Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Alex Arshinkoff’s last abuse of power

Posted By on Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 5:35 PM

Mr. Mean tries to charge arch enemy Kevin Coughlin with campaign violations
Summit County Republican Chairman Alex Arshinkoff is trying to get in some final spite out during his last week on the Summit County Board of Elections. On February 20, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner refused to reappoint Arshinkoff to his seat on the board, one that he held for almost three decades. But Arshinkoff won’t be leaving without a fight. Today, the board held a hearing to discuss whether criminal charges should be sought against four people, including state Senator Kevin Coughlin, who is currently leading an effort to oust Arshinkoff from his party chairmanship… In January, Arshinkoff questioned the legality of petitions filed by Coughlin’s people on behalf of candidates for the Republican Party’s central committee, which will name the new chairman next month. Those candidates are obviously not interested in reappointing Arshinkoff. So Arshinkoff is doing his best to keep them off the committee. But when Arshinkoff called upon Coughlin to answer for the petitions at a January 22 board meeting, Coughlin sent his lawyer instead. Miffed, Arshinkoff decided to pursue misdemeanor criminal charges against the senator, claiming that Coughlin had violated election laws. It was the kind of petty move Arshinkoff is famous for. Democratic board member Wayne Jones says there was naturally no criminal conduct on Coughlin’s part. And though Arshinkoff has accused Jones of siding with Coughlin’s efforts to oust him, Jones says that’s not the case. “I was hoping they’d both pull guns and shoot each other,” he says. “I’m not a fan of either one.” With the board in a deadlock, Brunner will now have to make the final decision on prosecuting Coughlin. But seeing as she already called out Arshinkoff for using the board as his political tool, it’s not likely that she’ll give him last opportunity to pervert the system. – Denise Grollmus


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