Saturday, February 26, 2011


UPDATE:  02/28/2011 AT 12:30 PM

Candidate Richard Guiley has contacted the SCPR with a denial that he made the statement attributed to him, to wit:  "I'm in favor of allowing concealed-carry into a bar as long as the person is not drinking."

The Report has reflected on Guiley's presentation and after doing so is of the belief that Guiley was the candidate who made the statement.

The Report generally provides subjects of SCPR blogs with space on the questioned blog to respond.

Here is Guiley's actual e-mail:



Will Richard Guiley, Christina Hagan or Richard Regula impress the Ohio Republican House Caucus screening committee (Caucus) as the recommendees of the Stark County GOP Executive Committee ("Committee") for appointment as state representative in the 50th Ohio House District?

The SCPR believes that either Regula or Guiley is likely to be the choice of the Caucus.

On the Committee's vote, as Stark GOP chairman Jeff Matthews explained to the Committee; its recommendations are not legally binding on the Caucus.


Still reeling from The Report's coverage of the Committee's September 8, 2010 meeting in which its members chose Alex Zumbar as the Stark GOP nominee to run for Stark County treasurer as a consequence of the Stark Commissioners having removed Democrat Gary Zeigler (though Zeigler was not implicated in the theft) from office on August 23, 2010 in the wake of losses of taxpayer money from the Stark Treasury at the hand of former Chief Deputy Vince Frustaci who was convicted in 2010 of stealing from the treasury; the leadership of the Stark GOP denied the SCPR the right to videotape or audiotape today's proceeding.

Readers will recall that Phil Davison (a Minerva city councilman) was one of the applicants for the treasury nomination and that he made a spellbinding presentation that went viral on the Internet.  The last time yours truly checked, over 2 million hits on the Davison video have been made.

Local Republican leaders realized immediately that what many viewed as an "over-the-top" caricaturization of a consummate Republican candidate had been captured by the SCPR.  Accordingly, the leadership sent one of its members (with whom The Report has fairly frequent contact with) to kill publication of the video.

Well, as SCPR readers know, the attempt was foolhardy.  A leading virtue of the SCPR is that the blog presents the "unvarnished" truth and does not bury or hype a story at the entreaty of anyone.  The Report, of course, does not have the resources to publish everything that comes in, however, no one, absolutely no one, can pressure yours truly to publish or not to publish a given piece.

So it appears that the Stark County Republican Party leadership decided that the citizens of Stark County, and, more specifically, 50th House District voters would not have the opportunity to see the candidates make their presentations today via the SCPR.

Only 36 Stark Countians (all Stark County Executive Committee members) get to evaluate the candidates.  Had the SCPR been permitted to videotape, then Stark Countians could have availed themselves of the videos on The Report and could have e-mailed their thoughts on the matter to the Republican Caucus on Monday.

Apparently, "party image" is the primary concern of local Republican leadership; not providing the people to be represented with information on which to weigh-in on upon the Columbus deciders.

While Republicans may be chortling over recent electoral successes, hiding from the public is exactly the kind of thing (i.e. image management) that makes the public skeptical, even cynical about each of the major political parties.

Chairman Matthews mentioned yesterday morning how the GOP bungled its prior turn at leadership (16 years controlling Ohio government) and fall into public disfavor.  The SCPR sees early signs that Republicans are in the process of repeating previous mistakes.  There seems to be something about having power that makes all too many leaders (especial the political types) arrogant and therefore unheeding of the public they serve.

Republicans are on a very short leash with the voters.  The "McDonalds syndrome" is very much a part of the American makeup these days.  More than it has ever been before.  If the GOP does not produce and produce quick; they will be out on their ears. 

Matthews et al fail to see that denying the right to videotape in not really a denial to the likes of the SCPR.  It is an "in-your-face" to the voting public.

The SCPR believes that Matthews went one step further than denying The Report the opportunity to videotape the session.  It appears that he "advised" the winning candidates not to speak to The Report on camera.  Yours truly asked all three for an on-camera after the selection process concluded.    All three agreed to the interview immediately post-selection (Hagan - somewhat equivocal).

Only Richard Regula kept his word.  Should Guiley out an or Hagan who be selected by the Caucus, then we can expect a state representative who cherry picks whom he/she will talk to.  Or, at the very least, consults with Jeff Matthews as to whom he/she should talk to.

Yours truly believes Matthews did the same thing in 2008 (tried to interfere with SCPR access to candidates to The Report) at the Stark County Fair when Larry Dordea was the Republican candidate for Stark County sheriff.

It is more than ironic that a man who serves on the Stark County Board of ELECTIONS as deputy director appears to be into the business of shutting down the public's right to be informed so that they can make "informed" decisions in the ballot booth.

And just think about it, Matthews is supported by taxpayer dollars.

At yesterday's meeting, while killing time as the ballots were being counted, Matthews relayed an interesting tale.  It had to do with the Stark Area Transportation Authority (SARTA) project of transporting those without means (both automotive and financial - in other words "poor people") to the polls. 

Matthews thought it was a misuse of taxpayer dollars to get people to the polls (now mind you, this guy is deputy director of the Stark County Board of ELECTIONS).

Why so?  Matthews did not say this, but The Report believes because he understands that anyone who needs to use SARTA will not likely be voting Republican.

But this is not all of the story.

Nowadays SARTA is combing Stark County for any support it can get for its tax initiative on the May ballot.  The Report ran into a SARTA rep in Alliance this past Tuesday evening.

One of the organizations that SARTA targeted was the Stark GOP, according to Matthews.  Well, this was a grand opportunity for Matthews to express his displeasure to Kirt Conrad (executive director of SARTA) over the transporting of likely Democratic voters to the polls.

Again, according to Matthews, his pressure politics may have worked.

As The Report understood Matthew's account, Conrad is going to "revisit" the matter.


An act that likely was not motivated by political considerations (a civic enhancing transporting to the polls available to the rich and poor alike) gets squelched by a clearly political agenda of the Stark County Republican Party head Jeff Matthews who also - more than ironically - emphasizing once again,  who happens to be deputy director (formerly a long time director) of the Stark County Board of ELECTIONS.

So his interest as Republican Party honcho takes priority over getting citizens to exercise their franchise rights?





As a politician, as a fundraiser, as an elected official (county commissioner, Bethlehem Township trustee and Navarre councilman) and by political pedigree (son of retired Congressman Ralph Regula), Richard Regula has to be the best prepared of all the applicants to get the Caucus selection to succeed Todd Snitchler.

Richard was quintessential Richard in his appearance before the Committee.  He did all the right things in terms of emphasizing the factors that are likely to appeal to the Caucus.  While he did not mention it to the Committee (you can bet he has already done so with the Caucus), The Report is told by an elected Republican Stark County-based official that Regula raised $130,000 when he last ran for commissioner.

Raising that kind of money for a commissioner seat is hard to do.

Moreover, of all the candidates, he and he alone has run District wide and won.  Even when he lost to Bosley in 2006, it was by the slimmest of margins and he did win the 50th District.

His biggest problems with local Republicans is that it is not right-wing enough.  He is not especially liked by the likes of Jeff Matthews and a surprising number of Stark County "organized" party Republicans.  In fact, his being a moderate Republican is the reason why Snitchler is supporting Richard Guiley out of Louisville.

I know, I know - you say Snitchler isn't supporting anyone.  For public purposes he isn't, but in the realpolitik world he is.  And Guiley is his man.

Somewhat of a counterbalance to Snitchler's (private) support for Guiley is Representative Kirk Schuring's support of Regula.  Snitchler - being a primetime Governor's man - does carry more clout than Schuring, but when you mix all the factors together (electability, fundraising, being the son of a former congressman, the strong likelihood of being a loyal Speaker Batchelder supporter, et cetera) The Report believes that Regula could well get the Caucus nod.



Windham was a pretty impressive presenter as far as the SCPR is concerned.

Raised in Lake Township, but now a resident of Marlboro; Windham is in the healthcare business and the home building business.  Moreover, he is a certified public accountant (CPA).

The most impressive thing about Windham is his authorship of the Stark County Education Initiative (SCEI):  a program designed to keep the area's youth right here in Stark County.

Almost all the candidates spoke about the need to keep Ohio educated (for the most part, at taxpayer expense) young people in Ohio, and, of course, for Stark Countians like Windham, in Stark County.  But only Windham has articulated a specific plan.  This show The Report that if he were to be selected by the Caucus he would hit the ground running with legislative initiatives designed to deal with Ohio's many problems.

He worries about the aging of Ohio and hence his SCEI, however, he knows about, cares about and has hands-on experience working with the senior population with Haven Homes (home care) business and his company's interaction with the Area Agency on Aging.   In other words, he seems uniquely equipped to deal with issues of young adults and older adults that come up in the Ohio Legislature.

While a number of the candidates have a business background, Windham's involvement in the home healthcare and the home construction business (a regionally based business - northeast Ohio) have been enduring, significantly sized and he has had ample opportunity to apply his CPA credentials.

He more than any other candidate understands that a primary focus of a legislator needs to be in creating conditions for the private sector to create jobs. 

Windham has enough political experience having worked with the Snitchler campaign and having run for office himself (county commissioner against Jackson trustee and fellow Republican James N. Walters) to provide the Caucus with assurance that he has gotten his feet wet in that arena.

Windham and Walters are to be applauded for running a "gentlemanly" campaign.  However, if he is to get the nod out of Columbus, he will need to prove to Caucus members that he knows how to take the gloves off and duke it out with a Democratic opponent.

Notwithstanding the favorable impression that Windham has made on the SCPR, do not look for him to get selected by the Caucus.


Because he is personally close to outgoing state Rep Todd Snitchler, Richard Guiley could well end up becoming Snitchler's replacement.

The Snitchler connection reality is the only reason that the SCPR thinks that Guiley has a shot at the job.  While he has been on Louisville Council for six years, he exhibited very little political sophistication at Saturday's selection meeting.

Guiley said a couple of really dumb "political" things.

First:  "I'm not intending to be a 21 month wonder."  Hmm?  Of course, not, right?  Goes without say, right?  For all the candidates, right?

Second:  "I'm in favor of allowing concealed-carry into a bar as long as the person is not drinking."  Wow!

He did say one smart thing:  "I have raised $26,000 as of Wednesday, and another $2,000 since then."

Other than that, he played the role of being more right-wing than "Attila the Hun."  Like the Caucus is interested primarily in what his view on abortion and gun control is.

Hello, there candidate Guiley?

In a sour economy, he may be a 21 month wonder if he campaigns - even in the staunchly Republican 50th House District - on abortion and gun control.

If he becomes the state Rep. for the 50th, he will owe it all to Representative Todd Snitchler winning the political infighting war in Columbus.


The also-rans as far as the SCPR is concerned include Christina Hagan (Marlboro Township - daughter or former 50th House District representative John Hagan), Brewster councilman Steven Tharp, Jr., Todd Truax (Lake Township), Jeremy Graber (Canal Fulton), Justin Brown (Lake Township), Antonio Guillan of Massillon and Michael Grady (Lake Township).

The only noteworthy one in the "other candidates" list is Christina Hagan.  Her presentation focused on being a female and a young person.  The SCPR does not see a Republican Caucus being impressed with her pitch.

Moreover, The Report suspects that the Caucus has not forgotten the snit she raised when she tried to best Snitchler in the 2006 Republican primary.  As The Report recalls, Hagan and Snitchler filed ethics complaints against each other with the Ohio Ethics Commission.  To boot, Hagan accused the Caucus of trying to entice her out of the race with a job offer.

Christina Hagan may have it brought home to her on Monday that politicians do have long memories.

Here is Richard Regula's video reaction to being selected as one of three recommendations of the Stark County GOP Executive Committee.

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