Wednesday, November 11, 2015




The Stark County Political Report was rolling in the aisle in a paraxysom of amusement on reading the analysis? under the guise of it being a reporting piece in an area newspaper (no names please) of why Democrat William J. Healy, II lost his bid for a third term as mayor of Canton.

Mind you, all those political science professors in the attempted political analysis including no less an authority than Doctor Jack DeSario (University of Mount Union), Healy's well-paid campaign consultant going back to the 2007 campaign in which Healy defeated Republican incumbent Janet Weir Creighton in her bid for a second term.

And Stark Countians pay money for this stuff?

Actually the "real" reason Healy lost November 3rd has everything to do with this Cat (Healy) having run out of the proverbial 9 lives that some cats have seem to have in surviving one potential catastrophic happening after another after another.

Such is how the SCPR has read Healy's political history going back to the beginning days of his being Canton's mayor.

The Report received this e-mail from a reader on November 8th:
The Repository's article of why Healy lost the election disregarded the primary reason he lost, i.e. himself.   
As you have mentioned many times  in your blog, Healy has lived his proverbial nine lives. 
After each incident, he generated bad will and enemies, all of which eventually over the years all caught up to him.  
For example, many should recall that after he lost the primary race against Bill Smuckler, Healy sold polls to city ward candidates regardless of party affiliation.  He did a robo call for Bill Smuckler's opponent.  Thus, there was no love lost between Bill Smuckler and Healy.  
Some may even recall that Healy made certain [thought by some to be] defamatory assertions about Councilman Hawks' daughter, so it was a foregone conclusion that Hawk would not support him. 
Then there was Janet Creighton.  Healy supported her in her race against Bill Smuckler and told her he was not going to run against her and then turned around and ran against her. 
Healy's relationship with Kim Perez fell apart because he broke certain commitments to him and to his brother (who is apolitical).   
Healy also ran an opponent [Kelley Zachary] against Kim Perez when Kim Perez ran for City Treasurer. So, it should have seemed obvious to Healy that Perez would run against him an almost win. 
As to the business community, Healy is rumored to have caused the Timken Company to move its headquarters to Jackson Township and has lost other jobs in the city, while claiming that he created near minimum wage replacement jobs at the call center. 
His campaign strategy seemed to be to try to keep Tom Bernabei's numbers down in the northern wards, and then dominate in the remaining wards.   
But his strategy failed to bring out the vote in the other wards despite his constant barrage of attack ads.  
In looking for answers, perhaps Healy should look no farther than himself, because it takes a lot for a two term mayor to lose, and the only explanation can me that he has himself to blame.
With what The Report thinks of his history having caught up with him, what is next in Stark County for now lame duck mayor William J. Healy, II.

One close to Healy says that his wife advocating move out-of-town.

Wouldn't that be an interesting turn of events, if accurate?

The Report which began on March 12, 2008, just 2-1/2 months after Healy took office, has had an "up close and personal view" of the New York University's prestigious Stern School of Business graduate who had the magnanimity to return to Canton from The Big Apple in a quest to rescue Canton from mostly (except for Purses) from decades of what Healy now portrays as Republican misrule.

Actually, yours truly goes back to about 2002 knowing Healy.

Some time in 2004, yours truly and Healy actually had a joint fundraiser at what was then (no longer in business) R.A. Malloon's Bar & Grill which was "a watering hole" for many Stark County Democratic partisans and officials included elected officials.

Healy was running for state representative in a district that pretty much mirrored the city of Canton and Canton Township.  Yours truly was running in the 50th District which was looked like a horseshoe within the boundaries of Stark County.

As far as yours truly is concerned, there has never been a personal problem between the two us.

He has gotten very upset with some SCPR blogs over the years.

Though most of The Report's blogs have been of a critical nature as is the case with in this Blog's coverage on all of Stark County's public figures and public officials; yours truly has complimented him from time to time, especially for his political skillfulness.  He is - clearly - to the SCPR,  Stark County's most skilled politico.

By comparision, he makes the likes of Randy Gonzalez, Johnnie A. Maier, Jr and Jeff Matthews look like political pikers.

Consequently, he has volleyballed The Report around vacillating from:
  • being accessible for 
  • blog interviews on one hand:
    • his triumphal-esque 2015 State of City Address at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and most of the period prior thereto,
  • to being inaccessible on the other:
    • on May 11, 2015 (not happy about Bernabei independent candidacy questions) to the point of demanding that the SCPR camera beturned off (which, of course, did not happen),  and,
    • as late as Sunday,  October 29th, two days before this November 3rd election in denying The Report access to the Stark Dems' headquarters in Oakwood Square where yours truly planned to ask him point blank questions designed to have him answer specifically a number of allegations made in a mailer (LINK) that some 4,500 Cantonian voter households began receiving on Thursday, October 26th which, of course, was just days before election day.
      • Note:  Healy flat out denied the allegations in the mailer when media report surfaced.  So wouldn't one think he would welcome the opportunity to use access to the SCPR and other Stark County media to convince Canton voters that the allegation are not credible?
      • Note:  The Repository was at the Sunday meeting but insofar as yours truly can tell Healy did not seize the opportunity to use Stark County's only countywide newspaper as a tool to get his case of denial out before Canton voters.  Apparently, unbelievably to the SCPR, The Rep's reporter did not seize the initiative to ask some semblance of what yours truly would have asked if allowed in. 

A theme in The Rep's Sunday analysis is that some of the political experts consulted think the mailer was a critical factor in Healy's failure to be re-elected to a third term on November 3rd.

The SCPR does not think it was a significant factor at all.

For most voters, it was probably seen as just one more of a parade of various and sundry allegations that have plagued him going back through his two terms as mayor.

After a while, one gets more than just a little jaded about such, no?

"Politics as usual," they muse to themselves.

Accordingly, politicos always have a shelter and haven of a public perception that politics in general are seedy and by and large to be ignored.

The accused skillfully plant themselves squarely within that perception without answering to specific allegations.

To The Report, the mailer was just the final chapter in a Healy political history going back to 2003 or so of political and personal dodgeball in which he avoided being hit by the ball and that "a cumulative dodgeball" hit him on November 3, 2015 which resulted in his defeat.

As readers of the SCPR is that dodgeball is a new metaphor in this blog.

The predominant metaphor over recent years of the SCPR has been Healy being the envy of the proverbial cat of 9 lives in his seeming uncanny ability to land on his feet after one political, administrative and executive tumble after another after another and after another over his years in Canton/Stark County public life.

One of Healy's early spent (i.e. one of the proverbial lives) occurred, the SCPR thinks, in January, 2009.  A mere year after Healy took office after defeating Creighton.

Look at this excerpt out of that blog (LINK):

For more background on the 1-888OhioComp matter go to this LINK in the form of a Cleveland Plain Dealer report on questions at the time being asked by the FBI of various Canton and Stark County officials.

And this except from the Plain Dealer article:
Four people tied to 1-888-Ohio Comp -- including Jason Lucarelli and Vince Russo -- contributed $4,600 to Healy's 2007 campaign, according to the Canton Repository. And Dimora and Frank Russo each kicked in another $500, the paper reported. 
Healy's 2007 campaign manager, Jack Desario, is also plugged into Cuyahoga County's Democratic machine. He lives in Stark County now but ran two of Dimora's campaigns for commissioner
Nothing ever came of the FBI questioning in terms of legal difficulties for Healy or any other of the Stark County public figures mentioned in the Plain Dealer report as far as the SCPR knows.

But it certainly was not an auspicious beginning for Canton's new mayor to have even at that time have the names of Dimora and Russo appear on his campaign finance report.

Readers should find it interesting indeed that things have come full circle in terms of the relationship between Thomas M. Bernabei as Healy's first chief of staff and service director to his becoming Mayor-Elect Thomas M. Bernabei on November 3, 2015.

Healy's best chance to escape the need to be the envy of the proverbial cat of 9 lives was to have kept Bernabei (and Safety Director Thomas Nesbitt) on for as long as they were willing to stay for they would have kept in on the straight and narrow in terms of running an administration beyond reproach.

Apparently, the Bernabei/Nesbitt standard of conducting the public's business was way too confining for the whiz kid educated at the Stern School of Business.

And, as the SCPR sees it, Healy's slide has been inexorably downward ever since.

The Report does marvel at how long Healy has been able to stay politically afloat.

No doubt about it, William J. Healy, II is a highly skilled political operative who is almost impossible to get a hand on in terms of the "gotcha" political factor.

Healy's political skill level is more indicative of national political figures than that of being mayor of a relatively small urban community.

To repeat the point made earlier in this blog that he only lost by 323 votes (unofficial count) is astounding in that it is nearly at the level of having once again landing on his feet again as an accomplished Cat of 9 political lives.

Just think about it.

After his famous "turn the camera off, Martin" incident of May 11th, he cobbled together a coalition of seven Canton City Council members, the official Stark County Democratic Party legal entity and the corporate Ohio Democratic Party as the window dressing for what was in a de facto sense his lawsuit to keep Tom Bernabei from running as an independent candidate against him.

Whether you like this guy or not, you have to stand back in amazement of what he did in putting that effort together.

Yes it failed and Healy should have known going back to January 9, 2009 that he had met more than his match in one Thomas M. Bernabei and that eventually his propensity to "pull a rabbit out of the hat" would fail and that his quest for yet another political life would come up short.

Were Healy not so utterly skilled as a politician, he would have lost by far more than 323 votes a week ago.

If one combs through the nearly 3,000 blogs of the SCPR, there are a treasure trove of them on the political slipperiness of Mayor William J. Healy.

A blog which particularly focuses on Healy's political agility is one done on July 13, 2013 (LINK).  Readers of this blog should pause a moment and go back and digest that one.

The Report for most of today's blog has only gone back to January, 2009.

But there is more.

There is one more political nemesis that Healy has not in the final analysis been able to best.



Step forward Bill Smuckler who has been part of Canton City Council in one capacity or another for the most of 26 years.

One of the political indignities that Smuckler has had to suffer was losing to Republican Janet Creighton in the 2003 Canton mayoralty election.



Nothing against Janet, she was a first rate opponent but she should never have been able to defeat the Bill Smuckler in 2003 in a heavily, heavily Democratic city against a candidate who was close to if not qualified to be tabbed as Mister Democrat of Stark County elective politics.

Smuckler, if he had been elected mayor in 2003, likely would have gone on to rival Republican Stanley Cmich in longevity as mayor of Canton.  And William J. Healy, II would have been heard of no more in the city he came back to in order to rescue.

As to be seen in the graphic above, Smuckler had disposed of Healy (among others)  in the 2003 Democratic primary.

Who really thinks Healy could have won a re-match with an incumbent Democratic mayor in 2007?

Apparently, Healy himself did not.

For guess who Bill Smuckler says worked with the  "Republican" Creighton campaign (remember Healy ran as a Democrat in the primary) to clear the path for he himself to run against Creighton in 2007 with this result:

Here is a pdf file that Smucker provided to the SCPR as his substantiation of his claim that Healy undermined his Democratic candidacy for mayor in 2003.

Examine the documents for yourself.

The SCPR has to believe that the likes of Frank Morris, III (Ward 9 Democratic councilman), Edmond Mack (Ward 8 Democratic councilman), John Mariol (Ward 7 Democratic councilman), Kevin Fisher (Ward 5 Democratic councilman) for sure and perhaps even "died in the wool supporters" Thomas West (Ward 2 councilman) and Chris Smith (Ward 4 councilwoman) must not have known about the 2003 Healy political duplicity.

For if they had, how could they possibly but into the notion that William J. Healy is a political SOB but he's "our" Democratic?

The Report has an especially high regard for the intellectual prowess of Mack and believes he has the mental power to penetrate Healy's political hornswoggle  (LINK).

After all, the SCPR believes, that Healy in reality - not buying his waffling - was part and parcel of a gaggle of Canton City elected officials (chiefly Treasurer Perez and Auditor Mallonn joined at the hip with Trades Union official David Kirven) looking out for the self-interest and therefore out to defeat Mack's hallowed, hard worked and full of promise Canton Charter Government effort.

And if not successful in defeating it (which they were), to, as members of the Charter Commission,  plant poison pill controversial provisions within the Commission's work to be voted upon one year down the road designed to cause voters to reject it.

The SCPR has long contended that William J. Healy, II is loyal to nobody but himself and nearly every if not every decision he makes has a personal political calculus to it.

He had no problem in 2007 making Janet Creighton political evil incarnate.

All of which brings this blog to a conclusion in sharing this event:
  • Early in 2008 Governor Strickland using his status as governor to enhance his political standing in Stark County set up a visit to the Brewster Cheese Factor,
  • The SCPR was just starting up,
  • Yours truly appeared at the Brewster Cheese Factory event only to be met with initial entry refusal by Strickland former Jackson Township trustee Steve, a Strickland appointee as an Akron-based regional economic development representative,
    • Note:  Meeks ultimately became the Stark Dems' apppointee to succeed Gayle Jackson as a Stark County trustee but was denied election to the post by Janet Creighton in the 2012 elections,
  • Because yours was accompanied by an elected Stark County official, The Report gained admittance
The point of the foregoing is that William J. Healy, II was also present at the event.

And what did he do in nearly all the time of conversation between him and The Report?

Bash Janet Creighton and the terrible financial mess she had left Canton government in, but, of course, not breathing a word to yours truly how he had helped Republican Creighton become mayor in the first place over fellow Canton Democrat Bill Smuckler.

So for Healy to ask Democratic officialdom to support him over the newly independent Tom Bernabei (a much more credentialed former Canton Democrat than himself) merely because he Healy bore the label of Democrat just shows how much gall and b*lls this guy has.

Nobody perfects political hypocrisy to the level that William J. Healy, II does.

He is such a master at it that it appears that the sucked in the most of the elected officialdom of the Stark County Democratic Party officialdom.

But not Bill Smuckler, not Greg Hawks (Ward 1 councilman) and in a more quiet way some other key Stark County Democrats who see Healy for what he is.

What is he?

First and foremost for himself and the SCPR thinks that he will do whatever it takes to take care of himself politically.

No doubt he has achieved some productive and effective things for Canton, Ohio in his nearly eight years as mayor of Canton.

But only as being co-incident with advancing his personal political agenda.

His loss on November 3rd was not a consequence of failing to get out out his voters as the local media suggests.

The Report thinks he wringed every ounce of support out of disposed to vote Cantonian voters in this election and thereby nearly continued his being the envy of the proverbial cat of 9 lives.

In the end, it is William J. Healy, II and his being consumed with himself that proved to be his political undoing!

It took a person of the impeccable character quality of Thomas M. Bernabei with his vast political experience to bring Healy to his political Waterloo.

What horrible personal political decision Healy made in January, 2009 in firing Bernabei.

At the end of this election cycle Healy had two mainstays still at his side.  Ohio's last Democratic governor Ted Strickland and political consultant Jack Desario.

But even they could not save him.

Sometimes the politically sly and slick outfox themselves, no?

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