Sunday, October 25, 2015



There has been quite a bit of drama with respect to Canton's mayoralty race since longtime Democrat Thomas Bernabei announced on May 4, 2015 that he was jettisoning his connection with the Democratic Party and becoming a political "independent" in order to qualify to run against incumbent Democrat William J. Healy, II.

There was a fight initiated by seven Democratic members of Canton City Council, Dems' chairman Phil Giavasis and the Ohio Democratic Party on whether or not Bernabei was certifiable under Ohio law as an "independent" candidate.  

The contest was before the Stark County Board of Elections (BOE) which is staffed by two Democratic Party appointees (Sam Ferruccio, Jr, and William V. Sherer, II) and two Republican Party appointees (Curt Braden and Willam S. Cline), who predictably deadlocked on the issue.

The tie was broken by the Republican Ohio secretary of state Jon Husted in Bernabei's favor.  And, the Ohio Supreme Court on September 9th validated Husted's determination.

Originally, the "organized" Stark County Democratic Party itself was a complainant but was withdrawn on issues of conflicts-in-interest on the part of Dems' board members on account of them being members of the Dems' body which authorized the BOE challenge.

Of course, most political observers think that Mayor Healy was the real protester to the Bernabei certification.

The next step after the conclusion of the certification fight was for each camp to go pell mell after campaign finances inasmuch as campaign funds are described by political pundits as being "the mother's milk of" getting elected.

And, William J. Healy, II is desperate to get re-elected.  The Report's take is that he is probably finished as a Stark County politician if he loses to Bernabei on November 3rd.

Of late, he has gotten mean and ugly with the likes of the SCPR which has been a critic of how he administers government pretty much going back to the beginning of the blog in March, 2008.

Anyone who checks The Report's nearly 3,000 blogs knows that while Healy has been a prime topic in many SCPR blogs, he is not alone.

Many Republican and Democratic office holders/officials have had to endure the scalding scrutiny of The Report.

One of The Report's favorite sayings came early on from former Local #94 Plumbers and Pipefitters president Dan Fonte to the effect that:  "the SCPR is an 'equal opportunity' critic."

Healy likely is telling those politically close to him that he is a special target of the SCPR.

All that says is that Healy has a disproportionate view of his own importance and that he has great difficulty achieving a realistic view that being an office holder invites scrutiny and such is part and parcel of holding office; especially elective office.

Yours truly takes a great deal of pride in the examination that the SCPR has taken up on many offices and office holders which populate Stark County's political subdivision scene and thereby helped keep Stark County government units open, accessible, communicative, accountable and transparent.

There is still work to be done.  

One of Stark County's worst performing government units on the criteria of fundamental values of our democratic-republican system of government outlined in the preceding paragraph of this blog is North Canton's city council and its law director Tim Fox.

But today, the focus is on the Bernabei/Healy race and what The Report has learned on analyzing their respective pre-general election campaign finance reports (CFR) filed with the BOE on October 22nd.  These reports set forth campaign finance activities through October 15th.

On to the SCPR analysis:


Take a look at this graphic:

That is how the SCPR sees who Healy is tied too.

And it ain't everyday, run of the mill Canton citizenry.

One of the major points of challenger Bernabei's campaign is how the mayor is beholden to special interests.

The Report thinks that Bernabei is "right on the mark!"

Healy generated about 100 contributors as reported in the October 22nd filing.

Get this:  Of the contributors, on 6% can qualify as possibly just being ordinary Cantonians who like how Healy administers Canton government.



And, the SCPR thinks that is a bit high.

For a significant number of the 6% are politicians who while not quite having the same type of self-serving interests that unions do, that businesses who do business with Canton; they are hardly akin to being the grassroots citizen.

Soon in this blog, the SCPR will have an insert of the results of a "spreadsheet" CFR created by the SCPR off the raw data the Healy camp submitted to the BOE in order to do various sorts in order to be able to make the calculations set forth above with respect to Healy and below with respect to Bernabei.

However, The Report - at the end of this blog - publishes the raw reports submitted by each camp to the BOE so readers of this blog are in a position to check out The Report's work.

Here is a copy of the SCPR's (in pdf format) spreadsheet compilation:

Healy likes to couch his heavy union as being the result of his focus on helping local citizens have good paying jobs.

And such a motivation is laudable.

However, what is not acceptable is for him to be beholden to unions for campaign finance funds to such a great extent (remember 77%) so as to put in question as to whether or not he and his administration can negotiate at arms length and in good faith in the interests of the taxpaying public.

The solution is simple.

Do not accept any campaign finance funds from any such interest(s).

That Healy at 77% has gone overboard on this score is and should be a major consideration as to whether or not Cantonians return him to office.

Another troublesome aspect of Healy's CFR is the number of contributors who have business interests with the city of Canton.

Absolutely, unacceptable!

And that he accepts such contributions is rightfully a basis on which for voting Cantonians to deny him their votes.


If Stark County commissioners unseats Healy, he certainly will do it on the basis of being much more in touch with the grassroots of Canton than the seemingly union owned, business interests owned mayor.

And he is doing so at great personal sacrifice.

$60,000 of his money just in loans which he likely will never see a dime of which returned to him.

By contrast, Healy has only put $12,300 of his own money in his campaigns going back eight years.

As this blog is written, he could repay himself with ease.  He had $64,000 plus with which to do so as of October 15th.

In addition to the $60,000, Bernabei's in kind contributions dwarf Healy's (see he "raw" campaign finance reports at the end of this blog).

Undoubtedly, when the Healy advisers see the Bernabei CFR they are likely going to make a big deal that some big name Stark County Republicans dot the list.

The SCPR sees such as being a good thing.

Healy is playing the partisan divide thing, has always done so and this is has not been good for Canton.

A Bernabei administration (establishing a campaign fiances beachhead with prominent local Republicans) coupled with his remaining ties with important political/elected officials in his former Democratic Party associates should make for an aura that "everybody is included."

And there is no disproportionality as there is with Healy and his ridiculously excessive ties to special interests.

Take a look at the SCPR generated Bernabei CFR:

Unreal, no?

252 contributors compared to Healy's 100.

Of the 252, some 82% contributed at $100 or less.

Only three contributions of $1,000 or more!  Healy's top two contributors (unions) came in at $15,000 and $10,000 each.

There are a number of political, business notables on Bernabei's CFR, (e.g. Creighton, Hanke [his treasurer], Ward J. Timken, Judge John Haas, Judge Frank Forchione, Jackson trustee John Pizziono, et cetera but not very many.

But isn't Bernabei's CFR what you expect from a man who says he an "independent?"




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