Monday, November 20, 2017


With The Stark County Political Report (SCPR) rating seven of Canton's councilpersons (including council president Alan Schulman who only votes in the case of a tie) being either consistently productive or top tier; the quality of council over all is let's say at a C+.

In that former long time Canton Municipal Court clerk of courts and former Stark County commissioner Thomas Harmon (filling out a term as councilman-at-large) opting not to run for re-election likely in light a a few legal problems he has experienced in the relatively recent past, the quality of council going forward gets a boost to B-.

The Report thinks that Harmon is a political hanger-on who has built up a wealth of political connections with the "powers that be" in the Stark County "organized" Democratic Party, to wit:
  • Johnnie A. Maier, Jr, 
    • currently Massillon clerk of courts and former Stark Dems chairman, 
  • former Stark Dems chairman Randy Gonzalez
    • currently Jackson Township fiscal officer, a former Jackson trustee, and former chief deputy Canton Municipal Court clerk of courts under both the current clerk Phil Giavasis and Harmon himself,
  • the Giavasises ,
    • Stark County Clerk of Courts Louis P. Giavasis, and
    • his brother Phil Giavasis current Canton Municipal clerk of courts and current Stark Dems chairman,
A virtual political party "swamp" which the SCPR believes that Harmon, Maier, Jr., Gonzalez and the Giavasises have created.

But to be fair about it, there are Stark GOP officials (e.g. Stark GOP chairman Matthews) who the SCPR thinks qualifies as the flip-side of Harmon, Maier, Jr., Gonzalez and the Giavasis brothers.

Troublesome to the SCPR is The Report's suspicion that Stark County political subdivision elected Republican officials Alan Harold, Alex Zumbar  Judge Dixie Park among others have hired Republican Party connected individuals onto the public payroll on a primary basis of personal political compatibility/connections and not primarily on the basis of having superior non-political qualifications.

Such self-serving/political-party serving conduct damages more than any other factor the public's trust of Stark County government in terms of accessibility, accountability and a fair opportunity to the general taxpaying Stark County public to land public jobs.

Besides the departing Harmon, The Report thinks an equally accomplished Dems' hanger-oner is Councilman Jimmy Babcock who the SCPR has dubbed as the "Dapper Dan" of Canton City Council.

Babcock is the son of a former Canton mayor (Charles) and councilwoman (Mary) who, the SCPR thinks, would never have seen the political light of day BUT FOR his political pedigree inherited from his parents.

So it was a sad day indeed for improving the quality of council governance in Canton that Babcock was re-elected on November 7th.

The SCPR thinks that Babcock's election was due to the ineptness of the Stark County "organized" Republican Party under the leadership of party chairman Jeff Matthews.

Matthews and his fellows out on Fulton Drive NW should have gone about selling Cantonians on the notion that of the three filed non-Democrat candidates, Patrick  Wyatt was the most merited of the group.

Accordingly, he should have asked Republican Springer to step aside.

Such a political strategy in the assessment of the SCPR would likely led to a Wyatt election in displacement of wallflower councilman Babcock.

But, of course, Matthews wouldn't want to offend the Timkens.

For Matthews, taking marching orders from the Timken family is more important that doing what is best for Canton governance.

Why does the SCPR focus on Wyatt to the exclusion and Hart?

  • Wyatt by far out raised Hart and Springer on campaign finance resource and thereby would have been and was able to do more campaign voter outreach,
  • Wyatt had the endorsement of prominent city of Canton former and current elected officials, and
  • Wyatt has "put his money where his mouth is" as shown in him and his wife living in downtown Canton (i.e. the rehabbed former Onesto Hotel), and 
  • Hart ran a "non-existent' campaign not getting enough in campaign contributions or putting enough into his own campaign to break the $1,000 threshold to have to file a campaign finance report
Had "independent" candidate Patrick G. Wyatt been elected on November 7th as a councilman-at-large over Babcock,  the B-- grade would have prompted the SCPR to raise the grade on these obvious marked upgrade to A-.

The overriding statistical study question is, based on actual vote number::  Had "independent" Wyatt been the sole non-Democrat running,
    • NOTE:
      • A significant number of Stark politicos consider Wyatt in reality of a Republican philosophical view, 
      • Hart a former Republican ran as a Republican and "independent" in bygone years and was elected and not re-elected, 
      • Springer was the sole candidate run at-large as the sole Republican candidate,
        • The SCPR thinks that Wyatt, if were the "sole" non-Democrat against the three Democrats would have been the strongest candidate from among that group based upon:
          • prominent Stark County subdivision elected offices supporting his candidacy (e.g. Stark County commissioner Janet Creighton (a former mayor) and Ward 8 councilman Edmond Mack 
Would have been elected as one of the top three in the "three to be elected" format for city of Canton city council?

The SCPR analysis:  YES!

Here is a chart showing the actual "unofficial vote" of November 7th comparing the Babcock vote with the combined vote of Hart, Springer and Wyatt.

To the SCPR, these numbers clearly indicate that Canton voters wanted a non-Democrat among the mix of the three elected from the three positions to be elected.

Politically sophisticated analysts should point out that it unfair to compare Babcock's numbers against three combined candidacies.

On the surface such is the appearance.

But digging deeper, the SCPR assigned a likelihood factor as to any given Canton voters' choice of three candidates to get one of most voters' three votes (of course, some voters voted for only one candidate or perhaps two and not three, but only—in the estimate of the SCPR relatively few).

If Babcock of 50% or better votes (counting ONLY those votes that went to Babcock and one of the non-Democrat candidates) then the SCPR assigned a value of +1 to Babcock as being more likely than not that he would in the context of four total candidates would have gotten a plurality of votes over Wyatt were he to be the "sole" fourth candidate.

Conversely, where the combined non-Democrat vote went 50% or better to the group, then The Report assigned +1 to Wyatt.

Using that formula, 37 +1's are assigned to the sole non-Democrat candidate whereas 17 are assigned Babcock on his being the lowest citywide vote getter among the three Democrats.

Using foregoing sentence rough measure as the standard for differentiating, the SCPR thinks that Wyatt (or Hart or Springer, whichever of the three surfaced as the sole "non-Democrat" candidate) would have won that ward's plurality as between Babcock (who received the lowest vote total citywide) and either Wyatt, Hart or Springer.

To say it again, had the Republicans marshaled their forces behind "independent" Republican-leaning philosophically Patrick Wyatt as the "unofficially" they did behind philosophical Democratic "independent" Thomas Bernabei when he ran for mayor of Canton against two-term Democrat William J. Healy, II Canton could have elected Wyatt who undoubtedly would have, over time, surfaced as a "top tier" Canton city councilperson.

Shame on the Republicans!

And shame on Richard Hart.

To run a lackluster campaign if not a non-existent campaign and drain off votes from the Wyatt candidacy is inexcusable.

More importantly, a Hart withdrawal if coupled with a Springer withdrawal would have made Wyatt's election certainty.

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