If Donald J. Trump has a chance to become president of the United States of America, it will be at the hand of the likes of freelance (not formally associated with the Trump campaign or with the Republican Party; Stark or otherwise) Stark Countian Ralph Case and his friends of the National Rifle Association (NRA).
The SCPR has learned that Case has teamed up with NRA officials to form a Stark County campaign unit that might well serve as a model for similar alliances across America.
New York Times columnist David Brooks described the core of Trump supporters best:
Operations of the unified Case/NRA political effort got underway last night.
And it will, Case says, continue picking up to "full steam ahead" through November 8th.
This is in contrast to "a slow in forming" effort by Stark County "organized" Republicans to put together a formal, regular Republican drive to elect Trump president.
On Tuesday night, Trump flew into CAK on his emblazoned "TRUMP" painted on the fuselage to attend a $25,000 (top rate) fundraising event at posh Brookside Country Club located in Stark County's richest township.
A $25,000 (or $15,000, an alternative for the event) contribution would go to the likes of the Republican National Committee (RNC) which, of course, is presently funneling money to the Trump campaign. However, $2,700 contribution goes direct to the Trump campaign.
It is interesting that yesterday 75 Republican leaders across the county has asked the RNC to stop directing its financial resources to the election of Trump.
It appears that very few Republican Stark County-based candidates/elected officials attended the event.
The Report has talked with Republicans Jakmides, Bill Smith (running for Stark County commissioner), Richard Regula (a commissioner) and Janet Creighton (a commissioner) and they all disclaimed attending the event even at the "minimum" contribution level of $2,700 either because they:
- had other things to do (Smith campaign with Creighton at his side in Meyers Lake),
- could not afford even the $2,700,
- but if they were to dig deep to spend such an amount of money on anything it would not be to support Donald J. Trump
This is the SCPR's view notwithstanding Commissioner Creighton's protestations to the contrary.
In a conversation with Creighton earlier this week, she told The Report that she thought SCPR coverage of her Trump stance was unfair. (See blog in which the matter is discussed)
In that discussion Creighton said Ralph Case needed to contact her and that she was willing to talk with him about the particulars of a joint effort with him and his followers to elect Donald Trump.
The Report thinks it is a bit much for Creighton to expect Case to contact her.
Case is the person who got the ball rolling for Trump in Stark County way back in March at a time that Creighton was running to be a Ohio Republican governor John Kasich delegate from Stark County at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland during the week of July 18 through 21.
Creighton only became a Trump convert with his nomination in Cleveland.
In a way, it is a credit to her and owing to her being a devout Republican and closely tied to Kasich going back years that she has been able to transition to backing Trump.
It had to hard for her the swallow the trashing of Kasich by the Trump campaign:
Notwithstanding what she says, The Report think her support is of "the holding of the nose" variety.
The "real" reason that local Republican candidates/elected officials are sidestepping weighing in the Trump candidacy and/or not "putting money where my mouth is" support for Trump might be the many, many, many "over-the-top" statements he has made over his since June, 2015 started campaign for president.
The could be sensing that Trump is about to self-destruct and he could bring the "down ticket" candidates down with him in the sense that many "regular" Republicans may sit out this election.
Bill Smith says he thinks that voters are distinguishing between the candidacies of local Republicans from Trump.
The SCPR did last night at a Northern Stark County Democratic Club meeting ask 50th Ohio House Democratic candidate John Juergensen (running against Republican incumbent Christina Hagan) and 49th Ohio House Democratic candidate Thomas West about the Trump factor.
Hagan in a piece by Robert Wang of The Repository earlier this week on the Brookside fundraiser is reported to have said that she (having received a "free" ticket from event sponsor TimkenSteel) only recently decided to vote for Trump.
Juergensen took a "whatever" attitude to her endorsement.
Both he and West expressed a belief that Trump could prove to be a drag on local Republican candidates.
Hagan's decision to support Trump, she says, was in fact made this week at the Trump Brookside event on the basis of having met and talked with Trump daughter Ivanka and Hagan being impressed with Trump having raised a quality child.
Now how's that for a thorough evaluation of a man who would be president of the United States of America?
Hagan may have been the only "local, local, local" elected official and/or candidate to be at Brookside. Congressmen Jim Renacci (16th congressional district) and Bob Gibbs (7th congressional district). But they do not fit the SCPR definition of local as they, in addition to parts of Stark County, vast area outside of Stark County, which, by the way, Christina Hagan is on record as being a good thing when the Ohio General Assembly reapportioned federal and state legislative bodies in 2010.
It likely be about September 15th or so with August campaign contribution reports published by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) before we know as a matter of fact which "contributing to Trump or the Republican National Committee" local candidates/elected officials showed up.
The latest Trump bombast is his allegation that President Barrack Obama and Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton are the founders of the Islamic jihadist Middle East based ISIS.
This follows on the heels of his having said this in a North Carolina campaign appearance earlier this week:
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the 2nd Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks. Although the 2nd Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.”
Although the NRA effort to defeat Clinton was obviously already underway given its May endorsement of Trump, the North Carolina statement undoubtedly added zeal to the effort inasmuch as many interpreted the statement to be suggesting that NRA members or those sympathetic with the NRA stand on guns and the 2nd Amendment might resort to physical violence directed against Clinton.
The Report first got a hint of the Case/NRA team effort in talking with Republican Stark County prosecutor candidate Jeff Jakmides yesterday as he described his appearance in what seems to have been "an political organizing event" held at Frame's Tavern located in southwest Canton (Bryan Avenue) on Wednesday evening.
Again, impetus for the formation of this and like coalition apparently stems from the NRA's endorsement of Trump in May (see Trump past on guns issue) of this year and topped off in recent days as Trump by the North Carolina speech statement on guns and the 2nd Amendment.
For his part (and his view is especially important as seeks to become Stark County top law enforcement official), Jakmides says he thinks the Trump statement was an ill-advised joke. The SCPR asked the same question of sitting Democratic prosecutor John Ferrero who has not responded.
Here is a LINK to a Trump campaign site for a response to various reactions to the statement.
If Trump continues "to shoot from the hip," one has to wonder how many if any Stark County-based Republican candidates will support his candidacy in any way, shape or form.
After all the local Republican candidates want to be elected.
In the SCPR's book of the non-incumbent one, only Smith and Jakmides have a realistic chance to be successful.
The question is: Will a negative Trump down ticket factor be a deciding factor?