Wednesday, October 6, 2010


On October 13th Stark County Commissioner Todd Bosley (Democrat - Marlboro) and state Rep. Todd Snitchler (Republican - Lake) will have a face-to-face confrontation at the Stark County League of Women Voters debate at the Timken High School auditorium.

It should be a highly charged debate.  However, if Richard Kuhn is the moderator, he may try to sit on Bosley and Snitchler to keep it civil.

But is that possible?

The acrimony all started with the Bosley (or should one say the Ohio Democratic Party - ODP) calling Snitchler a rat in ODP flyer mailed out a week or so ago.

Snitchler a rat?

Yes, according to the Bosley forces.

On what basis?

In co-sponsoring House Bill 400 in which Republican gubernatorial candidate John Kasich proposes to terminate Ohio's income tax over a ten years span.  According to Bosley et al, HB 400 if it passes (probably not any time soon), it would cost tens of thousands of teachers, fire fighters, parole officers (and the like) jobs.

Moreover, the Bosleyites claimed that Snitchler has been investigated three times by the Ohio Election Commission (OEC) and that he misrepresented himself on his website of being a member of the Ohio House Republican Caucus leadership.

All of which promoted Snitchler to have an complaint filed against the ODP saying that both the investigation claim and the leadership claim were false charges.  The OEC has found probable cause and a full blown hearing is set for October 14th in Columbus.

Then came the charge by Bosley in a Repository Editorial Board interview that Snitchler voted three times against HB 19 which was a bill that got passed with Republican support (the Ohio Senate) and Democratic support (the Senate and the House) whereby school districts are mandated to provide "teen date violence" instruction - a minimum of 20 minutes per year - and which changed Ohio law on who can and who cannot drive a school bus.

Bosley's folks claim that the school bus part of the bill was to tighten up the law and that Snitchler in voting no on it was in effect voting to allow the likes of sexual predators to drive buses whereas they could not prior to HB 19.

But the SCPR disagrees.  What HB 19 did was allow for the "rehabilitation" of certain offenders (not all) and thereby allow school districts to consider hiring rehabilitated offenders to drive school buses.

The SCPR spoke with the office of Republican state Senator Jim Carey (who amended HB 19) with the rehabilitation provision and was told that it is designed to allow persons who otherwise have spotless records to become employable as bus drivers.  Senator Carey had a specific situation in his district that fell in the the category of his amendment.

One could argue that those who voted for the bill were in fact those who loosened the bill up on the school bus driver issue.

The telling criticism on Snitchler is that he seems to have been unconcerned on the subject matter of the bill.  He voted no three times, he says, because it contained an unfunded mandate on the teen dating instruction provision.

Apparently, Snitchler was being "true" to his political principles in voting no (i.e. keeping the state out of local school matters).  However, he has a problem with this tack.  No one from the schools objected to the "new" requirement and, in fact, the conservative Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA) testified in favor of this aspect of HB 19.

Most school observers and the neutral Legislative Service Commissioner do not see the instruction requirement as being burdensome or costly to local school districts.

So Snitchler's devotion to principle is lost on the local school folks.

What he has to do is to explain to parents of students who have their loved ones harmed,in the context of dating violence, why his principle trumps having their children maimed.

Now we have a new flyer out.  This time by Snitchler.  In it he accuses Bosley of being a tax dodger.    But it appears he (or his researchers) got it wrong on at least one of the two counts his flyer alleges.

Snitchler correctly identifies Bosley as having voted in a sales tax and a license plate increase.

So far, so good, no?

Well, in accusing Bosley in not paying his property tax, he appears to have gotten it wrong.

One of the real skills of any political campaign is what is called "opposition research."  These folks can be worth their weight in gold.  Or, they can be the "death knell" of a campaign if they do sloppy work.

Both the Bosley and Snitchler campaigns appear to be guilty of sloppy research.

Bosley's folks were sloppy in erroneously claiming that Snitcher had be investigated three times by the Ohio Elections Commission.  Bosley's ODP supporters have already amended their claim by admitting that there were no more than two investigations.  The Snitchler folks claim there was only one.

Snitchler's researchers needed to check with the Stark County auditor's office more closely.  Apparently, the researcher only checked the "online" records of the auditor's office.

The Bosley camp has obtained a letter from interim Stark County Treasurer Ken Koher attesting to the fact that Bosley was never behind in his real property taxes.

One other thing.

Bosley says that the Snitchler flyer is also false in saying he was behind in his corporate taxes.  The closest thing Bosley can figure that Snitchler is talking about is a glitch (repaired immediately - so says Bosley - when it became evident) in reporting and paying workers' compensation by an independent contractor hired by Bosley. 

Bosley says that he will be filing an Ohio Elections Commission complaint directly against Representative Snitchler, perhaps, as soon as today.

So how does all this net out?

The SCPR believes that any "high moral ground" Snitchler may have had as an outgrowth of "the rat" flyer and Bosley's assertion that he voted in such a way to facilitate the likes of sexual predators drive school buses will now be lost.

When voters see dueling OEC complaints being filed, they are very likely to conclude that the nasty campaigning has taken up residence in both the Bosley and Snitchler campaigns.

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