Monday, April 21, 2008

Elephant Wars: Countdown to the Last Battle

The Summit County GOP has set the date for their Chairperson election. This Wednesday, April 30, the Central Committee votes by secret ballot.

Much of the politicking in these things is done behind the scenes so a party outsider like myself has little to go on (and the two sides have stopped emailing me, apparently tired of me mocking them both.) Ben Keeler, a local blogger active within the Coughlin camp, says that as best he can tell no one has a firm head count. Ben will try to offer on-scene reports next Wednesday night.

If it looks tied going in, Alex will win. As noted before, TeamCoughlin needs to convince the wobblers that he can win. I don't think anyone has faith that the secret ballot will actually remain secret if Alex wins.

All of which makes TeamCoughlin's latest public statement smell of desperation. Calling on someone to resign days before an election just sounds silly. But it's nice to know that Coughlin stands for cleaning up high school Spanish clubs.

Meanwhile, yesterday's ABJ fronted a major preview story along with a sidebar timeline yesterday about the dispute. Among other things, the story offers one answer to what happened to bring Arshinkoff so close to losing his seat:

    But at some point in the last 10 years or so, Arshinkoff's adversaries claim, he changed.

    They said he didn't deliver on promises in local campaigns. He cut off ties to his closest allies. He stopped listening to input.

    "He's a different person," said Hoover, who was angered over Arshinkoff's handling of his unsuccessful campaign for county executive and his failed bid for county prosecutor.

    "I don't really understand him. I have firsthand experience of him not keeping his word."
It's possible, but color me skeptical. Arshinkoff has always been high-handed, manipulative and vulgar. The problem began when he started losing, which had as much to do with the resurgence of the local Dems as anything Alex did or didn't do. In any event, people who put up with Arshinkoff up to a point started turning away. No one likes a high-handed, manipulative and vulgar loser. In event, maintaining that A2 has changed is probably the best argument, though we haven't heard it much out here in the cheap seats.

Whatever happens, the final battle will not be the end of the story. Certainly if Alex retains his seat, his first priority will be vengeance upon those who sought to bring him down. Imagine a political equivalent of the last twenty minutes of any of the three Godfather movies. If TeamCoughlin wins, they will no doubt engage in some level of housecleaning, as they did (pending a court challenge) at the Board of Elections.

The result will be a weakened though possibly renewed Republican Party come this fall. And no one knows quite what that will mean.


Mencken said...

"high-handed, manipulative, and vulgar loser" ...
Jeepers Pho, you don't have a thing for Alex do you?

Just kidding. But while you're drawing that hot bath and picking out a book to read, might I suggest the one about the revenge of the unintended consequence... because you're right. the vote won't be secret for long and if Klinger wins, the Debaathification of the Summit County Republican party will begin. All of this will leave the Reps weaker and more divided than ever. But hey Alex was such a bad man. Can't wait to see Coughlin and his minions beating Alex's Escalade with their shoes.

Anonymous said...


klinger's side is already prepping for defeat.

how about that stirring event the klinger crew just hosted at the masonic temple for pc folks....what were there, at the most ten people in attendance???

the funniest part was the look klinger gave to coughlin when he cut klinger off in mid sentance and would not answer a question that was asked.

no actually the best was when don varian was asked why the republicans at the board were fired when he took over and varians's timeless response was, "they were not fired, they were just not rehired!"

you can't make this stuff up!

Anonymous said...


I agree with your characterization of Alex. I think that everybody including Alex is going to in for a big surprise at this meeting. I have heard it on good authority that a large number (over 30) of "committed" AA supporters are planning to turn of him at the Central Committee Meeting. This contingent is being led by four current officeholders that are not connected to TeamCoughlin, one of which is very prominent in the inner AA sanctum...We can't pay for this kind of drama!

Anonymous said...


ALL of the current prominent republican officeholders, state and federal and county, are 100% completely behind arshinkoff, not that they favor him, but they grossly dislike coughlin and his group of malcontents more...

They know this is nothing but a power grab by coughlin to set himself up for another office.