Monday, March 26, 2012


The districts may have changed somewhat with the constitutionally required decentennial redistricting of the Ohio General Assembly, however, on old familiar face remains:  the now 51st (seeking election to pretty much the same district, but now redesignated the 48th) Ohio District state Rep. J. Kirk Schuring.

A former insurance agent who was originally appointed to the 51st by the Stark County Republican Party Central Committee in 1993 to replace fellow Republican David Johnson, Schuring ever since has played a game of "musical chairs" with now state Sen. Scott Oelslager ("musical chairs with a twist" - each player gets a seat; just a different seat) between the 51st and the 29th Ohio Senate District.

Because of term limits (which both voted for as a Republican plan to wrest control of the Ohio General Assembly from the control of Democratic strong arm politician Vern Riffe), Schuring and Oelslager are now required to play "musical chairs with a twist" in order to stay in office.

So they stay within the letter of the law, while violating the spirit of it.

It would be one thing if they were highly productive for Stark County.  But they are not.  Oelslager (e.g. "open records law and votes against the Republican Party position [e.g. SB 5] has been better than Schuring who has produced precious little as a legislator and is much more prone to vote the party line including Senate Bill 5.

Enter Amanda Trump.  Though a lifelong Stark Countian (a graduate of Perry High School, as is Schuring; Trump also is a graduate of The Ohio State University), she is only now beginning to make her mark as a Stark County politician.

As the SCPR sees it, Trump's main hope in unseating Schuring would be to hammer away has his support of Senate Bill 5 (hated by public employees like teachers, policemen and firemen) and that he is an excessively loyal Republican.

Other key issues will be the defunding of local government by the Kasich administration aided and abetted by the likes of Schuring in the General Assembly as indicated by his votes for the Ohio budget which contains severe cuts in the state Local Government Fund (some 50% with projections that it will go even higher with tweaks to the budget), the elimination of the Ohio Estate Tax, the elimination of the tangible property tax without a fully compensating offset as originally promised and cuts in K-12 education funding.

At a gathering of the Stark County Democratic Party's Jefferson - Jackson Club last Thursday Amanda said that by her count the 48th District is 50/50 Republican/Democrat.  Moreover, she did touch on the key issues as set forth above.  However, she did not tie Schuring in specifically to those issues.


By inference he apparently thinks that her count is enough to put her in a "deadheat" political race horse with Schuring.

She ought to try that one on Stark County Democratic Party political director Shane Jackson.  The Report thinks he would be just a tad skeptical of that premise.

The SCPR thinks it will take more than just a partisan divide to unseat Schuring.

Money is said to be the "mother's milk of politics."

It is interesting to look at the relative fundraising efforts of Trump and Schuring, to wit:

While they have raised through the pre-primary campaign finance report nearly identical monies, Schuring has a little better than a two to one lead in "balance on hand."

It seems as if Trump does not have far to go in terms of absolute dollars to catch Schuring, but such is a mirage as Schuring, having some 19 years of shoulder rubbing with the fat cat lobbyists who course through the Ohio General Assembly, has yet to put on his Secretariat-esque funding raising gallop.

And she does appear to have some fundraising expertise of her own.  Otherwise, why would Canton Mayor William J. Healy, II allow her to organize fundraising events for him?

Nevertheless, readers of the SCPR can be sure that if it looks like Trump is a legitimate threat to unseat Schuring, the coffers of the Ohio GOP and Republican favoring lobbyists will be raining money millions of pennies from heaven.

If Trump has a "dark horse" chance of defeating Schuring, it will have to be the vigor of her youth (Schuring turns 60 this year) and issues such as Senate Bill 5 that will be key to her.

Here is a video of Trump speaking to the Jefferson-Jackson Demcrats last Thursday's and The Report's brief post-meeting interview.

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