Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Brew Professor Ranks the Top 10 Cincinnati Beers in 2013

The number of Cincinnati Breweries is growing and we keep drinking there beer, so someone had better rank the best for 2013. Well The Brew Prof has taken care of that for us. Note the number of breweries include in the list. They are seriously good and there are a TON of them. Yes, tons of breweries right here in the Cincinnati area.  Makes me think of this old Cincinnati toast I read about in the book Images of America: Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine.
“Here’s to Cincinnati, the Queen of the West,
A dirty old city, but nobly blest.
For it’s here that fine arts with the frivolous twine,
A veritable Deutschland just Over the Rhine…
The kindliest greetings from all, whom we meet,
A good draught of beer every ten or twelve feet.”

Friday, December 20, 2013

WIRED: A Triumph for Transit in Cincinnati had an article Friday discussing Cincinnati's Streetcar project and the triumph in keeping the project going.

We Have a Streetcar! (Cue the White Smoke...)

What was a long three weeks of December came to a joyous apogee, compared to how the month started out.  The Cincinnati Streetcar project got the necessary votes to resume construction and all signs point to it being a done deal.

Much thanks need to be given to all of those who got this done:

1. The six on council who voted to resume constructions, with special thanks to council members Seelbach, Simpson, Sittenfeld, and Young.

2. The organizers of Believe in Cincinnati and Cincinnatians for Progress who kept the hopes alive and gave us a plan to make a difference for Cincinnati.

3. All of the volunteers who worked hours to gain signatures for the Charter Amendment, keeping the pressure on council going right up to the vote.

4. Everyone who signed the petition for the Streetcar Charter Amendment.  We showed the powers-that-be that thousands of activists were behind this effort and I truly believe that support was a large reason why we got the two extra votes needed on council.

5. Eric Avner of the Haile Foundation was the knight in shinning armor for the Streetcar. Along with the members of the business community he organized, they got the agreement done and won the day.

If I missed anyone, please let me know!

Walking through OTR last night I don't know if I felt the joy all around me or if it was just in me. I'm going to believe that it was in everyone.  Hope was all we had for a couple of weeks.  When that hope becomes reality, it really feels good. We still have a long way to go here in Cincinnati, but yesterday was a great step forward. We came close to taking a step back, but the voices of the people were heard and We Have a Streetcar!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cranley Wants Cincinnati of the Past (1974)

The Cincinnati Business Courier had a stinging opinion piece online yesterday that exposes the core problem with John Cranley and his approach to the City. Here's the key section:
"His vision of what Cincinnati should be most closely resembles what Cincinnati was."
Canley is trying to emulate the Lukens (Charlie and Tom) in both the style he interacts with others, on all levels, and in what he sees as priorities for the City. It is like he is living in 1974 (the year he was born) and wants to attract the first Walmart to town and is hoping to build more roads to make it easier for suburbanites outside the city to get where they want to go and he's not seen the damage that type of development plan did to the City. I will state that again, DID to the City. That's not something to come, that is the past that happened because of people like Tom Luken, who John is emulating. Focusing on the suburban lifestyle (Strip Malls, Cul-de-Sacs, and cars) is the core of the past that killed Cities in post-WWII America and reached it's zenith in the 70's.  This isn't a new idea for Cranley.  He didn't just pick this up to get elected.  He's been that way, and that is leaving his allies to be mostly Republicans, as they are the only ones still pushing the Suburbanist agenda forward.

It is such a shame that so much of the Progressive Vote (the Future!) stayed home on election day and left 'Past Cincinnati' to sweep in and give Cranley the chance to be another Luken and drive the City back 40 years.

When I think of Cranley I think of a "real square cat, he looks a-1974."  Other than the Big Red Machine, he's reaching into a time when things here were not good. The City Government was squarely against the Urban Core.  If John really wants to emulate the past, I suggest he not pick the 1970's subia and instead look to the example of something else.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dear Todd Portune: Burke Can't Fix a Primary Win For You

It would appear Hamilton County Commissioner and rouge Democrat Todd Portune is reportedly considering a run for Ohio Governor. Someone better explain to him that Ed Fitzgerald isn't going to drop out of the primary race just because Tim Burke asks him to make a deal.

I would have no problem with Todd running, as long as he resigns from Commission and Cranley takes his place at the County. That would be a win for the City. Cranley is about like Portune, so it would just be a better City without Cranley and the Commission would stay the same. Then Portune would lose in the primary and leave politics.

Cranley: 'Mommy, I Wanted a BLUE Pony!'

Last week Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley demanded a pony from Streetcar supporters.  While a childish act, it wasn't the most childish Cranley could have been.  After much hard work, by many people, Cranley was presented with a pony, it's name was SORTA. Then Cranley's childishness reached an all time high when he stamped his feet yesterday at a press conference and declared he wanted a BLUE pony.  Acting like an ungrateful, selfish, and duplicitous child when he gets exactly what he asks for is not the type of leadership the city wants or needs.

The 5-year-old antics just don't cut it in a mayor.  Even Charlie Luken must admit that Cranley needs a time out for the disingenuous offer.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Evidence of the Delusional Disdain Or Just Rank Hypocrisy?

Cincinnati Business Courier reporter Chris Wetterich wrote an eye opening article that outlines the hypocrisy of the likes of Chris Smitherman, John Cranley, Charlie Winburn, Amy Murray, and most of those against the Streetcar.  The MLK interchange (highway project) bond issue got none of challenges put upon the Streetcar.  The MLK interchange operating and maintenance costs won't pay for themself.  It's economic impact study was written by the same group that wrote the impact study for the Streetcar.  Yet, none of the Streetcar Critics questioned anything about adding more roads.

It is like the Cranley Conservative Cabal is delusional.  What else could explain their flip flop on what they demand on transportation projects.  It wouldn't be because this MLK interchange is something that suburbanites are demanding?  The GOP is all about the suburbs and more importantly about the homogeneous mindsets prevalent in a large portion of voters who live in the suburbs. (Like Driving and Free Parking)  I guess getting the short term traffic flow of I-71 Southbound cleared up is an unquestioned truth that must occur no matter the cost to the rest of the City.  I mean, how many cops could Cranley hire with the 20 million dollars of capital costs?  I am sure Cranley is working on the numbers, it's not like he's won't lie again about how capital budget funds can be used for operating expenses, again.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Quimbob: Is John Cranley Even Lying to Himself ?

Quimbob at Blogging Isn't Cool asked the question: Is John Cranley Even Lying to Himself? I think it is clear he is lying to someone.

The question I have is: What is he NOT lying about?

Does Cranley know who leaked the Duke lawsuit memo? Can he honestly answer that question? Or is better to ask Will he? What makes all of this relevant is that he has partially answered that question by publicly denying it was someone on his staff, but no one asked him that.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Speaking of Old Cincinnati: Peter Bronson is Writing Again

I'm not a regular reader of Cincy Magazine, but they appear to have brought in Peter Bronson, former columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer, to write a hatchet job feature on new Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell.  In this article you get basically everything one expects from Peter Bronson, defend the police when they are Republican and/or Elder graduates, but attack them when they are Democrats.

When Bronson wrote for the Enquirer he was a shill for the Cincinnati police union and except when the FOP turned against John Kasich's union busting efforts, Bronson is back carrying their water.  I'd like to know how many of Bronson's sources are or have connections to the local candidates for CPD chief that didn't get the job.  I'm betting all of them.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

What is Behind Willie Carden's Withdrawal From City Manager Job?

I am sure I am not the only person to be wondering exactly what caused Cranley's choice, Willie Carden, to withdraw his nomination for City Manager.  I can theorize, however.

It is obvious that Cranley acted too quickly on that position. He should have vetted out Carden and Council before acting.  Another case of bad judgement from John Cranley.  This won't be his last.

Here is my theory on what happened: Based on reports I've read, Carden would have been required to live within the City, something he currently does not do. As usual, Cranley shrugged this off as no big deal and pretended he could wave his magic wand and make the law go away with his council lackeys. Well, at least Mann and Flynn, and maybe more of Cranley's council block, said no to either changing the residency requirement for City Manager or for creating some type of exception rule for Carden.

If true, I would say score one for City Council.  Showing Cranley he is not a strong mayor is something that will likely need repeating over the next four years. Council has the real power in the city, not the Mayor, and I hope Cranley remembers it, but until he gets burned severely enough, he won't learn.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Old Cincinnati Voted Last Month

It is quite clear who voted last month in the City Election based on age:
People Aged 18 to 43 made up 26.48% of the Electorate
People Aged 44 and up made of 74.52% of the Electorate
Compare that to Registered Voters:
People Aged 18 to 43 made up 52.98% of Registered Voters
People Aged 44 and up made of 47.02% of the Registered Voters
Turnout rates grew by decade backwards to the 1930's with around 58% turnout for those born during the depression. People born in the 1950's, the Baby Boomers, made up 25% of the electorate, even though they make up only about 15% of registered voters.

Irony: Far more people who were alive when Cincinnati was still paying off the Subway voted, than those not born after. Their ignorance is largely responsible for allowing Cranley and his Cabal damage our City. I thought wisdom was supposed to come with age?

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Cranley Fucks-Over the Urban Core

Few are surprised the Republican backed  Mayor John Cranley led the effort to damage the Urban Core by stopping the Streetcar, but that doesn't lessen the blow to the Urban Core.  It is both sad and disappointing to see the level that Cranley continues to see the Streetcar as a threat to his plan to Suburbanize the City. 

The odds that COAST's plan to pave over all of Downtown/OTR North of 2nd Street and create the world's biggest free parking lot for Bengals games has increased. The only question outstanding would then be how much would free parking reduce the number of battered women after Bengal losses. I don't see that as COAST priority.

COAST Honors Cranley

COAST, the Tea Party anti-City fringe group that endorsed John Cralney for Mayor, has nominated Cranley for a Conservative award.

This speaks for itself to those paying attention, but for those not paying attention or maybe the few left in denial about who supported John Cranley is this mayor race let this show them the base that Cranley had to win the election.

What will be most brazen would be Cranley actually appearing to accept the award. That would be a true insult to the City, the Democratic Party, and common decency. Cranley's not demonstrated an ounce of any of those thus far.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Does Anyone Like Todd Portune, Other Than Cranley?

I really can't stand Todd Portune. It must be his life goal to piss off 99.9% of the population of the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

This is the guy Tim Burke made a deal to keep in office. Yet another reason we need a change in the HCDP.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Cranley's Win Based on Strong Republican Turnout

The turnout battle in the 2013 Cincinnati City Elections was won handily by the Republicans. 69.39% of City Republicans came out to vote as opposed to 52.45% of Dems. A pathic 12.26% of non-affiliated voters bothered to come out on election day. These numbers are based on the Hamilton County Voter listing as of 11-29-2013. Here are the totals:

Registered Voters Votes Cast Turnout
Democratic 59,119 31,007 52.45%
Republican 19,235 13,348 69.39%
Non-Affiliated 124,003 15,208 12.26%
Total 202,357 59,563 29.43%

Party ID listed about is based on the historical primary voting and third parties were combined with Parties that are "closer" to it's leanings.  Third party numbers are not significant.

That turnout becomes clearer by comparing his election in 2013, to the Joe Deters vs. Janaya Trotter race in 2012.  Within the City, Trotter trounced Deters 65% to 34%, but of the 52 precincts Deters won in the city, Cranley won 51 of them.  In the one precinct he didn't win, Cranley only lost by 14 votes.

Cranley's win rested on being the "wink candidate" for the GOP, where they gave him as much private support possible, but not much public support to allow Cranley to placate enough of Dems and non-affiliated voters to win.  With enough anger pent up on the Parking Plan, Cranley got his Conservative voting groups to all vote for him and lucked out with more Dems staying home on election day.

It is clear that Cranley should never forget, or delude himself otherwise, that he won with GOP support.  Without it, he would have lost.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Cranley is Delusional on Political Situation

John Cranley appears to think there are only a handful of neighborhoods that count in Cincinnati. WCPO reported the following:
"Streetcar supporters have criticized Cranley for saying Cincinnati is more politically united than ever before.

But the mayor defended his comments. “Look at Bond Hill, look at Mount Washington, look at Price Hill, Mount Lookout, Hyde Park,” Cranley said. “In all the council races I was in, those neighborhoods didn’t agree on who should be mayor. This year, all of those neighborhoods were united together – not only in electing me but in electing a majority of council."
So, four solid Republican neighborhoods and Smitherman/Winburn's core neighborhood constitute Cranley's world of what matters to him, at least politically. Every place else doesn't rate in his mind and are all that matters to his sense of 'unity.'

Cranley needs to know that in Ward Seven, which includes Bond Hill, Flynn and Murry finished 17th and 18th place respectively and Malone and White finished in the top nine.  How is that unified with the rest Republican strongholds he cherished?

Cranley's dug himself a big hole and I fear he will think he's dug himself out, but really will be in a Smithermanesque alternate universe, one where truth isn't important. We don't live in Bizarro Cincinnati, we live in the real Cincinnati. Cranley needs to find the reality based Cincinnati or he will find the job of being Mayor even more difficult than it already is.

Smitherman Misleads Public About Conflict of Interest on Streetcar

Chris Smitherman has an ethics issue and is not being honest about it. The Cincinnati Business Courier has reported that Smitherman's brother owns a company that has a contract to build part of the Streetcar project. Smitherman is claiming, without proof, that he's only known about this for a week and that his brother no longer has a contract.  That connection is an ethics issue that Ohio Ethics Commission should investigate.

Smitherman provided no proof the contract has been nullified or rescinded. That's part one of the deception.

Part two is that Smitherman was not being truthful when he stated he knew nothing of his brother's contract prior to a week ago. Well, that is not true, and this 2009 NAACP press release provides evidence that he did know his brother was working on the Streetcar project.
The Cincinnati NAACP has been briefed that Jostin Concrete has joined the Mayor's streetcar team. The owner of Jostin Concrete is the brother of Cincinnati NAACP President, Christopher Smitherman. Citizens will have the opportunity to witness the integrity and commitment of President Smitherman, the Cincinnati NAACP leadership and membership. Jostin Concrete may have a great opportunity, however, building a "choo-choo" train is the wrong public policy direction for the masses of Cincinnatians. Smitherman says, "I deeply respect the independence of my brother's company. I am confident that the issue will be rejected in November."
So, this is the new chairman of the Law and Public Safety Committee lying to citizens of Cincinnati? If he is making false statements about this, how can anyone trust anything he is saying? He should not vote on the Streetcar until he obtains a favorable opinion from the Ohio Ethics Commission and Smitherman must provide proof of all of his claims.

We don't need liars on City Council.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Why Tim Burke Must Go

When asked by the Enquirer about Cranley's snubbing of two Democratic members of council Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman Tim Burke had the following to say:
'“I’m sorry that that happened, and beyond that I’m not going to say any more,” said Tim Burke, chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party.'
Once again Cranley is damaging the Democratic Party and Tim Burke sits by and lets him do it. Burke needs to be removed as Chairman of the HCDP. The 2013 Republican victory is the latest blunder that has happened under Burke's rein. That win came about in part from the following occurrences:

  1. Burke allowing Cranley to run as the de facto GOP candidate with no penalty.
  2. Since Cranley was running as the GOP candidate, Burke failing to push for a Qualls endorsement.
  3. Burke allowing the Dems to endorse 10 for council.
  4. Burke failing to get turnout remotely close to 2011.

The man is running the local party like it is 1988 and Hamilton County has not turned Blue. If the local Dems would start building up candidates insteading of relying on legacies, the party might grow to the dominate force its numbers suggest it should be in the City and the County.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Cranley Shows Republican Stripes in Committee Chair Appointments

I would love to hear how alleged Democrat John Cranley and his supporters are spinning Cranley's major insult to local Democrats with only four of nine committee chairs going to Dems and a total shut out of the most important Finance and Public Safety chairs. Those two chairs went to a Republican and a Tea Party crazy person. Yes, Charlie Winburn will run the Finance Committee and a guy who accused another former Council Member of being  CIA plant will oversee the Public Safety Committee.

No, we are not living in a Bizzaro world, but it really feels like it.

I hope Tim Burke took note, but I don't suppose he cares much. Instead, I really hope Democratic party activists take notice. Cranley is out to screw over the Dems and candidates they might seek to run for other offices.

His petty attack earlier this week on PG Sittenfeld played right into the long term hands of the GOP. It was as if he was paying back obligations to the GOP. It was just like that, as a matter of fact, so I wonder what he got from them.... If you have to wonder about that, you haven't been paying attention.

Friday, November 22, 2013

WVXU Changes: Cincinnati Edition Moves to 1PM; Here & Now 2-4

'The Story', the current 1 PM show on WVXU is ceasing production, so WVXU has announced that 'Cincinnati Edition' will move to 1 PM and the program 'Here & Now' will be added at 2 to 4 PM starting December 2. The Takeaway appears to be off the line up. During Thanksgiving week, multiple specials will air from 1 to 4, with 'Science Friday' airing as usual on Black Friday.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Blogging Isn't Cool Sums Up 'The Cincinnati Streetcar Controversy'

Quimbob over at Blogging Isn't Cool pretty much sums up the core of the streetcar 'controversy' with this quote:
"Killing the streetcar isn't about economics or the future of the city - it's about local power and ego."
Is Cranley's ego worth 80 Million Dollars?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Repulbican Efforts to Suppress the Vote Continue

Not sure who Greg Hartmann (R) thinks he is fooling but his idea to move the Hamilton County Board of Elections from Downtown to Mt. Airy is little more than an attempt to suppress the vote of non-Republicans by making it more difficult to vote. Bus routes to the West Side are not plentiful.

Additionally, by putting part of County Government in a remote part of the County it makes it far more difficult for people to have access. Government should be located where travel is most convenient for everyone, not just a few. Downtown is that place.

Where will they hold training for poll workers? How do they expect poll workers get to Mt. Airy if they live in Avondale?

Plus, if the BOE is keeping a location downtown, why have a second location? If they need more space, find something else in Downtown. There are plenty of options.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Good Advice from Don Mooney: Get Over It, Then Get Ready

UrbanCincy had a very good guest editorial yesterday Get Over It, Then Get Ready from Don Mooney. This is good advice not just on the Streetcar issue, but more importantly on the anti-city movement that has plagued Cincinnati since the onslaught of the last major urban flight in the 1960-1970's.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Will Someone Get Cranley and Kincaid a Copy of the City Charter?

When I read this blog post it gave me a really distinct impression: either Cranley is more ignorant than I think he is, or he's hired a staffer who is far more ignorant than he should be at this point. This gem is the example:
Jay Kincaid, Cranley’s campaign chief who’s moving to City Hall with him, said Monday they’d have to look into whether they technically needed a vote or if Cranley could just halt the work himself.
In case Kincaid hasn't already, I suggest he read Section III of the City Charter.  The Mayor doesn't have the authority to overturn an enacted ordinance.

In other words, he really doesn't have a much power as people think he does.

The Power is vested in the City Council and to a lesser degree the City Manager.  The Mayor can't really do a whole hell of a lot without Council.  His power is more in blocking Council actions via the veto or controlling what they can vote on.

Kincaid might brush up on his reading pretty quickly.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

More Enquirer Anti-Streetcar Bias

I think the latest example of biased journalism from the Cincinnati Enquirer stems less about the paper's negative reporting on the Streetcar project overall and more about the Enquirer's bias toward its readers who it believes are mostly conservative and anti-streetcar.

Yep, that's a case of giving readers the news they want to hear, not giving them the news that is.

When journalism becomes no different than product development, then it should be treated as no different than selling an SUV or soap.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Great Play, Petunia and Chicken, at the Know Sunday and Monday

"Petunia and Chicken" trailer from Animal Engine on Vimeo.

Republicans Won the Election With Their Boy Cranley

The Republicans in the form of their various factions (COAST, Tea Party, Smithermanites) truly had a huge victory Tuesday night mostly thanks to John Cranley, their candidate for Mayor.  Here's how Cranley won.

  1. Cranley got a shit ton of GOP Money.  Once the final filings for this race are filed, we'll get exact numbers, but one estimate put around 80% of his funding being from GOP or conservative sources.
  2. The anti-Downtown campaign got the GOP voters out in full force.
  3. Cranley got the vast majority of the GOP Vote.
  4. Cranley successfully split the Democratic Party, to the cheers of the GOP.
  5. Most importantly, the Democratic vote stayed home.  That I blame on the Democratic Party and Tim Burke.  It was like he wanted Cranley to win...
So all in all, Cranley selling his soul to the Republican successfully got him to be the next Mayor.  Now, how will he govern?  I will predict he will accomplish nothing, because he has plans to do nothing.  He will talk a big talk about the Pension Plan, but he can't do anything but kick the can down the road, something he did before to the city budget, which is one the of the big reason we have and underfunded pension plan in the first place.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Advice for P.G. Sittenfeld from a Cincinnati Democrat

Here is a guest post with some advice for Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld from a Cincinnati Democrat:

Please PG don’t hurt em 
PG Sittenfeld will likely be the swing vote in the next council; he will also have his eyes on an office that requires Republican votes. 
For the sake of the Democrats who sent him to council, he should resist the urge to form a governing coalition with the Republicans. That would mean he had been playing Democrats for the suckers we so frequently are.
The new council breakdown is:
  • 4 GOP (Winburn, Murray, Flynn, Smitherman) whose platform was basically the same
  • a mayor who ran on a platform identical to the GOP candidates
  • 3 allied Dems (Young, Seelbach, Simpson)
  • 1 new Dem who ran against the 3 allies
  • 1 incumbent Dem who has voted against the 3 allies
The natural governing coalition, then, is 4 GOP + Mann or 4 GOP + PG. (Let’s note that, in an electorate that went 77% for Obama, this is a totally unacceptable outcome which basically means the Democratic Party failed.) 
Also noteworthy is that PG is the strongest Democratic candidate for either Chabot’s seat or county commission.
It would be really great for PG’s career if he provided the decisive vote on killing the streetcar, raising the city’s retirement age, killing the city Planning Department, and cutting the city’s earning tax.
I’m asking him nicely to not do those things.
Instead, he can form a Democratic governing coalition (which is the whole point of political parties) with our Democratic mayor and do things that are broadly supported by most Democrats.
If this doesn't happen--if Cranley and PG side with the GOP caucus as Cranley has indicated he will do on the four items above--then PG will be part of a Republican governing coalition for the first time in decades.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Did a Tea Party/Cranley Supporter Impersonate a Qualls Campaign Staffer?

I have received a very credible report that a Tea Partier/Republican/Cranley supporter in a Mercedes Benz attempted to get a campaign volunteer at least at one precinct to destroy campaign literature that supported Qualls.  The witness stated that this white male driving the Benz was wearing what appeared to be a doctored sticker or badge reading Roaxnne Qualls.  The witness stated it appeared doctored because it did not have the known campaign logos and graphics, just the name in what appeared to be a home made tag.  The impersonator attempted to give a  "goodie bag" to the worker in a brown paper bag.  This fact is curious because the Qualls campaign was not reportedly using brown paper bags to provide refreshments to volunteers at the polls.

Another report indicated that Tea Party volunteers, at least at one location, did get a "goodie bag" in brown paper bags.

Hopefully, no one gave over or destroyed any campaign literature.  This type of thing is not new to politics, but it is sad when ever it happens.

If you saw a man similar to the one mentioned and can provide any additional information, please email me at  I'll keep your name out of it.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Cranley's Bad Judgement Showcased Thanks to Smitherman

I posted on this earlier, but I've got additional photographic evidence of John Cranley posting on his Facebook page a link to the Chris Smitherman rambling attack against Democratic candidates for City Council. This was taken down by Cranley, but it was up there long enough for ten Cranley supporters to like it. Likely either they were all Republicans/Tea Partiers or just didn't listen to it.

Young Dems Can Count

The Young Dems are getting some flack from at least one person running for council, but you can't knock their ability to count to Nine:
Ten minus two plus one equals Nine.

A Public Demonstration that Smitherman is Crazy

Yes, most people know that Chris Smitherman has a screw loose. If you don't know, then have a look at this over 13 minute long rambling video that Smitherman made himself. He has no support to back up any of the wild and outlandish claims he makes, but damn it sure makes a good (yet boring) Crazy Guy video.

Smitherman is a big supporter of John Cranley and it has been reported that Cranley has stated that Smitherman would be a "big part" of the Cranley administration if he won the Mayor's race.

Oh, by the way, Smitherman is a sitting member of council and is running again. He makes these types of videos often. Who supports him? What type of person believes the crap he is saying? Ignorance is not much of an excuse, but I guess that's the type of voter Smitherman preys upon.

Side note: John Cranley had a link to this video on his Facebook page today. It is no longer there. I guess Cranley's knee-jerk judgement is to believe and trust what Smitherman says on the surface, but when people pointed out the lies Smitherman was saying about Democrats running for Council, someone in the Cranley camp took it down. More bad Cranley Judgement, just like John Elkington.

UPDATE: Evidence of Cranley posting this video to social media is here from Greg Harris.

Election Night Parties

As is traditional here at Cincinnati Blog, we aim to unify the voters. The need to drink after an election is universal, so I will again do my best to promote where the candidates are headed on election night. Please pass on any additional locations or corrections.

Chris Seelback - Milton's OTR/Liberty Hill
Wendell Young - Mahogany's Downtown/Banks
Roxanne Qualls - Mahogany's Downtown/BanksY
Yvette Simpson - Mixx OTR
Michelle Dillingham - Park + Vine OTR
Laure Quinlivan - Kaze OTR
Mike Moroski - Rhinehaus OTR
Charter Committee - Arnold's Downtown
Kevin Johnson - Sonny's All Blues Cafe & Lounge North Avondale

Charlie Winburn - Winburn Campaign HQ College Hill
Republican "Leadership" - Montgomery Inn Boathouse Downtown

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cranley Prefers Big-Box Development

Many people have forgotten, but John Cranley was a big supporter of putting the Big-Box retail into Oakley 10 years ago. The residents of Oakley very opposed to putting a big box style strip-mall in their neighborhood.   John Cranley's answer to their concerns of suburban creep in their neighborhood and the waste of land for a bland and dysfunctional development:
"Beggars can't be choosers."
Yeah, Mr. Neighborhood is all about doing what he thinks is best (or what benefits him), not what the neighborhood thinks is best.

Council Race - One Week Out

This year's Council Race has many unknown variables to it. Turnout will drive who wins and who loses as much as how well a particular candidate has run their campaign. Conventional wisdom says that 2011 was an outlier year, where Dems won big.  This year when the GOP could have picked up seats, they only endorsed two credible candidates.  The battle will be along the varied voting fault lines in the city.  How deep will Republican voters go, will they vote a short ticket of five or six?  Will the conservative African-American vote rally around Charlie Winburn and Chris Smitherman and build a bridge to the GOP or with other more liberal/moderate African-American voters?  Will  African-American voters in general stay home?  Will the moderate GOP/Dems support the Charter backed group pushed by the Enquirer or will they splinter?

The biggest question this year will be how much will the Streecar & Parking issues out weigh traditional party based voting? Secondarily: will the average number of votes per ballot drop this year below six?

Here are my gut feelings on who stands the best chance of winning next Tuesday.  This breakdown is based on my review of the candidates: strengths, weaknesses, and performance thus far. In 2011 I was way off.  This year I generally followed similar logic as used two years ago and gave much deference to incumbancy, which threw off my predictions back then.  If things turn out differently, there is not much out there to predict the results.  The turnout question likely could affect this most, with low turnout favoring the both the incumbents and the Republicans.

P.G. Sittenfeld

Strong Position:
Greg Landsman
Laure Quinlivan
Chris Seelbach
Yvette Simpson
Charlie Winburn
Wendell Young

In the Mix:
Michelle Dillingham
Kevin Flynn
David Mann
Amy Murray
Christopher Smitherman
Pam Thomas

Outside Shot:
Shawn Butler
Kevin Johnson
Sam Malone
Mike Moroski
Melissa Wegman
Vanessa White

Also Rans:
Angela Beamon
Timothy Dornbusch

My take is that there is only one candidate who will breeze into a victory and that is Sittenfeld.  There are 12 others with varied levels of significant possibility.  Who makes it from that group is up to the campaigns, the voters, and the weather.  The rest of the candidates have large hurdles to over come to win.  Several of the them are first time candidates who normally would be paying their dues this year as a set up for another run in two years.  With the unwise change in the length council terms, we are losing out on our ability to create new candidates.  I hope those candidates can hold on and run again in four years with more experience and resources.

Cranley Company Delinquent on 75K Loan From Non-Profit

Mr. Cranley seems to have forgotten to mention that his company is over two years delinguent on a 75,000 loan from a non-profit made as part of the Incline District development. The loan was originally due to be paid off in 2011.

It appears that Cranley has made arrangements to get the loan paid off, but Mr. Transparency isn't disclosing what those terms are. He could have agreed to pay the loan off in 10 years or only when he gets elected. We just don't know since he will not release the detailed agreement to the media.

So, how can we trust Cranley to pay the bills for the City and balance a budget legally, if he and his company can't be trusted to pay back the money he got from a non-profit organization? Cranley helped get the City in the current budget problems we are in. He failed to fully fund his increase in police 10 years ago and he failed to do anything but starve the Pension fund. He thinks everyone will forget his past record of magic tricks to balance the budget, and punt the bill down the road. Those paying attention remember and won't let the rest forget.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Proof John Cranley Lied, AGAIN

I really don't know why John Cranley lies so often.  I also really don't know why he or someone on his campaign staff decided to produce the following false statement on a Cranley mailer that I happened to get in the mail today:
For those of you who might have problem reading what is shown in in the photo, here is the text:
"I have been, and I always will be, against the streetcar and privatizing our parking meters and garages." - John Cranley
Since this is in quotation marks, I am taking this as a direct quote from John Cranley and therefore why it can so clearly be declared a full on Lie.

There are no dances around this.  There are no dodges.  There is no doublespeak that can untie the clear lie John Cranley and his campaign have disseminated to the people of Cincinnati.

Sure, Cranley will likely blame this on his campaign staff, but he can't claim it is not dishonest, if he didn't say what is quoted.  So either John Lied, or someone on his staff lied.  Let's face facts, if Cranley hired a liar, then that provides yet another example of his bad judgement of character.  I would bet that this is instead something he's said often on the campaign trail.  If you've heard this from his or one of his supports lips, please chime in on comments below.

Oh, might want to know how I know this a lie?  Well of all days to get this in the mail Cranley chose to send this to me on the day I WROTE A STORY ABOUT WHEN CRANLEY VOTED IN FAVOR OF THE STREETCAR.  If I were Alanis Morissete, I might find this ironic.

Cranley Supported Streetcar Before He Became the Tea Party Candidate

While a member of Cincinnati City Council and Partner in the City Lights Development company, John Cranley found time to sponsor a motion, along with his right hand woman Laketa Cole, to support building the Streetcar.  He later voted in favor of said motion.

I hope you aren't shocked, but he did and then he flip-flopped.

Yes, this is the same John Cranley out bad mouthing the progress Cincinnati is making.  He changed his tune on the Streetcar the second he decided to run for Mayor of Cincinnati.  He changed his position because he knew then, as he knows now, that the only way he can win is if he gets ALL of the GOP support.  The GOP is dead set against development in OTR and the Urban Core of the City, so John's got to dump progress in favor of a chance to win. The GOP and the Tea Party are deadset against urban development in general, they see Suburban/Exurban expansion as the only future.  Anyone with any foresight can see that model as the past and the cause of many of our current economic and environmental problems.  America and Cincinnati in particular, would have continued to grow as a metro-area in a far greater manner if we had not fell into the trance of the suburban sprawl barons over the last 50+ years.

Cranley's attacks on the streecar have rested mostly on the operating budget.  He doesn't think we can afford the approximately three million dollar a year price tag.  Where was his concern for that five years ago? At that point, he was more concerned about how we spent TIF money.  I wonder why??? Is it possible that he didn't want TIF money used for public projects over private development deals? He couldn't stand for that precedent, could he?  If Cranley had a concern about the operating cost he should have voted against the plan back then, but he didn't.  He will say what ever it takes to get elected, no matter who how many times he lies or flip-flops on an issue.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cranley Attempts to Smear Opponent, Ends Up Getting Burned

John Cranley will say anything to get elected. This has been demonstrated by the number of lies he says about the value of the Streetcar and by the many times he promises to use the money for the Streetcar for someone's neighborhood, whiling knowing damn well he can't do that, legally.

This time Cranley and his minions decided to undertake a coordinated effort (COAST and Mary KKKuhl were on board too) to smear Qualls. Well after a press conference and an email exchange with the Ethics board Cranleys was proven wrong.

What is so troubling about this latest instance is the Cranley should have known better. He should have know that the actions Qualls was taking were fully within the ethics rules. He knows what idea that the articled quoted:
“It would be unreasonable to hold that lawyers, accountants, insurance agents, and other professionals have an interest in the contracts of their business clients.
John knows this. He was a lawyer while working on council. He has not come forth with any documents saying that the business deals he worked on as a lawyer were clear of ethics violations.  Additionally, the information on the property sales, are public documents.  His claim of her hiding these actions is preposterous.  He's the one who keeps his business dealings in private, hidden from the public.

More to the point, he only came forward with one document, after sitting on it for months, that covered the company for which he as an owner and that he was working on getting funding from a TIF entity that he help create and voted to enact, all of this while being a sitting member of City Council.  Instead of being investigated, he appear to think it over, waited nearly six months and then resigned.  No one ever fully and officially reviewed his actions in office and John never came forward to demonstrate that none of his prior actions violated the ethics rules.

As long as John wants to champion transparency, why doesn't he submit to questions from an enterprising journalist and answer about his past.  Here are few questions that could be asked: Did John ever vote on zoning in any area of East Price Hill?  Did John vote to recognize the Incline District or did he leave that to his associate, former Council member Cole?  When did John begin conversations about joining the company he later resigned from Council over, was it before or after he introduced the motion to establish a TIF entity for East Price Hill? How much money did John have to invest in the company in order to become an owner?  How much money has John's business partners donated to his political campaign?

John has gall, I give him that, but he's a dishonest and hypocritical politician.  That's often assumed in politicians, but in John's case he is acting out that dishonesty.  It is a small victory that he is being called on the carpet for it.  The problem is that he and his surrogates won't back down.  I expect to hear these same claims repeated over and over again, likely via word of mouth on social media.  Each time they are repeated, they are clear lies, especially when they come from Cranley's supporters who are current and former elected officials. They know better, but will backing up John's say anything to get elected mantra.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

ICYMI: COAST and the Tea Party Lose Again

In case you missed it, COAST and the local Tea Party lost in their effort to try and deny a Streetcar supporter his right to vote.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chabot and Wenstrup Vote for Default and Financial Ruin

If you have any question on the lack of leadership and the lack of sanity of the members of the U. S. House of Representatives covering Cincinnati, you need to know little more than a report that both Steve Chabot (R-OH1) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH2) voted to allow the Federal Government to Default on the Debt. That default would have sent this country into financial ruin the likes we have never seen.

Additionally, for all you and I can say about John Boehner, you can't say he is as extreme as Chabot or Wenstrup. Boehner voted to raise the debt limit.

Cincinnati needs some candidates who can blunt the social conservatives and run for the House in the 1st and 2nd. Why doesn't John Cranley test his Republican support and run for Congress again? He has to have the GOP votes to win the Mayorship, so if he keeps on trying to be a Republican for Republicans and at the same time pretending to be a Dem for Democrats, he might get elected to the House.  For Cincinnatians this would be a win, since he wouldn't be any worse than the fools we have in office now, and he could leave the Mayoral race and support a candidate for Mayor who will move the City forward, like Roxanne Qualls, not backward into a Tom Luken 1970's stupor.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cranley Still Being Deceptive About Smitherrman as Vice-Mayor

Don't Trust John Cranley. That should be obvious by now, but you can add to it when you read the Business Courier article reporting that Cranley says he’ll appoint a Democrat to be Vice-Mayor. The article is taking Cranley much farther than his comment warrants. Read this part:
Asked if that meant a Democrat would be appointed his vice mayor, Cranley said, “Yes, I intend to.”
Clear intentions are not commitments. Cranley can intend to feed the poor with cheese from the Moon, but face facts, that's not going to happen. He has no plan for Vice-Mayor and more importantly has not been supporting most (if any) Democratic Council Candidates, something that would help indicate who he might appoint. He has no connections with anyone but Republicans, so this comment by Cranley is pure political deception. Cranley (if elected) would be able to deny he "lied" when he appointed a Republican as Vice-Mayor because he "intended" to appoint a Dem, but none elected agree with him.

The other way this is bullshit is simple: Chris Smitherman is a registered Democrat.  So he still could claim he wasn't lying.

Cranley's statement of intentions doesn't change anything. He can pretend to be a Democrat as a way to gain votes, but when collects money from the GOP his base of support is clear.

Furthermore, Cranley isn't denying the rumor about Smitherman.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cranley Continues His Deception, His Support Relies on the GOP, COAST

John Cranley can deny being a dues paying member of COAST until he turns purble, but his entire campaign is based on getting the support of COAST, the GOP, and the Smitherman vote. He gets what clearly is coordinated support from COAST via its Twitter feed, website and newsletter in the form of attacks on Cranley's opponent, nearly every day  This type of support is what Cranley wants and needs to win. He has to rely on the GOP and COAST to win and he can never deny that and be believed.

When I say rely upon, I mean that's 80 to 99 % of who he must have vote for him to win.

Cranley is trying to deceive Dems and Moderates into thinking that he is not doing the bidding of the GOP and COAST. He's trying to forget the amount of campaign money he is getting (and has historically gotten) from Republicans. He is trying to use the same type of deception that Chris Smitherman uses within part of the African American community, when Smitherman just out right lies about what his support from COAST means.

Cranley is a charlatan. He promises magic to everyone, but really he is only in this for himself and the few who help him. Just look how much his business partners give to his campaign to know the people John values.

The most interesting thing about the COAST Endorsement going public is that it scared Cranley into publicly trying to claim he doesn't want it. He is not even bothering to claim it wasn't an endorsement. He knows it was, but is pissed they made it public. He desperately needs to keep his reliance on the GOP and COAST the worst kept secret. Spread the word, believers! Cranley's is the COAST candidate! Say it loud and without hesitation.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

COAST Endorsed John Cranley For Mayor, No Question Mark Needed

The biggest game John Cranley and COAST have been playing during the campaign is akin to a couple of people who work together and are having an affair. They have great praise for each other and do everything they can to help each other, but if asked, NO, they are not dating! Well, yesterday COAST came as close as anyone needs to hear to know that they are datingendorsed John Cranley For Mayor.

The worst kept secret of this Mayoral campaign is that John Cranley is the candidate of the Republicans and the Tea Party. Cranley has a long tradition of getting backing from Republicans and he is the 'wink candidate' for the Right Wing. The Hamilton County GOP knows that the Republican endorsement will hurt with the Smitherman vote, the third and unpredictable leg of Cranley's trilateral hope to win. So they wink at him, letting the Republicans in the City know who to vote for, but avoiding giving the media the means even an editor can't deny to label Cranley the Republican candidate and thus hurting his chances to get elected.

John Cranley's hopes for winning are based on deception, ignorance and Republican money. That's the kind of character who creates a public revenue source and then joins a private company to take advantage of that public money to finance a private development. Yeah, we call that a shady character.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Farwell to Each Note Secure

Local music blog Each Note Secure is calling it quits after ten years. I say thanks to all of the writers, but give a big shout out to Joe Long. Thanks to you Joe for adding much to Cincinnati's music and blog scene. I hope you continue to contribute to both in some capacity in the future.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Is the Cincinnati Beacon Finally Dead?

If you head to the Cincinnati Beacon website ( one finds nothing of the old website and instead a graphic for IIS7 (an "internet information services" entity) shows up.  I guess the Beacon is finally dead.

Political blogging is not an easy thing, no matter how many may think what I do is easy (or just drivel.) This blog has been rather un-prolific as of late.  I'm never going to return to daily blogging, but I plan on keeping this 11 going on 12 year endeavor going.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Did the FOP Endorsement of Sam Malone Stem From Familiarity?

I was thinking why in the world would Sam Malone get an endorsement for City Council from the FOP? Could they have been confused as to why they recognized him?
His arrest record for child abuse wouldn't have anything to do with it?

If you are wondering what I am talking about and don't remember things that happened 8 years ago, here's my blog post on Malone's arrest for beating his son with a belt.  I'm wondering how many FOP members actually knew this.  If they did and don't care, then I wonder how many of them also beat their kids with belts.  Then I wonder why people are not more concerned with Cincinnati Police brutality more often.

Also, No, Republicans, I don't care that Malone was 'acquitted.'  He admitted to beating his son with a belt, so what ever technicality exists, if Malone did this to anyone other than his son, and didn't appear in front of a Republican Judge, he would have been found guilty of assault.

The fact that the police union endorsed him is an insult to victims of crime everywhere.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Burn From the Business Courier

Just in case you missed it, Quimbob has the editorial cartoon from the Business Courier that slams Cranley.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Enquirer Twitter 'Coverage' of Primary Night Reminded Me of People Magazine

I am really not sure if I can really say People Magazine or just use US Weekly or TMZ, but it was rather disappointing at times.
I didn't now TV shows and 'Party Chatter' were things to point out from a journalistic perspective, but if your target audience is an uninformed suburban housewife, then maybe it relevant.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Polls are Closed on the Mayoral Primary; Who's going to win?

More importantly, what is the over-under spread for how long it takes the Hamilton County BOE to tabulate a single race?  Do we think we'll get the final results by 11:00 PM?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

If You Can't Run a Meeting, How Could You Possibly Run a City?

That is a question everyone should be asking mayoral candidate John Cranley after watching this video below from 2001 when he was a member of Cincinnati City Council and was the Chairman of the Law and Public Safety Committee.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Annexation: Is it in Cincinnati's Future?

UrbanCincy has an interesting editorial calling on the City of Cincinnati to consider annexing many of the separate communities that are either immediately adjacent to the City or completely surrounded by the city. The idea would add over 77,000 people to the City and provide the opportunity to consolidate expenses for all of those communities. Furthermore the plan would give those communities much better protection from financial ruin brought about by State budget cuts forced on local governments by the current Governor.

This plan is a big variance from other plans that call for a full City/County merger, which would be an action that would have likely an insurmountable number of obstacles preventing it from succeeding.

I don't know what the initial cost outlay that would be on the City's shoulders for the smaller scale annexation plan, but if the numbers are reasonable, I think the long term gains would be worth it, even if only a portion of the communities agree to annexation.

A big problem to this getting any traction now is that we are in an election year, so discussion of this idea would either be dismissed outright or become a political weapon to beat on without serious consideration. I mean the amount of political contributions Cranley would get from the Westside areas under consideration for annexation would be huge. Cheviot, Cleves, North Bend and Addyston are filled with people who don't like the City and far too many living in those communities don't like the race of nearly half of the people who live in the City.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Cranley Lied at Forum (Gambling! I'm Shocked!)

I am sure it is not a surprise to anyone that Mayoral Candidate John Cranley lied at yesterday's candidate forum, but just in case here's the Enquirer account of his lie:
"Streetcar: Cranley would kill it, says money could be spent on neighborhoods;"
Here is the Business Courier's version of the Cranley lie:
Money for the streetcar is being siphoned away from neighborhoods, Cranley said.
As Cranley knows, the funds beings used for building the Streetcar can't just be spent any pet project he wants. He also knows that the funds to build the streetcar come from grants outside the city budget. This is a whopper of we call Pandering. This one is worse, because it is a lie and John knows it. I guess lying to the public is something he finds normal for a politician.

Reason #341 Cranley is not a good candidate for Mayor.

In other news in the article, there is apparently a fourth candidate for Mayor, Stacy Smith? Based on the article, she didn't come across as credible. That and she reportedly is a Republican. Few thing are more entertaining together in the world of politics.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cranley Tweets Just a Like a Republican

In a review of John Cranley's 170+ campaign tweets thus far the following breakdown of topics is very enlightening.

21 retweets of Republican politicians, all of them ideological
8 retweets of Democratic politicians, of which 2 are ideological
70 tweets that are critical of Mayor Mallory
16 tweets that announce campaign events
2 tweets that express Democratic ideology
2 stubs
29 retweets of negative news stories (about city Democratic leadership)
15 retweets of neutral news stories
1 retweet of positive news stories
4 retweets of his campaign manager
2 retweets of constituents criticizing Mayor Mallory

And two, on March 10th, "I am proud to be a Democrat and that is why I filed as a Democrat for Mayor".

So, other than the two on March 10th, Greg Hartmann or Brad Wenstrup could have tweeted all of these. Yes, in case you don't know, Hartmann and Wenstrup are Republicans.

I don't know if the person who came up with term DINO (Democrat In Name Only) had some type of vision of the future where John Cranley would be running for Mayor of Cincinnati and claiming to be a Democrat, but a case could be made for that.

Maybe Cranley hired a Republican to run his Twitter feed.  I can't rule that out, but I would hope Cranley is running the feed himself.  I'd hate for him to have sold out more than he already has.  I doubt it, however.

Voters need truth. We don't need Cranley (or Tea Party member Dusty Rhodes) pretending to be Dems when they do nothing, and I mean nothing, but carry on a Republican written and orchestrated campaign for Mayor.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Let the State Fund 100% of MLK Interchange

This has to be a no-brainer. If the Enquirer's information is correct then the State of Ohio will fund the MLK I-71 Interchange project no matter if the City of Cincinnati contributes to the project or not. Here's what the article says:
"State transportation director Jerry Wray told The Enquirer last month the state is moving forward with the project regardless of whether the city comes up with funding. ODOT officials have told local leaders that the state is searching for alternative funding in case the city doesn’t come through."
This should reset all of the discussions on the City Budget from here on out. The City should not fund any of the MLK Interchange if the State is going to do so no matter what the City does. The State of Ohio, under the anti-city crusade from Governor John Kasich, has drastically cut State funds provided to all Cities in Ohio. If the cuts come to people one place, then the benefits should come someplace else. State funding for Interstate Highways is the least Kaisch and the rest of the GOP can do for their anti-city funding cuts.

I expect to hear Cranley, Smitherman, and Winburn saying the SAME THING I am saying.  If the City doesn't need to fund something, we shouldn't do it.  We can spend the money on something else, or if there are restrictions, we can bank the money and use it at a later date.

Hell, if someone wants to be Machiavellian, then there would be ways of sticking it to certain local anti-city politicos, while still doing 'right' for the City.

Here's my stick-it-to-them Plan: If the parking plan goes through the first thing I would do is take part of the money slated for MLK Interchange and announce road improvements in the "neighborhoods" Cranley wants to help.  Those neighborhoods would be those with lots of Republican voters.

The second thing I would do would be to do upgrades to the roads all through Bond Hill and Roselawn and be sure Mayor Mallory, the locations of Smitherman and Winburn's voting base.

The third thing would be for Mayor Mallory standing at each road making the announcements for the new projects and reminding people who voted for the funding of these projects (the Parking Plan) and who voted against it.

That would be my idea of hardball politics.

Instead, to be more equitable we could hold hearings first to educate people, like John Cranley, on the ways the restricted money could legally be used, and then we could hear ideas on the best way to spend it.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cranley Throws In the Towel, Already?

Quimbob over at Blogging Isn't Cool reports on mayoral candidate John Cranley's television ad and brings up an important point: Instead of telling viewers how he would lead the city, Cranley wants them to lobby the Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls since she's going to win anyway.

Quimbob is right. Why would a serious candidate do that? Cranley appears to get what the rest of know, he's not good for the city.  That commercial surely wasn't cheap to produce, but  I guess all of the Republican money he is getting has to be spent at some point.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

COAST Likes John Cranley

Say what you will about COAST, but when they see a political candidate doing their bidding they give them praise. In this blog post from the Enquirer we get this juicey quote from bigot Tom Brinkman:
"We like the new John Cranley, but that is the new John Cranley."
They don't like him enough to endorse him for Mayor, something Cranley needs to win, but damn if they don't like him.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Endorsing Ten for Council Is a Stupid Idea

I don't know who put the idea in the public sphere for the Cincinnati Democratic Committee to endorse ten candidates for the City Council Election, but who ever did it is either insane or plain old stupid.

There are nine seats on council. Any more than nine endorsements means that Dems will have no choice but to work against other Dems. Additionally, as Chris Seelbach points out in the article from the Cincinnati Business Courier, linked above, too many people would over-vote, thus invalidating their ballot for council.  Yes, that is a negative implication about the high level of ignorance with the voters, but not enough people read directions. As long as you have ten names, people will fill the box next to ten names.  Additionally, whoever is listed last on the Dem flyers that are handed out to voters would also get royally screwed by voters paying attention to the nine limit.

I am not sure if it is David Mann's effort at publicizing the ten endorsement idea or some other misguided individual, but whoever is behind it better end it, now.

This year's voting cycle process for endorsements is very shady with two situations that should never have happened. We have one instance of nepotism from the Thomas family and another instance of political favoritism from the Mayor's office. We don't need a third instance of a former politician mucking up the process.

Mann may have been something in politics 20 years ago.  Much has changed since then and I am skeptical that a politician who won the same seat as both Charlie and Tom Luken will have the ability to change with the City.  It is obvious that the Lukens don't want the City to Change and Cranley & COAST are in their camp.  Mann may be a third way or may surprise me with a vision of the future for our City.  I don't see that yet and this bid for an endorsement underlines my initial opinion of him.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Fountain Square 'Indie Summer' Series Announced

Citybeat has posted the line up for the Friday 'Indie Summer' Concert Series. The line-up includes:
May 31: Pomegranates/Healing Power; The Yugos; The Never Setting Suns

June 7: We Were Promised Jetpacks; Tweens; Public

June 14: Seabird; Mike Mains & The Branches; TBA

June 21: Loudmouth; The Dopamines; The Lockland Brakes; BoyMeetsWorld

June 28: Psychodots; Cari Clara; The Ready Stance

July 5: Margot & the Nuclear So & So's and Matt Pond with Matrimony

July 12: Plumb; more TBA

July 19: Wussy; Queen City Radio; TBA

July 26: Brian Olive; Man Halen; The Tongue & Lips

Aug. 2: The Seedy Seeds; TBA; The student band from Mason's School of Rock

Aug. 9: TBA with Archers Paradox

Aug. 16: Belle Histoire; Dept. Store Alligators; TBA

Aug. 23: Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors; Green Light Morning; TBA

Aug. 30: Why? with Vito Emmanuel and TBA

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Republican Sam Malone Fails to Appear in Court

What is the first thing you should do when you are running for public office? Answer: Follow the law. Republican Sam Malone, who is reportedly running for Cincinnati City Council, failed to pay a speeding ticket and then failed to appear in court as directed. A judge had to then issue a warrant for his arrest. Malone was able to avoid arrest by simply paying fine, which was higher due to Malone's carelessness.

This guy is being backed by Republicans. They still want him to be elected. How can anyone trust the guy when he can't even pay his speeding tickets on time to sit on Council?

Another question: Why are the Republicans scraping the bottom of the barrel They only can find four candidates and Malone is one?  Mike Allen is considered worse than Malone?

Why Did the Enquirer ID the Student Who Attempted Suicide?

The choice to name the student who attempted suicide at LaSalle High School was the wrong one to make. I am trying to rack my brain to figure out the reasons for doing it. It's not information that is really going to drive readers to find out more by reading the paper. If they want to know about the case, adding the name isn't going to drive up circulation. I can see the argument that publishing all of the information known is good, but that assumes an extreme viewpoint where privacy is deemed wrong.

The technical reason I can see the Enquirer using is the strong likelihood that the student will be charged with a crime for bringing the gun to class and firing it, if nothing else. Naming suspects or potential suspects in crimes is an acceptable journalistic practice. Joe Deters likely won't let the case go anywhere, to help the school, if nothing else, but that's the type of story that could be written in a month or so once events play out. In that story that name of the student would then be far more relevant.

In this case at this time there is no good reason to name the student, who according to the article is under 18 years old. The young man's medical condition is not known. We don't know if he will even survive, let alone in what condition. Adding his name to the public sphere doesn't serve a purpose to the community. The Enquirer made a big mistake.

UPDATE #1: The Enquirer posted a response on why they named the student.  The response is lacking in my opinion.  It appears they did it for clarity because there was allegedly false information out there.  Also they did it because the name was already known, including allegedly being given to LaSalle parents by the School. It appears to me that not a whole lot of thought went into the act of publishing the name.  The Enquirer may want to rethink their policy and practices.  Hell, most of the time they don't report when suicide attempts happen, whether successful or not.

UPDATE #2: CityBeat has also named the student in a blog post today, based on the Enquirer article.

Monday, April 29, 2013

MidPoint Music Festival ’13: Announcement Coming Soon

Keep your eyes on the City Beat Blog for the announcement of the Fountain Square MidPoint Indie Summer Line-Up.

Monday, April 22, 2013

BOE Must Investigate Parking Petitions

The following video provides damning evidence that some petitions collected by businesses were not being handled correctly according to Ohio Election Law. It is possible that anyone who signed the each page committed perjury if they did not witness all of the signatures listed on that page.

If nothing is done, than all the cries of voter fraud from Alex Triantafilou and Joe Deters mean absolutely nothing. Since they haven't done anything to investigate the 114% registration rate of Indian Hill, their efforts thus far are clearly just political grandstanding.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

CityBeat Has Great Overview of City Budget Battle

CityBeat's German Lopez has a fact laden commentary in today's edition that lays out the clear truth about all of the plans put forth by council members and mayoral candidates: they won't work.

The best part of the article is a wonderful example of when a journalist is able to hoist a political candidate by his own conservative patard.
Cranley has also criticized the city’s parking plan for failing to structurally balance the budget. But Lea Eriksen, the city’s budget director, says the city has been running structurally imbalanced budgets since 2001, and Cranley was in office between 2000 and 2009 and chaired the budget committee for eight of those years.
The lesson of the story: John Cranley gets more blame for our current budget problems than anyone else either currently holding elected office in Cincinnati or seeking to hold it.  Outside of Governor Kasich's attack on local governments, which constitutes the lion share of the budget gap, Cranley's budget tricks from the past have come home.  So unless he wants to start attacking the Republican governor and thus stop beingpretending to be a Republican, he better find a spot under his ass for those chickens to roost.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Xavier Allowing Hate Group to Hold Fundraiser on Campus

A big question for current Xavier students, Alumni, and staff: Why is Xavier University allowing a hate group to hold a fundraiser on its campus a week from tomorrow, April 23, 2013?

If you don't know about CCV and Phil Burress, then I suggest you do some reading. Try Here and Here and Here and Here and for a history lesson try Here.

CCV is an anti-gay/lesbian hate group. They seek to oppress LGBT people and force everyone to be subject to their religious rule.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The Enquirer Whitewashes Cranley's Ethics Investigation

So then City Council member John Cranley resigns from office in 2009 as a means to halt the State of Ohio ethics violation investigation. If you have done nothing wrong, why resign?

That is a very legitimate question that should have been asked by the local news media to Cranley and then asked repeatedly until he answers it fully. The Enquirer instead decides to publish a whitewash article that portrays itself as an in-depth explanation that spins the story to make Cranley look like a good developer.

Why not ask another question to Cranley: If Cranley didn't violate any ethics rules in 2009 when he invested in the project, why would he need or even want to divest himself of the property if he is elected Mayor?

While they are at it, why doesn't someone ask Cranley if he did violate ethics rules over this project?

So, if a news outlet can't ask the bottom line questions, why cover the story at all? It wouldn't be bias towards Cranley, would it?

Friday, March 29, 2013

John Cranley is Lying About His 'Plan'

I am not shocking anyone when I call mayoral candidate John Cranley a liar. When I say John Cranley is lying about his budget 'plan' I think anyone knowledgeable about Cranley's shady city financial management past would be chiding me stating the obvious.

Yesterday I think he crossed into charlatan territory with what he billed as a 'Structurally Balanced Budget.'

There is nothing Structurally balanced about his budget and anyone saying there is lying.

His plan takes money from other city budgets to plug holes, something that is not valid and got us into the trouble we are in now when he did the same thing when Charlie Luken was mayor.

His plan uses money from the Casino that is uncertain, at best.  Why not just use a rosy project that tax revenue will rise and call that structural?

He takes already dedicated Parking revenue and yanks it from another city budget to plug a hole in another (The good Catholic boy knows how to Rob Peter to pay Paul).

He then just cuts most everyone else by 10%.  Well, not everyone.  He doesn't touch the Police and Fire budgets.  The biggest parts of the budget.  Yep, that's a world class act of pandering.  He also carries the tool of fear along and drives it through the West Side.

He also doesn't say what gets cut in those departments with that 10 %.  Is he just mimicking Charlie Winburn's salary cut plan? Does he want a 10% staff cut in everyone else?  What other programs will he gut?  Where's his courage to name what he would reduce?  Is he willing to layoff other works but not cops or fire fighters because that means it would cost him votes?

So, Cranley creates the most insane budget plan I've ever read (actually worse than Winburn's). No one in the media will likely question much about it, least not at the Enquirer.  He and his surrogates will run around lying about this plan and few will call them out on their lies.

Well, I'm here to ask you to call them out.  Ask John Cranley why he is lying about his budget plan.  Ask him to explain how his plan will not destroy the city.

While you are at it, ask him to explain how his plan differs ideologically from the budget plan of the House Republicans? I mean they want to cut everything in the Federal budget, except for Defense.  The comparison to Cranley is either eerie or intentional.

Ask Cranley if he plans on getting the Republican endorsement?  He so far is running the same campaign Brad Wenstrup ran 4 years ago.  Brad was suburbanite Republican.  Does that make Cranley a suburbanite Republican?  I'm going to say yes, yes it does.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Blogging Isn't Cool: Cranley On the Issues 'Bad to Bizzare'

Quimbob sums up the core of Mayoral Candidate and former Councilman John Cranly's horrid stances on public safety issues as 'Bad to Bizzare.'

Simply put: Quimbob is correct.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Some Funny Hyperbole...Hehe...Can't Hurt!

Quimbob may be on to something for the secessionist residents of Westwood. We're talking about a dozen people, maybe, so after Melva Gweyn and Mary Kuhl finally seek asylum in Cheviot, we'd really would not be talking about that many people.  All it all, it would take maybe 10 minutes.  What judge can spare the time to administer the oath?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Smitherman Lies to NAACP Membership

The Enquirer's political blog documents the lie sent to local NAACP by their local chapter President and member of City Council Chris Smitherman. His lie was simple and blatant:
“Our right to vote is the issue,” Smitherman said in an email to members and others.
No, the effort to defeat the Parking Plan is all about Republicans trying to defeat Democrats, because they only have two solid votes on Council and want more.  They see the Parking Plan, which really would normally be welcomed ideologically by businesses focused Republicans, as a way to get to the uninformed voter and exploiting their ignorance.  How better to get people mad than by making them think the price for something is going up.  It works if you use donuts  beer, McDonald's, or even guns.

Smitherman is supporting the Republicans.  I would not be surprised if he is courting the GOP for an endorsement and trying to factor in how many votes that would cost him in Bond Hill and Roselawn.

John Cranely is doing the same thing, but seems to be backing off the spotlight.  He knows the GOP endorsement would kill his chances to win the Mayor's race, but he'll walk the line even more blatantly than Smitherman, one of his supporters.  Dishonesty in being two faced is not either politician shys away from.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Who is Running For City Council?

As of now there is a growing cast of characters running for city council. The incumbents running are:

Laure Quinlivan (D)
Wendell Young (D)
Chris Seelbach (D)
Yvette Simpson (D/C)
P.G. Sittenfeld (D)
Charlie Winburn (R)
Chris Smitherman (I) (All I could find was a Facebook page. Seriously?)

Those either announced or close to it:
Amy Murray (R)
Greg Landsman (D)
Michelle Dillingham (D)
Kevin Johnson (?D)
Mike Moroski (?D)
Pam Thomas (D)
Vanessa White (D)

Other maybes or less solid indications of a yes:
Kevin Flynn (C)
David Mann (D)
Sam Malone (R)
Janaya Trotter (D)
Catherine Smith Mills (R) (She still has a website up so ?)

The question that arise from three sides are who will get the Party Endorsements?  There are two many running for the Democratic Party.  I list 13 possible Dems as running and I've heard there are 14, but don't know who else is running.  I don't know if it is possible for the GOP to field even fewer candidates than last year, but they might, with only 2 candidates announced.  Charter also is thin, as the group as there may be only one non-cross endorsed candidate from the third 'party.'

If anyone knows of anyone else running, or has more information on websites for the above listed possible candidates, please pass it along.

For More check out WVXU from a few weeks ago.

Friday, March 08, 2013

How Far is Cranley in Bed with COAST?

John Cranley's political stunt carried out by his Republican supporters has COAST wrapped up with the anti-city lawsuit. COAST's bigot in chief, Chris Finney is representing the Cranley scheme. It would appear Smiterman's support for Cranley is landing the Westside native further and further into the political fringe. I thought Craney had limits, but when you hire Chris Finney, your walk to extremist gets a lot shorter.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Portune Can't Seem to Do Math

I think everyone, even fellow Democrats, would call Portune's call for cheaper parking in Downtown the bi-product of too many visits from Mary Jane.

The problem is that the City has no funding to cut the current prices of parking and then increase the funding to maintain the expenses behind those parking spaces.

The cities of Ohio are being punished for not support the GOP, mainly the governor, so their governments have had millions of State funded cut.

Hamilton County owns the nearly biggest parking garage in the damn world, I don't see Portune making efforts to cut the prices to 1 dollar there.

I don't know what Portune's angle is here.  It is the most impractical thing to consider at this point. I'd like to give my family all a new car for Christmas this year, but unless the PowerBall comes through, it wouldn't be a good idea to send an email telling them it would be a good idea if I did that.

I will at least give someone like Chris Seelbach credit for coming up with a plan that does not lease the parking spaces out and still has a theoretical way of balancing the budget.  Portune seems to not like to live in the theoretical world of basic math.  He wants some magic parking beans to make everything alright.

Cranley Supporting Republican Effort

In case you are wondering who John Cranley is focusing on getting to vote for him in the election, then look no further than his 'support' of the Republican effort to disrupt the city's ability to pass laws.

It should be presumed that Cranley did more than just support this effort. It is likely he is behind it. I mean, if he wants to pretend he his Frances J. Underwood, he might not want to actually go to the court hearing after he orchestrates it to appear he isn't involved.

BTW John, How much will this lawsuit cost the city?

Sunday, March 03, 2013

John Cranley is Soft on Crime

Somewhere along his educational path John Cranley, candidate for Cincinnati Mayor, must have just confused taxes with penalties for breaking the law.  If not, he seems to want to let people break the law without being held accountable.  That's not much of a law and order thing to do.

In an Enquirer article about the parking deal, Cranley was quick to call enforcement of parking ordinances (aka LAWS) as a "tax increase."
"Critics, however, say the numbers show the private operators will aggressively issue parking tickets to meet their revenue projections.

“We’re talking about a massive increase in tickets for decades,” John Cranley, who is running for mayor, said Saturday. “It’s a 100 percent hidden tax increase on the citizens of Cincinnati.”"
Every time John pays his income takes, does he really think he violated the law?

It is not a surprise John is talking like a Republican, where he plays word games with the truth. He'll have Westside Republicans thinking that it is their 'God' given right to park free where ever they want.  It's 'free' to park at Walmart, after all.  Those massive parking lots just grew out the ground naturally, waiting for a big box store to be built around it.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sittenfeld Gets It Wrong on Sunday Parking

Looking to fabricate false political issues to be the grandstanding champion of the hour, Cincinnati Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld sent out an email (pdf)  yesterday with what must have been very short sided or just careless analysis. In his email he included a draft copy of the of Parking Plan Agreement between the City and the Port Authority. Sittenfeld is claiming that City Manager and other elected city officials were not honest when they stated that the parking meters will be free on Sundays under the new plan.  Well, it is my opinion (based on the agreement) that the City Manager was being honest, and Sittenfeld is either creating a false news story to mislead the public or he really just didn't read the document very well, or yes, it could be both.

Schedule 4 of the City agreement clearly states the hours and days of operation of Parking meters.  Sundays are not included in the Period of Operation.  There, that simple.

So on the surface that seems good, and Sittenfeld is plain old wrong.  Sittenfeld is playing a dishonest political game and is wasting his and our time with a sideshow.  Instead he could go into more depth and find a problem.

There is a big catch to Free Sundays.  If Sittenfeld was looking carefully, instead of charging at windmills, he might have read the following sections and definitions listed in the agreement:
“Period of Operation” means, (i) with respect to each Metered Parking Space, the Days and the period or periods of time during each Day that the City permits the parking of a motor vehicle in that Metered Parking Space and requires the payment of a Metered Parking Fee for use of that Metered Parking Space as set forth on Schedule 4; and (ii) with respect to the Parking Facilities, the Days and period or periods of time during each Day that the City permits the parking of a motor vehicle in a Parking Garage or Parking Lot as set forth on Schedule 4.
So the definition of Period of Operation includes the days and the hours during each time. Next P.G. should read Section 7.8a(ii)
(ii) Increases in Period of Operation. Following the Initial Adjustment Date, the Port Authority may increase the Period of Operation for the Parking Spaces, provided, however, that the Port Authority shall not increase the hours of operation for the Metered Parking Spaces to any hour earlier than 7 a.m. or later than 9 p.m. without the unanimous approval of the Advisory Committee.
So, they can change the Period of Operation after a certain date. Next you better read what "Initial Adjustment Date" means:
“Initial Adjustment Date” means, with respect to each Parking Facility or Zone, the date on which all technology improvements have been made to the respective Parking Facility or Zone in accordance with Schedule 18.
Finally, read up on Schedule 18:
On-Street Parking System
Smart parking meters must be installed at each Metered Parking Space in each Zone for the Initial Rate Adjustment Date to occur for that Zone. These smart parking meters must be battery powered, wireless, and offer coin and credit card acceptance. Smart parking meters do not need to be installed at Metered Parking Spaces where the City installed IPS meters approximately two years ago.
Bottom line, in my humble layman's opinion, there is the strong possibility that the Port Authority could adjust the Period of Operation to include additional days, including Sundays, after the Initial Adjustment Date has been met.  Therefore under the agreement, free Sunday street parking is not a permanent requirements  if the Port Authority meets its upgrade obligations.   If Sittenfeld or any other member of council wants to propose an adjustment to section 7.8a(ii) which defines how a period of operation can be changed, to exclude adding any Sunday Street Parking, then I would support that.  This could be a real problem that might just be an oversight, instead of the confused mess Sittenfeld made of Schedule 9.

Just to tie up a loose end, let's examine why Sittenfeld made his false claim at all.  He's worried that there is a limit to the amount the city can exclude parking rates from being open.  He points to this definition:
“Identified Event Threshold” means not greater than five and one half percent (5.5%) of the aggregate number of Parking Spaces which would otherwise be operated during a Franchise Year but for an Identified Event.
That is true. The problem is how Sittenfeld then went through a big calculation to determine what the threshold would be assuming that that "aggregate number of Parking Spaces which would otherwise be operated during a Franchise Year" to mean all possible spaces open all the time the whole year. He even misquotes the section by saying "all parking space hours in a year." Clearly Sittenfeld didn't want to mention Schedule 4 and how it defines what spaces can be operated and when, thus creating a differing number of parking hours, not including Sundays or other hours not open under the schedule. Sittenfield was all bent on the inclusion of Sundays and Holidays in the definition of an "Identified Event."  Those should be included when talking about parking garages since under Schedule 4, since the Parking Garages are open on Sundays and Holidays.  For Sittenfeld it is not clear enough, so via Twitter he advised me that the Port Authority is going to make changes to address the issue.  If I were them a simple addition of  " in the Parking Garages" on lines 18 and 19 of Schedule 9 should be enough to quell the perceived mighty Knights threatening the public.

So when in his email Sittenfeld wrote "Sundays Would Not, In Fact, Be Free:" he was lying on two levels. First he was lying because under the contract Sundays are not days of Operation for Parking meters, they will be free (for now). Hell, even if someone tried to incorrectly invoke his false Identified Event Threshold theory, street parking would be free on Sundays, the city might lose revenue on the deal. Second is that even if the contract is too confusing and the lawyers need to tighten it up, there was no intent of deception on the part of the City or Port Authority. Sittenfeld used "can't keep a promise" as words to disparage the City Manager and those elected officials supporting the parking plan. That is the implication that they did this on purpose. No, they didn't.  That's a lie.

This type of argument is something I would have expected from a Smitherman or a Winburn or a Cranley.  Sittenfeld doesn't want to be in their anti-progress camp.  Go with the future, don't go with the politics of the past.

What needs to happen now is

  1. The lawyers to tighten the language to quell the fears of Sittenfeld et al.
  2. Sittenfeld and the rest of City council needs to look at the section I pointed out above about how the period of operation can or should be change to exclude street parking on Sundays.
  3. Add a definition of what 'Holidays' are mean. I didn't find one mentioned.  Saying all State and Federal holidays with some language about changes in the future should suffice.

Then if there are other bigger issues that are not disputed as written, but for which anyone, especially those on council, disagree with, then debate those.  If there are details not in the agreement that are key, it is valid to have that before voting on it.  Stay away from paper tigers.

Don't cherry pick topics, like parking free on Sundays, and try and get the public pissed at the City, especially under false pretenses.  That is just the worst type of grandstanding and it is a soul killing political action.