Wednesday, March 26, 2014



Cynthia Balas-Bratton’s “reply” brief has been filed (LINK) with the Ohio Supreme Court.

As the graphic headlining this writing, “ANY WAY YOU CUT IT,” she should be victorious in her “protest” of the candidacy of George T. Maier to be on the upcoming May 6th primary election ballot.

To the Stark County Political Report, her attorney has written crisply, aptly and persuasively in support of Balas-Bratton’s Writ of Prohibition which she filed on March 11th in response to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s tie-breaking vote (March 7th) siding with the Stark County Democrat members of the Board of Elections (BOE) in placing Maier on the ballot - for now.

A clear thinking Supreme Court ought to find that Democratic member Deametrious St. John was so prejudiced in favor of Maier and was foolish enough to let the world know it well before his vote of February 21, 2014 (at the conclusion of the “protest” hearing) that it should be obvious to these guardians of “fair play” that St. John violated her Ohio/U.S. Constitutional due process of law rights and should roll back his vote and thereby overrule Husted’s “ERR(OR) on the side ballot access” in favor of Maier.  (emphasis added)

To the SCPR, Republican Husted was trying to “play every which way” in ruling the way he did.

The Report believes that he intentionally mangled his decision to benefit Republican Larry Dordea (who will be Maier’s opponent, should he get lucky and remain on the ballot).

Husted first admitted in the very expression “err(or)” on the side of ballot access” that he understood that Ohio’s law is not supportive of his decision to side with the Dems but his specious reasoning put a dress on the decision makes it look like he is a non-partision elections officer. (emphasis added)

Anyone who understands Ohio’s BOE structure knows that by its very nature it is a sort of political cold war (not unlike that between the United States and the Soviet Union of Socialist Republics of 1947 - the 1990s vintage) and the reason that Balas-Bratton “protest” was deadlocked 2 to 2 (Republicans Braden and Cline voting to keep Maier off the ballot; Democrats St. John and Ferruccio, Jr voting to place him on the ballot) was because of the political nature of Ohio’s BOE structure.

It only so happens that the Republican members’ position is in alignment with Ohio’s constitutional and statutory law.

It could be and the SCPR suspects that Braden and Cline made a political decision and would have voted the way they did no matter what the quality of the law was behind their decision.

But they were not foolish nor was Democratic member Sam Ferruccio, Jr contrasted to St. John to signal before the February 21st decision that “the evidence presented at the hearing ‘be damned,’” their minds were made up and they were voting their respective political party’s interest and hoping that they could connect to the law to a sufficient degree to get upheld if challenged.

Husted understands the process perhaps better than anybody in our Buckeye state.

The Report thinks he is politically devious enough and sophisticated enough to make his tie-breaking decision in such a fashion that Balas-Bratton could drive the proverbial “Mack truck” through.

But his doing so, is a bit chancy for the Republicans and Dordea.
It could be that the Ohio Supreme Court will find a way to validate the Dems’ position.

Not likely, but it could happen.

And that is exactly what George Maier et al have to be hoping for.

Understanding the power equation in government as they clearly do, the Maiers know the truth of the mantra: “The Supreme Court does not have to be correct in its decisions, it just has to be the Supreme Court.”

So far in the process, as the SCPR has written frequently, which started as a case of political bravado (the Maier camp thinking who is going to raise the question of whether or not George T. Maier is qualified under ORC 311.01; after all George guaranteed that he would be if he applied), has remained a case of politically bullying.

Well, three staunchly credential Democrats have courageously contested those that The Report thinks are out-and-out/in-your-face political power players.

Ferrero (Stark County’s prosecutor), Swanson (Stark County’s sheriff) and Balas-Bratton (Ward 2A Massillon precinct committeewoman, no less; which has to be particularly to the Massillon ensconced Maiers) have in the way of political heroism have stepped up to the plate.

The SCPR thinks that the Husted “play to everybody” may well work.

In his “heart of hearts,” he has to be banking on being reversed.

That will get him back in the good graces of Stark’s Republicans (a la “a wink and a nod,” let bygones be bygones”) and, of course, how could the Democrats complain.  He tried, didn’t he?
What Countians have witnessed of St. John (in what appears to be in a rather obvious way contrasted to the “not so obvious” Ferruccio, Jr, Braden and Cline) and Husted is political reality and why many citizens opt out of participating in our system.

Should the Supreme Court make a mistake and validate the Maier approach, still more citizens will say to themselves: “who needs this” and move out of our political system.

And it could happen.

But The Report does not believe it will happen.

Balas-Bratton attorney Craig T. Conley has done a superlative job of laying out a pathway for the Supremes to do the correct thing.

Now we are at the point of knowing what they opt to do.

In his reply brief which is being filed today, he outlines once again his three-pronged justification-in-law for the Ohio Supreme Court to do the correct thing.

First, there is Balas-Bratton being denied “due process of law.”

“In short, Respondents seek to ‘bypass’ the seminal due process issue here by minimizing and degrading its great importance to our justice system and by then, in ‘it’s too late to complain’ fashion and ‘better luck next time’ fashion, to simply delcare it moot (and therefore not properly before this Court.”

Such is how Conley in his brief aptly describes the feeble attempt by to knock down the - the critically important to all Americans - “due process of law” aspect of Balas-Branton v. Husted, et al.

Conley goes on: ‘Bottom line,’ it is no exaggeration to that due process of law (even in quasi-judicial arenas) is ‘sacrosanct’ to and in our justice system (Matters of Murchison, a U.S. Supreme Court decision).

In his brief, Conley recounts the St. John “due process of law” misconduct in great detail

Second, Conley sticks with his ORC 2733.14 argument.

He says its language “as a matter of law” makes his ouster on November 6, 2013 (Swanson v. Maier, quo warranto) makes him ineligible to be considered for sheriff “much less to be on the May primary ballot for the very same public office from which this Court has already ousted him.

Third, part one, Conley reiterates his arguments on the loosey-goosey arguments the pro-Maier forces make on two ORC 311.01(B)(9)(a) requirements.

They, he says, try to make the requirement of “corporal or above” language into an equivalency and, moreover, the required two “consecutive” years of supervision be something other than that indicated by the case law of the Ohio Supreme Court itself as being clear and unequivocal and not susceptible to toying with as the Maier supporters do in their respective briefs.

Third, part two, Conley reiterates his arguments on the loosey-goosey arguments the pro-Maier forces make on two ORC 311.01(B)(9)(b) requirements that he have two years of post secondary education and it be from a recognized certified state institution of higher learning.

He points out that Conley admits that he never enrolled at Stark State College much less actually achieve the post secondary requirement nor did he submit evidence that Stark State College is certified as is required by the law.

The Maier folks simply rely on speculation that had he enrolled and did the minimum course work set by the college he could have qualified for the needed credits.

But the fact of the matter is that Maier never enrolled at Stark State.

So how can Maier say that he has achieved that which he never put himself in a position to qualify for?

The answer obviously is that he cannot but is the epitome of the “thin, indeed” if not absurd nature of most of the Maier ORC 311.01 arguments.

Nevertheless, a decision is at hand.

Certainly within a matter of days the Ohio Supreme Court will be making its ruling.

At the end of the day, no matter which way the high court rules, Stark Countians should be pleased with and proud of the likes of John Ferrero, Tim Swanson, Cynthia Balas-Bratton and Conley (working on a “for the public good basis”) and their sacrificial devotion to “the rule of law!”

However, in the view of the SCPR, “ANY WAY YOU CUT IT” (the legal arguments) this case should go the Balas-Bratton way.

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