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.