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Late report from candidate Kitchen shows $10K from ex-GOP chair, wife

Published: Fri, March 7, 2014 @ 12:07 a.m.

By David Skolnick



Almost three months after the deadline, failed Youngstown mayoral candidate DeMaine Kitchen filed a post-general-election campaign-finance report.

The report shows Kitchen, an independent candidate, raised $26,975 between Oct. 9 and Nov. 3, 2013, with $10,000 of it coming from former Mahoning County Republican Party Chairman Clarence R. Smith and his wife, Rose. Kitchen received $5,000 from the Smiths on Oct. 21 and a second $5,000 payment Oct. 27.

Clarence R. Smith gave $20,000 to Jay Williams on Oct. 21, 2005, during his successful independent run for Youngstown mayor in 2005.

Kitchen lost to Democrat John A. McNally in the Nov. 5, 2013, general election by more than 11 percentage points.

Kitchen was supposed to file this finance report no later than Dec. 13, 2013, with the Mahoning County Board of Elections. It was filed Tuesday.

Kitchen couldn’t be reached Thursday by The Vindicator to comment. But Diane Raptis, the board of elections’ clerk who is in charge of campaign- finance reports, said Kitchen told her he filed late because he “had a hardship” and “wasn’t working in town.”

Besides being late, Kitchen’s report shows a $4,000 cash contribution Oct. 27 from Charles Sammarone, then the mayor of Youngstown who employed Kitchen as his chief of staff/secretary.

State law doesn’t permit cash contributions of more than $100.

The board of elections sent a letter to Kitchen on Wednesday that his campaign had 21 days to refund $3,900 to Sammarone, who now is city council president, or the matter would be referred to the Ohio Elections Commission.

In this situation, the commission could fine a candidate up to $11,700, three times the $3,900 amount that exceeds the maximum cash contribution limit, but that is unlikely for a first-time offender, said Philip C. Richter, the commission’s executive director.

Also, the commission has no authority to compel the candidate to refund the money to the donor, Richter said.

Sammarone said Thursday that he gave cash to Kitchen, but didn’t immediately recall the amount.

Another monetary issue with Kitchen’s report is he withdrew $1,500 from his account on the day of the election to pay people to work polling locations and to drive voters to those locations, Raptis said.

A candidate is not permitted to do that, but there is nothing that can be done to rectify that situation, Raptis said.

Between July 1 and Dec. 6, McNally raised $94,745 compared with $38,785 for Kitchen. McNally also raised $131,854 for the May 2013 Democratic primary. Kitchen had $143 in his campaign fund when he started raising money last July.


1formerdemliberal(182 comments)posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

VINDY HEADLINE: "Late report from independent candidate Kitchen shows $10K from GOP chair, wife"

Article quote: "$10,000 of it (campaign contributions) coming from FORMER (emphasis added) Mahoning County Republican Party Chairman Clarence R. Smith and his wife, Rose."

Another case of misleading, inaccurate Vindy article headlines vs. article content. If the Vindy wants to call itself a "quality" news organization, sloppy blatant editorial mistakes cannot occur on such a ongoing basis. Can you image a Wall Street Journal or Washington Post article headline containing such an obvious mistake?

Maybe Mark Munroe was on to something in his recent letter claiming bias in reporting political activities in the Vindy. Of course, the "esteemed" Vindy editors would never acknowledge this bias, but tell that to Mr. Munroe when he attempts to clarify to fellow Republican leaders that he was not involved in any political contribution to a pseudo-Democratic Y-town mayoral candidate.

As for former Republican chair Smith, what an insult to your party brethren. Your contribution basically justifies local beliefs that a Republican cannot win election in Mahoning County, except if they run under the guise of an "independent". Furthermore, this kind of hypocritical support undermines those Democrat for Change candidates who may be contemplating running for office as Independents. Voters could perceive these candidates who are working to improve their own party's image as nothing more than Republican political puppets. And don't think that Dave Betrus won't use that message in selling his Democratic endorsed slate to the voters as "true Democrats".

In the future, I hope that local Republicans advise Mr.Smith to focus his significant monetary resources on candidates who have the courage to carry the banner of the Republican Party in what can only be described as a "hostile" political environment.

Say what you will about the local Democratic machine and Dave Betrus, but one thing that is not tolerated is bucking the party line. Just ask Annie Gillam, her husband, Artis Gillam Sr.; and T.J. Rodgers about thier removal from the MSDP executive committee for supporting Kitchen over McNally for Y-town mayor.

Perhaps the Mr. Munroe and the Republican Party Executive Committee should consider the same action regarding Mr. Smith's support of a questionable "independent" Youngstown mayoral candidate facing sexual harassment charges that were ultimately found credible and confirmed by Mr. Kitchen (http://www.vindy.com/news/2013/dec/07...).

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2author50(1121 comments)posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Not the first time that Sonny Boy Smith has used his considerable wealth to fund democrats or independents instead of Republicans.

Lisa Antonini is in jail for NOT reporting a $3,000.00 loan. The Sammarone $4,000.00 CASH payment to Kitchen sure seems worse. Then again, not one thing has happened to Sammarone while sexual harassment took place on his watch, Lt. Mercer's wiping his feet on the 4th Amendment took place, tearing down houses without due process took place, giving $20,000.00 to his son to open a bar which failed and wasn't repaid took place, etc.

Once again, some skate and others are held under the ice.

Sure makes one wonder.....

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3msweetwood(161 comments)posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Former: The headline for the online edition of Vindy for this story was indeed in error (but correct in the print edition). You have a choice when you see a mistake: You can rant about conspiracies or you can bring it to our attention.

In either case, when we spot a legitimate error, we correct it.

Since you begged the question, "Can you image a Wall Street Journal or Washington Post article headline containing such an obvious mistake?" I am including a link to Poynter's best/worst corrections of 2013 to satisfy your inquiry.


But be careful about demanding perfection: You misspelled Dave Betras' name.

Mark Sweetwood
Managing Editor

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4johnyoung(241 comments)posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Sammarone "doesn't recall" the cash amount he gave to Kitchen? A little hard to believe.

I think if I gave someone $4,000.00, I would tend to remember it. Not exactly pocket change. Since he was an elected official at the time, and still is, what are the potential penalties? Can he be charged with ethics or election law violations?

And the Youngstown circus continues. Time to clean house, folks. Remember, both Kitchen and Sammarone come from the long-corrupt culture of city council.

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5TERRAPINST(302 comments)posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Okay-Haven't commented in a looooong time because generally don't like to consider myself as big an idiot as the majority of those who post here. So let me get this straight, state law and the Board of elections allows a mulligan on illegal contributions/ You mean there's like a do-over? I recognize that Sammarone is like gorilla stupid (at least in looks) and probably after being involved in 30 years of political campaigns for which he is one of the CLASSIC MAHONING COUNTY WHORES he really didn't know-disturbing in itself. However does this true watchdog of community concern and political corruption really have only that much to say about it. F*&#ing joke all of it. How come only some folk get the do-over? Couldn't it be said that this was "attempted" bribery so if Kitchen won Sammarone gets water commissioner like was the deal. Again that Sammarone dude is bad medicine man and its continually overlooked. Doesn't recall contribution. doesn't recall his involvement in promoting the sexual harassment of female staff. Tell you what-he sure recalls how to find the YMCA during work-hours.

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6eevo(51 comments)posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I heard on Fox that Obama donated 20k to Kitchen. Why wasn't that covered on the liberal news media?

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7formerdemliberal(182 comments)posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Mr. Sweetwood,

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my "rant" and supplying a reference about other 2013 newspaper corrections. I will certainly make it a point to spell Mr. Betras' name correctly in the future.

As far as conspiracy theories, my previous blog referred to Mark Munroe's earlier Letter to the Editor suggesting selective reporting of news stories about political activities by the Vindicator.

I took the time to review your web referenced article and found ONE correction of a Bloody Mary recipe attributable to the Wall Street Journal for 2013:

"Best Numerical Error
The Wall Street Journal:
A Bloody Mary recipe, which accompanied an Off Duty article in some editions on June 8 about the herb lovage, called for 12 ounces of vodka and 36 ounces of tomato juice. The recipe as printed incorrectly reversed the amounts, calling for 36 ounces of vodka and 12 ounces of tomato juice."

And ONE semantic adjustment of a Washington Post article for 2013:
"An October 14 Style article about access to the prison camp for terrorism suspects at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay incorrectly referred to Navy Capt. Robert Durand as "thickset". He should have been described as "muscular".

Comparatively, here is a list of three additional errors or mismatched headlines with article content, that I have noticed since last December.
1. HEADLINE: "Commissioner Ditzlet warns of local government cut"
COMMENT: Who's Commissioner Ditzlet?
Vindy writers strike again.
February 22, 2014

2. HEADLINE: "Some parents say temperature around zero is too low for school"
COMMENT: There is not a single quote from a student's parent about temperatures too cold for school.
Articles like this makes it appear that the Vindy just makes things up as they go along.
February 18, 2014
3. HEADLINE: "Campbell man accused of trying to lure children into car"
COMMENT: This story makes no sense at all. Two different names (Terrick/Jackson) listed from two different towns (Campbell/North Jackson).
Nice job, Vindy writers and editors. "Quality" work.
December 6, 2013

Add in the initial erroneous March 7 article headline (making at least four errors or inconsistencies, two involving local politicians, that have appeared in Vindy articles in the past 3 months) and you have a recipe for losing public trust with your readership whether you like it or not.

Yes, we all make mistakes, including myself, but the Vindy's position in the community as a primary news source demands the highest possible reporting standards. Hopefully, these obligations will be adequately met by all Vindicator writers and editors in the future.

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8eevo(51 comments)posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Former dem, you are too serious. For the record, I always use 36 oz of vodka and 12 oz of tomato juice in my Bloody Mary. Then I proceed to make comments on Vindy.com.

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