Wednesday, September 19, 2007

SummitCo Elephant Wars: Kevin Coughlin Needs a Witness

For anyone worried that if blogs go away there will be no place for gossip, innuendo and unsubstantiated allegations in politics, relax. State Sen. Kevin Coughlin has you covered.

In a story that eerily echoes the most compelling arguments made against blogs, the Akron Beacon Journal today runs with Coughlin alleging that the two county parties have agreed to divide the county elected offices into spheres of influence -- a sort of Rubber City Yalta. Here's what showed up last night on the Coughlin, er sorry, New Republicans website:

    Reports coming out of Summit County Republican Headquarters are that Chairman Alex Arshinkoff has made yet another deal with local Democrats at the expense of our party's future.

    In the latest deal, the Republican Party will not challenge County Executive Russ Pry or County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh in 2008. In addition, the Republican Party will give the Democrats the Summit County Sheriff's office (an office the GOP currently holds).

    In return, the Democrats will allow the GOP to win the Cuyahoga Falls Municipal Clerk of Courts race and the Green mayor's race in 2007. Republicans will also get the two new common pleas judgeships that will appear on the ballot in 2008.
Now here is the Beacon Journal article:
    A state senator claims the Summit County Republican and Democratic parties have swung Election Day deals to determine the outcome of some key upcoming races a charge that party leaders called untrue and childish.

    Republicans will not seek to upend Democratic incumbents in the county executive or county prosecutor's office next year and will give up the GOP-held sheriff's office, Sen. Kevin Coughlin said.

    In exchange, the Democrats will allow Republicans to win the Cuyahoga Falls Municipal clerk of courts and Green mayor seats this year, and permit Republicans to capture two new Common Pleas judgeships that will appear on the ballot next year, he said.

    ''This has been the standard practice around here so the (Republican) party doesn't have to pay for competitive races,'' Coughlin, a Republican from Cuyahoga Falls, said Tuesday.

If ABJ reporter Rich Armon asked Kev how he knew all this, the answer doesn't appear in the article. Or on the website, for that matter. But at this point, we should demand proof. Presumably the party leadership didn't tell Coughlin about the deal, since they know by now that any dirty laundry gets hung out on the New Republicans' line. So how does he know all this? Who told him, and how does that person know? Until he can provide more than "reports coming out of Summit County Republican Headquarters," nobody should take this seriously.

As of now, the Republicans deny the charge, as do the Democrats. Two of the people named as trade bait -- Sheriff Drew Alexander and Green mayoral candidate Andy Padrutt -- deny the allegations. And of course, a reply post on the pro-Alex blog went up last night. We have Kevin's "reports" and nothing else. Give us a name, Kev, or we call BS.

Meanwhile, the deal doesn't even make sense. The last time Dems cut a deal with A2, they got hosed. Alex got what he wanted -- no challenge to Sheriff Alexander (the guy who now supposedly is set to walk away, btw.) Sherri Bevan Walsh, on the other hand, dealt with an independent challenge from Republican David Drew. And by all appearances, Drew didn't suffer an lasting party discipline -- he was on the party's slate for County Council last year.

That's the problem with these deal; cheating is easy, enforcement is impossible. The supposed deal at play is even less enforceable than the Walsh/Alexander deal. Can the Dems guarantee that Padrutt will lose? I know some folks on the campaign and I can guarantee they will work their asses off. Zeno Carano? Ditto. And trust me, Lisa wouldn't stand for a deal which freezes her out.

And besides that, what do the Dems gain? Give up the Cuy Falls clerkship and two common pleas judgeships for the Sheriff's office? Why do that when they are on a roll county wide? They've picked up judgeships the last two cycles. Why give them up?

Coughlin makes the allegations right after A2 accused him of supporting Padrutt in Green. Arshinsquellec, my favorite non-anonymous commenter on the Elephant Wars, chimed in to say the allegations are untrue. (Oh wait, he's my only non-anonymous commenter on the Elephant Wars.) Reports from my computer say that Coughlin is trying to slap back and cause division in the ranks.

You can quote me on that.


Anonymous said...

I hope it's true! I'll personally contribute to A2 and the GOP coffers to ensure that Andy Padrutt does not win the Mayoral election in Green. I am a Green resident who has listened and watched this crooked mayoral primary unfold this year. This election has been derailed and hijacked by the very candidates who spew dialogue about having the morals and values needed to lead the City of Green forward. Nonsense I say. The least savvy person could see that the late submission of candidate Christopher Slates to the ballot by our esteemed council person and Mayoral candidate himself Andy Padrutt, current sitting Mayor Dan Croghan, and council person Jim Colopy was a cheap ploy. How could they have endorsed this person on his merits? They couldn't have. It is ncomprehensible. So that made their actions dirty. And low. Shame on them. Which brings me to my next topic. How can we allow Andy Padrutt to get this close to the Myor's office? I'm a Democrat. I have been my whole life. But this young man is a chameleon. He hasn't finished college. He hasn't held a job that hasn't been "gifted" to him in one shape or form. He doesn't understand what its like to go into a workforce and compete for employment and work your way up through the ranks based on performance over the course of years on one job. He doesn't seem to comprehend that poor behavior does have repercussions. And that elitism and cronyism is not going to be rewarded among the general community. He presents himself in his campaign as a "resident" of Green for 27 years. What nonsense. Anyone else would have called some of that 27 years their "childhood" - not residency. To be a resident - I believe a person should be paying income or property taxes if not both. What a sales pitch this kid gives. He lists his occupation on MySpace as a "Green City Councilman". Of course he does. He has no other choice. He's been a part time employee at the Board of Elections and is currently a part time employee at The Board of Revisions with the Summit County Fiscal Officer where he and 2 others review contested property tax values. Personally I find this shocking. This young man, who does not posses a college degree, a real estate licence, an appraisal licence and just recently bought his first home from fellow council woman and Sheriff's office employee Christine Croce - how does this young man qualify to sit in adjudication of home owners appealing the County about the tax value of the homes they live in? What were his qualifications to make him a viable candidate for that job given his (lack of) background? Surely he couldn't have exclusively listed his professional accomplishments and gotten the job - could he? Wasn't there a professional with more accreditation and industry experience that would have been suitable to draw that salary? Nor his educational accomplishments since he hasn't graduated college yet - although I did find humor to see that he found it noteworthy to mention that he was an honor student in Green High School on his MySpace page. And he continually fails to list his most prominent recorded achievement! His abundant arrest and convictions. Eleven (11) run-ins with the law starting in 2000! Three were even on the same day. The fact that he has been in front of all three Summit County Court Districts as well as Canton and Alliance. And let's not forget that there is evidence of a lien judgement too. Now that's what I'd call utterly significant and notable - but alas - not a word of it is mentioned on Andy's MySpace page or in his campaign. And in all the eight years of noteworthy service as a councilman of Green - not one mention about the fact that he was convicted of a DUI (driving under the influence) during that time. These values are representative of a young man who wants to be my Mayor? I think not. He does not qualify. The Democratic Party has been dealing from the bottom of the deck. Too many people know the truth this election year. Andy can't cross party lines and unite Democrats and Republicans! Let me reiterate -he's a chameleon. He doesn't have the moral fiber or character to lead. At his young age he's already sold out too many people. Everyone knows at a gut level that if it smells bad it probably is. It's ugly and needs to be exposed. Coughlin has done more to help this than anyone could have hoped for. I can only hope that A2 has paid anyone and everyone for the demise and exposure of Andy Padrutt - Green councilman-at-large.

Ben said...

I am pretty sure deals are being cut.

Pho said...


I'm pretty sure they are not. And I'm really sure that making these allegations without a source willing to go on the record is bullshit.

Kate said...

Wow. I thought blogs were for open discourse about topical issues. And when there was an option to be anonymous - I presumed that meant I could do just that with a clear conscience. Apparently that only applies if you are writing non-topical, brief comments or writing in support of the bloggers' comments. Never did I imagine that I would be called out with profanity because of my opinion. Here's what I have to say today. I feel that I clearly stated what was my personal opinions vs. facts that can be substantiated through other souces or public records. I thought (perhaps errantly) that blogs were a forum to profess your opinions with hopes to create additional dialogue and further awareness. Perhaps I was wrong in that opinion. This is/was my first venture into a blog forum. Here's what I can offer. Anyone doing a search of the Suburbanite, The Leader or ABJ will find many articles supporting the facts I put forth in my writing on this blog regarding Andy Padrutt. Recently - the piece written by Frank Weaver Jr. in the Sububanite on September 7th will encapsulate the data I recited within this blog - - although his article was about Christopher Slates - he points out Andy's history in short order. Additionally - if you go to ABJ's archives and look at May 22nd, 2004 and November 11th, 2004 - you will find two excellent articles by Andale Gross that detail the DUI arrest and conviction of Andy Padrutt. Furthermore, Andy Padrutt's arrests and convictions are a matter of public record (as you know as an attorney Pho) and can be located and viewed at - which stands for Summit County Criminal Justice Information System. It is an open system for the public to use. In some cases, it can work to the disadvantage of a given individual - as might be case for Andy Padrutt who has not been open, honest and forthright throughout his young life (my opinion). To the article about Coughlin, A2 and Russ Pry - I stongly suspect that given the deep and longstanding connection between Andy Padrutt and Russ Pry -the Democratic Party would not allow Andy to go down without a fight, much less sacrific him. But a woman can always dream - can't she? And one more opinion - this "deal scandal" might work in Andy's favor - getting the young demograhic out to vote even more - portraying him as the underdog. That's all I've got to say. I don't think I'll blog again. I don't like being sworn at. I felt like I had to point out that the facts are indeed verifiable facts in an effort to deflect some of the anger I sensed in the reply to my post.

Pho said...


I wasn't calling BS on you I was calling BS on Kevin Coughlin. I was responding to Ben who said he thinks deals are being cut. My position is that alleging those kinds of deals is a serious charge and Coughlin, as a public official, shouldn't be doing it without some real evidence. I'm sorry you thought it was directed at you.

Of course you can voice your opinion here anytime you like. Anonymously for that matter if you prefer (even if I don't.) But a person in a position of public trust like Coughlin shouldn't be making these allegations without more than "reports from headquarters." That's all.

I confess I haven't been following the Green mayor's race much. I appreciated your comments and should have said so earlier.

Kate said...

Whew - I'm relieved. Thanks for saying that. Follow Green's race Pho - you'll be amazed at how much money is being spent on advertising in such a small demographic. And just how ugly and seedy it has been. We've got a lot at stake this election. Take a good look at our financial standing, our outstanding TIF's, the growth rate, our future school needs and public opinion (locally) and you'd see that we have a debt we can't possibly repay at any growth rate, a school that historically hasn't and probably won't get future levy's passed, and Mayoral candidates (Andy) who have special interests with developers (so I believe). Furthermore - we may or may not have to take into consideration the national economic issues as they develop and impact our housing markets, industry and employment locally. I don't believe (personally) that a young man who has had no vast life experiences, raised no family, has not had the opportunity to pay income and property taxes over the course of decades vs. a smattering of years is equipped to lead and develop this fledgling city forward. I can't help but feel that he sees this as an opportunity to further expound on his college works (How to control sprawl in Green - or something to that effect) and simply just doesn't understand the gravity of having peoples lives as his responsibilty. He has a history of acting outside acceptable social standards and then not accepting blame for his actions (just look at all his not guilty pleadings) and I cannot begin to think that he is an adequate choice for any public figure - much less a Mayor...