Thursday, June 28, 2012


If state Representative Christina Hagan sneezes, it gets reported in The Repository.

On April 10th, Hagan sent a text message to "her contact" at The Rep to let him know that she had just gotten engaged.

Now (on Tuesday of this week) we are finding out she likes to read stories to the youth of her district.  It just so happens that her interest coincides with her effort to be elected (she currently is an Ohio House Republican Caucus appointee - "Caucus") for the first time as state representative to the 50th district.

Moreover, The Repository reports every legislative move she makes although none of them in the SCPR's judgment does anything significant for Stark County or for Ohio.

It is clear to the discerning that Hagan does not have the heft needed to be a lead legislator on major legislation.

But someone at The Rep must think otherwise.

Undoubtedly, readers of The Repository and are going to be besieged over the next 130 days with regular reports of Christina-Hagan-minutia that keeps her before the voters of the 50th courtesy of her special contact at Stark County's only countywide newspaper.

Perhaps the Ohio secretary of state ought to be taking a close look at Hagan's campaign finance report to see whether or not she reports The Rep's freebies as "in-kind" political contributions (lol).

The Report has seen a lot of campaigns over the years but never one in which a candidate who has never been elected to anything gets so much help and attention.

When her father, John Hagan, got term limited out of the Ohio House in 2008 (he also represented the 50th) she appears to have felt entitled to inherit the seat (LINK).  In those days the favorite of the Caucus was Todd Snitchler (R - Lake).   But Christina saw no reason for that and challenged Snitchler in the Republican primary losing badly.

The Hagans reportedly were so mad at Snitchler and the Caucus that they asked Snitchler Democratic opponent Celeste DeHoff to put a sign in the yard of the Hagan homestead out in Marlboro Township.

And, initially, Snitchler was not cool with Christina replacing him when he was tapped by newly elected Republican Governor John Kasich to be his point man on the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

But father John was hard at work greasing the rails for daughter Christina to assume her rightful (by right of inheritance?) place in Columbus.  Apparently, John was able to convince the Caucus to lean on Snitchler to have a "come to Jesus" moment with the Hagans.  Ultimately, Sntichler capitulated and Christina walked away with the Caucus appointment on March 4, 2011.

Since then Christina has gotten all sorts of help in her quest to stay in Columbus.  And, insofar as the SCPR is concerned, she is demonstrating that she needs all the help she can get.

In addition to her father, Snitchler and the Caucus; there are her Ohio General Assembly minders Ron Amstutz and David Hall (who supervised her first and "only" town hall meeting [held in Louisville in May, 2011]; the oil and gas lobby has given her campaign contributions to the tune - at last count - of $7,500 inasmuch as she unabashedly advocates for their fracking interests; and, of course, her special contact at The Repository.

Undoubtedly, there are others. The SCPR just hasn't learned who they are yet.

One has to wonder whether or not this woman can do anything of a political nature for herself.

The most offensive of the helpers is The Repository.

The others are Republicans who want to keep the seat for the benefit of the Ohio Republican Party.

But The Rep?  Why is the publisher and executive editor allowing her to order up politically helpful public relations-esque pieces apparently at will?

Her opponent Democratic Alliance Councilwoman Sue Ryan hardly gets a mention in The Reps pages.

Who believes that she is not doing things that could turned into free ink in The Rep?

Could it be that she is not trying? 

Or is it because The Repository is turning a deaf ear to her because the deciders-in-chief have already made their minds up?

Stark County's dwindling number of newspaper readers deserve a better balance on political figure reporting than what they are getting out of The Repository.

But they should not be holding their breath while waiting for that to happen!

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