Every now and then a precedent-setting moment occurs at an otherwise boring Summit County Board Elections Board meeting that could have a strong influence on how the Republican Party profiles color-coded people to deny then a vote.
As reported by the Beacon Journal, it happened when Summit County Republican Chairman Alex Arshinkoff, a board member, demanded that his old adversary, Kevin Coughlin, produce a party-ID. Coughlin, the Republican ex-state senator, was being screened as a nonpartisan candidate for Stow Municipal Clerk.
Arshinkoff, as is his wont, went directly to the gravity of the matter by asking Coughlin: "Are you a banana or an orange?"
Well, now. When was any politician ever asked a provocative question like that? (For his part Coughlin said it didn't matter.)
There was a time back in the 12th Century when one might have been asked whether he or she was a Ghibelline or a Guelph, a life or death matter at the time. Or a Hatfield or McCoy. Or a Rino or Defender of the Faith.
But a banana or orange from the guy who has long considered himself to be the county party's Top Banana since the days of U.S. Grant.?
We can only assume that the idea of such juicy metaphors was seeded in Arshinkoff's subconscience years ago when a disrespectful Beacon Journal editor referred to him as a "cumquat". Alex didn't like the sound of the word even though he didn't know what it meant.
But be ready for a new line of questioning the next time you show up at the polls. If you are neither a banana nor an orange nor even a cumquat, be prepared to spend long hours trying to define yourself as an ordinary voter. For your convenience, a trash bin will be provided for the peelings and rinds.
P.S. Whatever he is, Coughlin was denied a spot on the ballot.