Tuesday, October 7, 2014



As far as The Stark County Political Report can tell, it is "all out politics" at the Stark County sheriff's office at 4500 Atlantic Boulevard these days.

Last week, the SCPR wrote that Stark County Democratic Party appointee George T. Maier back on June 3, 2014 recruited volunteers from within the employment base of the sheriff's office to put together an "open house" for the general public get this:  "some time in late September to early October."

In preparation, Maier has spent at least $2,000 to purchase items/materials such as this one:

It is unmistakable to the SCPR, as it should be to all but "the utterly politically naive," that the timing of the event is designed to be near to election day:  Tuesday, November 4, 2014.

The effect, The Report believes, is to convert taxpayer money under the cover of "open to the public event" into an "involuntary" contribution to the campaign of George T. Maier to be elected Stark County sheriff.

An expression - in political parlance - is that a sitting officeholder has a huge advantage over any challenger in that he/she "enjoy the 'perks of office."

This thinly veiled, the SCPR thinks, effort should be enough "in and of itself" to cause Stark Countians to think very carefully about voting for George T. Maier at the polls on November 4th.

But the SCPR believes there is more "political hanky-panky" going on at the hand of Stark's appointed sheriff and/or his supporters.

Most of Maier's "Coffee with a Cop" appearances have taken place in areas of Stark County not served by the Stark County sheriff.

Now isn't that interesting for a man who says he wants to connect with those he is obligated to protect?

During the Hall of Fame festivities, some Maier supporters talked a Canton auxiliary policeman into doing this:

Undoubtedly, the Maier supporters thought this was a coup of sorts in implying that the taxpayer supported Canton Police Department (CPD) supports Maier's campaign.

What the supporters obviously did not care about was that they got the auxiliary officers in "hot water" with the CPD hierarchy and Healy administration safety officials.  One even offered to resign. 

To the SCPR, this incident speaks volumes about "the culture of the Maier campaign" that should disturb Stark County voters.

And there is an incident (LINK to SCPR blog on the incident) in which Republican candidate Larry Dordea had his lug nuts (a potentially life threatening happening) come off a wheel of his campaign vehicle.

While he won't say it "plain spoken words," the above-linked Facebook posting by Dordea is interpreted by the SCPR to mean that he thinks someone associated with or supportive of the Maier candidacy was the perpetrator.

Here is an excerpt from the cited blog in which Dordea does make accusations:

I have given much thought to this post and I know its going to be long but some things just need to be stated. This is not my first campaign for sheriff and I and the Dordea for Sheriff volunteers have never been disrespected by a political opponent or their volunteers in previous campaigns. 

There have been many incidents of apparent intimidation, some of which have included the fully uniformed sheriff. 
  • My volunteers have been bumped into and crowded by the opposition while handing out campaign materials. 
  • While campaigning, they have been directly confronted by the uniformed sheriff who called the member by name and belittled their campaign contributions. 
  • I too have had multiple “confrontations” which I did not initiate.
George T. Maier (who is said to be wearingin his uniform 24/7 on and of the campaign trail), as part of his campaign, is claiming that he is endorsed by the Stark County Deputies Association (which is to say the deputies' union).


How about this Mr. Blogger?

Indeed, "appearances-wise" it does seem that Maier is the choice deputies union.

But on closer examination of how the endorsement process went down, the SCPR does not think so and indications are, in the take of The Report, that this is a typical Maier political bullying and "cherry picking" of known political friends operation that the SCPR has seen George's brother and former Stark County Democratic Party chairman Johnnie, Jr do quite of bit of over the 20 years or so that yours truly has known him.

This is an account of how the endorsement operation went down as revealed and confirmed to the SCPR by a number of folks in a position to know, to wit:

A little information behind the "endorsement".  The Stark County Deputies Association (SCDA) is the labor organization that represents  all sworn non-ranking deputies at the Stark County Sheriff's Office.  
  • The SCDA does NOT represent Correction Officers, Dispatchers, Deputy Sargent, Deputy Lieutenants, Deputy Captains, Mechanics, Maintenance Staff, Clerks, and Administration Staff.  The SCDA currently represents approximately 110 sworn Stark County Deputy Sheriff's. 
The SCDA conducted a vote, open to all union members on July 29, 2014. 

The vote was to decide which candidate for sheriff to endorse in the upcoming election in November 2014.  

The SCDA members had three chooses to vote: George Maier, Larry Dordea, or remain NEUTRAL.  

The union vote was conducted along the roadside from the back of a pickup truck.  

Only ONE union representative was present during the voting process.  

The SCDA union did NOT post any type of notice on the union bulletin boards about the endorsement vote.  

The only notification to SCDA members about the vote were through email.  Neither candidate were giving an opportunity to speak before SCDA members  or have members ask questions of the candidates prior to the vote. 
  • During the 2012 election between Mike McDonald and Larry Dordea, the SCDA did NOT choose to endorse any candidate for sheriff.  
  • During the 2008 election between Tim Swanson and Larry Dordea.  Both candidates were given to opportunity to speak with members and answer questions from SCDA members.  The SCDA members voted to remain NEUTRAL.
As you can see from the email from the Stark County Deputies Association.  Only 43 members out of approximately 110 actually voted.  I'm surprised that 32 members would vote to endorse a candidate without having an opportunity to hear both candidates speak and ask them questions. 

Here is a copy of the e-mail from union Vice President Christopher Newman to the SCDA membership:

From:"chrisnewman@starkcountydeputiesassociation.org" <chrisnewman@starkcountydeputiesassociation.org>
Date:Tue, Jul 29, 2014 at 19:41

Subject:Ballot Vote Results

Good evening everyone. Let me start off by saying thank you to the 43 people that took the time to come out and cast their vote. At the end of the voting, the ballots were counted by Sergeant at Arms Mike Lattea, Deputy Greg Kinsey, and myself. The votes were as follows:

  • 11 votes for remaining neutral 
  • 32 votes for endorsing George T Maier
  • 0 votes to endorse Larry Dordea
The number of signatures on the ledger match the number of ballots cast and counted. If anyone has any questions, please contact the writer

Christopher D. Newman
Vice President SCDA

Union EMAIL:
On Tuesday, May 8, 2012 9:19 PM, SCDA Union < ... > wrote:

In regards to the upcoming election for County Sheriff.  The Stark County Deputies Association is not endorsing either candidate.  There has been rumors going around that we are endorsing Dordea, this is not so.  You can back either candidate as an individual if you wish,  but please do not use the union name in doing so,

(SCPR Note:  bullet points added for clarity sake)

Sounds more like a "rump" political convention to the SCPR rather than "a fair and square" union endorsement process.

Beyond "the 'minority' union vote," the SCPR has talked enough with people in a position to know, to surmise that George T. Maier has no better than 50/50 support within the ranks of those working for the Stark County sheriff's department.  This, even in the face of a coming Republican Tsunami.

At the beginning (February 5, 2013, when he was "illegally appointed by the Stark County Democratic Party [according to the Ohio Supreme Court on November 6, 2013), the SCPR thinks that Maier had near universal support among the rank-and-file at the sheriff's department.

That, the SCPR thinks, was largely due to Sheriff Swanson being sort of an absentee sheriff.  And Swanson himself seems to The Report to have had a list of favorites like the SCPR thinks that George T. Maier has.

But Swanson was not a politically-minded bully as The Report thinks Maier is.

As sheriff department employees have gotten to know Maier, the SCPR's impression is that "his viewed favorably" factor has slid to no more than now having a 50/50 support base, if even that.

In the SCPR's last blog, The Report cited a Columbus Dispatch article and an account shared with yours truly by former Massillon streets supervisor (a Lawrence Township trustee and a former confidant of the Maiers [he was appointed to represent the 50th Ohio House District when Johnnie, Jr resigned in the face of being term-limited out]) as disturbing factors raising questions as to George T. Maier's character.

Questions, the SCPR thinks, have not been addressed by Maier during this sheriff's election campaign.

Recently, the SCPR obtained a copy of this postcard sent out by George T. Maier (note:  no political disclaimer that the SCPR can see).

The "John" referred to in the card is Lt. John Oliver is told.

At the time of the photo taken by the SCPR, Oliver was a sergeant.  Since Maier has taken over, he has been promoted to lieutenant.

The SCPR is told that the postcard is viewed as intimidating to quite a number of deputies.

One deputy who hopes to be promoted but does not want a George T. Maier in his yard, feels that he cannot say "no."

Apparently, the postcard is doing its work, no?

SCPR intensely dislikes businesses who do business along the lines of Maier's "This courtesy card is to confirm your willingness to display a 'Keep Sheriff Maier' sign in your yard."

 Confirm?  What a laugh!

In business it comes out:  "unless you call and cancel your membership, we will presume you want to continue it for another year and your credit card will be charged a new annual fee."

Never mind that most of us will lose track the expiration date.

Yours truly makes a point of not doing business with such businesses.

The Report considers such an approach to shaky on ethics, at best.

If a quality product or service is offered,  there is no need for the business "to stack the deck" in its favor, no?

For Stark County's top cop to engage in what The Report thinks is a presumptive and intimidating process as the postcard suggests, is another reason why Stark County thinks Stark County voters should think once, twice maybe three times before voting for him.

Over his many years as a local and state highway patrolman, there should be little question that Maier has tons of experience in policing and therefore should be able to manage the department in a technical sense of managing.

But when it comes to his character, his demeanor and the like along with his failure to address the Columbus Dispatch reported matter and the Stevens' account, it is pretty clear that those who have voted for or who are considering voting for George T. Maier are engaging in the equivalent of "a crapshoot."

A "crapshoot" is a happening that could produce a good or bad result.

The SCPR thinks there is ample evidence that George T. Maier lacks the values needed to make him someone Stark Countians should want holding one of the county's most powerful offices.

If he is elected, and the SCPR thinks he has at least a 50/50 chance to be elected, Stark Countians should expect lots of trouble going forward in the administration of the Stark County sheriff's department.

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