Publicity stunt doesn’t help area Democrats

We’re not exactly sure why Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras thinks it’s a “big get” to have lined up attorney Michael Avenatti as keynote speaker for the party’s upcoming annual fundraising dinner.

Given that Avenatti is the attorney recently best known for legal representation of porn actress Stormy Daniels, who allegedly had an affair with President Donald Trump, why wouldn’t the California-born attorney welcome the opportunity to use Mahoning County Democrats to continue growing exposure for his client in the midwest?

He’s good at that, after all. The New York Times this week described Avenatti as having an ability to “steer a news cycle” that is “rivaled only by the president’s.” Avenatti told the Times that since March he has been interviewed more than 200 times on network and cable TV.

And that was before his client was arrested early Thursday morning in a strip club in Columbus, accused of touching three undercover police officers with her bare breasts — apparently an illegal act in Ohio. By late Thursday, prosecutors had dropped the charges against Daniels saying the law applied only to regular Columbus performers.

Avenatti called the incident an “absurd use of law enforcement resources,” and said his client had been “set up.”

An outspoken critic of Donald Trump, Avenatti had filed suit in March on behalf of Daniels, aka Stephanie Clifford, seeking to invalidate a 2016 non-disclosure agreement regarding the alleged affair with Trump. The porn actress is suing Trump and Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to invalidate a $130,000 payment that allegedly was made in exchange for Daniels’ silence. Trump has denied the affair.

Avenatti likely will continue his bashing of the president when he joins this week’s planned Trump protests — specifically the women’s march in London set for today — during the president’s visit to Europe.

Betras’ excitement probably has a lot to do with the opportunity that Avenatti’s appearance provides to gain publicity and more chances at Trump bashing for the Democratic Party.

But we believe this type of political activity really does nothing to advance the Democratic Party locally or nationally. Rather, it diminishes any respect voters may have for the party’s positions.

At the end of the day, if Democrats have any hope of success in the upcoming midterm elections or even in regaining the White House in two years, they should be focusing on a plan for how to improve their party and America.

Giving the stage to a flamboyant attorney who makes his living out of spinning news cycles and publicity stunts to blast the president really offers no substance to the party’s future plans.