Friday, December 30, 2011

Is COAST Bleeding Quadrophenic?

CityBeat's Kevin Osborne has an interesting blog post detailing the many varied stances of COAST since they got beat in the November election. I agree with Kevin's general assertion. It sounds like either a single member of COAST has a hardcore split personality disorder, or there is conflict in the ranks.

A silver star goes to anyone who got the reference in the title.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Residency of Denise Driehaus Challenged in Ohio 31 House Race

Denis Driehaus, a Westside Democrat, is having her residency challenged by a friend of another candidate (Terry Tranter) in the 31st house race.  The issue at hand is the question of Driehaus living in the 31st district 12 months prior to the 2012 election.  Driehaus has been a house representative on the Westside of Cincinnati and after her district was totally wiped out she has apparently moved to the new 31st district, which runs from Central to the Eastside of the Cincinnati.

Tranter's friend also questioned both Driehaus's and candidate Luke Brockmeier's signatures, claiming "irregularities" on them.  The article reports that the BOE of elections found that both candidates had enough signatures to be placed on the ballot.

Depending on the views of the board, a hearing could be held next week.  That would seem to be a really big waste of time.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

IRhine's: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas All-Star Cincy Edition

COAST Members Looking to Waste More City Money to Benefit Finney

"Attorney" Chris Finney, along with token "residents" of the City of Cincinnati Mark Miller and Tom Brinkman, want to waste more of the Taxpayer's money by subsidizing the "career" of Finney.  They've sent a letter to the City Solicitor as the first step in what likely will be a frivolous lawsuit that has no basis in law. Finney stands to benefit from this if the lawsuit goes on and he can collect legal fees in a settlement or, if he gets an insane judge, an actual positive ruling.

This action is the exectution of the threat issued by Council Member Chris Smitherman and nothing more than is a total waste of time.  It is based on a single word "all" and as I previously blogged, the "all" clause "arguement put forth in the finney letter was fully satisfied when Council's legislative power was exercised with the passing of the rules of council.  All Legisilative powers included giving others in the government the power to carryout the charter.  Let me quote my own blog post linked above:
Section 5a of Article II of the City Charter states "The Council shall organize itself and conduct its business as it deems appropriate...." That's what they did with a 5-3 vote (one member was absent.)

Section 2 of Article III of the City Charter state "The Mayor shall preside over all meetings of the council, but shall not have a vote on the council."
I am far from a legal scholar, but any educated person who understands the core basis of Representative Democracy and Divided Government understands that Finney has no case. They can dislike the rules of Council and they can voice their dislike, but unless they get a majority of votes, they have to learn to deal with losing.

Side Note: Originally Smitherman stated he was going to be the having Finney send the letter if Council didn't cave to his threats.  Why is this letter written with Miller and Brinkman as the complainants and not Smitherman?  Where's Chris Smitherman's name on the letter?  He is obviously, based on his original grandstanding incident, in cahoots with this cabal, but why the lack of his name?  Is there a misrepresentation here?  Is there a conflict? Is there any possible dereliction of duty as a Member of City Council? Should this be investigated by the authorites?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jeff Cramerding Running For Treasurer

CitBeat has a good summary on Long time behind the scenes campaign guru Jeff Cramerding's effort to put his own name on the ballot for Hamilton County Treasurer.

Monday, December 19, 2011

OccupytheLeftists Why Don't Ya?

If you are going to be a Leftist political movement, then just be a leftist political movement!  OccupyCincy shouldn't be picking the most leftist idea and pushing it as if they represent a belief shared by "99%" of the country.  I'm over it.  I had sympathy for the concept, but now it's just a front, and I'm not just talking the People's Front of Judea, I am downright talking the Judean People's Front.

And in other news, the Parks Board members are idiots.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Streetcar to Run to the Banks

The Federal Government has come through again and has awarded another grant to fund the Streetcar to allow it to reach the Banks project, near Great American Ball Park.  The $10.9 Million grant was announced yesterday with a visit from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to City Hall.

This really solidifies the Streetcar.  Not having the funding for the Banks was a setback that was going to require help and the Federal Government has come through for the people of Cincinnati and the entire region.

This grant also adds a little more salt to wounds of Streetcar foes who suffered big at the ballot box last month. I am not going to shed a tear if Tom Luken and COAST feel the sting a bit more.

We should see ground breaking by 1st quarter 2012 and the streetcars running in 2013.  The phase 2 portion, the connector to the Uptown area, still needs funding, so more work is still ahead and this should be from the State of Ohio.  We need to get the anti-Urban Republicans to start governing for everyone in the State, not just the Suburbanites.  That starts with voting and it starts with holding the Democratic Party's feet to the fire, something they need a the moment.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What is the Future of Metromix?

Last week Gannett, parent company of the Enquirer, announced that it was closing seven Metromix outlets.  The Cincinnati edition of Metromix was not included, but how much longer will the publication last or in what form could it continue?

The MinnPost is reporting that the Twin Cities Metromix will be replaced by an "Express Metromix" which the article states would be an aggregation website for Entertainment.  I would prefer they shutter the website instead of being an aggregator.  We don't need any more aggregators.

Do we see the future of all of Metromix in these stories?  Will Metromix Cincinnati follow the Minneapolis model?

I hope not, but if you make me bet, I would give it until the end of summer 2012.

Is print advertising that unprofitable?  I still read the advertisements.  I do that mostly because in entertainment publications that is often how I can find out what events are going on, since original content in these print publications have become nearly non-existent.

I'm still waiting on the Enquirer iPad app, which reports indicate will require a subscription to read it.  I don't know how this will affect the regular online edition or iPhone app, but free online news in Cincinnati is endangered.  If the paper takes the profits from the iPad subscriptions and invests in more LOCAL reporters covering LOCAL stories, then I will pay for an online edition of the Enquirer.  I just don't see Gannett making any investment in anything that actually provides original local news content, just eyeballs to crap.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Light Up OTR On Friday At Neon's

Join the neighborhood in celebrating the holidays!

Here's the who-what... on the event:
WHO: Ionic Collective and Peanut Butter Jelly Co. (PB&J) 
WHAT: The 2nd annual Light Up Over-the-Rhine (Light Up OTR) will take place this Friday in Over-The Rhine. Community leaders, residents, young professionals and artists will join together this holiday season to set up over 1000 luminaries framing an 8-block radius from Central Parkway to Liberty Avenue.  The warm glow will symbolize safety, unity, and the coming of the holiday season. A 25-foot tree will be mounted as a permanent holiday fixture at The Famous Neon’s Unplugged. Light Up OTR will benefit the Freestore Foodbank with a $1 entrance fee, or a non-perishable canned good, required for entry.
WHERE: The Famous Neons Unplugged, located at 208 E. 12th Street in Over-The-Rhine, and the outlying Over-The-Rhine area.
WHEN:  Friday December 16, 2011

  •  • 7:00 p.m. Volunteers can gather together to assemble luminaries at The Famous Neon’s Unplugged.
  •  • 8:00 p.m. Teams will be coordinated to disperse the luminaries throughout the neighborhood.
  •  • 10:00 p.m. All volunteers and guests will gather back at The Famous Neon’s Unplugged to gather for the second annual lighting of the OTR Christmas tree.

Monday, December 12, 2011

City Budget Process To Be Sane This Year

One of the best results of the Cincinnati City Council election this year was the increase of a civil and sane budget process.  Gone are the pissing matches and games of Chicken.  Gone are the right-wing demands that require the suspension of the rules of Math.

Sure, we gained a level of insanity in the form of the election of Chris Smitherman, but other than being a pest, he has no power.

The only problem with this situation is that the comfort provided by the Convergys settlement is a one time event.  This time next year we will face a budget shortfall again, unless the economy does far better than expected.

With this fact in place the majority members of council can not wait.  They must begin the process to examine the 2013 budget as soon as the 2012 is passed.  The issue of property taxes must be resolved far earlier then the mid year deadline looming next year.  The public needs the whole year to digest the possible cuts that we could face.  New ideas can be vetted and discussed.  Hell, there will even be time for Winburn and Smitherman to come up with a plan on their own.  I'm going to presume that they will be able to use math more correctly than the Republicans of the past, but we'll see.

This is the first test of the new council.  How well they do making the budget process open and civil will help us determine the future of this council.  We'll have an idea if the seven can work together or if petty squabbles will arise and consume the process.

I am keeping my optimism going.  I've not had much of an optimistic attitude about council in recent years.  This year my optimism has returned and I hope it stays around for a while.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

CityBeat Reorganizes Staff and Layoff 'Several'

The tough econmic climate has reached down to Cincinnati's Media landscape again and this time hit altweekly CityBeat.  In a blog post yesterday, publisher Dan Bockrath announced a new leadership team for the newspaper and stated that they have "eliminated or restructured several staff positions." No details on the exact staff members or positions affected were listed in the article.  This is sad news. I very much love CityBeat. I've regularly criticize articles and columns in the newspaper, and always tried to be fair.  I hope to continue to read the paper every Wednesday, filled with local news, arts, and culture articles.

I wish the best for new leadership of the newspaper. I hope they can provide new momentum to a much needed institution for the Cincinnati Community. I also hope all of the individuals who were affected in the layoffs are able to move on to new jobs as quickly.

Friday, December 09, 2011

ATT Claims Expanded Coverage in Downtown, Mason, & CVG

ATT has issued a press release claiming to have upgraded the cellular coverage in Downtown, Mason, and near the Airport in Northern Kentucky.  Does anyone agree?  I've not noticed this, but the next time I am at a large event in Downtown Cincinnati area, I will compare and contrast.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Smitherman's First Act of Grandstanding

It didn't take long, not even a week, and already Chris Smitherman has committed his first offense of Grandstanding in his term as a Cincinnati City Council member.

Smitherman is all in a tizzy because a majority of Council has approved a council rule removing a 90 day requirement for putting ordinances on the Council calendar.  Smitherman is upset because a majority of the council voted.  This would be a majority of the elected representatives of the people of Cincinnati.  They voted to establish their own rules, as provided by the City Charter which operates legally under State law.  Smitherman is "threatening" to sue.

According to the article, I think I can take the quote off the word threatening because it states that unless council votes his way, he will sue.  That sounds like a form of extortion, but in political activities you can get away with more than the average person.

I do question Smitherman, as a member of Council, taking legal action with any indication or standing as a member of the City Government without use of the City's legal representative.  If he, as he threatens, gets his right wing zealot attorney, and anti-gay bigot, Chris Finney to sue the city, I'd like to know what standing Smitherman is planning on using.  Also, who would pay Finney's fees?  If any legal fees ever go to any non-city lawyer suing on behalf of  Smitherman on a city issue, the fees should come from Smitherman's budget.

Section 5a of Article II of the City Charter states "The Council shall organize itself and conduct its business as it deems appropriate...."  That's what they did with a 5-3 vote (one member was absent.)

Section 2 of Article III of the City Charter state "The Mayor shall preside over all meetings of the council, but shall not have a vote on the council."

What is he going to sue over? The City Charter was followed. This is Democracy in action.

Smitherman better get used to not getting his way on council unless he can get 5 or for veto-overrides, 6 votes on an issue.  He can't act like a child and threaten to sue over everything, especially when he has no grounds for a law-suit.  He can complain about the rule, but using threats to change the minds of his fellow members of council isn't going to win many (no one) over.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Greg Harris Seeking County Commission Spot

WVXU is reporting that former Democratic City Council member, Greg Harriss, is running for Hamilton County Commissioner against Republican Greg Hartmann.

Democratic Commissioner Todd Portune is running for re-election as well, but there is no word on any Republican opponent, who must file by 4PM today.

Another Take On the SGH Situation

I am going to start calling the Southgate House Closing as more of a Southgate House Situation. Yes, that makes it sound remotely like I'm referencing a reality TV show.  While the drama surrounding the family business dealings involved might bring that to mind, that's not my intention. This guest column on Each Note Secure from Margaret Darling of the Seedy Seeds makes it clear to me that there are two separate issues at stake here: 1)What will the New location of the Southgate House be like (and where will it be) and then 2)What will be come of the Southgate Building?  So SGH closing isn't the only issue, there is a much more complex concern. a "situation," if you will.

Number two becomes the more cloudy concern.  The operators of the SGH are planning on opening a new place.  We'll just have to wait and see where that is and how well the new location will work.  The Southgate Building is something different and the resulting owners don't appear to have the plan in place with what to do with the building.  That is bigger concern to me.  I don't fear that the new location for the SGH will be like.  I fear that the new owners will not use the building wisely.  It would be a great place for a music venue, but the building needs to be used wisely.  It is important to Newport and needs to continue to enrich the culture, no matter what it becomes.  We have a situation and the City of Newport needs to keep that situation from ruining a vital piece of the community.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Luke Brockmeier Campaign Kickoff Speech



Luke Brockmeier is running in the Democratic primary for the 31st District in the Ohio House. Above is his speech from his campaign kickoff event. For more information on his candidacy check out www.lukeforohio.com.

Editorial Note: I am a supporter of Luke Brockmeier.  I am biased towards his candidacy and will not hide that in the least. As a political blogger, I am not going to censor myself, but will endeavor to be honest in what I write. This is an opinion blog, however, and it is the opinion of this blogger that if you live in the new Ohio 31st House District, you should vote for Luke Brockmeier in the Democratic primary in March and then when he wins, vote for him in November of 2012 in the general election.  If you don't live in the 31st, then you can still help a progressive candidate bring change to Columbus by contributing to his campaign: HERE.

Cincinnati and Findlay Market Featured on NPR Morning Edition Story

NPR had an interesting story this morning on it's Morning Edition programming that included interviews here in Cincinnati on opinions on Congress.  It took place at Findlay Market and included quotes from Dan Korman, owner of Park+Vine located in Over-the-Rhine.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Anti-3CDC Bias is Abundant This Holiday Season

So, a report comes out naming a census track in Over-the-Rhine as the most income mixed census track in the nation based on 2005 to 2009 data and then all the biased media fingers point to 3CDC.  It doesn't surprise me that attacks will be made on 3CDC for its redevelopment efforts, but this attack is totally unfair.

Track 17, the area cited, is located in the Northeast part of OTR.  What the article doesn't mention is that 3CDC's efforts are not in that area. If they had looked in track 9 or 10, then they would have found areas like the Gateway Quarter, Main Street, Washington Park. The variances in income cited in Census Track 17 are almost totally caused by the nice homes up on Mulberry Street at the top edge of the district.  Pair this with the sparsely populated area below it and presto...the numbers fall into place giving the disparity.  When you cut neighborhoods apart, then you can find lots of things.  Hell, if 1 person making $100,000 moved to Queensgate, I think with the low population in that area, they would take over Track 17's title.

The other big bias in the article was drawing in the Metropole issue, which is not located in OTR and is a vastly different situation.  The Metropole on the surface fits the conclusion the writer had formed, so adding it in was like icing on the cake.  If you are going to draw in unrelated incidents, there is a nice empty field sitting in Norwood near Smith and Edwards that could serve someone's political agenda.

A significant part of the article attempted to look at OTR overall and provided a reasonable view on 3CDC's efforts, but this has nothing to do with cherry picking statistical and using that as the basis of the article.  That makes a biased and just false claim that 3CDC caused the disparity.  In fact with the time frame involved, 3CDC had not completed that many new locations and had at best purchased the empty, unused buildings that become the condo/apartments now flourishing.  If you want to write an article criticizing redevelopment of OTR, then start typing, but keep the misleading statistics out of it.

I do credit one thing in the article without hesitation: the photo.  The photo looks to me to be of Track 17, at least in part. In contrast, if you look at CityBeat's article on this story, then you should notice that the picture listed is not in Track 17 at all. It's of Gateway Quarter and it's inclusion with either a careless mistake or purposeful deception.  I'll let you decide on that.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Southgate House Closing

According to it's Facebook page, the Southgate House will be closing it's doors after this New Year's Eve show. This esteemed music venue has been serving the great Cincinnati music scene for decades and has been the sight of scores of epic concerts.  News that it is closing a big blow to the Cincinnati music scene.  The post indicates that the owners may move the business.  There is no announced reason for the move and no word on what necessitates the closure or what will happen with the historic landmark.

Joe at EachNoteSecure.com has more on the closing, which had been rumored recently.

UPDATE: Lauren Bishop of the Enquirer has more.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Biased Gannett Bleeds On Enqurier

If you've read this story about Rob Portman's participation in the 'Super-Committee' you would think the only person of interest on the committee was Rob Portman.  You'd also assume that what ever Portman was doing, he was doing it without any hint of politics or partisanship.

The bias of the article was astonishing to me.  I'll use the cliche 'putting lipstick on a big' because that's basically what it did.  You can still smell the stink that was the 'Super-Committee,' but you can also smell the gallons of perfume trying to hide the Republican responsibility for the failure of the committee. I understand that Portman is local, but it is biased to make him the focus of the coverage when he was at best a single member of a team that failed. We got no insight about the Democratic members of the committee. We got a cloudy puff piece on a Republican that didn't hide the failure, but went out of it's way to make Portman look like he's not to blame.  It's homerism of a different political/partisan bent.

The most annoying example of bias in the article came in how the reporter alternately labeled the American Enterprise Institute vs the Brookings Institution when describing a person quoted for the article.  The AEI was referenced without any qualifying partisan adjectives:
"Portman is the key to me," Norman Ornstein, a longtime congressional expert at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Fiscal Times in August, after the 55-year-old Portman was tapped to be one of the six GOP lawmakers on the bipartisan panel. "Rob is smart, decent, not a crazy. He is the kind of person you'd want on this panel."
On the other hand the Brookings Instituion was labeled as 'left-leaning:'
Thomas Mann, a congressional expert at the Brookings Institution, a left-leaning think tank, similarly said the "supercommittee was doomed to failure" because Republicans took such a hard line opposing any significant tax increases. "The minor concessions were not serious," Mann said, referring to a GOP proposal that offered some revenue increases. "As a consequence, I don't think there were any pivotal players."
Gannett and the Enquirer know the AEI is a Conservative think-tank. It may be representing the more libertarian wing of the Republican Party, but it clearly is at a minimum a 'right-leaning' think tank.  Bias runs deep and when you don't treat groups the same, you sink farther down into the muck with FOX News.

Friday, November 25, 2011

What Did You Buy Today?

Now, be honest, tell everyone what you purchased today on the holiest of shopping days.

I bought lunch for a couple of friends and that was it. It was at an independent restaurant, to boot.

It was a good day!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Luke Brockmeier Ohio 31st Campaign Kickoff Event Tonight!

Newly declared Democratic candidate for the Ohio 31st House District, Luke Brockmeier, is holding his kickoff event tonight (Thursday November 17th) at the Greenwich in Walnut Hills.  Join Luke and his supporters at 6PM to celebrate the beginning of his campaign and learn more where he stands on the issues.

Here is more from the event's press release:
Luke Brockmeier, a Madisonville resident and grassroots organizer, is entering the Democratic primary for the 31st district of the Ohio House of Representatives.The campaign kickoff event will be at The Greenwich (2442 Gilbert Avenue) in Walnut Hills on Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 6:00pm.


Brockmeier is a first-time candidate who has political experience with Citizens to Restore Fairness, America Votes Ohio, and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, where he is employed as the Public Affairs Coordinator. He is a graduate of Princeton High School and Miami University, and has also worked extensively with local arts organizations as a stage manager and technician.
For more information check out www.LukeforOhio.com.

Also check out Luke on Twitter @LukeforOhio and Facebook.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Where Would Charlie Go?

The buzz yesterday that surrounded Council Member Charlie Winburn's comments to the Enquirer about a conversation he had with local Republican Party officials Monday Morning was quite the thing.  The gist of the post is that Winburn may be considering, or wants people to think he is considering, leaving the Republican Party.

The problem is, where is he going to go?  I don't think he's going to be welcome back in with the Democrats. The local Green Party is willing to ignore its philosophy, so maybe he could get an endorsement. Could he join the SHERO-HERO party with Sandra Queen Noble?

In my opinion this is all a stunt.  Charlie wants attention and respect from the GOP, because he is the only Republican on Council.  He also maybe trying to gain more power.  I think he's going to be told to go take a hike.  The GOP cares little about the city, and at this point, they appear to be poised to write it off. Unless they make big gains in 2012 in Hamilton County. I wouldn't be surprised to see only a couple of Republicans running in 2013.  I don't see them having 5 candidates again for a couple of terms.

On the other hand, Charlie may be asking about the Mayor's race.  He could be asking if he could get the backing from the GOP if he were to run.  This would be a mistake for Charlie.  Firstly he would get crushed by Roxanne Qualls.  Secondly, he already said publicly that he wasn't going to run against Qualls, and in fact he would support her.  This is what he said back in 2010:
Winburn: I don't want to be mayor, I'm supporting Qualls. "I already told her that."
Lying to your opponent wouldn't be a good thing to defend during your campaign.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Bad Cop Quits CPD

The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that a Cincinnati Police Officer has resigned as part of the deal made because he allegedly accessed police records on behalf of a relative of his, who is a suspected drug dealer. It appears as if this cop is getting of pretty easy for what he allegedly did.

I am wondering, what else has this cop done on behalf of his suspected drug dealing relative?

How Did Chris Smitherman Get Elected?

I am extremely disappointed that Chris Smitherman was elected to City Council, but I am not concerned with him actually having any significant influence on the direction of the city.  I lack that concern because of the seven Democrats now on council along with the Mayor in solid control of the government.  All we citizens are going to have to do is put up with his antics.  I'm wondering what he will do for his first performance.  I'm hoping for a little David Mamet.

Anyway...How did Chris get back on Council?  I think the answer is quite simple, but there are two parts.

1) His name recognition as a former Councilman and as local NAACP Chairman got him votes on a low/moderate level across the city.  He never placed below 18th in any ward, and only was that low on the East Side.
2) The main reason was the turnout of African American voters.  Specifically in Ward 7 (Bond Hill/Roselawn) where Smitherman was 1st, with over 3,700 votes.  Ward 7's turnout was 42.43% up 6.33% from 2009.

His COAST endorsement I am going to say was meaningless. If he gained any votes from it, then he likely lost just as many, if not more.  The higher turnout was the main factor.  He still barely got on, placing a very weak 8th, so when the Mayoral election rolls around, he may face trouble with more conservatives voting if there is actually a contended race.

I honestly hope Smitherman behaves. If that sounds likes I am considering him childlike, well, I do.  His track record is not good on this front and I fear he will take grandstanding or school yard threats to new heights, since that is all he will be able to do.  He won't actually introduce meaningful legislation, because he can't get it passed without cooperation from others. Since his not known for playing well with others some level of circus is ahead for Cincinnati City Council.  I hope it is only a one ring circus and not three.

Ghiz, Door, Ass

Of the many things that happened in last night's election, Council Member Leslie Ghiz's surprise 13th place finish was nothing I or I dare say anyone else was expecting.  She had alienated much of the city, but one thought her Republican base and FOP endorsement would have won the day.

Not this time.

The conservatives did not vote for her.  In 2009 Leslie got 3,209 votes in Ward 1 (Mt. Washington.) Last night she only got 2,355, almost 1,000 less in one of the main Republican districts. In Ward 25 (West Price Hill/Covedale) she got 2,765 votes in 2009, and last night only got 1,906. Ghiz's fellow Republican amy Murray came close to holding her votes from 2009 in both Wards, showing at least on the surface that the GOP wasn't sitting on their hands in large numbers. Instead, I think people are tired of Ghiz's negative attitude and more importantly I think that the Enquirer's non-endorsement really hurts Republicans more than Democrats. So for the next few weeks we'll still have the chance for more Twitter Theatre or massive demonstrations of how to properly grandstand on both East Side and the West Side. After that, Ghiz is Gone.

In what has to be one of the most classless acts I've seen in local politics, Ghiz told Enquirer Reporter Jane Prendergast that she's putting her house up for sale and moving. She didn't come out and say she was moving to the Suburbs, but she doesn't have to, there would be no other reason to mention it. She has never cared about the City and this is just one more act of disdain.  If she was thinking about moving, why bother running again at all?

I don't know what changed about her. When she first came on the political scene she was, or appeared to be, here for good reasons. In the end, she's cutting and running. She can't find a way to exist without alienating the city she claimed to serve.

It is sad to say good riddance, but everyone is better off with her off council. We will, however, never get to read her non-existent nearly magically plan to balance the City Budget without laying off police officers, something I've was waiting for with bated breath. Alas, another mystery we will be forced to live with. Life goes on.

So long, Council Member Ghiz, don't let the door hit you in ass on your way out of town.

News Round Up On Council Election

Here are a plethora of news links on last night's historic City Council Election:

CityBeat: Newcomers join council; Bortz, Ghiz among ousted
Enquirer: Cincinnati voters shake up City Council
Enquirer Politics Extra: More Re Stunning Council Election
WVXU: Cincinnati Council full of new faces
WVXU: Cincinnati Council race stuns observers
WCPO: Voters choose new members of Cincinnati City Council
700WLW: "Sea Change" for Cincinnati Council
WXIX: Cincinnati City Council receives major overhaul in election
WKRC: Voters Shake Up Cincinnati City Council
WLWT: 4 Newcomers Lead City Council Shakeup

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Huge Defeat For Republicans In City Council Race

In an amazing turn of events, four incumbents from council lost their seats tonight. Gone are Chris Bortz, Leslie Ghiz, Amy Murray, and Wayne Lippert.

Joining Council are P.G. Sittenfeld, Yvette Simpson, Chris Smitherman, and Chris Seelbach.

This is a game changing election. I myself am astonished at the turnover. I shall be crunching the numbers as soon as the ward and precinct detail becomes available. The tale of the numbers will be telling.

Cincinnati should be proud. We are a city moving forward and shedding much of the past. Our future is looking bright tonight, and I am going to enjoy it!

Mingling and Waiting at the BOE

Early Council Results

Here are the top nine after the early votes:

Qualls
Thomas
Winburn
Young
Sittenfeld
Simpson
Quinlivan
Smitherman
Seelbach

Polling Location Details Not Updated On BOE Website

I had a minor problem at my polling station this morning.  This year after the precinct locations were revamped, I double checked to make sure that my location did not change.  It didn't.  It is still at the Emanuel Community Center at 1308 Race Street.

So Knowing where I going, I walked in the same entrance I've gone to since I moved to OTR in 2007.  I went down the ramp in front of the building, went around to the back door and found that it was locked.

I was perplexed.  I was pondering what was going on.  Why would the doors to a polling place locked at about 10 AM.  There must be some kind of mistake, so I went in the front door and asked and found that a different room was being used in the building and was pointed quickly to the room not far from the main door and voted without a problem.

No big deal.  Things change and I just didn't pay enough attention.

After I got back to blogging and was researching another report of problems at my precinct, where it reportedly was not opened for voting until 7:15 AM, I checked the polling location search on the BOE's website (www.votehamiltoncounty.org) and I found a problem.  They still list the building entrance as "FRONT RAMP ENTRANCE" as can be seen below:
I hope that no one gave up when trying to find the entrance.  I would have hopped that the BOE would have the website more updated, unless this was a last minute change, which has other implications.  I also hope that building has a third entrance that is wheel chair accessible, because the main entrance did not appear to be.

Where Are the Election Night Parties?

Election night can be a fun and exciting event for many candidates and Issue supporters.  It can also be a depressing night for some as well.  Here are the locations for the candidates/groups that I am aware of so far.  I'll update the list as I learn more:

No on Issue 48: Arnold's
Chris Seelbach: Milton's
Jason Riverio: Mixx Ultra Lounge
Yvette Simpson: Mixx Ultra Lounge
Wendell Young: Mixx Ultra Lounge
SB5-No on Issue 2: Holy Grail
P.G. Sittenfeld: The Cincinnati Fire Museum
Republicans: City Cellars

Monday, November 07, 2011

Berding's Sour Grapes and Partisan Flip

So, I guess Jeff Berding's anger over getting the boot from the Hamilton County Democratic Party appears to be strongly lingering over two years later with his classless robo-calls against Democratic Council Member Cecil Thomas.  Berding has become the darling of the Republicans with his support of Issue 2 (SB5).  I'd be happy if he came out and declared himself a Republican and drop any pretense.  His appointment of Wayne Lippert was the clearest sign he had left the party that had left him. Going to the other side by playing attack dog is the real sign that you are now on the dark side.

Darth Berding isn't going to sway anyone, even if the Bengals defy all predictions and make the playoffs.

COAST Misleading Voters on Issue 2

It is no surprise that COAST will knowingly mislead voters on any issue or candidate they support. Greg Sargent of the Washington Post reports on the sleaze COAST is pushing on Issue 2, so it what he reports is not a shock, just a succinct example of the way COAST operates.  Here's a recording of the message on a phone line on the flyer Sargent reported is being circulated in Ohio:

There are outright lies on that recording, namely the claim that voting No on issue will cause layoff of public workers. The recording states that the phone line is funded by COAST and sounds like a robo-call.  I wonder if it is being sent out as such.  If it is, I hope the anti-Issue 2 folks take a cue from the No on 48 team.

Council Election Predictions!

There are many ways to make council predictions.  You can crunch the numbers.  You can throw darts or pull names from a hat.  I've run the numbers, but running the numbers assumes I know who is going to vote.  I can only guess at that.  Those guesses include the historical facts that elected incumbents rarely lose council races here in Cincinnati. Un-elected incumbents have lost, but tend to win as well.  So, if you run the numbers, you tend to point to the likelihood that we will not see much change on council.

I'm not going to predict zero change, but conventional wisdom indicates that there are only three possible seats in play.  Who might loose depends on who votes, so the only prediction I can make is the following:

I predict we will have one new member on council once the votes are totaled tomorrow night.  (I'm not going to name names, because I don't like being wrong.)

If there is more than one new member, I will be surprised.  The only way I can see that happening is a drop in Conservative votes or a big influx of more Moderate and Liberal votes.  That's the rub: Turnout.  It is almost always the only definitive indicator that can be factored into predictions.

What are your predictions?  Sound off in comments.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Classism of the Ohio GOP

The State of Ohio's Republicans are chopped full of examples of unflappable mendacity, but sometimes the truth of their motivations are plain as day.  Greg Sargent of the Washington Post writes a blog post on the (in my words) classism of Lou Blessing, Ohio House Representative from the 29th District located in the Suburbs of Cincinnati.

Blessing is quoted on Ohio Public Radio as stating that he's against cutting the pay of Republican lawmakers, as an act of shared sacrifice with Ohio union workers who stand to loose jobs, benefits, and pay as the result of SB5.  Cutting state law makers pay is not going to amount to that much money and won't solve any problems.  It is just the way he said it.  His pure arrogance and callousness dripped like acid from his lips as he dismissed the idea, claiming he and other Republicans "earn" their money, implying the unions and the Dems don't.

That's classism in my book.  It sounds like he's channeling a 19th Century Industrialist complaining about his workers asking for basic safe-working conditions.  The type of thing that would cost him a few dollars, but he doesn't want to part with a single dime, unless it goes to those loyal to his company, or in the case of Blessing to those supporting his political philosophy/constituency.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Quimbob Has a Great Take on the Anti-Rail Camp

Quimbob at Blogging Isn't Cool has a thorough summary and analysis of Issue 48 and it's advocates and opposition.  His summary of those in-favor of Issue 48 (the anti-rail camp) is succinct and very valid:
A quick look at the supporters of this issue reveals a rogues gallery of self interest groups who all derive their existence in part or whole from the public trough - all led by an Erisian COA T.
Some of the Greens are pretty wack. Their position explanation uses phrases like "mowing down people in the street". Westwood cares little for other neighborhoods or the city at large. This is the neighborhood that considered secession from the city. The ministers group seems to be the same crew that got called out for being absentee slumlords in WCPO's Visions of Vine Street.
CODE is the city employee union that was concocted by a woman seemingly for the sole purpose of swindling her coworkers. It will be interesting to see how that pedigree effects them in the future. The safety unions don't seem to see the benefit of improving a neighborhood where they frequently risk their lives dealing with vice and abandoned buildings owned by uncaring absentee landlords. Given the low scores of council candidates on the NAACP's scorecard, one has to wonder how relevant the organization is. If their goals are so important, how come next to nobody seems to realize it?
It reminds one of William Burroughs' discussion of Junky Relations. They all need each other but absolutely hate each other because they all are competing for the same supply of junk.
Indeed!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

OTR And MOTR Get BBC News Mention

An interesting political column from a BBC writer with a take on American National Politics from experiences and conversations at MOTR during a show. I don't know why this reporter happened to find his way to OTR, but I hope he find out something interesting. He also has a radio report on political issues from Ohio here.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

One Week Out: Council Election Preview

We are just one week away from the November General Election and there are things locked up about the election for Cincinnati City Council, but there are seats that are clearly in play.  Here's my take on what is locked up and what is in play:

Locked Up Winners:
Roxanne Qualls
Chris Bortz

Heavy Favorites to Win:
Cecil Thomas
Leslie Ghiz

Likely Unless Odd Things Happen:
Charlie Winburn
Laure Quinlivan

In the Mix:
Kevin Flynn
Wayne Lippert
Amy Murray
P.G. Sittenfeld
Wendell Young

Still in the Mix, But With Higher Hurdles:
Mike Allen
Nicholas Hollan
Jason Riveiro
Chris Seelbach
Yvette Simpson
Christopher Smitherman

Out of the Running:
Catherine Smith Mills
Jacqueline Allen
Kathy Atkinson
Patricia McCollum
Sandra Queen Noble

Not that much can change over the next week, except for the turnout. The turnout is expected to be low compared to national election years, but conventional wisdom would indicate that it should compare to what the 2007 council election drew out. I would say the more new voters go to the polls the more likely that non-incumbents will gain votes. It is easy for incumbents to win, but difficult for non-elected incumbents to get on without lots of new support. We have three appointees on council and all three, even with the amounts of money the Republican appointees have, need voter turnout to help them.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Enquirer 2011 Endorsements For Council Are Published

The Enquirer has published it's endorsements for Cincinnati City Council and I will be the first to admit I am surprised and actually fairly pleased with the group they picked.  While, this not the group I would pick, the list is far less conservative than in years past.  Their list:

Roxanne Qualls
Amy Murray
Kevin Flynn
Chris Bortz
Laure Quinlivan
Wendell Young
Catherine Smith Mills
Chris Seelbach
Yvette Simpson

Three Dems, two Republicans, four Charterites (including two cross-endorsed as Dems.)  That is a whole sale change of government, leaning back to the left from the current council.  That's impressive for the traditionally Mainstream Republican editorial board on the Enquirer.  I think they changed the process a bit this year, creating a more objective measurement of candidates.  With that measurement they did not endorse four of the nine sitting council members, including three of the Republican incumbents.

The biggest surprise was the additional editorial the paper included saying which three incumbent candidates should "move on." Leslie Ghiz, Charlie Winburn, and Cecil Thomas all were called out as being "distractions." All three were candidates the Enquirer previously endorsed in 2009, something they allude to in the article.  Calling out candidates in that manner is new and we'll see how effective it is in changing voter's views.

This year I don't see this (or any) endorsement as a game changer, but it will help add some critical votes to those either hoping to sneak into the number 9 spot or want to climb as high as they can in the vote count to help them make a case for a possible appointment to council when someone steps down.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Complaint Filed With OEC Charging COAST With Misleading Voters

Cincinnatians For Progress has filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission charging that COAST has knowingly made false statements to affect the outcome of the Issue 48 election vote.  20 instances are cited as violations of Ohio Revised Code Section 3517.22.  These false statements have included claims that the city has taken funds away from fire services to fund the streetcar project, which is a blatantly obvious lie.

I am curious if the compliant can be amended to include Chris Smitherman who is also misleading voters about Issue 48 on his Facebook page, as documented by CityBeat.

FOP Endorsements Officially Announced

The Enquirer was finally provided with an official list of candidates for Cincinnati City Council getting endorsements from the Fraternal Order of Police of Cincinnati (Local Police Union). Another short list has been issued and it is filled with surprises. The List:

Mike Allen
Kevin Flynn
Leslie Ghiz
Amy Murray
Jason Riveiro
Christopher Smitherman
Charlie Winburn

The big shock is the inclusion of Chris Smitherman, which I wrote about before. The other surprises include the absence of Wayne Lippert and Chris Bortz. I am guessing the lack of support against Issue 2 led to Lippert's Snub. Bortz likely wouldn't take a pledge not to lay off police. He's not made any statements stating he supports cuts, but pledges for Republican leading organizations seems to be the norm.

Flynn and Riverio are surprises to me, but good ones.  It is good seeing some variation from just Republicans getting support from the FOP.

Mike Allen isn't a surprise, but as I wrote before is a disappointment.  Allen settled a sexual harrassment suit from a former staffer who worked for him while he was the Hamilton County Prosecutor.  Yes, the man responsible for prosecuting criminal charges in the county settled a law suit which as its basis argued that he abused his power while in public office.  This goes against what the purpose of the police.  It is so very disappointing that the FOP will look past this egregious fact because Allen will do what ever they want.  A Faustian bargain, but in this case I don't know who is playing the role of the devil.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

CityBeat Council Endorsements Announced

CityBeat has announced it's picks for Cincinnati City council this year and is doing something differing, only picking seven candidates.  The list is:

Kevin Flynn
Nicholas Hollan
Roxanne Qualls
Laure Quinlivan
Jason Riveiro
Chris Seelbach
Wendell Young

This list, one might argue, is short on African-Americans. Two other candidates that could have filled that role would have been Cecil Thomas and Yvette Simpson. Thomas is not a surprise, but skipping Simpson in favor of Young or Flynn is surprising for CityBeat.

I'm not a fan of short ticket voting, which many groups, including CityBeat, are advocating. It might be a valid 'strategy,' but for all of the increase in the value of a single vote for a candidate it makes, short ticket voting takes away from the voters overall power to pick the nine they want.

Lippert Pulls a Romney

Cincinnati council member Wayne Lippert appears to be channeling the tone and actions of Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney with his flip-flop yesterday reversing his vote after being told to change for political reasons.

Romney was busy yesterday flip-flopping on Issue 2 (SB5) where was now for it, but previously he would take a stand on the issue when appearing at a political office of the Anti-Union Issue 2 campaign on Tuesday in the Cincinnati area.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Enquirer Rips Jeffre With Snark

Journalists do not often get the chance to add analysis or a little opinion in news stories. Well this article including reference to Justin Jeffre's, former boy band singer, arrest as part of the Occupy Cincinnati protests gave this gem of a quote
Going to jail could be a good career move for Jeffre. Spending time behind bars inspired many blues and country artists to write some of their best material.
Coffee nearly shot out of my nose after I read that. Snark is a joyous thing, especially about this topic.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quimbob Sums Up Problems With OccupyCincy

As I write this, Piatt Park is the scene of possible confrontation as speculation mounts that protesters who have been 'occupying' the park for over a week will be forced to leave, or face arrest.  I generally agree with some of the 99% and OWS movement, but I share the view of Quimbob at Blogging Isn't Cool, who criticizes the group.

The means of the protesters in the park is part of their problem: a failure to follow the rule of law.  They may not like the law, but they must follow the law.  That is basis of our democratic republic. If you don't like the law, you must change the law via the open process of our political system.  If you don't like our government, then you are going to face the wrath of the 99% who make want to change part of the way our government and political system works, but agree it works.

Another issue that has also killed support for this group is the folly of its members in listening to people like Josh Spring of the 'Homeless' Coalition.  If you think Josh believes in the 99%, then I think I have a life-size test model of the Brooklyn Bridge to sell you.  He, and others like him, are about their own 1% and nothing else.

Now, we just need a respectful and calm resolution and for everyone to go home safe.

UPDATE: Some of the protesters are getting wind of the problems with dealing with the Homeless Coalition.  Here's the classic retort to a report that homeless people are disrupting and stealing from the occupy movement:
News 5 did ask the Homeless Coalition about the problems at Piatt Park. The station was told it boils down to simple personality conflicts.
It would appear Josh Spring seems to not want any laws enforced. Theft and threats of violence are just personality problems, not crimes, apparently....

UPDATE #2:  The Enquirer reports that around 1 AM police came to the park and very peacefully arrested 23 protesters who refused to leave the park.  Another report is here from Sentient Cincinnati.  Also, there's more from WCPO.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ghiz Conflict of Interest?

I did not see this mentioned in the the Leslie Ghiz and Wayne Lippert's grandstanding letter protesting the protests, but Leslie Ghiz's law practice is located on Garfield Place, right across the street from the protests at Piatt Park.  I find that to be a huge conflict of interest. Is Council Member Ghiz acting as a member of City County or as the owner of a business affected by the protests?

She should not take any additional action on this issue.  Let those without anything to gain from prosecution of the protesters to act on behalf of the City.  We also don't need arrests.  That will not do the city any good.

Further more: a vote of no confidence?  Seriously,  Ghiz and Lippert want to talk about confidence?  I am sure no one has foreclosed on either of Leslie's or Wayne's Glass Houses.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What The FOP Forgot About Chris Smitherman

While I am still unable to find an official listing of Cincinnati FOP endorsements (CityBeat has a list posted yesterday), I must point out what I would think was a clerical error.  Chris Smitherman is listing the FOP as one of his endorsements for Cincinnati City Council.  This is what I would expected if we lived in Bizarro World, where pigs actually fly.  Instead I will collectively pinch everyone and confirm that you are dreaming.

That in mind, I will just have to assume that someone in the FOP must have broken in the evidence locker and took out a truck full of weed and drove it over to FOP headquarters before they picked their endorsements.  What I am sure the FOP didn't bother to do was vet Chris Smitherman before his endorsement, other than to determine if he would pledge not to fire anyone on the the police force and for his No vote on State Issue 2 (SB5).

If they did, they might have dug up this article from Greg Korte in the Enquirer about some of the antics Smitherman pulled right after taking office as a Council member in 2003.  As soon as Smitherman had run a 'moderated' campaign as a Charter Committee endorsed candidate, he came right out of the shoot attacking the Cincinnati Police Department.  He demanded a list of where all police officers went to high school.  He was so loved by the FOP back then former FOP President Keith Fangman had this to say:
"Chris Smitherman is the master of illusion," said Keith Fangman, the Fraternal Order of Police vice president. "He hoodwinked the voters into believing he wanted to improve police-community relations. And he has done the exact opposite."
So, I guess the FOP has now been 'hoodwinked' into giving an endorsement.  If Smitherman is elected, I would make a bet at what parts of the CPD he would start targeting.

No matter how much of a Republican Smitherman claims to be, which he should do as he's getting praised by the likes of Chris Monzel, not to mention COAST and Charlie Winburn.  I really don't understand how the local NAACP can just abandon it's principles under the ruse of getting one man more power.  Making deals with the 'devil' will do nothing but ruin you in the end.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gruesome Playground Injuries at Know Theatre


See this show! I saw it on opening night and it a great cast, great director, great staging, awesome use of video, and tremendous story. it's playing Thursday to Saturday until November 5th. Go to www.knowtheatre.com for more information.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Leslie Ghiz Was NOT Endorsed by CincYPAC

If you read my blog a few weeks ago, you'd know that Leslie Ghiz was not endorsed by CincYPAC this election season.
 If you read Leslie Ghiz's detailed list of alleged endorsements  (Pictured above) on the current League of Women Voter's website, Smartvoter.org, then you would find the false information indicating she was endorsed by the YP policital action committee.

I don't know if Leslie is mistaken about who endorsed her or if she's just not running a serious campaign that would take the time to update her candidate page on the LWV web site from the prior election, with just over three weeks before the next election.  She also lists an endorsement from POWR PAC, which I can't find published anywhere.  The POWR PAC website isn't coming up and they've not posted anything on their Twitter account for months, so I think they've not issued any endorsements yet this year.

Ghiz has got a more up-to-date endorsement listing on her website, one would think she could get a staffer to update the LWV page.  I guess all of the time she's been spending coming up with a detailed Republican plan to avoid police layoffs while still eliminating the $33 Million budget deficit has prevented her staff from this type of simple house-keeping item.  I'm sure we'll all get to see that plan any day now.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chaos Headed to Ohio in the 2012 House Election

Ohio may have election chaos of its own making in 2012.  The Enquirer has an in-depth story on the repercussions on the Ohio Supreme Court 7-0 ruling on Friday that requires Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to accept a ballot initiative to overturn the gerrymandered Republican plan to draw Federal Congressional districts.

In case anyone was thinking this was not a bullshit plan, take in a simple fact: each district must contain 721,032 residents.  Hamilton County's 2010 Census population is 802,374.  There is no reason the 1st District, where the law starts off, should not have been created entirely inside Hamilton County.  That's Fair.  Sure part of the county would need to be in another district, but only around 80,000 people. Instead the 1st District, as set by Republicans, includes parts of three counties.  That's the bullshit.

Sure, Republicans could claim that Democrats  have done the same thing in the past.  I don't care about the past.  We are in the present.  If you are going to say this plan is "Fair", as a quote in the Enquirer article from Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder (R) did, then you the purveyor of bullshit that deserves opposition and a little scorn in the form of a  blog post like this.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Aja Roberto Appears To Be A COASTer

I'm perplexed that someone would go from being the Treasurer of CincYPAC to a supporter of COAST.  Ben at Cincyvoices has a very good article describing what I would characterize as the bizarre and unprofessional actions of Aja Roberto in how she resigned from the CincYPAC board and made unclear and unsubstantiated claims against the organisation, then went on to be a host of the COAST fundraiser supporting Issue 48 and against all passenger rail projects in Cincinnati.

It made her appear to just be a Republican pissed that most of her Republican candidates who don't agree with CincYPAC issues didn't get endorsements.  Something to be shocked over, I'm sure....

What the evidence of this situation points to in my opinion is that a hardcore Republican confused the stated issues of CincYPAC with the anti-city stances of Suburbanite Republicans and was pissed that more people were not as confused as she was, so she created a spectacle.  Classy, I know.

That's what I'd call a shit show.  It's also radioactive for any political candidate who allows her into their campaign on a significant level.  She'd fit in well with Chabot or Winstrup, I'd surmise.  I hope she stays out of City politics, of which she's greatly mistaken on where YP's stand.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Where's the Full List of FOP Endorsements?

I've read the Smartvoter.org website listing details about Cincinnati City Council candidates and their campaigns. These details include endorsements. I see at least two candidates that I am surprised are listing an FOP (Fraternal Order of Police - the Cincinnati Police Union) endorsement. One of those two I am down-right shocked at reading. I've not seen a press release or posting on the FOP website listing the candidates. I'm wondering why.  Reading this candidate's Facebook pages makes me think I've figured out the litmus test that got this candidate an endorsement, but without the full list, I can't pieced it all together.

I already commented on the Mike Allen's reported endorsement from a local media outlet, but I've not found any other mentions than candidate's listing on the page linked above or shout-outs on their own pages. I don't want to comment on one of the alleged endorsements without some official confirmation.

This candidate appears to have transformed from something they were into something the FOP would endorse.  I don't see how the past can be forgotten.

Over-the-Rhine to Headline The Emery Theatre 11-11-11 Kickoff

Soapbox Cincinnati happily broke the story this morning that famed local band Over-the-Rhine will headline the 11-11-11 benefit event for the Emery Theatre restoration project.  Details on the event are here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wayne Lippert Is a REPUBLICAN, Don't Forget That

If you have seen Cincinnati Council member Wayne Lippert's political TV commercial (search for it on YouTube) then you can conclude many things about him, but the one that stands out to me is that he is a hardcore national REPUBLICAN. I put that in capital letters to draw extra attention to it. He's not a Cincinnati Republican running for City Council, he is a RNC inspired candidate pushing a National REPUBLICAN agenda. That is not good for the city.

His commercial could have been written by REPUBLICAN House Speaker John Boehner. It is like he knows nothing more about the City than a West Chesterite listening to 700WLW knows. If you use national political GOP talking points like "Job Killing" in your local TV Ad, then I dismiss your participation in City Politics as nothing more than a prelude to moving to the suburbs to run for the U.S. Congress. It is clear to me that Lippert is going through the motions before he runs for higher office, not actually working to unite and better the city. You don't say we are on the wrong track without telling us what we should be doing, but doing that doesn't get votes. Using rhetoric that preaches a contradiction, (refusing to cut police while not rasing taxes), is evidence that you are ALL about getting votes, not about having a plan to improve the city.

I don't know why he did not move to Anderson Township and plan for higher office from there? In the city he is doing nothing but pushing a national GOP agenda that is bent on the destruction of cities and the protection of the wealthy. Lippert is carrying that water so far without any variance.

Friday, October 07, 2011

County Cutting Police Protection, Not Attacked For Funding Sports

So, I find it funny, yet not surprising that when the County leadership is working to cut police coverage (Sheriff's patrols) in some suburban townships, we don't have a circus screaming about the impending increase in crime that would follow. That's what we get when anyone in the City dares state that we should cut our police force. We hear that most from the FOP, the police union. How many of those police officers live in the townships (outside of the city) that are affected by the possible cuts to the Sheriff's patrols?

Chris Monzel, current County Commissioner and former member of Cincinnati City Council, is part of the leadership looking to cut the police. Why is he not cutting funding for the Bengals Stadium? Why would we subsidize a professional sports team instead of funding police protection? Why can't he just do what people like him claim should happen in the City, which is tap restricted funds? COAST, members of Westwood Concern, and the FOP all tried to make various forms of this argument. Monzel played to that crowd and won the County race based in part on his pro-police antics. We don't hear the circus attacking him or fellow commissioner Greg Hartmann for doing the same thing the City administration wants and should do, cut the police force.

I really don't like hypocrisy, but I really hate it when the hypocrisy is enabled. The media enables it by giving a voice to the crazies, who are surprisingly (or not really surprisingly) silent on this.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Finney Takes In Big Money From Suing Governments

Once of COAST's main agitators, Chris Finney, regularly sues local governments. It is my opinion he does this to punish his political foes.  However, there's another reason he does it: money.  The Enquirer is reporting that Finney and another attorney have collected over $150,000 in legals fees after suing local governments over the last seven years.

If this was about civic duty, they wouldn't have collected a dime.

Now to point out the obvious: Why this matters?  COAST is against any 'additional spending.'  Their efforts have been targeted against selected government officials and organizations, not consistent and balanced against all municipalities and political parties.  What's funny is that Finney stated the following in the article:
"We want everybody to play by the rules," Finney said. "I want them to be fearful that if they do something like this, they'll be sued."
The funny part is that when he says 'everybody' I wonder if he means 'everybody I don't like' instead?  I'm wondering if Finney is putting the same scrutiny on Republican politicians.  Did he do the same type of check on the Anderson Township administration and board of trustees?  Did he do that on the County's two Republican Commissioners' staff?  I would bet no and no.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

COAST Fundraiser Has Nearly Undetectable Turnout

For all of the swagger behind COAST's efforts to ruin the city of Cincinnati, one would think they could get a big crowd to show up for a Fundraiser to support Issue 48, which would ban all rail projects in the city for at least 10 years.

The Cincinnati Monocle had a blogger on the scene to cover the event and reports, with just a hint of being aghast, that the COAST fundraiser attracted no more than 25 people to the event, not counting the media.  Yes, they had one TV news crew there, along with local bloggers, so the level of coverage is slightly odd for the turnout, but it was FOX19, so....

The only thing not reported was how many donations were mailed in to COAST from the suburbs and exurbs and the Governor's Office.  People to busy to attended, but rich enough to help COAST destroy the city for kicks.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

More Evidence COAST seeks to Hurt the City

In case you were wondering, as I know you do, there was more evidence reported by the Enquirer last week demonstrating the lengths that COAST's minions will go to hurt the city.  Left with lots of spare time, Chris Finney went fishing and caught Cincinnati City Council Member Laure Quinlivan's staff from accessing and updating a website from a city owned computer. The cost to the tax payers for this trivial infraction: $0.13. Yes, that would thirteen cents.

The cost to taxpayers for the investigation brought by Finney and COAST, "several thousand dollars." Yes, that is thousands of dollars.  The sense of proportion and sense of justice will go out the window when ever a COAST lawyer walks into a courtroom again.

Don Quixote would be proud, except that Don Quixote character was a man of honor and there is no honor in anything COAST does. They are bent on destruction of the city at all costs, and that costs us, the taxpayers, more in the process.

Friday, September 23, 2011

MidPoint Music Festival Day TWO!!!

Day One of MidPoint was a huge success! Yes, those who missed out still have two full days to hit great shows and really amazing events. If you have not been to the MidPoint Midway, then you are missing out on heart of the festival. The Box Truck events are a fun augmentation to the music, but there is still plenty of music there too.  Tonight my shows of choice include:

Toror y Moi at 9:30 at the SCPA Corbett Theater
Deerhoof at 11:45 PM at the Know Theatre
STRFKR at 12:30 at MOTR


According to Twitter the live.mpmf.com should be fixed, so Tweet on.

CincyPAC Endorsements Announced

CincYPAC has annoucned their 2011 Cincinnati City Council election endorsements. The list is:
Chris Bortz
Kevin Flynn
Nicholas Hollan
Catherine Mills
Roxanne Qualls
Jason Riveiro
Chris Seelbach
Yvette Simpson
P.G. Sittenfeld
The Republicans have only 1 candidate on that list, Catherine Mills, and her YP connections, I believe, were more the cause of her getting the support of enough people at CincYPAC than her positions on the group's issues.

It says much when no other Republican running has anything in common with the mainstream issues put forth by CincYPAC.  The Republicans in this Council race are nearly uniformly running an anti-city platform, which entails enacting policies that benefit people living outside the city more than inside.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

MidPoint Music Festival Day One!!!

One of the best times of the year has arrived and I am more than excited, I am ecstatic with the prospects of what awaits over the next three days.  Tonight my shows of choice include:

The Seedy Seeds at 7:30 at the SCPA Corbett Theater
The Watson Twins at 9:30 PM at the Know Theatre
Jessica Lea Mayfield at 11:45 at the Know Theatre


Be sure to keep tabs on live.mpmf.com for Tweets and texts from all over the festival.


Chamber Of Commerce 'Endorsements'

The Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce released a scorecard of candidates for Cincinnati City Council.  As would be expected, the endorsed Republicans got a uniform high score, along with Charterite Chris Bortz.  Vice-Mayor Roxanne Qualls also got a mostly high score.

The Cincy FOP Likes Sexual Harassers

I always wondered why the Cincinnati FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) would stand behind police officers who abuse their power, fighting to keep bad cops on the force.  Well, it just may be a fetish they have.  The FOP have reportedly endorsed disgraced former Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen for Cincinnati City Council.  Allen settled a lawsuit with a former staffer for sexually harassing her.  Abuse of power by the top legal man in the county is alluring to some people.  The police union leadership likes to play it kinky, at least in politics.

I've not found a full listing of endorsements from the FOP, but I would feel really embarrassed to be listed along side Mike Allen if I were any candidate.

NOTE: The Fire fighters reported endorsed him too.  That's just sad.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Waiting on COAST's Casino Sidewalks Causing Deaths Tweet

I am waiting, totally on pins and needles, for the latest Tweet from COAST.  I'm expecting it to read something like "$16.8M Casino sidewalks cause brownouts to all fire houses for a week, thousands to die."

Hold on, you say?  That's not fair?  Sidewalks are funded by the capital budget and the Fire Department is funded via the Operating budget?  Hmm, that's crazy Streetcar talk!  Everyone knows that via magical (and illegal) means, the City could violate the law and use that Sidewalk money to save cops jobs!  We all know that, right?  Right???

The four Republicans on council wouldn't vote to spend money $16.8M to fund sidewalks to promote a private endeavor when that money could be spent on saving police and fire jobs, would they?  Especially when that endeavor is gambling.  Isn't that a sin in Charlie Winburn's eyes?

Is my snark getting through to everyone?  Yes, today the city is set to approve spend $16.8M in funds to build street and sidewalk construction around the new casino and if the committee vote there is no one against it.  Only Chris Bortz is questioning where the funding is coming from, which is a fair question.  The Republicans on council are not questioning it, yet they play into the lies that anti-Streetcar forces put forth, claiming that capital funds in the budget could be used to prevent police or fire layoffs (or "brownouts".) For the record, I am for the new streetscape, but I would like the source of funding of it to have some help, like from the State. The people of the State of Ohio voted to put the Casinos in, so if there is public funding needed for any part of it, the State should pony up for it, not just the localities.

None of the those anti-streetcar forces are screaming about $16.8M in street work that will actually redirect traffic.  They I guess like to gamble and are not doing anything to prevent the city to spend money on the Casino.  Again, COAST (the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes) seems to be rather subjective on the "Spending" part of their name.  I've seen others call them "COA T" in comments on other blogs and on the Enquirer's website.  Well, here's another example to fit the hypocrisy of that group.  It fits well with all of the lies they spew.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More COAST Bigotry

Are we just numb from the bigotry and veiled racism that flows from the people behind COAST?  I starting to think we are heading that way, but Kevin Osborne of CityBeat has a strong blog post outlining what the latest incident entailed.  The surprising source of the bigoted graphic came from a black UC student who, according to Osborne, has volunteered on local GOP political campaigns, including Council member Amy Murray.

Si Leis To Retire At End of Current Term

Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis announced last week that he will not seek reelection after the end of his current term.

The Enqurier reports that Leis stated his Chief Deputy, Sean Donovan, plans to run for Sheriff next year. I know nothing about Donovan, but I would think there would be many possible candidates considering running. I am not sure a Leis supporter would get a lot of Republican primary support, since Leis broke with the party on many issues recently, namely with his belief that the county needs funding and can't be starved to death by Monzel and Hartmann.

Don't Tell Leslie Ghiz, But She's Ignorant on Issue 48

I am just not sure if Leslie Ghiz has read the text of of Issue 48, the anti-rail charter amendment, but she's in favor of banning all rail projects in Cincinnati for a generation. Well, she likely will claim otherwise, but she seems to think Issue 48 only covers the Streetcar, but as the Enquirer reported, all six experts consulted for the story agreed that the Issue could ban the City from enacting any type of rail project. I guess her prior "not right now" position on the streetcar really means never, which I believe is what it was all along.

At this point, Ghiz seems more about defeating the Mayor and anyone who criticizes her, than she is about improving the City.  She's starting to sound more like a COAST member every time she makes a public statement.  I can't find a Republican running for office in Cincinnati who doesn't sound like a COAST flunky.

It is so disappointing that the local Republican party has chosen to run all of its candidates on the same tone and strategy as National Republicans.  It does nothing more than divide us, but alas, that's the point.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Get you beer steins cleaned and work on your beer fighting weight. This weekend is Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. The world of beer and brats will be centered on Cincinnati's 5th Street for 2 full days., plus a preview night on Fountain Square on Friday.  Don't miss a second, unless you need to relieve yourself, which after a day's worth of beer drinking, you will need to do. Bring your grandma and your dancing shoes.

If anyone can find me at the event and you dressed in German-esque garb, then I might buy you a beer.  Note the word "might" in the last sentence.



Oh, and Prosit!

If Chiquita Moves, Blame COAST, Winburn, and Smitherman

An Enquirer article reports that Chiquita Brands International, headquartered in Downtown Cincinnati, is being courted by other cities, mainly Charlotte, to move the company.  In the article, Council member Charlie Winburn is quoted in the article:
Added Winburn: “Anytime 400 jobs are at stake, I take that serious. If the city loses this company, then we need to call for an evaluation of city administration.”
No, Council Member Winburn, don't shirk your duty and point to the Administration. Point to yourself. If you want to keep Chiquita then you need to do several things to keep them here.  It starts with voting on a budget that would free up money to add to an incentive.  Then go to the Governor and get him of his ass and do something for Cincinnati.  Finally, start acting like you want to make this city into a progressive community that will attract news people and new businesses here.  Work to build the Urban Core of the city and agree it must be a vibrant success if the rest of the City and metro area are going to have sustained growth and prosperity. The article goes on about the air service.  Well, that's quiet frankly a tough thing for a city or even the metro area to transform.  It will take years to attract more direct flights. A more simple and immediate way to improve the city is to support rail projects, like the streetcar or light-right or the East Side commuter-rail.  None of these will happen if COAST and Smitherman's anti-rail charter amendment passes. So, if nothing else, don't support the anti-rail forces.

Why does rail matter? Well, ask Charlotte, they have rail transportation and they stand poised to take a major headquarters from our city.  Destroying the city may be COAST's and Smitherman's goal, but surely Winburn doesn't want this to happen.  If he wants to get "serious," then  he should rethink his stance on the streetcar and stop pointing fingers at others and get on board with those try to make this city a better place.

The solution is rather simple: don't shill for the FOP and don't think making the city into another suburb will solve any problems.  All of the endorsed Republicans running might gain some respect and maybe even some votes if they took that to heart and lived it.  That action would lose many Conservative votes and Suburban contributions, however, which leads me back to my cynical default stance, where Winburn's opportunism lives and keeps progress back, as long as he and other Republicans are in power.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Is Frey Pleading Guilty?

The Enquirer has an in-depth article about the property sales and purchases Diana Frey and family have made over the last few years.  Frey is the former president of the CODE union who has been indited on charges that she embezzled over $700,000 worth of union funds.

What is news to me is that the article reports that a guilty plea is allegedly in the works.  The deal is not known, but Frey faces 20 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.  A deal would likely bring down both the jail time and fine, assuming restitution of the stolen money is made in some capacity.

What ever the deal, significant jail time must be part of it.  Frey, if convicted, deserves at least a decade behind bars.  The other question the Enquirer article brings to mind: who else in her family could be charged with a crime?  Will a plea from Frey keep the rest of the family from jail time?

Monday, September 12, 2011

COAST Goes To The Extreme, Even For Them

5chw4rtz has the best response to COAST comparing 9/11 terrorism to the Streetcar in a Twitter post. Here is a pictorial version of the tweet:

Yes, the anti-city group went there and did it on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and they tweeted more about terrorism and the streetcar beyond this single tweet.  They lied and are totally full of shit, but they went there. That says miles about their lack of character and willingness to lie and slander others. Sure, they'll call it a joke and maybe they'll take the offending Tweet down.  They will not admit they were wrong.  They really need some counseling.  Beyond a public apology from the group's leaders, the person or persons running the twitter feed should be replaced, if any attempt to show dignity exists within that group.

If there are elected officials who support COAST, even in the slightest, and they don't PUBLICLY condemn this and the other similar tweets from COAST, then they are going to be called out as tacidly supporting it.  As the maxim goes "Qui tacet consentire videtur" (he who is silent is understood to consent), which holds true doubly here for the political climate of the times.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

CityBeat Website Gets Big Makeover

I can't tell you when, exactly, but Citybeat.com has undergone a much needed make-over.  It is a great improvement, but is moving slow this morning, at least for me.  The mobile version is a bit different, but mostly structured the same.  I am not pleased that on my iPad I wasn't able to open the regular site, just the mobile version.  I am hoping that's a kink that can be worked out.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

MidPoint: A Decade of Audio Addiction!


Mid Point Music Festival from The Big Media Company on Vimeo.

Downtown Cincinnati As Safe or Even Safer than Exurbs

The Cincinnati Enquirer had an excellent article about crime in the CBD/Downtown area as compared to several of the Cincinnati area's most populated exurbs, like West Chester, Florence, and Mason.  I really hope people read this and understand what it means. Far too many people I've talked with can't tell the differences amongst Downtown, Gaslight, Northside, OTR, or even in a few instances Hyde Park.  Therefore, I am not going to hold my breath that an understanding that crime happens everyone mixes with how safe the CBD area has become.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Desperate Candidates Lead to Misleading Press Conferences

If you are going to claim something to be true, like Republcian Council Members Wayne Lippert and Amy Murray, both appointees to council, then you better have facts, not misleading allegations that come close to out right slanderous lies, if they had named an individual.

I understand both council members are up for election and neither have actually won a council election. That tends to lead to desperation. They may have all the Suburban GOP money that is possible, but they don't have the loyal Suburanite GOP voters to go with those dollars, since they aren't city residents. Instead they have to resort to stunts like this and as far as stunts go, this is one of the most dishonest ones I have ever seen. They make a claim and can't prove it.

Yes, that is like calling some a cheat, but not being able to back it up.

That's something people can be sued over and made to pay damages, under the right circumstances.

Here, Lippert and Murray chose to assume that the people of Westwood are ignorant fools. Westwood is the place they chose to hold their press conference and that is the city neighborhood they both need to place in 4th or 5th place in if they hope to get elected.  So, lying to their prospective voters is worth the dishonor, as long as they can fool enough people into believing their unsubstantiated and unprovable claims.

Candidates who do more than appeal to the far extreme of their base are those who have a much easier time getting elected. Neither Lippert or Murray are looking like leaders for the majority of the City, just the small extreme GOP Base, looking to leave for the suburbs as soon as they can sell their house.

Political Nonsense From Sittenfeld

P.G. Sittenfeld has a well organized and well financed campaign for Cincinnati City Council.  He also has quickly learned how to make nonsensical statements on important political issues.  Here's his answer to the Enquirer's question on where he stands on the Streetcar:
P.G. Sittenfeld: The city's focus right now needs to be on basic services ahead of streetcars, but the reality is, this project is now in the hands of the voters, and I will respect the direction they give us in November.
Yes, experts of all political views would agree that this answer is a prime example of "bull shitting." That's the act of pretending to take a stand on something, but actually saying things in such a confusing way that you can deny to supporters of both sides of the issue that you are not against their side. Does my definition come across like double-talk? Well, that's the point.

I personally call Sittenfeld's statement political cowardice. I don't know who is advising him, but it sounds like a professional who is well schooled in how to be for and against everything, simultaneously. That is the most shallow and worthless manner a politician can exhibit and it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of anyone with a brain.

Since far too many people lack functioning brains, P.G. stands a good chance of becoming yet another bad member of city council, one more focused on getting elected than actually doing anything for the City.

What's even worse, P.G. appears to not want to get involved with the anti-Rail ballot initiative, based on his "in the hands of voters" line. What P.G. now needs to first realize is this isn't just an anti-streetcar issue, this is an anti-rail issue. Then he must take a stand on it. Is he part of the anti-rail delusional fringe of Cincinnati politics or is he with the majority of sane people who are NOT looking to ban all rail from Cincinnati for another generation?

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Half a Budget Plan is No Budget Plan at All

The Enquirer's Jane Prendergast has a blog post that discusses Cincinnati Council Member Chris Bortz stating he is tired of 'Democrats' saying he and the 'other side' don't have a plan to balance the budget.  Jane then outlines a list of steps from Bortz that would cut half of the $33 million city budget deficit.

I hate to point out the obvious and I don't have any other way to say this but: half a plan is no budget plan at all.   If Joey Votto hit the ball half way to the fence at GABP and wanted to call it a home run, I think everyone, including Bortz, would call that a joke.

Leslie Ghiz said Republicans have a plan, or at least are working on one.  Bortz is not endorsed by the Republicans, but has been voting with that 'side' on budget issues, so whether these are the same issues Ghiz is taking about, then Ghiz has no more of a plan than Bortz. She should keep working on it.  I thought Amy Murray, Charlie Winburn, and Wayne Lippert were spending the August recess working on issues like the budget, no?

The bottom line is a simple number: zero.  The budget deficit has to be zero after cuts are made.  I can't find anyone who thinks that both unfilled budget jobs and current staff working must be eliminated from the 2012 budget to reach the legally mandated zero number. If Chris Bortz or Leslie Ghiz can make those staff cuts without cutting police or the fire department, then that means they are cutting some other departments, heavily, reducing city services. The details on that should be made public an put forth now.  In case anyone forgot, Cincinnati is having an election and voters should know where the candidates stand and what services they would cut to balance the budget if elected (or re-elected).  That kind of knowledge is something that means candidates have to make political choices.  They have to either take on the FOP or be their shill.  It is a crappy choice, but that is the box the FOP and it's supporters have forced the Republicans and Bortz into and I for one am not going to give them a pass on making that choice.