Monday, November 17, 2014


UPDATE:  12:15 PM

The substance of an e-mail to the SCPR on today's blog:

List of "mistakes" made by Rep. during this campaign.

Food for thought?

Subject: Details of Rep's "mistakes"

1.  Refusal to print the campaign chairs' letter to the editor even though it was clearly stated that their positions were unpaid with the excuse that because they had a title it would not be printed.
2.  After refusing to print the letter mentioned above, the printing of a letter from Sal Pelegi without any identification of him as an employee of the sheriff's department even though Alan Harold assured me that Gayle Beck had been given a list of hires with Pelegi's name on it.
3.  The printing of Lou Giavasis' letter without identifying him as the person running the sheriff's campaign. It was known by the public in general that Giavasis was one of two people running the campaign with the other person being the candidate's brother.
4.  Omitting Larry Dordea's questionnaire responses on line for more than a week (until they were called out on it) and putting in the place where the responses were to be printed the words "No Response" even though Chief Dordea's responses had been submitted within the time line given. There was no apology given whatsoever.
5.  Overlooking and refusing to explore the information about the sheriff being involved in an investigation in his previous Ohio Safety Department position regarding his intimidation, threats and poor treatment of officers under him.
6.  Being told in the candidate interviews by Chief Dordea that there is no working relationship whatsoever between the sheriff and the prosecutor's office and refusing to investigate that charge.
7. No publication of the former Democratic sheriff endorsing the Republican candidate??? Has it ever been done before? Is that not news worthy?
8. The story of officer Thomas's successful law suit to get his rightful promotion. The story NEVER mentions the undeserving person that was promoted in front of him was "George Maier's son" WHILE George was the Safety Director with his Campaign manager the Mayor of Massillion making that decision??????????


It was interesting to read in Saturday's Repository editorial about the sentencing of Stark County businessman Ben Suarez to federal prison.

Suarez was convicted of witness-tampering (found not guilty on all other charges) in a case brought by federal prosecutors on the basis of a Toledo Blade investigatory journalism piece on allegations that Suarez had violated federal campaign finance law in prompting key Suarez Industries, Ltd employees (and in some cases their spouses)  to contribute to the 2010 campaigns of Republican congressman Jim Renacci (16th Congressional District) and Republican Josh Mandel who was running for the United States Senate seat held by Democrat Sherrod Brown.

(A SCPR extract)


In what way?

The Repository editorial board chose to credit political party or candidate "opposition research" using the Internet as the medium to make the contribution pattern by which Suarez fell on legal hard times, to wit:

But the fact of the matter is that The Blade scooped The Repository with first-rate investigatory journalism.

Investigatory journalism is "virtually" non existent these days at The Rep.

Which, the SCPR thinks, is further evidence that those Stark Countians who still subscribe to The Rep are getting short-changed.

The primary reason the SCPR is writing this series is to goad The Rep and its parent company Gateway Media, Inc.  to meaningfully engage "the first calling" of any daily newspaper serving a major metropolitan area (Stark County has a population of about 380,000) which is:

to hold politicians and those participating in the American democratic-republican system of government accountable for their actions.

Not only did The Rep fail the Stark County public in the Suarez matter; in the SCPR's assessment Stark County's "only" countywide newspaper failed Stark's "participating in the November 4th voters" on getting relevant information out on George T. Maier and whether or not he merited - on character issues - being elected Stark County sheriff on November 4th.

As to Dordea, there has never been one suggestion that he is of the finest character.

On Maier, the SCPR wrote a number blogs which provided citations to:
as well has other tangential conduct such as
which the SCPR believes are matters that The Repository, the countywide monopoly it is, had a duty - for the benefit of a 'better informed' Stark County voting public - to deal with.

It is rather obvious that "the bigs" in the upper floor offices at 500 Market Avenue, South pretty much totally ignored anything that might reflect negatively on Maier's character qualifications to be Stark County sheriff.

Moreover, the editors ignored the wholesale politicization of the sheriff's office by Maier from the day he took office as a political appointee.

The Rep has never in the 40 years that The Report been a resident of Stark County been a superlative guardian of the public interest.

Nowadays, it appears that the newspaper has slipped to the bottom rung of the ladder as a credible source for county voters.

It may be co-incidental, but it is also interesting how many, if not most, of the big time contributors to Stark County Republican countywide campaigns were largely absent in Dordea campaign finance reports, at least through the pre-general filing which cut off on October 15th.

Stark County's two Republican commissioners (Creighton and Regula) refused to endorse Dordea.

It has been suggested to the SCPR that Stark County's political power brokers were very worried that Dordea would be elected in a landslide Republican year (Republican governor John Kasich outpolled Dordea by some 19,000) and that he would be a "I don't care who you are, who you are connected to" sheriff and would thereby uncover a huge "underside" of Stark County society which would send shock ways once again across Stark County.

Once again?


When news broke on April 1, 2009 that federal authorities had charged Stark County chief deputy treasurer Vince Frustaci for (as it turned out) stealing upwards of $3 million to support an alleged gambling habit, confidence and trust in Stark County government officials plummeted to the depths.

Powerful Stark County political interests - the thinking is - would not likely want someone like Dordea poking around and finding skeletons of some of Stark County's supposedly "finest."

During the days that George T. Maier was the Stark County Democratic Party appointed sheriff, the SCPR is told that heroin use has magnified.

The problem is said to be out-of-control in Maier's hometown of Massillon.

The Report has a source saying that Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero recently held a training session on dealing with the growing Stark County drug problem and that nobody from the sheriff's department showed up.

Could it be that Maier political differences with Ferrero (Ferrero made out an affidavit that Maier was on February 5, 2013 unqualified to be sheriff) was behind the alleged "failure to show?"

If accurate, is this any way for a sheriff to act?

Larry Dordea (now the Hartville Chief of Police) made his reputation as an effective policing authority for reining in criminal drug activity during his nine (9) years or so as police chief of Alliance.

While the SCPR is not much on "conspiracy theories," the hands-off "the character question" by The Repository bigs does give The Stark County Political Report "pause for thought" as to what was going on in the upper reaches of 500 Market Avenue, South in its coverage of the Dordea/Maier match-up.

Whatever the motivation may have been for The Repository not fully vetting the Maier character issues, should the failure to vet backfire in the form of another major county government scandal as the SCPR thinks it may well (most likely and "abuse of official power"); then The Repository will have to take the major share of the blame.

It is obvious that The Repository is no Cleveland Plain Dealer, no Columbus Dispatch and certainly no Toledo Blade, "One of America's Great Newspapers," which, of course, The Repository is not.

In the meantime, we here in Stark County are left with what politicians can dig out on each other in the age of the Internet.

Rather than vet, rather than investigation, it appears that The Rep is relying on politicians to police themselves with charge and counter charge.

Such a stance may save Gateway Media money, but it certainly does not speak well of the willingness of the Stark County centuries old newspaper to protect the public interest.

Of course, for being a one--person-operation, The Stark County Political Report does a pretty good job of holding local politicos accountable.

The SCPR receives many, many "for the scope of what you are able to do with one person; it is a no-contest between you and The Rep."

The Canton Repository is a "for profit" enterprise that seems to know who it can afford offend or dare not offend in discharging its journalistic obligations.

The Stark County Political Report is  truly (pay attention Randy Gonzalez, a former well-paid local government employee) "a public service" that is totally independent of those about whom The Report writes, whether favorably or unfavorable viewed on a personal basis.

Was being too independent Larry Dordea's unpardonable "political" sin that prompted The Repository to ignore Maier's character issues in a thoroughgoing public discussion mode and for the Republican "bigs" to abandon him with financial and advocacy support?

Whose toes was a Sheriff Dordea going to step on, anyways?

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