Hoping to keep tabs on our ongoing corruption circus, but not interested in working too hard for it?
A self-styled citizens’ watchdog group is making it easy: The Citizens Reform Association of Cuyahoga County has issued a report titled “Who’s Who in the County Crisis.” It’s described as “a compilation of local government entities, agencies, departments, private companies and individuals who have been named or identified in relation to current federal, state or local investigations into possible corrupt or criminal practices within governmental entities in our community.”
In other words, it mostly gathers and recycles the stuff The Plain Dealer has been capably hammering on for three years, right down to the vague aspersions of people who haven’t actually been accused of wrongdoing or maybe grabbed a beer once with that old guy who was.
“We’re not trying to embarrass anybody or point fingers at anybody,” says CRACC secretary and spokesman Tom Kelly, who is also a WHK radio show host. “We think it’s a public service for people to be able to have all the interconnected information listed in one place. All we’re trying to do is provide a service so people can get a look at the whole picture. We tried to avoid judgments and inferences.
Although the group’s website (citizensreform.com) includes no membership list, Kelly identifies CRAAC’s officers as a hodgepodge. “We have members from all over the county, from all parties and no parties, all races, creeds, and national origins,” he says. “It is nonpartisan, nonprofit. Our only mission is to reform and restore government throughout the county.”
And how’s he liking his new government?
“We’re very pleased with county government so far. We think it is doing a good job.” — Anastasia Pantsios