Friday, February 11, 2011


Eleven days (December 30, 2010) before John Kasich took office (January 10, 2011) the Associated Press reported that the governor-elect had already committed himself to be "for" fracking to get at the Marcellus Shale entrapped natural gas that lies deep beneath eastern, northeast Ohio landscape.

Here is some of what Kasich had to say:  “There’s real potential there to help a lot of people who have been in deep economic trouble for a long time.  If there in fact is gas, it will be cheap. Businesses, most likely, who are looking for energy sources may want to locate there — that’s not directly related to drilling, but it’s the offshoot of it.  If we can get that Marcellus Shale and if it can yield a significant amount of gas — oh, it will be a godsend for our state.  But you got to drill before you know.”

Today was the day that Governor Kasich started fleshing out his plan to see that fracking becomes a reality and the faster the better.  

Forget the Governor's talk in his appointment of Snitchler  about "determining the feasibility of hydraulic fracking."   

Apparently, Kasich,  like most politicians, has such profound contempt for the intelligence of everyday people that he thinks we will believe that line.  "Determining the feasibility ... "  He's got to be kidding.  He - the "guv" has already determined.

An excerpt from yesterday's online Repository says it all, to wit:

Kasich chose the "wicked smart" Snitchler (Republican - Lake Township, Ohio's 50th House District) to be his fracking czar/enforcer-in-chief.  The PUCO thing?  A political charade.  It was just a way to get Snitchler a job so that Kasich did not have to create a new position that would draw fire with Ohio facing a $8 billion shortfall in balancing its 2012/2013 budget.

During the Bosley/Snitchler campaign for the Ohio House (50th), the SCPR was being told frequently what a nasty dude Todd Snitchler is.  

Yours truly pretty much discounted those stories, for while The Report never has seen Snitchler as being a man of the "warm and fuzzies," he has always been civil and he seems to have character.  But the whole thing about running for office knowing he was looking for another opportunity may mean that he is more of a political opportunist than The Report has figured him to be.

One of the reasons that then Ohio Speaker of the House Armond Budish came to Stark County to recruit Todd Bosley to run was because the Columbus Democrats are said to absolutely loathe Todd Snitcher.  

The "real" appeal of Bosley was that he has the reputation of being a savage campaigner.  Bosley politically brutalized his fellow trustee Russ Goffus in Nimshillen Township and did the same to Richard Regula in his 2006 race against Regula.  Bosley surprised everyone when he defeated the congressman's son.

Bosley insisted to yours truly that while he intended to run a strong and forceful campaign, the "below the belt" (The Report's words, not Bosley's) campaign which equated Snitchler to a rat and suggested that Snitchler supported legislation which might allow sexual predators to drive school buses and that Snitchler supported legislation that would lead to thousands of teachers to lose their jobs was the doing of the Ohio Democratic House Caucus.

Again, The Report was disbelieving of Bosley.  

In hindsight, with Kasich picking Snitchler because he is "wicked smart," one has to ask how Kasich picked up on Snitchler being "wicked smart."  Sounds kind of like Charles Colson (one of Richard Nixon's henchmen) being termed as an "evil genius."  

One doesn't acquire moniker-esque descriptions of "wicked smart" and "evil genius" without there being real world ugly, nasty and over-the-line political skulduggery.

So exactly how has Snitchler demonstrated being "wicked smart?"  Hmm?

In an ironical sort of way one of the primary persons that Snitchler will have to do battle with as Kasich's fracking enforcer is none other that Chris Borello formerly of Lake Township (Snitchler's home).  Although she now lives in Plain, she got her environmental bona fides beginning in the early 1980s as the leader of the Concerned Citizens of Lake Township (CCLT).  The Borello-led group came within a eyelash of getting the United States government to do a complete clean up of the Industrial Excess Landfill (IEL) located on Cleveland Avenue about a half a mile south from the center of town.

Had she relied more on the kind of political infighting skill that the likes of Bosley and Snitchler cotton to, perhaps, she and her CCLT would have succeeded.

There is an interesting twist to the Borello/Snitchler side of this story.  At the Stark County Fair this past summer, Borello cornered Snitchler about what's to be done with the IEL.  After all he still is the state representative for the House district that the IEL is located in.   Moreover, she has not given up on getting it cleaned up notwithstanding her current focus on the fracking issue.

Snitchler's response?  According to Borello, if no one disturbs the IEL site, there is nothing to be concerned about.

Again, ironically, there may be some "disturbing the IEL" in the offing and where do you think it might come from?  You've got it!  Indeed, there has been drilling taking place about three-fourths of a mile or so north of the IEL.  It may be that Snitchler is going to have his words thrown back at him by guess whom?  Indeed, Ms. Christine Borello of the CCLT!

It may be that the "wicked smart" one will have less of a fight on his hands that appeared to be a certainty a month or so ago.  Canton City President Alan Schulman, fellow Councilwoman Mary Cirelli and Plain Trustee Louis Giavasis seemed set to go to put state officials on the hot seat.

However, Schulman has stepped away from the issue, Cirelli cannot convince Canton law director Joe Martuccio to draft strongly worded legislation and Giavasis seems to been totally intimidated by a letter written to the Plain trustees a number of weeks ago by oil and gas attorney Bill Williams which suggested that Giavasis and his fellow trustees could face civil liability if he was successful in getting his fellows to ban fracking in Plain Township.

At Tuesday night's meeting of the Plain trustees, the trustees all but totally caved-in as evidenced by their passing a resolution calling for a moratorium on fracking.

Tomorrow night, Q92 out of Alliance (Pat DeLuca and co-host Charlotte DiFranco "DeLuca in the Morning") is sponsoring the showing of the anti-fracking film Gasland at the Palace Theater, to wit:

The way things are going with Stark's anti-fracking contingent, the showing of the film may prove to be the high water mark of their resistance to fracking in northeast Ohio.

At least it will be, if Kasich fracking enforcer and czar Todd Snitchler has his way, no?

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