Tuesday, October 7, 2008


In 1992 "It's the economy, stupid!" was the winning campaign theme for Bill Clinton in his run against George Bush (41).

It will probably be the basis for the edge by Obama over McCain.

A deteriorating economy was most likely the "real" reason that Democrats made significant inroads on Republican control of Ohio in the 2006 elections.

Is "the economy" only a national and state issue?

It's a good bet that most Stark Countians don't think so.

When Tom Harmon, the long time clerk of the Canton Municipal Court, secured the nod from Stark County Democratic Party boss Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., to become Stark County commissioner to replace Gayle Jackson, Harmon made promises about pushing for economic development in Stark County.

The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) understands that Harmon has been commissioner a little over a year. Not much in politics gets done in a year. However, as The Report sees it, Harmon has not distinguished himself in making initial moves to get things moving in the right direction.

Current polls show that only 12% of the national electorate think the national economy is headed in the right direction. How about Stark County? What percentage of Stark Countians think our economy is headed in the right direction.

A deeper question. Whatever the percentage, Stark Countians cannot be happy about the current economy state of affairs of our county. Only Commissioner Todd Bosley has shown anything resembling an interest in turning things around. But what he has done so far is turn to the same old approaches which result in a flurry of activity and lots of press but very little, if anything, in terms of concrete achievement.

If Bosley raises questions, what to think of Tom Harmon?

The Report has come to the conclusion that Harmon is not a "roll up the sleeves" and get after it type of public official. Rather, he is of chamber of commerce mentality (let's talk about this over cocktails) that likes to meet at the Glenmoors of Stark County and come out with generalized approach headliners that get lost in the archives of The Repository, than someone who has a specific plan of action that will be measurable.

Republican Travis Secrest is by far the most impressive of the commissioner candidates. But according the The Repository editors he is too young. How anybody could take seriously The Rep's endorsement given their close association with Mike Hanke (former general manager of The Rep) who now works for the commissioners, is beyond The Report.

Secrest's idea [of trying to make Stark County a prime spot for alternative energy development is an indication that he thinks outside-the-box and is an example of "new direction" thinking that Stark County's leaders ought to be pointed towards.

Isn't "its the [Stark County] economy, stupid" and Tom Harmon is not the guy to get it done, the only possible path to victory for Secrest next month?

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