Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Candidate for Chairman... Finally...

The smoke cleared. The candidate emerged. A very nice lady. A very nice lady initially recruited for elected office by Wayne Jones' friend, Kim Hoover. (Judge Hoover, with his wife, appeared in campaign advertisements for Wayne Jones when he ran for Mayor of Cuyahoga Falls against Mayor Don Robart. Mrs. Hoover worked on Jones' campaign. Judge & Mrs. Hoover contributed to Wayne's campaign against Mayor Robart.)

Questions emerge:

(1) Should an individual with a full-time, demanding corporate job serve as chairman while working her job? Will she have the time?

(2) Should an elected official serve as chairman? How will this official ensure that the parties decisions concerning candidate support are made impartially, without favoritism or an eye to advancing the chairman's personal aspirations for elected office?

(3) How will a chairman whose spouse works at the pleasure of two Republican Judges (Coates and Hoover) avoid favoritism in order to keep her husband employed?

(4) Does anyone think that Mrs. Klinger can remain free of the influence of the politically-wired Hoovers, Wayne Jones and Pete Kostoff? Doesn't she owe her promoters a debt of gratitude?

Also, in case you didn't notice, Kevin Coughlin and Pete Kostoff stayed away for Mrs. Klinger's announcement. Were they really that busy? Were they trying to distance themselves from a failing movement? Or, were they trying to avoid weighing this candidate down with their considerable baggage?

Monday, March 24, 2008


Wayne Jones, Don Varian, Kevin Coughlin

2/26/08 - Don Varian Represents Kevin Coughlin before Summit County Board of Elections.

2/27/08 - Wayne Jones recommends Don Varian to Jennifer Brunner for appointment to the Summit County Board of Elections.

2/29/08 - Jennifer Brunner appoints Don Varian to the Summit County Board of Elections.

From today's Akron Beacon Journal:

"When asked about the news conference Sunday, Varian said, ''Stay tuned.''

He declined further comment, except to predict that it will be ''an interesting news conference.''

''I hope to be there,'' he said.

Varian hasn't ruled out the possibility of trying for the chairmanship. He had said he and Coughlin wanted to wait to see the results of the March election before announcing a chairman candidate."

Coughlin - Varian - Jones. The New Summit Republicans' leadership team? Stay tuned, indeed.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wayne Jones, Wayne Jones, Wayne Jones, Wayne Jones, oh yes, and Kevin Coughlin...

It's all about Wayne. Truly, it is. Kevin Coughlin is pretty much the palace eunich, carrying out Wayne and Pete's bidding. He's been the beard all along for Wayne's bold move to Roetzelize the Summit County Republican Party...

Dispute is unique, GOP says

Summit party claims Brunner's rejection of appointee is unprecedented in court

By Stephanie Warsmith Beacon Journal staff writer

Published on Thursday, Mar 20, 2008

The Ohio Supreme Court is on new ground with a case filed by the Summit County Republican Party, the party's attorney said Wednesday in a brief filed with the court.

The high court has never decided a case involving a secretary of state soliciting negative information on a local party's recommended appointee to an elections board from the opposite party, state Sen. Tim Grendell, the party's attorney, said in the brief.

''There simply has never been a case like this one, where the secretary of state has brazenly demolished the legislature's statutory structure for maintaining bipartisan balance on local elections boards,'' Grendell said in the 44-page brief.

The party is challenging Ohio Secretary of State JenniferBrunner's decision to reject Brian Daley, the party's recommended appointee to the elections board, and instead appoint Akron Attorney Don Varian to the board.

Brunner said in a videotaped deposition last week that Wayne Jones, the Summit County Democratic Party's finance chair and a member of the elections board, told her she should not reappoint Summit County Republican Party Chairman Alex Arshinkoff to the elections board.

She said Jones also told her she should reject Daley and appoint Varian, who is involved in an effort to unseat Arshinkoff as chairman.

In Grendell's brief, he said Brunner, Jones and other local Democrats ''targeted'' Arshinkoff, and, after ''bushwhacking'' him, ''aimed their political guns'' at Daley, a former Hudson City Council president and retired business executive. He said these actions are ''unprecedented'' in Ohio.

Grendell said Daley is the ''victim'' of ''political chicanery, guilt by association, politics'' and a ''Brunner invited witch hunt.'' He said Brunner's office didn't attempt to verify the information provided on Arshinkoff and Daley, which included letters and newspaper articles and editorials.

Grendell said Brunner didn't subject Varian to the same level of scrutiny as Arshinkoff and Daley, including not reading Varian's resume. He said Daley is ''extremely competent'' and should have been appointed.

''Secretary Brunner and her staff have engaged in a deliberate effort to circumvent her legal duty and to defeat the Summit County Republican Party's statutory recommendations,'' Grendell wrote in the brief.

To allow Brunner's actions to stand would ''render the right of a local party executive committee to make a recommendation totally meaningless,'' Grendell said.

Grendell said Wednesday evening that his office looked through previous cases handled by the Supreme Court and ''couldn't find one that touched on this fact pattern.'' He said Jones solicited negative information on Arshinkoff and Daley and gave it to Brunner, who didn't give either of them the chance to see the information or respond to it.

''That's just flat out un-American,'' Grendell said in a phone interview. ''We have due process. It's one of the cornerstones of our Constitution.''

The party is asking the court to put Daley on the board and to nullify staff changes made March 5 by the election board.

At this meeting, Varian, Jones and Tim Gorbach, the other Democrat on the four-member board, voted to get rid of several board employees who were loyal to Arshinkoff. They also hired several people who are in league with state Sen. Kevin Coughlin, who is leading an effort to unseat Arshinkoff as chairman. Jack Morrison Jr., a Republican board member, was the lone ''no'' vote on these changes.

If the court sides with the party — and puts Daley on the board — the court should overturn these staff changes, Grendell said. Not doing so likely would result in 2-2 ties by the elections board that would have to be decided by Brunner.

''If the court agrees the denial was improper, then the secretary of state and Wayne Jones shouldn't get away with that or any of the benefits of their improper conduct,'' Grendell said.
Brunner's reply brief must be filed by the court by March 31. The party will then have five days to submit a response.

At this point, the court could make a decision. The court could require oral arguments but normally hasn't in this type of case.

Stephanie Warsmith can be reachedat 330-996-3705 or

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wayne Jones, Kevin Coughlin, Pete Kostoff and Don Varian... Oh My!

Well, the past few weeks have been interesting. Wayne Jones has shown himself (or Jennifer Brunner has shown Wayne Jones) to be at the center of the attempt to take over the Summit County Republican Party.

1. Wayne defeats the appointments of Alex Arshinkoff and Brian Daley as Republican members of the Summit County Board of Elections;

2. Wayne recommends the appointment of "Republican" Criminal Defense Attorney Don Varian, two days after Varian appeared before the Summit County BOE representing Kevin Coughlin;

3. Jones, Varian and Tim Gorbach vote to remove 7 BOE employees who are staunchly loyal to the Summit County Republican Party.

Kevin, Pete and Varian may be the front-men, but Democrat Godfather Wayne Jones is pulling all the strings.

Cleveland Plain Dealer

Editorial: Brunner is too fond of battles fought behind the scenes

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

When Jennifer Brunner ran for secre tary of state in 2006, she said all of the right things about restoring faith in Ohio's elections machinery. She seemed to understand that the voting process must be open and transparent. The only secret at the polls should be what's on an individual's ballot.

It's too bad she failed to bring any such understanding to her efforts to remake the Summit County Board of Elections.

Brunner last month rejected a recommendation from the county Republican Party to reappoint its chairman, Alex Arshinkoff, to the elections board that he's been on for some 30 years. Ohio law allows her to reject a party's nominee if she doesn't believe the candidate would be a competent board member. In rejecting the often-brusque Arshinkoff, she cited allegations that he had bullied the board's staff.

When the county party proposed former Hudson Council President Brian Daley as a replacement, Brunner rejected him, too. Then she made an 11th-hour nomination of her own: Akron attorney Don Varian, a leader of an insurgency to oust Arshinkoff as GOP chairman.
Summit County Republicans appealed Brunner's decision to the Ohio Supreme Court, as authorized by law. But when the party's attorneys sought to depose Brunner, she first resisted answering questions, then insisted that the deposition be closed to reporters, and finally tried to seal both the transcript and a videotape of her testimony. The high court properly rejected her requests.

As the court noted, the administration of elections is by definition a matter of high public interest. Thus questions about Brunner's decisions needed to be aired in public. And she needed to answer them, not refer them to an underling. The buck stops with her.

When the deposition was released, the public learned that Brunner got advice on Arshinkoff, Daley and Varian from longtime Democratic board member Wayne Jones. Like his bitter enemy Arshinkoff, Jones is an unrepentant partisan. He is certainly no impartial adviser.
Brunner promised a professional elections system, not a partisan one. Her testimony suggests that she's as unclear on that concept as she is on the public's right to know.


Akron Beacon Journal

March 15, 2008

Local Democrat tied to GOP case Secretary of state testifies Wayne Jones suggested Summit board changes

By Stephanie Warsmith Beacon Journal staff writer

Published on Saturday, Mar 15, 2008

It was Wayne Jones, the finance chairman for the Summit County Democratic Party, who told the secretary of state that county GOP Chairman Alex Arshinkoff should not be reappointed to the elections board.

And it was Jones who told Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner that she should reject Brian Daley, the county Republican Party's recommended replacement for Arshinkoff, instead suggesting that she appoint Akron attorney Don Varian to the position.

That information was part of the testimony Brunner gave during a 51/2-hour deposition for an Ohio Supreme Court case filed by the county GOP challenging her decision to put Varian on the board.

''Wayne Jones had indicated that he would be a good board member,'' Brunner testified.
Brunner's 169-page deposition was provided to the Akron Beacon Journal and filed with the court Friday, the deadline for all evidence in the case.

Arshinkoff, who was present for Brunner's testimony, was livid about her comments about Jones' involvement.

''This is an appointment the Summit County Republican Party is to make, not the Summit CountyDemocratic Party,'' Arshinkoff said Friday, his voice raised. ''Wayne Jones lied, saying he had nothing to do with it. Now we find out Wayne had everything to do with it.''
Arshinkoff called this ''a blatant political assassination attempt.''

Brunner, a Democrat, decided in February not to reappoint Arshinkoff, who had been on the board and has chaired the Summit County Republican Party for nearly 30 years. She then rejected Daley, a former Hudson council president and the party's recommended replacement for Arshinkoff.

Brunner instead appointed Varian, who is involved in an effort to unseat Arshinkoff as party chairman. She made the decision hours before her March 1 deadline for choosing election board members across Ohio.

Tense questioning

Brunner's closed and videotaped deposition, conducted Wednesday night in her Columbus office, was often tense, with frequent back-and-forth exchanges between state Sen. Tim Grendell — an attorney who is representing the party — and Assistant Attorney General Richard Coglianese, one of several lawyers representing Brunner.

At one point, Grendell, frustrated over the lack of copies of requested documentation, threw papers at Brunner — for which he later apologized. At another point, objecting to Grendell's questions, Coglianese threatened to end the deposition.

In her testimony, Brunner said she and Jones, who is one of two Democratic members of the Summit elections board, had a discussion in January about problems at the board. She told Jones she hoped that he would support keeping Bryan Williams, the Republican director of the board, because she thought Williams was doing a good job.

''At that point, Mr. Jones said, 'Well, then you should not reappoint Alex Arshinkoff,' '' Brunner said. ''And I said to him, 'I cannot simply not reappoint him. If there's evidence, you would have to send it to me.' ''

Brunner said that in mid-February, she received a file of information about Arshinkoff that she reviewed. She said she wasn't sure who provided the file.

In a Feb. 20 letter to Arshinkoff, Brunner cited a history of Arshinkoff harassing and intimidating board workers; the creation of a partisan working environment; and an affidavit saying he tried to influence three county judges.

Picking replacement

Brunner said Jones was critical of Daley, whom the Republican Party's Executive Committee had recommended to replace Arshinkoff, during a voters forum she held in Akron on Feb. 27. She said Jones told her ''there were people who had information that Mr. Daley suffered from some of the same issues that concerned me not to reappoint Mr. Arshinkoff.''

Brunner said she asked Jones, ''What other Republicans are there?'' and he suggested Varian.
Brunner said James Hardy, her liaison in charge of Summit County, provided her with a packet of information about Daley. It included negative comments from Mike Moran, a Democrat who served on Hudson City Council with Daley, and an Akron Beacon Journal editorial that said Daley had behaved like ''a bully.''

Grendell asked Brunner whether she talked to either Arshinkoff or Daley before making her appointment decisions.

''No, I was not required to,'' she responded.

Grendell asked Brunner whether it was her policy ''to ask the opposing political party to comment on potential appointees to the board of elections.''
Brunner said it was not.

''And so the discussion with Mr. Jones would be out of the ordinary?'' Grendell asked.
''I usually rely on the party making the appointment to send me the name of someone who would be competent,'' Brunner said. ''If they fail to do that by the deadline by which I have to appoint, I look for input on who would be a competent member from where I can find it.''

Conspiracy claim Arshinkoff said Brunner's testimony about Jones' involvement bolsters his contention that Jones and Pete Kostoff, Jones' Republican law partner at Roetzel & Andress, have been behind the effort to remove him as party chairman.

''Roetzel wants to run both parties,'' he said. ''They're doing a damn good job trying.''
Arshinkoff called Varian ''the handpicked man of Wayne Jones'' and ''a lackey of the Democratic machine.''

'A cancer at the board'

Jones acknowledged in a phone call Friday that he told Brunner he thought Arshinkoff should be removed from the board, and he provided Brunner with the packet of information about Arshinkoff.

''It was just the truth,'' Jones said. ''He had become a cancer at the board. He was abusive to employees. Given his record, it was time for him to go.''

Jones said he told Brunner that he heard ''similar things about Daley'' that she might want to check out. He said he had been told Daley was ''combative'' and ''abusive.''

Jones said he thought Varian was ''an honorable guy'' and would be a good board member.
Jones, however, again denied Arshinkoff's claim that he's in league with Republican state Sen. Kevin Coughlin, who is leading the effort to oust Arshinkoff as party chairman.

''I have never had a conversation with Coughlin,'' Jones said. ''I don't have a dog in that fight. I could care less. I hope both of them pull guns out and shoot each other.''

Jones said the elections board is ''near and dear'' to him and Arshinkoff ''turned it into a circus.''
Varian said he doesn't know how or why Brunner selected him for the board. He said his credentials as a Republican date back 35 years.

''My allegiance continues to be with the Republican Party,'' he said. ''I think that is necessary on the board.''

Patrick Gallaway, a spokesman for Brunner, said Brunner based her decision on who should be appointed to the Summit board on the information given to her. He said their office had files on every elections board nominee across Ohio.

Gallaway said David Farrell, Brunner's elections director, interviewed Varian and, based on this, decided he would ''make a good fit'' on the board.

''This process is about following the proper procedures,'' Gallaway said. ''That's what we've done with every board appointment.''

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Another Voice Against The New Summit Republicans...

The Republican Party does not deserve the derisiveness of the New Summit Republicans campaign. When asked to be on their ballot, I understood my role to be creating awareness of a need for betterment in county Republican leadership. Always believing in the need to improve our government, I welcomed this opportunity.

After a few months weighing each side of this divisive debate, I now have the final piece of the puzzle necessary to place my vote firmly with Alex Arshinkoff's leadership.

The latest attacks against Brian Daley are unconscionable. This strategic blunder may cause the Ohio Supreme Court to weigh in and stop the madness, but it does not forgive the political assassination of a fine man.

I imagine that loud voices and a great deal of "bullying" were present when our founding fathers drafted our Declaration of Independence. These same voices that are heard today evoke the passion that comes with the mantle of leadership. I rue the day when all of us in politics accept the status quo and ignore or prohibit needed change. The change we need in Summit County is for politicians to do the jobs we were elected to do.

Our citizens and communities have real problems. A state senator choosing to spend all of his time bashing the Summit County Republican Party's leadership has no time to dedicate to solving these problems. Cozying up with the Secretary of State to thwart a fair nomination by the Summit County Republican Party Executive Committee identifies the New Summit Republican's choice of leadership, whoever that may be, to be leadership I could never believe in.
Let's bury the hatchet and begin working for the people we were elected to serve.

Carol L. Gasper

Twinsburg Township Trustee

Friday, February 29, 2008

State Senators in Glass Houses...

... Shouldn't be hypocrites...

Kevin Coughlin's at it again...

When his "campaign for change" has imploded, what's a state senator to do...

What he always does... Lie.