That's not a surprise, I know, but still worth a quick grin. He's attacking black people for doing what he thinks is playing the "race card" against Smitherman's ally, Mayor John Cranley a Conservative Democrat. Cranley has his own issues, but on this point, Smitherman is the one walking off the ledge with his gross hypocrisy. Here's the relevant part of the column:
Racism is real," said Smitherman, former head of the local NAACP. "It's not something that anyone should be taking lightly. It's appalling that they would so loosely try to define (Mayor) John Cranley (and Enquirer reporters) as racist. Unacceptable. It diminishes a long history of civil rights work and the fight against institutional racism that continues today."His contradiction is quite simple: Smitherman has played the race card. How do I know? Simple, he used it against me on Twitter for daring to call him out for being a Republican. His implication was that I was questioning him because he is black. So, yes, total bullshit from a bullshiter. Here are some examples from last year:
@cincyblog because I am a free AA man. Do you understand that concept? @DougMoormann @UnityBaptist7 @linleeth @gragstonlaw @1stLadyOfWater— C. Smitherman (@voteSmitherman) September 30, 2016
@cincyblog again this shows your disrespect for African American's and why so many are leaving your candidates. Example Rev Damon Lynch Jr— C. Smitherman (@voteSmitherman) October 3, 2016
Where did his this come from you might ask? It came directly from my efforts to question Smitherman on his political affiliation. It is my contention and the overwhelming evidence supports it that he is a Republican. He publicly will not say he is a Republican and his twitter responses above are part of his reaction to my questioning him because of his public endorsement of Republicans. That however was just the latest.@cincyblog are you going to attack all of these AA leaders today for their Independent right to endorse a republican @robportman @Enquirer— C. Smitherman (@voteSmitherman) October 3, 2016
Smitherman's Republican affiliation has a bizarre origin. It started publicly with Smitherman, as president of the local chapter of the NAACP, joining forces with local right-wing extremist group COAST and their lawyer and sometimes leader Chris Finney. Finney has is a long time anti-city activist who also was the author of the anti-LGBTQ article XII amendment that was passed (later repealed) making it legal in Cincinnati to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. This is odd because Smitherman has generally voted for LGBT rights issues, but none-the-less he joined forces with a known bigot. Smitherman and COAST joined forces to attack the City and efforts to improve the city, specifically Downtown and OTR.
Fast forward to the 2016 primaries. Chris Smitherman had in the past voted in the Democratic primaries for president. In 2016 he switched parties. He voted in the Republican primary. This is publicly available information and is the closest in Ohio to being considered a "registered" Republican. Later on last year he started endorsing candidates for office and the only ones I could find were republicans:
I endorse @JudgePatFischer for OH Supreme Court. For 7 yrs Judge Fischer always made himself avail to Cincy NAACP members. A Good man!— C. Smitherman (@voteSmitherman) October 30, 2016
I endorse Dewine for Ohio Supreme Court. I am an elected independent in Cincinnati and served w Dewine on City Council. @patdewine @700wlw pic.twitter.com/B0BslpvMRt— C. Smitherman (@voteSmitherman) October 11, 2016
Additionally, Smitherman endorsed also-ran Republican Hamilton County commission candidate Andrew Pappas over long time fairly moderate Democrat Todd Portune. You noticed that there were not any Democrats above. He didn't voice support for single Democrat running for County wide office, at least not publicly that I could find.OH is one of the most important States in the election. Early voting starts soon. I endorse @robportman @senrobportman in 2016 sen race.— C. Smitherman (@voteSmitherman) September 30, 2016
To top it off, Smitherman tweeted several things that show his allegiances. On election day last November where did he go? Surprisingly he went to Republican strong-hold Sayler Park:
At Sayler Park at polls w Karen Gillen w heavy turn out. Get out and Vote. Nothing should stop you. @700wlw @55KRC pic.twitter.com/pJxHereHvJ— C. Smitherman (@voteSmitherman) November 8, 2016
Sayler Park was one of the very few parts of Cincinnati to vote in favor of Donald Trump for President. He didn't tweet from any other neighborhoods on election day, so if he went to any, they didn't make the cut for publicity.
I also want to point out his affinity for Dusty Rhodes.
Very good to see my friend @AuditorRhodes at Greater Cincinnati Firefighter Memorial. @gragstonlaw @cincyblog pic.twitter.com/y9RuP0AZsm— C. Smitherman (@voteSmitherman) October 13, 2016
I point this out because I have questioned Dusty's political affiliation more than I have questioned Smitherman's. This is important because Smitherman's basis for his response to my questions on his political affiliation is based on his fabricated belief that it was because of his race. That's the race card I was talking about before. It is the game he is playing to mislead the public.
His re-election strategy relies on votes from black voters in Cincinnati. Being a Republican is not a positive to a large portion of voters in Cincinnati, particularly black voters. He also needs to get the support of Republican voters as well, if he has a chance to get back on council. He only got on council by around 2,500 votes and has not made any new friends that he already didn't have. Thus knowing his party affiliation and allegiances is a valid consideration for a voter.
Another consideration is honesty. He's not being honest when he pretends to be independent. Independents don't pick one party to the exclusion of the other(s.) Smitherman's desire to mislead people shows that his real motivation is for himself. He wants to run for County Commissioner and the only way he can is by being a Republican. He's put himself in such a corner that he will never be able to win. The only type of coalition that would be similar to conservative blacks and far right-wing COAST Republicans would be Trump supporters and that is not a winning team in Hamilton County. He appears willing to create illogical alliances, but even he stayed away from directly endorsing Trump.
As long as Smitherman continues lying about not being a Republican, I will continue to call him out on his dishonesty and hiding his true motivations and allegiances. He can try to fool people, but that doesn't mean the people will be fooled.