CLEVELAND, OH – Clevelanders looking for an indication of how the 2021 campaign to replace Frank Jackson as mayor might turn out can look at two endorsements. Jackson’s and the Plain Dealer’s. Each endorsed Nina Turner to represent the 11th Congressional District in the August 3, 2021 primary election.
Turner raised over $6.2 million to Shontel Brown’s $4.5 million and lost by 4000 votes with their endorsements and that of Russian United States Senator Bernard Gitman Sanders. It’s Kevin Kelley who now has to see if he can do better with one of the two local endorsements. The Plain Dealer has endorsed Justin Bibb.
Jackson’s endorsement of Kelley was expected as it was apparent at least to me in 2017 that he was grooming and protecting the anarchist elected official young enough to be his son. When Kelley obstructed the voting rights of 22,000 mostly American Negro Clevelanders who wanted to vote on spending $88 million to renovate Quicken Loans Arena for redlining Dan Gilbert, Jackson failed to defend American and American Negro voting rights against the vicious attack on them by the Irish Catholic politician’s plantation boss politics. The attitude coming from city hall was obvious. “Fuck the people.” Kelley’s my boy.”
I filed a criminal complaint against Kelley for the “community benefits” agreement Jackson let the president of council usurp the mayor and law director’s authority to negotiate. It was Jackson’s duty as mayor, pursuant to Section 733.34 of the Ohio Revised Code, to “supervise the conduct of the officers” of the municipal corporation to discharge only the duties of their public offices.
Every elected and appointed official of the municipal corporation of Cleveland has limited duties to discharge that are spelled out in plain English in statutory job descriptions called “general laws” that are unsuspended. For “municipal corporations” the duties of elected officials charters in home rule cities generally don’t conflict with are based on can be found in Title 7 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Just because Jackson wanted to let Kelley use the Quicken Loans deal to look good he didn’t have the authority to let the “president of council” assume the duties of the “director of law” to negotiate what amounted to a “contract” between the city of Cleveland the Cleveland Cavaliers. Brookpark Mayor Thomas Coyne’s lawsuit against his council in 2001 was resolved by the Supreme Court of Ohio in Coyne v. Salvator 2002; and the justices took the extra steps to give instructions to duty-exceeding council presidents like Kelley.
The duties of a member of council are “legislative only” pursuant to Section 731.05 of the Ohio Revised Code. It’s explained under the heading “Powers of legislative authority.”
The powers of the legislative authority of a city shall be legislative only, it shall perform no administrative duties, and it shall neither appoint nor confirm any officer or employee in the city government except those of its own body, unless otherwise provided in Title VII of the Revised Code. All contracts requiring the authority of the legislative authority for their execution shall be entered into and conducted to performance by the board or officers having charge of the matters to which they relate. After the authority to make such contracts has been given and the necessary appropriation made, the legislative authority shall take no further action thereon.
Kelley’s a working attorney. The fact he ignored every law that told him not to do what he did as an oath sworn member of a legislative authority speaks volumes about his anarchist mindset as an elected official. The behavior was criminal whether he was prosecuted or not. It makes the shit he pulled with former Councilman Kenneth Johnson even more offensive by making the now convicted councilman a scapegoat for what every member of council was doing with federal block grant funds.
What Jackson was supposed to do was enforce Ord. No. 612.15(e) which instructs the city’s elected and appointed officials to stay in their own lanes. Under Cleveland’s charter and the “Federal” form of government the city is structured to operate in the same manner as the presidency and congress pursuant to Section 705.71 of the Ohio Revised Code.
“The form of government provided in sections 705.71 to 705.86, inclusive, of the Revised Code, shall be known as the “federal plan.” In municipal corporations adopting such plan the only elective officers shall be the mayor and members of council.”
So under Cleveland’s charter and form of government a council president can’t fill in for the mayor and negotiate a contract for the mayor to sign. It sets forth that unlike other cities the law director, finance director and clerk of the council are appointed and not elected. In Warren, Ohio the law director is elected and so is Parma’s. Independence, Ohio elects its finance director. An elected law director would have observed the “dereliction of duty” in Kelley’s contract negotiations, with Jackson’s signature on it, and criminally charged them each with violating Ord. No. 612.15(e) among others. “Dereliction of duty.” It’s a 2nd degree misdemeanor
“No public servant shall recklessly fail to perform a duty expressly imposed by law with respect to his or her office, or recklessly do any act expressly forbidden by law with respect to his or her office.”
The reaction to Jackson’s endorsement of Kelley makes an already unpopular outgoing mayor even more unpopular with what was his American Negro voting base than before he opened his mouth. It creates resistance from even his most loyal former supporters.
Some are asking why he didn’t groom Blaine Griffin or Sandra Williams or any number of capable American Negro politicians instead of one who’d proven himself to be an anarchist and vote suppressing racist? That’s been the criticism of the Kelley endorsement from the calls I’ve received as Mr. Jackson is “hesitantly” being called a sellout. The hesitancy comes because Jackson did empower a significant amount of American Negroes with job and career opportunities though the majority are suburbanites.
While Jackson’s legacy-protecting endorsement of elley seems to signal an ego-driven intent to extend his brand on Cleveland city hall past his mental and physical presence in it. The Jackson brand of leadership that’s made the city the nation’s poorest, and driven one in five Cleveland public school students to contemplate suicide, is not a brand Cleveland voters appear to be in a hurry to perpetuate. It explains the harsh reaction to Kelley.
Kelley is seen by some in Cleveland’s American Negro community in the same derogatory light as the woman Jackson defeated for mayor in 2005 with the editorial help of my Cleveland Challenger. Jane Campbell. From my East Cleveland perspective he’s Gary Norton. No matter what Jackson says about Kelley the electorate doesn’t appear ready to make the “Campbell mistake” twice. The reaction to him has not just been “no” it’s been “hell no.”
A Black president had to send a Black attorney general to a predominantly Black city to tell a Black mayor and a Black police chief they were letting racists terrorize Black people. Now he’s pushing a candidate the majority of American Negro Clevelanders have predetermined is as offensively unacceptable as Dennis Kucinich.
It will be interesting to see how Mr. Jackson tries to sell Mr. Kelley to the city’s voters. Maybe the two will stand at street corners together on sidewalks waving at voters driving by during morning rush hour like Mr. Jackson did in 2017.