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Why didn’t Schiavoni sign the letter?

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published June 3, 2012

As Republican Gov. John Kasich prepares to appoint a replacement for Youngstown Municipal Court Judge Robert A. Douglas Jr., a Democrat who is retiring Aug. 1, two Mahoning County legislators are urging him not to fill the position. State Reps. Robert F. Hagan, D- Youngstown, and Ronald V. Gerberry, D-Austintown, sent a letter to the governor saying, in effect, that the reorganization of the court system below the common pleas level is of greater importance and financial significance than a Youngstown judgeship.

What is noteworthy about the letter — it comes on the heels of one sent by county Democratic Party Chairman David Betras to the governor advising him to leave the position vacant — is that state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, the minority leader, did not sign it. Hagan says he talked to Schiavoni who agreed with what was being sought, but did not want to put his name to the letter. Why?

Call it playing safe politically.

Schiavoni has made no secret of his plan to run for Congress in 2014 if Congressman Tim Ryan runs for governor. Ryan has said he will make a bid for statewide office if former Gov. Ted Strickland does not run. Strickland lost his re-election bid in 2010 by a sliver to Kasich. Since then, the Democrat has been vocal in his criticism of his successor; he also is co-chairman of President Obama’s national campaign.

If Strickland runs for governor in 2014, Ryan will stay where he is and will be a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination — barring any unforeseen scandals. He is building seniority in Congress. That means Schiavoni, Hagan, county Commissioner Anthony Traficanti and any other politician eyeing the congressional seat will have to reassess.

By not signing the letter to the governor regarding the judicial appointment, Schiavoni has put himself at odds with his legislative colleagues and party Chairman Betras, who has made the elimination of the courts below the common pleas level and the creation of a metropolitan system a priority.


1jwhitehawke(111 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

I KNEW Tim was planning on running because he's hasn't done anything lately to create controversy. (Hasn't done anything), I'm not happy to hear Strickland thinks he would have the private sector support. Hopefully Ohioans would realize the damage that was done in his lack of strength in keeping and getting private sector jobs in Ohio. I'm sure the public sector unions would spend millions to get Strickland and his cronies back. At least Kasich did alot to make Ohio a magnet for new jobs, pay off (Strickland's) debt. I think the Ohio private sector may be waking up to past corruption and would want a prosperous Ohio.

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2CongressWatcher(225 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

I certainly do not know everything, but I don't think Tim Ryan can win the governor's race. Can anyone believe that Mr. Ryan's record and experience in congress makes him capable of running the state. I am not sure the man has ever had a real job. Congress in no way has responsibly managed a budget. I believe he must know that his attempt will be fought hard by other democrats in the state and then the republicans in other parts of the state. From watching Mr. Ryan over the years, I feel he will have no strategy to run the state since he can not print money at the state level. This may sound harsh, but his philosophy to solve every problem is to apply federal dollars to it with very little plan. For what it is worth, this is my opinion.

On the other hand, Mr. Schiavoni may make a fairly good congressman. He might be a bit inexperienced but seems to stick to his guns on principle, even when his principles differ from the party line.

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31loaf(100 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

I don't think Nancy will her little Timmy quit his job as her hand maiden. Also I doubt that Betrass will be doing anything but his extortion job by the next election. People (even democrats) are starting to think for themselves!

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4polwatcher(3 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Schiavonni was smart not to sign the letter. I'm sure he's well aware of what happened in the legislature on May 24th when the dems blocked another court consolidation effort in the Trumbull County. Why is it good for Mahoning County and not Trumbull? In the end the republicans (including the governor) know that this is all politics and the dems sealed their fate by voting against Trumbull County. I hope it was worth it to Hagan and Gerberry. I guess Betras doesn't have such a good handle on what's going on afterall.

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5mishmash(333 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Nor does Betras have a handle or noose on Schiavoni.

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