By Bertram de Souza (Contact)
Published October 3, 2011
Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted’s decision not to follow the recommendation of the Mahoning County Democratic Party’s executive committee and appoint party Chairman David Betras to the county board of elections has triggered a verbal lashing from a long-time Republican Party operative.
Dr. William Binning, former chairman of the county GOP and former member of the elections board — he was appointed and reappointed by Democratic secretaries of state — sent this writer a no-holds-barred e-mail lashing out at Husted. Binning is a veteran of Republican Party politics and was a member of the late Gov. James A. Rhodes’ campaign inner circle. His roots in the GOP run deep, which is why his criticism of the secretary of state’s decision is noteworthy.
Here’s what he said in his e-mail:
“As a long time Republican Party operative (no longer) and a student and advocate for strong political parties, I urge the Secretary of State to reconsider Dave Betras' appt to the MC bd of elections. The Party committee is given power in the Ohio revised code to recommend someone to represent them on the Bd of elections to see the other party does not engage in chicanery. The appt by the Sec of State is perfunctory, unless there is evidence of criminal wrongdoing. This judgmental action by the Sec of State started with Secretary Brunner when she held back on Alex Arshinkoff appt as a GOP appt, (a long time opponent and rival of mine in Republican party wars.) I think she exceeded her authority and discretion, it was later revealed in depositions she was conspiring with Arshinkoff''s rivals in the local treacherous Summit (County) GOP. Arshinkoff was/is one of the most talented GOP leaders in Ohio and i hope that was not the reason she refused to appt him to weaken the Republican party because Alex did not meet the wimp wrist test.
“In the case of bombastic Dave he has given new life to the Mahoning Dems and has every reason to claim a seat on the Bd and the Dems should feel comfortable, he will protect their interest and not sing la de da with the other party (my party). The fact that he served as the disgraced Marc Dann's treasurer, is insufficient, there has never been any allegations nor charges Betras did anything wrong so there is no evidence on the face of it for denial. Furthermore he is in good standing with the Bar Assoc which suggest there have not been any significant ethics charges brought against him. (Like some of the do gooders who recently influenced that party). The current GOP Secretary of State needs to reconsider and appoint bombastic Dave to the of MC Bd of Elections. These recent secretary of states are damaging and weakening the local political parties and need to back off. I hope the current Sec of State, who I voted for and see as an up and comer, will reconsider and not spend time busting political parties, which are already too weak and have lost their influence to shadow committees, a result of FEC v. Citizens United —those are the groups he should be going after.”
Binning, former chairman of Youngstown State University’s political science department, adds that if Husted has stronger evidence against Betras in his file he should “give it to the public.”
Yes, Mr. Secretary of State, the people of the Mahoning Valley deserve to know what evidence you have of Betras’ illegal activities while he served as the treasurer of Marc Dann’s attorney general transition team.