Friday, February 27, 2015

Boehner's New Houseland Security gambit

As Speaker John Boehner played chicken against  President Obama  in the Homeland Security showdown,  it occurred to me that a new term was needed to describe the action.  How about Houseland Security,  which is really what he's had in mind from the beginning? That, after all, is what Speaker B was doing to protect his job  - and the title and  limo-class   perks - from the Tea Partiers in his House even it  meant putting the entire nation at risk in an age of heightened terrror.  Hardly a hint of a profile in courage from the Southwest Ohio pol.

Even as reporters questioned him about this next move,   Boehner created lasting video clips  by defiantly puckering his lips in kisses (fortunately, nobody was close enough to physically suffer his hapless advances.) He did seem a tad tipsy. D'ya think?

Folks, this is disgraceful. Particularly so soon after his aberrant invitation to Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress in which he lied to the Israeli insiders that the Democrats were on board with his decision.

As the guy who allegedly is in charge of the House he has become the emperor in a new suit of clothes that only he could see.

Not to be outdone by  the Republicans on the right, Wisconsin Gov.Scott
Walker  and trending candidate for the presidency exploded the myth of his own competence by breezily  asserting that he would have no problem taming ISIS.  As he put it in a terrible way:  "If I can take on 100,000 [union] protesters, I can do the same around the world."

And as he said  in the wake of Rudy Giuliani's melody of love:  "I 'll tell you.   I love America".   Problem still not solved.

As a footnote: Missing in the media action on Friday was the Beacon Journal, which carried not a word of the looming shutdown, doubtless the biggest story of the day!    

Goodell could start by pointing Browns to QB

Put this in the file of "don't bite the hand that feeds you".   I mean, when  NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked at the Canton Memorial Civic
Center what he would do to make the Browns more competitive, he gave Browns owner a big vote of confidence, saying:

"I'm a big fan of Jimmy Haslam,"   adding: "He's learned a great deal.  He's making smart decisions for the long term.  I think this community - and I know this is
Browns country -  I  think they're fortunate to have Jimmy Haslam as an owner and we're   fortunate to have him."

Don't you think they would be more fortunate to have a quarterback?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Browns new logo should have been more dramatic

Did you notice the  subtle changes in the new Browns logo?  Yeah, me neither.  I had hoped for something more fetching to capture  the moment and the legacy.  So in the interest of game-changing progress, I humbly offer this one.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Kasich state of state speech: A ramblin' wreck

OK, I did survive it.  Gov. Kasich's hour-long lecture on Tax Cuts 101, I mean, in his State of the State address to an audience of  more than a thousand  mostly white guys in black suits in Wilmington. I hung around to watch the live transmission on TV because that's what I do in my never-spare time. The follow-up of the PBS documentary The Italians made viewing worthwhile again.

About the speech:  with the governor's defiantly protruding lower lip pointed at the seated following, he repeatedly rambled through  his version of the evils of taxation.  And when he mentioned that Ohio businesses are moving to a friendly economic climate in Florida,  I wondered whether he couldn't solve the problem by lining I-71 with palm trees.

The crowd was  courteous with muted applause and nobody shouting,"You lie!"

He said nothing about the environment, climate change,  and other current matters that impact so many people's lives. But he defended consumption (sales)  taxes, an idea that has been dismissed widely  since he was a blue-collar kid as the most regressive of taxes.

 He boasted that his tax reforms would be a model for the country.And he declared his support of charter schools, a billion-dollar industry that is siphoning taxpayer money from public schools,  and   isn't working. He pleadingly glanced often at a couple of stone-faced gremlins  seated  nearby - Ohio Sen. President Keith Faber and House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger,  both hard-core conservatives from southwest Ohio districts that for all that I know extend farther west to below Evansville. Ind.

He desperately needs their help in the legislature and there's a good chance he won't get it.  Rosenberger is but 33 years of age and hails from Clarksville  (Pop 548), collects toy soldiers  and has soaring support from the gun, pro-life and other right-wing lobbies.   Faber is a fellow from Celina (pop. 10,400) which tells you that northern Ohio won't have a snicker of a chance in this legislative session.

But wait:  "We're on the move!  We're rising! Creating jobs!   Nobody is left out!" Kasich asserted.     Don't you wish that  as the governor that lags so many others  in job creation would give the Obama Administration a little credit for an economic recovery that   has slowly but surely turned the nation - and Ohio - around?

Wasn't he the same guy who opposed the stimulus that saved a mountain of jobs but later said he was glad it worked out?

I've left out a lot of numbers that desperately arrived from the governor's podium with the authority of someone who once was an advisor to a Wall Street firm that  went belly-up-down-and sideways.

It might have helped if Kasich had brought along Joe the Plumber.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

When will the governing party govern itself?

When  Republicans stormed into both houses of Congress from the November election they wanted to prove they  Still,  with all of the dissent and gridlock  within the party, the real test will be whether they can even govern themselves.

Freedom of press not one of Kasich strengths

Open note to John Michael  Spinelli, a contributor to Plunderbund who has been critical of Gov. Kasich:

John:  I  saw the  short piece in  Plunderbund that you have been barred from covering Sunny Kasich's State of the State speech in Wilmington. As a political writer in our state and now a blogger, you apparently have succeeded in ruffling the governor from his comfort zone as he prepares to run for president as a caring Republican do-gooder  (Matthew25), surging breed apart from the right-wing crazies, and a thunderous reelection winner in a swing state against a guy who dropped out of the race weeks before the election.

I know how disappointed you must be because several years ago the Summit County Republican chairman, Alex Arshinkoff,  banned me from covering the party's annual fund-raiser,  breaking a long tradition that was courteously nurtured by Ray Bliss, an earlier chairman.  And as one of  Jim Rhodes' biggest critics, I was always accorded the finest hospitality by the four-term governor, who even wrote a light-hearted newspaper column about me from a national GOP convention.

So you will have to listen to Kasich's speech on radio, if you dare. And you may end up quoting mobster  Marlon Brando  from "The Freshman"  who,  upon  scanning a young  student's college room, was clearly unimpressed,  muttering:

 "I didn't miss nuttin'." 


Monday, February 23, 2015

Leftovers from the cave

The past week's leftovers:

With so many hawkish wingers who won't shave a budgetary dime in protecting the lives of Americans from terrorists overseas, it does seem odd that the very same hawkish wingers on the right  continue to hack at Obamacare that protects the lives of millions of uninsured Americans at home.

* * * * *

That was another of Gov.Kasich's sunny performances in his CNN interview by Gloria Borger.  It could have ended quickly after he said that all of his options were on the table, or at least after he again mentioned  Matthew 25 (the part about feeding the poor!). He also shrugged off any interest in the vice presidency , cheerily saying he's been on the veep list since he was 35. He also called for an unspecified "battle plan"against ISIS and claimed to be  "worried about America".  He dismissed any thoughts about  conservative opposition  if he decides to run for the presidency (which at this very moment is an idea that controls every lobe of his brain) because right-wingers do not represent the culture of Ohio. You'd be better off if you didn't allow any of the above Kasichisms burden your lobes.

* * * * *

Re Matthew 25,  do you think the guv might start showing up with John 3:16 on a placard in his public appearances - the way they do it at baseball games?

* * * * *

Hope you saw the angry letter in Monday's Beacon Journal from Brian Williams defending Common Pleas Judge Tammy O'Brien   for recusing herself from more than 60 cases after her bailiff threatened to quit because the bailiff didn't like the assistant county procesutor assigned to the court.  "Mercilessly vilified," Williams complained.  But it does seem that a judge at the common pleas level should have weighed  the consequences of her behavior.  Indeed, she finally did by saying she would now preside over all of the cases from now on.

If you do crossword puzzles (as I do) Rep. Darrell Issa, the toothy mega-millionaire Republican from California, is manning the battlements against the army of Giuliani  critics by asking us to thank the New York City mayor.  But he also tests all of us to know the difference between "believe" and 'wasn't".

Here's Issa:

"Rudy Giuliani said he didn't 'believe'  [that Obama doesn't love America]  He didn't say the president 'wasn't'."

Yeah.  Me, too.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

It's not silly when Wolfie says it

The madcap conservative assault on President Obama is beginning look like a reunion of the crazy uncles in the attic.  From Rudy Giuliani to Paul Wolfowitz , the tarnished oldies  have returned to addle  the narrative still more.

 You' ve experienced the reports of the former New York City mayor who has reincarnated to the extent that even his old friends remorsefully remember the good old days when he was  called America's Mayor.  And now, of all people, George W. Bush's hawkish former deputy defense secretary,  Paul Wolfowitz,  turned up on CNN Sunday to reassure us that Bush's cause was right and Obama's is not.

Addressing Obama's view of  Muslims, Wolfie huffed:

"His word choice makes him look silly."

Let me tell you about silly word choices.  As a member of the Bush pack that steered the U.S.into the invasion of Iraq, Wolfie had this to say on March 27, 2003:

"There's a lot of money to pay for this...the oil revenue  of that country could bring between $50- and $100 billion  over the next two or three years...We're dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon."

But as Seinfeld's George Costanza has told us: "It's not a lie if you believe it."

Friday, February 20, 2015

Giuliani:Even cranks can only stoop so low

Allow me, dear reader, this moment of harsh criticism of Rudy Giuliani before I  dismiss him forever to the dead file of babbling cranks.

Ever since the ex-New York City mayor enjoyed his moment of glory in the debris of 9/11, he's been trying to regain relevance without much success.  When he ran for president in 2008. his campaign spent $40 million and won him a single delegate. He's also the guy who, as a married man, paraded his mistress around City Hall.  And
who in the annals of criminality can forget that he appointed his friend Bernard Kerik as police commissioner, the fellow who was later convicted  of corruption  and went to prison? The Los Angeles Times noted the case was a good fit for a Sopranos episode.

And now, he has reemerged, to the delight of Fox News, as the deranged fringe biographer of President Obama's alleged enmity toward  America.  At a right-wing fundraiser for Wisconsin  governor  Scott Walker in New York City, Giuliani  frothed  that Obama hates America, adding:

"He doesn't love you.  And he doesn't love me.  He wasn't brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up  through love of America."  Yuckety yuck.yuck.

When the ca-ca hit the fan, he was off to an honored  perch at Fox News to say,  Hey, nothing personal. "I didn't question the President's patriotism." Nor did he think  his screed was  an example of racism because, as he told the New York Times,  Obama learned it all  from white folks.

The president was "brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools and most of this he learned from white people".

Was this ex-mayor the same person who was called America's Mayor  and who was Time's "person of the year" in 2001?

In the wake of  his startling eruption of incendiary remarks, I would advise Rudy to quit when you are  behind. We heard you the first time. You don't need the money nor merit badges from the extreme right.

Scott Walker,the probable Republican presidential candidate du jour,  sat near the podium and found nothing amiss in Giuliani's words.  He felt only mildly uncomfortable with Rudy's  inelegance of expression, explaining,"Maybe he should have chosen a different phraseology for his remarks."

But it offered an opportunity to Walker to get in a plug for himself afterward for his own red-white-and-blueness, saying only that Rudy "speaks for himself...I'll tell you, I love America."   With that much now settled, governor, onward with the campaign!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Weather a matter of wind-chilled degrees, plus or minus

With so much time without yard work or neighborhood strolls, I've started a new hobby of watching TV weather reports.  Endless videos of hooded people digging tunnels through eight feet of snow, the horrific views of spinning cars and semis, courageous bundled reporters with mikes numbly warning me of the hazards that I just saw with my own eyes.  Oh, and a doctor who turned up with the news that depression was normal for all of us.

Among the mysteries of the huge ice cave in which we're all trying to survive are  the temperature reports on the screen that tell us, say, it is minus 2.4 degrees outside our door but the good news is that it feels like minus 2.3 degrees! Don't know the point of the fractional difference, but I want to scream that I'll be the one to decide what it feels like as I reach for another sweater.

Courting GOP politics in the courts

The frigid  temperatures we've all been suffering still can't match the icy winds blowing from Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic's office to Federal Judge John Adams' court.

Don't know why anybody would be  surprised that the feisty mayor, from sheer frustration, unloaded on Adams in a letter that appeared on the Beacon Journal's op-ed page.  The volcano has been heating up for some time in the wake of Adams' hostile decisions against the city on a long-delayed sewer plan  and  other matters that the mayor found to be intolerably disruptive to the city's order of business.  Not only that:  the well-reported sewer issue has cost Akron's taxpayers a tall pile of money from the court-ordered delays.

Along the way the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has been critical of Adams' judicial behavior in a suit involving a Stow firefighter and withdrew the case from Adams' court.  In another case, the appellate court reversed his decision that was  detrimental to a federal public defender.  The Beacon Journal  said Adams had acted ''carelessly".

Meantime, the odd behavior  of a  Summit County   Common Pleas judge erupted into another unraveling of what the public has a right  to expect from the judiciary. Judge Tammy O'Brien  recused herself from about 60  cases because, of all things, her bailiff-in-command refused to share the court room with  Jay Cole, an assistant county prosecutor.  It took on  political soap opera proportions because Tiffany Morrison, the bailiff,  threatened to quit her job if Cole showed up in O'Brien's court to do his assigned job.  But daylight at last: On Wednesday, O'Brien, faced with the onrush of  public criticism,  said she would end her recusals.

 Tiffany is the daughter of Atty. Jack Morrison, who has had a few brushes with the law in which Cole appeared in a  case involving  the Ohio Ethics Commission. Morrison was  cleared of the misdemeanors .

Dad Morrison is a big kahuna in the Republican Party as a contributor and legal advisor to GOP county chairman Alex Arshinkoff.

The chairman has been a forever critic of Plusquellic and has been known over the years to whisper that the mayor would be indicted, but never clear about what.  He's also played a strong hand in the appointments of Adams and O'Brien to their current labors.

Don't want to sound like a conspiracist, but there does seem to be a political intrusion into a couple of issues  hereabouts. It isn't cheating if you squint  for greater clarity. .

Tell me I'm wrong.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

From slavery to deportation

Those Republicans are always outraged about something if they can stick it to President Obama.    Speaker John Boehner, a.k.a. Dr. Doom, is now accusing Obama of "not listening to the American people" - the same  people who elected Obama twice!  If Boehner has a gift, it's his ability to make up things.

But now we have a bunch of conservatives blistering the president for his remarks at a prayer breakfast in which  he brought up some  undistinguished periods in America's past to jolt us from our high horses.  The acid response from Jim Gilmore, the Republican ex-governor of Virginia,  was the essence of the misplaced outrage.

His feelings sorely shattered,  Gilmore asserted: "He has offended  every believing Christian in the United States.  This goes further  to the point that Mr. Obama does not believe in America or the values we all share."

These are our shared values, folks? Really?

Not since the Dred Scott era has a political party been so dreadfully controlled by a single phenomenon  - today, a right-wing religious stranglehold; in the  brutal days of King Cotton, the southern masters  who thrived on barbaric slave labor. It  included floggings, severe beatings, family breakups separating children from their mothers' arms, the humiliation of being sold more than once  on the auction block.

As the Scott case turned on whether he could be free from bondage after entering a slave state from a free state,  arguments turned on the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 that permitted the return of slaves to their masters or "slave catchers" - an inhuman  exercise endorsed by  the U.S.Supreme Court at a time when  13 pct. of the population were slaves.

Chief Justice Roger B. Taney cast the ugliest stone in ruling against Scott's freedom. In his judicial wisdom,  he declared  that blacks possessed "no rights which the white  man was bound to respect".

And now, a Federal judge in Texas has  temporarily blocked Obama's  executive order  giving deportation protection to 5 million undocumented immigrants,including 270,000 who arrived as children. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen,  an appointee of George W. Bush (and graduate of Denison University in Ohio),. has long been known as a critic of more elastic immigration policy, warning that it "endangered America" and invited  the "most dangerous criminals in society".

With that, I guess it would be OK if I now expressed my own outrage. Wasn't Ohio
Atty. Gen. Mike DeWine, who keeps busy with this sort of thing, among the  24  other states  in the suit against Obama? Yes, he was.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Are you up to date? Take the pop quiz!


Republicans oppose President Obama's immigration plan because...

(1)Latinos are not skilled in working as greeters at Sam's Club

(2)More Taco Bells would force Chick-fil-A into bankruptcy

(3)Major League baseball teams already have too many shortstops on their rosters

(4)The illegals' buttocks are bulging with diseased cantaloupes

Republicans oppose same-sex marriage because...

(1)Most have no idea how gays do it in bed

(2)God is reacting to the rise of such abominable unions by casting a measles plague on America with gay locusts

(3)If Obama supports it, it must be bad

(4)Polls show that homosexuals don't shop at Hobby Lobby

Republicans oppose climate change  because...

(1)There is no scientific proof that it affects their golf games

(2)National pundits insist that Gov. Kasich has a sunny personality

(3)It couldn't happen anyway because Atty. Gen. Mike DeWine has filed suits in all 50 states to prevent it

(4)President Obama believes it's true

House speaker John Boehner never smiles because ...

(1)He doesn't believe anybody can be happy with Obama as president.

(2)He is a digital life-form and didn't sign up for Obamacare

(3)His expression has been frozen by cigarette smoke and sun lamps

(4)He doesn't have a dog

Sunny Kasich is on the road pushing a balanced federal budget because ...

(1)Most Ohioans like the idea even if they don't have a clue to how to do it

(2)He wants to grab the last presidential  candidate spot before Kim Kardashian beats him to it

(3)He needs something exciting to talk about if  Bill Maher invites him to the show

(4)He wants to take his new Sunny app as far as he can

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Al Teodosio, a man of peace (1924-2015)

During the years that Al Teodosio wore the badge of Summit County Democratic chairman,  he looked out at a local political landscape that was charged with internal combustion.  There were newly arriving party rivals seeking preferred honors as the city and county were  shifting away from decades of Republican control in the better offices.  It also was a time when unions jealously held powerful influence in the division of political labors.  A candidate, even at the City Council level, who ignored the fiery presence of URW chief Pete Bommarito, could  expect indecorous condemnation. Organized labor never failed to have its say.

That was the  state of being that Teodosio   inherited in 1976 when the party decided to have him succeed Robert Blakemore, himself a mystical 24-hour-a-day player in  moving Democratic candidates into his comfort zone.  But he did so quietly and with so little fanfare that most diners in the next booth hardly knew it..

So it was only natural that as a guy on the political beat at the Beacon Journal I met Al regularly with questions about his political health in the forever simmering environment where king-size egos where plotting at every turn.

To many questions he would respond with a tight-lipped smile that could be interpreted as pleasure or pain.  But as you got to know this dapper, trim-figured lawyer, you decided that he was good man and that was that.  Besides, I never knew him to lie to me, or even embellish a point.  It was the sort of honesty that doesn't  come easily to some politicians.

"He won awards by making peace," recalled State Sen.Tom Sawyer, one of Al's young disciples who went on to become Akron's mayor and eventually congressman.  "I have referred to Al as avuncular"-  not a household word to be sure,  meaning "uncle-like"

It was Teodosio, after all, who persuaded Sawyer to run for mayor in 1983.  Sawyer was hesitant because Robert Otterman had taken steps to be the party's candidate.  "Al assured me that even if there would be a primary contest, it  would not turn into a knock-down drag-'em-out fight and neither candidate would get hurt. Sawyer won and defeated Republican Mayor Roy Ray.

Actually offended by the muck of politics, Teodosio succeeded in upgrading the level of discourse  within his range.   "He was an all-time referee," Sawyer says today.

Al was sorely tested at times by the Republican chairman (and still is!) Alex Arshinkoff, whose political resume is  frequently ruptured by temperamental  outbursts.

So yes, Al Teodosio's passing at age 90 recalls a good man who cared about the sensitivities of others in carrying out his mission.

In Sawyer's precise words. a man who made peace.  May he now rest in peace.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Fox News host reduces religious bloodshed to zero - except Jihadists

Although NBC's Brian Williams has topped the hit list of revisionist memories, there has been little challenge to Fox News host Eric Bolling's extraordinary history lesson rebuking President Obama for calling attention to human terror and bloodshed in the name of religion.

Opined Bolling:  "Reports say radical Muslim jihadists killed thousands of people in the past few months alone.  And yet when you take Christianity, Judaism,  Hinduism,    Buddhism, whatever,  their combined killings in the name of religion - well , that number would be zero."

It's an empty non-thought that perfectly zeroes out Bolling as a credible witness.   But his pulpit is Fox News, so what are you gonna do?

Ohio's Boehner wins "worst" play call award

We spent some time over the weekend trying to decide whether Seattle coach Pete Carroll or John Boehner called the worst plays in the early days of this year.  A slight edge went to Boehner for his sneaky invitation to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress  without  informing President Obama.  Though many pro football frantics  may disagree,   terrible behavior in international diplomacy seems weightier than a call from the sidelines that probably cost Seattle the game.

But if there is anything to be learned from this,  it is the  cheerless Boehner's inability to recover his own fumble as it bounced to Israel and back.  The U.S. House Speaker from southwestern Ohio  gave us one more reason to suggest that he's  unfit to regain his equilibrium since Obama chugged home with the presidency on two occasions.

One of Bibi's  allies, Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Tzahi Hanegbi,  said on Tel Aviv
radio that the Netanyahu team had been misled by Boehner into believing that the Democrats were fully on board with the invitation. He was quoted in the media as saying:  "It appears the speaker of Congress made a move, in which we trusted, but which it ultimately  became clear was a one-sided move and not a move by both sides."

Time out on the field to find a newly inflated ball.

There's even gossip that Boehner will ask all of the Republicans who attend the speech, so politically timed for Israel's parliamentary election, to wear T-shirts to the sesssion emblazoned with:  "At least Republicans love you, Bibi."

That would make as much sense as anything else that Boehner has recklessly contributed to the melee in assuming his own presidential throne.  But why does he have to be from Ohio and not Texas or Idaho?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Onion: Sen. Portman may not make the cut

From the Onion, the media voice through whose halls all news is worth satirizing, comes word of a unique project to prepare all of the Republican presidential wannabes  for their  paths to glory..

It is the  full-scale replica of a fake "struggling Ohio town" of Stocktonville  that is set somewhere in Central Montana.  It is inhabited by 33,000 actors who have been coached to portray middle-class Americans such as small-business owners and auto workers. The idea is to teach the candidates how to respond when they meet these unfamiliar folks along the campaign trail.

The Onion quotes  Republican national chairman Reince Priebus  (a real person in this instance  because you can't make him up).

"Each  morning, we start running our candidates through their itinerary of simulated voter meet-and-greets at Stocktonville's mock schools, shopping centers and town squares, having them redo each leg over and over until they get it right,"  Priebus said, noting that the village has been meticulously crafted to reflect an unemployment rate of 8.3 pct.,  a median income of $38,000 and a sense of uneasiness about the country.

"So whether it's learning to naturally put on a hardhat and Carhartt jacket to impress the workers at one of our six artificial factories, or tossing out the first pitch to our life-size  double-A baseball field, our fully immersive training grounds provide a safe place for candidates to work out the kinks before running for office."

Sen. Rob Portman, however, was a lost cause in the setting, said RNC co-chairman Sharon Day. "Rand Paul has probably separated himself as the best at reading a passage of scripture during our mock church service," she said. "and Marco Rubio was the first to master deftly handling the heckler we choreographed for the rally.  Rob Portman, however, is still making mistakes talking about Social Security with the actors at our senior citizen home, which at this point in his training is simply unacceptable.  We're thinking Friday night might be his last day with the program."

(You'll find the entire piece on the Onion's website.  Go for it. It's  full of laughs, which many of the candidates are all about anyway.)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Robart returns against Coughlin to show that he's a leader

 I see that Don Robart, the former long-time mayor of Cuyahoga Falls, will attempt to be the Comeback Republican of the year.  In Stow, Oh., no less.    At age 69 and eager to have a day job again as the town's clerk of courts after his defeat in 2013.

 That's the post now occupied by Kevin Coughlin,  Robart's arch rival over the years, who says he hasn't decided whether he will run again. If he does, he could be a very conservative Republican running as a very conservative independent against a very conservative ex-mayor  to make the general election a 3-way race that will include Democrat Diana Colavecchio. She once held the job  briefly before  Coughlin narrowly defeated her by a couple of points.

But that's getting ahead of the story, which already has been described in a Beacon Journal headline as the "stage for political fireworks."  For now,  however, it is more about the current intrigues of the Summit County Republican Party. Coughlin has forever been in the cross-hairs of party chairman Alex Arshinkoff as a pain-in-the-ass mutant from party orthodoxy, which Arshinkoff has largely controlled as his private domain. There's also been bad blood between Robart and Municipal Judge Kim Hoover, a Republican who transferred his court to Stow from Cuyahoga Falls in a dispute with the mayor.   Connect the dots.

I would be shocked if Alex  hadn't had a word or two with Robart on how to rid the county of the monstrous presence of Clerk Coughlin.  Along with those briefings, there would also be assurances of how Robart's campaign would be paid for, which  has always been Arshinkoff's forte when candidates come a-callin'.

Although the post is largely paperwork-bound, Robart said he wants to prove his leadership talent.   But considering other possible options  for his comeback - another mayoral campaign? -  you can only wonder why he chose the one leading to Coughlin. In polite society, it would be called a grudge match.