Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Battleground city

DOES ANYBODY get the feeling these days that, as the Music Man put it, ya got  trouble in River City?  And, my friends, that could only mean Cuyahoga Falls, the suburb just north of Akron which has been set aside as the very own fiefdom of Republican Mayor Don Robart.  For now, he's the most prominent burden that party deliverer Alex Arshinkoff must suffer in an already bleak year looming for county Republicans.  

Just last week, there was the temperamental mayor referring to Falls Municipal Judge Kim Hoover as a "horse's ass" on the front page of my family newspaper.  That Hoover is also a Republican suggests that the late Ray Bliss' caution against a Republican speaking ill of another political fraternity brother had at some point been dashed over the Cuyahoga River rapids around Broad Blvd. 

The Robart-Hoover feud has been  simmering for years.  But  not until it became etched into the public record for future generations with a vivid alley noun did Robart confirm his own notoriety as a sassy  ill-spoken pol.  I'll even excuse  him for his less physically descriptive second choice to define the judge as a "pathological liar," a term that is even gaining currency in the GOP's choice of a national ticket.  

The flash point has been Hoover's successful initiative to move the Cuyahoga Falls Municipal Court to Stow.  The public outburst couldn't haven't arrived at a more damaging time for a county party already at internal odds about Arshinkoff and the dominoes that are falling since former State Rep. John Widowfield, a Robart favorite, summarily resigned his seat in the legislature in May after it became known that the GOP lawmaker was selling Ohio 
State football tickets on ebay for a neat profit.  (At the time the Plain Dealer reported that he had nicked his campaign fund for $7,752 to pay OSU  for the tickets during a four-year entrepreneurial romp.) 

To make matters worse, he also quickly resigned as the party's choice to compete for a seat on Summit County Council,  after Arshinkoff & Co. helped him in the party primary to defeat Republican Louise Heydorn, a fixture on the council out of favor with the front office.   Now Widowfield's  legislative seat and Heydorn's on the council, previously comfortable in the GOP column,  are in jeopardy.  As for Widowfield, he isn't very visible these days.   Just as well. There's talk on both sides of the aisle that this could get ugly.  Stay tuned.  



Mencken said...

Looks like Alex's porous offensive line is starting to point their fingers at one another.

Out Alex said...

Robart is ruining Cuyahoga Falls, which is starting to look like a slum. He has lost his zip and his focus and is now just a bitter, shriveled, old politician with a trailer park mouth. Not to mention the porn room he has in his basement. True.

It's safe to say that Robart is going to face a strong challenge next year for re-election. The biggest names are Coughlin, Klinger, and Hoover. These are all longtime Falls families who generally don't lose elections. And they can't stand Robart or what he's done to this city.

People are talking about it all over town. The Falls is changing for the worse and the mayor doesn't get it.

It will be ground zero in 2009.