Saturday, February 12, 2011


UPDATED 02/12/2011 AT 10:26 AM



On Thursday, Republican Governor John Kasich appointed one of Stark County's and Ohio's most devoted Republican officeholder Todd Snitchler (the wicked smart one - according to Kasich) to be his point man on the fracking issue.

It appears that Kasich is worried sick that the likes of Stark Countians Chris Borello (Concerned Citizens of Stark County), Louis Giavasis (Plain Township trustee) and Canton Councilwoman Mary Cirelli could upset his cozy arrangement with the oil and gas industry.  Hence the appointment of Snitchler to a position (chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio - PUCO) which is supposed to be looking out for the consumers and their utility rates.  And that may be how Snitchler does his work on the PUCO.  However, that is not his real job.

His real job is to be a political trouble shooter for Kasich in the field of energy production.  Right now that means discrediting and minimalizing Borello, Giavasis, Cirelli and other Ohioans who are avowed anti-fracking advocates.

Kasich has already determined that fracking is safe in the sense that it is a reasonable risk to take and he is seemingly determined to facilitate and expedite hydraulic fracking as a piece of his economic recovery pla1n for Ohio.  Snitchler is to pave the way.

Tonight Pat DeLuca of Q92 (92.5 - FM - DeLuca in the Morning) and Charlotte DiFranco are hosting a showing of the anti-fracking film Gasland at the Palace Theater in Canton beginning at 1:00 PM.

It is interesting that radio personalities Ron Ponder (Points to Ponder - his Plain Township hosted meetings of January 20/27th) and DeLuca are the prime persons moving the discussion of the safety of hydraulic fracking vis-a-vis the purity of our water supply (the main concern).   Public officials Kirk Schuring (Republican - Ohio House - 51st), Giavasis and Cirelli have been somewhat involved while most other Stark County elected officials (including all of Stark's county commissioners) are nowhere to be seen.

For tonight's event, word comes from DeLuca that the response of invited public officials has been disappointing to say the least, to wit:

Charlotte sent out a press release to over 50 elected officials.  She invited them to the screening and afforded EVERYONE (environmental groups, ODNR, even the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program a/k/a OOGEEP) the opportunity to set up table space at the Palace Theatre and talk to people afterwords.  Only a handful of officials RSVP'd.  Kasich declined outright but promised the press release would be sent to the "appropriate agencies."  Snitchler never replied.  The Ohio Department of Natural Resources declined any involvement - at 6:45 PM last Friday.

One of the most belligerent responses came "from the office of" newly elected state Representative Todd McKenney of New Franklin (Republican - New Franklin [just north of Canal Fulton, but in Summit county]).

Note that The Report says "from the office of" Todd McKenney.  More specifically, from none other than former Stark County Republican Party executive director Michael Cunnington.

Stark Countians will recall that it was Cunnington who called a meeting at Malone College in an effort to pressure Canton City Council to place an initiative on the ballot as an "apparent" non-partisan effort to modernize Canton government.

His effort was a major failure when it became obvious that Cunnington was fronting for the Stark Republican organized party in an effort to make Canton more competitive for Republicans in Canton's municipal elections.

Now he has moved on and is the legislative aide for Representative McKenney.

In a series of e-mails between Cunnington (representing McKenney's views) and DiFranco, McKenney comes across as a "smart aleck."   The Report doubts that McKenney understands how Cunnington portrayed him given his history of being a caring, evangelical Christian, to wit:

Needless to say, McKenney will not be attending.  Apparently, like Kasich and Snitchler, they already have their answers on fracking.

One more note.  It is interesting to see that Todd McKenney is connected with The Chapel in Akron. Why so?  Because Todd Snitchler is a member of a Chapel offshoot (for 15 years now, Snitchler tells The Report) "The Chapel in North Canton."  Hmm?

The SCPR applauds Ponder as well as DeLuca/DiFranco for their efforts to facilitate the public discussion, while not taking a position themselves.

Only if Kasich, Snitchler, McKenney, Borello, Giavasis and Cirelli were as opened-minded as the radio folks are, then perhaps Stark Countians and Ohioans could build a consensus?

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