Thursday, April 5, 2012


When the SCPR wrote earlier this week about  former Perry Township Trustee Jim Holmes challenging incumbent Stark County Democratic Chairman Randy Gonzalez (also Jackson Township fiscal officer, also Canton Municipal Courts clerk of courts employee, also chairman of the Stark County Council of Government 9-1-1 governing board chairman), the analysis of Holmes chances were "between slim and none and slim just left town."

The analysis was borne out yesterday as Gonzalez politically pulverized Holmes 126 to 7.

That the vote tally was released in and of itself tells one something:  "the internal operations of political parties are not about democracy, but about power politics."

Often, party chairmen withhold actual vote tallies on candidacies/measures voted upon by precinct committeepersons so as not to embarrass the losers.

However, when one has the audacity to challenge a party chairman and the vote is a smashing victory for the chair, then the vote will be released in order to send a message to any who would challenge the established order.

And that's exactly the message that Gonzalez sent in authorizing the revelation of the vote numbers after yesterday's vote.

When, on the other hand, a chairman or in the case cited below - his right hand man - has a closer call on whether or not he will retain a party selected office, then we never see the actual vote.

Such was the case a year or so ago when former Stark County Commissioner Jane Vignos challenged former Stark County GOP Chairman Curt Braden (bosom buddy with now Republican Chairman Jeff Matthews and director of the Stark County Board of Elections - BOE) for a seat as a board member at the BOE.

Because the vote was highly competitive, to release the vote would have been embarrassing to Braden, no doubt.

Reasons why Canton Mayor William J. Healy, II (who nominated Gonzalez for a new term as chairman yesterday) has fallen in line with Chairman Gonzalez are threefold:
  1. He started out too far behind in the immediate sense in trying to overtake the Gonzalez/former Chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. hold over the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee and lost badly in the March 6, 2012 elections,
  2. He wants to be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte - September 3 through 7.  It has been suggested (by a person in a position to know) to the SCPR that in exchange for Healy's recent endorsements (including yesterday's nomination), Gonzalez has promised to help Healy gain a spot in the Ohio delegation.
  3. His sister Joyce Healy-Abrams thinks that she has a real shot at defeating incumbent Republican Congressman Bob Gibbs of Knox County for the redistricted 7th Congressional District which takes in a large swath of Stark County and Healy wants total local party unity to enhance his sister's chances and, of course, to that of Barack Obama to be re-elected president.
But make no mistake about it, the Stark County Democratic Party has fallen upon hard times under the chairmanship of Gonzalez (first elected in 2009).

Should: (in combination of any of the following)
  • Obama lose the presidency and lose in Stark County or win the presidency but lose Stark County,
  • Healy-Abrams lose her run for Congress and lose in Stark County or win but lose in Stark County (highly unlkely),
  • Stark Dems lose any of the countywide offices (sheriff, prosecutor, recorder, clerk of courts or coroner),
then you can be sure that Healy will be back full force asking Gonzalez to resign or he will redouble his effort to put together an effective campaign to wrestle control of the Stark Democratic Central Committee away from Gonzalez/Maier so that in 2014 the party chairmanship will be a "real" test of political heft within the local party.

Increasingly, the voting public is totally turned off by the likes of the Healy/Gonzalez intra-party dances that take place.

Similar political undertows/dances/fights are being played out in Ohio at the state party level (Redfern, the Dems, DeWine, the GOP [who, by the way is stepping down effective April 13th]) as to whom, going forward, will be party chairman.

The public properly views these fights as having nothing to do with the public good but rather the personal political advantage of the participants themselves.

So the remedy?

To quote Shakespeare:

"A plauge o' both your houses."

Or, as frequently quoted:  "A pox on both your houses.

The phrase is a well known quote from Romeo and Juliet.

As the character Mercutio dies, three times he speaks this phrase, cursing the families whose rivalry led to his death.

This phrase is more and more heard in the actions of registered Republicans and Democrats in their moving to the roles of the independent/non-partisan voter.

Everyday Americans are increasingly understanding that the warring political parties engage in political warfare in order to feather the nests of those who control the political parties and thereby visit damage on the public interest.

The public response?

Indeed, "a pox on both your houses!"

While it is commendable that the likes of Jim Holmes and Jane Vignos would put up a fight to correct the imbalances within their respective political parties, they are engaged in fights they cannot win.

It is the likes of Gonzalez, Maier, Healy, Matthews and Braden who will always win in their concocted political worlds and not those Democrats and Republicans who want and demand that political parties serve the public good over personal political goals.

When the numbers of those exiting the established political parties reaches a critical mass and thereby leaving them more or less irrelevant, then, and only then will the party chieftains come on bended knee with hat in hand begging to be restored to the public trust.

But then it will be too late.

The American political landscape will have been changed forever!

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