Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Last week at Canton City Council, Councilman Joe Cole (presently a councilman-at-large who seeks to become 9th Ward councilman) lashed out as being "deplorable" a vote by fellow councilpersons Cirelli, Fisher and Ward 9 opponent Frank Morris not to fund the Canton Regional Commerce to the tune of $175,000.

But he was not content to stop at that in his "apparently?" desperate campaign to stave off becoming ex-councilman Joe Cole as many political observers think he has an uphill fight to unseat fellow Democrat Frank Morris who was first elected two years ago.

After the meeting, as the SCPR was interviewing Vassar Park resident Bruce Nordman (Vassar Park is located in Ward 9) about his Group 175 effort to nudge the Canton Mayor Healy administration into finding the million dollars plus needed to fund the addition of 25 policemen to the Canton force to bring its strength to 175 officers, Council Cole stood nearby (within earshot and unleashed a political diatribe against the group.

Political diatribe?

What did Cole have to say?

Obviously, yours truly was focused on the interview and had to rely on others to fill in the details.

According to Ward 5 Councilman Kevin Fisher (who serves as Morris' campaign manager) and a nearby newspaper reporter Cole said:
  • Group 175 is a right wing, Tea Party-esque organization,
  • Group 175 leader Bruce Nordman (who conducts "concealed carry weapons" [ccw] workshops) does not care about solving Canton's crime problem but is really about promoting his ccw classes which are designed to arm residents, and
  • Group 175 has members who are "charlatans" and "snake oil salesmen,"
Last night Group 175 had their say as spokesperson Bret Moore used council's Public Speaks forum to fire back at Cole.

One has to wonder who Cole is relying on for political strategizing.

Blasting a politically active group within Ward 9 would not seem to be the wisest action in the world, no?

One has to wonder if organized labor (Cole's prime support) can see its upwards of $10,000 campaign contribution investment going up in smoke as Cole seemingly self-destructs the more he opens his mouth.

Other than the unions there is very little that is noteworthy about Cole's list of contributors, but there are a few, to wit:
  • Tom Ascani of the Canton Civil Service Commission - $100,
  • Angela Cavanaugh of the Canton Building Department, $75,
  • David Dougherty (Ward 7 councilman) who is majority leader, $100,
  • Brian Horner (former Ward 9 councilman), $25,
  • Andy Padrutt (former Summit County Democratic Party executive director), $100,
  • Kim Perez who is a candidate for Canton treasurer, $120,
  • Warren Price (Canton's service director, safety director, annexation director and chief-of-staff all rolled up into one), $100,
  • Robert Schirack, the sitting Canton treasurer, $100,
It was surprising to see Price's name come up in Cole's list to the exclusion of having contributed to Morris' campaign - that is - so far.


While Frank Morris' has not piled up the massive dollar amounts (which are "unreal" for a council ward race) that Cole has, his "put your money, where you mouth" support among fellow councilpersons is impressive.

Among his council contributors:
  • Ward 5's Kevin Fisher ($50) who is serving as his campaign manager,
  • Ward 7's John Mariol, II who to-date has given a whopping $2,100.00,
  • Ward 8's Edmund Mack who also has made a head-turner contribution coming in so far at $1,000, and
  • Canton City Council President Allen Schulman who made an in-kind contribution valued at $400.
But it is just not current councilpersons weighing in for Morris:
  • former long term Councilman Bill Smuckler (who will be returning on January 1, 2014 as a councilman-at-large) has made $550 ($500, in-kind) in contributions so far, and
  • former Ward 8 Councilman Karl "Butch" Kraus has chipped in with $100,
And, of course, some Vassar Park folks are among those contributing to Morris:
  • Jean Hershberger, Vice President of the Vassar Park Neighborhood Association is in at $50, and
  • Bret Moore, (the Public Speaks presenter of last night) has contributed $35,
Other notable Morris contributors include:
  • former Stark County Commissioner Todd Bosley at $500,
  • Stark County Democratic Party chairman Randy Gonzalez ($100) along with his son and chief deputy Stark County recorder Kody Gonzalez at $100,
  • North Canton Councilman Doug Foltz who has anted up $35,
Mayor Healy and Canton treasurer candidate Kelly Zachary contributed but they also contributed to Cole's campaign as an obvious "we're not taking sides in this race" gesture.  (Plain Township trustee Lou Giavasis did the same)

But The Report is not buying the Healy contribution as an indication of neutrality.  As far as the SCPR is concerned, Healy is squarely on Cole's corner.

With last night's council session, the "political spillover" is over as the meeting was council's last meeting before next Tuesday's final voter tally.

However, the SCPR suspects that in taking on the Vassar Park folks, Joe Cole put the final nail in his political coffin insofar as his remaining on council is concerned.

And if he is gone and at-large candidates Smuckler and Burns (who likely will be unopposed in November's general election) take office, there will be a different kind of political spillover for Mayor William J. Healy, II.

He will likely be facing a 7 to 5 downside on key issues that come before council.

Interesting, no?

Here is the entire Morris report (reconstructed by the SCPR from original Stark County Board of Elections records):

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