Thursday, March 3, 2011


Recently, the SCPR published a two-part video interview of May 3, 2011 Republican mayoral aspirant Leon Gerig.

Today, The Report publishes Part I of an interview conducted with Gerig's opponent A.R. "Chip" Conde.  The Conde interview was about 30 minutes in length and therefore will be published in several parts.

The Report - in questioning Conde -  generally followed the lead of Ed Balint (of The Repository - GOP back in hunt for Canton mayoral post, February 20th) in terms of the question framework of an interview he did of Conde and Gerig.

The focal point of the SCPR interview was to follow-up on the Balint questions for more detail.

But before getting to the interview itself, yours truly takes on a couple of exceptions that Candidate Conde took with The Report to assessments made in the Gerig interview.

One has to do with the assessment that a Healy/Conde race, if the primaries produce such a square off; has the makings of being a "no holds barred campaign."  The specific paragraph from the Gerig piece, to wit:

Conde works for the highly active Republican Stephen Mears (behind the scenes) of StrategyOne, Inc. Mears may be Canton/Stark County's most virulent anti-Healy activist. Accordingly, if Conde becomes the Republican nominee and Healy survives the Democratic primary, then Cantonians should expect a raucous, "no holds barred" type of general election campaign.
Conde's point to The Report:  Stephen Mears is Stephen Mears and "Chip" Conde is "Chip" Conde, "I work for Mears, he does not work for me."

Granted.  However, The Report noted to Conde that there has to be a continuing back and forth between himself and Mears on Healy, and that in the view of the SCPR, Conde has to be affected by Mears' especially marked dislike of all things Healy.

Another Conde exception to a SCPR observation made in the Gerig interview has to do with the following language:
In May the Republicans have a choice to make.  The "establishment" candidate "Chip" Conde or a man who seems much more people oriented:  Leon Gerig.
It is impressive that Gerig has left fulltime employment to devote his full time and attention to securing the Republican nomination.

A Gerig-Healy/Smuckler match up would be much more of a "let the voters choose an approach to solving Canton's problems" type campaign.

In the accompanying video, it is noteworthy to hear Gerig say that Stark GOP Chairman Jeff Matthews told Gerig that Gerig is somebody he can work with.  Reading between the lines of Matthews' comment, it is obvious that Gerig is not Matthews' and the Republican establishment's first choice.
First, the "impressiveness" of Gerig devoting his full attention to campaigning.  Why, Conde wanted to know, is it more impressive that one campaigns fulltime than campaigning along with working fulltime employment?

Well, it's hard to argue that it is not a step up in commitment to abandon earning a living for a time to pursue another objective; especially public service.  However, it could be that Gerig is being somewhat disingenuous in making the "sacrificial" point of devoting his fulltime to campaigning inasmuch as such is not one would normally expect, and therefore a implication of self-sacrifice is susceptible of skepticism.

Readers of the SCPR, of course, will have their own take on the Gerig action.  The Report's point was exactly that:  to provoke reader pondering on the matter in the light of human experience both in the context of reality compared to the ideal.

Second, Conde took exception to the SCPR's belief that Conde may be the Stark GOP establishment candidate whereas Gerig may be the more hoi-polloi-esque candidate. Conde's point:  The Report made the assessment without ever having spoken with him.

Good point.  However, The Report like everyone else does make preliminary assessments about what is known about a person/situation and will continue to do so.  What is different about The Report is that space will be provided in the pages of the SCPR for those (such as Mr. Conde) who take exception to The Report's assessment with full opportunity "to beg to differ."

And that is exactly why yours truly has taken the time and effort to present Candidate Conde's exceptions.

While the SCPR asks hard questions and takes positions, yours truly relishes feedback and deals with it publicly in the this blog.  The only exception, is when the differences are obviously ugly personal attacks on yours truly or the subjects of SCPR blogs.

Back to whether or not Conde, in the view of The Report, is more the Stark GOP establishment candidate?

In a largely intuitive sense, that remains The Report's overall point-of-view as of the writing of this blog.  But this assessment is subject to change.

Having the wholehearted support of Janet Creighton and prominent Republicans like her does indicate a more objective basis for The Report's view.  Creighton, obviously not a de jure leader of the Stark County Republican Party, certainly is its de facto and spiritual head. 

What follows is Part I of Candidate Conde's interview.

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