Portage County Sheriff Used Official Letterhead to Whine about Guardians Name Change

Portage County Sherriff Bruce Zuchowski delivered a message on the new Cleveland Guardians team name this weekend on behalf of what he called the "silent majority."

On official Portage County letterhead, Zuchowski wrote that changing the Cleveland franchise's name from the Indians to the Guardians was "another attempt of trying to erase our history due to the outcry of the few that affects the many."

Zuchowski was elected Portage County Sheriff last year. He is the first Republican to hold the seat in more than a decade. Like local rightwing columnist Ted Diadiun's, Zuchowski's views are examples what we've called "the farts and gasps of a worldview in its death throes."

We wrote when Diadiun was moaning about Wahoo and a potential name change last year that his stance was "likely representative of the response locals can expect from folks in his camp, who simply cannot conceive of a world in which their comfort and personal attachments are not the only valid considerations."

Zuchowski's letter is a perfect example, now preserved on Facebook with more than 7,000 comments. He writes that baseball is an American pastime and that his grandfathers loved watching the Indians and listening to the team on AM radio. He mentions, as folks in this camp often do, the purported Native American heritage of a friend or relative.

Zuchowski says, moreover, that he has boycotted all professional sports for three years, an abstention no doubt related to athletes kneeling for the national anthem. He says that even though he can't name a single player on the Guardians, his position is about "the principle of the decision-making process."

Rest assured: The letter isn't newsworthy. The only thing that elevates it from a dumb Facebook post is the fact that it's printed on official letterhead and has been distributed on official Portage County public safety channels.

The Akron Beacon-Journal reported that Zuchowski's using his position to disseminate these views has drawn criticism from other electeds in Portage County.

“We in local government have work to do for the citizens we serve," treasurer Brad Cromes told the ABJ. "We should be focusing on those things and not the culture wars distraction issues that come up from time to time."

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Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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