Wednesday, July 15, 2015


UPDATED:  11:15 AM






As far as The Stark County Political Report is concerned, GOP Stark County Board of Elections (BOE, Board) members Curt Braden and William Cline got it right on 2 out of 3 BOE issues within the past 10 days.

Their votes in favor of certifying the "independent" candidacies of Stark County Commissioner Thomas M. Bernabei for mayor of Canton and Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr for mayor of Massillon in the upcoming November general election were votes to "let the people decide."

BUT their votes to deny Cantonians the right to vote
  • on whether or not to form a charter commission on the pathway to Canton becoming a charter government city and thereby theoretically be more in control of its destiny 
were an outright denial of "let the people vote."

Here is Mack's reconsideration filing with the BOE:

And here is a SCPR extract of Circulator Vaughn's affidavit:

Nobody would attribute to either Braden or Cline that they bear earmarks of having the reasoning ability of rocket scientists, but for them to vote against letting the people of Canton decide the charter government issue based on a hyper-technical interpretation of Ohio election law absolutely makes no sense in light of their votes on the Bernabei and Cicchinelli protests.


Indeed!  In spades!!

Take a look.

And in an overall look at the petition, note that the circulator in the final count of "valid" signatures reports what?

Twenty-six (26) signatures!

So Republican William S. Cline wants to disenfranchise 26 Cantonians on the petition and thousands more in the November, 2015 general election over an absolutely ridiculous interpretation of the spirit ("let the people vote" - Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, Maier protest case, March, 2014) of Ohio election law.

Cantonians of course have The Stark County Political Report to go to in order to see the actual hearing on a Motion to Reconsider filed by Canton Councilman Edmond Mack (a Democrat, Ward 8) who initiated the petition process in the first place (LINK to prior SCPR blog).

The video of the BOE's hearing on Mack's motion.

And a post-decision video interview with Mack on the outcome and plans going forward.

Note that yours truly focuses on Cline on the matter of Monday's vote.


For a couple of reasons.

First, everybody knows that whatever Cline decides, Curt Braden follows like "a lost puppy dog looking for his master."

The same for Democrat William V. Sherer, II on the Democratic side with Stark Dems' lawyer member Sam Ferruccio, Jr.

Second, Cline, a lawyer, should know better.

A North Cantonian, Cline as president and of course a member of the North Canton Zoning Board of Appeals (has a reputation for being " more than a stickler or crossing every "t" and dotting every "i" in his work there.

Zoning regulations are one thing, but disenfrancising citizens is quite another.

The SCPR thinks William S. Cline clearly in this vote shows his anti-democratic bias.

Cline was president of the Stark BOE when the Board denied back in 2012 the SCPR the right to videotape BOE meetings.

It is interesting that after yours truly called the Ohio secretary of state's office how the decision got reversed almost immediately.

The Report believes that Cline likely is the moving force to keep the SCPR video camera at the back of the room some 30 feet from where the BOE members sit to make it as difficult as the Board possibly can for the people of Stark County to hear/see the particulars of Board functions.

He probably thinks he is putting the SCPR down.  The slam however is not with The Report but on the Stark County public's right to the best possible hearing and seeing of the shenanigans going on at the Stark BOE with the board members.

And, of course, on the 6th of July, Cline rudely interrupted The Report post-hearing interview of Bernabei attorney Raymond Vasvari, Jr.

Do you think he would have disrespected Carl Monday of Channel 19 that way?

All of which is to point out that yours truly and obviously Cline to not think well of one another.

Of course personal disaffection is not relevant to the administration of Stark County government and if The Report is correct that Cline is on a personal vendetta with this blogger, the he ought to be ousted from the Board.

Moreover, if the "organized" Stark County GOP has any appreciation at all of bending over backwards to ensure the greatest possible latitude in empower the people to decide and not let some isolated from the voters guy like Cline thwart stand in the way, it will send a message loud and clear to Cline by removing him as a GOP representative from the Board immediately!

But guess who works for Cline and the three other members of the BOE?

Jeff Matthews.

What is Matthews other job?

He is chairman of the Stark County Republican Party.

You talk about "as big as they get CONFLICT IN INTERERST;' this is it folks.

The Report understands that one of Stark County's top Republican official has told Mattews to his face that he should not be a party official and Stark GOP chairman at the same time.

To be fair, this same official is said to think the same of the Democrats with Phil Giavasis being both the Canton Municipal Court clerk of courts and Stark County Dems' chairman.

John Ferrero when he became Stark County prosecutor resigned as the Dems' chairman.

But Giavasis himself, Randy Gonzalez, Shane Jackson, Johnnie A. Maier, Jr all served on the BOE while being public officials.

The SCPR has gotten facetious with Maier, Jr. et al in saying what used to be organized labor's seat on the BOE (now reclaimed - apparently - with Sherer, II being a board member) became a Dems' clerk of courts keepsake.

In a comedic-politically-tragic sense, such incestuous relationships damage the public's take on the integrity of our BOE processes.

The SCPR would say to Canton voters, "punish Braden and Cline" and the next time they come up for election.

Unfortunately, there is no elections that Cantonians can weigh-in on (except if they happen to be members of the Stark County Republican Party Executive Committee).

For Ohio's Board of Elections structure is the MOST UNDEMOCRATIC/REPUBLICAN government institution in the structural scheme of Ohio government.

One would think that Stark County centered Ohio General Assembly members:

  • Scott Oelslager (Ohio Senate, Republican - Plain), 
  • Kirk Schuring (Ohio House, Republican - Jackson),
  • Christina Hagan (Ohio House, Republican - Marlboro)
and last but certainly not least the most politically worthless of all
  • Stephen Slesnick (Ohio House, Democrat - Canton)
would want to correct this fraud on people of Stark County and indeed of all of Ohio.
SCPR Note:  Slesnick is rumored (term limited out of the OGA after his current term) to be in the running to replace Commissioner Tom Bernabei if he gets elected mayor of Canton as an "independent" candidate.
Don't hold your breath Stark Countians.

Oleslager, Schuring, Hagan and Slesnick are guess what?

Of course, card-carring Republicans and Democrats.

By the silence and inaction Oelslager, Schuring, Hagan and Slesnick show Stark Countians and Ohioians (most of whom, by the way, carry NO party identification but rather are shown on election rolls to be political "independents") that they care about the own personal political interests and that of the political parties' labels they wear than the do the integrity of America's/Ohio's/Stark County's democratic-republican form government.

Such teamed up with other erosive factors also present in the administration and structure of "our" government leads to one Canton precinct in Canton in the 2014 primary election voting at a rate of 2.03%.

Will we wake up one day to realize that our democratic-republic is only in the history book.

If we do, then the likes of Oelslager, Schuring, Hagan and Slesnick will have to own up to themselves that they had the opportunity to make a correction but instead let their personal political interests and party affiliations prevail.

This blog should fire folks up to pressure these legislators to push for reform of our elections institution of government.

Back in October, 2014 county officials (including "unelected" BOE members) celebrated the re-location of the Stark BOE from its decrepit facilities for years on 3rd Street NE in Canton.

One can change the cosmetics, but the interior remains the same.

The Ohio BOE scheme of things is an absolute disgrace!

And the Stark County BOE as managed by the organized Stark County Republican and Democratic political parties is our home grown disgrace!!!

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