Monday, May 4, 2015






An Uninspiring Choice



A Healy 3-1/2 Advantage
Funds to Spend

 Mega Union Contributions to Healy


 Healy Building Relationship with
Brahler (if elected)



The Choice
Canton/Stark Co.
Elected Officials


Complete "Contributors" Listing

With this blog, The Stark County Political Report concludes a series on 2015 primary election campaign finance reports (CFRs).

This particular blog - the SCPR thinks - on the Perez/Healy Canton mayoralty race could be a major factor on whom Cantonians vote for in the finale this coming Tuesday as between Canton Treasurer Kim Perez and seeking a third term as mayor:  William J. Healy, II.

The only place for Stark Countians to get a detailed analysis of the "Follow The Money" factor in Stark County subdivsion (county level, city, village and board of education) political races is The Stark County Political Report.

Moreover, The Canton Repository Editorial Board wrote a splendid editorial on April 26th, to wit:

What?  The Stark County Political Report complementing The Repository Editorial Board!


Must be Matt Rink's presence on the board.

Quite an improvement, no?

In this series, The Report has focused on intra-party fights (only the Democrats in this election) on:
All the foregoing CFR blogs offer some interesting insight along the "Follow The Money lines factor," but none of them is the equal of today's blog in depth and scope of coverage on the fight to be mayor of Canton involving Canton treasurer Kim Perez and incumbent mayor William J. Healy, II.

As regular readers of the SCPR know, The Report's take is that Canton voters are hard pressed as whom to chose to vote for inasmuch as they both appear to be "uninaspiring" in terms of offering qualities that promise leadership going forward, to lift economically and financially depressed Canton out of its quagmire and morass of problems exceeding net meaningful progress in overcoming those problems to put Canton on a track to reverse it decades long downward slide.

On April 16th, the SCPR a blog on the mayor's race:

and on April 24th a follow-up,

followed by today's blog which focuses on the Canton mayoralty race and the "Follow The Money" factor.

Challenger Perez's summary of his pre-primary report is rather show a decided financial disadvantage compared to Mayor Healy's.


Healy with about a 3-1/2 surplus on "money to spend" in the final three weeks of the campaign if he so chooses.

A huge advantage which Perez likely cannot overcome with alternative campaign tactics and overall strategy.

As indicated in the lead graphic of today's blog, there is the rather stunning revelation that William J. Healy, II's CFR yields to the effect that 60% plus of his pre-primary contributions came from "non-Canton" sources and that an extraordinary 25% come from "out-of-Ohio" sources:

An interesting aspect of the Healy out-of-town contributions include $20,000 from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and $5,000 from the United Steel Workers Union.

Mayor Healy raised a total $45,250 his reporting period meaning that 55% of the contributions came from "only two unions.  The union/union connected contributions rise to nearly 60% when looking at the total union associated contribution list.

Should the heavy union factor be a concern for Cantonian voters?

The SCPR thinks so.

Canton government (council and the mayor) is the most pro-union governmental unit of all Stark County government.

President of Canton City Council Allen Schulman often gets on his political soapbox in the "miscellaneous business section" of Canton City Council meetings to extoll the virtues of the American union movement.

And in theory the SCPR is empathetic with Schulman et al's support of the union movement.

The Report buys into the notion that the American union movement is one of "the last vanguards" in support of maintaining if not increasing "the great American middle class," which, the SCPR thinks is the envy of the world and more importantly why America has stood out as a beacon to the aspirational hopes of low income and working class folks who live in America or aspire to become immigrants to this great land.

As a practical matter, the SCPR thinks that neither unions nor the American business community should have a stranglehold on government processes.

One of the processes that comes out of the Healy administration and indeed out of many of Stark County political subdivision administrative arms of government is the negotiation of contracts with unions.

In this role, administrators have "a fiduciary [meaning have solemn duties in relation to] duty to the taxpaying public to get the best possible deal for taxpayers on the cost of labor for those public positions that are staffed by union members.

One has to wonder whether or not a public official like Mayor Healy can maintain an "arms length" relationship with Canton's unionized employees through his top level administrators and department heads in the light of his receiving such a high percentage of his political campaign contributions from the organized union movement?

That factor, the SCPR thinks, is a criterion upon which Cantonians might decide whom to vote fore as between Mayor Healy and challenger Kim Perez.

But maybe not.

As far as the SCPR knows, Perez is hardly neutral on matter of sympathy with organized labor.

And, if elected mayor, the SEIU and Steel Workers contributions would merely shift to Perez and consequently the same question on the "arms length" factor apply?

If a voter thinks that it would be "six of one and half-a-dozen of another," then it is a non-factor in deciding between the two.

Nonetheless, Cantonians should be concerned that unions are such a predominant factor in the Canton mayor's race and "the fiduciary to the taxpayers" factor.

The full list of Healy contributors:

Before moving on from the Healy CFR, there are a couple of other factors to take a close look at by voters.

One is the financial relationship (i.e. in the context of campaign finance statements) between members of council and the mayoral candidates.

On a relative scale, Mayor Healy is a bigger factor that Perez on receiving/making political contributions.

Healy contributed a total of $2,500 to the campaign war chests of council candidate Ryan Brahler (Ward 3) and sitting councilpersons Mariol, Mack, West and Smith at the rate of $500 each.

And he received contributions of $200 (Mariol and spouse) and $100 from Mack.

For his part, Candidate Perez only received a $100 contribution from Councilman-at-Large Jimmy Babcock. 
  • SCPR Note:  Babcock is a long time political ally of Perez (worked for Stark County auditor Kim Perez) and who is speculateed to be line for a key appointment as a Perez administration "leading" official in the event of a Perez victory.
And records indicate that Perez made "no" contributions to the campaigns of city councilpersons.

Such is probably not by design, but it may be.

In any event, the absence of mutual campaign support is what ought to be happening between the legislative/executive branches of the same government.

Now that they have received "more than significant" Healy campaign support (note:  Mack and Smith are unopposed in Tuesday's primary), the five above - should they support Healy initiatives going forward - have put their political independence in question.

Here is Perez's pre-primary CFR in terms of contributions (there is nothing remarkable about his expenditures).

The SCPR does not think it is appropriate for Judges or judicial candidates to accept political contributions from attorneys who practice in their courts.

Nor does The Report think there should be an contributions between the executive/legislative branches of local government.

There is such a thing as "separation of powers" in the American/Ohio structure of our democratic/republican form of government.

To the extent that money changes hands, citizens should be wondering whether or not that line of accountability isn't getting blurred.

And such can easily be implemented informally by judges/judicial candidates and mayors/council members refraining from such contributions.

But to-date there is little if any evidence that judges/candidates for judge, mayors/councilpersons can set the example of voluntarily having very high ethics.

Returning to Mayor Healy's campaign expenditures.

It appears that Jack DeSario is making (if he ever left) a return to have a significant role in the mayor's campaign as an independent contractor.

Some Stark Countians think (Link #1) that DeSario (a professor at Mount Union University [Link #2]) has been a controversial figure (Link #3) in his association with various Stark County political figures in years gone by.

In the 2006 election for Stark County commissioner, the-then candidate and Nimishillen Township trustee Todd Bosley vied with incumbent commissioner Richard Regula for DeSario's service.

DeSario, at least at one time, was thought to be Stark County's leading political consulting cognoscenti.

And, perhaps, Healy still thinks so.

So it is highly interesting that he shows up (D & R Consulting) in Healy's CFR in this reporting cycle.

Another interesting factor in the Healy CFR is the revelation that his campaign has hired the wife of his service director (William Bartos) to be his campaign manager.

The SCPR thinks this blog makes the case that campaign finance reports can reveal volumes of information that may be relevant to voters in determining whom to vote for.

The Report as a matter of policy does not make a formal endorsement of candidates.  However, sometimes it is abundantly clear who yours truly is impressed with or not impressed with.

In the case of Perez/Healy race, the SCPR thinks that the Canton voting public is "between a rock and a hard place" and that no matter which of the two is - in effect - elected as Canton's next mayor, Canton will continue to slide over the next four years.

Perez's campaign finance report in terms of the large number of contributors many of whom are major political/office holding Stark County/Canton players in county/city politics and such may indicate that notwithstanding Healy's huge lead in political war chest resources in terms of total contributions and specific large (e.g. $20,000 - SEIU, $5,000 United Steelworkers) contributions there is a smell of the possibility of a political upset come Tuesday.

The SCPR is not predicting same.

Moreover, even if an upset materalizes; Canton will not benefit from a Perez mayoralty.

He, SCPR thinks, is shopworn, unexciting and, though less skilled, every bit as political as William J. Healy, II.

These indeed are trying times for the Hall of Fame City!

No comments: