Sunday, March 19, 2017

Question Chris Smitherman and He Will Play the Race Card

When I read this week's Enquirer Politics Extra column: Smitherman: Using race card on Cranley 'appalling' I smiled.  I found it funny.  No, racism isn't funny.  Chris Smitherman, Cincinnati City Council Member, however was doing something that I found worthy of a grin, he was contradicting himself.

That's not a surprise, I know, but still worth a quick grin.  He's attacking black people for doing what he thinks is playing the "race card" against Smitherman's ally, Mayor John Cranley a Conservative Democrat.  Cranley has his own issues, but on this point, Smitherman is the one walking off the ledge with his gross hypocrisy. Here's the relevant part of the column:
Racism is real," said Smitherman, former head of the local NAACP. "It's not something that anyone should be taking lightly. It's appalling that they would so loosely try to define (Mayor) John Cranley (and Enquirer reporters) as racist. Unacceptable. It diminishes a long history of civil rights work and the fight against institutional racism that continues today."
His contradiction is quite simple: Smitherman has played the race card.  How do I know?  Simple, he used it against me on Twitter for daring to call him out for being a Republican. His implication was that I was questioning him because he is black. So, yes, total bullshit from a bullshiter. Here are some examples from last year:
Where did his this come from you might ask? It came directly from my efforts to question Smitherman on his political affiliation. It is my contention and the overwhelming evidence supports it that he is a Republican.  He publicly will not say he is a Republican and his twitter responses above are part of his reaction to my questioning him because of his public endorsement of Republicans.  That however was just the latest.

Smitherman's Republican affiliation has a bizarre origin.  It started publicly with Smitherman, as president of the local chapter of the NAACP, joining forces with local right-wing extremist group COAST and their lawyer and sometimes leader Chris Finney.  Finney has is a long time anti-city activist who also was the author of the anti-LGBTQ article XII amendment that was passed (later repealed) making it legal in Cincinnati to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.  This is odd because Smitherman has generally voted for LGBT rights issues, but none-the-less he joined forces with a known bigot. Smitherman and COAST joined forces to attack the City and efforts to improve the city, specifically Downtown and OTR.

Fast forward to the 2016 primaries. Chris Smitherman had in the past voted in the Democratic primaries for president.  In 2016 he switched parties.  He voted in the Republican primary.  This is publicly available information and is the closest in Ohio to being considered a "registered" Republican. Later on last year he started endorsing candidates for office and the only ones I could find were republicans:

Additionally, Smitherman endorsed also-ran Republican Hamilton County commission candidate Andrew Pappas over long time fairly moderate Democrat Todd Portune. You noticed that there were not any Democrats above.  He didn't voice support for single Democrat running for County wide office, at least not publicly that I could find.

To top it off, Smitherman tweeted several things that show his allegiances. On election day last November where did he go? Surprisingly he went to Republican strong-hold Sayler Park:


Sayler Park was one of the very few parts of Cincinnati to vote in favor of Donald Trump for President. He didn't tweet from any other neighborhoods on election day, so if he went to any, they didn't make the cut for publicity.

I also want to point out his affinity for Dusty Rhodes.

I point this out because I have questioned Dusty's political affiliation more than I have questioned Smitherman's. This is important because Smitherman's basis for his response to my questions on his political affiliation is based on his fabricated belief that it was because of his race. That's the race card I was talking about before. It is the game he is playing to mislead the public.

His re-election strategy relies on votes from black voters in Cincinnati. Being a Republican is not a positive to a large portion of voters in Cincinnati, particularly black voters. He also needs to get the support of Republican voters as well, if he has a chance to get back on council. He only got on council by around 2,500 votes and has not made any new friends that he already didn't have. Thus knowing his party affiliation and allegiances is a valid consideration for a voter. 

Another consideration is honesty.  He's not being honest when he pretends to be independent. Independents don't pick one party to the exclusion of the other(s.)  Smitherman's desire to mislead people shows that his real motivation is for himself. He wants to run for County Commissioner and the only way he can is by being a Republican. He's put himself in such a corner that he will never be able to win. The only type of coalition that would be similar to conservative blacks and far right-wing COAST Republicans would be Trump supporters and that is not a winning team in Hamilton County. He appears willing to create illogical alliances, but even he stayed away from directly endorsing Trump.

As long as Smitherman continues lying about not being a Republican, I will continue to call him out on his dishonesty and hiding his true motivations and allegiances.  He can try to fool people, but that doesn't mean the people will be fooled.




Saturday, March 04, 2017

Smitherman Campaign Publishes a Confidential Document Including Bank Account Number

The campaign for Cincinnati Council Member Chris Smitherman (R) published a document online that was marked confidential from a State of Ohio commission.  The document includes the image of a hand written private organization's check with the routing number and checking account number fully visible.  The marking of confidentiality was clearly visible on the bottom as excerpted below:
It is the intention of Cincinnati Blog to never violate any laws, therefore I am not publishing the full document since it is marked confidential and does include the bank account of a private organization. It is the opinion of this blog and I hope all other people that it is wrong to publish any bank account numbers as it increases the possibility of bank or check fraud.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

25th Annual Bockfest Starts This Friday March 3rd

At what some call the real drinker's Oktoberfest, March 3rd starts the 25th Annual Bockfest in Cincinnati. The parade starts off as usual at 6PM on Friday night.

For those new, my suggestion to watch the parade would be along Main Street North of 12th or 13th streets. There are several bars that won't be so crowded. But, if you want the full Bockfest experience, you need to be up at Bockfest Hall and/or Arnold's (where the parade starts).

A couple of hints: Eat a big lunch and eat a dinner. They have food there. Just remember, you need to eat. Bock beer drinks like a normal beer, but is higher in alcohol content, so it can hit you when you don't expect it.

Remember to plan ahead. The streetcar still works well if you get off a the Race/Liberty station, so park downtown at the banks and ride up.

OR be smart and take the METRO/TANK to downtown and Streetcar up. If you stay really late then you can cab/Uber/Lyft your way home, just plan ahead and keep your cell phone charged. What ever your transportation plans, Do not drink and drive!

More from the Enquirer, WNKU.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

How Does Husted Know People Are Non-Citizens?

I read through this Enquirer article reporting on an alleged 82 non-citizens voting in
Ohio. This allegation is being made by John Husted, Republican secretary of state for Ohio.

This article lacks a key critical question: How does Husted know anyone is a non-citizen? That question is not answered. The article takes his word for it. This article is credited to multiple reporters, so it is difficult to understand if anyone questioned Husted at a press conference or if this was part of a press release. No matter how the information came about, how can one publish such an allegation without providing at least a basic summary as to how Husted knows these people are non-citizens?

Is he matching names to some type of list? What list is that? Is it outdated? How can he only match names, as names are not a reliable means to identify an individual person on lists, as duplicates complicate things.

Is he using SSN? Since only non-citizens with a green card have a matchable SSN (National ID etc) number, is that how he is matching them up?

Or is Husted making assumptions?  Any objective person should question how he knows, since he is not naming anyone and according to the article he is turning the names over to law enforcement to investigate.  Does this mean he didn't do an investigation to determine this?  If his "review," as he called it, isn't good enough to prove the basic fact to law enforcement that the people named are non-citizens, then how can he honestly claim to the media these are non-citizens?

The Enquirer is too quick to allow Ohio Republicans to appear to be standing up to Trump.  By doing so hey inadvertently provide ways to make their xenophobic readers think they are right about foreigners voting.  This article as written will be the basis for racists, like Richard Jones, to push their claims that non-citizens voting is a huge problem and be the basis for their rhetoric.  Yes, the article goes out of its way, as does Husted, to point out that it is not a problem, but that will not matter to Trump supporters who want the news to 'validate' their preexisting views, not inform them about local, national, and world events to help them form their opinions. This is how effective "Fake News" is born, with a grain of truth.

UPDATE 10:30PM: The Dispatch has more and reports the following:
Husted's office used information from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles to find people who registered illegally.
The Dispatch does not report how that information could be used to know a person is or is not a citizen. It is possible that information gained from this process could be used, but if so, why didn't Husted and each County BOE run this comparison prior to each election, so non-citizens are unable to vote?


Saturday, February 25, 2017

More Positve PXing for Cranley from Enquirer's Williams

I am sure Cranley sycophants around town find it cliche to point out pro-Cranley bias in the local media, but for Jason Williams it is becoming an unhealthy habit. Lazy journalism is a sickness that journalists can get when they are spoon fed stories. It is more damaging to reporters over columnists, but since Williams tries to be both, he's doubling down into a spiral of laziness. Two weeks in a row he has published columns that read as if they are produced, packaged, and minted in the mind of Jay Kincaid, John Cranley's campaign manager. This week his column is filled with direct quotes from Kincaid, so yes evidence of the minting is first hand.

It is funny how Jason tries to drop in some criticism in pointing out Cranley's obviously confrontational personality, but then he writes this whopper of a sentences that takes his PXing to a new low:
After all, Cranley has a track record of following through on his campaign promises and getting things done.
That's a Kincaid line or is the line of a kool-aide drinking supporter willing to sell the most pathetic campaign dogma. It is sycophant level. It is the worst kind of pol-speak that no journalist, even a columnist, would ever use. I unfortunately expect more of the same next week.

Chabot Pushing Racist Memes

A UC professor has an article on Medium that discusses a February 1, 2017 post that Steve Chabot, Representative to the House for the Ohio 1st District, wrote to his blog. It contained what I (and anyone with an fraction of Latino heritage) would call a racist graphic, one common to many grandparents' social media pages. This photoshopped meme makes a racist point similar to Trump's infamous attack on Mexicans.  Chabot should take down that image and apologize. He won't, since anti-Latino racism appears be the norm in his social circle. Just ask known anti-Mexican activist Sheriff Richard Jones of Butler County. Chabot is playing to the Jones clan out there, even though Jones does not live in his district. The GOP needs an enemy and this day it was the Mexicans. The next day it was likely the Muslims. It is starting to look like soon it will be you and me or anyone who dares question what Trump or the GOP does.

Monday, February 20, 2017

February Update to the 2017 City of Cincinnati Council Candidates

This month's list has several new names on it as reports of those actually getting petitions to run was on Twitter as the deadline for the Mayor's race passed.  Candidates still have until August to gather signatures for council so this list will surely change.  I have started to add political affiliations next to the names.  This is a subjective exercise as many of these candidates are unknown. I will attempt to assign these based on public information.  In some cases I am passing judgement if that candidate is not being honest about their affiliations.

Incumbents:
P.G. Sittenfeld (D)
David Mann (D)
Chris Seelbach (D)
Christopher Smitherman (R but pretending to be I)
Wendell Young (D)
Amy Murray (R)

Returning Candidates:
Laure Quinlivan (D)
Greg Landsman (D)
Michelle Dillingham (D)
Brian Garry (D)
Theo Barnes

New Candidates
Ozie Davis III (D)
Kelli Prather (D)
Tamaya Dennard (D)
Cristina Burcica
Jeff Pastor (R)
Derek Bauman(D)
Tonya Dumas (D)
Henry Frondorf (D)
Manuel Foggie
Leslie Jones
Beverly Odoms (D)
Orlando Welborn
Dawud Mustafa
Mary Hall
Damon Lynch IV
Edith Thrower
Matt Teaford (I)
Michael Rachford
Tamie Sullivan (R)
Cedrick Denson


Candidate Twitter List: I have created a list of candidates on Twitter. Here is the actual list Twitter handles for the candidates.


If anyone has any other names please send them my way (cincyblog@aol.com) or if anyone named above wants to confirm they are not running, I'll remove them future postings of this list. Also, since I have added a party affiliation, if there are changes, let me know.

Next month I'll try and start including websites.  It appears some candidates may be limiting themselves to Facebook and Twitter.  Without your own website getting campaign contributions online is more challenging and no matter how much some of the new candidates may thing they can win without any money, they will learn hard way that you need money to do things like mailers and handouts and bumper stickers and lawn signs etc. Please invest in a website and a fundraising application.  Even with specialized application, a candidate needs a personalized website that they can control and use a entrance to any other service they might use to run their campaign.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

When Will Jason Willimans Get Paid For 'PXing' John Cranley?

Jason Williams, sometime columnist and sometime reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer, has unleashed a 'PX' on his latest political extra column. I really can't tell, if other than adding in the 'PX' bit, if this column was written by Williams or a member of Cranley campaign staff. (Maybe it's both.)

When a reporter doesn't get an email response and then extrapolates that into an hatchet job on a political opponent, that is hack journalism. Williams set up John Cranley's opponents by playing Cranely's campaign game and he did it with a gleeful tone.  It's like he enjoyed digging at Yvette Simpson while espousing the most trite political talking point know to modern man: "Where is your Plan?"

As the educated and experience political observers know, this is a red herring like few others.  "A Plan" in politics is as subjective as it comes, where the difference between having one and not having one is as meaningless as arguing if a glass is half full or half empty.  Yes, Williams see's John's glass as half full and Simpson's as half empty, but there is no substance for him to draw upon, except the hollow words from newly found Cranley sycophant Vice Mayor David Mann.  I guess the nearly meaningless title of Vice Mayor matters a lot to Mann, nearly as much as the bullshit Cranley 'Plan' does to Williams.

I really hope this blatantly biased journalism is not what the Editors are going to allow from a sometime columnist and sometime reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer. If they get clicks, then I surmise that's all that will matter.  If I see these editors or Williams championing truth in light of the anti-press fascist behavior from Trump and his blackshirts, then I'll be sure to point out the hypocrisy.