Hudson, Ohio’s Mayor Craig Shubert seems to be a conservative caricature along the lines of the fictionalized version of Stephen Colbert ala “The Colbert Report.” This could be funny if it weren’t for the fact that he’s a real person, and the actual mayor of an actual city, where his decisions affect the lives of actual people. His official website lists his viewpoints on a number of issues, but does not have anything about ice fishing in public parks on it.
Perhaps this is because he takes a hardline stance that apparently ice fishing leads to prostitution. Yes, really.
Let’s pretend for a moment that prostitution isn’t a crime (it shouldn’t be, it should be completely decriminalized). The mayor has no reason to crusade against a non-illegal activity. But also how the hell are these two things even linked? Maybe you’d think he’s just trying to find any reason at all to stop ice fishing in public parks. If that were the case he could try to cite safety concerns of people being out on the ice or potentially polluting the waters there. Nope, that’s not his concern at all, he legitimately thinks ice fishing can lead to prostitution because of one thing: the ice fishing shanties.
At a city council meeting earlier this month, Shubert stated the following:
“If you open this up to ice fishing, while on the surface, it sounds good. Then, what happens next year? Does someone come back and say, ‘I want an ice shanty on Hudson Springs Park for X amount of time?’ And if you then allow ice fishing with shanties, then that leads to another problem: prostitution.”– Craig Shubert, Actual Mayor of Hudson, Ohio
If this sounds like a psychotic break in logic, then we are happy to inform you that the mayor did later try to clarify his comments. Unfortunately, it really didn’t help matters:
“My comment about ice fishing, the permitting of shanties on lakes and prostitution stems from my experience as a former television news reporter covering law enforcement agencies, which have made arrests for acts of prostitution in ice fishing shanties. When discussing proposed legislation, it is wise to discuss the potential for unintended consequences. My statement was to enlighten council that the future permitting of ice shanties may lead to other issues.”– Craig Shubert- again, the Actual Mayor of Hudson, Ohio
Fox8 tried to ask Mayor Shubert what law agencies actually made these arrests in fishing shanties. The Mayor declined to tell them. Just to be on the safe side and give the mayor a fair chance, I decided to do a Google search for any results for “ice fishing prostitution arrests” with a date range over the last ten years. There were none.
What I did find is this is not the only sex-related tirade that Mayor Shubert has gone on. In 2021, he threatened to charge teachers in Hudson High School for child pornography. His logic behind this is also, as you can guess, not sound. A senior level, college prep writing class was using the book “642 Things to Write About” in the curriculum. The book contains a number of different scenarios that the reader is prompted to write about. Some topics being more mature, involving crimes, and a sexual scenario. Mind you, other topics in the book include an ode to an onion, an argument for what your favorite fruit is, or what you would say to a dying plant to encourage it to live.
Despite the fact that the sex-related questions were not part of the curriculum, Mayor Shubert accused the school board of encouraging child pornography, and told them to either resign or be charged. It should be stated that the mayor has no power to do this, and the prosecutor’s office did not take any action.
However, Shubert’s mischaracterization of this did get several teachers anonymous threats from around the country when his remarks went public.
On the bright side, ice fishing in public parks in Hudson was officially approved, despite the mayor’s objection.