CLEVELAND, OH – A look at the Plain Dealer’s endorsements of East Cleveland’s last four mayors reveals a truth the newspaper’s publishers and editors do their worst to conceal. They encourage voters to elect incompetents and criminals to elected office. The lower the moral character the better. They then starve the voters they suckered into supporting the criminal they backed of the editorial information they need to evaluate their performance by concealing their crimes in office.
Two of the Plain Dealer’s endorsed candidates for East Cleveland mayor have been indicted for public corruption. A third looks like he’s on the way. Brandon King. Only one endorsed Plain Dealer candidate for East Cleveland mayor escaped a public corruption trial; but she did not avoid one for stabbing a man to death. She claimed self-defense.
The Plain Dealer’s editorial board endorsed Reverend Emmanuel Onunwor over me in 2001 for mayor. Goggins over me in 2005. Gary Norton over me in 2009 as I sought to be re-elected. The newspaper endorsed Brandon King over the city’s former municipal court judge and school board president: attorney Una Keenon. This was after King as council’s vice president requested, sponsored and voted on legislation to give himself a home in the city’s Forest Hills section valued at $99,000 for $1,000 out of the landbank.
King’s acts of self-dealing were publicly-known to the Plain Dealer’s editorial staff as well as delivered to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) special agents when editorial pages editor Elizabeth Sullivan led the newspaper to endorse him in 2017. Sullivan and the Plain Dealer’s past editorial pages editors and reporters have stupidly made it more difficult for law enforcement officers investigating their endorsed candidates to expose them.
Sullivan along with Plain Dealer editor George Rodrigue, Advance Ohio president Chris Quinn of cleveland.com daily encourage unknowing voters to trust corrupt elected and appointed public officials while editorially-disparaging the citizens who have reported their crimes to authorities. I’m not a criminal. I expose them. I even expose criminals who are editorially, malicious liars and deceivers. Of course the Plain Dealer would never endorse me. Especially after a story like this one.
What all of the Plain Dealer’s last four endorsed candidates for East Cleveland mayor show is the newspaper’s editorial staff has a cultural penchant for candidates who are or were criminally-inclined. The Plain Dealer’s Russian owners, and its lilly-white and anti-Christian staff of publishers, editors and reporters also clearly demonstrate through their endorsements how they have no regard, whatsoever, for the area’s majority American Negro population. Anything or anyone who harms us is good. Like in East Saint Louis, Illinois on July 6, 1917: they’d rather see us “exterminated.”
Keyword search the Plain Dealer for the words “Jesus Christ” around Christmas time. The last “manger” story was on December 24, 1966. This was three months before its Russian owners gave us “Seasons Greetings” and “Happy Hanukkah” after Solomon Isadore Neuhaus purchased it in March 1967.
The soul of the Plain Dealer editorial and employment perspective is that Cleveland has “too many American Negroes.” Cleveland should be a sanctuary city for every iteration of illegal aliens they would rather see displacing “us.” Of the five daily newspapers that existed in Cleveland before the Civil War began, the Plain Dealer’s Joseph Gray was the only publisher supporting slavery in an abolitionist state.
I have not paid attention to Reverend Emmanuel’s life after his incarceration, but I know from all I’ve heard he’s been repentant. He’s apologized. He’s sinned no more to the best of my knowledge for his crimes in office against the residents of East Cleveland. The way he’s lived his life says to me he deserves to be left alone. I enjoyed a sermon he delivered at his church on YouTube about “rejection.” Psalm 118:5 I’m going to remember. He’s even “diligently” making restitution. I’ve seen the line item in the city’s budget.
Emmanuel may not know it; but he’s earned my personal respect and forgiveness. He didn’t endorse his crimes. The conceal-minded reporting of the Plain Dealer endorsed his crimes. One hard-hitting investigative coverage of his misdeeds in office would have scared him straight. He was “encouraged” towards criminal acts. In his heart I don’t believe he was a criminal. Just misguided.
Let’s look back.
It cost East Cleveland taxpayers $1.4 million to manage the city’s “direct service” water and sewer department in 2000. OMI/CH2M Hill’s Buddy Reneau and Howlie C. Davis offered to handle the city’s water and sewer management duties for $3.2 million. Boo Boo the Fool could see the contract was padded for bribery, but not the publishers, editors and reporters at the Plain Dealer covering the city who had endorsed Emmanuel over me for mayor in 2001. I placed 2nd in that race and he won in the general election.
Jim Petro saw what I saw as state auditor when I asked him to investigate the no-bid contract; and confirmed everything I’d sent to him in a 17-page special investigation inside a regular audit. The FBI saw it, too, when I delivered the information to the agents I’d been sharing records and insights with since 1999. Plain Dealer reporter Tom Ott had it; and he knew when I met with the newspaper’s editorial board Brent Larkin was leading under Doug Clifton as editor that Emmanuel was under a full federal criminal investigation. At the time I was a Republican and on the party’s executive committee. Jim Trakas was my chairman. I actually like him.
The only person Machaskee, Clifton and Larkin could see was a fellow newspaper publisher and journalist who’d been busting their asses for years over their inaccurate and agenda-driven reporting; and for not covering the crimes in office of the candidates the newspaper’s editorial board had endorsed.
An American Negro reporter for the newspaper, Jesse Tinsley, was a reporter I knew and trusted. Jesse had tried to help the city’s residents by authoring validating me as a public corruption “watchdog.” That image didn’t eventually sit well with his bosses after the story made me look like the patriotic and concerned citizen of the United States of America that I am.
Jesse told me how he had to fight to get the story published. He also told me how Plain Dealer managing editor Bill McDonald ordered the picture of an American Negro man off its front page. He had just earned his GED and the picture showed a happy and empowered American Negro holding his son. That, too, was not an image the newspaper’s editors wanted American Negroes to see.
This is the same newspaper that published actress Jennifer Connelly’s picture on its front page the night home town girl Halle Berry won an Academy Award. Anything that or anyone who elevates American Negroes is bad.
American Negro Maxine Lynch was another Plain Dealer reporter I trusted. She once worked as the newspaper’s managing editor. She had freelanced for my first newspaper in 1980 when my office was down the hall from hers in Harvey Oppman’s Old Arcade. Third floor. Suite 352. Her late husband, Plain Dealer Executive Editor Thomas Greer, and I sat down for a drink after I produced my first edition of Political Reporter. He picked it up and sat it next to the Plain Dealer’s. Tom told me he’d read mine before he read the one that gave him a salary.
Ex-Plain Dealer reporter Tom Ott covered the East Cleveland beat and knew the FBI was investigating Emmanuel from me. I did not at the time know about Nate Gray’s behind-the-scenes involvement in the OMI/CH2M Hill contract; and the $10,000 a month included in it for him and Ralph Tyler to cut with Emmanuel. Emmanuel got $700 a month.
Ott and I had discussed the public records I knew were in the FBI’s hands; and that detailed the unlawful acts which led to OMI/CH2M Hill’s no-bid $3.2 million contract. He wanted to write but his editors had no interest in exposing Emmanuel’s crimes to East Cleveland residents prior to the 2001 primary election.
In my second campaign for East Cleveland mayor in 2005, O’Neal Price wasn’t alive to tell the story his former girlfriend told me. The Plain Dealer’s “endorsement” editors didn’t care to investigate. The girlfriend on the phone with Price when the Plain Dealer’s endorsed candidate for East Cleveland mayor stabbed him said they were planning a trip out-of-town the married woman didn’t like.
Goggins was far larger than Price physically. She did the yelling. “You aren’t going anywhere.”
The woman on the phone with Price during the attack heard him say, “Help me” before his lungs filled with blood and he suffocated to death from the stab wound. None of this news was brought to the attention of the Plain Dealer or cleveland.com’s readers during its endorsement of her. Not even the fact that Goggins last job before Frank Russo hired her in the county auditor’s office was at University Hospitals as a clerk in the x-ray department.
Goggins for 19 years had spent time behind a desk directing people scheduled for x-rays to follow the blue line to the blue door. To editorial pages editor Brent Larkin, editor Doug Clifton and publisher Terrence Egger, Goggins’ professional background as a clerk qualified her to manage a $27 million municipal budget with around 230 employees.
Goggins told voters after our endorsement meeting that I “cussed out” Larkin, Clifton, Egger and crew. Not really.
I knew I was going to win the election in 2005. The Plain Dealer’s endorsement didn’t matter. Anyone who remembers the campaign will remember my WZAK radio spots telling people … “It’s a rag anyway.”
I went to tell Egger, Clifton and Brent they owed American Negroes who had trusted their editorial lies about the city and its political officials an apology. Their concealment of important information to the city’s residents had been harmful; and from my perspective had obstructed and continues to obstruct the FBI’s desire to rid this region of the corrupt elected officials the newspaper has backed.
Consider that with County Executive Armond Budish, Sullivan led the Plain Dealer’s editorial board to endorse him on October 28, 2018. By February 14, 2019 his office was being raided by state agents.
Now remember how ex-Plain Dealer blogger and Soviet writer Mark Naymik followed up with an editorial that the FBI should not investigate Budish, a fellow Soviet, while writing 17 stories about Cleveland councilman Ken Johnson’s $1000 a month expense account. Naymik even manufactured a story that the FBI was investigating Johnson because of what he’d written. Editorial obstruction to create the false illusion the FBI’s wrong about Budish while offering up Johnson.
Had Naymik ever read the FBI’s Domestic Operations & Investigations Guide, he would have learned that Johnson’s monthly expense budget is paid with “municipal” and not “federal” funds that would not even authorize a full federal criminal investigation over a municipal legislator’s”heavily audited” $1000 monthly expense account. This is a newspaper whose writers have a history of creating “non-existent scandals” against honest American Negroes just to make them look bad.
I wasn’t even mentioned in the county corruption trial taking place when I held office as mayor; among the 400 public officials thought to be involved. What the Plain Dealer and WOIO tried to do was tie the fact that my son was employed with Frank Russo as part of the scandal. Had any reporter bothered to ask me, Frank’s father and my father, Anthony Russo, Sr., had been friends since the early 1970’s Dad visited him in the hospital and took him a card before he died.
I’d known Frank’s father since before he ran for county recorder. Frank and I had never met. His father asked mine to help in his campaign. When he ran for county auditor I helped because of my father’s relationship with his. I didn’t ask for or want a job. Frank offered me one. I stayed for two weeks. He hired my sister. My father had worked in that office for George Voinovich when he served as county auditor.
There was no “special favor” extended to my competent son when one of his “Godfather’s,” the late Pat Gallina, asked Frank to hire him. Pat asked me if my son wanted to work for Frank. I told him to call him. The “smearing” of my American Negro son’s name was just another malicious editorial cheap shot.
Right now. Five federal law enforcement agencies are investigating Rokakis’ and Gus Frangos’ activities with the private entity they created to acquire and then make a profit demolishing the thousands of homes their third party tax lien sales made vacant. Even now the Plain Dealer and cleveland.com’s silence over what’s known about the evil criminal shit Greeks Rokakis and Frangos did to thousands of Cuyahoga County residents, the overwhelming majority of whom are American Negro, shows its editorial complicitness towards concealing the criminal acts of “certain” politicians.
A review of the Board of Revision’s agenda will show Rokakis gave Forest City Enterprises the tax break on their nearly-new $200 million Tiedeman Road plant that former Treasurer Francis Gaul’s appointee, Gerald Murphy, did not. The $17 million lease the Plain Dealer’s owners are earning from the Council for Economic Opportunities of Greater Cleveland (CEOGC) would raise eyebrows big time, editorially, if Advance’s Russian owners were not the beneficiaries.
The Plain Dealer’s editorial pages editor, Larkin, endorsed Rokakis’ third party tax lien sales in 1998 after he replaced Gaul as treasurer. Larkin had also called for Gaul’s resignation three times. Each call for Gaul’s resignation appears to have come around the three times the board of revision rejected Forest City Publishing’s request for a reduction of property taxes between 1994 and 1995. Right before Joel Rutchik and Tim Heider lied that Frank was losing Secured Assets Funds Earnings (SAFE) investment money.
Frank wasn’t losing a dime. Rutchik and Heider’s story fueled a “run” on the $1.8 billion investment pool and cost the county’s taxpayers $114 million. Had Mary Boyle, Jim Petro and Tim Hagan simply enforced Gaul’s contracts with SAFE’s co-investors, the bond market recovery 10 months later would have put $80 million in the county treasury.
It’s just another story the Plain Dealer and cleveland.com’s readers won’t learn in full glaring detail to see how reporters calling investors with lies they got from Ken Kontosh and Mike Scanlon of Productive Portfolios created concern. The 7 percent commission investors earned handling the county’s investments was taken from them when Frank assigned the job to county workers. Taxpayers kept the 7 percent under Frank. Rokakis gave it back to the brokers. They kickbacked to him in campaign contributions. Fuck the county’s taxpayers.
Cindy Barber edited the Free Times and published a story I’d previously written in my Political Reporter about the Plain Dealer’s lies about Gaul. Machaskee was forced to write a response in the Plain Dealer to defend what Rutchik and Heider had done after I’d investigated and written that Gaul had committed no crime. The 8th District Court of Appeals agreed.
The Plain Dealer didn’t even blast the shit out of Mary Boyle for admitting she knew nothing about “investment terminology” as the “president” of the board of commissioners the newspaper had endorsed over Vince Campanella; a certified public accountant. Mary had a degree in chemistry, but her career was as Cleveland Heights councilman Jack Boyle’s wife. 8 children.
Mary’s only work experience was for six months after college. Dupont Chemical’s plant outside Toledo. Beyond that she’d been a school crossing guard and a volunteer with the Heights Community Congress before she was elected to the general assembly.
Mike Polensek pumped gas before joining Cleveland city council in 1977. One minute he’s a guy putting gas in your tank, air in your tires and checking your oil. The next year he’s wearing a suit on a city council for a municipal corporation with over 700,000 residents and 10,000 employees approving over $1.5 billion in combined budgets. Geniuses R’ Us. Plain Dealer-style.
Rokakis’ private landbank is being investigated by the FBI. Former employees like Cheryl Stephens jumped ship; but her name is deeply embedded within the federal investigation. Guess who the Plain Dealer just endorsed for Cuyahoga County council over Mansell Baker? Stephens. Not that Baker would have been much better as a member of East Cleveland city council who voted to let Christine Beynon and George Michael Riley put a construction and demolition debris dump behind homes on Noble Road. Not a mention of Baker’s council vote in that real scandal by any of the Plain Dealer’s writers. Only the FBI knows.
Convicted thief Joe Cimperman is yet another Plain Dealer endorsed candidate. So is convicted “attempted” pedophile Michael Cosgrove whose departure from Cleveland as Mayor Frank Jackson’s communitiy development director was rewarded with a nice PR send-off as he accepted a job leading one of the city’s block grant sub-recipients, Neighborhood Housing Services, he failed to annually monitor. The Plain Dealer “endorsed” Cosgrove in a “puff piece” after the FBI raided city hall. The criminals the Plain Dealer’s editors back don’t have to be elected officials.
Not once has the newspaper’s owners, publishers, editors and reporters gotten down on their scabby-azzed knees and begged the city’s residents, once loyal readers, for forgiveness as reporters led by publishers Alex Machaskee, Terrence Egger, Rodrigue and now Chris Quinn as Advance Ohio’s president maliciously concealed their corrupt acts and management-deficient backgrounds. Even now the Plain Dealer’s “dumbed down” readership is shocked at Norton’s indictment.
A review of the newspaper’s coverage of his administration reveals none of his known public misdeeds to its readers. It’s understood for them to be shocked. My readers, which include the newspaper’s editorial leadership and staff, are not at all editorially-disillusioned. For my readers Norton’s indictment, guilty plea and cooperation is a foregone conclusion.
Norton earned 10 D’s and 8 F’s at Morehouse and had never managed any unit of government or a business in his life. Miami Dade County government fired him from his first management training job after six months. He returned to Cleveland and worked in menial administrative jobs where no responsible official appears to have trusted him to manage anything other than his own schedule.
He wrote correspondence for the Cleveland Scholarship Foundation. He wrote constitutent letters for Barbara Byrd Bennett as the thieving superintendent of Cleveland public schools the Plain Dealer, like its editors, liked under “mayoral control.” Norton then worked as gopher for Peter Lawson Jones. A real loser of a county commissioner. Another politician the Plain Dealer liked.
I’ve just read where the Plain Dealer appears to like some guy named Justin Bibb for mayor. I read where he graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 2018. I don’t see where he’s passed the bar exam on the Supreme Court of Ohio’s website. I’ve heard from a source he’s failed it … twice.
So now a guy who wants to be the city’s “chief law enforcement officer” is being encouraged instead of investigated by the Plain Dealer’s so-called 1st Amendment guardians of the public trust. I now have to ask if he’s hired AdvanceOhio to build up his image since he’s got roughly $180,000 to spend to create a community background out of thin air.