Do you know Bill Mason? Since Bill Mason is the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, it might be to your advantage to know him, if you know what I mean.
I have noticed that the corruption investigations in Cuyahoga County aren’t being conducted by the law enforcement officials closest to the problems. Isn’t it interesting that the Ohio Inspector General’s office is the one who finally catches up to some ODOT officials in Cuyahoga County after those officials had been milking the system for their own benefit for years? I bet some people employed in local law enforcement had at least some knowledge of such behavior for quite some time, but they weren’t saying anything to anybody. Isn’t it interesting that the FBI is investigating the Cuyahoga County Auditor and one of the Cuyahoga County Commissioners? I bet some people employed in local law enforcement had a whiff that something was fishy, but they never followed up on it. Maybe it helps to know Bill Mason.
I see some new Democrat candidates up for election in NEO with the blessing of the Democrat Party political machine. Some of them claim they got some experience by working for Bill Mason. Maybe it helps to know Bill Mason.
The friendship goes both ways. If Bill Mason’s performance is substandard in some way, then, if you know him, you’ll offer excuses for him and keep giving him extra chances to do it right. For example, if African-American Cleveland residents are busted for non-violent drug crimes, they are getting jail time, while the white suburban residents who are busted for non-violent drug crimes get to dry out at a rehab clinic like Betty Ford. Now that an outside entity is making note of something that really was obvious to anyone paying attention, there are people like Regina Brett promising that Bill Mason will do a better job.
I’ve got a better idea. Elect Annette Butler. I think she’ll make sure to mitigate the racial discrepancies in the penalties the prosecution seeks from her first day on the job. As she, herself, said, it’s a correction that can be made without extra money. It’s a correction that can be made with hands-on direction.
Mason has criticized Butler’s experience as a federal prosecutor handling just civil cases. Yet, with 24 years experience, Butler surely knows courtrooms. Furthermore, in the corrupt environment of Cuyahoga County government where justice isn’t being served, I think it’s an appropriate time to look for someone from outside the Cuyahoga County criminal (and civil) court system to give it a much needed jolt. I think I’m more trusting in a federal civil prosecutor these days than I am in any Cuyahoga criminal prosecutors.
Earlier this month, Cleveland Plain Dealer editor Brent Larkin poo-poohed the county GOP’s reform proposals. Perhaps the answer does not rest in a nine-member commission with a restructuring of the county’s executive offices. Perhaps there are better proposals out there. I’d be surprised if the bi-partisan task force from another part of the state had any better ideas, even if it’s backed by Governor Strickland and Speaker Husted (ha! Cleveland’s supposed to venerate Husted? oh, that’s funny!). But there is a political dimension to the corruption that grips Cuyahoga County. It has everything to do with the Democrat Party. In this election, I can’t think of a better place to get started with reform than the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s office with the election of Annette Butler.
Brent Larkin wrote, “Voters don’t need Republicans to tell them Democratic-run county offices operate with bloated payrolls and obscene levels of patronage.”
Oh yeah? Well maybe they do!
Maybe it needs to be shouted from every roof top every morning, noon, and night, that responsibility for the county’s corruption rests with the DEMOCRATS!
Larkin, I’m sure, would think that such a message wouldn’t be very well received by county residents, who are overwhelmingly Democrats. Yeah, it probably shouldn’t be well recieved. The message should probably stick in everybody’s craw. It ought to rub them the wrong way and it ought to just keep on bothering them every time the message enters their minds. They ought to get really irritated with the repetition of the message and want to lash out at the messenger. They ought to get flat out pissed off, ready to sock somebody right in the jaw. But it’s the truth, and it ought to be dealt with.
Maybe Cuyahoga County voters need to be told that a non-partisan effort isn’t going to fix the county, because it won’t specifically address Democrats. Maybe Cuyahoga County voters need to be told that a bipartisan effort isn’t going to fix the county, because the Democrats will have a hand in rigging it. Maybe Cuyahoga County voters need proposals that have more than just a “partisan taint” in order to get county government reform–in fact, maybe what Cuyahoga County voters is a wholly Republican plan to reform the county, because it will specifically address the corruptions of the Democrats and will not allow the Democrats a hand in sabotaging the reform efforts.
Or maybe, instead of restructuring government to accomplish reform, just maybe, all we need to do is replace Democrats in county office by electing some Republicans in key areas of county government. Electing Annette Butler for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor might be a good start. Stop making excuses for Bill Mason. Vote him out.