Wednesday, November 04, 2015

No On Issue 22 Got More Votes than Cranley For Mayor

The Mayor John Cranley scheme to create a political slush fund went down in defeat last night. To add an additional insult to the Mayor, more people voted against the Mayor's pet issue (34,246), than voted for the Mayor two years ago, (33,428). The voter turnout was higher this year as well. The vote totals for the 2013 race are official, but the No on 22 votes is unofficial and based on not having any provisional votes included, therefore that number should only go up.

Cranley will need to work on getting his GOP vote back for 2017, since he lost that this round.  I think this should remove the last sliver of faux doubt from the Cranley backers claiming he didn't win in 2013 on backs of the GOP voters.

Other than John Cranley, the other big local loser was the Hamilton County Board of Elections. They did not have their act together and that forced a local judge to order the polls stay open an additional 90 minutes.  New technology is never something to not promote to the public.  I had no idea the process changed, and I do honestly pay pretty close attention to such things.  The Local media didn't seem to have that story either.  Our voting process needs a big change.  It won't get that until the state stops being controlled by Republicans bent on voter suppression.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Cranley Gets the Enquirer to Edit Article

Not a big surprise, but Mayor John Cranley was able to get the Enquirer to pull and edit a story that he initially refused to provide a comment. The article makes this admission subtlety:
Cranley, who initially declined comment but reversed course after an unedited version of this story was inadvertenly (sic) posted Sunday to Cincinnati.com, said he had nothing to do with Harris’ exit or the board appointments.
The article was originally published on Saturday and was back up yesterday after his and the City Manager Black's comments and B.S. denials. It was also conveniently  after the Mayor's awkward State of City infomercial (Cranleymerical?). We don't know how the Mayor's office was able to convince Editors at the Enquirer to make this change, but it happened in a very public and embarrassing way.

Cranley is clearly LYING when he told the Enquirer he had "nothing to do with Harris’ exit or the board appointments." We know this because of who was picked for the board. To say that those were the best choices to serve on a the Historic Conservation Board is something that would ONLY be stated by the Mayor or a member of his staff. You don't get that many Cranley donors together in one place via natural selection. Due to his legal training, Cranley likely has no email trail to Black telling him what to do, but how often do the men hold meetings or phone calls? If they do it often, which I am sure they do, why else would they be doing that if it was not a means for Cranley to tell Black what he wants done on every significant issue put before Black.  We have Mayor who is knowingly overstepping his limited power as Mayor and a City Manager who is so fearful of losing his job that he does what ever the Mayor says, even though he's not his boss.  We have dysfunctional leadership at City Hall and a fractured City Council that can't get six members to consistently stand against the Mayor's over-reaching. Mann and Flynn need to step up and stop walking the fence.

Cranley is a politician and knows how to tell a lie that won't get him into legal trouble. The more Cranley acts as Mayor the more lies we get and the worse our city becomes.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

FOP Payoffs? More OT and Electronic Paperwork?

City Manager Black's has put out a loose outline of how he would spend the budget surplus. Surprisingly it has 500K for more police OT and 2 Million so cops can sit in their cruisers and do paperwork on their computers.

His plan has nothing that address's the Mayor's plan to get 10,000 kids out of poverty. So, that effort is off to the expected lack of a start.

Yvette Simpson Column Cleary Demonstrates Cranley's Hollow Plan

Cincinnati Council member Yevette Simpson demonstrated she understands the issues facing the city and shows up Mayor Cranley for his failure to effectively communicate what needs to happen and what is happening in this city. We have a Mayor who lacks credibility, but more importantly lacks any real vision to achieve a goal. He called for bringing 10,000 children in Cincinnati out of poverty in Five years, but his only action to move that forward is to create a meaningless commission to deal with it. Yes, a commission. We all know what that means in political speak: do nothing. To be fair the commission does have a purpose: to make those on it look like they are doing something WITHOUT having to actually do anything to help get children out of poverty.

Let's do some math. So 5 years is 260 weeks. That means Cranley needs to average getting 38.41 kids out of poverty in Cincinnati per week to meet his self imposed goal. While that is a noble idea, it is not something he has shown he has any intention of making happen, let alone proposing any policies that could make it happen. If he has those policies in mind, he might have at least shared some that could actually work and get support from City council. It's not like he can do this all by his lonesome, unless he's planning on using his Issue 22 slush fund to actually funnel money to something other than the parks.  It's not like Issue 22 cold stop that from happening.

To help keep him focused on his goal. I suggest we keep a weekly count. The local media should set up a day, say next Monday, one week after Cranley's speech, and ask him or his staff how many kids his policies have gotten out of poverty. Anything below 38 means he's behind on his goal.

I think we all know this is Bullshit from Cranley and we know this because of the lack of plans to use the Budget surplus (created by the vibrant city we are thanks to efforts of the Eight years prior to Cranley getting into office) to meet the goals. Where is the plan to put that surplus into job programs or other assistance for poor families? Assuming that is really Cranley's goal. In order to get a kid out of poverty, you actually have to get the parents out of poverty too. So I guess that raises the number of 10,000 a bit. So let's say it doubles it (accounting for multi-kid and single parents), so that means 20,000 people need to be out of poverty for Cranley to make his goal. So instead of 38.41 per week, we're now up to 76.92. 77 people per week need to be out of poverty to make the Five year goal. This can be done, but it takes someone with the actual will to make it happen, not just pretending to make it happen.

I wonder how many journalists are willing to question the Mayor on this an actually HOLD HIM ACCOUNTABLE. It won't take much money, it will just take someone sending an email and then publishing the response to the email on a mainstream media outlet. Here's an example email:
Dear Mr. Mayor,


As per you goal to get 10,000 kids out of poverty in five years, which really means getting 20,000 people out of poverty, you would need to average about 77 per week. Please provide me the number of people who got out of poverty over the last seven days and document how your policies achieved that act.


Sincerely,


Cincinnati Reporter
Now I am sure that crack staff at the Mayor's office will have those numbers at their finger tips and this plucky reporter will be able to get the facts reported before the end of the day on Monday. Then that same reporter could repeat this act every day for the next 259 weeks or until the running total exceeds 20,000!


Yes, I jest. Yes, I know the media won't do this. They won't do it because the Mayor's office won't have an answer. The question is how often will the media remind the public what the Mayor pledged to do? Will the Enquirer hold Cranley's feet tot he fire? It is the perfect type of conflict. It is an objective (mostly) race for them to cover. As long as they make Cranley prove his numbers, they can watch the number grow and have a horse race (of sorts) to cover.

That assumes the Enquirer actually covers the coming Mayor's race. They have gotten a bye this year, when we should have a council election, except for the foolish four year term fiasco. Since they have off time, they should start the Cranley poverty Tote-Board. Maybe get the Mayor to put it on Fountain Square. We can all watch the number grow over the next couple years like an extended-acid-induced Labor Day Telethon. Or maybe not.

I would prefer hearing more from Yvette Simpson. She is showing that she has the skills, temperament, and honesty to lead this City. I hope she considers challenging Cranley. We need 20,000 fewer people in poverty, but it will take more people like her in office, the Mayor's office, to make that possible.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Luken and Cranley Appear to Be Chicken

Charlie Luken has bowed out of the debate on October 12th on Issue 22, an amendment to the City Charter giving the Mayor a huge slush fund to help buy votes from a few key neighborhood leaders in hopes of getting elected in 2017. Luken, political mentor and co-destroyer of city finances with John Cranley, was replacing Cranley who refused to debate unless his diva-style debate riders were met. I guess his need for only blue M&Ms and Miller Lite in only cans can be a tough request to fulfill.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Enquirer Demonstrates Bias or Laziness?

In their article this week, discussing who may run for the GOP nomination to fill Boehner's seat, the Enquirer made the choice to outright declare the GOP to be the winners of the special election not even scheduled yet.

It is true that Boehner's district is heavily Republican. It would have been fair opinion journalism to focus on the GOP and state that Dems are unlikely to win. This article is trying to be a straight news story, but failed.  It just skiped over the Democratic party. It was as if they didn't bother to call anyone and picked the least flattering email reference they could find, 'surely' by chance.

It's not like a different Ohio newspaper hundreds of miles away didn't get a hold of Cincinnatian David Pepper, the Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. I wonder if anyone from the Enquirer even tried to call him or the other possible local Dem candidates.

Instead we get a poll that states "Who Will Replace John Boehner?" and below it we read the long list of Republicans. I guess the Enquirer will decide all elections this way? They won't bother to list anyone who they judge has no chance to win, unless they are a Republican, because they need to save time for articles about the sister of soon-to-be former Speaker of the House.

So, biased or just laziness.  I am thinking both.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Truth About the Mayor of Cincinnati

WCPO's Kevin Necessary has a cartoon that sums up a big problem with the Mayor of Cincinnati.

Please note that is no the only problem with the Mayor, just one of many.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Did City Manager Black Just Cost the City a Ton of Money?

Chris Wetterich of the Cincinnati Business Courier has an in-depth article that brings up the Cincinnati City Charter and the section of it that deals with how the City Manager is required to provide the Chief written charges and the right to have a hearing on them prior to being fired. Statements reported, and not yet denied by the City Manager or Mayor, indicate that Chief was just fired and not given a written copy of the chargers and not given the chance to have a hearing prior to being fired.

So a key element to a wrongful termination lawsuit has evidence. When you have a prescribed rule on how to fire someone and you don't follow it, you have a problem.  This is the type of problem that an employment lawyer would cringe upon hearing. When that rule is a city law, well you have mountain of a problem to overcome.

This situation could not have been more poorly handled.  It was an administrative failure.  It was a political failure.  It was a moral failure.  Cranley and Black should be ashamed.

It would be interesting to see how many similar types of documents provided in this case by the City Manager could be produced upon request on any of the prior two police chiefs.  I believe there would be no doubt that Streicher or Craig would have some number of similar complaints.  I doubt those records would be found if requested, however, or someone might create a special power to keep them private.  Some special rule that an elected office might claim doesn't exist, but won't stop invoking.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Marian Spencer Opposes Park Levy

The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that political leader Marian Spencer has removed her support for the Charter Amendment for a Parks levy that is being pushed by Mayor John Cranley.

This presents another good reason this effort should be thoroughly reviewed and not supported without careful consideration of the pitfalls and hidden agendas within this scheme.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Major Donor to Cranley Campaign Gets Appointment to Historic Board

Shree Kulkarni, a local developer and major campaign donor to Mayor John Cranley's 2013 election, has been appointed to the Cincinnati Historical Conservation Board.

In 2013 the Kulkarni family and 4 of his companies contributed $8,300 to Cranley's campaign. The individual limit is $1,100 for both the primary and general election periods. This week he was appointed tot he board by the City Manager Harry Black who takes no action without approval of Mayor John Cranley. Buying your way onto a public board appears to be acceptable to the Mayor. How man other suburban based developers have gotten their money's worth?

As the Business Courier's article points out, Kulkarni's appointment is being questioned by the the OTR Foundation.  Over-the-Rhinre (OTR,) in case you are new, has the most historic buildings for the board to review and is a nationally recognized district of historical buildings.  The OTR Foundation's questions, according to the article, appear to rest on Kulkarni's comments on the recent action of the Conservation Board on the Davis Furniture Building.  As a suburban developer, Kulkarni's belief in conservation of history seems to not extend beyond the best interests of the developers who don't seek to preserve the history and architecture.

We need urbanists to make decisions about urban areas.  We don't need Cranley's strip mall mindset to have more power in our city's government.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Smitherman's Hand Picked Cabal is Sued by National NAACP

The Courthouse News Service is reporting a group calling it self the "Cincinnati Branch" of the NAACP as an "fraud" and unsanctioned group. In Federal court they are seeking an Injunction to shut down the group and $300K in damages.

This group was previously run by Cincinnati City Council member Chris Smiterman who resigned to run for public office. His allies took over the group and refused to allow for an orderly election and allegedly have continued to try and run the organization as if the national organization did not hault the election and freeze out everyone from controlling the local chapter.

A Note for the local media, don't attribute any press released from anyone sued by the NAACP as speaking for the local branch of the NAACP until a new election of leadership is held.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sittenfeld Running for Senate

As much rumored in the last few weeks, Cincinnati City Council Member PG Sittenfeld has announced he is running for U.S. Senate. He'll face a primary challenge next year, but as he's the only known declared candidate, who he'll face is unknown.

This is on the surface a long shot, but Sittenfeld does look before he leaps. All Democrats running against Rob Portman will need the voter turnout to be bolstered by the Presidential race that year in order to win. Sittenfeld has to worry about the primary before that and he could face the challenge of former Governor Ted Strickland, who would be a good candidate against Portman and be the front runner in a primary race.

More from WVXU.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

PG Sittenfeld Is Getting Some National Attention

It is a long held axiom that any attetention is good attention, but for PG Sittenfeld when that attention is positive attention, it it triples the value. The National Journal has given him some of that good attention.

Give a cigar to his PR team.

The next few months wil be where the most the political action will happen when we see who runs for Senate against Portman and who does not. PG wants to run, that much is obvious, but is it wise for home to run now? That is the action that is turning in his head. I don't envy having to make that political judgement, but I'd like to be a fly on the wall when he discusses it with his advisors. 

Strategic planning is the holy grail of political analysis.