Monday, January 14, 2019

MASSILLON REPUBLICANS ACTING LIKE DEMOCRATS?

UPDATED AT 11:25 A.M.
MASSILLON GOP SPLIT
LED BY
BRUNCKHART & HAAVISTO?



Humorist Will Rogers is reported to have said:  "I am not a member of an organized political party.  I'm a Democrat."

And the Heavens only knows the exact number of how divided with factions national, state and the Stark County Democratic Party is.

It now appears that Republicans are catching the same political illness.

At the national and state level there are now "Never Trumpers," Republicans supporting Trump and independent leaning Republicans.

At a very local Stark County level it has been shared with this blogger that a division is occurring within the Massillon Republican Party.

Last week a source told The Stark County Political Report that James Haavisto (who ran against Tom West for the 49th Ohio House seat in November, 2018), who lives in Massillon's Ward 4, was planning to run either for president of Massillon City Council or for mayor of Massillon.

The Report e-mailed Haavisto to confirm/disaffirm the report, but no response.

Accordingly, this blogger started watching the Massillon filings with the Stark County Board of Elections (BOE) closely.

And, lo and behold! early in the week this BOE entry appeared:


As a follow up, the SCPR contacted Massillon sources and learned the following:
  • Haavisto's action has caused a political upheaval in Tigertown among Republicans,
  • Haavisto and former Massillon mayoralty candidate (twice) Lee Brunckhart are thought to be putting together a slate of candidates to challenge sitting or Massillon Republican Party establishment candidates (MRPEC) into a number of Massillon's six wards,
  • Brunckhart himself will be filing in Ward 2  (to be pulled January 16th according to Brunckhart)  for a seat now held by Democrat Dave Irwin (a seat formerly held by Halter) even though MRPEC Jim Thierat has taken out petitions,
  • Thought to be Brunckhart/Haavisto insurgent candidate Mark Lombardi has taken out petitions to run against MRPEC sitting councilwoman Sarita Cunningham in Ward 1.
  • Thought to be Brunckhart/Haavisto insurgent candidate Michael Snee has taken out petitions to run as the Republican candidate against incumbent Democrat Linda Litman,
Massillon Council has taken a nosedive ever since Halter stepped down a few years ago.  She has been a favorite of the SCPR because of her straight forward ways vis-a-vis other council members and the mayor but nonetheless willing to work with those she has taken exception to.


The Report has moreover learned that Stark County Republican Party chairman Jeff Matthews met with representatives of the insurgents in an endeavor to learn why Haavisto and Brunckhart are putting together a slate of challengers to existing and/or "want to run" MRPEC candidates,

Answer:  Nothing definitive.

A likely effect of the challenges/or in lieu of MRPECs at the Ward level (with, apparently three more wards to be filled with insurgents in Wards 3, 4 and 5) is that the politically venerable Halter will not file petitions to be a third Republican at-large candidate along with Republican incumbents Ed Lewis, IV and Milan Chovan.

The third at-large seat is held by Democrat Paul Manson who if Halter were to file would be in great jeopardy of losing the Democratic seat.

If any of the insurgents are elected, one can be sure that there will be MRPEC who retain their seats and that a "battle royale" is likely to ensue involving a mix of MRPEC types, insurgents and Democrats.

Exactly what Massillon needs, no?  Not if you are a member in good standing with the MRPEC.

For the SCPR, the more candidates, the better.

Brunckhart recently appeared on Mallys (sic) Adventure and spoke for over an hour about the plan as well as making comments on Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perrys recent State of the City address.


At about the 28:00 minute mark of the video, Brunckhart touts Haavisto's reason for running.

Although he seems to be touting Republican candidates in general, a SCPR Massillon source is not buying.

This source is convinced that Brunckhart is working with Haavisto to, over time, take over the Massillon Republican Party.

The SCPR's read of Brunckhart's appearance on Mallys Adventure is that there is room to interpret his points as being not so much Republican candidates for various Massillon council positions and the mayoralty but rather as candidates which bear the stamp of Lee Brunckhart.

As an example of the SCPR's suspicion that the Brunckhart engineered 2019 primary/general election is more particularized than being for the benefit of the Massillon Republican Party in that at about the 32 minute mark of the video he refers to "our group," "new candidates coming into 'our group."'

Both Brunckhart and Haavisto appear to be politically ambitious but neither has any electoral success.


Even though the SCPR likes a plentitude of candidates, it appears that the Brunckhart/Haavisto group is unlikely to be successful.

Just look at the campaign finance reports for Haavisto's 2018 run for District 49 of the Ohio House as compared to Mayor Catazaro-Perry's for the 2015 general election.

M

Of course, like it or not, money is a critical factor in achieving campaign success.
 o money.

However, Ress (who says he in running for council president this time around) has a much greater history and currency in Massillon civic life than Haavisto does.

The same goes for the rest of Brunckhart's "group" so far announced on the 2018 Primary Election slate with exception perhaps for Brunckhart himself.

Although the SCPR is unimpressed with Catazaro-Perry's performance to date as mayor, it is hard to see Haavisto becoming a matter of concern to Mayor Catazaro-Perry and her re-election bid.  And, The Report, is told; she is not worried.

It seem absolutely bizarre for Brunckhart and Haavisto to think that Haavisto can defeat Democrat Catazaro-Perry with a divided Republican Party in the Massillon electorate.

Interesting developments on the Republican side in Massillon, no?

In Massillon Democratic politics there is at least the Ferrero faction and the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. faction. 

Perhaps there are even more.

Could there be something in the water in Massillon which induces political division no matter which political party?

Friday, January 11, 2019

POLITICAL SAUSAGE MAKING: HOUSEHOLDER FINDS A WAY TO BECOME SPEAKER OF THE OHIO HOUSE A SECOND TIME

STARK COUNTY LEGISLATORS
VERY MUCH INVOLVED IN
THE SAUSAGE MAKING

WEST & OELSLAGER FOR HOUSEHOLDER
STOLTZFUS FOR SMITH


UPDATE:  JANUARY 14, 2019

Read this follow report from Cleveland.com.  Here are some excerpts:



ORIGINAL BLOG

It was a tense time in the Ohio House of Representative according to District 49 state Representative Thomas West.

West, who started his second term on Monday as the legislator in the House representing Canton, Canton Township. Massillon and Pike Township, was right in the middle of the "political sausage making" that has been going on ever since Republican Cliff Rosenberger resigned because of a reputed FBI investigation of him was said to be underway.

West wears two hats:  one as a Democrat and another as a member of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC).

Which factor, as between Democrats and Black Caucus members, was "the king maker" in pushing former Ohio Speaker of the House Larry Householder over-the-top in a "battle royale" on Monday at the Statehouse?

Answer?

The two were inseparable in being the reason why Householder upended sitting Speaker Ryan Smith from the speakership.

And, it appears to The Stark County Political Report that West and Republican and fellow member of the Stark County delegation to the House Scott Oelslager played important roles in puting Blac, Red and Blue sausage together that all Ohioans will be having for breakfast for at least two but probably four years forthcoming.


Kirk Schuring (now of the Ohio Senate, District 29) presided over the election contest between Householder and Smith.

Stark County legislator Oelslager (R, the 48th) placed Householder's name in nomination for Ohio Speaker of the House.


SOURCE OF VIDEO:  EXCERPT FROM THE OHIO CHANNEL

Both Smith and Householder courted the fourteen (14) votes of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC).

West says Householder wowed them whereas Smith could only get an attentive ear in the Caucuses' meeting with him.  Obviously, the OLBC members (members of the decidedly minority Democratic Party) were looking for promises of getting a more significant place at the table than they had in the 132nd Ohio General Assembly (OGA), part of which was under the speakership of Ryan Smith (selected in June, 2018).


It has been clear for some time that the vote of Ohio House Democrats was going to be the critical factor on whether Smith would continue to serve as speaker or be replaced by Householder.

A major player in trying to guide the vote of the members of the OLBC was Democrat Fred Strahorn of the Dayton, Ohio area.

It is believed that Strahorn had "an axe to grind" with Householder growing out of Householder's past term as speaker.

And he worked hard to take his fellow OLBC members with him as he cast his vote for Ryan Smith telling OLBC that Smith had the votes and they needed to bSe on the winning side.  Only Catherine Ingram of District 32 was willing to follow his lead.

Strahorn was unable to deliver for Smith.


As can be seen from the Ohio House Journal for January 7th, Smith was clearly the choice of a majority of the 61 Republicans who make up the Ohio House Republican Caucus.  Thirty-four (34) for Smith; twenty-six (26) for Householder.

On the Democratic side, twenty-six (26) voted for Householder whereas only twelve (12) Democrats [of which only two were OLBC members].

Isn't it interesting that the Democrats mustered as many votes for Householder as came from the Republican side of the isle (26 each).

Obviously, the Democrats calculated that they would be better off with Householder at the helm.

West says he  personally had a tough time deciding which way to vote in the Smith/Householder matchup.

A major factor in West's decision (inferred by the SCPR, but not stated directly by West) and presumably the other OLBC members who overwhelmingly ended up voting for Householder, was "organized" labor's push for Householder.

Those of us who understand political reality know that unions had to have extracted certain promises from Householder

Perhaps?
  • no Right to Work in Ohio during a Householder speakership? 
  • and, perhaps preserving the right of unions to negotiate "prevailing wage agreements,"
    • and likely, a number of other union "close to the heart" issues.
How about the OLBC and the Democrats at large?

For the OLBC, in interpreting West's account, it appears the SCPR that 12 out of 14 OLBC vote in Householder's favor seems to be (in addition to the "organized" labor factor) was grounded of getting promises of  respect, the ear of and an attitude of cooperation from Householder.

To expand or the Strahorn/Householder matter, the "thought to be" influential OLBC member Fred Strahorn is said to have been treated roughly by Householder in his first run of being speaker and Strahorn appears to have been in "an unforgiving mood" on the Householder "current" attempt to be speaker once again.

West's take and apparently the take of the 12 of 14 House members of the OLBC was that what happened between Strahorn and Householder  (January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2004) in his earlier stint as speaker was  not relevant in 2019 given the rapport Householder developed with the OLBC in his courting of their votes in the context of strong union support for Householder.

For the Democrats, in the SCPR's view, garnered in talking with West and from a number of media reports of the union activism bearing on the speaker election (in the light of the fracturing of the Ohio House Republican Caucus between Smith and Householder, the union push seems to have been decisive inasmuch as most political analysts know that unions overwhelmingly support the campaigns (in campaign finance dollars and campaign workers) of Democratic legislative candidates.

Locally, Stark County's building trades are said to weighed in heavily for Householder.

While West said he was possibly open to voting for Smith, it is clear to the SCPR that the union factor redounded to Householder's benefit.  West recounted to this blogger how strong the unions were for Householder.

West says he is concerned with the possibility of some fracturing of the Democratic Caucus in light of Strahorn and other Democrats voting for Smith.

He confirmed that there  move afoot among some of the Caucus Democrats to punish Strahorn for his being in the minority of Democrats not voting for Householder.

Householder upon being elected, sworn in and taking the gavel called Ryan Smith to the podium.

The move obviously intended to an olive branch to Smith and his supporters including the November, 2018 elected Reggie Stoltzfus of Paris Township (a former Paris Township trustee).

But Smith did not appear to the SCPR to be grasping the branch.

On viewing the session "live" on The Ohio Channel, it was clear to this blogger, from Smith's bearing and words, that he was not a happy camper in having lost and might be a basis of a Republican/Democratic/OLBC coalition in getting Householder's agenda to passage in the House.

So there you have it folks.

The MAKING of political sausage in the selection of Larry Householder the Speaker of the 133rd Ohio House of Representatives!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

DOES "THE BUCK" STOP ANYWHERE IN STARK COUNTY MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT?


IS NORTH CANTON GOV'T A PRIME OFFENDER?



In terms of "accountability," it appears to The Stark County Political Report  that nobody in North Canton government "in leadership positions" is willing to "own up" to the debacles in city's  government processes which seemingly are  occurring with disturbing regularity.

North Canton government more and more resembles the chaos and "the shuffling of chairs" of the President Donald J. Trump administration than one might expect of a Stark County local government entity.

In all fairness to North Canton government officials, Massillon, too, has taken on a tone of avoiding accountability for the decisions made by the mayor and council on the Affinity Medical Center matter.

All we are getting from Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry these days is SPIN, SPIN and more SPIN on her (largely aided and abetted by council) Massillon's version of trying to  "turn a sow's ear into a silk purse."  Massillon, when all is said and done, will fortunate indeed to have netted at zero once the costs and revenues/capital return of the ill-advised "let the city accept title to AMC" are calculated.

Only the charitable impulses of The Altman Foundation is "saving Massillon's 'financial' bacon" on the city's foolhardy decision to accept ownership of the AMC complex.

It is not that long ago that Massillon emerged from the Ohio auditor's "fiscal watch list."

If much more of what this blogger thinks is mismanagement (Catazaro-Perry) is in the offing, it is not a stretch to see Massillon right back in the financial soup which, of course, would be an "ironical twist" of major dimensions from a mayor-elect (2012) who initiated the effort which led Massillon being put on the Ohio auditor's "fiscal watch" list in the first place.

And, of course, let's not leave out Alliance with its financial viability condition currently under the scrutiny of the Ohio auditor's office much in the same fashion that Massillon only recently shed.


Only Canton under the able leadership of Mayor Tom Bernabei appears to be on a positive track of recovering from some 50/60 years of extremely poor leadership in Canton city government.

In Canton, Mayor Bernabei does act the role of "the buck stopping" with him and his leadership team.

To repeat; Alliance, Massillon and North Canton governments seem to be always pointing the finger at others for their governance woes.

North Canton however has taken "leadership dysfunction" to a whole new level that make Alliance and Massillon look considerably better than North Canton when one does a comparison.

Until 2008 and the closing of the Hoover complex in the heart of North Canton (directly across the street from city hall), North Canton government  was able to muddle through in appearing to have a semblance of quality leadership perhaps because city income tax revenues and civic involvement of Hoover's management masked a deteriorating "quality of leadership in North Canton government" that like Canton (until Bernabei) has been underway for some time.

The SCPR thinks that North Canton government decline first became apparent with the hiring of then newly elected Ward 3 councilman Tim Fox as law director.

Anybody who knows anything about North Canton government knows that its officials have had to deal with civic activist Chuck Osborne for some 20 years or so.

Over those years of civic engagement, Osborne likely has, via his "due diligence" and "work ethic" and having served one term on council, earned the reputation of being the most knowledgeable North Cantonian on the intricacies of North Canton government even, perhaps, surpassing the likes of Daryl Revoldt (currently council-at-large), David Held (currently mayor), Doug Foltz (the longest standing Ward councilperson).

In a sense, Osborne "shows up" the leadership figures holding office in current North Canton government in the context of "knowing" and "understanding" the city and its government.

And that does not sit well with those leaders and many, not all (e.g. Revoldt and Held) seemed to set on a course with the hiring of Fox as law director to assign him the task (implied, not directly articulated) of reigning in Osborne.

To be sure there are other North Cantonians who do splendidly as civically engaged citizens.

But they are not "unruly" as Osborne can be from time-to-time.

Hence, Council (likey led by now council president Daniel "Jeff" Peters) appears to have made Fox understand that an "unstated job function" was for him to get Osborne under control.

The seeming Fox effort to control Osborne  (now some six years in the making) has been, the SCPR thinks, an unmitigated disaster.

Only the work of Mayor Held and Councilman Revoldt in constructively trying to work with Osborne has prevented North Canton/citizen engagement from devolving into a "knock down and drag out" fight.

The apex of  what the SCPR sees as being the Fox mismanagement of his/Council's relationship with Osborne (under what The Report this is an obvious mandate from Council), occurred in November of this year.

The occasion was a North Canton Planning Commission meeting when Fox called Osborne a jackass when the two got into a tiff about whether or not Osborne was "to close" in proximity as Fox was in conversation with another person.

Consequently, Fox is reported by a number of North Canton officials and others to have name-called Osborne "a Jackass."


The "Jackass" thing seems to have been the catalyst for a reputed effort by council to remove Fox as law director, or, alternatively, relegate the position to "part-time" as it was prior to Fox's ascension to the directorship.

At one time, post-Jackass, there were four (4) votes to remove Fox.

However, when Mayor David Held got wind of the effort, he prevailed on at least one of the four and perhaps more to change their stance.

Held, sort of, denied to the SCPR that he intervened to save Fox.

However, one could infer that in the voluminous conversation between this blogger and Held yesterday (January 3, 2019) one could interpret in Held answers to questions on his reputed action/inaction on the Fox matter as claimed by others that he did get involved in the question of Fox's remaining on as long director.

In the foregoing context, this blogger "believes" that Held was in fact involved in saving Fox's job for him by convincing a majority of council to keeping Fox on.

Of course, such is this blogger's assessment.  To repeat, Held never admitted in direct language to The Report that he had saved Fox's job at least for the time being.

The SCPR believes that North Canton Council (in a majority context) is responsible for the political warfare between Fox and Osborne stemming from the "implied" 2012 mandate fueled by believed to be confirming conversations between various council members and the law director.

If The Report is accurate in the foregoing assessment, such is not to excuse Fox for his conduct.

In the view of this blogger, even in the face of "sharp" engagement of citizens with government officials, the official needs to be "the adult in the room' and not insult them by calling them names like:  "Jackass."

Unfortunately, our president of the United States of America has set, for the past two years, a model of insulting those he contends with in an adversarial way.

So the question becomes:  Did Law Director Fox "go over the line" in calling Osborne a "Jackass" because he had carte blanche with his employer (i.e. North Canton City Council) and/or has he adopted the Trump model of lashing out in a pejorative way with the likes of a Chuck Osborne.

This blogger is conversant on a more or less regular basis with Citizen Osborne.

And, in the context of these conversations and various blogs written on the ongoing Osborne/Fox acrimonious tete-a-tetes, this blogger has told Osborne he could be more effective as a citizen activist if he would take on a more diplomatic tone in his relationship with Fox and other North Canton government officials.

This blogger sees very little if any inclination of Osborne to tone down his rhetoric.

So in one sense one can understand the frustration of Fox and his apparent sponsors:  a majority of Council and Mayor Held.

However, the bottom line is that "the buck stops" with the likes of Fox, the majority members of Council support him and Mayor Held.

As one North Canton official has told the SCPR, North Canton government has many dicey issues of city  government has under consideration and is wasting time and effort on the Fox/Osborne matter.

Accordingly, it is obvious that there is a least one official who has his/her priorities properly ordered and willingly admits that when there is discord and dissonance in government as the SCPR thinks there currently is in the halls of North Canton government, and agrees that city "leadership" officials need to accept responsibility for the turmoil and discord that seems to be taking over North Canton government and take corrective steps.

Moreover, while this blogger knows very well the highly important role that citizens holding government accountable as Citizen Osborne does; he needs to try to do so in a manner that there is a meaningful exchange that does not lose its effectiveness of by the use of excessive rhetoric.

Monday, January 7, 2019

BREAKING NEWS! HOUSEHOLDER ELECTED SPEAKER 52 TO 45

UPDATED:  Tuesday, January 8, 2019

26 Democrats added to 26 Republicans make Republican Larry Householder Ohio Speaker of the House.  

Stark County's Thomas West (D, 49th) voted for Householder.

Updated:  10:11 p.m.th
Updated:  5:32 p.m.

FOR HOUSEHOLDER:  OLESLAGER (R, 48); WEST (D, 49)
FOR SMITH (STOLTZFUS (R, 50)


(SOURCE:  THE OHIO CHANNEL)
PHOTOS, MIXED OR NOT, EXTRACTS FROM OHIO CHANNEL VIDEOCAST

As soon as Stark Countian Scott Oelslager (R, 48) stood up to nominate Larry Householder as Speaker of the 133rd Ohio House of Representatives, The Stark County Political Report knew that Householder would return as Speaker having served previously in  the early 2000s.

Stark Countian Kirk Schuring (formerly of the 48th) now in Oelslager's former Senate seat (the 29th) presided as president pro tem of the House as the Householder/Smith (both Republicans) "bitter" contest (see this Cleveland.com LINK for details) for Speaker concluded at about 2:15 p.m. today.

As forecast  by The Stark County Political Report on the basis of a conversation with a source in a position to know, it was actually Democrats who put Householder over the top.

Thomas West (D, 49th) joined Oelslager and a portion of his fellow Republicans (not enough to elected Householder outright) and other Democrats to put Householder over the top.

"Organized" labor weighed in strongly with House Democrats to vote for Householder.

Newly elected Reggie Stoltzfus (R, 50th) voted for Ryan Smith.


The question is:  Will his "no" in effect on Householder affect his effectiveness in the Ohio House Republican Caucus?

The politically astute "I can count noses" Scott Oleslager, in the Ohio General Assembly (back and forth with Schuring between the Senate 29th and House 48th (52nd) in order to defeat term limits) picked the winning side.

The unfolding of events today and Oelslager's role in the Householder victory likely means that Oelslager will - next to the Speaker himself - will be one of if not the most powerful member of the Ohio House.



Of course, the argument of both Oelslager and Schuring that the nearly 60 years in the Ohio General Assembly pays leadership dividends for them and derivatively Stark Countians.

The SCPR's response is that though both have some achievements, the benefit to Stark County has been nowhere near what 60 years of continuity of being in the OGA ought to have produced.

Both stood by and did nothing to stop the gutting of local government funding and over the years have not been able to muster any action to stop Ohio government from loading down local governments with "unfunded" mandates.

Both have blown off the SCPR's effort to do meaningful inquiry (something The Repository fails to do with its unfettered access) into chapter and verse over their failure to protect local taxpayers.

Of course, with The Rep hiring Schuring's wife, what does one expect?

It seems that publisher James Porter is the master of "conflicts in interest."  From negotiating a deal to make the paper "the official newspaper of the Professional Football Hall of Fame," (once on the masthead; now removed), to being on the PFHOF Board of Trustees and chairman of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and hiring Schuring's wife, it appears that Porter has made The Rep the most incredible newspaper in Ohio (perhaps, the nation) on all things government and politics.

A fine state of affairs for a newspaper man, no?

Maybe over the next 4 (Schuring) and 2 years (Oelslager) both can become more productive for Stark County's Ohio political subdivisions.

Hope springs eternal!

We shall see.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

BREAKING NEWS? OHIO HOUSE TO START OFF WITH A "BIG BANG?"

UPDATE JANUARY 7, 2018 
uUPDATE:  JANUARY 2, 2019

OHIO HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS 
TO CHOOSE ?
NEXT REPUBLICAN SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE



As a preface to today's blog is a link (under the graphic) to Cleveland.com's political newsletter CAPITOL LETTER 2019 political predictions involving Ohio politicians.


And here is a second LINK to today's edition of Cleveland.com's Capitol Letter.

TODAY'S BLOG (January 1, 2019)

On January 7, 2019 the Ohio House of Representatives will vote on who is to be Speaker of the House for the next two years.

This past Friday, December 28th,  with some 26 Republicans boycotting the session, there was an "informal" by some 35, more or less, "present and voting Republicans 
  • (including Stark County's Reggie Stoltzfus, a former Paris Township trustee, who is Representative-elect for the Ohio 50th House District)
    • who replaced Republican Christina Hagan who gave up the seat to run in a losing effort for the 16th Congressional District formerly held by Republican Jim Renacci,
who in a unanimous vote of those "present and voting" selected Ryan Smith to be the speaker of the 133rd Ohio House of Representatives.

Stoltzfus had the following reactions for the SCPR in reference to the Smith/Householder fight:

On June 6th, Smith was elected to the speakership on the resignation on the resignation (on or about April 12, 2018) of Cliff Rosenberger.

Rosenberger came to Stark County in January, 2018 to host a fundraiser for Stoltzfus) who reportedly was at the time and apparently still is under investigation by the FBI.


Here is Stoltzfus' reaction to the reputed Rosenberger legal troubles and the matter of a new speaker to replace Rosenberger.  

Reggie Stoltzfus 
To:  Martin Olson

May 24 at 8:13 AM

Hi Martin, as I stated before I am disappointed that Mr. Rosenberger is under investigation. He deserves his day in court if he has done something wrong. 

On the topic of the Speaker election. The members need to come together immediately and choose a speaker. The business of Ohio must go on!

During the interim between the Rosenberger resignation and Ryan Smith's election on June 6th (see below); Stark Countian Kirk Schuring served as "interim" speaker.

During the 2018 50th District Republican primary election, the brother of Christina Hagan, Josh Hagan, sided up with the Larry Householder forces.

Stoltzfus aligned with Ryan Smith.

During the campaign, both the Householder and Smith factors weighed in or the Hagan/Stoltzfus match up with some pretty nasty campaign flyers.


The Stark County Political Report has been told "flat-out" that Smith will be unable to get 50 votes out of the 61 Republicans who have been elected to the Ohio House for the 2019=2020 term and that it will be the Ohio Democratic Caucus who will decide among Smith and competing former Ohio Speaker Larry Householder as to whom among them will be speaker.

Source:  Wikipedia (an extract)

Typically, the minority party puts up one of its own as a candidate though it will be a vain act because one majority party candidate or another will be able to garner 50 of the 99 Ohio House members which of course means that the majority party has a minimum of 50 members in order to constitute a majority.in control of leadership of the House.

The idea for Democrats to become a factor is brokering the Republican feud came from "organized" labor.

The foregoing linked Cleveland.com article aside, the SCPR is told organized pressure on Democratic legislators to make Larry Householder speaker continues up to the very moment.

Householder is said to be much more effective in one-on-ones with Democratic factors within the overall Ohio House Democratic Caucus than Smith.

So it appears that if Republicans cannot get their act together in terms of finding 50 votes for either Smith or Householder, Democrats will indeed "ironically" chose the next Republican Speaker of the Ohio House.

Representative Stoltzfus reaction:

First:

Reggie Stoltzfus 
To:  Martin Olson

Dec 13 at 1:24 PM

Martin, the "Dean" of the caucus Rep. Jim Butler is supposed to call a closed door vote with Republican members that will be in the 133rd General Assembly.
Sincerely, 

Reggie Stoltzfus

Second:

Reggie Stoltzfus
To: Martin Olson
Dec 28 at 4:38 PM

yes I was present yesterday at the caucus meeting, and very disappointed more members did not show up. The vote was 100% unanimous. 

If Larry Householder wants to be Speaker he should have brought his supporters to the meeting and officially threw his hat in the ring. Again, very disappointed in my fellow legislators.

The SCPR thinks that Stark's other Representative-elect Scott Oelslager (who does not respond to SCPR questions) likely is a Householder guy due to Householder going back 20 years or more (broken up terms) in the Ohio House undoubtedly crossing paths with and working with Householder.

Time will tell whether or not the statement "Ohio House Democratic Caucus" members actually get to chose a Republican Speaker of the House.

The Report is skeptical that Republicans will allow that to happen.

But these days, is seems "the unexpected" is to be expected when it comes to national, state and local politics!