November 27, 2014


Democratic Party Chairmen send heated emails over county government reform

ELYRIA – In a blistering email exchange with Lorain County Democratic Party Chairman Tony Giardini this week, Elyria Democratic Party Chairman Mark Stewart refused to resign from his leadership role over his support for a controversial plan to reform county government.

“You demand that I publicly repudiate the newly proposed County Reorganization Plan or be stripped of all Dem positions with the Party. Repudiate your sin, refute your support publicly!” Stewart wrote. “Sounds like the Inquisition of Spain with you as Cardinal Giardini.”

Stewart further wrote that while Giardini had the right as county chairman to ask fellow Democrats to oppose the reform plan – which the county Democratic Party’s Executive Committee did at a Sept.18 meeting that Stewart skipped – he can’t dictate Stewart’s private positions.

“I will not resign my positions as you demand,” Stewart wrote. “If you believe that you can strip me of my positions….. do so. Don’t give this duty to any subordinate. Be bold and do it yourself.”

In his response, Giardini said Stewart’s behavior “disgusts” him and removed Stewart from the county party’s Finance Committee and stated that he would not longer recognize Stewart as the Elyria party chairman.

“I will wait for the central committee members to take action and depending on what happens ask the Executive Committee to remove you from that committee as well,” Giardini wrote.

Although Stewart didn’t return a call seeking comment Thursday, Tom Callahan, vice chairman of the Elyria Democrats, said no decision has been made about Stewart’s position by local Democrats.

“We’ve got to sit down at some point and have a discussion and that discussion should include Mark Stewart,” Callahan said.

Giardini also blasted Stewart for not coming to the Sept. 18 meeting to defend his support of the county reform plan, which Giardini and other Democrats have said is designed to deliver control of county government into the hands of Republicans. Proponents of the plan have denied that accusation.

Giardini wrote that other Democrats besides him want Stewart to denounce the county reform plan.

“But you wouldn’t know that because you did not have the courage of your claimed convictions to show up at the meeting,” Giardini wrote. “It’s easy to hide behind others and allow others to draft your ‘position’ statement. It is quite another thing to get up and answer for your actions.”

Stewart, who also was the county’s longtime auditor before retiring at the end of 2012, also accused Giardini of reversing years to effort to keep the Democratic Party open to different ideas.

“Your evaluation is Medieval in thinking. This is the 21st century not the 17th,” Stewart wrote. “Crucifying me to the cross of LorainCity politics is not only out of date, but uninformed. ‘Core Values’ to you represents total loyalty to the way you think the Dem Party should be.”

Giardini, however accused Stewart of trying to deprive county voters of a voice in who serves in multiple elected positions that would become appointed jobs under the reform plan, which backers hope will got before voters in November 2014.

He also took a swipe at Stewart’s April $18,080 payout for unused sick leave leftover from when Stewart was a county employee before he became auditor in 1995. Stewart worked for just four hours on a Saturday in April for his handpicked successor, countyAuditor Craig Snodgrass, before resigning and cashing out 1,000 hours.

Snodgrass has said both that he had expected Stewart to work longer and that he doesn’t support the county reform plan being pushed by his former boss.

Most of the money Stewart cashed out was placed in deferred compensation plan, but Stewart agreed that the bulk of that money would have to be returned after county officials determined he was only entitled to cash out 250 hours of unused sick leave under county rules.

“Your shenanigans have damaged our party and a longtime, loyal former employee of YOURS,” Giardini wrote. “And you dare criticize me about my request to be loyal to our party?!”

Giradini also wrote that the politics of Lorain had nothing to do with the issue.

“It is about your inability to drop a grudge, one that you have had with various elected officials for a long time,” Giardini wrote. “Maybe you should consider the possibility that YOU are the problem and not anybody else.”

Stewart had several clashes with the county commissioners and county Administrator Jim Cordes during his time as county auditor.


Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or

  • stillsleepyeyes

    The almighty gardwennie has spoken……………………when you play in his house its his rules…………if not……………he will call mommy and have you removed from the house……………

  • oldruss

    Somebody sounds like the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, just before another Stalin-like purge.

    • Denise Caruloff said it oldruss…like I said In my letter to the editor a few days back..the party sounds more like a regime. sickening!

  • tickmeoff

    Tony is the one who is right here. Stewart should have been at that meeting and taken whatever heat was coming his way! Stewart’s loyalty should be to the Democratic party. Tony was right to call him on this. It’s one thing to argue your point, quite another to be as disloyal as Mark Stewart has been. There is a right way and a wrong way to disagree, and with him not showing up at the meeting, he basically brought this on himself. If Mr. Stewart feels as he does, he should just become a Republican and stop being so wishy washy.

    • stillsleepyeyes

      so vote for the party……….not the people the you represent????

    • JoyceEarly

      So you advocate following every single thing the party head believes in? People don’t follow 100% of any party. Well smart people don’t anyway. They pick and chose what they want to support. Stewart still has the option to think for himself. At the end of the day we find out there are free thinkers in the Democrat party. That should give us hope!

    • bob44044

      His loyalty should be to the public, not the party. The Democrat Party has always put their party ahead of any city, county, state or the county. That is why we are in the mess we’re in now.

    • oldruss

      A party chairman who believes its his way or the highway is really out of tourch with the concept of democracy. With only two viable political parties, both parties need to have large umbrellas. And, while we’re at it, why can’t a Democrat be in favor of this new county governmental structure?

  • bpbatista

    It’s like Trotsky v. Lenin.

    Too bad they can’t both lose.

  • TheOriginalFactChecker

    There is a big difference between what a private citizen does and says, and what an elected officer in an organization does an says. It is quite simple to understand It would be just as wrong for Alan Mullally to be selected CEO by the Ford Board of Directors, and then drive around in a Honda, and go on TV to promote Volkswagen.

    • Pablo Jones

      That is a poor analogy. First there isn’t a direct organizational structure between the two. The Elyria party isn’t subordinate to the county party. This would be the equivalent of the president of Chevy saying there needs to be a change in the structure of the car division and the Buick President saying it is fine the way it is, because a change would affect his job.

      For your analogy to work Stewart would have to be out there promoting Republicans and voting for the Green party.

      • TheOriginalFactChecker

        You are wrong. When a person becomes an officer in an organization, in this case the Democratic Party, that person’s public positions should coincide with those of the organization. What that person does with his secret ballot may never be know. But, I really doubt that the CEO of Ford would, in good conscience, vote for BMW as car of the year.

        • Bill

          It’s this idiotic blind following that has this country in the shape it is in. Bunch of friggin sheep is all you are.

          • TheOriginalFactChecker

            What’s idiotic is pretending that you don’t understand the difference between a private citizen’s position, and an elected leader’s position within an organization he chooses to supposedly support.

          • Bill

            Oh no I understand it all to well. Your blind loyalty to your party is what is stopping you from remembering that these politicians are elected to represent what the people want, not the party line.

          • TheOriginalFactChecker

            You understand nothing. Neither person involved in this story are politicians “elected to represent what the people want”. They were elected by only DEMOCRATS to represent the DEMOCRATS that elected them and the DEMOCRAT executive committee that sets the agenda for the Democratic Party. When Mr. Stewart was County Auditor, it was THEN that he was elected to represent the people.

            And, every party, including the Republicans, have the same structure.

          • Bill

            Put a spin on it however you like and keep being the sheep being led to slaughter. I don’t care if you are Democrat or Republicans it’s people like you that are what is wrong with this country.

          • Denise Caruloff

   know who factchecker is don’t ya…lol…

          • Bill

            Giardini probably, but no I don’t know who hides behind that moniker.

          • therest_ofthestory

            No, who? Budway?

          • therest_ofthestory

            Well THIS voting Democrat is supporting Mr. Stewart in this instance.

          • Pablo Jones

            I understand that perfectly well. But is the position of the organization? To find people for elections and to develop plans and agendas that are in the interest of the people in there region.

            If you are saying it doesn’t matter about the people and it is all about the party then you are saying that the Democrat party cares nothing about the people or what is in their best interest it is just about their positions within the organization.

            Either they act in the interest of their voters, or everything they say they stand for is BS. Which one is it?

        • Pablo Jones

          I understand they have the obligation to the party. But the Lorain county party doesn’t set the agenda for everyone to follow. The city party can do what they feel is in the best interest of their city party.

          And once again your analogies don’t work. He’s not voting for the Republicans for anything.

    • John Boy

      I can actually see why the Democrats would be against trying to change the form of county government. They love the power of being in charge. They have done such a great job of ruining, er I mean running the county for as long as I can remember. Look at the utopia the democrats have created in Elyria and Lorain, keep up the good work.

  • bob44044

    When the central committee of the Lorain County’s Democrat Communist Party makes it’s decree, you better get in line or it’s off to the gulag with you. The party does not believe in fairness or sharing of power. You must believe in their dictatorship or you must be crushed. They’re running this county just like they ran Detroit and you can see what that got that city, a waste land. And Lorain County is spinning in that direction right now.

    • TheOriginalFactChecker

      You contradict yourself. You mention the Central Committee which is composed of 1 representative from each precinct in the county. That’s 199 precincts. Then you claim the party doesn’t believe in sharing power. The power is shared among 199 people.Then after acknowledging a COMMITTEE of 199, you call it a dictatorship.

      • Bill
        • Denise Caruloff


        • TheOriginalFactChecker

          How clever.

      • bob44044

        The Communist Party also had representatives elected from districts, now didn’t they. That didn’t make them any less dictatorial, now did it. It’s their way, to keep the county controlled by Democrats only, or else. People in the townships tend to be Republican and have no representation in county government, because the population heavy cities tend to only vote Democrat (who have run the city’s and county into the ground). The along comes someone who wants to have the townships have a little say in the county government and the Democrats central committee has a hissy fit. They can not allow that. They only want what is good for their party not what’s good for the public. I knew you knew that, you just wanted to confuse the readers, now didn’t you.

        • TheOriginalFactChecker

          The Communist Party has nothing to do with the Democratic Party. YOU are trying to confuse the readers.

        • FrankNeirden

          The townships have less voice under this plan than they do now. Under this plan, you lose 8 votes. That’s right. You’re giving up your vote for 8 elected positions. Instead, you get to vote for 1 person from your “district”. That’s nothing in a 7 member council. The only “districts” that would get any attention would be the swing districts. And you think 3 commissioners have problems deciding things? add 4 more and see how slow you make the government.

  • Larry Crnobrnja

    Dumbocrats eating their own. LOL

    • TheOriginalFactChecker

      How clever!

      • Larry Crnobrnja

        I can’t take credit for originality, but will for the opportunity to share in the moment. Thank you very much.

  • bpbatista

    Are Lorain Democrats going to abandon Obama now that Obama has declared that striking workers should be fired?

    “Everybody here just does their job, right? If you’re working
    here and in the middle of the day you just stopped and said ‘you know
    what, I want to get something, but I don’t know exactly what I’m gonna
    get. I’m just going to stop working till I get something – I’m just
    going to shut down the whole plant until I get something’ – You’d get
    fired, right?

    Cuz the deal is, you’ve already gotten hired. You’ve got a
    job. You’re getting a paycheck. ..And so you also are getting the pride
    of doing a good job, and contributing to a business, and looking out for
    your fellow workers. That’s what you’re getting. It shouldn’t be any
    different for a member of Congress.”

    • TheOriginalFactChecker

      President Obama did NOT say that striking workers should be fired and you know it. Now you will spin it.

      • bpbatista

        Sure reads like he said that if you walk out on your job and shut down the whole plant (aka, go on strike), then you should be fired.

        What’s the Lorain Democrat Party position on that?

        Does the Elyria Democrat Party agree?

        • TheOriginalFactChecker

          Maybe you think someone should be fired if they strike, the President doesn’t.

          He said, “They would’ve been fired”. Now we all know that without a strong union or certain labor laws that would (not should) be the case.

          • Denise Caruloff

            LOVE when you write…strong union…hmmm must be a supporter of the unions huh?….hmmm..that brings to mind Thayer and Williamson…’s the new ride?

          • therest_ofthestory

            A lot of the issues with Giardini are because he and his puppets DON’T support labor! They give it lip service but when push comes to shove, it what’s best for THEIR pockets every time!

          • bpbatista

            And yet Obama recognizes the basic unfairness and destructiveness of strikes and states his agreement with such workers being fired. A Freudian slip perhaps? No that can’t be — we’ve been told that Obama is the smartest most eloquent speaker since ever. So he must have meant what he said.

          • TheOriginalFactChecker

            Again, he didn’t say that.

  • therest_ofthestory

    Tony, we’re not questioning your loyalty to the party. We know that your loyalty is to you and you alone!

  • disqus_o40xovCXEm

    Two names to remember here:

    Jimmy Dimora and Frank Russo.

  • GreatRedeemer

    Maybe the former auditor is upset that he had to give back most of his unused sick pay.

  • ClevelandBill

    It is only a matter of time … the investigations in Cuyahoga County have already reached a few Lorain County people … and soon more … and maybe, one day, Lorain County will be free from the power-hungry politically-connected dictatorial leaches who live like kings, espouse pseudo-Democrat policies, and purport to represent the working classes whom they do not have to know. Never again should the people of Lorain County have to endure every sign, picnic table, or building “brought to you by the County Commissioners” as if it was their own money that bought and paid for it. The taxpayer is being fleeced, supporting a good-old-boy network, a revolving-door system of double-dippers. Its got to end. Anyone can see that the genius of the Lorain Democrat party has resulted in the glory that is present-day Lorain and Elyria.