Advancing the oppositionWritten by Tom Morrissey | | email@example.com
It is improbable and unconventional that the sitting chairman of a political party would be the kick start to the beginning of a third party, but there is a movement afoot providing an alternative to the traditional Republican and Democratic ballot choices.
Multi-tasking, killing two birds with one stone, Jon Stainbrook is juggling the responsibilities of two political movements. While running the Lucas County Republican Party (LCRP), he is advancing a third option. What is more noteworthy than one man advancing two separate political movements is that Stainbrook is advancing the third party unintentionally.
Stainbrook’s nightmarish actions and lackluster strategy for the LCRP is helping third-party efforts gain traction. Claiming to be fiscal conservatives — a basic tenant of the Republican Party — Tricia Lyons of Teamwork Toledo announced, “We are all running as independents because we don’t want to be tied to either party.”
It is disappointing that Teamwork Toledo wants nothing to do with Stainbrook and the LCRP, despite the general philosophical similarities shared between Teamwork Toledo and Republicans. Chairman Stainbrook exposed his disdain for fiscal conservatism as the property-less Republican pushed his party to endorse property tax levies in 2008.
The recent Lucas County Republican Clubs Charity Dinner, which benefited the Toledo Seagate Foodbank, was accompanied by much drama. Worse than no-showing after threatening to sue over the first scheduling of the charity, Stainbrook and other associates reportedly called fellow Republicans to dissuade them from attending the charity dinner.
Kate Boyd, an active Republican, has donated time and money to previous Republican campaigns, but not any longer. After receiving her invitation to the charity dinner, she says she was called by a man identifying himself from the LCRP. Although he was not forthcoming with his full name, she did learn to whom she was speaking, after he gave his spiel on why she should not attend the charity dinner. The sole purpose of the call was to convince Boyd to avoid the charity.
No matter what type of in-party drama is playing on the local political stage, when a chairman and his acquaintances organize to discourage attendance to a charity event, a new level of childishness has been established.
Chairman Stainbrook does have a tough job as the leader of the doomed minority in Lucas County, but his approach has made a dwindling party sink lower. Stainbrook is a detriment to his own party. As leader, it is rare for him to attack a Democrat; instead, he has focused his power trip on threatening and attacking fellow Republicans, such as Patrick Kriner.
With a Democrat mayor’s approval numbers at the bottom of the Maumee, Stainbrook has an easy target. Finkbeiner’s third mayoral term has been a dismal failure, yet Stainbrook has not publicly criticized the failure known as Finkbeiner. He has, however, taken time out of his hectic schedule to threaten the mayor of Waterville, Derek Merrin, that if Merrin would not quit complaining that Stainbrook was violating party bylaws in the way an important meeting was announced, Stainbrook would personally and maliciously “smear” Merrin in the press.
Stainbrook has been an utter failure in raising money and fielding candidates. His fundraising has been dismal, as the party is barely holding onto its Downtown Toledo headquarters.
Stainbrook has suffered his own political defeats, engineered the thumping of council candidate Joe Kidd and failed to meet filing deadlines for Jan Scotland, keeping Scotland off the 2008 ballot.
Actions speak louder than words, and Stainbrook’s actions are growing hoarse, shouting “Forget the LCRP!” There’s no other way to interpret the self-destructive shrieks that echo loudly off Toledo’s political landscape. It is clear the party chairman cares not for his own party. His advancement of alternative ballot options have become his focus.
Why else would Stainbrook do so much to embarrass his party?
E-mail columnist Tom Morrissey at firstname.lastname@example.org.