Friday, June 27, 2008

Stainbrook doesn't get it when it comes to the GOP elections board members

Yes, we all knew this was part of the plan, but now it's official. New Lucas County Republican Party Chairman Jon Stainbrook has asked the two Republican members of the Lucas County Board of Elections to resign.

He says he's unhappy with the 'behind the scenes' support some BOE staffers gave to his opponents in the quest for the chairmanship. However, this quote from the Blade says it all:

"It is very important that a chairman have faith that the board members represent the best interests of the party's candidates, elected officials, and the election process as a whole, and that is why we need to make a change. Rest assured your adherence to the tradition of allowing the Chairman to name his own Board Members is truly appreciated," Mr. Stainbrook said in his letter.

The problem is that there is NO SUCH TRADITION!

As I've previously posted, the BOE board members are screened by the executive committee of the LCRP. The recommended name(s) are submitted to the Secretary of State who then makes the appointment. Never in my memory has a new chairman asked existing BOE board members to resign. Yes, upon expiration of their terms new members have been appointed - on occasion. But it is hardly a given nor an expectation. That Stainbrook, with all his claimed extensive involvement in the party, doesn't understand this makes me wonder just what else he doesn't understand when it comes to the responsibilities of chairman.

Of course, if he's getting his information from The Blade, that could be why he doesn't understand. The Blade reporter writes:

Board members are appointed by the secretary of state to four-year terms based on the local party chairman's recommendation, with two from each major party.

There's no reason for the reporter to understand that it isn't the recommendation of the chairman, but of the Executive Committee - at least in the LCRP, but you'd think he'd do his homework to find out for sure...unless he wants people to think otherwise. But Tom Troy is usually a very responsible reporter, so I hope such is not the case.

To drive home the point, Patrick Kriner, BOE board member and former party chairman said, "there is no tradition of elections board members being replaced by a new party chairman." And he should know.

But the last paragraphs of the story get to the real point - the money board members get paid. All BOE board members in Ohio are compensated for the job. They get a salary, PERS contributions (as mandated under law), health insurance and life insurance. While the dollar amounts of these various items vary county to county, it is a standard package all BOE board members get. The total package for Lucas County is $31,691. Considering the amount of time these board members put in on a yearly basis, it's certainly not a 'living wage.'

But, you see, Stainbrook says our GOP board members don't need the money. And I have to ask - since when do Republicans base a person's pay on what that person needs, rather than the value that person brings to the position? Stainbrook needs to be careful or he'll start sounding like Democrats when it comes to wages.

The GOP chairman said it is ridiculous that taxpayers are paying Mr. Olman and Mr. Kriner a salary and providing them with health insurance and public pensions.

"Both of these guys are businessmen and have many other things to do. Whoever is on that board has to make county elections their main priority," said Mr. Stainbrook. "Lynn Olman doesn't need $18,000 and the taxpayers shouldn't be paying for his health insurance."

Why not? If the wages and benefits are part of the job and he's doing the job, shouldn't he be treated equally???? And there is no evidence whatsoever to indicate that Olman and Kriner are not making the BOE their priority.

The point of all of this is that Stainbrook wants these positions to hand out to his own people - or maybe himself - providing a nice income, health benefits and, perhaps even more valuable, PERS. If I'm wrong about this, it's easy for Stainbrook to prove it by stating that any new board appointees agree to forego all wages and benefits of the position. If it's wrong for Kriner and Olman to get this package, it is equally wrong for any new board member to get them as well. But Stainbrook also needs to know that if the employment package is waived, the money goes back into the county treasury - not to anyone else.

For a final thought, starting a drive to get rid of these two GOP board members is not a way to foster unity following a contentious campaign for chairman. Both these men have served the party well in their many years of involvement - including in elective office - and both are serving the BOE and voters well. Stainbrook's inappropriate call for their resignations sounds more like sour grapes and a money grab than it does an example of leadership and unity building for the party.

Even if Stainbrook has valid reasons for his resignation demand (and I seriously doubt that), his manner of addressing his concerns does not give Republicans cause for confidence in his leadership abilities - and that's very sad for the local Republican Party


Tim Higgins said...


Thank goodnes Mr Stainbrook is quietly taking the reigns of power in the Republican Party. Aren't Republicans fortunate that he is burying the hatchet threatening prosecution of other members? Aren't we seeing a spirit of concilliation when he tells BOE members of the party over whom he has no control to "get out".

With leadership like this, the Republican Party is bound to see a tremendous resurgence.

(OK, sarcasm and irony off ... I can't take it any more)

navyvet said...

The Blade's rain in (Toledo) Spain falls mainly on the Stain.

I'm sorry. I don't even know what that means. Must be the heat.

Thank you Maggie for keeping your Eye on (the) Toledo daily.

It seems that as Chairman, Jon is not quite getting off on the right foot...or the left foot either for that matter.

"...don't need the money.." WHAT? What is he thinking? He comes across as having Carty logic.
Also, he seems quite eclectic.

If this is what the "R's" have to look forward to in the County of Lucas, fund raising will be quite the challenge. Too bad.

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