Friday, June 27, 2014


If Stark Countians want investigative journalism and comprehensive news coverage, it appears that The Canton Repository is not the place they will get it.

According to Echo Media, The Repository has about 50,000 daily edition subscribers (64,500 Sunday edition).  Undoubtedly, the vast majority are Stark Countians.

Back in August, 2011, The Toledo Blade broke an "investigative journalism" story about Stark Countian (Glenmoor Country Club complex, Jackson Township) Benjamin Suarez and his company Suarez Corp. Industries (SCI) which showed a curious series of SCI employee political contributions to Congressman Jim Renacci's 2012 campaign (16th Congressional District, which includes much of northern Stark County) and Ohio treasurer Josh Mandel's 2012 U.S. Senate bid.

Soon after The Blade's story broke, both the Renacci and Mandel campaigns returned the questioned contributions.

As set forth in the graphic which headlines this blog, federal prosecutor Rebecca Lutzko (as reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer) credited The Toledo Blade's investigative journalism with having resulted in an indictment by the feds of Suarez, the company and now former top official Michael Giorgio in an alleged scheme to violate federal campaign finance laws, to wit:
But Suarez had another problem: the media. Lutzko said "some enterprising reporter from the Toledo Blade" combed though the Federal Election Commission website to find the unusual donations. Most of the SCI employees had never donated to a federal campaign and certainly never donated the maximum allowed of $5,000.

That article and the ones that followed caught the attention of the FBI.
Yesterday, a four week trial concluded on the Suarez and SCI indictments (two of nine counts against Suarez having been dismissed by the judge presiding over the case).

It is expected that the case will go to the jury today.

The SCPR thinks that Stark Countians should be more than a tad displeased with Stark County's only countywide mainstream media.

What have Stark Countians gotten out of The Repository over the years on the Suarez story?

The SCPR's assessment is:
  • pedestrian-esque reporting of the trial itself, and 
  • a couple of puff pieces sympathetic to the Suarez/SCI view of the matter.
Most recently (October, 2013), to wit: (a paragraph which The Report thinks aptly summarizes the gist of the article)
Suarez invited The Repository to tour the facility at 7800 Whipple Ave. NW on Tuesday and to talk with employees about company operations and work environment. Suarez was not part of the tour.
And before that (May, 2012), to wit:  (a paragraph which The Report thinks aptly summarizes the gist of the article)
Suarez: FBI agents ‘terrorizing’ employees

Benjamin Suarez, the president of Suarez Corp. Industries, said the FBI investigation of his employees’ contributions to two Republican candidates has significantly disrupted company operations, damaged employee morale, delayed the launch of five products and postponed the hiring of about 2,000 workers at SCI’s North Canton facility.
The SCPR thinks that Stark Countians deserve better; much, much better than the county's newspaper readers are getting out of The Canton Repository!

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