CLEVELAND, OH – Propaganda is being circulated by Cleveland and national reporters that the city’s voters are 78 percent Democrat. That crazily false statistic is supposed to make it easy for United States Representative Shontel Brown to defeat me as a Republican candidate for Congress on November 8, 2022. The truth is Americans who voted for Democratic Party candidates made up only 19 percent of Cleveland’s 246,893 voters after the results were in from last year’s mayoral and congressional elections.
78 percent of Cleveland voters are Independent or “unaffiliated” with a political party. Independent voters in Cleveland and every suburb are the majority. The data is from the Cuyahoga County Board of Election’s election results released December 7, 2021.
Think of the unpatriotic insidiousness of Democratic Party leaning reporters planting psychological seeds to create hopelessness in the minds of local voters who may want to elect me instead of Brown to Congress; and want to keep Judge Wanda Jones. In the minds of this town’s reporters, voters should not get to hear attorney Tim Hess’ civil rights loving views about criminal justice as he campaigns for the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas on the ticket with Jones.
If Cleveland is 78 percent Democrat, and the Democratic Party’s better organized members want Brown in Congress, then there’s nothing Independent and Republican Americans can do if local media reports are to be believed. This is un-American voter suppression at its most subtle finest.
The false 78 percent Democrat claim coming from the media is also unfair to the Issue 1 initiative voters of Ohio supported on May 8, 2018. Issue 1 is a constitutional amendment that ended the “partisan” gerrymandering reporters are falsely claiming currently exists in the 11th Congressional District. Sections 1, 2 and 3 of Article XIX of the Constitution of Ohio were enacted to “establish a process for congressional redistricting.” The 2018 constitutional amendment vote was supposed to achieve four goals.
1 End the partisan process for drawing congressional districts, and replace it with a process with the goals of promoting bipartisanship, keeping local communities together, and having district boundaries that are more compact.
2 Ensure a transparent process by requiring public hearings and allowing public submission of proposed plans.
3 Require the General Assembly or the Ohio Redistricting Commission to adopt new congressional districts by a bipartisan vote for the plan to be effective for the full 10-year period.
4 Require that if a plan is adopted by the General Assembly without significant bipartisan support, it cannot be effective for the entire 10-year period and must comply with explicit anti-gerrymandering requirements.
What reporters are claiming about Cleveland or the 11th Congressional District being 78 percent Democrat is not only false on its face; it ignores the political “balance” the Ohio General Assembly has been going back and forth with the Supreme Court of Ohio’s justices over since last September 2021.
The map of the 11th Congressional District has been redrawn by the General Assembly and rejected by the state’s supreme court four times in order to prevent the leaders of one party or the other from controlling it. With members of the Republican Party controlling the Ohio General Assembly, it’s ludicrous to think our members would draw an overwhelming majority Democratic Party voting configuration for the 11th Congressional District. It’s another reality that makes the “78 percent Democrat” claim propaganda.
The new gerrymandering constitutional amendment explains why Cleveland and Akron are no longer connected as the 11th Congressional District. It explains why all of the 11th Congressional District is inside Cuyahoga County. It explains why Republican state lawmakers put all of Cleveland and its 17 wards in the 11th Congressional District instead of the west side being in the 10th Congressional District. Cleveland, the majority of its inner-ring suburbs, the downtown corporate community, the educational, medical, artistic institutions, manufacturing and transportation industries will be served by a single member of Congress. From the perspective of Ohio’s new constitutional amendment the 11th Congressional District cannot be 78 percent Democrat.
What the Republican-drawn maps have done is solved a longstanding political civil rights complaint that the state’s 8 largest cities were split up to deprive American Negro congressional candidates of a consolidated urban power base. After the late attorney Louis Stokes became the state’s first American Negro elected to the United States Congress, the thinking in the 1970’s was that keeping the state’s 8 largest cities split up would prevent 7 more American Negro congressional candidates from joining Stokes in Congress. Toledo, Cleveland, Youngstown, Akron, Canton, Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati all have American Negro populations at or in excess of 50 percent. The type of civil rights victories the Republican Party has gifted Ohioans are not always “in your face.”
So what does this mean about my real chances against Representative Brown?
Through the years I have thought about former Mayor Carl Burten Stokes’ campaign for a Cleveland Municipal Court judgeship in 1983 the year I campaigned for a Cleveland school board seat. I earned over 17,000 votes. He spent $1100 and beat attorney Phil Parisi. I asked Stokes why he didn’t invest more. The first American Negro mayor to lead a major American city told me his level of name recognition was 100 percent. No matter how much money he spent the people who liked him were going to vote for him and the one’s who did not were not.
Brown raised and spent $3,962,956 for 22,335 votes. She paid $177.43 a vote. Turner spent $6,753,996 for 12,867 votes. That’s a staggering $524.90 a vote. I spent $205 or 3.96 cents per vote for my 8118 votes. It’s the benefit of 44 years of local, state, national and international name recognition no matter how my name has been covered. I even played the mayor of Akron in an episode of “Dead Again” on the Arts & Entertainment network. I’m featured internationally in a documentary about the death of Egypt’s late spy boss, Omar Suleiman, at Cleveland Clinic in 2012. I have appeared with my son on Inside Edition. Comedian Craig Ferguson used my stolen property for a weeklong monologue. My name, locally, was established between the late 1970’s and 1990’s in a media era before cable television and the internet when the Plain Dealer circulated 450,000 copies a day 7 days a week. As a journalist my name has appeared as a byline on over 2000 news stories and photographs. Cleveland knows me.
My primary election campaign for Congress cost me $80 in filing fees, an $80 tank of gas, $5 worth of copy paper and a $40 toner cartridge. Pocket change. On name recognition and word of mouth alone I prevailed over my Plain Dealer endorsed opponent with a primary election vote of 8118 to his 5976. 11th Congressional District voters who know me, and who did not know I was a candidate on the Republican ballot for Congress, now know Shontel and I will be competing on November 8, 2022. The results of the campaign were covered in the New York Times. Word of mouth is building. So is the “whispering campaign.”
The “whispering campaign” is taking place outside both mine and Brown’s circles. We each have malicious people around us masquerading as friends. Neither of us have control over what they or people we don’t know are saying. I’m an ex-mayor, political operative, investigative journalist and newspaper publisher so the politics watchers and voters who know me expect my publications to cover the campaign, which they will. I even texted Shontel an advertising rate card in case she wanted to advertise. They also expect me to search for and publish “dirt” on Shontel; which I am not. She’s never lost a campaign and her success from my perspective was “come out of nowhere.” I respect her. I’m also not going to tolerate being clowned by her campaign like they did Nina. They should bypass me with the bullshit and focus on issues like I’m doing.
In last year’s special primary and general election to the May 3, 2022 primary election, voter turnout in the Cuyahoga County side of the 11th Congressional District has been between 14 and 18 percent. 82 to 86 percent of registered Cleveland voters have not voted for Brown or Turner. They have remained at home. Reporters lying about the “78 percent Democrat” statistic leave lots of other real political facts off the discussion table.
Despite their millions in campaign funds neither Brown nor her opponent, Turner, offered messaging that increased voter interest in their campaigns over three elections within the past 9 months. Yard signs, billboards and repeat negative advertising don’t increase turnout. The “shit” commercials and the “momma wars” were too trite for members of the 11th Congressional District’s electorate who see themselves as thinking voters. Turner hurt herself with Bernard Gitman Sanders. Brown hurt herself with the unregistered Israeli foreign agent … Mark Mellman. Movements increase voter turnout. Preventing a “movement” from being sparked by suppressing and distorting how voters think about candidates like me is why propaganda like the 78 percent Democrat lie is inserted into the public dialogue.
The redrawn congressional district boundaries have not been widely-shared with all of the “new” 11th Congressional District’s voters. The west side of Cleveland and the county is virgin political territory for her as Brown has to build new voter relationships. The May 3, 2022 primary election was the first time Brown’s name appeared on a “Democratic” ballot in all 17 of Cleveland’s wards. Republican voters saw my name and that of my opponent’s on their ballots. Independent voters who received an “issues only” ballot saw none of our names. My name appeared on the ballots of every voter in Cleveland’s non-partisan campaign for mayor in 2017. I have also been a limited purpose public figure since I organized and led Guardian Angel safety patrol chapters in Cleveland from 1981 until 1983.
As a member of the Cuyahoga County council Shontel represented Cleveland Wards 1 and 2; and the city’s southeast suburbs. All were and remain in the last map of the 11th Congressional District. In her November 2021 general election campaign against Republican Laverne Jones-Gore her name appeared on the general election ballot for only 9 out of Cleveland’s 17 wards. Voters in 8 Cleveland wards were not in the 11th Congressional District as recently as November 2021. Brown has no “political base” in the 11th Congressional District’s largest voting city.
The city of Cleveland’s political reality is that at any time the 78 percent Independent majority can choose a candidate other than one from the Democratic or Republican Party to represent them in elected office. The latest May 3, 2022 primaries will bring new numbers after election officials certify campaign results.
I was born into a politically active family. Newsweek magazine reported in 1967 how my father, Harold Pride Brewer, was leading a charter change initiative in East Saint Louis, Illinois that led to the election of the city’s first American Negro mayor. I was 14 years old and his eldest son. Our family paid a major price for his politics during the second charter change campaign in 1969 when a local bar owner whose last name was “Kelly” approached my sister with a warning to my father. He removed us from the city the following day.
When we left I was a 9th grade student at United States Senator Richard Durbin’s high school alma mater, Assumption Catholic High. Dad was doing his part to change the city’s power structure. I was one of the 30 American Negro students integrating the U.S. Senator’s segregated alma mater. San Antonio Spurs legend Rick Suttles was also one of the high school’s integrators. My more hands on “in the trenches” life experiences have given me the insight to see through propaganda like the 78 percent Democrat lie reporters have been circulating as fact.
I think Shontel’s had so much money spent on building up her image the public is tired of having programming they’re watching interrupted by Brown’s commercials. Money puts her face on television, on the internet, on billboards and forces voters to watch the “bowl of shit” commercial her backers created to dog Turner.
After Brown was branded as lying about her accomplishments by the Plain Dealer / cleveland.com, she authenticated the criticism by repeating what had been labeled a false claim in her own advertising. She’s saturated the airwaves, public spaces and the public’s mailboxes with her name and face. The public is right now burnt out on Shontel Brown. Those jealous of Brown’s success “can’t stand her” and their anger over her political presence grows everytime they see her face in the media.
None of Brown’s advertising messages offered 11th Congressional District residents a path to lower food prices, lower rent, lower fuel prices and guarantees about our own national security in our communities. We learned only that she was President Joseph Robinette Biden and Vice President Kamaladevi Harris’ puppet. She has absolutely no message for Independent and Republican voters; and the Democrats for Brewer who like other loyal Americans see America and our interests as first.
I moderated two debates for Brown Report publisher Kimberly Brown during the Congresswoman’s first campaign for a seat on the Cuyahoga County council in 2012. Shontel Brown missed the first and appeared for the second. I didn’t think asking candidates questions about the Constitution of the United States of America, the Constitution of Ohio, Ohio’s general laws and their own charter and ordinances they swore to obey and enforce should have been tough. Neither should questions about legislation they had enacted during their council proceedings.
Everyone I know wants to see a debate. In the political community the bet is she won’t. I think the two of us are capable of sitting across from each other and having an unmoderated discussion in front of an audience and answering their subject relevant questions.