November 23, 2014


Lorain Democrats warn 3 men to stick to party line


Councilman Dennis Flores, D-2nd Ward, left, labor leader and precinct committeeman Joe Thayer and Lorain County AFL-CIO President Harry Williamson were given 10 days to start adhering to party lines.

LORAIN — Three Lorain Democrats have been warned they will be suspended from participating in party activities if they don’t stop backing non-Democratic candidates in Lorain City Council races.

The three Democrats, Councilman Dennis Flores, D-2nd Ward, labor leader and precinct committeeman Joe Thayer and Lorain County AFL-CIO President Harry Williamson, were given 10 days to fall in line during a meeting last week that none of them attended.

Lorain Democratic Party Chairman Paul Adams wrote in a letter to the three men that part of their obligation as Democrats is to support candidates and issues endorsed by the party.

Thayer said he and Williamson have been backing independent Josh Thornsberry, who is challenging Councilman Frank DeTillio, D-8th Ward, and independent Greg Argenti, who is challenging Democrat David Burgess for the 4th Ward council seat.

The Democratic Party, Thayer said, hasn’t been meeting its obligations to organized labor recently. He said Council’s March vote to water down unionization and local-hire requirements on contractors bidding for city projects was one example. DeTillio, who is president of the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce, voted against union wishes.

Another problem, Thayer said, is that city officials, including Mayor Chase Ritenauer, essentially acted as “strikebreakers” when they collected trash in the city during a weeklong strike by Republic Waste workers in April.

“If we can’t get a party that we’ve always supported hands down to support us, we’re going to look elsewhere,” Thayer said.

Williamson echoed Thayer’s concerns and said that if Democrats want to win back the support of labor, they need to back the unions.

“If the Democrat-endorsed candidates supported us, we’d support them,” he said.

But Adams said it doesn’t make sense to let Democrats who are actively working against Democratic candidates in on what the party is doing in the run-up to the November election.

“It would be a conflict of interest for them to be at a meeting where we are discussing strategy,” he said.

Adams said while he is a proponent of labor and considers them a vital component of the Democratic Party, the suspensions are about party loyalty and promises Thayer and Williamson made.

He also said that suspensions, which don’t impact Thayer and Williamson’s work as members of the Lorain County Democratic Party Executive Committee, also are necessary to ensure fair enforcement of the rules.

Flores, who is an elected precinct committeeman, has been largely banned from party work for years because of his support for county Commissioner Tom Williams, a Republican, in the 2010 and subsequent flirtations with tea party groups and Republican candidates.

Flores said Monday that Democrats suspect him of supporting Libertarian Kendra Sheppard against Councilman Brian Gates, D-1st Ward. But Flores said he hasn’t taken a side in that race, and all he did was attend a fundraiser for Sheppard to learn more about her.

“I haven’t publicly endorsed or talked about anyone really,” Flores said. “I haven’t supported anyone.”

He also said that he found it ironic that a year ago Thayer was among those leading a charge to have him banned from party activity for signing up to receive information from a tea party group at the Lorain County Fair.

Thayer took a photo of Flores’ signature on the list and that was used as evidence to suggest that Flores might be a Republican spy.

Thayer said while he doesn’t support the tea party, he now has a better understanding of what Flores went through last year.

“It gives me a different view,” he said.

Adams, Thayer and Williamson all said that they hope to resolve their differences in the future, although whether that will happen after November is still a question mark.

Thayer and Williamson both said they come from generations of Democrats and labor, but their priority is clear.

“My loyalties are with labor first,” Thayer said.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or

  • stillsleepyeyes

    The almighty gardwennie has spoken…………………………

  • stillsleepyeyes

    Cause lord knows we wouldn’t want anyone in there that would actually do what’s best for the people………………….not the party……………………….

  • seanmacnair

    The slavish adherence to “the party line” is one of the major things wrong with politics today.

  • BooneDawg

    Sig HILE!!!!

    • Ray Venn

      Sieg Heil…lol

  • danofamherst

    Since when has it been the Democratic Party’s obligation to organize labor? And when the Mayor of Lorain aided in the removal of trash in the city during a walk off of local operators, he was doing exactly what anyone would do to remove trash that could become a major problem in the city by attracting rats and other animals that would tear apart the garbage. Seems to be some mis-directed people on that council.

  • Larry Crnobrnja


  • FoodForThought63

    That is too bad. Maybe these guys should drop the democratic party and join those of us who identify as independents and think for ourselves and not allow a party to think for us. The more who “cross over” the more we can weaken the parties and improve government.

  • Independent Joe

    What a pathetic article; this speaks volumes for the problems in this city and county. There is not another word that needs to be spoken!

  • Don Grantzki

    Now these guys too, are finding why the rest of us say “better to be dead than RED.

  • stop ur whining

    takes a serious set to tell someone how they need to vote.

  • Momisbroke

    Wish I lived in Lorain just so I could vote for Kendra Sheppard! She’s going to be a great advocate for the City of Lorain residents in her ward!

  • tmc

    I say we vote for anyone who doesn’t have a “D” behind their name. Independent, Libertarian, Republican, at this point anyone is better.

  • Chuck Northcutt

    Way for the Lorain D’s to make friends with the labor movement! Wow! Somebody is really off of their rocker over there! LMFAO!!! I wonder what chach is behind this move . . .

  • Denise Caruloff

    and here is the core “value”…..Here also is the core value:

    According to the records at the Lorain County Board of Elections. You have
    Requested a petition to be a candidate in the upcoming Democratic Party ‘Primary Election.

    Our party’s central committee adopted a statement of its core values by a
    Unanimous vote during our 1012 organizational meetings. Enclosed is a copy of that

    We would like for you to review this statement and decide whether or not your
    personal and political beliefs are consistent with this statement.

    In addition, we are inviting all Democratic candidates to meet with area
    Democratic leaders from throughout the county for the purpose of discussing your political
    beliefs. These meetings will be held on the dates indicated on the attached schedule.
    Please contact my office at 440-277- 5555 or at 440-246-2665 to let us know what
    date/time works best for you. We plan to meet with about l0 candidates on each meeting
    date and will schedule them on a first come, first served basis.

    Although the Party will not endorse any candidates in the primary election, we will
    provide all registered Democratic voters with a list of those candidates who we believe will
    represent our Party’s stated core values as elected office holders.

    From time to time, office holders or candidates to office identify themselves as
    Democrats and ask for our Party’s support, but then act in a manner which does not reflect or core values.
    We hope to avoid this sort of problem by educating candidates on our philosophies and giving them an
    opportunity to share their philosophies with us.

    We look forward to meeting with you on one of the dates on the attached schedule.

    Very truly yours,
    Anthony B. Giardini

    Cc: Committee on Candidates
    Paid for by Anthony B. Giardini, Chairman

    Pledge> “Lorain County Democratic Party
    Statement of Core Values”
    The Lorain County Democratic Party’s guiding principal is that all people are best served by an economic system which is reasonably regulated by a free and open, democratically elected government. Good government is responsive and accountable to the residents it serves. To that end, the LCDP adopts the following core values:
    1. A strong, productive and expanding middle class is the single most effective way to create opportunities for the poorest members of our society while rewarding the most productive members in our society.
    2. Capitalism is most productive when private capital is combined with organized labor through a process of negotiated agreements; therefore the LCDP strongly supports
    laws and regulations which promote and protect the rights of people to organize into labor unions.
    3. The best government is not necessarily the least government, but rather is the most efficient government which protects our economic system and those of society
    who are least able to protect themselves. To that end, the LCDP strongly supports laws and regulations which create opportunities for all people to participate in and enjoy the benefits of our economic system.
    4.It is the responsibility of the state or federal government to provide a basic, but complete education to everyone who desires an education; to provide for a health care system which guarantees access to all citizens in a fair and equitable manner; to provide all citizens with a social retirement program sufficient to maintain the basics of life including food, shelter, and medical care even when that person is unable to work due to
    age or infirmity; to provide a safe environment for life and property; to address our
    biggest environmental challenges, from protecting our Great Lakes, to investing in clean energy solutions, to preserving our natural
    wonders for future generations; and to provide an efficient and safe infrastructure for transportation and communication among its
    5. It is the responsibility of all citizens to care for and support their children; to ensure that their children receive a proper education; to participate in our democracy by voting on issues and candidates at all elections; and to abide by those laws and rules of
    society which have been adopted in accordance with our state and federal constitutions.
    I,_________ hereby acknowledge that I have read the statement of core values of the Lorain County Democratic Party set forth above. I fully
    concur with and support these core values. I agree to support candidates issues, laws and ordinances which are consistent with these core values.

    (I think they forgot the “amen”….ugh!!!!!

  • Mary Kathleen Donovan Springow

    Tony, way to alienate labor! YOU do not tell us who to support! I would imagine that you are referring to the CAP meeting last month when Mr. Thornsberry came and asked for our support. We agreed to support him for the 8th ward. I LIVE IN THE 8TH WARD and am watching it go to hell! You’ve done nothing to support labor nor have you really done anything in your tenure as Democratic party chairman to bring the Democrats together or promote the party. What you HAVE done is promote yourself in your failing bid for State Party chairman and let us not forget the debacle of the last judicial races, shall we!

    • Denise Caruloff

      mary Kathleen…what the buz is also…is that the highrise that Struass wants to build in the 8th resubmit in nov…has hired non other than Atty Giardini to make that happen…that is the word on the street…yep..he’s got your back alright!

  • AFITgrad86

    After reading their “core values” (hat tip to Denise) I suspect the Lorain County Democrat Party is a throwback to Stalinist Russia. Whatever happened to the government that governs least governs best? Instead you get “The best government is not necessarily the least government, but rather
    is the most efficient government which protects our economic system and
    those of society
    who are least able to protect themselves.” … Obamaspeak for big government, big spending big taxes and government give-aways. What a crock.

    Vote for the person who will clean up the mess generations of these union worshiping bureaucrats have created instead of more of the same old same old stuf.

  • beckywhitfield


  • Karen

    Hmmm sounds like a corrupted move. . You scratch my back, I scratch yours.. Three Lorain Democrats have been warned they will be suspended from participating in party activities if they don’t stop backing non-Democratic candidates in Lorain City Council races. What happened to devotion to the people. I think Flores is actually the people’s person. We need to do away with the party affiliates and vote for the people…NOT FOR THE PARTY.
    What a joke they are… I have never seen the party supporting Flores.. and yet he is a registered democrat.. I don’t know why, but he is.

    • Denise Caruloff

      Karen..i honestly have never seen a councilman try so hard with this broken 2nd ward….People can criticize him all they want….but we know who they are..and we know what an awesome job Dennis does.ARE RIGHT KAREN…. NEVER ONCE HAS THE PARTY SUPPORTED HIM..BUT RATHER CUT HIM AT THE KNEES EVERY CHANCE THEY GET..SO TO THAT I SAY F THEM!

  • Conservator440

    Once again proving that the Democrat party is a mob of thugs, not a political party. Mobs work on pure emotion and leave reason behind. The French Committee of Public Safety would be so proud of its Jacobin descendents here is good ole Slow-Rain Ohio.

  • Ladalang

    This is all about Giardini getting his puppets in office. This party only supports “certain” Democrats not all Democrats. This isn’t about party at all it’s about control. In a general election Americans can vote for any party they want. It’s still a free country. The party doesn’t have the authority to suspend them by blackmailing them over a vote, they can merely make a suggestion as to who they vote for. This really shows how insane Lorain Democrat leadership is. it’s not leadership it’s thuggery.

  • GreatRedeemer

    I love when the Donkeys bicker amongst themselves.