Pounds: Gallagher goneWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
“The end of an empire is messy at best.”
— Randy Newman
Jon Stainbrook’s post at the Lucas County Board of Elections (BOE) is not an empire; it’s more like a sandbox with one petulant kid trying to commandeer everyone else’s toys. But things are clearly getting messy for the contentious political power-broker wannabe.
On March 4, after longtime urging by the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, Meghan Gallagher was replaced as director of the BOE.
Stainbrook lobbied hard to keep his pal Gallagher, but the other three board members disagreed, naming board secretary Gina Kaczala as director by a 3-1 vote. Dan DeAngelis was retained as deputy director, with Stainbrook again the lone dissenting vote.
A Toledo Free Press photo tells the story. As Kaczala and DeAngelis are being sworn in, Stainbrook is seen leaving the meeting, by all accounts carrying his anger and frustration out of the ceremony as fast as his sneaker-clad feet could carry him.
“I have absolutely no confidence in Gina Kaczala being capable of running this election for the primary in May,” Stainbrook said. “Gina has no management skills, no professional ability and is incapable of telling the truth. The voters in Lucas County deserve better.”
That’s a fine, cooperative note for the county GOP chairman to strike with the new director, isn’t it? It is also one of the greatest examples of the pot calling the kettle black you are likely to see enacted in politics.
It is no secret that the root problem at the BOE is not just the people he has maneuvered into place, but Stainbrook himself. Watching some of his former allies assert actual independence in opposition to Stainbrook bodes well, but is just a start; as long as he remains at the BOE there will be, not healthy debate and discussion, but squabbling and confrontation.
Removing Gallagher, who will be less than a footnote in the history of Lucas County politics, is an encouraging step.
As we have since the beginning of this sad and sordid journey, we continue to urge Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office to closely monitor Stainbrook and facilitate his removal from this crucial yet currently untrustworthy entity.
Tom Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press. Contact him at email@example.com.
Tags: county GOP chairman, Dan DeAngelis, deputy director, Gina Kaczala, Jon Stainbrook, Lucas County Board of Education (BOE), Meghan Gallagher, Ohio Secretary of State’s office, Secretary of State Jon Husted