Tuesday, August 20, 2013


UPDATED:  10:30 AM

Scott Graber sent in this clarification of his role in Edward Hampton having filed to run in Ward 4, to wit:
Point of Order: 
[Q]u[i]nessa agreed that it was wise to have Ed file as a backup in case the DoDd 1344.10 did apply to her. 
You can see the date of this clarification from Brig Gen Harris came only on May 1, which was 5 days before filing deadline (May 6 Primary election)
Qu[i]nessa and Edward made the decision and I do not claim anything.  I advised them on what they could do. 
[T]hey did it on their own judgement and initiative, and I would appreciate it if you report it that way sir. 
UPDATED:  09:45 AM

Traditionally, Labor Day is the first day of intense and purposeful political campaigning.

And this year Labor Day is early: September 2nd.

Beyond the beginning of Campaign Season - 2013, the end of it all is a mere 76 days away.

In Stark County, the question is where within the county will "the most raucous" and "the most 'at-stake'" election contests will be taking place?

For the SCPR's part, the answer is:  the ward races in the city of Massillon.

And the hottest spot in Tigerland is Ward 4.  This ward is the Democrats strongest ward in terms of registration majority.

As readers of this blog know, Massillon Democratic Party politics are the personification of humorist Will Rogers statement:  "I belong to no organized political party, I am a Democrat."

You have:
  • the Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr. Wing of the Massillon Democratic Party,
  • the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. Wing of the Massillon Democratic Party, and
  • the John D. Ferrero, Jr Wing of the Massillon Democratic Party
Must be something about the "Junior" factor, no? (lol)  Or, perhaps, something in the water?

The center of the "faction fight" is within the six wards of Masillon.

Only Ward 3 Democratic councilwoman Andrea Scassa is escaping the political mayhem this time around.

And who is the main actor in perpetuating the "faction fights" this election go around?  

For some Massillonians, the provocateur is Maier, Jr. who serves as the city's clerk of courts.

Hence this blog's title suggesting that he is viewed as a "divider-in-chief" in Massillon politics.

The SCPR would not for a nanosecond argue the point.

Interesting in that he does not live in Massillon.  He has lived in Tuscarawas Township for years.

It is more than likely that Maier, Jr. in concert with his political appendage Shane Jackson (who also serves as his clerk of courts chief deputy making a higher salary than Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry) are engaged in an initiative to produce some support on Massillon City Council for the mayor.

Nearly all of the current council opposes - to one degree or another - Catazaro-Perry on controversial issues that come before council.

If this trend continues with the new council to be elected this fall, it is becoming increasingly obvious that Catazaro-Perry will be a "one term and done" mayor.

A focal point of the Maier faction's effort will be in Ward 4.

Back on May 10th, the SCPR broke a story to the effect that the-then relatively newly appointed (February) Quinessa Hampton might be forced out of the November election because of questions of compatibility on her being in the military and a politically-identified (i.e. a Democrat councilperson) public official.

By all accounts, Quinessa has served effectively in her short stint as councilwoman (she recently resigned) and, most importantly, being her own person.

This is what Councilman Milan Chovan says about Quinessa:
It's a shame [her resigning] because I really like working with her.  She thinks for herself.
In light of Hampton's resignation, the Massillon Ward 4 Democratic Central Committee met on August 8th and selected Shaddrick Stinson to succeed her as the ward's councilperson and, of course, to be the Party's standard-bearer in the November 5th election.

The Report does not know precisely who participated in the August 8th selection conclave, but does know that former Massillon mayor Frank Cicchinelli's wife was not among those assembled.

A source indicates to The Report that Stinson appears be the handpicked candidate of Maier, Jr. et al because those (thought to include at least Greer and Townsend) controlling the vote are politically aligned with Maier.

Although Ward 4 is a bastion of Democratic strength according to a SCPR analysis of Ward 4 voters identifying themselves either as a Republican or Democrat, The Report sees that the "unthinkable" might actually happen in Massillon:  a Republican, Jim Triner - who lives in The Legends residential complex of the 4th which is also home to former Massillon mayor and avowed Catazaro-Perry/Maier, Jr. political enemy Frank Cicchinelli -becoming councilman-elect for the 4th.

Triner's precinct (4D) is decidedly Republican.  Moreover, the SCPR thinks that many Democrats in 4D will vote for him this fall.

Can you imagine, for instance, Frank and Joy Cicchinelli voting for Maier ally Stinson?

They have to be thinking that he is a Maier, Jr. stand-in through and through, no?

In what is evolving into a sort of political irony, The Report has received indication that Hampton seemingly believes that the Cicchinellis (at least tangentially) were somehow involved in the military putting pressure on her to withdraw her candidacy for election Ward 4 councilperson as a follow up to her having been appointed.

The Report says "seemingly" because Hampton was told in an April meeting with the mayor that a person (who Hampton did not name) had told Catazaro-Perry that she could not defeat Republican Triner in November.

The Report thinks that the "person" well could have been either Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. or Shane Jackson.

Yours truly is skeptical of any suggestion, if she making it,  that the Cicchinellis had anything to do with the military getting after Hampton for holding a partisan political position.

It is likely that the Maier group originally supported Hampton's appointment (by the Ward 4 central committee in February) but got nervous about the military question and her continued political viability and got squeamish about continuing to support her.

Hampton rejected the mayor's offer of help to keep her on council.   Such was likely "the straw that broke the camel's back" in terms of the mayor and her political support group staying the course with the councilwoman while she endeavored to convince the military that she should be permitted to remain in the military and remain as councilwoman.

For if she failed in her endeavor, Democrats were left with no choice but to get behind Quinessa's husband Edward running as a nonpartisan against Republican Kriner.

By the way, Massillon political gadfly Scott Graber credits himself with having advised Edward Hampton that he could take out and file petitions when his wife's troubles staying in office surfaced.

Moreover, it appears that Graber has been a confidant and political adviser to Quinessa all along.

Isn't that interesting.

The Report is told that Edward is a political unknown within Ward 4.

For political pros like Maier and Jackson, the prospect of losing in Ward 4 would be unbearable.

Look at those numbers (in the above graph) of declarants in precinct 4D: 410 strong! compared to Ward 4's other precincts.

And these "on the higher end of the economic spectrum" voters vote in much greater numbers than those of lower socioeconomic area that constitutes the rest of the 4th.

The SCPR feels that volume of voters and their commitment to actually vote bodes well for Republican Triner.

The Report believes that Edward Hampton will take enough votes away from Stinson in precincts A, B and C to facilitate a Triner win.

Triner will undoubtedly get all of Ward 4's Republican votes, some Democratic votes (e.g. the Cicchinellis and other 4D Democrats) and likely the lion's share of "independent" voters in 4D in enough volume to make it highly possible he wins overall in the ward.

Massillon's Republicans have a double-pronged incentive: to put a Republican in council from this thought to be sure-fire Democratic ward, and to hang an election defeat on the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. faction of the Massillon Democratic Party.

What happens in precinct 4D could have a huge impact in the make up of Massillon City Council.

Currently, the GOP has a 5 to 4 majority.  A question is, can they maintain it into the 2014/15 term? Winning in Ward 4 would go a long way with the Republicans continuing to control.

The Report's current analysis is that:
  • They are likely to win in Wards 2 and 6 because of the personal political strength of Nancy Halter (a former councilwoman a number of years ago) and Ed Lewis IV who The Report believes is being groomed by the Republicans to run for mayor in 2015,
    • Note 1:  Yours truly has learned that John Ferrero is supporting Halter for re-election in Ward 2,
    • Note 2:  The Report hears that Lewis is being mentored by Republican Stark County commissioner Janet Creighton.  
    • Note 3:  Although the registration numbers show a 60/40 majority Democratic, Lewis beat Dave McCune.
  • They have a shot at Ward 1 in re-electing Cunningham-Hedderly because the ward has the most voters identified as being Republican of all of Massillon's wards.  
    • Note:  The numbers indicate a 51% to 49% registration edge Democratic which is close enough so as to indicate a competitive race,  
    • Note:  The problem with Republican Cunningham-Hedderly winning is named Mike Loudiana who was Frank Cicchinelli's service director and previously served on council and thereby has proven vote getting ability,
The formula for the Republicans maintaining their control of Massillon council is to win in 1, 2, 4, 6 coupled with the certainty that they retain Milan Chovan's at-large seat.

With Donnie Peters, Jr. not running for re-election and the Democrats holding a 60/40 party declared registered voters edge, it is virtually certain that the John Ferrero, Jr supported Megan Starrett wins in Ward 5.

There is no doubt in the estimate of the SCPR that former Massillon City Schools superintendent Al Henon will win as council president.  However, that only helps the Republicans if there happens to be a tie in a council vote.

In terms of the political stakes to Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry, the upcoming election offers little solace.

Even if her Maier led support base surprises us all and defeats Halter in Ward 2, Lewis in Ward 6 and elects Stinson in Ward 4, she ends up with a grand total of three reliable votes out of nine and still will be unable push her agenda through council.

All the introduction of three solid votes for Catazaro-Perry will prove is that Massillon's relatively harmonious city council is no more.

Moreover, some Massillonians will undoubtedly think that Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. will have succeeded in becoming Massillon's "Divider-in-Chief!"

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