The Plot to Overthrow Alex Arshinkoff, Enemy of Marriage

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It’s been four years since Scene broke the news that while Summit County GOP chairman Alex Arshinkoff ferociously supports anti-gay legislation by day, he cruises for nubile young boys by night [“The Godfather In The Closet,” June 11, 2003]. Obviously, such homoerotic friskiness is supposed to be a no-no in the Grand Old Party, where halting the homo threat is perhaps The Greatest Issue Facing This Nation Today. So one would think the party’s fundamentalist wing would have overthrown Chairman Rump Ranger by now. But Arshinkoff has long ruled the Summit branch with an iron fist – or at least a tasteful leather riding crop -- deciding who runs for office, and who will be hired and fired from patronage jobs. Republican state Senator Kevin Coughlin hopes to change that. Last week, he fired off a lengthy letter to supporters and the media, asking for help to overthrow of The Gay Bandolier. “He is too paranoid, too vindictive, too manipulative, too untrustworthy, and too erratic to continue leading our party,” Coughlin wrote. Did we mention Arshinkoff also enjoys casual sex with young men out of wedlock? In his three-page attack, Coughlin accused Arshinkoff of mismanaging campaign funds and striking deals with powerful Democrats by withholding candidates from important local races, including the current race for mayor of Akron. Coughlin called on other Republicans fed up with Arshinkoff’s antics to help gain a majority of the Summit County Central Committee’s 400 seats in the 2008 primary. If successful, the committee, which elects the party chairman, could oust Arshinkoff from his 30-year reign, and preserve the institution of marriage. Still, it will be a tough battle. Despite Arshinkoff’s bully tactics and hypocritical extracurricular activities, he still possesses staunch support. When Cuyahoga Falls mayor Don Robart got wind of Coughlin’s letter, he dismissed it as the work of a man “nuttier than a fruitcake.” Fruitcake? Interesting choice of words, Mr. Mayor. – Denise Grollmus

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