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 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,, 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 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.