Tuesday, April 24, 2018

STARK SCHOOLS LINEUP SET ON 1.49 MILLS SECURITY/MENTAL HEALTH LEVY: SHOULD IT BE "CONTINUING" OR "LIMITED TO A TERM, OF LET'S SAY 8 YEARS?

UPDATE:  TODAY (04/24/2018) 08:15 AM

COMMENT BY A READER

Holly Pierpont  Today at 7:32 AM

To: tramols@att.net

Martin,

In your research regarding how much districts will pay in vs receive back for the pending 1.49mill the SCESC wants to impose have you any data that shows the ROI for NCCS?

(SCPR Note:  In the original blog the "city school districts" listings got truncated cutting off the North Canton listing.   The chart has been corrected. North Canton is a "donor" district to the tune of about $75,000)

Given they are facing a 6.99mill property tax on the May ballot, that extra 1.49mill as a permanent tax to vote on just three months later doesn’t seem so minimal....

Thanks!

Holly


UPDATE:  FRIDAY 5:30 PM

COMMENT BY READER (Below Graphic)

UPDATE:  THURSDAY 3:30 PM

SCESC AUGUST BALLOT INITIATIVE TO ESTIMATED  OF COST $340,800

SEE "OFFICIAL" STARK BOE DOCUMENT BELOW GRAPHIC

ALSO SEE VIDEO OF STARK CO COMMISSIONERS ACKNOWLEDGING COST OF AUGUST ELECTION FROM STARK BOE

DISCLAIMER:  BLOGGERS' WIFE IS MEMBER OF STARK CO ESC



What follows is a SCPR video of the Stark County commissioners this past Wednesday acknowledging a Stark County Board of Elections report of the "estimated" cost of a "special" election in August as being about $340,800.



COMMENT TO SCPR

Daniel Fonte   Today at 11:56 AM
To:  Martin Olson

Good morning Martin,

I would like to give you my take on the proposed school levy to fund safety improvements and mental health issues on the ballot. 

I believe the Stark E.S.C. jumped the gun on this without doing enough research and gathering public input on this levy. 

Is this a problem exclusively to Stark County? I think not. This is a State or, better yet, a National issue. The State Legislature was quick to pass legislation to let local boards put levies on the ballot to tax local homeowners to address this when they should have given the money back to the local school districts that they had taken away in the first place. 

The State Legislature has deprived for years all local areas of government whether it is cities, counties, villages or school districts of funding that they need to operate on. In fact, all the local entities should organize and call them out for what they have done to local communities.

I for one will not vote for a levy that is never ending. They need to take into consideration the effect this will have on senior citizens. The biggest asset they own is their home and we are being taxed right out of them. 

Remember, Stark County is growing older and poorer.

Thanks,
Dan Fonte

ORIGINAL BLOG

Who wants another tax?

You know, I know and everybody knows the answer to that rhetorical question.

Nobody!  Absolutely nobody!!

But sometimes communities get put between "a rock and a hard place" and have to initiate what nobody wants.

With the occurrence of the Parkland, Florida Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting of February 14, 2018 and the killing of 17 student/faculty school community members, states including Ohio started scrambling to get their collective acts together in put resources into pre-K through 12 public schools so as to be prepared for future attacks.

In Ohio, the scrambling took place in HB 24.

The bill had been introduced in the Ohio House on February 1, 2017 as a measure to deal with "veterans organization property exemption" where it languished until guess when?

You've got it!

February 28, 2018.

Apparently, almost immediately after the tragic Parkland shooting hit the media airwaves, Ohio General Assembly leaders decided that the quickest way for the Ohio Legislature to get in gear on school security was to amend HB 24 and rush it through to passage which occured on March 21 (less than 30 days, mind you) and immediately signed by Governor Kasich.


In the legislation, the OGA designated Ohio's educational service centers to be the authorized entity of Ohio political subdivision government to be a collecting point and vehicle for public school districts to quickly marshal themselves into a collaborative mode so as to present to voters a plan to beef up security/mental health resources in Ohio schools.

So from early March on, educational service centers were on notice that they were going to be the means by which Ohio government preferred to coordinate the financing of and implementation of upgraded school security and mental health resources.

On April 2, 2018, the Stark County Educational Service Center (SCESC) superintendent Joe Craddock presented to the board a resolution approving a 1.49 mill levy in "participating" local school districts for their consideration as the first step in a three step process as a prelude to place a school security/mental health resource levy on the ballot, to wit:



The second step of the SCESC is to accept this coming Thursday (April 19) the districts within its jurisdiction which have passed resolutions at the local board level to participate in the proposed 1.49 mill levy effort. (Note:  data in the following charts provided by the Stark County auditor's office. Some titling has been changed by the SCPR to make the charts more readable)




The SCESC board is expected to actually vote to put the levy on the ballot at an April 25th meeting.

There was some discord at the SCESC meeting of April 2nd centered about whether the proposed levy would be continuing or for a term of years somewhat like the Stark County Justice System Sales Tax (JSST) 1/2 cent levy which was originally pass about eight years ago and renewed last year.

SCESC board members James Holmes (a former Perry Township trustee), Barbara Morgan (wife of former and now deceased SCESC superintendent Larry Morgan), Fran Miller (newly elected to replace retired member Jack Sickafoose in November, 2017) and Mary Olson voted 3 to 1 (Miller dissenting) to make the levy a continuing levy meaning that there is no expiration date.

Miller was adamantly opposed to the "continuing" nature of the levy.  Holmes, the SCPR is told, waffled on the matter but Morgan and Olson were persuaded that a continuing levy was the way to go.

 In the end, Holmes ultimately joined Morgan and Olson to form the 3 to 1 vote.  

Member Gene Feucht (a former Perry Local superintendent), president of the SCESC was absent in that he was out-of-town.  He is slated to be back for Thursday's meeting.

Why a continuing levy?

Because, as the SCPR understands the matter, Craddock conveyed persuasively a majority of the SCESC  board members present and voting that "continuing" was the consensus of local district school officials.

A big negative for many local school district officials seems to be an "unending" cycle of working levy/bond issues with the district's taxpayers which is certainly understandable.

However, from the perspective of others, periodic accountability (every 5/8/10 years) on how efficiently and effectively levy money is spent is a higher priority than the inconvenience on school administrators having to work all too often on levy renewal efforts.

The SCPR has discussed with some interested parties reasons why there are those among Stark County's local districts who object to the 1.49 mill levy.

First and foremost seems to be the "continuing" nature of the proposed levy.

Another reason given was the fact as in the case of Canton Local (aka Canton South) is that a district is a "donor" district in the context of the districts taxpayers paying more collectively than the district takes in distribution of levy proceeds.

Yet another opposition to the levy factor by a local school board member was dissatisfaction in the relationship between that member's board and legal counsel for for the SCESC.  

As recited above, the SCESC had less than 30 days to work with local school districts on implementing the provisions of HB 24.  One local school district official complained about the "rush" by the SCESC to put a levy on.

Well, let's see.  Is the public really going to want to hear it that "we had to take time to get "everybody on-board" should a tragic school shooting happen in the SCESC area of responsibility with no school security/mental health plan in process or in place?

Time is of the essence when it comes the safety of our children!

Media reports put the Perry School District in the camp of those districts whose officials worry about "wearing out the public patience/tolerance" with seeming school levy after school levy after school levy being presented across the state of Ohio, including, of course Stark County.

Perry has May 8th 11.7 mill levy 5 year renewal issue on the ballot.

Perry school officials are concerned that the SCESC contemplated 1.49 mill levy for August being in the offing should Perry have agreed to join the SCESC facilitated effort could cause problems with its May 8th renewal try.

Unfortunately, voter-burn-out on tax issues is a reality that all public officials worry about.  

If the levy passes across the 17 "participating locals" district-wide financing district, then, even if a given district (let's say the Lake Local School District), were to have a majority vote "no" within the local district, residents would still have to pay the 1.49 mill levy.

As levies go 1.49 mills is very, very, very inexpensive.  About $50 a year, more or less, on a $100,000 home; about $100, more or less, annually on a $200,000 residence.

A small price to pay for better school security and mental health resources, no?

There are two interesting case studies among Stark County-based school districts that take positions that are obviously contra-indicated in terms of how much the districts' taxpayers will contributed as contrasted to what the districts will receive as a distribution if the 1.4 mill levy passes across the 17 districts participating in the levy.


Get this.

Jackson (a participant in the levy effort, a well funded district which could undoubtedly afford to go on its own on security/mental health) only gets 63 cents (rounded off) on a dollar of taxes paid in whereas Canton City Schools (a non-participant and a financially strapped district) get $2.23 return on each tax dollar.

One CCS official tells the SCPR that the board of education is getting feedback that Canton being part of the proposed levy initiative is an example of "taxation without representation" in that city schools do not vote on filling SCESC board positions and residents of city school district cannot run for those slots.

The SCPR agrees with the Canton official that such a structure makes no sense and needs to be corrected by the Ohio General Assembly.

Canton does have its own security system in place (LINK) and The Report is told that Canton is already doing what is proposed to be done should the 1.49 mill levy pass.

But Golly-Gee getting a better than $1 million return on participating in the levy could free up dollars already being spent on security/mental health "purely for education" programs?  Canton schools are documented by the Ohio Department of Education as being among the lowest ranked academic achieving institutions in all of Stark County) programs, no?

Wow!  What is in the water in Canton?

On the other hand, how magnanimous on Jackson's part!

Kudos also goes to the non-Stark County school districts in the SCESC area none of which "profit" in participating in the 1.49 mill levy, to wit;


Impressive, no?

The SCPR is all for public school district choice.

But who would want to be a board member or superintendent in a district which "God Forbid" has a shooting incident in one of its schools and students die and/or are injured if they do not have an "effective" school security/mental health resource plan in place?

The only real choice that the SCESC has is between presenting the measure to the voting public as a continuing levy or a 5/8/10 year levy subject to renewal.

Putting the matter to the public to decide is a no-brainer.

For if the SCESC does not act in terms of at least trying a levy and the worst happens in one of its serviced school districts, who would want to be a SCESC board member?

If the voting public rejects the attempt, then they are left with what school districts can do given current finances in a particular district.

It will be interesting to see whether or not, by the end of the three step process, the SCESC sticks with its present posture of the levy making the ballot as a continuing levy.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

OSNABURG TEACHERS (EAST CANTON) GETTING "SHORT END OF PENCIL" ON TEACHER PAY?



One of the very best newspapers in northeast Ohio is the Cleveland Plain Dealer which publishes online as Cleveland.com.

In terms of doing research on government data, it is in the experience of The Stark County Political Report (SCPR, The Report) that the Plain Dealer far surpasses The Canton Repository and, accordingly, is "the best!" resource for Stark Countians who want to know how Stark County stacks up against the rest of Ohio and the nation in given area of research.

But when it comes to publishing what appears to be propagandistic (The Report's opinion) for The Rep's favorite economic development project (namely, the HOF-VP) of which no Stark County based media outlet comes remotely close to Repository publisher James Porter's output.

Of course, through Gatehouse Media, now owner of The Rep, The Independent, The Alliance Review and blankets Stark County with an in effect media monopoly.

Accountable to whom?

But it is gratifying to have the Cleveland Plain Dealer as a resource.

Otherwise, one has to depend on high quality national newspapers, which, of course, will not be paying a whole lot attention to Stark County.

As the seemingly self-appointed point man for the HOF-VP; undoubtedly, Porter apparently takes a lot of pride in his biased and unvetted (in terms of incisive questioning) presentation of the HOF-VP case for public support (including taxpayer dollars unaccounted for by the HOF "private sector" officials) of the project.

Who can question, but a hardened cynic, that entertainment (i.e. the HOF-VP being the Disneyland of Northeast Ohio) is a more important Stark County resource than paying for and getting the very best teachers to staff our county's 17 public school districts? (sarcasm folks, sarcasm!)

Of course, readers know that the SCPR is the best at data compilation among local media in taking Stark County Political subdivision data (e.g. auditor's office data)  and creating charts showing in a glimpse the comparative conditions of various aspects of local government units.

Today, the Plain Dealer published accessible data from which the SCPR was able to create the following chart showing the relative pay in terms of median pay of Stark County's 17 public school districts.


Take a look at this map.,


Hmm?

Overall the Stark County "median" pay is $53, 053 across the 17 Stark County districts which as seen in the PD article excerpts below places Stark County's teachers significantly below the state of Ohio median of $56,117 which likely translates into at about 25th place among America's 50 states.

Take a look at these excerpts from Cleveland. com:


Canton Township (the locale of Canton Local School District [Canton South]) abutting/adjacent to Osnaburg Township (the locale of Osnaburg Local School District [East Canton]) and yet there is a $30,000 differential in the median pay of teachers of Canton Local over and above Osnaburg Local.

Wow! no?

Either Canton Local teachers are overpaid or Osnaburg Local if the pay of its teaching staff got anywhere near what Canton Local teachers in "median" annual salary, given the following Niche rating system, would be one of the top districts in all of Ohio.  (Niche Rankings LINK)


It could be that Cleveland.com's data is not accurate and the SCPR needs to back off the adulation of Plain Dealer's school district database.

Historically, The Report has found other Cleveland.com databases to be very accurate.

Undoubtedly, if there is something wrong with the database, one would expect Canton Local/Osnaburg Local officials to speak up, no?

Time will tell.

But isn't it shocking that there could be such a great disparity between adjoining school districts and, indeed, with nearly every school district located withing Stark County?

Friday, April 20, 2018

23RD IN SCPR HOF-VP SERIES: WHERE IS THE $36 MILLION "PUNTED" FOOTBALL?"


ANSWER?
LOST IN DIVERSIONARY CENTENNIAL HOOPLA!
PERHAPS?


North Canton mayor David Held put the apologists for the bizarre financing of the Professional Football Hall of Fame (HOF-VP, HOF) "on-the-spot" when at a "Strengthening Stark" meeting on January 6, 2018 held at the HOF complex at 2121 Halas Drive (Canton) with this "explosive" video that in effect was a "where is the [pea]" in what appears to be "three empty shells turned-upside-down game" seemingly being played by HOF-VP master developer and partner (HOF Village, LLC) of Professional Football Hall of Fame; namely, Stuart Lichter of the Industrial Realty Group (IRG).

Held, by far, at the Strengthening Stark meeting put most forcefully and effectively the question "where is the EB-5 Visa money?"



As the SCPR understands Held's quest, he is not talking about "private sector" money.  Rather he is talking about "public sector" money:  EB-5 money which is the subject of a lawsuit filed in the U.S. Federal Court (Northern District of Ohio; i.e. CBM v. Lichter, et al).

Let the SCPR say this one more time:  It should be of "no concern" to the Ohio/Stark County "taxpaying" public what Lichter/C. David Baker (HOF president & CEO) and consorts do with "private sector" money put into the HOF-VP.  They may reap millions or, more likely, the SCPR thinks, lose millions in Baker's phantasmagoric vision of bringing a Disneyworld-esque entertainment complex centered on professional football themes to Stark County.

Godspeed! the SCPR says:  "do as you wish with 'private sector' money, and in addition to what appears to be a Cerreta-esque  "wished for" Divine blessing - GOOD LUCK!'

But not with public sector money "unaccounted" for!

Public officials (Canton Council, CCS-BOE, State of Ohio officials and the likes of state Representative Kirk Schuring) have a "fiduciary" obligation to taxpayers to see to it that public money is not going down a rat hole.

Public officials ought to be requiring of HOF-VP officials accountability, transparency of that money to ensure public officials affected Stark County political subdivision entities that the project is viable and tax dollars will not end up being non-productive in terms of return on investment.

There are plenty of signs that professional football, indeed football of all levels of American society, is waning and that the HOF-VP is an effort by Baker et al to stave off irrelevance of the HOF in future decades.

Now that the once heralded NFL drafted for 2019 or 2020 is pretty much a bust (at best Canton will get pretty much meaningless third day of a three day draft event, the prime first two days going to Cleveland), the HOF folks has ginned up a new scheme two years down the road to save the HOF-VP from disaster; namely, what has been billed by "the official newspaper of the Pro Football Hall of Fame" (i.e The Canton Repository, Fox News of Stark County? [at least on HOF matters]) as being "a centennial celebration of pro football."


The SCPR sees the centennial effort,  at least in part, as being one to divert public attention away from the the severe financial difficulties that HOF Village LLC et al are having in raising $1 billion plus (which began as a $500 million, more or less, projected) to complete the project.

As with the HOF-VP project, the likes of Repository publisher and CEO James Porter (the chair of the event) through his editorial board and reporter staff is using spectacular language to whet the appetites of locals who hope against hope that Canton's professional football connection will turn out to be the financial/economic salvation of Canton and indeed all of Stark County.

On Thursday night the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce (CRCC, Chamber) is having a $100 a plate dinner featuring what the Chamber, the HOF Village LLC and The Repository hope is the coming of a savior of the HOF-VP, namely, one Mark Klein of the M. Klein Company.

The SCPR has been denied access to the event as media which, of course, leaves Stark Countians to having accounts of the meeting in the hands of "the official newspaper of the Pro Football Hall of Fame."  Maybe Jim Porter will have cousin Todd write up the "official" version of what transpires?

Of course, Porter/Sanuier/Baker don't want the SCPR anywhere near the Kleins.  How would they respond to SCPR incisive follow- up questioning after the M. Klein Company presentation is made?

The Stark County Political Report is NOT the official media of anything as is The Repository vis-a-vis the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

If permitted, the SCPR would grill down on the Kleins as to whether or not The Klein Company in its own name or the names of the principals of the company put their money where their mouth is.

How much money in fees does The Klein Company expect to reap in being a financial consultant for the HOF-VP?

And on and on would go the questions.

It is obvious from the shill newspaper's report of the event that The M. Klein Company was called in by NFL/HOF bigs in what obviously is desperation move to save the floundering project.

Stark Countians' message to Michael Klein ought to be "keep your hands off public officials and public money."  Get the money from your well heeled friends in the private sector.

If there were no taxpayer money in the HOF-VP project, then the "private" sector investments aspect of the project is none of the public's business.  However, if public money is put in jeopardy in terms of "return on investment" because the money is not going to be there to complete the HOF-VP at the $1 billion plus level, then it is the public's business.


C.  David Baker and his NFL friends who dominate the membership of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Trustee apparently think they can have it both ways which is to say:  "get public money but not have to account for it" to the Stark County public.


And it seems to the SCPR you can throw in Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce president/CEO Denny Saunier and The Rep's James Porter into the "get public money but not have to account for it" grouping.

For Porter to be of that ilk is unreal for a daily/Sunday newspaper which is supposed to be devoted to accountability, accessibility, communicativeness and transparency.

But the Porter modality is not surprising given the "very special relationship" The Repository admits to having with the National Football Museum, Inc. (dba the Pro Football Hall of Fame).

Porter seems to be so into the HOF-VP that he, the SCPR has learned, is into threatening elected Stark County officials with Repository political opposition when they come up for election.

All Stark Countians should be skeptical of anything donning the pages of The Rep relevant to the HOF-VP that has had to pass muster with Porter and his fellow managers at 500 Market Avenue, South.

To the degree that those "elected" Stark County political leaders are "all-in" on the HOF-VP and the project turns out to be a bust in terms of taxpayers realizing a substantial benefit, then local political subdivision voters ought to be holding those officials accountable come future elections.

Readers of this blog owe to themselves to listen closely to the SCPR Held video published above to get an accurate sense of the oomph with which Held's question (which shell is the pea under?) resounded with a "boom!" as the likes of Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce Denny Saunier,  HOF communications director Pete Fierle and a bevy of Stark County political subdivision elected/appointed officials listened.

Recently, The Stark County Political Report received an e-mail the substance of which is spellbinding as an example of a public office having "backbone" in confronting Saunier et al with a telling question, to wit:

Part V 

Why did Lichter/HOF Village LLC give Capital Contributions and Capital Investments to the PFHOF in 2015 and 2016?

Look at the 990’s Schedule R - Part V

2016 990 on Page 66

$15,176,635 in Capital Investment

$12,000,000 in Capital Contribution

2015 990 on page 52

$9,100,000 in Capital Investment

The total amount given by Lichter/HOF Village LLC is $36,276,635

Interestingly, the breakdown shows the Capital Investment totals $24,276,635

The Capital Contribution is $12,000,000

Lichter/HOF Village LLC becomes a investor in the PFHOF with a bold infusion of $24,276,635 of Capital Investment and $12,000,000 of Capital Contribution at a time when the EB-5 Visa program is coming under scrutiny of the Trump Administration and may actually be discontinued. 

Keep in mind the following:

Lichter pledged the EB-5 Visa money to the Hoover District Project in 2012 and it was $36 million.

The EB-5 Visa money pledged in the Pots of Money article to the HOF project showed that it also was $36 million.

Coincidental ….

I stopped believe in coincidences a long, long, long time ago.

The SCPR uses the "backbone" metaphor as a example of hypocrisy on the part of North Canton councilman at large Mark Cerreta who while accusing the likes of Mayor Held of lacking "backbone" in North Canton government negotiations with OMNI Orthopaedic over whether or not OMNI will have to annex to North Canton to get city water.

Watch/listen to Cerreta:



The Report thinks that Cerreta is in reality the  prime North Canton government official who lacks "backbone" and is in the words of North Canton civic activist a "pie in the sky" guy who on the water issue is an example of his pejorative-intended "wishful thinking" label he attempts to place on Held (said he would veto OMNI getting water without annexation) and on Councilman at Large Daryl Revoldt (a former mayor and council president).

The SCPR thinks that Cerreta (given his fascination with developers especially North Canton's
Bob DeHoff [the last the SCPR knew, a 10% ownership interest in Lichter's Hoover rehab project known as Maple Street Commerce, LLC]) demonstrates that he is part of the "wishbone" crowd that seems to populate Hoover rehab optimists and HOF-VP enthusiasts.

Moreover, the SCPR is being told that Stuart Lichter has been in direct contact with at least one North Canton councilperson and in the opinion of the person sharing with The Report is trying a divide and conquer routine between council and the mayor.

Bottom line in the assessment of the SCPR source, Lichter is trying to convince North Canton government to come up with "more" public money in order to finish Phase II of the Hoover rehab.

The mayor quite openly says and is acting through North Canton's administrative staff to get Lichter to do one thing:  "get the Hoover facility 'up to code!'"

No more public money for Stu Lichter to complete the Hoover project, so says Mayor David Held.

A question the SCPR has for Councilman Cerreta.

What has Councilman Cerreta done to ensure that the millions of taxpayer money (a State of Ohio grant funneled through North Canton government) as well, perhaps, as the $36 million EB-5 money, more or less,  find its way into the Hoover project so as to provide a return on investment to North Canton, Ohio and U.S. taxpayers?

Here is a copy of a pending lawsuit against Lichter et al that focuses on the EB 5 money.



And here is a copy of Sarah Lioi's  (a former Stark County Court of Common Pleas judge) latest order in the case which gives the parties until June 11, 2018 to work out a settlement or the case becomes active again



Where pray tell Councilman Cerreta is that $36 million that the SCPR has been told by numerous North Canton officials was to be spent on completing Phase II of The Hoover project?

Do you Councilman Cerreta have the backbone to face up with Stu Lichter et al and get answers for the North Canton taxpaying public?

Is this guy "all mouth," and very little action?

A typical tactic that pontificators like Cerreta employ is to accuse others what he himself exemplifies.

Again, returning to the HOF-VP, to repeat and emphasize:  "Godspeed & Good Luck" to the HOF-VP with "private" sector money.

BUT FOR PUBLIC MONEY, THERE MUST BE ACCOUNTABILITY, TRANSPARENCY AND NEAR CERTAINTY OF VIABILITY SO THAT THE TAXPAYING PUBLIC GETS A SUBSTANTIAL RETURN ON INVESTMENT!

If there is a failure for public money invested so far to produce a return to taxpayers, then those public officials named in Stark County Political Report blogs should be held accountable "at-the-polls" once it becomes apparent that the HOF-VP is not going to produce a return on investment on taxpayer dollars.

Monday, April 16, 2018

SCPR "COUNTDOWN TO PRIMARY" ELECTION SERIES (VOL 10) "VIABLE" 16TH & 7TH DISTRICT CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE CFRS AS OF 03/31/2018

UPDATED:  3:38 PM List of Stark County contributors to Harbaugh/Gibbs campaign

UPDATED  TUESDAY 8:50 AM List of Stark County contributors to Hagan/Gonzalez

HAGAN WINNING FUNDRAISING BATTLE IN STARK COUNTY! BUT LAGS BADLY IN REST OF DISTRICT (Alliance Councilwoman Julie Jakmides Donates to Gonzalez)

l

In a little over three weeks (May 8, 2018) all the votes will be counted in the 2018 Democratic and Republican primary election races.

In the 16th Congressional District, it appears to The Stark County Political Report that Republican Anthony Gonzalez (of suburban Cleveland) out raising Stark Countian Christina Hagan nearly $3 to $1 in campaign contributions will win handling when all the votes are in and counted about midnight on May 8th.


At least in the 16th there is a real primary race even if Hagan is destined to become "an also ran."

In the 7th, neither Democratic Ken Harbaugh of Avon, Ohio nor Republican incumbent Bob Gibbs of Holmes County has meaningful/competitive opposition.


The only question in the seventh is whether or not the political pundits "blue wave" will materialize in the November general election and sweep out Gibbs and replace him with Democrat Harbaugh.

The Washington based Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) thinks so, to wit:


The most recent Federal Elections Commission (FEC) list Gibbs as having received 314 contributions and Harbaugh 1007.

Interesting, no?

Here is a list of "individual" Stark Countians who have contributed to the Harbaugh campaign as of March 31st according to FEC data:


Here is a list of  "individual" Stark Countians who have contributed to the Gibbs campaign as of March 31st according to FEC data:


Here is a list of  "individual" Stark Countians who have contributed to the Hagan campaign as of March 31st according to FEC data:


Here is a list of  "individual" Stark Countians who have contributed to the Gonzalez campaign as of March 31st according to FEC data:


Sunday, April 15, 2018

LINKS TO PLAIN DEALER GOVERNOR ENDORSEMENTS

DEMOCRAT:  DENNIS KUCINICH

REPUBLICAN:  MIKE DEWINE

SCPR "COUNTDOWN TO PRIMARY ELECTION SERIES" (VOL 9); "DIRTY TRICKS" AGAINST STOLTZFUS IN 50TH GOP PRIMARY RACE?

UPDATED:  1:50 PM

23 DAYS TO THE FINAL DAY OF VOTING (MAY 8, 2018)

In a conversation with 50th Ohio House District GOP candidate Reggie Stoltzfus, one of the explanations of why he did not make a timely email response to a SCPR inquiry about his view on his political association with now former Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger was (quit as speaker on Friday because of an ongoing FBI investigation about him) his having to deal with a flyer (see above) sent out to prospective Republican voters in the upcoming May 8th GOP primary election.


Stoltzfus opponent is Josh Hagan, a brother of current 50th District Republican representative Christina Hagan who has opted out of running for a fourth term (after which she is term-limited out) as a state representative.


Stoltzfus in describing what most pols (in experience of the SCPR) would describe as being "political 'dirty tricks'" took the high road and euphemistically identified the above-flyer as being "a negative campaign development."

"Dirty tricks?"

Pols ascribing the phase "dirty tricks" to the likes of the flyer sent out against Stoltzfus do so on the premise that on its face the flyer only tells "part of the story."

The full story is one in which a teenager is understandably and courageously intervening on behalf of his mother and not what is conjured up in the minds of most of us when the expression "domestic violence" is the focal point.  Go to this LINK to see/hear Stoltzfus (from about the 2:30 remaining mark of the video to about 1:30 remaining) about the incident "in his own words."

An extract from the Stoltzfus Facebook page as he adds more detail, to wit:

While this happened 18 years ago, to this day I would act on behalf of my mother’s safety every time! I am the man I am today because of my childhood, and that is one of the fundamental reasons why I believe stronger families will lead to a stronger Ohio. Why my opponents used this visceral topic to attack me is obvious, but I wanted to take the opportunity to inform you, the voters. (large print added by SCPR for emphasis sake)

The flyer address/return address showed the sender to have been the Growth & Opportunity PAC (Political Action Committee, a super-PAC) our of Lexington, KY), to wit:


Here are a few other links to the G&O PAC and/or connected to the G&O PAC (connected by virtue of Federal Election Commission information):
And, here is a SCPR compiled list from "Open Secrets" of contributions to the G&O PAC.


Of course, the SCPR suspects that the person behind the mailer is Stoltzfus opponent Josh Hagan.

The Report has attempted to contact Hagan by telephone to get a confirmation/denial of his having a role in the mailing of the flyer but has been greeted by "busy" signals on each attempt.  However, the SCPR will continue the effort and supplement this blog Hagan's response if he becomes accessible.

The Stark County Political Report invites Josh Hagan to call this blogger at 330 430 9378 or email me at tramols@att.net with his response.

In the meantime, The Report has inquired of the Growth & Opportunity PAC, to wit:

Martin Olson <tramols@att.net>  Apr 13 at 2:09 PM

To: eric.lycan@dinsmore.com

Mr. Lycan,

Martin Olson here of The Stark County Political Report (SCPR, The Report)

It has come to SCPR's attention that the Growth & Opportunity PAC Inc which according to FEC documents you are listed as being treasurer of, has become involved (i.e. return address on flyer) in Ohio's 50th House District Republican primary between Reggie Stoltzfus and Josh Hagan.

The SCPR covers Stark County government and politics and has done a number of blogs on the Stoltzfus/Hagan Republican primary.  Here is a LINK to the latest.

In view of the G&O involvement, The Report has a number of questions to ask of you as the FEC listed G&O contact person.

Here are the SCPR's questions.

Who (person or other entity) requested that C&G generate and mail out a flyer (see attachment) designed to influence the outcome of the Stoltzfus/Hagan race?

Who (person or other entity) funded the C&G generate and mail out a flyer (see attachment) designed to influence the outcome of the Stoltzfus/Hagan race?

How much money did the preparation and mailing of the flyer cost?

Also attached is an Open Secrets compilation of contributors but nothing listed for so far in 2018.  Please provide the SCPR a list of contributors for the 2018 time period.

Thank you,

Martin Olson
The Stark County Political Report
tramols@att.net
330 430 9378

If and when the Growth & Opportunity PAC responds to the SCPR e-mail inquiry, this blog will be supplemented to share with readers exactly what the G&O PAC has to say.

If the Josh Hagan campaign is behind the flyer being published, it will be interesting to see on Hagan's campaign finance report (due April 24, 2018) if it reveals in-kind-contribution/expense data that shows a Josh Hagan campaign connection to the G&O PAC.

The SCPR thinks that fairness dictates that the full story be told in political advertising.

Readers of The Stark County Political Report know that this blogger works diligently to get "all" the information out to the voting public on any candidate race or issue contest.

Friday, April 13, 2018

SCPR "COUNTDOWN TO PRIMARY ELECTION" SERIES (VOL 8): STOLTZFUS STANDS BY ROSENBERGER?

UPDATE:  12:36 PM

About 30 minutes ago Reggie Stoltzfus telephoned the SCPR apologizing for not responding to the e-mail re:  Cliff Rosenberger resign now rather than May 1 as Rosenberger originally planned.

Stoltzfus as Stark County commissioner Janet Weir Creighton told the SCPR on Wednesday was totally surprised that the FBI is reportedly investigating Rosenberger on the basis of his living a lavish lifestyle.  Moreover, Stoltzfus said he agrees with Republican Mike DeWine, Mary Taylor and David Yost that Rosenberger needed to turn his planned May 1 resignation into an "immediate" resignation.

Stoltzfus on being asked whether or not SCPR was being fair to him in terms of the time that elapsed between the SCPR email and this blog said that he felt that The Report was being fair but that being in the heat of primary election campaign has many campaign activities under way which was the reason for his delay in responding.

The SCRP is impressed with Stoltzfus' initiative in making a telephone contact on becoming aware of today's blog.

The SCPR has learned that there may be a "dirty tricks" aspect to the Josh Hagan campaign.

Stay turned to this series.  There will be a SCPR follow up on Stoltfus/Hagqn in terms of the "dirty tricks" allegation just as soon as The Report is confident that this blogger has a full grasp of the situation.

Note:  LINK to follow up blog on the alleged "dirty tricks" factor.

ORIGINAL BLOG



On January 13, 2018, The Stark County Political Report  (SCPR, The Report) wrote a blog (LINK) which, in part, was admiring of the organization of, the planning of and the implementation of Republican Paris Township trustee Reggie Stoltzfus campaign techniques and overall strategy.

It was amazing to the SCPR that a heretofore political unknown could spring from the starting gate with the splash that Stoltzfus with a fundraiser at Brookside Country Club on January 24, 2018.


We will not know for sure until April 24 (Ohio's mandated pre-primary campaign finance report date), but the word is among GOP pols that The Report is conversant with, that Stoltzfus came out of the Brookside event with at least $30,000.

Moreover, he had the endorsement/support of nearly all if not all Stark County Republican Party heavy hitters and the really, really, really huge state level GOP kahuna in Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger who came to Stark County on the 24th to boost the Stoltzfus candidacy in Ohio's 50th House District which is currently held by Republican Christina Hagan who has opted to run for Congress in the 16th Congressional District.

Interesting enough, Christina's brother is contending Stoltzfus in the 50th in the Republican May 8th primary election.


Nevertheless, the SCPR is prepared to say that Stoltzfus will defeat Hagan easily, and, to boot, likely Democratic candidate Cassie Gabelt (the 50th is heavily "gerrymandered" Republican) in the November general election.

Since Stoltzfus is likely to be the 50th Ohio House District state representative, he merits heightened scrutiny in terms of his political judgments.

Apparently, Stoltzfus did not know enough about Rosenberger.


With the politically powerful Republicans lining up against Rosenberger, the SCPR thought that with Stoltzfus embracing himself the way he did in January (only about 3 months ago), Stoltzfus ought to join in on the chorus.

Hence, this SCPR e-mail to Stoltzfus:


Martin Olson <tramols@att.net>  Apr 11 at 9:35 PM

To: Reggie Stoltzfus

Reggie,

In view of your past political relationship with Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and media reports he is under investigation by the FBI which has led to his resignation from the House effective May 1st, today a Cleveland.com article (LINK) reports Mike DeWine, Mary Taylor and Dave Yost saying he should not stay until  May 1st but resign effective immediately.

Do you agree with DeWine, Taylor and Yost?  If so, why?  If not, why?

Has your campaign received any contributions from Rosenberger?  If so, are you going to return the contributions in light of developments?

Beyond agreeing or disagreeing with the aforementioned trio, what is your personal reaction to the reports of Rosenberger being under FBI investigation.

Talked with Stark County commissioner Janet Creighton briefly today at the commissioners' weekly meeting and she said she was very surprised by the revelation about Rosenberger.  She said that she served alongside Rosenberger in the George W. Bush White House in 2008 after she lost her re-election bid to William J. Healy, II in 2007.

Have taken a look at your campaign website and FB page and it appears that any photos/references to Rosenberger have been scrubbed.  Am I missing something?

Thank you.

Martin Olson
Stark County Political Report
tramols@att.net
330 430 9378

Stoltzfus' response as of the writing of this blog?

NOT A WORD!

To the SCPR it is noteworthy that a previously communicative public official/candidate for public office (the SCPR has spoken to Stoltzfus at least two times and had several back and forth e-mails) "all-of-a-sudden" becomes uncommunicative when asked an embarrassing question.

Voters should pay very, very, very close attention to unresponsiveness by Stoltzfus because it is fair to conjecture that he might well act the same way if confronted by a tough or embarrassing question.

Though the SCPR is sited in Lake Township within the 50th Ohio House District, Hagan has never been willing to answer the questions of The Stark County Political Report.

It is common knowledge among area politicians and public officials that the SCPR "cuts to the chase" and consequently the cowardly among them refuse to communicate with The Report.

Christina Hagan for instance could never, ever survive an SCPR interview.

She likes to portray herself as "one-tough-lady.'  The truth of the matter is that she shields herself from any who are not sycophants and thereby betrays herself as a political coward.

With his failure to respond the question becomes:  Is Reggie Stoltzfus "more-of-the-same."

In a previous e-mail exchange with the SCPR, Stoltzfus portrayed himself being a highly principled person to wit:


So Reggie, would God want you to be respectful of folks that ask questions of you expecting "honest" responses as we endeavor to determine who to vote for in upcoming 2018 elections.

Or, since God has called you, are you unaccountable?

Those are the kinds of SCPR questions that all but the authentic with nothing to hide apparently fear in getting into Q&As with The Report.

Recently, the SCPR wrote a blog on Stark County auditor Alan Harold, an elected official The Report has been high on since he was elected in 2010.

With the critical blog in which The Report takes the position there is overwhelming evidence that Harold lied to this blogger (e-mails and one one-on-one conversation) as to his involvement in his political opponent losing her job.

To boot, when the heat-got-too-hot for Harold, he cut off communication.

The likes of Stoltzfus and Harold like to think they are punishing the SCPR because of this bloggers willingness "to-go-where-angels-fear-to-tread," but "truth of the matter" is that they in not candidly answering tough questions are disrespecting Stark County political subdivision voters.

It is obvious to the SCPR that Stoltzfus has "scrubbed" his social media presence of anything Cliff Rosenberger.

And do so is understandable.

But he owes the 50th Ohio District voters an explanation as to why he did not join in on the effort started by DeWine, Taylor and Yost, to wit:


Does Reggie Stoltzfus know something that DeWine, Taylor and Yost do not?

If so, out with it, no?

If not, he needs to own up to being a politically calculating candidate like we are "all-too-familiar" with, no?