Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Faux Independents Spoiling the CF Muni Clerk Race.

We now know the names of the first six people who John Widowfield will hire if he is elected to replace Lisa Zeno Carano as Cuyahoga Falls Municipal clerk. Assuming that history repeats, they will be Anne-Marie Bretzin, Amy Grace Goodrich, Carol A. Gostlin, Ruth Ann Mundy, Kimberly Steinwedel and Kristi Marie Sykora, the six "independents" tapped by Alex Arshinkoff's Republicans to run as independents.

According to the ABJ:

    Many of the same people circulated their petitions. The petitions contain identical signatures signed in the same order on the same days. And the petitions even appear to have been typed on the same typewriter, with a faulty ''m'' key.

    The candidates are all women and most go by three names as does Lisa Zeno Carano, the Democratic candidate for clerk.

    Some are questioning whether the candidates are independent. They think the six are plants by the Republican Party aimed at splitting the Democratic and female vote in the nonpartisan race and giving State Rep. John Widowfield, the lone Republican and male among the candidates an advantage.
So, a typically classy and fair-minded move by A2 and company. When Alex did this before, running the normally Republican Tracy Kennedy as an Independent in the Akron Muni race, Ms. Kennedy ended up with a job in the office of winner Jim Laria. Because everyone hires people who ran against them. (Though it's not clear what Kennedy got for being the designated splitter in the Ohio 13th race.)

Local Dems are challenging the independent status of the candidates, a challenge that goes to Secretary of State Brunner as the Board of Elections split along party lines.

Meanwhile, the spin is hilarious. A2 claims he's only doing this because the Dems are running Never mind that he's been playing games with independent candidates for years. On the other hand, Team Coughlin is acting all verklempt about it. From the ebag:
    Don't get us wrong, we're Republicans and we'll support Widowfield. But at what expense? Anne-Marie Bretzin, Amy Grace Goodrich, Carol A. Gostlin, Ruth Ann Mundy, Kimberly Steinwedel and Kristi Marie Sykora are all nice ladies. Should a party chairman use them in such a way that damages their reputations, places them under investigation, and welcomes media scrutiny? That's no way to treat loyal party activists.
I wouldn't worry about Kev. Loyal party activists generally get taken care of for this sort of thing.

Meanwhile, it's fine for the Kevinites to be trying to spin it theior way, but this undermines his most recent volley in the Elephant Wars. The CF Clerk's office was supposed to be an office that was subject to the deal between the Ds and Rs, with the Dems supposedly trading Carano's position for Sheriff and an office to be named later. So why did party stalwarts like David Brennan need to drop five-figure donations on Widowfield's campaign? Why is he going to the billboard-sized yard signs all over the district? And why have they thrown a half dozen spoilers into the race. That doesn't sound like a race Alex is treating as a gimme.