Friday, October 24, 2003

GOP Push

In the final leg of the campaign for City Council, the Hamilton County GOP has gone on the offensive. They have put out a TV commercial lambasting David Pepper, David Crowely, and John Cranley for voting to loan Lashawn Pettus-Brown money to redevelop the Empire Theater. It is a classic attack ad with newspaper clippings and candidates portrayed like dancing theater ushers. It works. It will hurt these democratic candidates. I was not surprised to see Alicia Reece or Laketa Cole included with the 3 male Dems. Anything that could be seen as remotely referencing race could backfire on the GOP, so you will likely not see GOP sponsored Reece or Cole attack ads.

The story got some play on both WCPO and WLW early. I found it interesting to read this fact in the WLW story:
In June of 2002, seven council members approved $220,000 in loans and grants to LeShawn Pettus-Brown to rehab the 88 year old Over the Rhine landmark.
Did it mean anything to the story to state how many council members voted for the loan? There are two problems with this bit of information. One is that it implies a party split: Only 2 of the 9 council members are Republicans. Now, the average person would likely not know the breakdown of council by party on that day or any day. So I will let that go. The real problem is that 7 people did not vote to loan money to Pettus-Brown in June of 2002, according to the council minutes from June 5, 2002. Jim Tarbell was excused from that meeting, so it was 6-2 in favor. I am nit picking a bit, but I would hope journalists might get that kind of thing correct. I would bet their error was in not checking the press release they got from the GOP or Pat DeWine, which ever source pushed the story.

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