheless, Catazaro-Perry will benefit from a likely Clinton victory in November even though it will be on the basis with all too many voters of Clinton being "the lesser of two evils."


Neither Trump or Clinton are candidates "to write home about" in terms of their presidential qualities.

It sure would be step in the right direction of enhanced democratic-republican principles if one of the Stark County delegation to the Ohio General Assembly were to formulate and advance a NOTA.

But don't ever expect that to happen.

American political parties are so saturated with mediocre if not substandard candidates for office that to equip voters with a NOTA choice is simply unthinkable.

The "lesser of two evils" is likely to continue as the conventional standard in selecting local, state and national elected officials.

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