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Where are Betras’ priorities?



Published: Fri, September 10, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

Where are Betras’ priorities?

I am writing this letter in re- gards to recently published articles on a requested probe of the Mahoning County Board of Elections by Democratic Party Chairman David Betras.

It is peculiar to me that a man who is so concerned about the internally established policies at the board of elections is so disinterested in the indictments that have been brought against elected officials in his own party. Chairman Betras speaks of the lack of accountability at the board for failure to follow their own procedures, but he has nothing to say about the accountability of the indicted officials to the voters for breaking actual laws. This behavior is hypocritical to the core and laughable to anyone closely following Valley politics. It is also worth noting that Chairman Betras did not start this would-be investigation until it became clear that Traficant would be certified and placed on the ballot for November.

Instead of continuing his personal vendetta with Tom McCabe and the sitting election board members, perhaps David Betras should be asking a more important question: why are Democratic officials still being indicted in Mahoning County? The voters of the Valley deserve an honest answer to this question and so far the Democratic chairman has failed to provide one. Instead, he has taken it upon himself to make an issue out of nothing to deflect attention away from the corruption that has been pervasive in his party since the 1980s.

The turn of the 21st century has changed none of this, first with the black eye the Valley once again received by the corruption of Marc Dann (with whom Betras had ties) and now the indictments of multiple Democratic county officials.

These latest indictments represent a lack of control and leadership within the hierarchy of the Mahoning County Democratic Party. The responsibility for letting this corrupt activity continue lies at the feet of Chairman David Betras. Party chairmen set the tone and environment for conducting political activities and the ethics of elected officials, and with these new indictments, it is evident that the political environment has not changed much since the last round of convictions. The only thing that has changed in 10 years is the players.

David Betras can attack Tom McCabe and Republicans all day long, but it does not detract from the reality that consistent Democratic rule has yielded dozens of felony convictions and mixed results over a long period of time.

Jim Shaw. Canfield


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