Dial 911 - Debbie Sutherland "Died" in Debate Against Lawson Jones... PD Editor Goldberg Should Disappear

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 01:06.

Cuyahoga County Commissioner Lawson Jones Debates Debbie Sutherland

At the first Cuyahoga County Commissioners debate, today, Peter Lawson Jones proved beyond a shadow of a doubt the leadership of the Cleveland Plain Dealer is out of touch with reality, and perhaps deserves criminal investigation for election tampering. The Plain Dealer should retract their editors' endorsement of Debbie Sutherland for Cuyahoga County Commissioner, and the paper should endorse Peter Lawson Jones, with apologies to him and his family for the PD Editors' disgraceful mischaracterization of him.

The NEO Republicans, PD and their funding establishment hope to follow the McCain/Palin bounce with a preposterous, homemade, Republican, unqualified, minor-league small-town mayor.

At today's League of Women Voters debate between Debbie Sutherland and Peter Lawson Jones, at the lovely Euclid Library, Sutherland was so unable to answer any question well, and answered so many questions wrong, and became so flustered, and so clearly publicly realized she had made a huge mistake bringing her little BWU fashion degree mind up against Harvard undergrad and law hyper achiever genius Jones, I honestly thought she was going to cry.

Bay Village Mayor Debbie Sutherland Debating Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones

She started out lame and limped from there. In her opening two minutes, she bragged she was President of the Mayors Regional Love Fest, and is loved by GCP, and TeamNEO, and the Foundations, and can get things done for the region. And then she pulled out the PD editorial endorsing her and read the criticisms there of Peter Lawson Jones to the full-room audience of perhaps 80, which seemed to start out about 50% for Sutherland and 50% for Lawson Jones. She used what the editorial said as her basis for needing to clean house by replacing Lawson Jones.

Peter started his turn at the debate in defense mode against the PD attacking his credibility, stating anyone who knows him knows he works 6 AM to midnight, everyday, for the people of Cuyahoga County, and he is honest, and has integrity, and is a good father and citizen. He then went into detail as to why he has also been a good leader of Cuyahoga County, as commissioner, for the past four years, starting by differentiating himself from Commissioner Dimora, under indictment, and Commissioner Hagan, so universally hated these days. But Lawson Jones' tone was not negative toward his coworkers, Sutherland, or anyone - he was light, confident and upbeat - he did have all the right answers to every question in the debate.

The format was openers (just described above) and then a few dozen questions prepared by the LWV and also submitted by the audience, which were screened by the LWVs. The moderator was excellent... the questions were excellent... it was a great 1.5 hour demonstration of democracy in action and overcoming an Establishment that really seems to be treading far over the line of legal practice, now attempting to rig elections.

I didn't take notes so I can't quote too many of the questions or answers - the debate was taped for public access TV and I imagine copies are available - we must arrange to get it online. Believe me when I say Sutherland embarrassed herself, Her party, Palin, many women, and all the Republicans planted in the audience. She didn't cut it and the GCP/Establishment folks should have know she wouldn't... she isn't even close. In fact, her delivery at the debate, to nearly every question, was her short list of GCP-planted mediocre achievements, like she was reading her resume over and over at all the interviews she has had within the Establishment, as she has moved up their Leadership Tomorrow Ladder.

Then asked to describe herself in three words, two were "Fun and Creative" (I forget the first word, but it wasn't any more inspiring). Lawson Jones gave good answers, "Father, Husband and hyphenated person-who-cares-about-the-people-of-Cuyahoga-County", which broke the ice for everyone, and got a good laugh. By that point, a few questions in, Lawson Jones was well at ease, as Sutherland already laid bloody on the floor

First Ciyahoga County Commissioners Debate Peter Lawson Jones Debbie Sutherland

Throughout the debate, Lawson Jones had the opportunity to highlight how he is different from the other commissioners, like how he has voted with his heart and mind, rather than the establishment, including against the MedCon tax and against demolishing the Ameritrust. And he pointed out that was certainly why the PD had planted Sutherland against him.

When Sutherland was asked why she ran against Lawson Jones rather than Hagan, who is unopposed by any Republicans in this same election cycle, she said she thought she could have a bigger impact by replacing Lawson Jones... to which the audience started realizing this women was insane.

When asked if she as the mayor of a 95% white small town was qualified to represent a population that is 30% black, Sutherland fell on her own dagger, hoping to end her own suffering.

By the time she got to the question I submitted - "What is your strategy to eradicate lead poisoning in Cuyahoga County" - she seemed nearly in shock... and clueless. She stumbled through something like "I know that is a big problem and we've had to deal with it some in Bay Village with Block Grants, and we should expand that."

Peter Lawson Jones knew the right answer. He is co-chair of Invest in Children, which is the umbrella organization for Greater Cleveland Lead Advisory Council, which I co-chair, and Peter correctly pointed out lead poisoning is a problem across the region - not just at the inner ring - and he spoke about the very successful efforts by Cuyahoga County to address this challenge, and the need to ramp that up.

When asked about budget matters, Peter pointed out last year the county lowered expenses by 3% while revenues were flat. This year, through employee early retirements and attrition, the County will reduce workforce by around 8% without firing.

Sutherland talked about cleaning house at the County building... like she is going to come in and fire 100s of people.

She talked about her plan to get elected once as commissioner and then rewrite the county charter to eliminate the commissioners' jobs and replace them with a CEO (which I'm sure is what she wants to become, then).

At the end of the debate, in her closing comments, she clarified that she was in support of the 0.25% sales tax increase for the MedCon, as always, but wanted to eliminate some other 0.25% sales tax... it made no sense at all.

After she closed, out of the half room of people who started our expecting to vote for Sutherland, about 6 people half-heartedly applauded her.

Peter's closing started by explaining he had this week passed on the opportunity to replace his friend Stephanie Tubbs Jones in Congress - a lifelong dream-job - because he didn't think he could be a good father living in DC, and he had important changes to finish in Cuyahoga County, at home.

When Peter Lawson Jones closed, nearly everyone in the room applauded, including many people who were clearly Republicans.

I doubt Debbie Sutherland had ever had a serious encounter with Lawson Jones before, and I know she totally over-estimated her ability to challenge him. Very early in the debate she knew she was in deep trouble and any fight in her was dead. In fact, as she listened to Lawson Jones answer questions, and then tried to answer them herself, she largely praised his answers, said she would do all the good things he was doing, and in the end she seemed better educated about county government and blown-away by a county leader who is impressive and doing a great job - she seems ready to withdraw from the election and vote to reelect Peter Lawson Jones.

While REALNEO may be the only place taking the PD and establishment corruption of the County Commissioner's election seriously, to date, that will now change. I was not the only person in the room who saw Sutherland die, tonight. There was video. There was an audience. There was the League of Women Voters. There were the candidates.

If Sutherland hasn't had the good sense to withdraw from this race beforehand, you will have another opportunity to see her commit suicide in debate against Peter Lawson Jones on September 23, at 21016 Hilliard Blvd. , Umerley Civic Center , Rocky River... at 6:30 PM.

I doubt she'll last that long.

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Need more specifics


Do you know where we can find video or audio of this debate? Would have liked to compare Sutherland's quoted answers/responses to Jones. Otherwise I'll plan to attend and write about RR debate.



League of Women Voters

They sponsored the debate so they should have access or know. I'll reach out and see, as I'd like to have many people see it.

Has anyone seen any write ups anywhere about the debate? 

Disrupt IT

Make that a 311 call?


The more I watch and listen, I am convinced this man can lead. A man of character, intelligence and humility. He provides leadership with integrity. The citizens can ask for nothing more from their officials.

Wake Up NEO - What Are YOU Doing About This?!?!?!

I'm not sure about anyone else in this suicidal community, but I woke up today in a panic knowing for another day nobody in NEO will speak out publicly or do anything that matters about the ongoing and accelerating corruption of the Cuyahoga County Commissioners' office by the Republican Machine, their newspaper, and an unqualified hick.

I'm in a panic I'm the only person in NEO who seems to have cared enough about the County Commissioner's election to attend their only debate, to-date, and analyze the merits of the candidates.

Thus, I seem to be the only person in the region who cares about the truth.

This, on top of the fraud that is McCain and Palin, is too much... what do all of you people do with your free time?

Don't you see "The View".

Don't you care that the man and woman being "MADE" your next President and Vice President of America are chronic liars, hated by the entire free world.

Do you really need Barbara Walters to show you how a self-respecting "MAN" or "WOMAN" should respond to evil.

Or don't you have her balls?

I know how Citizen Hauser felt all those years fighting for Whiskey Island, as good citizens ignored the problem and the evil people causing the problem, who Ed defeated, all alone, but was not able to kill.

They're still here.

I cannot defeat the Plain Dealer, corrupt evil people in the Republican Machine, and Sutherland, alone!

You didn't care when the PD and Repubic Machine made their move to corrupt America with Bush.... and you don't care they are "Making" McCain President and Palin VP... that is all so big and far removed from home, I suppose.

But do you really not care if the Editors of the PD choose your local representatives, who waste $ millions of your tax money each year?

If the PD, Republican Machine and Sutherland steal this election. in your face, you have yourself to blame, for the poor economy and declining social value of our community, and you deserve what you get... because each of us can make a difference right now, exposing this fraud, and to not do so is cowardly and foolish...

Demand, here and in writing everywhere you may be heard, that the Editor of the Plain Dealer resign.

Disrupt IT

How I responded to PD Editors endorsing Bush, 4 years ago...

... was to found REALNEO... 4 years ago, this October.

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Agreed--Norm, but where does that leave us?  Who is the alternative?

Our Editor could be someone who cares about NEO

If Goldberg resigned, how could we possible get a worse replacement?

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Jones responds to the peoples needs

You wouldn't even have the chance to have public MedMart forums if it wasn't for Jones. He wanted "The People" to have a vote on their own taxation and economic future. He stood up to save the Breuer Tower and save $40 M in taxpayer dollars. Don't throw the proverbial "baby out with the bathwater."


DebFEE Sutherland is not a choice. It was embarrassing the limits of her knowledge of county government in the debate last week. Here is a Mayor of a city that should be flush with cash, losing population (like Cuyahoga County), with a budget deficit problem (like Cuyahoga COunty), where the relatives of the Mayor and her friends and staff met hired as summer help (do a public records request and see for yourself or better yet PD reporters if you are reading- do some investigative work on her outrageous claims and record).


She is balancing her budget raising fees (unvoted upon) on the backs of senior and their programs, kids and their park programs, everyone else on their sewer fees and the entire community by cutting firefighters below safety levels. This is not real leadership. That is why we call her DebFEE Sutherland.


She called for Cuyahoga County to cut staff by 600 this summer, to bring it in line with employee levels in Summit County!? What the heck does Summit County have to do with it. It was a sophomoric proposal with no understanding or real thought. The County target is 1100 employees to cut so she is not even close. Plus, her own hiring practices (see above) and staff levels are higher per capita than Summit or Cuyahoga County. Hypocricy reigns and the PD is a willing accomplice.

WOW... A real NEOan who knows something and speaks the truth

Thank you for speaking up about Sutherland and bringing some intelligent light to this subject.

Who is next?

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The most frightening thing about Sutherland is "A Foundation"

During her debate with Peter Lawson Jones, the most frightening thing County-Commissioner wanna-be Sutherland said, as she fished for any bright and inspiring explanation why she is running and endorsed for a position for which she is clearly unqualified, went something like "a Foundation has promised me to fund a study of County Government, like they did for Mayor Jackson when he was made Mayor."

Making it clear she is sponsored by "A Foundation", as is Jackson, makes clear what Sutherland represents is another Jackson... a willing physical presence to sit in a chair too small to hold crowds of fat cats, while doing exactly as "A Foundation", their funders and their funded consultants say.

So, while Sutherland does not have any real expertice with county government, nor anything else important to running a county, that she has exposed, she promises to do what she is told from "A Foundation", after she is elected.

Perhaps "A Foundation" boss should run for County Commissioner, instead of Sutherland. Or, is that the job of Sutherland... to be "A Foundation" boss, with Jackson. How bad could that be... I mean, "A Foundation" must be a good thing, right?!?!? Tax exempt billionaires... take care of rich people and their money... buy elections... what could be wrong about any of that?

I wonder if "A Foundation" joined Sutherland at the PD to purchase her endorsement, as I'm sure huge amounts of money have flowed from "A Foundation" to the PD to pay for all the "Cleveland+" editorial advertising they provide, as the PD is a business and nothing more. 

Which makes me wonder how much money the PD receives each year from "A Foundation" through their various collaborative "Believe in Cleveland" dumb-down campaigns.

Perhaps "A Foundation" should offer to help analyze the county whomever is commissioner, if they think it may help?!?!?

Not likely. "A Foundation"... actually dozens, in the form of a Fund For Our Economic Future... have spent $ millions to "consult" NEO to death, and build Sutherland's "Regionalism" platform, and "Make" her your County Commissioner-elect, and look how great all that has gone.

Can you say "Voices and Choices", or has your voice been stolen with your vote? Let's measure the value of any of that to society. None... done.

At the next Sutherland debate, I intend to ask Sutherland about "A Foundation" promising her big money.... and ask Lawson Jones if "A Foundation" has offered him big money... unless we may clear this mess up before another debate is necessary.

So, step up Sutherland, and "A Foundation", and tell all the people of NEO what you have in mind in Funding Our Economic Futures now, before you ask for any more of our votes or money.

We believe in Cleveland... we just no longer believe in any of YOU.

Disrupt IT

Campaign Contributions

Does anyone know where we can follow campaign contributions in real time? Most of the sites I know like Follow the Money (which is state level anyway) have a substantial lag.

There is none. And at the

There is none. And at the local level there really is no tracking at all until reports are due and then there is a lag time before it gets through hte Secretary of State or Board of Elections system.

Democracy InAction

Is that what you'd call Democracy Inaction? In this day of instant information we should know who's selling us a candidate before decide to buy their message and give them our vote.