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« Stirfry

A political first?

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published March 7, 2010

Untitled document

The deputy director of the Mahoning County Board of Elections had planned to run for a precinct committee position, but a funny thing happened on her way to the ballot — her petition was rejected.

Joyce Kale-Pesta, whose involvement in the Mahoning County Democratic Party goes back all the way to the early days of the late Don L. Hanni Jr.'s tenure as chairman, has assisted many candidates in filing petitions for office. And yet, when it came to her own, she blew it.

What happened? According to people in the know her petition was defective because it contained signatures of individuals who were not registered to vote. It seemed that Kale-Pesta's husband was circulating the petition and failed to check the names of individuals in the Boardman precinct against a master list of Democratic registered voters maintained by the party.

Such a mistake is not as unusual as it may seem. But when it is the second highest ranking employee in the board of elections office making the rookie error, political tongues tend to wag.

Kale-Pesta's failure to launch her candidacy wasn't the only thing that gave her political indigestion. According to an insider, she left the board of elections office one day last week highly upset after being verbally attacked by Mark Hanni, son of the late chairman. Mark is trying to follow in his father's footsteps by running a slate of candidates for precinct committee positions in the May primary.

He doesn't stand a chance of ousting Chairman David Betras, but he's become enough of an irritant that party insiders are whispering about his wanting a job in return for ending his challenge.

Betras has made it clear that there will be no deal-making. Good for him.


1BillyBob(92 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

If Betras is re-elected, clearly voters have no IDEA what he is really like. If they did, they would know his real agenda. Bertram has written 2 articles in in 2 weeks supporting Betras & making slamming Hanni. I can clearly see what Bertram's agenda is now too.

Betras' agenda is, as it always has been, political power for himself. Ask anyone who TRULY knows him.

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2ipaidattention(68 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

Bertram, a sincere thank you for pointing this out. This woman should not be able to run for any office while holding such a position at the board of elections. If her petitions had been filled out correctly in the first place she would have still had to pull out like it was written last week by David Skolnick that she did. She has a personal agenda and I do not believe that she i snot in the Hanni pocket by any means. She adores old man Hanni and the corruption that he encouraged. We need someone else. Anyone else but Joyce Kale.

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3ipaidattention(68 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

she is not*

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4Millie(192 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

What is so odd about the political elite having probems with petitions. Charlie Wilson found it necessary to spend a Million Dollars to get back on the ballot as a write in.
Maybe Stir Fry should do a column on the real backstabbers in this town. We could provide a long list.

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5Sarahdipity(3 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

Millie--Charlie Wilson didn't just make a mistake. The majority of his signatures came from outside the 6th district, meaning he was unaware of who his constituents would be if he were elected into office. Honestly, who would elect someone who didn't even know where the district lines are for the area in which he is running? Wilson has done a less than stellar job in his short tenure in the HoR. If that's what the people of the Valley get when they elect someone who can't follow directions, it's a good thing Kale-Pesta wont' be running.

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6saddad(655 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

Nomination isnt usually done of oneself. There is a natural aversion to it for many. I think it effects a candidates review of petitions circulated by others and results in less than vigilant checking of signatures. Even among the "pros".

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7lovinthepolitics(3 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

Let the political season begin! I So much enjoy it when the vindicator attacks Hanni, and he responds by going on the radio and talks about Bertram de Souza's many DUI arrests,or How Betty Jagnow REALLY made it to the top of the vindicator. I hope both sides keep this up. Politics stink but the entertainment is worth it!

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