Monday, March 27, 2017

March Update to 2017 City of Cincinnati Council Candidates

For this month's update I have included links to campaign websites.  I have not included Facebook pages, only stand alone websites.  A Facebook page alone is not a sign of a serious candidate.  Taking the time to create a stand alone website is not expensive or overly time consuming and it is critical to creating a fundraising mechanism.  Facebook pages do work well to engage voters and volunteers and donations, but pointing them back to a real website is as sign of professionalism.

P.G. Sittenfeld (D)
David Mann (D)
Chris Seelbach (D)
Christopher Smitherman (R but pretending to be I)
Wendell Young (D)
Amy Murray (R)

Returning Candidates:
Laure Quinlivan (D)
Greg Landsman (D)
Michelle Dillingham (D)
Brian Garry (D)
Theo Barnes
Orlando Welborn (D)

New Candidates
Ozie Davis III (D)
Kelli Prather (D)
Tamaya Dennard (D)
Cristina Burcica (D)
Jeff Pastor (R)
Derek Bauman (D)
Tonya Dumas (D)
Henry Frondorf (D)
Manuel Foggie
Leslie Jones (D)
Beverly Odoms (D)
Dawud Mustafa
Mary Hall
Damon Lynch IV
Edith Thrower
Matt Teaford (I)
Michael Rachford
Tamie Sullivan (R)

Candidate Twitter List: I have created a list of candidates on Twitter. Here is the actual list Twitter handles for the candidates.

If anyone has any other names please send them my way ( or if anyone named above wants to confirm they are not running, I'll remove them future postings of this list. Also, since I have added a party affiliation, if there are changes, let me know.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mass Shooting at Cameo NightClub in Cincinnati - Local Media Coverage

Hats off to the local media for the coverage of the mass shooting at the Cameo Nightclub in Cincinnati.

Enquirer: 16 shot, 1 killed at Cameo nightclub in Cincinnati; police identify deceased
WCPO: Cincinnati nightclub shooting leaves at least 15 injured, 1 dead at Cameo Night Club
WLWT: 16 shot, 1 fatally, at Cincinnati nightclub
Local12: 16 shot, 1 dead in East End night club shooting; victim identified
FOX19: 16 shot, 1 dead in East End night club shooting; victim identified
WVXU: Nightclub Shooting Leaves One Dead And Others Injured

I applaud the sanity. This is still a developing story, but panic and fear could have taken over. I am glad the local media has not gone off kilter. I've not being paying attention to the national or international media, honestly, so I don't know how they played it, but hopefully they are taking clues from the local media.

Passing the Ball to Yourself Isn't a Completion, It's More of a Recovered Fumble

The Enquirer sometimes reporter and sometimes columnist Jason Williams wrote a story this week about what would become the subject of his column PX: Yvette Simpson dropped ball on 'pale male' comment.  He created the issue by personally taking offense to the word "pale" being using against John Cranley.  Or it is possible he was fed the article by the Cranley campaign who wanted to play the reverse racism card.  Either way this was self manufactured outrage by Williams.  Then he writes the column and get's up on his soapbox and champions the fight against racism, against white people.  He even pulled in the opinion of former scandal ridden Hamilton County prosecutor Mike Allen who appears to be willing to play a newly minted white race card.

I didn't know those existed, but if any one locally would have one made for himself Mike Allen would be that guy.

Jason's sanctimonious column rings hollower with every Republican or Conservative Democrat he thinks to ask for comment on this topic.  He, and Cranley's camp, have contrived a slight that is so minor, that is so meaningless that NO ONE WOULD CARE ABOUT IT if he didn't bring it up.  Cranley wouldn't have cared about it if someone didn't bring it up to him.  If anyone other than a black woman used that phrase, Williams or Jay Kincaid or Cranley himself (who ever fed Williams the story) wouldn't have bothered to use it as a race based campaign tactic.

That's the Cranely goal here.  The Cranley camp is playing racial defense. They know they are not going to win the majority of the black vote for Mayor with two black candidates running.  That fear is exacerbated when a former Cranley ally (one very influential in the black community) defects after Cranley's actions.  What does that mean?  It means he has to win the white vote big.  The white vote, which is no more monolithic than the black vote, does have one segment that tends to think alike, the GOP vote, which is nearly all white. Cranley has to win the GOP vote, something he hurt his chancing of doing when he advocated making Cincinnati a "sanctuary city."  How better to draw in white outrage than creating race based outrage against a black candidate?  Well, there are other ways to be a legitimate candidate who pulls in votes of white people, but why would Cranley want to win legitimately when crass actions make it more likely he wins at all?

Jason Williams continues to be a poodle of the Cranley camp.  He has it out for Yvette Simpson and is willing to dump this type of bullshit column out there and hide behind the comments of Mike Allen.  I'd call it brazen if it wasn't just so biased.  It is biased on multiple levels: Pro-Cranley, race, and gender.  It is by far his worst column of this election season, but I am sure it earned him brownie-points within the Cranley camp. It won't 'earn' him a position in a Cranley administration, but it inches him that way.

As a case in journalism, this episode falls into the don't make your own news category.  Williams didn't make news in the sense that he became part of the story, but he sure did as a columnist.  His column is largely framed as him not liking how Simpson's campaign responded to HIM.  Add that to the the race based logistics I write about above and this column is a shit-storm.  He built the controversy and he attempted to bottle it.  I call that trying to catch your own pass, something you can't do in American football, unless someone else touches the ball first.  Simpson didn't touch this story and that pissed off Williams off, but didn't stop him from catching his own pass.  That is what I call a fumble recovered for a loss.  Journalism and politics need forward progress, not steps back.  This is a step back.  The worst part, he could have written about this topic and not made it such a big deal and made an actual point about the Facebook comment.  That doesn't help his cause, so fair play be damned.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Question Chris Smitherman and He Will Play the Race Card

When I read this week's Enquirer Politics Extra column: Smitherman: Using race card on Cranley 'appalling' I smiled.  I found it funny.  No, racism isn't funny.  Chris Smitherman, Cincinnati City Council Member, however was doing something that I found worthy of a grin, he was contradicting himself.

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:
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.

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:

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.

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:

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.

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.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Smitherman Campaign Publishes a Confidential Document Including Bank Account Number

The campaign for Cincinnati Council Member Chris Smitherman (R) published a document online that was marked confidential from a State of Ohio commission.  The document includes the image of a hand written private organization's check with the routing number and checking account number fully visible.  The marking of confidentiality was clearly visible on the bottom as excerpted below:
It is the intention of Cincinnati Blog to never violate any laws, therefore I am not publishing the full document since it is marked confidential and does include the bank account of a private organization. It is the opinion of this blog and I hope all other people that it is wrong to publish any bank account numbers as it increases the possibility of bank or check fraud.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

25th Annual Bockfest Starts This Friday March 3rd

At what some call the real drinker's Oktoberfest, March 3rd starts the 25th Annual Bockfest in Cincinnati. The parade starts off as usual at 6PM on Friday night.

For those new, my suggestion to watch the parade would be along Main Street North of 12th or 13th streets. There are several bars that won't be so crowded. But, if you want the full Bockfest experience, you need to be up at Bockfest Hall and/or Arnold's (where the parade starts).

A couple of hints: Eat a big lunch and eat a dinner. They have food there. Just remember, you need to eat. Bock beer drinks like a normal beer, but is higher in alcohol content, so it can hit you when you don't expect it.

Remember to plan ahead. The streetcar still works well if you get off a the Race/Liberty station, so park downtown at the banks and ride up.

OR be smart and take the METRO/TANK to downtown and Streetcar up. If you stay really late then you can cab/Uber/Lyft your way home, just plan ahead and keep your cell phone charged. What ever your transportation plans, Do not drink and drive!

More from the Enquirer, WNKU.