Friday, April 3, 2015


UPDATE:  04/06/2015 AT 09:35 AM

Also see this Plain Dealer article (LINK) on Sittenfeld fundraising to-date.


Back on March 5th,  The Stark County Political Report published the following blog on a youthful challenge from within the Ohio Democratic Party on the part of  Cincinnati councilman P.G. Sittenfeld (30) to former governor and 73 year old Ted Strickland (governor from January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2010).

On March 27th, Ohio's Democrats held their annual party dinner in Columbus and one of the speakers at the event was Sittenfeld.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote up the event (LINK).  Nothing from The Repository as far as the SCPR can determine.

At the event, Sittenfeld compared himself to former Democratic Ohio governor John R. Gilligan who shares a commonality of sorts with Sittenfeld.

From Wikipedia:
In 1968, Gilligan defeated sitting U.S. Senator Frank J. Lauche in the Democratic primary; however, he narrowly lost in the general election to Republican William B. Saxbe after Lausche refused to support him in the general election.
Could Ohio be in for a repeat of the 1968 race?

Here is a Sittenfeld campaign provided excerpt of his speech on the 27th.

The Stark County Democratic Party has through former Stark County Democratic Party chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr (2003 - 2009) has strong ties to former governor Ted Strickland.

 ORIGINAL BLOG - March 5, 2015

Yours truly is not exactly sure what Cincinnati councilman P.G. Sittenfeld is a member of in terms of his generation. Some experts say Generation X; some think Generation Y and some describe him as being a Millennial. What is undeniable is that he is young, "really" young. Perhaps way too young to be a United States of America Senator? Apparently (Link 1), P.G. Sittenfeld comes from a wealthy Cincinnati area family (Link 2). At age 30, Democrat Sittenfeld has announced that he is running to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman.
One must ask, is this guy prepared for the United States Senate?

Or is this some sort of political prank? If Sittenfeld is serious, he must first take on a defeated-for-reelection (2010) former Ohio governor Ted Strickland who also has announced his campaign for seat in the November, 2016 election. And that will be a tall order. The SCPR thinks that Sittenfeld's youth could be - if played correctly - a huge advantage in taking on the 73 year old Strickland who lock, stock and barrel is tied to the "on-life-support" Ohio Democratic Party state leadership councils. In "throwing his hat into the ring" 14 months in advance of the election, Sittenfeld is showing that he knows - notwithstanding Strickland's vulnerabilities - that he has an uphill climb ahead and he needs to get going and get going now. The Report thinks Sittenfeld is in for an exceptionally hard time in Stark County and likely across Ohio. Why in Stark County? Because former Stark County Democratic Party chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. was pretty much the political catalyst who got Strickland up and running as the front runner in 2006 when Strickland ran for governor. So? Think Johnnie and his political pals aren't licking their chops to do the same thing for Strickland in 2016? Many Stark County pols think Johnnie parlayed his being the first Ohio Democratic Party county chairman to endorse Strickland in the 2006 Ohio Democratic Party primary into jobs/positions:
  • for himself, (Ohio Nursing Board)
  • his most loyal Stark County Democratic Party supporter Gayle Jackson as an employee of the Ohio Lottery 
    • (a Stark County commissioner from 1995 through 2007),
  • former Jackson Township trustee Steven Meeks, 
    • Region 9 (Akron) of the-then Ohio Department of Economic Development 
  • his brother George T. Maier,
    • Deputy Director of the Ohio Department of Highway Safety, and
  • Heaven only knows, who else?
You can be sure that he and his Massillon Political Machine loyalists will be "all-out" for Strickland. A beachhead in Columbus is one thing, but Washington!  Let the champagne corks start flying, no?

Speaking of "all-out,"  the Northeast Ohio Media Group (aka The Cleveland Plain Dealer, NEOMG) reported yesterday that there are some statewide leadership Democrats who think Sittenfeld will not last and in the end the Democratic nomination is there "for the taking." Moreover, the PD cites Strickland supporters as saying that in private discussion with Strickland, Sittenfeld is saying that if Strickland officially enters the race, he, Sittenfeld, will drop out. Normally, the SCPR would be dismissive of such reports as self-serving political tripe typical of aggressive politico types as exemplified locally by Maier, Jr. However, Sittenfeld's response to the PD in a telephone conversation should be alarming to Sittenfeld supporters, to wit:
"What I'm saying is private conversations are private."
To The Report such is suggestive that contra what he says on his website that he is a different breed of politico is suspect. As a counterbalance though he did tell NEOMG:
P.G. Sittenfeld said Wednesday that he will measure the viability of his U.S. Senate campaign by the response he gets from Ohio voters and donors, not by the Democratic establishment forces that might line up against him. "I'm running, obviously, to make an impact," the Cincinnati city councilman told the Northeast Ohio Media Group in a telephone interview. "And that means winning." Running to win, Sittenfeld added, "means making sure you're raising the resources and running a sharp campaign" - two benchmarks he believes he is meeting.
And there is this from his Facebook page.

Knowing politicians the way the SCPR knows them, it would not be surprising that when "all is said and done" that Sittenfeld turns out to be no different than a typical politico. That he is only 30 will not cure a disgust that most Americans have with the "politics as usual" crowd that has polled Americans rating Congress in the single digits in terms of public's confidence that our elected national representatives really care about everyday people. In fact being only 30 might be horrifying for the average voter. For at his age, if he is a samo-samo politician, means that he will potentially be around for many, many years doing his political "wheelin' dealin'" at the expense of the general public interest. Let's hope he is not being the cynical politician who feeds into the public desire to have authentic, public interest serving elected officials only to turnout to be something much different than his rhetoric imports:

Recently, the SCPR had a conversation with former Massillon mayor Frank Cicchinelli.

He took exception to a SCPR blog to the effect that elective Massillon government is better served by a youth movement.

The Report agrees that youth in and of itself does not mean improvement.

However, the SCPR holds to a premise that quality younger leadership is an essential quality that government at all levels need in order not to stagnate if not regress.

Giving Sittenfeld the benefit of the doubt, the SCPR encourages the likes of younger generation Canton councilmen Kevin Fisher, Edmond Mack and John Mariol to look into the Sittenfeld purported candidacy.

Fisher, Mack and Mariol are the only Stark County Democrats who the SCPR thinks are susceptible of being viewed as bringing a young generation perspective (idealistic, energetic and persistent) to Stark County political subdivision government.

On the Republican side, the SCPR thinks of Alliance Councilwoman Julie Jakmides and Massillon Councilman Ed Lewis, IV as being of this ilk.

In general, Stark County's political subdivision leadership is stodgy, unimaginative, entitled, comfortable and stale.

The personification of these qualities can readily be seen in nearly all if not all of North Canton's elected officials.

At the county commissioner level, we had to bring back the shop worn Janet Creighton, Thomas Bernabei and Richard Regula to restore a confidence - if conservative  and halting - in county government in the wake of problems in the Stark County treasury that surfaced on April 1, 2009 was not resolved until October 19, 2011.

Hopefully, Bernabei and Creighton are on their last terms and new and youthful leadership will emerge to replace them.

Of Stark County officials, only Republican auditor Alan Harold demonstrates to any significant degree a political way of being that is enhancing and invigorating of our democratic-republican form of government.

For being a relatively young person, Canton Municipal Court chief deputy Kody Gonazalez (son of former Dems chairman Randy Gonzalez and the longer term "heir apparent" leader of the organized Stark County Democratic Party) appears to adopted the "politically jaded/cynical, old man-esque" political values and power politics modeling that ooze out of the Maier Massillon Political Machine.

Nobody should be surprised by this.

If Sittenfeld can pass the political smell test (i.e. is he authentic?), then young generation Democrats Fisher, Mack and Mariol should consider getting on board early on to help him move the "old school" politico Ted Strickland to the sidelines.

Yours truly was once an avid Strickland supporter as he ran against "off-the-charts" right wing Republican Ken Blackwell in 2006 delivering Blackwell a crushing defeat.

Strickland ran an "Aw shucks, I am a political innocent from Duck Run, Ohio" campaign.

Ted Strickland is anything but what he projected in 2006.

He is, the SCPR thinks, an arm-in-arm with the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. type power politician who is no different than the one (other than political party label) he seeks to replace.

It is up to Sittenfeld to demonstrate that he is who he says he is.

And if he is and if Canton Democrats Fisher, Mack, and Mariol are early endorsers and supporters of his campaign, then perhaps, Canton city government will at least have entree to seek help from Washington for the many financial woes that urban governments face these days.

With Democrat Strickland's loss in 2010 and the loss of all statewide offices (non-judicial) at the hand of the decrepit Columbus-based Democratic leadership (i.e. the deposed Chris Redfern), there is not much that Canton can expect to receive from Columbus.

The jury is out on Sittenfeld.

Is he legit?

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