Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cuyahoga County Commissioner Candidate Debbie Sutherland supporters should be grateful for PD Endorsement

The following is a letter to the editor in yesterday’s Rag Dealer (Plain Dealer)....

Endorsement of Sutherland for Cuyahoga County commissioner merited more enthusiasm - letter to the editor

Monday, September 15, 2008

I have read with interest and disgust over the last few months about the lack of accountability and corruption in county government. The Plain Dealer has done a terrific job of investigating and analyzing the antics of several of its members. I was happy to see your endorsement of Deborah Sutherland for Cuyahoga County commissioner. However, I was disappointed that it seemed half-hearted.

If Cuyahoga County continues to allow one party to run its government, it will never realize any accountability and will continue to see waste and corruption. After grabbing our attention with “County in crisis,” it seems to me that you would be more serious about making a change.

Gina Luketic
North Canton --end letter--

There are a couple items in this letter that I would like to comment but first want to get the following out of the way… Ms. Luketic should worry about her town of North Canton and not Cuyahoga County.

Now in specifically addressing her temper tantrum and whine that the Rag Dealer’s endorsement of Bay Village Mayor Deborah Sutherland for Cuyahoga County Commissioner was not sufficient and half-hearted. Maybe Luketic thought bells & whistles should have accompanied the endorsement. Possibly even a back flip and a little Obama-like praise should have been showered on the candidate for which Luketic will not even be able to vote.

Luketic’s letter clearly shows her lack of knowledge regarding Cuyahoga County and an absolute lack of political acumen. In her letter she states --

If Cuyahoga County continues to allow one party to run its government....

Really? Continues to allow? What choice do the voters have Ms. Luketic?

I wonder if Luketic is aware that for a two party county to exist, there needs to be another party? Another party that has the desire, the structure, quality candidates and the leadership needed to be effective. Due to the fact that an effective party does not exist – your request for accountability will go unheard.

It should come as no surprise that pretty much the ONLY reason Sutherland got the endorsements is because –
  • She supported the forced tax increase for the $1 Billion Med/Mart Convention Center the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the Plain Dealer & Commissioner Tim Hagan wanted. She served these parties well as a cheerleader for support in her role as leader of the Cuyahoga County Mayors & City Managers Association.

  • She supported and is again a cheerleader for Commissioner Tim Hagan, the Plain Dealer, and The Greater Cleveland Partnership for the county reform. This county reform referendum would consolidate the control of now Commissioner Hagan and the same businessmen who have dragged our region to the depths of despair.

  • Decided NOT TO RUN against Commissioner Tim Hagan. Hagan is the acknowledged mouthpiece and serves the interests of the Greater Cleveland Partnership and the Plain Dealer.

So the endorsement is not half-hearted, they felt they owed it to her!

Being a Good Samaritan and caring about her fellow Ohio residents, Luketic voices concern that after writing about the corruption investigation, the PD should be more assertive in their endorsement if they really want change.

Oh really?

First, Luketic must understand that the PD was part of the enabling factor in this corruption.

Did the PD ever challenge or write objectively about the democrats who have controlled our county?

For example, many of the people highlighted in the patronage article about Auditor Russo worked there for many years. How come only now the PD brings this up? Were they sleeping, not doing their job or just shilling for the local democrats that they helped keep in power?

Now lets address her “change” for change’s sake….

What will this change bring? Nothing if the wrong commissioner up for reelection is targeted?

Being 3 commissioners, a 2-1 vote carries any motion or legislation. With the current cabal of commissioners the vote on many of the issues and projects, ( funding for Med Mart/Convention Center, forced sales tax increase, Ameritrust Complex, Asbestos abatement at Ameritrust complex, Juvenile Justice Center, and Illegal voting contracts), being questioned were 2-1.

The lone opposing vote on many of the issues being questioned and that Sutherland is campaigning on, is cast by Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones. So why would she not run against Hagan? Hagan is more often than not the brainchild on many of the issues she is campaigning against and the crux of the troubles facing Cuyahoga County residents today.

So let’s do the math….

Currently we have one Cuyahoga County Commissioner who votes for the best interests of the residents. That vote is usually over ridden in a 2-1 vote.

Ok – now for the so-called change for improvement…. The one commissioner voting in the best interest of the residents loses and is replaced by Sutherland. Sutherland claims she will vote for the best interests of the residents… (forget her support of the forced sales tax increase and the Med Mart/Convention Center for now). Ok so now we have our change – or do we?

The vote would still remain 2-1 – NO CHANGE!

This of course would only be IF Sutherland really is the voice of change. SO far her actions don’t prove it! In her own words Sutherland stated she supported the forced sales tax increase and $1 Billion Med Mart/Convention Center because – “Tim Hagan worked so hard on it.” So, the vote for the forced sales tax increase would have been 3-0 had Sutherland been commissioner.

One thing we learned here is that Ms. Luketic needs to be more politically astute. A math class or two, maybe even a beginners Poly Sci class would not hurt either. Would our party and the voters not be better served if someone did the right thing and run against Hagan – the one commissioner who routinely ignores what is best for the voters?

While Sutherland would not win against Hagan (and she has a better chance of seeing God than she has of beating PLJ too) but all the democrats in this area would see someone, a Republican, is standing up for what is right and what is best for them - the voters.

Don’t think a democrat will vote for a Republican in Cuyahoga County? Check the records they do and they will – if they have a reason.

Don’t mistakenly think that I don't believe we need change – we desperately do! But until the RPCC begins to lead with integrity and we find good candidates willing to run for the right reason (just winning is not the right reason), nothing will change.

The way for change is not through indebted endorsements from the Rag Dealer. The way for change is showing the residents of this county that there are leaders with integrity. Show them that there are leaders who will stand up for what is right. We cannot afford any more political mouthpieces serving the best interest of those that have screwed the residents for so long.

Supporting everything and/or being silent on everything until it is politically expediant to complain about it is not being a leader. It is an insult to the residents of this county when someone who had the position and the forum to speak out about these ills we face, only speaks out after nothing can be done.

Until we, the RPCC, as a party begin ridding ourselves of the social club members that have infected our ranks there will be no change. Until we, the RPCC, as a party begin standing for what is right and not what will serve the best personal interests of a few party members nothing will change. Until a concerted effort is made to reintroduce the RPCC to the voters, and educate the voters of Cuyahoga County of who we are and for what we stand, we will continue to lose elections.

What Ms. Luketic fails to see is that we, the RPCC and our leaders, have given the voters nothing. We have not stood up for what is right and defended them against corruption and lack of accountability. We as a party have not held the democrats accountable. So all the voters see is more of the same – politicians willing to say or do anything for a vote. In Cuyahoga County that does not bode well for Republicans or the future of our party.

While I am not submitting this post to the Rag Dealer, I have a funny feeling that "Ms. Luketic" will see my remarks. I would like to ask her the following –

  • Are you aware the RPCC Chairman Rob Frost not only condones, but heaps praise on party members who make monetary donations to democrat candidates over Republican candidates? This would be considered a direct violation of our by-laws and grounds for disciplinary proceedings - not a reason to be celebrated!

  • Are you aware that against the wishes of RPCC members, that Chairman Frost, with the support and at the urging of the candidate that Ms. Luketic requests back flips for, pulled party support for requesting the forced sales tax increase for the $1 Billion Med Mart/Convention Center be put on the ballot?

Yes Ms. Luketic – the budget crisis our county faces must have just came up in the last week or so. Things like a predicted $38 Million shortage in 10 yrs always pop out of the blue. But when we are facing a budget crisis - why shouldn’t the county leaders, namely the unopposed Commissioner Tim Hagan, with the support of her “Lets do back flips” candidate, forcefully impose a sales tax increase and spend more county money for a pipe dream of a project?

  • Are you aware Ms. Luketic that the so-called leaders of the RPCC had intentions of asking the rank and file to nominate a registered democrat to run for a judges seat?

  • Are you aware that when many of the things you imply are the reason for Cuyahoga County’s woes were introduced – many of the RPCC sat silent?

  • Are you aware the that the one Republican County Chairman with probably the worst record of getting candidates elected is one of the very, very few chairman who take a salary? This salary could go towards helping candidates and making the change you requested and we need.

So until we clean up our house, take out the trash, begin doing things for the right reason and stop supporting candidates that do not advance our party or improve the lives of Cuyahoga county voters – we cannot force the democrats to be accountable. Until WE give the voters a reason to vote for another candidate – there will be one party rule.

Without having a firm grasp and understanding of the issues, for not being able to think on her own, for advancing talking points of the GCP and NOT having the support of rank & file RPCC members - Ms. Luketic should be grateful that the Rag Dealer is again not requiring candidates too earn their endorsements and are just handing them out to some candidates!


  1. is this really what they're resorting to in order to drum up support? having a paid staffer ghostwrite a letter to the editor from his mom?

  2. Dear Mr. Kotter,

    Please excuse Epsteen from class yesterday. He was helping Debbie Sutherland.

    Epsteen's Mom

  3. Hey! I must be having an Obama moment - I am missing the point.

    Ghost writer? Anon - can you please 'splain?

  4. King,

    if I'm not mistaken, isn't there a luketic who works for the rpcc? and then a letter from a luketic (who happens to live in North canton) appears in the paper. pretty coincindental that someone with the same last name, from two counties away, should care so deeply about the endorsement. methinks that the rpcc luketic wrote the letter and had his mom send it in.

  5. I thought I would vote for her because I would have sex with her. But when I met her she was as thin as her resume. Not my cup of tea in a woman or candidate.

  6. personal attacks are not needed. Highlighting her short comings is fair game.

    King, why do you say Sutherland does not have he support of "rank & file RPCC" members?

    From what I am being told by HQ she has tons of support, the polls shows she will be successful and that she is workiing hard and being well received by many.

  7. DebFEE Sutherland has micromanaged Bay into a $2M hole in the budget to be paid for by increased "fees" off the backs of Bay seniors, kids and their park programs and all of your safety with the cutbacks to the fire fighters.

  8. Mrs. Sutherland as we all have accurately presumed, will not be a commissioner any time soon. So I just leave her to her delusions.
    As far as the Party is concerned, I believe there are a thousand worthy complaints that could be made. However I feel it a much worthier position to find real solutions and put forth the energies to accomplish them. For one, to grow the Party, canvass our neighborhoods as Precinct Committeemen, find those voters who stand with us and encourage them to effect their neighbors, register those who need it, take or make arrangements for those who need to get to the polls on election day. Find people in our precincts (Republicans) to work the polls on election day to ensure no fraud takes place.
    Let us work to make the Party we desire, THE GRAND OLD PARTY. Complaining is a terrible waste of time that could be directed toward truly fulfilling efforts.
    Let us not focus so much on what the leadership may or may not be doing but concentrate on what we should be doing to make this party truly viable again. Let us get up off our tuckesses and show true leadership ourselves.
    There lies a challenge and a hope.

  9. ^

    Good point last anon, but if the current RPCC structure is so off-putting to people it makes it hard to recruit new people.

    1) a chairman and party that costs more to run than any other county (as we keep losing ground)

    2) Officers, central committee people, and county party employees who are rude and who I beleive purposely scare away new people to keep their own fifedoms.

    3)We keep losing. Nobody really likes to get into a fight that they know they are going to lose.

    I think you are right - let's work for positive things in this party, but I seriously beleive the current party structure would do its best to stomp it out.

  10. Jack-

    I think you've hit the nail on the head. There is a huge disconnect between party "leaders"/officers and the rank-and-file. The former are content to rule in hell than serve in heaven and quash the slightest perceived "threat" to their power.

    It's pretty discouraging when you have a volunteer helping out an endorsed candidate only to learn that people like Synenberg or Hamburgler are busy donating to the endorsed candidate's opponent.



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