Sitting at the Dem Party table

Matt Westerhold
Jul 7, 2012

Excerpt from Westerhold's Between the Lines column in the Sunday Register, July 8, 2012:

Power has a way of demanding recognition. 

“This table is reserved for Amy Grubbe,” the campaign worker said. I looked for reinforcements and eyeballed Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter in line to get some ice cream. He did join me at the table, but at some point the Party worker declared: “I’ll go get Amy Grubbe.” 

Good, I thought. No, not good. Grubbe does not like the Register much, and she likes me even less. Within minutes she was standing behind me, over my shoulder, as I chatted with Baxter and state Rep. Dennis Murray Jr. She did not join the conversation.

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Clark W

 Matt W...Interesting column. It's probably a lot more accurate than the SR's claim that the newspaper was responsible for bringing the president to Sansusky.

Did Andy O. get his interview with Obama? He's been wasting newspaper space whining about previous failed attempts. This was his golden chance. Did it happen? If not, what a big whiff, especially given the SR's "claim to fame" regarding Obama's visit.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for your comment Clark W. Here's a link to a video from the gazebo in Washington Park produced by the Register staff back in March. This might offer you a keener perspective regarding your question. Reporter Andy Ouriel has not yet gotten an interview with President Obama, but it's still July with almost four more months left in this presidential campaign season. 


Great column today Matt!  It hit the nail on the head in regards to the way Amy runs the party. 


I think we need a photo of Ms. Grubbe.  There's such an uproar going on about what she did, shouldn't had done, and so on but I bet most people wouldn't know her if they tripped over her (I'm one of those people).

Erie County Democratic Party Chair Amy F. Grubbe

Chair, Erie County Democratic Party – 2006-Present
Erie County Democratic Party – Central Committee – HUR TWP #2 – 2006-Present
Chairwoman, Erie County Board of Elections Board – currently
Member, Ohio Democratic Party State Executive Committee – 2006-2008; 2010-Present
Member, Ohio Democratic Party State Finance Committee – currently
Chairwoman, Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus Interim Leadership Council – currently
Democratic Women of Erie County – Lifetime member
Political Action Committee Chairwoman, Democratic Women of Erie County – 2004-2006
Treasurer, Committee to Elect Tygh M. Tone, Judge/Erie County Common Pleas – 2004  


Flight Attendant, United Airlines, Inc.
     2008-Present - Based in Washington DC/Dulles International Airport
     1984-2008 - Based in Chicago, IL/O’Hare International Airport
Political Director, Illinois State AFL-CIO, Springfield, IL
     Took a leave of absence from United Airlines – 1999-2000 


Member, Association of Flight Attendants, CWA, AFL-CIO – 1984-Present
     Past President, Vice President, Legislative Affairs/FlightPAC Chairman – Council 8/Chicago
Member, Laborers’ Local 477, Springfield, IL – 1999-2000
Executive Board Member, Illinois State AFL-CIO, Springfield, IL – 1997-1999
Member, Chicago Labor Council, Chicago, IL – 1995-1999


Zonta Club of Sandusky – 1988-Present
     Past President, Director, Ways & Means Committee Chairman
     Member of various committees
Zonta International
     District 5 Nominating Committee Chairman – 2010-2012
     Facilitator, Zonta International North American Intra-District Conference, Reno, NV – June 2011
     District 5 Governor – 2008-2010
     Past District 5 Lt. Governor, Area 1 Director and Legislative Awareness & Advocacy Chairman


2009 - Ohio Democratic Party Small County Chair of the Year
2005 - United Airlines, Inc. awarded $1,000 check to Zonta Club of Sandusky in recognition of local community service
1998 - Woman of Excellence, Sandusky
1997 - Woman of Achievement, Zonta Club of Sandusky 


1996 - Bachelor of Arts in Labor Studies, George Meany Center for Labor Studies, Washington DC, Antioch University
1996 - AFL-CIO Organizing Institute, Washington DC

Amy F. Grubbe
2810 Hull Road #6
Huron, Ohio, 44839
419-433-3917 (ECDP - option #3)


And your point is ????.....................


@ CVS20......the point??????      .everyone's point is that Ms Grubbe misused her power to give those tickets to ELECTED officials , friends and others when they should have been divided out without that sort of bias. 

I think it is shameful that some people where called to actually receive them and when they showed up where told the tickets were not there and "given" to someone else or their names have been removed from the list.  How stupid or "lame" is that?????  

Ms Grubbe is not only unfair, how many votes do you think she cost President Obama with THIS stunt?  Many if t he "word" around town is any indication?   She blew it big time.  Her lose will be someone else's gain, I am sure.  Do you think the President will feel the same when HE finds out?  And he will sooner or later, that this county was this upset!   How long before someone who has his ear tells him? 

I don't think Mrs Grubbe will come out unscathed on this one.  And her 'friends" won't either.  Birds of a feather is right.  Watch out, the drain is wide and deep.  


In my 69 years of life, I have NEVER seen such a lame and descript group of candidates and incumbents.

Sad commentary on our times. keep on kneedling the supposed "powers", and more power to Ya !


She has a great looking resume.  I hope she has success in her chairwoman position ( that correct?)


Julie R.

Amy Grubbe's special club is Tom Ferrell, Jr., Sam Artino, and Jo Dee Fantozz. Considering how Kevin Baxter had $200K in back taxes forgiven by Fantozz, he must be part of the special club, too. 

Would this be birds of a feather flock together and one hand washes the other?  



@ Mr. Westerhold:

And you're surprised that Ms. Grubbe dislikes you and the SR since you like to egg it on with your sophomoric playground antics?







Contango.....I think your interests are fair more personal than even Ms Grubbe.  Why not state them plainly and concisely.  You have several issues with the SR do you not?   Go ahead and ask him to do an interview and get them out in the open yourself rather than hit him from behind the screen name.  You certainly have enough of them. 

I, for one, would love to see you do so.  You have plenty to ask him about.  Please do an interview and ask Mr. Westerhold all that you wish to ask him.  I did not have the time to do so. 



Personal issues? I've defended the SR AND Mr. Westerhold on numerous ocassions. You obviously missed them and choose to focus only on the ones you dislike. 

With the print media dying in many medium and small communities, Sandusky should be thankful that the paper even exists.

I found Mr. Westerhold's Sun. commentary a childish journalistic exercise without merit - end of story.



@Contango.....this is the first I could get back.  Words sometimes speak volumes. Yours do and not always in the way you think. 

Mr. Westerhold's comments were anything but childish journalistic exercising, they were, in fact, shown to make a point, how childish the people were at the event.  Those saving that table for Ms Grubbe were being childish and irrational and Mr. Westerhold was giving them as good as he got.  It was not he who started that interlude, but they. 

Ms Grubbe did a GREAT disservice to President Obama and unfortunately HE will be the one taking the heat around her come November, not her.  That is a sad fact.  She blew it by acting so high handed and snooty.  That is something you cannot do to the average citizen and have it come out right. 

He isn't the "RICH PEOPLES" President, although Ms. Grubbe would love you to believe it.  He is THE President which means he is the President of the United States covering all people here.  Mrs. Grubbe should have known that and didn't.  The SR pointed it out very satirically and you didn't get it.  That's it.  


Now if I was at an event of that nature, and saw an empty table, I would sit in it too. But the first time somebody told me it was reserved for anybody, I would simply excuse myself, get up, and find another place to land. I would not whimper, and throw darts at anybody because of it either. And also, Kevin Baxter sitting with Matt Westerhold had to be a Kodak moment.


Let's turn this around for a minute. Wouldn't it have been nice to have been on the very inside loop on President Obama's visit to Sandusky? We could have had a positive step by step, minute by minute, reporter on bus, the whole enchilada. BUT, we didn't 'cause "we ain't talkin". 

It seems that we still ain't talking.  Maybe you all missed the 3.03 note on July 7.


Julie R.

@ Contango:  I didn't think yesterday's commentary was childish. I thought it was a perfect example of how the majority of the clowns in Erie County treat people. Someday you just might be misfortunate enough to see it first-hand for yourself. Take for example the way Sam Artino treated the SR. When asked  how he obtained one of the 300 tickets, his response was: "Can you please submit that in writing?" before abruptly hanging up the phone. When called back and asked why he cut off the conversation, Artino became downright mean and even used the f-word. 

I can identify with that arrogant treatment. I once had some assistant Erie County prosecutor try to tell me that attorneys were above the law. When I asked what the number of that so-called law was, her professional response was to slam the phone down on me. When I called her back she became downright nasty. But that's nothing compared to some of the joke judges at your Erie County courthouse. They actually flaunt right in your face that they don't have to follow the law --- and believe me when I say the joke courts in Erie County don't, either.

The way I see it, when you live in a county where the courts have a total lack of respect for the average citizens, not to mention a total lack of respect for the law, then it stands to reason that the clowns that are a part of their "special club" --- like Grubbe, Tom Ferrell, Jr., and Jo Dee Fantozz --- are going to think they are all that and then some, too.   


I watched past chairman of the ECDP find candidates who would do a good job for the county.  Once Amy took over the party, and I do mean too over the party (she organized the overthrow of the former Chairman).  It became clear it was all about being in ithe club not about the county at all.  Funny that Bill Monaghan and Pat Shenigo were not part of the elite 300, though they are actually doing GOOD for the county.   Very sad.  Very sad indeed.


When you work save tax dollars (Shenigo and Monaghan) you dont get to come to the table.  When you oversee theft in office (Jo Dee Fantoz) and screw the taxpayers out of back taxes (Baxter) you get to be front and center. Doesn't this seem backwards?  WAKE UP MEMBER OF THE DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE. 


Employee walks by boss. Neither speak. Employee walks by boss several times a day. Neither speak. Outcome equals ill feelings. There isn't any benefit in maintaining the status quo of not talking.

We are seeing this very thing in the messaging on this thread. There isn't any benefit in maintaining silence with no communication. Re-read all the negative messages and it is easy to see how the outcomes could have been very different with communication.

Someone has to be the one to initiate "hi" and it should be you. Don't wait for the other guy. Your life will be totally different--guaranteed!


 I read the article and I had to make a comment. I usually stay out of Politics and Religion, but this struck me.  I moved to Sandusky last year from a big City where corruption runs wild and officials do a long time in prison for their doings, I know this, because I am witness to it.

I have met, Shanigo, Monaghan and Grubbe at different Social events.  I have never talked Politics with any of them, just made nice and that's pretty much it.  I do consider myslef, however, I really good judge of character; and with that said, I don't  trust Grubbe as far as I can throw her.

I don't consider myself a Democrat or a Republican, I consider myself a Citizen of the United States wanting what is best for all of us living in this great Country; I have voted for both, Democratic and Republican Presidents in the past. I vote for the person who I feel can do the best possible job as the President.

I still don't know who I will vote for come November. I was hoping that having Shanigo and Monaghan and other influentials meet Obama would have given me a better understanding on his views and hopefully help me make a decision. Not only that, they are a big part of this city, they are Democratic Officials, who run this City, who know it best, who know what this City needs.  To me not having them there was very low and disrespectful. Even the biggest scumbags of the 'big Cities' get invited.  I truly don't understand the agenda on the part of Grubbe. 

I understand she had her parents there and other friends, and that is fine, but when you only have 300 tickets, you invite influential people first and then go down the line. To me, I feel she used it as a personal party and that is sad. Sad for the people of Erie County.

The point is: whether you live in New York City, Miami or Sandusky Ohio, there is always room for Corruption.

Blessings people of Erie County

Super Judge

 Amy is a liberal that means she is a stain on society and hates America. Who care what she thinks! Who care where she is? Who cares about this plus size taint?


Matt,  Do you know if any of the area judges were invited?  I know Judge McGookey is a democrat, was she or Judge Binnette or Judge Tone invited?


Im pretty sure Judge McGookeys husband thought about challenging Amy for party he is out.  No way would Binnette or Delamatre be invited, they are members of the GOP they are out.  Judge tone on the other hand is Amys lap dog so I suspect he was invited.


It is just a real shame every elected offcial in the county and city wasnt invited. It seemed like every town since police or firefighters to proctect the President and make sure the crowd was safe, but unless you were an Amy corny you were not welcomed


Super Judge,  I too am a liberal.  That certainly doesnt mean I hate America.  I love our county.  


Where is there a Dave Geise when you really need him?  The party went down hill when he left the party.

Super Judge

 Soon the Republicans will be in charge of the Whitehouse, Congres, and Senate. Then The Ultra Conservatives will take over from there! We Will appoint Ultra Consrvatives to the Suprem Court and then the laws will be all ours to write. We can pass any law win any election, we will make those freeloading liberals squirm for crumbs! WE ARE YOUR FUTUR, WE ARE THE CHOSEN PARTY, WE WILL NOT LET ANYONE STOP THIS!

Super Judge

 Wait a minute she is a flight attendant? Oh my this just gets better and better! Come on dems couldnt you find a better option than a flight attendant. Ringing bell, hey over here flying waitress get me another drink and a set of those headphones CHOP CHOP!