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Dem Chairman Betras not in favor of challenge

Published: Wed, October 5, 2011 @ 12:04 a.m.


David Betras, Mahoning County Democratic Party chairman.


Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted


Michael Morley



Former Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann


Kenneth Carano

By David Skolnick



Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras said he doesn’t favor a legal challenge to the secretary of state’s decision to not seat him on the county board of elections.

Betras is calling a 4:30 p.m. Friday meeting of the county party’s executive committee to recommend not filing a lawsuit against Secretary of State Jon Husted, and have the committee’s members select someone else for the elections job.

“We’ll have a frank discussion on what to do,” Betras said Tuesday. “My recommendation is to appoint someone else. It’s not about me. It’s about the party.”

The term of Michael Morley, who resigned Sept. 19 to allow Betras to replace him, expires Feb. 29, 2012.

Betras planned to seek the full four-year term that would start the next day.

Austintown Trustee David Ditzler, a former county Democratic chairman, wants Husted to reconsider and appoint Betras. With that highly unlikely, Ditzler said he would seek the appointment for the rest of Morley’s unexpired term.

Ditzler said hopefully Husted would allow Betras to serve the four-year term that would start March 1, 2012.

A legal challenge could cost the party up to $50,000, Betras said.

“I won’t deplete the party’s resources,” he said.

In a letter, Husted, a Republican, rejected the party’s nomination of Betras as an elections board member calling the party chairman “not competent.”

Husted cited Betras’ “wrongful conduct” as treasurer of ex-Attorney General Marc Dann’s transition account.

“I’m a tad conflicted,” Betras said.

“I want to fight this, but that’s not what’s best for the party. I don’t think the letter is fair. I should have been asked for input and wasn’t.”

Betras never was charged with any crime, and said Husted’s decision is based on “fiction,” is “partisan,” and “it impugns my character.”

Except for a portion of one ethics conviction against Dann, no one else was charged with criminal activity related to the fund.

Husted gave Mahoning County Democrats until Monday to submit a recommendation to him for the vacant Democratic seat on the board of elections.

If one isn’t chosen by then, Husted would select a board member, said Matt McClellan, the secretary of state’s spokesman.

“We will be meeting with Mr. Betras later this week. While we do not expect to change our decision, we do believe there are important points of difference that need to be discussed face to face,” McClellan added.

Betras disagrees with the Monday deadline, but said party officials would rather have “some say than no say” in selecting a replacement for Morley.

Kenneth Carano, the party’s executive vice chairman and a former state representative, wants the party to seek a restraining order against Husted on the deadline.

“We can’t simply roll over on this,” he said. “I don’t think we should be looking for a replacement. We should be fighting the secretary of state on this.”


1Tony_A(13 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Yes, the Chairman of the Democratic Party should have a seat on the Board of Elections. The real problem is that David Betras should not be the chairman.

Just as the Oakhill charges were dropped due to the feds not wanting to give up what they have, there is a behind the scenes investigation going on with Betras.

Unless you are Bertram de Souza, all it takes is 5 minutes of investigating and you can find plenty of dirt on Betras. It’s not hard to find some of this stuff out since blowhard Dave flaunts his digressions. I'm sure Husted did more than 5 minutes of investigating and is happy to take this shot at someone who is trying to be something he is not, a politician.

There are many “real” democrats in Mahoning County that can sit on the Board and do a good job for the community, it’s time for the Betras era to come to an end.

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2jwhitehawke(110 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Is David Betras running Marc Dann's campaign for AG? While threatening to sue other Dems?


Tim Russo - Posted on 13 April 2006

He of the Capri Cafaro defamation suit threat? Betras is Marc Dann's former law partner. This is from the blog of the Youngstown Vindicator's columnist Betram de Souza back in March.

Betras called yours truly earlier this week to announce that he intends to take a leave of absence to run state Sen. Marc Dann’s campaign for Ohio attorney general. When it was pointed out to him that his talents as a lawyer and a media personality did not extend to managing a statewide election campaign, he seemed to take great offense.

I just called the Dann campaign, and they said I needed to talk to Greg Hicks, the campaign manager, but would not say a single word about David Betras' role, if any, in the Dann campaign. After repeated questions about Betras, they said talk to Hicks. A commenter at Bertram's blog calling himself "Insider" left this.

Bertram, you are way off base on this one. Marc’s campaign needed exactly what Dave Betras and Greg Hicks supply: Attention to daily detail and management prowess.

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3Silence_Dogood(1663 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Berty do you know what happened to the cookies in the cookie jar?
No Mom,maybe spot ate them.
Berty , I don't think spot would be able to put the lid back on the jar.
Well we will just have to look for all the crumbs to find out where all those cookies went.
Mom I don't think you need to do that , spot would not have left any crumbs, you really don't need to look for any crumbs. Besides it might take to long to look for the crumbs, maybe you could just cook some more cookies, what do you think Mom can we just cook some more cookies, and that way I can watch over the cookies and make sure spot wont take any more cookies.

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4ipaidattention(68 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Just an opinion here:

I'd recommend that the chairman fight it, obviously he has something to hide that he is backing down, because he never backs down from anything, and he's always willing to throw his own money into anything else, so why is he not willing to now? QUIT COVERING UP! Either use your own money and resources and fight it, or you need to resign as chairman. Show the people you are not a incompetent crook, or vindicate us!

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