Friday, June 11, 2010


As readers of the SCPR know, The Report has written off former Stark County Common Pleas judge Richard Reinbold as a viable candidate to unseat long term (25 years) combined senator/representative W. Scott Oelslager.

Oelslager endeavors to get back to the Ohio Senate one more time.  He has already some 17 years in the Senate before being term-limited out eight years ago.

The Report has been highly critical of Oelslager and J. Kirk Schuring for defeating the purpose of the term limits law (which was the brainchild of Ohio General Assembly Republicans) in switching back and forth between the 29th Senate district (which covers all but Alliance and the eastern most townships of Stark County) and the 51st House district in a "musical chairs" fashion except that in this version of the parlor game each gets a seat:  just a different seat.

Also, The Report's position is that for all the time this duo has spent in the Ohio General Assembly (about 40 years), they have been unproductive in being factors in making Ohio one of the top states in the 50 despite being in a majority (supermajority) for a good part of the 40 years.

So there is nothing more than the SCPR would like to see than for somebody, even Dick Reinbold, take Oelslager out.  But, as The Report sees this race, Oelslager has very little to worry about in terms of returning to the Senate.

In an interesting series of moves and statements, it appears that Reinbold is trying to become a local version of an "outsider" type candidate.

Back in February, he told The Independent's Gregg Kohntopp (Richard Reinbold, Tom Bernabei, Steven Meeks join Democrats 'team' for Nov. election):
“I’m 63, I’ve finished my career,  It doesn’t matter to me what party somebody is from if they have an idea. Even if it’s not a great idea, maybe a lot of people working on it can make it a great idea. I just want somebody to do something. People in Columbus pass laws and make mandates and we feel it back home.”
Then on this past Wednesday The Repository's Lori Monsewicz wrote Reinbold says he'll reject PAC money, endorsements.


Sounds like The Report's type of candidate, no?

Sort of.

However, The Report is skeptical of Reinbold's conversion from "insider" politics.  Dick Reinbold has been the quintessential Stark County Democrat "insider" for his entire political career.

The Report takes the Reinbold "come to Jesus" politics with a grain of political salt.  It could be a case of seeing the handwriting on the wall.  Take this endorsement of Reinbold opponent Oelslger by a traditional Democratic candidate supporter Service Employees International Union (SEIU):

Well, if as a Democrat you cannot get the endorsement of a SEIU, why bother at all.  Undoubtedly, the Ohio Education Association will be, if it hasn't already, endorsing Oelslager.  Moreover, the SCPR expects that a number of traditional Democratically inclined organizations will be endorsing and supplying PAC money to Oelslager.

So it could be that Reinbold, understanding the political realities, is trying to turn a negative (among those who practice "realpolitik") into a positive by positioning himself on the high moral ground as far as politics go.

The latest campaign finance reports are due to be filed today.  As soon as they become available, The Report will do a follow-up to this blog.

However, the April filed (pre-primary reports) show Oelslager skunking Reinbold on fundraising.

Reinbold's report is only to designate a campaign treasurer.  Apparently, because the law requires it.  Not that any money had come to his campaign.

So it is as of the pre-primary reports Oelslager $45,647.36 to Reinbold $-0-.

And to underscore the hopelessness of Reinbold's PAC prospects, look at the following graphic.  Of seven contributors that Oelslager had on his 2010 pre-primary report FOUR were PACs, to wit:

Yes, the SCPR is an anyone but Oelslager supporter, but the political reality is that "it ain't going to happen" with Reinbold. 

The SCPR believes that the Reinbold candidacy is a "hoist the white flag" operation by the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus.  But at least this time the Democrats have a candidate.  In his last run for the Ohio House (51st), Oelslager was unopposed.

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