CLEVELAND, OH – EJBNEWS is offering its readers a look at the special August 2021 edition of the Sunrise News published in East Cleveland by Council Vice President and mayoral candidate Juanita Gowdy and co-publisher Justyn Anderson. It’s hot.
Everyone who remembers “The Mack” starring Max Julian as Goldie the pimp remembers this line. “Either we can handle this like players or we can get into some gangster shit.” I once gave Mayor Michael Reed White two copies of a letter he’d asked me to write to Michael Polensek during his brief tenure as council’s president in 2000. The first one included the line above. He wanted to sign it. Polensek got the edited version.
The Richmond Heights resident who’s been sneaking his way onto East Cleveland ballots, Brandon King, should have realized that when he took a smack at his newspaper publishing opponent that she was going to use it to damn near immediately smack him back. You don’t pick a fight with someone who can put 2000 pounds of newspapers on the streets anytime they want.
King and his bag man crony, Michael Smedley, released an anonymous flyer claiming Council Vice President Juanita Gowdy had a criminal record. She doesn’t, but obeying Section 3517.21 of the Ohio Revised Code is just one of a long list of federal, state and local laws anarchist Smedley ignores. Smedley also created a flyer that made false allegations against veteran Councilman Nathaniel Martin under the name of “Gowdy for mayor.” Martin told me Smedley publicly claimed I created it during a public meeting. I didn’t.
The heading of the unsuspended general law that warned King and Smedley not to play these type of dirty political games reads as follows: “Infiltration of campaign – false statements in campaign materials – election of candidate.” It’s one of many unsuspended election laws the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections doesn’t aggressively advertise as being enforceable. For the purposes of Gowdy’s campaign the sections below are applicable.
“(A) No person, during the course of any campaign for nomination or election to public office or office of a political party, shall knowingly and with intent to affect the outcome of such campaign do any of the following: (4) Make a false statement that a candidate or public official has been indicted or convicted of a theft offense, extortion, or other crime involving financial corruption or moral turpitude; (5) Make a statement that a candidate has been indicted for any crime or has been the subject of a finding by the Ohio elections commission without disclosing the outcome of any legal proceedings resulting from the indictment or finding; (6) Make a false statement that a candidate or official has a record of treatment or confinement for mental disorder; (8) Falsely identify the source of a statement, issue statements under the name of another person without authorization, or falsely state the endorsement of or opposition to a candidate by a person or publication.”
Gowdy was understandably angered and shaken by the smear campaign coming from Smedley and King. King may not have liked her assessment of his handling of the duties of the mayor’s office over the past four years and during her first year on council; but Gowdy had a constitutional right as an elected representative of the residents of Ward 2 to ensure he was enforcing laws and protecting the rights of the city’s residents from abusive municipal workers.
Since the beginning of her term on January 1, 2020, Gowdy asked King to deliver oaths of office on all city workers to the clerk of council as required by Section 705.28 of the Ohio Revised Code. She’s warned him to supervise private contract attorney Willa Hemmons to discharge the duties of the director of law to prevent the $100 million in legal liabilities the taxpayers have to pay for police civil rights abuses from accumulating.
King opposed Gowdy’s introduction of the Tamia Chapmann Act earlier this year to stop the deadly high speed chases from untrained and uncertified “law enforcement officer impersonators” under his management. Gowdy wanted to talk about King’s record in public office and not the fake criminal record he and Smedley were spreading.
Gowdy and the Sunrise News’ co-publisher, Justyn Anderson, knew it was important for East Cleveland residents to know the truth about what was taking place with King’s administration of municipal workers and their tax dollars at city hall. Anderson had launched Sunrise News with Gowdy two years ago; and with the right guidance had built it into a credible local newspaper serving East Cleveland residents door to door.
For their special August 2021 edition the “growing in experience” newspaper publishers wanted a restyled high impact look and more concise messaging to deliver pristine quality information to voters in an easy-to-read format. They came to EJBNEWS.
According to former East Cleveland council Vice President Chantelle Lewis, who endorsed Gowdy, the city is on fire over the revelations about the King administration in the Sunrise News. She said voters were aware through the media that the city was facing problems; especially the high speed chases. But she said Gowdy and Anderson’s August Sunrise News edition puts the information in their faces in a way the issues she’s raising about King can’t be ignored.
“It’s shocking to see our city being mistreated so badly,” Lewis said. The school principal and administrator campaigned as former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill’s running mate for lieutenant governor when he sought the Democratic nomination for governor in 2018.
Gowdy and Anderson say the street reaction to Sunrise News has been phenomenal. Anderson said young people who get their news online, and who are not accustomed to reading newspapers, are reading.
“I’m pleased when I see young people my age and younger reading news that’s important about our community and reacting to it in a positive way,” Anderson said.
Said Gowdy, “The people of East Cleveland are getting the truth they need in real time. The election is important. Our city can’t keep going in the direction it’s going in because people are getting hurt. Government in America is not supposed to be abusive.”