Akron Press Club – A Scourge On Democracy


I spent most of the Akron Mayoral debate yesterday just shaking my head. 

There are three candidates you will see on the ballot for Akron mayor on November 3.

But the Akron Press Club chose to only let the Democrat and Republican candidates participate in their debate.

I challenge you to tell me one legitimate reason Bill Melver wasn’t allowed to be part of the debate… other than the most vile conclusions you can make.

Here are some possible reasons I could come up with that Bill shouldn’t be permitted to participate:

The “I’m stupid but well meaning” possible reasons:

  • The stage was too small for 3 people.
  • We didn’t hear that Bill Melver was on the ballot.
  • Keeping track of 45 second speeches is hard enough with 2 people. We don’t have enough stop watches for 3 people.
  • An hour and a half is barely enough time to hear the political-speak, vague answers of 2 people, much less 3.
  • We would have had to get 3 tables because mayoral candidates are like rabid dogs and can’t be placed on a single, connected line of wood. 

Here are the “I’m small minded, but powerful and you can suck it” possible reasons:

  • The voice of anyone other than Republicans or Democrats doesn’t matter.
  • Bill Melver isn’t a legitimate candidate even though he’s on the ballot.
  • What if Bill Melver actually won because people heard his opinion. People are stupid enough they might actually vote for him and that can’t happen.
  • Irish and African Americans are one thing. But Asian Americans? Come on. Let’s not get crazy.

I have truly been thinking of any other reason Bill wasn’t given a chance to be heard on the Akron Press Club Mayoral Debate.

The only answers I can come up with are either ignorant or much more dark and insidious. 

Bill Melver got over the 372 required signatures to be on the ballot, which is a massive undertaking. Dan and Eddie only needed to get 50.

The Summit County Board of Elections validated his candidacy. 

He is as legitimate a candidate as you can get. 

The Akron Press Club is an old and backward-minded organization. They are manipulating the entire Democratic process in Akron. It’s infuriating.

Don’t let the powerful take your power. Spread the word about Bill Melver. Make up your own mind. His key focus is helping those in poverty. 

I was inspired to write this as I’m sitting in the “Bridges Out Of Poverty” all day event. It is put on by the United Way to help the community learn about poverty. Bill is sitting in this room with me. Dan isn’t. Eddie isn’t.