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Betras won't dislodge Humphries

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published July 2, 2011

There’s a Volkswagen commercial that features a young boy whacking away at a piñata shaped like an SUV, but no matter how hard the boy hits it, the piñata remains intact. Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras is the boy, and Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber CEO Tom Humphries is the piñata.

No matter how many times Betras demands Humphries’ resignation, the chamber head remains firmly in place. Indeed, every time the Democratic chairman takes a swing at his arch enemy, influential members of the organization — most happen to be Republicans — tell Humphries to hang tough because he has their support.

On Friday, Betras issued another one of his press releases demanding the CEO’s resignation, and this time there wasn’t even a response from Humphries. Indeed, the verbal attacks lend themselves to an intriguing game: Count the number of times Betras has demanded Humphries’ resignation, and the number of times he has been ignored.

Perhaps the chairman thinks that if he keeps pressing the issue, Humphries will get so tired that he will simply quit. Fat chance.

At some point, even the press is going to figure out that Betras’ attacks are nothing more than a publicity stunt — and will stop taking them seriously.

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