- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -

« News Home

The more things change ...

Published: Fri, May 20, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

By David Skolnick (Contact)

On the side

With the resignation of Lisa Antonini as Mahoning County treasurer because of a federal criminal charge and pending conviction, the county Democratic Party needs to fill that vacancy with a qualified and stable replacement.

You don't need financial experience to be county treasurer, but with the Antonini scandal, the party should appoint the best candidate.

Among the three who've already applied, Kenneth A. Carano is the favorite.

He is a former state representative and official in the ex-Gov. Ted Strickland administration. Carano is also the party's executive vice chairman, its parliamentarian, and elections committee chairman as well as someone trusted by many precinct committee members.

Carano’s decision will probably scare off other candidates and with his political connections, Carano will likely win.

Interestingly, Antonini was appointed treasurer by Democratic precinct committee members in 2007 largely because of her political connections. She was the party’s chairwoman at the time, and ran unopposed.

Antonini had experience in the office, serving as chief deputy treasurer. Though, in hindsight, that didn’t work out.

Lisa Antonini, disgraced ex-Mahoning County treasurer and chairwoman of the county’s Democratic Party, is “sincerely sorry for having let so many people down.”

It doesn’t matter whether Antonini is sincere or is only sorry because she got busted. She has brought more embarrassment to an area that is seen as a haven for political corruption.

It’s not perception, folks. It’s reality, and it’s likely to get worse.

Wait for the Oakhill corruption case to get going. We’ll likely hear plenty more about political corruption in the county, and how those with money don’t just buy things, they buy people.

This area’s long history of political corruption hasn’t changed. It’s not in the past or behind us. It’s still here. Only the names are different.

Antonini was charged with taking and failing to report a $3,000 cash contribution during her primary for county treasurer in 2008.

Federal prosecutors kindly provided a road map allowing us to figure out who gave her the money.

Prosecutors gave the date of when Antonini received the illegal contribution and that the unidentified local businessman who gave her the $3,000 also wrote her campaign a $200 check the same day.

“In exchange, Antonini continued to support the businessman’s interests and understood she would take official action on his behalf if opportunities arose,” prosecutors wrote in a bill of information released Monday.

To no one’s surprise, that person is Anthony Cafaro Sr., a once-prominent businessman who faces a laundry list of charges in the Oakhill case accusing him of bribing current and former county officeholders.

Cafaro’s brother, J.J. is a two-time convicted felon, and his sister, Flora, is accused of money laundering.

As for Antonini, it’s hard to believe she threw away a comfortable political career for $3,000.

Her finance reports show she raised more than $75,000 in legitimate contributions for her 2008 campaign. Antonini’s annual salary as treasurer was $68,275.

Because she’s cooperating with the feds, Antonini only has to plead guilty to one felony count for illegally taking $3,000.

She’ll avoid prison time and probably pay a modest fine. The only good that can comes from this is if Antonini can provide prosecutors with enough information to convict others of being dirty.

Unfortunately, that will probably only slow down the corruption in this area for a while.

While some local Democrats are trying to excuse away Antonini’s loathsome behavior, county Republicans aren’t holding back their criticism.

One email I received came from James Shaw, director of political affairs for the county’s Young Republicans.

“The Democrats have had their turn. Now it’s [the Republicans’] turn,” he naively wrote.

You don’t get turns in politics.

You seize opportunities, something Mahoning County Republicans have repeatedly failed to do.


1outsideobserver(31 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

The Republicans have had plenty of opportunities to take office. For example, Mike Sciortino could have been taken out of office last year and the only candidate the Republicans could come up with was Tracy Winbush?

There's only a one party system here because the leaders of the Republicans are happy with the deals they have cut with the Democrats (except Betras, no one can deal with him unless your name is Cafaro).

The Dems are ripe for being taken out, but that won't happen because of the deals that are in place.

So if you are a Republican and want to see change, first get rid of Smith and Munroe, then find some candidates that have money and you will win some races.

If Smith and Munroe stay you don't have a chance of winning anything.

Suggest removal:

2Zoned(51 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Her behavior isnt as loathsome as you making people watch you twitch while they eat.

Suggest removal:

3outsideobserver(31 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago


Smith sits on the Board of Elections and is still very involved in what happens, and I'm talking about local elections.

I'm a Dem, don't sit on the sidelines and am happy you guys lose all the time.

Just giving some free advice on what you need to do to even begin to have a chance in local elections.

Suggest removal:

4outsideobserver(31 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Munroe is a tool owned by Smith.

Anyone can fight with Betras since he can't keep his mouth shut.

Hey if you guys want to keep losing elections that's fine with me.

Suggest removal:

5Zoned(51 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes they do cut deals. Republican named Dog Warden by 3 Democratic Commissioners. Mark Munroe's son worked in Sciortino's office. George Hunter (Scott's Brother) hired by DATA Board...oh uh yeah you sound like you really got this thing figured out.

Suggest removal:

6Askmeificare(1167 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

@ outsideobserver:

I totally agree with your #8 comment.

Well said. Well spoken.

Suggest removal:

7Zoned(51 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Sonny Smith is one of the Valley's leading contributors to democratic Candidates.
Askmeificare it looks like you "cared" about 324 comments worth.

Suggest removal:

8Zoned(51 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Flagg, Col. Sam Flagg. Everyone knows this. I just chack with public records before I speak. Its reall easy would you like me to tell you how to get to the Auditors Office? Might be a struggle once there though....you wouldnt believe it EVERYTHING is computerized.

Suggest removal:

9outsideobserver(31 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Rumor has it Yemma and the Republican, Lisa Oles have both dropped out of the race.

Republicans won't be able to take this seat from Carano.

Would you like some cheese with that wine? LOL!!!

Suggest removal:

10Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Carano can have the seat if he wants it, but in time, the same old recycled politicians are going to go. And with the exception of Joe Schiavoni, I am not seeing a whole lot of new talent rising in the ranks.

If I recall correctly, I don't think the Democrats wanted Schiavoni in the first place, which is probably why I have more respect for him than most.

Suggest removal:

11Zoned(51 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

You mean the Cafaro's handpicked boy. I like Joe but question his ability to do simple math. Never ceases to amaze me how no one commented on the fact that this was Capri's handpicked boy. Oh I get it.. sometimes the Cafaros are okay if they pick who I like.

Suggest removal:

12author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

The Republican Party under Smith and Munroe is the right wing of the local Democratic Party. In 2000, Smith and Munroe DID everything they could to work with the Democrats to defeat a very strong slate of Republican candidates in the general election. That slate stood for everything Smith and Munroe is against - #1 they didn't take money from Smith. #2 they were united against the sales tax until real reforms were brought to county government. #3 - they believed in implementing the Peat Marwick report on county government.

Suggest removal:


HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2016 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes