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« Stirfry

Heads must roll at board of elections

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published August 28, 2010

Untitled document

If the four members of the Mahoning County Board of Elections fail to do the honorable thing and resign, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner should use her authority and fire them. Why?
Because Republicans Clarence Smith and Mark Munroe and Democrats Michael Morley and Robert Wasko through sheer incompetence have given credibility to the Black Helicopter crowd — the conspiracy theorists who are James A. Traficant Jr.’s supporters.
The controversy over Traficant’s candidacy petitions to run as an independent in the 17th District congressional race in November would not have occurred had the four board members been directly involved in the review of the petitions signed by Mahoning County voters.
To be sure, checking the accuracy of the signatures on the petitions is the job of the board of elections staff led by the director, Thomas McCabe, a Republican. The deputy director is Joyce Kale Pesta, a Democrat. But because it was Traficant — he has turned political conspiracies into an art form — seeking to get on the ballot, Smith, Munroe, Morley and Wasko should have taken a hands-on approach.
They didn’t, and now the board of elections has to eat crow.
After first saying that the former 17th District congressman-turned-federal prisoner did not have the required number of legitimate signatures, it now turns out that he did, indeed, have more than enough. Thus on Friday it was acknowledged by the board staff that Traficant has met the legal requirements to run as an independent candidate for Congress.
Hence, the title of this blog, “Heads must roll at board of elections.” If it sounds familiar, that’s because on Oct. 25 of last year it was the headline to this writer’s column about another debacle at the board.
Here what was written, in part:
“Having a clerk take the fall for what is by any measure a major foul-up at the Mahoning County Board of Elections is not only unfair but is unacceptable.
“To be sure, Danielle O’Neill must be held to account for not sending to the county commissioners the ballot language for the half-percent sales tax renewal that was prepared by the Ohio secretary of state’s office. But O’Neill, who has worked for the board of elections for 20 years, isn’t the only one at fault.”
Then, as now, the fault went all the way up to the top.
There are reports that O’Neill was involved in checking the signatures on Traficant’s petitions. If that’s so, her bosses, the director and deputy director, have some explaining to do.
In the end, however, it is the responsibility of the four members of the board of elections to ensure that everything is done according to law and the rules and regulations established by the secretary of state are followed. Because they again failed in the performance of their duties, they should resign or Secretary Brunner should fire them.


11970mach1(1005 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

So who all are you firing? Just the four board members, or McCabe, Kale-Pesta, and O'Neil too?

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2davidjohn(144 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

it seems like this is an old song

how many times has this board screwed up

how many elections were filled with corrupt activities

didnt morley moved to new york years ago

do these people get hospitalization

why did wellington think it necessary to put in cameras

why did the fbi take campaign reports

who approved those reports

before the board is fired they should be investigated

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3burford(95 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

You don't have to be related to see that these politicians always blame the lowest on the rung employees and let them take the hit. It is obvious.

And do you really think a judge would post on a web site from work? C'mon.
Give up your hatred. The judge beat the political establishment and you still can't stand it.

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4saddad(646 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

A signature on a petition either matches up to a registered voter or it doesnt. In a high profile case things are usually checked and double checked. I want to know more details. How much did the count change--what kind of error was involved? Without some good explanation--I would have to agree with Bert. But-on the other hand--so long as elections are conducted on the machines they use,nothing really matters

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51970mach1(1005 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

"Heads must roll at board of elections"

If you really feel that way, won't don't you contact Brunner's office for a comment on your article?

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6ipaidattention(68 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

They all need to go, especially the two at the top, of course one could reasonably claim she chose to not show up to work that day. Don't let them stay there, she is the reason our election process is so corrupt here and no new, qualified candidates stand a chance and of course im not refering to jimbo.this is bigger than that, this is an elections official rigging elections, force an investigation!

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7author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Lots of excellent questions and no answers. Why are people in charge afraid to investigate the MCBOE? Does Morley, Smith, Munroe, Wasko, McCabe, Kale-Pasta have that much power?

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8teabagparty(14 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Political! Betras wants a seat! No one's going anywhere!

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9mrblue(1142 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

This isn't the first screw up and an investigation is warranted. Secretary Brunner should conduct the investigation and do what is necessary.

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10candystriper(575 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Silly writer...you could find a dead taxpayer under the desk of a blood stained government employee holding the knife and they still won't be fired...lol.

Vote R straight ticket!

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11theCaliforniaKid(56 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

He just wants to cut off their heads because Jim got on, that's it

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12Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years ago

The powers in The Valley have been telling the people what is good for them and prosperity on a massive scale is eluding us . We deserve better !

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13theCaliforniaKid(56 comments)posted 5 years ago

Anybody deserves better than crummy journalism. If they want to make terrorists talk, all they need do is read from the oppinion-section..within hours, perhaps minutes, their tongues will loosen up alright. They can sell their water-boards at a yardsale, and give the proceeds back to the taxpayers

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