In one of the sketchiest reports by a seasoned journalist the SCPR has ever read, Todd Porter of The Repository wrote yesterday that Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump is coming to Stark County.
Apparently the candidate of mostly "blue collar America" is planning, according to Porter, on hanging out with some of the bigs of Stark County (the Timkens, of course) for big bucks for the Republican National Committee (NRC) and perhaps a few for himself at one of if not THE POSHEST country club in Stark County (Brookside).
The price of admission is $25,000 per person if that person wants in on:
- a private dinner,
- a reception, and
- a photo op
with—in his own mind—the greatest American politician ever!
Looking at the Federal Election Commission rules of campaign contribution, it must be that the $25,000 per pop will not be—in the direct sense—to the Trump campaign.
One of the donation levels Porter reported as being the minimum for the Trump event was $2,700 which just happens to be the maximum that an individual can contribute to a federal office candidate in the current general election cycle.
Yesterday, a huge fissure broke open between Trump and U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and U.S. Senator John McCain, stalwart Republicans in top tier standing with the NRC, as Trump put into question whether or not he would endorse them in respective upcoming primary elections.
And who can forget Trump's campaign manager Manafort bashing Governor John Kasich for refusing to endorse Trump and not showing up at the RNC convention at nearby Cleveland in mid-July.
Kasich seemingly is the lone Republican who offers solace to local Republican candidates like commissioner candidate Bill Smith and prosecutor candidate Jeff Jakmides have a genuine chance to win in November.
Smith in other years would "win in a walk." Democrat Steve Slesnick's hope for election lies in a solid Hillary Clinton win in Stark and coattails strong enough and long enough for him to squeak through.
Kasich says that being off the Trump bandwagon means he will be campaigning for local candidates.
Smith and Jakmides certainly ought to take him up on his word. He could be a refuge for them should Clinton win handily in Ohio and Stark County.
Should Trump win in November, the Republican Party as we know it is finished. Without a doubt, the $25,000 will go towards remaking the Grand Old Party in the image of the name calling Trump.
The SCPR thinks a Trump win is unlikely based on Five Thirty Eight statistician Nate Silver saying that Democrat Hillary Clinton has about an 80% chance of winning.
Silver has been almost flawless in recent presidential elections.
But he is careful to say that Trump could win.
As we all know, Trump is doing everything he possibly can to make that "could" into being "Slim" with "Slim having just left town."
It is safe to presume that Stark County Republican vice president Jane Timken and her husband Tim will be ponying up $25,000 each, but the question is what other Stark Countians will be following suit.
The private dinner might just be Donald, Tim and Jane, no?
Other hosts to Trump include Anthony Alexander (former FirstEnergy CEO), David W. Johnson, Steve Stokey and Bryan Williams.
How could a host and their respective "significant others" not buy a $25,000 ticket, no?
So rather than a "private dinner" at the posh Brookside being just Trump (will his wife be with him?) and the Timkens, perhaps, there will be up to a dozen.
Undoubtedly, the "private dinner" attendees list will be tried to be kept "hush, hush."
In due course, we will know. Because the FEC will list those contributions at the end of the month in which the event occurs.
At a $15,000 contribution, one gets to attend the reception and the photo op, but NO private dinner.
At the paltry $2,700 level (the cheapskates these contributors are), the reception is it. No private dinner. No photo op.
In the run up to the Republican primary election in Ohio, which he lost to Kasich, Trump needed a volunteer for him to have any presence in Stark County.
But for Ralph Case of Plain Township (LINK) who spent his own money to open a Stark County headquarters for Trump, the Republican nominee would have had no organization in Stark.
The Report has learned that Case was forced out for a time after the primary because the Trump national campaign people did not like his accessibility to the press.
At last report, Case was back because of a huge reaction the nationals got from other local Trump supporters.
In this SCPR cobbled together report (based on data provided by the FEC), Case was the first to contribute to Trump in Stark County, to wit:
Note that through June 30, the largest Trump contribution was $1,000 and the total through the 30th was $4,218.
Wow! $25,000, $15,000 and $2,700 for entry into the elegant Brookside and Trump's high according the the FEC through June was $1,000.
Does anybody think Case and others on the $4,128 list will get close enough to Brookside to smell the aroma from the undoubtedly opulent meal served at "the private dinner?"