Tuesday, March 25, 2008

PD election board story: Exhibit A why people don’t trust the mainstream media

Posted By on Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 5:43 AM

Alex%20Arshinkoff.jpg
Any worker who hears the full story will only want to know why this man wasn't beaten with a hockey stick.
On Sunday, The Plain Dealer reported that Ohio Republicans are mighty pissed over the dismissal of Alex Arshinkoff from the Summit County Board of Elections. Earlier this month, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner refused to reappoint Arshinkoff to his board seat, which he’s held for over 30 years. Brunner also turned down the Summit County Republican Party’s replacement, Hudson City Council President Brian Daley, before handing the job to Don Varian, an Akron attorney and longtime Republican donor… Now the Summit GOP is suing Brunner, a Democrat, claiming that she is involved in some elaborate conspiracy to quietly take over the Republican Party. And if you trust the PD’s account, you might even believe it. In his Sunday article, reporter Mark Rollenhagen writes that Brunner had a “brief conversation” with Wayne Jones, finance chairman of the Summit County Democratic Party and chairman of the Summit election board. In that “brief conversation,” Jones told Brunner she might not wanna reappoint Arshinkoff to the board, The PD reported. Rollenhagen then goes on to explain that Jones and Brunner have known each other “for years.” He also cited Jones’ $5,300 contribution to Brunner’s campaign fund in 2006, suggesting that Jones has some influence over the Secretary of State. Based on the evidence Rollenhagen supplied, you’d think the fix was in. But his story is also Exhibit A for people’s declining trust in the mainstream media. In true daily fashion, Rollenhagen provided the kind of stenography that makes for easy reporting. He simply interviewed the politicians involved, which is like reading a he said/she said account of a cat fight between warring trophy wives – only it isn’t as cool as it sounds, since politicians are ugly. What’s completely missing is any kind of context – mainly the tyranny caused by Arshinkoff during his reign on the board. And once you hear these facts, you don’t really care if the fix is in. All you wanna know is why Brunner didn’t take Arshinkoff out behind the tool shed and beat him with a hockey stick, thus striking a small blow for the betterment of humanity. Rollenhagen failed to mention that before she made her decision, Brunner received a pile of affidavits and complaints from election board workers about Arshinkoff’s leadership. He’s the kind of guy who was known for firing secretaries if they didn’t show the proper fealty to the Republican Party. When campaign finance worker Scott Sigel questioned a mysterious $75,000 payment the party made to Arshinkoff's personal account, Arshinkoff had him quickly demoted. The most alarming incident involved worker Vondelise Jones, who filed a civil rights complaint against her bosses after they refused to punish a woman who spit in her face. The woman’s son just happened to be an Arshinkoff-appointed supervisor. But instead of punishing her, Arshinkoff simply laid off Jones. If you read the file, it sounds like the work environment of a Sierra Leone diamond mine. And it’s not the kind of place you could trust to administer fair elections. Remember, dear reader, you’re paying for whole deal. Is this how you want your money spent? But if you only read Rollenhagen’s story, you wouldn’t know any of this. We just thought you’d like to know how the sausage is made. – Denise Grollmus

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