Tuesday, September 23, 2008


For the past 20 years the Ohio Chamber of Commerce has been in a deep embrace with the Ohio Republican Party.

What has been the result? Losses of tens upon tens of thousands of jobs.

So it strikes the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) as being pretty strange that a politician would want to embrace a chamber of commerce at any level in Ohio.

Yet, that is exactly what Republican Ohio House - 50th District - candidate Todd Snitchler is doing.

He sought the Ohio Chamber of Commerce endorsement in his primary against current representative John Hagan's daughter, only to learn he was too late.

Snitchler is a past president of the Lake Chamber of Commerce and is currently president of the Lake Development Foundation - a close or distant cousin of the Lake Chamber of Commerce (whenever Snitchler can figure out which it is; see the Report's prior video of Snitchler hem-hawing around on exactly what the relationship is).

Now we have a report in The Repository about the demise of a Hartville company that apparently slipped away under the watchful eye of Snitchler and his Lake Chamber of Commerce friends.

Tony Fiore, Director, Labor and Human Relations, of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce (COC) appeared recently at the Green Chamber of Commerce to put the fear of God into local members on the "sick days" possible ballot issue that was then looming on the horizon. Snitchler was in attendance.

One of Fiore's big arguments was how many jobs the proposal would cost Ohio, if passed. Fiore went on to talk about how Ohio's struggling economy could not handle the competitive disadvantage that would flow from passage.

The Report then asked Fiore how he could explain how Ohio's economy is such desperate straits given the fact that the Ohio Republican Party has been in charge in Ohio over most of the immediate past 20 years and that it is well known that the Ohio Chamber of Commerce is the economic development arm of the Ohio Republican Party?

Fiore's answer?

The Republicans did not do everything that the COC told them to.

Undoubtedly, that reponse is probably highly disputable in it essence. There may have been a tweak here and a tweak there that differed insubstantially from the COC program. But certainly not enough to put the label "failed" on the COC's 20 year long prescriptions for what ails Ohio's economy.

Even the Strickland administration doesn't get it. For they have included the COC in their plan for "turning around Ohio" (remember Strickland's campaign slogan?).

Readers know that The Report is not about to be recommending Celetese DeHoff.

The Report believes that Snichler will win this race.

Unless he goes to sources other than the COC for his economic thinking (he can start by reading some "thinking outside-the-box" books on new ways of economic planning such as "Wikinomics" and Richard Florida's "The Rise of the Creative Class" and the like), Snitchler will go down in the annals of Ohio political history as "having done the same old thing" and "getting the same old results."

Is the folding of Longaberger's Hartville operation double bad news for Ohio, Stark County and the 50th voters? One, further job losses, and two - all while our local chamber of commerce guy, who wants to go to Columbus with economic prescriptions, stood by and watched it happen?

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