WAIT JUST A MINUTE - PD - WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?

Submitted by Roldo on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 10:01.

The Plain Dealer, hot and heavy on corruption, today buries the fact that a man the paper says could replace Jimmy Dimora story has been indicted on bribery charges and theft-in-office, has relatives in political jobs, and has business relations he won’t talk about.

 

Isn’t that a recipe for a continuation of what we’ve been seeing the FBI spend countless our tax dollars trying to unravel here? Isn’t that the fodder of headline after headline on the Plain Dealer’s front page?

 

The potential replacement for Dimora as Democratic Party head may be, according to the Plain Dealer, Thomas Day, Jr., clerk of courts in Bedford.

 

Yes, the charges of bribery and theft-in-office against Day were dismissed by Judge John Angellota. But that doesn’t hold much water with me. A grand jury found cause but a judge didn’t agree.

 

In addition, late in Mark Gillispie’s otherwise very comprehensive piece, we’re told that Day has ownership interests in a printing company and a consulting firm with with County Prosecutor Bill Mason, Victory Communications Inc., which does work on political campaigns.

 

County Prosecutor Mason also conveniently refused to talk about these matters.

 

And the PD allowed him to remain silent.  

 

You may have notice that in the blazing corruption exposes in Cuyahoga County, the County Prosecutor – Bill “I’m Power Hungry” Mason – hasn’t indicted anyone. Under his nose but no smell of corruption.

Apparently, the County Prosecutor’s office finds everybody holding office in Cuyahoga County is Snow White clean.

 

The PD has been on a rampage – rightly so – about cozy deals among County officeholders. Yet, in this piece, all the signs of the same pattern of political dealing are buried in a long article. Why?

 

“Friends of William D. Mason, the county prosecutor’s campaign organization, paid Cleveland-based Qwestcom Graphics $141,000 last year. The county party spent $105,000 with Qwestcom in 2008,” the PD reports.

 

But what I’d call serious news is buried on the run-over page 33 paragraphs and 36 inches of type into the story. How many people read that far? Few, I’d say.

 

The burial in the context of such heavy coverage of County corruption is inexplicable to me.

 

“Day,” the PD reports, “declined to discuss his ownership stake in Qwestcom or in Victory Communication Inc., the company he incorporated in 2002 and owns with Mason.”

 

Well, that’s convenient. Why won’t they talk about it?

 

Here the PD seems to give a boost to Day’s ascendency but lets him plead the Fifth Amendment? Again why?

 

I would have thought the lead of this kind of story would go something like this:

 

Democrats may choose a new party chairman who has been indicted on bribery and theft charges and has business connections with County Prosecutor Bill Mason. He also has a load of relatives in County jobs, just the problem that has been discovered in Plain Dealer exposes in recent days.

 

The big question is my mind is why Gillispie wrote the piece as he did and whether he was instructed to bury his lead way down in an unusually long story.

 

Maybe the paper’s Reader Representative Ted Diadiun will let us know the inside scoop on this.

 

 

 

 

 

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As soon as I read Bedford, I skipped the story completely...

Thanks for writing about this... as soon as I read some Bedford politico is being planned to replace the last Bedford politico heading one of two political parties in NEO needing complete reorganization (the other being the Republican), I skipped on to the next article. If all our leadership has to offer is another Bedford politico, they fail again.

But after reading your analysis, I read the article - and it has lots of interesting information - and I realized I am part of a faction of the Demo party... from the PD:

Cuyahoga County Democrats are roughly divided into four groups:

Dimora and county Auditor Frank Russo, another focus of the corruption probe, control the southeast suburbs.

County Prosecutor Bill Mason and Parma Mayor Dean DePiero control the southwest suburbs and Cleveland's West Side.

U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson lead black Democrats.

The fourth "faction" consists of everyone else, primarily Democrats from the West Shore communities and Northeast suburbs.

So I'm proudly part of the "everyone else" faction. Just knowing that there are others like me feels empowering. Could Everyone Else take power? How many are we, and where should we meet to plan the revolution?

What really shocks me, in this article, is the news about Mason and his political consulting business...

Day declined to discuss his ownership stake in Qwestcom or in Victory Communication Inc., the company that he incorporated in 2002 and owns with Mason. While Mason declined to be interviewed for this article, a spokesman said Victory "provides political campaign support from strategy to campaign literature design for political candidates."

I am shocked, but now I really understand how a few small time politicos from the burbs have been able to so completely control so much here - such political consulting and campaigning is like printing ballots and no political office holders should be allowed to work in that busines or hold ownership in related businesses... that is worse than lobbying.

That was the biggest news of the whole Day.

I think the placement of the meat of the story at the end was intentional - like a warning shot to the Demo leaders, who certainly read every word - and leaving readers with a bad lasting impression of Day and Mason, which seems fair under these circumstances... I bet the bloggers who post to the PD will jump all over those last words...

Disrupt IT

The campaign

The campaign consulting/printing business is something that needs to be looked into further. If you are running for a democratic office then how does that work? Are you presented with a service and fees for that service? Then what if you do not use that service? What if you want to run a local TV add? Would the pricing be the same, I am just asking; does Victory Communications have contacts in high places? If it is not controlling the flow of campaign funding into it, its not wrong doing. As long as they are not pressuring people to use it, its not wrong doing. The worse case scenario would be that of the victories rates and fees are the highest prices; and then if you do not use them not likely to win. That would be an environment were not using Victory would not get the party support. It’s a question of how lucrative is Victory and then is it being pushed on the party? The real question is for professional campaign support is it the only game in town? Then also what does it collect in fees? Saying that those that use it have better chance of winning is like an offer you can’t refuse. The situation does look like a crook selecting his replacement and all the other crooks assisting in the process, like a political party or something. I think it is hilarious, all of it, how to campaign….how to make promises in generalities. How to make you opponent look evil. Being what they are looking for, make sure you get a shot of me with children and old people. Make sure you include a list of all the things you have done for them so far, fought to save jobs, fought against corruption, fought to stop wasteful spending. Make sure you tell them all your opponent does is vote for raises and cuts checks for his friends.