Thursday, September 18, 2008


Why is Celeste DeHoff's name in purple?

Because the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) is of the opinion that she is no Democrat. At best, she is a DINO (Democrat in Name Only). For years a registered Republican, she developed a close political relationship with Stark County Democratic Party chair Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. (e.g. her support of Johnnie's wife Debbie for Tuscarawas Township fiscal officer). This politically loyal relationship seems to be a plausible explanation of why Maier has politically adopted this former Republican and catapulted her into the 50th District Ohio House race.

Maier's support certainly can't be based on DeHoff's credentials.

In contrast to DeHoff, Mayor Cicchinelli has been a Democrat for all of his life He has been through many political wars. While he works with party officials, he is his own person. Moreover, his credentials as a public officeholder are unsurpassed in Stark County.

Another factor in the background here is the connection between Cicchinelli antagonist and Massillon City Council member Kathy Catazaro-Perry (who may run against Cicchinelli in 2011) and DeHoff. Catazaro-Perry is a key political supporter of DeHoff and serves as campaign treasurer. Moreover, Catazaro-Perry is a close political ally of Chairman Maier.

For those Stark County Political Report readers that have seen the Cicchinelli videos published by The Report, remember how puzzled the mayor was by Judge Eddie Elum's vehement (Elum compared Cicchinelli to the Devil) opposition to him in the 2007 mayoralty race? What struck The Report was how Cicchinelli described Elum as being more upset at Tim Bryan's loss than Tim Bryan was.

Isn't it well known that Elum is yet another staunch political ally of Chairman Maier?

Still another factor. Cicchinelli would never say this but The Report will. The Report believes (but is not suggesting Cicchnelli agrees) that Chairman Maier does not like Frank Cicchinelli and may be using DeHoff among number of personages (perhaps including Catazaro-Perry, Elum and few others Massillon-based Maier allies), to vex the mayor under the cover of anonymity.

Now on to the inter-governmental issues between Tuscarawas Township and Massillon. The Report understands that DeHoff has different constituents and interests as a township trustee from Cicchinelli as mayor of Massillon. But as the mayor seems to suggest, there is something more to this than each representing different political entities and interests.

The Report likes Cicchinelli because he is one of the few no-nonsense politicians left in Stark County. The Report disagrees with the mayor from time-to-time. But, different from other area politicians, he can handle it and notwithstanding the differences he answers The Report's questions.

He even went on camera (which most of Stark County's all too many pusillanimous politicians will not do) for people to judge him based on his unfiltered answers.

The language in the graphic is apt re-make of what Cicchinelli had to say to The Massillon Independent's reporter. The paraphrase succinctly suggests that she could learn credibility by review his longterm conduct as a public official in Massillon.

Here is what Cicchinelli actually said about DeHoff and her fellow trustee:

We’ve always thought that was the best way to start [good faith negotiations], .... However, with Mr. Green and (trustee) Celeste DeHoff, that wasn’t going to happen. They want to keep fighting and wasting taxpayers’ money on fighting annexations. What’s the point of sitting down and working out an agreement when, as far as I’m concerned, you are dealing with people who are not credible?

In light of what Cicchinelli says and a public record which documents a number of difficulties at township hall, how can Tuscarawas Township residents be pleased with the governance they are getting?

As the readers of The Report know, the DeHoff (a Maier political appendage) Snitchler (a chamber of commerce political appendage) race from The Report's perspective is a non-winner for the 50th and by extension for all of Stark County; no matter who wins. Neither has the gravitas nor independence of thought and action needed for this office. But this is nothing new in the 50th. Look at the current occupant: John Hagan. He's about as ineffectual and dependent on his political sponsors as public officeholders get.

Question: Is it likely that Celeste DeHoff's campaign literature will have a Massillon Mayor Francis Cicchinelli, Jr endorsement on it?

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