Now that Kid T is safely nestled in bed, let us further consider the SoS Jennifer Brunner decision against re-appointing Alex Arshinkoff to the Summit County Board of Elections.
First off, Jeff got a quick post up with a good survey of what's available and calls on Redhorse, Team Chief Source and I to dish. And so we shall.
Allegations of partisan shenanigans have been flying around since Team Coughlin started putting its anti-Alex slate together. Specific allegations have included excluding some Coughlin candidates and punishing board employee Scott Sigel after Sigel wrote a letter complaining about how party leadership was managing the money. Much of it is reset in this ABJ article (for as long as it remains this side of the paywall) and Matt Hurley posted a long anonymous email about the Sigel saga. And yes, there is more and no doubt in the comments section the anonymice will play.
So what comes next? In Eric's post he wonders aloud if Alex will file some sort of challenge. Possibly, but it's highly unlikely he will succeed. The Revised Code vests sole appointment authority in the Secretary of State:
- There shall be in each county of the state a board of elections consisting of four qualified electors of the county, who shall be appointed by the secretary of state, as the secretary’s representatives, to serve for the term of four years.
Assuming Alex remains off the Board, what then? This is a potentially big blow to his continuing viability as Party Chair. Alex's survival at this point depends on an air of invincibility. Probably Coughlin & Co. do not have enough votes to unseat him with the precinct chairs on their slate, even if they run the But Alex has made plenty of enemies through the years -- almost certainly enough to take him down if they turn on him at the same time.
The problem for Team Coughlin to this point has convincing A2's enemies to jump ship together. To invoke Machiavelli, they won't strike at the king unless sure they will kill him. The weaker Alex gets, the more of his enemies will be jump. If they get a critical mass, he's gone.
And if not, look out. Alex's appetite for revenge rivals his appetite for roast beef. Rest assured, he's keeping a running list.
UPDATE: This morning's ABJ has an expanded story on Alex's ouster, including a laundry list of his transgressions from Brunner's letter:
- • Past and current Summit County board employees and others reporting incidents of ''harassment, intimidation, threats, hostility, retribution and condescension.''One board employee described the board as having ''the most negative, backbiting, unprofessional, juvenile and hypocritical atmosphere I have ever worked in'' and attributed this environment to Arshinkoff.
• Affadavits filed by three Summit County judges related to litigation over the Oriana House Inc. correctional facility in which the judges said Arshinkoff ''attempted to interfere with the discharge of their official judicial duties and attempted to intimidate them.''
• A partisan environment at the board ''where Republican board members have been intimidated from even talking to fellow board employees who are Democrats.''
• Employees engaging in inappropriate partisan activity, ''such as recruiting precinct committee persons from the board office during the workday and preparing petitions for them.'' Brunner said this approaches or crosses ''the limits of legality.''