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

« News Home

Sparks will fly at meeting of Dems



Published: Fri, June 6, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

By David Skolnick (Contact)


On the side

Cheers: Though he voted against the state’s new budget bill, state Rep. Robert F. Hagan is touting a provision in it that will have a large impact on the Rust Belt Brewing Co., a downtown Youngstown microbrewery.

The bill includes a slight change in the state’s liquor law allowing Rust Belt and some other license holders to sell beer to customers in growlers — half-gallon glass jugs — for at-home consumption.

The amendment was drafted by Hagan of Youngstown, D-58th, and Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd, who also voted against the bill. Even so, both were able to insert the amendment into the bill approved by the House and Senate.

Financial reports: Next Friday is the deadline for those who ran in the May primary to submit their post-primary campaign financial reports. Of particular interest will be how much money was raised and spent in the Democratic primary for Mahoning County Probate Court. Susan Maruca beat Christopher Sammarone in that primary by just 200 votes. It was the most expensive race in the county based on pre-primary reports.

While it’s highly unlikely that Mahoning County Democratic precinct committee members won’t re-elect David Betras as their chairman Saturday, at least the meeting will be a spectacle.

Betras is being challenged by Socrates Kolitsos and Rick Berger.

Berger wrote a letter to committee members calling Betras a “pathological liar,” and accused him of a variety of crimes, cover-ups and personal indiscretions. Betras denies all the allegations.

Berger also wrote that Betras, who he calls a “puppet master,” filed a menacing charge against him May 1. Betras said he did so because Berger threatened bodily injury to him on the web and his wife got nervous.

Berger wrote that he is a convicted felon from 19 years ago and offered to explain what happened to any interested committee members.

“The current chairman HATES MY GUTS AND WANTS ME DEAD!!! He is justified in feeling this way!” Berger wrote.

Berger said he exposed an issue that led to the defeat in 2012 of Jay Macejko, the party’s endorsed candidate, over incumbent county Prosecutor Paul J. Gains, and that is why Betras hates him. This was the only time the party’s endorsed candidate for a countywide seat lost during Betras’ time as chairman, which began April 27, 2009.

Betras said Berger is giving himself way too much credit.

When asked about Berger’s letter, Betras said, “I don’t spent time paying attention to fringe people. I find it to be a waste of time. I find him pathetic. He’s threatened me, libeled me and publicly disparages our elected officials. He shouldn’t be given any consideration.”

Kolitsos’ speech will call for the elimination of non-precinct committee members from the executive committee, a $100 payment annual to precinct committee members, and other issues that would require changes to the party’s charter including having “no endorsement” be an option in primary endorsements, and reducing party officer terms from four to two years.

“The current chair is a self-serving media hound that causes dissension within our party,” he wrote in a letter to committee members. “I will not make myself the focal point of a candidate’s campaign.”

Betras said Kolitsos is running because the latter asked him to find a job for him, and the chairman said no.

Kolitsos has three candidates for other party offices who “share my views,” including David Engler, running for executive vice chairman. Engler and Betras have traded barbs and don’t like each other.

“I think I’ve done a good job as chairman,” Betras said. “The party’s raised more money [about $750,000] with me as chairman than anyone else. I’ve given a substantial sum of my own money [about $50,000] to the party. We are a strong party based on the success of our endorsed candidates being elected.”

Betras’ slate includes Kenneth Carano, the incumbent executive vice chairman; former Youngstown Council President Jamael Tito Brown for vice chairman of minority affairs; Joseph Halas, running unopposed for vice chairman of labor relations; Richard Clautti, the incumbent treasurer; and Joyce Kale-Pesta, the county board of elections director, for secretary.

Kale-Pesta is challenging longtime secretary John Vivo.

“Nothing against John, but we have to have a woman on that board,” Betras said. “We can’t have all males.”

Jaladah Aslam, the lone woman on the party’s executive board, isn’t seeking re-election as vice chairwoman of minority affairs.


Comments

1Knightcap(699 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

One of the most entertaining venues around here is the Mahoning county democrat party. For the past five decades of corruption and follies this area has come up with a cast of characters to rival Hollywood. And the envelope (of course with cash) goes to __________.

Suggest removal:

2redvert(2064 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The voters in the valley deserve what they get!

Suggest removal:

3Nom_De_Plume(54 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Wasn't Mark Hanni endorsed when he lost to Mary DeGenaro for the court of appeals?

Suggest removal:

4ysuforever(57 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Wasn't going to post about today but since many of you have suggested that I am actually Dave,here goes.Everyone in our party knows its a lock that Betras will easily win.My problem is to why hes thrown John Vivo under the bus.Every Valley Dem knows that John has been a hard working party loyalist.Betras is wrong about this.If he wanted a woman onboard he certainly had other options.Today should certainly be interesting for sure

Suggest removal:

5DavidSkolnick(51 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Listener,

I did ask the questions and Betras said no to the claims. Just because someone makes unsubstantiated allegations doesn't mean it's worthy to be included in my column. But as I mentioned, the questions were asked and answered.

Suggest removal:


News
Opinion
Entertainment
Sports
Marketplace
Classifieds
Records
Discussions
Community
Help
Forms
Neighbors

HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2014 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 | Pittsburgh International Airport