Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
Cleveland court clerk candidate is denied a fair hearing by city and Democratic leaders
Submitted by pavman on Sun, 10/02/2011 - 10:42.
http://blog.cleveland.com/letters/2011/09/cleveland_court_clerk_candidat.html Political endorsements are important to the public. Voters respond to "Endorsed by the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party," or "Endorsed by Cleveland City Council," when they see those phrases printed on campaign materials. I can't blame them. Aren't these groups and organizations looking out for the good of the citizenry? Aren't they extensively vetting each qualified candidate after the filing deadline and choosing the candidate that will benefit their target constituents? I used to think so.
When I decided to file as a candidate for Cleveland clerk of courts, I was excited to pursue these endorsements. With my experience, business record and detailed plans about how to improve the office, I knew I would be a shoo-in, especially given multiple reports of corrupt practices perpetrated by incumbent Earle B. Turner. I had decided to run when no one else stepped up to face Turner, whose incompetence I had experienced firsthand working in the court system. I managed to file just before the deadline.
At that time, I was disappointed to learn that many endorsements had already been given -- to Turner. The Cleveland City Council and the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party endorsed Turner prior to the filing deadline and before I had joined the race. Neither organization was willing to speak with me, meet with me or hear my plans for the city.
Even knowing that their endorsements were already given, I wanted a chance to persuade individual councilpersons and members of my party that I am the right candidate for the job. I have been ignored and actively avoided at local events by these important members of the community. How can the public trust these endorsements or the leadership of these organizations when they are so blatantly biased and uninterested in fair play?
The Plain Dealer, on the contrary, set itself apart by taking the time to interview me, review my plans for the city and get to know me as a person. Whatever the editorial board's endorsement decision, the public will be able to put its stock in the process, knowing that the paper did its due diligence and vetted each candidate before making a decision.
Phil E. Pavarini Jr., Cleveland
Pavarini is a candidate for Cleveland clerk of courts.