Sunday, June 27, 2021

Will Cincinnati Republicans Endorse for Cincinnati Council?

 It is the end of June and local Republicans still appear to be living in a Trumpist haze.  The HamCoGOP Twitter account is a step away from spouting Qanon dogma or MyPillow religious proclamations.  Alex Triantafilou, Chairperson of the Hamilton County Republican Party, has long wanted to mount a take over of the City.  The rest of his party leadership prefers to take actions that hurt the City of Cincinnati and see its demise. None of them seem to be doing much to support enough candidates to actually to do much on council.

For the the last few years their efforts have, not surprisingly, been to undemocratically seize control of City Council through the courts. This effort to use the courts by Republican hack lawyers to sue their way back onto council came to halt recently when a commission appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court refused to Suspend Wendell Young. They were able to swing one additional council for a Republican, but couldn't get another one.

That failure appears to have taken the wind out of the sails of the Republicans. They were running a campaign against "corruption" which Republicans have done far more in the state than any Democrat could ever do (see Larry Householder.) None-the-less their presumptive candidates and allies have pushed charter amendments and are pushing more to tie the hands of any elected council member who is not rich or a practicing lawyer from being able to serve.  Call it yet another anti-democracy effort by Republicans to limit the rights of the masses and empower the Republicans.

All of this still leaves a Cincinnati City Council election ahead and time is running out.  At this point there are only three candidates the GOP likely will endorse, Sundermann, Keating, and Goodin.  None of them have been elected before, but are serving as council members.  That means they are vulnerable.  We've not had a city election since 2017 and Democrats elected six members to Council. The City has become more Democratic since then.  The manufactured scandals are the only thing working in the Republicans favor and unless they get more candidates, they are not going to have a governing majority to make it worth anything.

The Charter Committee stands to have more influence on City Council than the Republican Party after this election.  Two Charter endorsees, Goodin and Keating, are Republicans and presumed to get cross endorsements.  Their tenure so far has been very much as Charter Republicans, which would be considered a Moderate Republican.  Moderates in the GOP are an endangered species.  On the other hand, Sundermann has acted like a typical Conservative and even though she's not pushed the envelope of right wing nuttiness that has taken over her party.  She tows the GOP line, but has kept the Trump worship under wraps.

I would propose the best thing the Republicans could do for Goodin and Keating would be to refuse to endorse them for Council and only endorse Sundermann.  That would give them attention and make them independent from the GOP and allow them to be Charterites.  At the same time, both would have no problem getting the 4th Street business community to donate to them, which in the City is the ONLY reason a candidate would want the Republican endorsement.

There is still time for other candidates to get in the race and there are other candidates who have taken out petitions and declared themselves as candidates who are Republicans.  Those out there now, like Linda Matthews don't have much of a campaign going and at this point that means they are not raising any money to hire staff.  That means they are not viable and likely not going to get an endorsement, unless the GOP wants to try and save face.

There are a few names that could get in the race at this late point, but they are smart enough to know that the GOP brand in the City is about as damaged as it could be and this year it is not going to get any better. There is not much money up for grabs from the Suburbs to change the city.  The Hamilton County Suburbs are not as fertile ground as they were for the GOP.  The exurbs outside the County are where they have to go and the Exurban GOP donor appears to be stuck in Trumpism. A good Trumpist wants cities to be destroyed, so that leads them into a bit of conundrum.

I would expect something from Republicans in the form of an endorsement slate soon, so the candidates can get some fundraiser mailings out to GOP lists.  The GOP announcement then gives the Cincinnati FOP the ability to endorse, as they don't make endorsements without knowing who the GOP is pushing.  These groups work together on City Politics 98% of the time.  The rest of the GOP leaning groups will following along too, but there may be less this year, as they all are so far down the Trump rabbit hole that if you are not 100% loyal to Trump, you can't be a Republican.  I hope they keep this idea going.  Purity is the downfall of a political effort and the Republican Party needs to go the way of the Dodo.


Monday, June 21, 2021

June Cincinnati City Council Candidate Update

The Cincinnati City Council election race is starting to make noise. Some of that noise is a personification of the X-Brood (Cicadas.)  There are 90 people who on paper at least are still in the race, but just over half of those appear to be like an empty carcass.  By my count there are 43 campaigns still with an indication of life.

The Charter Committee and the Democratic Party have issued their endorsements.  The manufactured drama the process has spawned has been mostly a waste of time. Conservatives/Moderates baulked over the idea of the Dems determining they would not cross endorse candidates. The hot air created on that front would have been useful if a large balloon was available. The nerve of Democrats wanting to run an organized campaign that will try to win as many seats for their party. Who would want to do such a thing?

As for the so called 'Progressives' in(and circling outside) the Democratic Party, the angst was thick like a beef stew that none of them would eat. They publicly complained about the process, the first sign that they don't want the Democratic Party to win a majority of seats on council, instead they want their 'faction' to gain power in the local party.  It is almost like none of them pay attention to actual politics and instead just read columns from Huff Post, Nation, and the Intercept.  There are far too many so called 'Progressives' who seem to want to wage a war of purity instead of winning elections.  If you are not in 100% agreement with their policy issue of the day, they will seek to destroy you and run you out of town on a Twitter rail. Losing the Issue 3 election appears to have not provided them with a wake up call to reality.  We don't live in New York's 14th district.  Most of the world is not like the NY-14 and most certainly most of Cincinnati is not like it.  Those who didn't learn back in May will learn it in November.

As for the Republicans, they are/were either working on some big plan or their party is in far more internal turmoil locally than I thought. I guess when the national leader of your party orchestrates an Insurrection, you can't get yourself as motivated as your should. It is almost the end of June and they have not announced their endorsements yet. That is not a good sign.  I've listed people below with the Republican "R" after their name,  but that is the affiliation from their voter registration, nothing more.  I can only speculate that the Party's plan was to get Wendell Young suspended from council and have faithful Ted Winkler appoint another loyal Republican to council.  That effort appears to have fallen flat on its face. I guess that fizzled like attempted fascist coup on January 6th.

Other than the three Republicans currently serving on council there are not any candidates with a campaign in motion.  There are a few placeholders with Facebook pages, but for a Republican, they need to be credible and raising money.  Credibility for a Republican is not from an amature hour Facebook page with a link to a donation page.  The GOP can't field a true fire breather for office in the City.  Sundermann is as close as they can get, it would appear, and she is by far the most vulnerable sitting member of council.  There just may not be anyone else willing to run without the perception of incumbency. None of the three were elected to office, so calling them an incumbent requires a set of rosey glasses.  That leaves the Republicans in the same place they have been most of the City elections this Century, a minority party.  Hell, it is possible that they are the third party or not have anyone on council at all. Their last hurrah in the city could have been a feeble attempt to abuse power by appointing their way to a majority.  That fits the GOP motif.

For the Council Candidate Update, I should  have more groups listed with their endorsements.  I also plan to start arranging candidates into tiers.   Each tier would indicate my opinion on their chances.  There will be no polling data for me to use. I'll just be looking at various factors to judge their candidacy and campaign and viability.  This will lean towards art over science, but won't be void of history or logic. I am sure I'll piss off someone, but that is not new.

Incumbents
Greg Landsman * (D)
Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney * (D)
Betsy Sundermann * (R)

Temporary Replacements to Council
Steve Goodin (R,C)
Liz Keating (R,C)

Announced Candidates
Robert Adler (I)
Jalen Alford (D)
Key Beck (I)
Derrick Blassingame (R)
Jamie Castle (D)
LaKeisha Cook (I)
Jeff Cramerding (D)
Michelle Dillingham (D)
Kevin Flynn (I)
Jackie Frondorf (C)
Bill Frost (C)
Brian Garry (D)
Galen Gordon (C)
Terence Gragston (I)
Kurt Grossman (D)
Cam Hardy (C)
Reggie Harris (D)
Rob Harris (D)
K. Heard (G)
Chris Hikel (I)
Evan Holt (DSA)
Nick Jabin (I)
Mark Jeffreys (D)
Scotty Johnson (D)
Andrew Kennedy (I)
Rayshon Mack (R)
John Maher (I)
Linda Matthews (R)
Natasha Mitchell (R)
J. Nickels (I)
Phillip O'Neal (D)
Meeka Owens (D)
Victoria Parks (D)
Logan-Peter Simmering (G)
Stacey Smith (D)
James Tarbell (C)
Dadrien Washington (I)
John Williams (D)

Inactive Announced Candidates
Britton Carter (D)
Gary Favors (R)
Nora Hartsock (I)
Dale Mallory (D)
Nicole McWhorter (D)
Victor Phillips (I)
Gregory Schill (R)
McKinzie Wright (I)

Individuals Who Have Taken Out Petitions to Run, but Appear to Be Inactive
Bilal Ahmad (I)
William Andrews (I)
Aaryn Barnes (I)
David Booker (I)
Melinda Brown (I)
Darius Clay (I)
John Clifton (I)
Ali Coulibaly (I)
Zacheriah Davis (I)
Sean Fausto (R)
Robert Foster (I)
Randy Freking (I)
Martha Good (I)
Brent Gray (I)
Michael Haithcoat (R)
Bem Itiavkase (I)
Aprina Johnson (I)
Eric Knapp (I)
Joe McCloud (I)
Deborah Metz (I)
Robert Moore (I)
William Moore (I)
Jim Neil (I)
TeAirea Powell (I)
Thomas Price (R)
Stephan Pryor (I)
Isaiah Robinson (I)
Morleen Rouse (I)
Martin Rutland (I)
Antonio Sanders (I)
Larry Showes (I)
Demetrius Stanton (I)
Andrew Sweeny (R)
Edith Thrower (R)
David Walker (I)
Damon Watkins (I)
Laura Ann Weaver (D)
Brandie Woods (I)
Nathaniyah Yisrael (I)

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

As always:  If anyone has any other names please send them my way (editor@cincyblog.com) or if anyone named above wants to confirm they are not running, I'll remove them future postings of this list. If there are other social media or full websites I don't list, send them along as well.

The party designations at this time are what I've seen reported or what I've determined based on my observations. These notations do not mean the candidate is endorsed by any political party or group. Once official endorsements are made, these references will be updated to reflect the endorsements. 

Key
* = Incumbent
‡ = On Ballot
D= Democratic Party
R= Republican Party
C= Charter Committee (aka Charter Party)
G= Green Party
DSA= Democratic Socialists of America
I= Independent
?= I am speculating based on my reading of the information and observations available to me or unsure.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Democrats Not Endorsing Michelle Dillingham Should Not Be a Shock to Anyone

The Cincinnati Democratic Committee has announced their preliminary slate of endorsements for Cincinnati City Council.  One name was "snubbed." This list is not final and could be changed by the committee as a whole, but they shouldn't do that and no one should be shocked. Dillingham has demonstrated she is not inclined to be a team player. Her political positions have become increasingly leftist, only appealing to a smaller and uncompromising group. She would be a risk to hurt the rest of team more than help them. The only upside is past performance.

The angst voiced by some leftist Cincinnati Twitter users is expected, but any objective observer could see this play coming.  There is some risk to it.  There could be a revolt, but pissing off a bunch of leftists who were not going to vote for the full Democratic slate of nine candidates is not going to affect their election chances.

Leftist activists have been mostly pushing either a short ticket voting strategy or just voting for a list of long shots and Dillingham.  What I think is driving the angst is that many thought she would win with an endorsement. She would be the leftist "voice" on council. I think with a Dem endorsement she would likely win.  Without the Dem endorsement, it will be much more difficult.  If she starts running against the Democratic Party or other candidates, she won't help her chances much. If she runs as the Leftist candidate, she won't help herself much, either.

If Leftists did not grasp how the Issue 3 vote went or how the 2020 election went for leftist views, then I don't see how they can be anything other than a loud fringe group, bent on destruction as much has their right wing opposites, willing to bring down everyone for a fantasy.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

What is the State of the Cincinnati Mayoral Race?

May 4th is the date of the 2021 Mayoral Primary Election and we are less than one month away. I have no idea who is going to win or come in second, so don't expect any big predictions.  The top two vote getters make it to the General Election in November.  Six candidates are on the ballot for the primary and three of them are experienced elected officials.  The other three are not. That sums things up, pretty much.  This has been a damn quiet campaign thus far.  Still time for tricks, but with no Cranley in the race, I don't expect too much dirty campaigning.

This is the 20th anniversary, of sorts, of the first Mayoral Primary enacted after a City Charter Amendment re-establishing the direct election for the Mayor of Cincinnati. Back in 2001 the primary was held in September, unlike 2021.  The primary in 2001 was in fact held on 09/11/2001.  For some that date may ring a bell.  I lived in Mt. Washington at the time and my voting location was at the Mt. Washington United Methodist Church.  I left work early that day, around 4:45 or so.  I wasn't getting anything done, so I figured I would go vote.  I figure few others would do the same as many had other things on their mind. After driving from Downtown, I got there a little past 5 PM.  There was no line and the poll workers were quiet.  I asked how many had voted and they told me about 25 that day so far.  I nodded in appreciate for information, took my ballot and voted.  Not that many people voted that day, but I really don't blame anyone, it was 9/11.

Jump forward to May of 2017 and we are in the 4th year of John Cranley's terrible reign as Mayor, the man who has the vision of a suburbanite and vindictiveness of a spoiled brat whose parents didn't get him a purple pony.  The Mayoral Primary that year was in May, as another Charter Amendment moved it  to fit with the normal primary timing in Ohio.  May of 2017 was a normal day, nothing else to drive turnout way down or way up.  What we got was a smaller turnout than on 9/11. Our City's attention was clear to focus on the primary, but the turnout tanked.


A 4.25% LOWER turnout than on 9/11. Our City is that apathetic that we could not match 9/11.  Some I am sure will claim that patriotic fervor caught some, including myself, but no that's not valid.  Voting in the City has dropped massively over the last 20 years and even more so on these Mayoral Primary days.  We are choosing not to vote in massive numbers and it is a shame.  The numbers were better in the General Elections both years, but still not good.  Tens of thousands of Registered Voters who vote in Presidential Elections don't bother to vote in local elections, even in the local General Elections.  I know some apologists will point to voter suppression, but these are people who can and do vote, just not for local races.  They are choose not to vote.  This is not one party, this is a problem in every precinct. Calling this a primary may contribute to problem, as those who refuse to participate in the full on partisan primaries, but that is not much of an excuse.  People just feed on their ignorance.  They don't bother knowing details about national politics, but so many are even more foolish when they don't have a clue about local elections which they could have a much more direct impact on their lives.

People moan and complain about the voting system we have and think if we just had magic beans in the form of another voting system things would improve.  What those folks don't tell you is that their goals are more about getting other candidates or other political parties into office, not for getting higher turnout.  What we need now is for people to vote and for people to be less cynical and more pragmatic.  The problem is so many who voice opinions today do so in a method that is either at the extremes or one based on "Total Politics" a concept where purity is a requirement and any derivation from their dogma means you are the enemy and part of the problem. The ideas comes from "Total War" which was a concept used during WWII that had nations 100% at war with other nations, making anything and everything as part of the war effort and far game to the conflict and anything short of full destruction of the enemy is seen as failure.

I am not sure which, if any, of the candidates on the primary ballot think like that, even slightly.  I've not seen them do so yet.  I've seen some Council Candidates do that on Social Media in what seemed like a bad AOC or Bernie imitation/homage skip at the Cincy chapter DSA talent show. 

The Mayor's race has been very tame thus far.  The only item that has gotten notice is the very bad Issue 3 Charter Amendment on the ballot at the same time as the Primary.  That Issue may drive turnout.  Whether it drives it out significantly or just marginally is the question. Significant turnout has two directions that could affect things. If No voters come out, that could benefit some candidates, like David Mann, as Republicans would be considered more likely No on Issue 3 voters and would take Mann as the least worst candidate of those with a better than average change to get the top two positions.  Thomas and Pureval could get a boost from a No surge, as both are against the Issue.

The other possible turnout increase would be for Yes voters, which might help some of the other three candidates who have a mix of support and/or sympathy to the issue, which if high enough could put them in the number two spot.  While an increase for Yes voters could help the Issue pass, it would in my view need to be significant to help the three new candidates win.

Reports indicates that Aftab Pureval has the lead in the limited polling done so far.  It would be a big surprise not to see him in the top two.  The other spot is likely to be either David Mann or Cecil Thomas, but low turnout elections are wild cards. Getting your base to the polls is the key and that takes an organization.  I don't know who has that working on all cylinders right now and there is no time to start from scratch, so we'll who makes the cut.

For your review: The Candidates with links to their campaign websites:

Thursday, April 08, 2021

20 Years Later, Peter Bronson is Still Terrible.

 It is 20 years after a Cincinnati police officer killed an unarmed man, Timothy Thomas. The Enquirer solicited a wide set of opinions from people who dealt with much of the events in the days, months and years after that tragic night. 

The choice was made by the Enquirer to include Peter Bronson, former Enquirer columnist and Editorial Page editor, in this project. On the surface, it makes sense. He was part of the newspaper’s coverage back then and it is logical to think he would have a perspective that would have insights that add context from a conservative point of view. For all of Bronson’s right wing drivel he out out during his career,  he had a one on reputation to be a reasonable person, especially compared to the Republican media of today. Plus he’s prose and one might think he has learned something in retirement.

Well, instead of insight or reflection or evolved wisdom we got a pissant FOXNews type column (not going to link to it) filled with cheap shots, mistruths, and wannabe Tucker Carlson blather that appears to have written for the Dusty Rhodes cabal of Old Cincinnati. 

That cabal  filled with the crusty old men, mostly men, who are now mostly near death or retired from public life, as the new phrase goes, and held Cincinnati back from being a growing vibrant city 30-40 years ago. These are men that pushed self righteous hate on everyone they could.

That type of old mindset kept our country from learning from our mistakes and just repeated them, often out of spite. That Old Cincinnati is done and needs to not be heard from again.

Peter Bronson should retire from public life. He is not a good person. A good person does not write that column. A good person can gain some perspective. Bronson, like Rhodes is a bitter old man who has no value to society. 

I think puzzles and shuffleboard are the most we can expect from Peter. I expect he cheats at both as he has demonstrated he has no class.

The Enquirer should never print another word from him ever.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

January City Council Candidates Update

It is officially election year in Cincinnati, Ohio and partisan politics is ripe with the rank Republican spectacle that is Probate Judge Ralph Winkler. The suburbanite judge saw it as his duty to make a partisan pick of Republican Liz Keating to temporarily replace P.G. Sittenfeld who agreed to a suspension while he faces criminal charges. 

A Republican gives a rich kid a leg up in the council race.  Wannabe aristocratic families don't need help from the cheap seats, but if anyone is going to help them out, they can count on a Republican.

The next month or so will be taken up with the 3D chess match taking place with the laundry list of Mayoral Candidates.  This post will stay away from that log jam waiting to happen.

Instead this is the the time starting figuring out how many real candidates are running?  I say "real" with no trepidation.  There are too many candidates and we only need serious candidates who are willing to act like leaders who understand that role of Council members is to govern.  I fear we have an abundance of crackpots and flake candidates who are looking for attention.  I really hope they get out of the race quickly.  I don't have time to bother following those who are less than sane or just out to make a few pithy twitter posts.

The next half of a year is when serious candidates are raising contributions and building up a network of people that give them a conceivable chance of winning.  Going viral is not going to get you elected, so setting up a website that can take campaign contributions is the first sign that people are real candidates.  Just getting on the ballot does not make what I would call a real candidate.

Another rule for candidates: Don't make unforced errors. Council Member Betsy Sundermann had worst timing ever.  You are not going to get elected to Cincinnati Council by enabling Donald Trumps lies, ever with an abstention.
  
Incumbents
Greg Landsman (D)
Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney (D-Appointed)
Jeff Pastor (R Suspended from Office with criminal charges pending)
Betsy Sundermann (R-Appointed)

Temporary Replacement to Council
Steve Goodin (R) (for Pastor's Seat)
Liz Keating (R) (for Sittenfeld's Seat)

Announced Candidates
Jalen Alford (?)
Derek Bauman (D,C)
Key Beck (?)
Derrick Blassingame (R)
Michael Cappel (D)
Britton Carter (D)
Jeff Cramerding (D)
Michelle Dillingham (D)
Ryan DuPree (D)
Christine Fisher (D)
Manuel Foggie (D)
Kevin Flynn (I)
Bill Frost (C)
Brian Garry (D)
Cam Hardy (D,C)
Reggie Harris (D)
Evan Holt (I)
Dani Isaacsohn (D)
James Jenkins (I)
Scotty Johnson (D)
Rayshon Mack (R)
Dale Mallory (D)
Linda Matthews (R)
Meeka Owens (D)
Victoria Parks (D)
Stacey Smith (D)
Dadrien Washington (D)
McKinzie Wright (I)

Prior Candidates Who Might Run
Henry Frondorf (I?)
Kelli Prather (I)
Laure Quinlivan (D)

Rumored Or Speculated Candidates
Becky Finnigan (D)
Jim Neil (?)
Matt Woods (C)

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

As always:  If anyone has any other names please send them my way (editor@cincyblog.com) or if anyone named above wants to confirm they are not running, I'll remove them future postings of this list. If there are other social media or full websites I don't list, send them along as well.

The party designations at this time are what I've seen reported or what I've determined based on my observations. These notations do not mean the candidate is endorsed by any political party or group. Once official endorsements are made, these references will be updated to reflect the endorsements. 

Key
* = Incumbent
‡ = On Ballot (signatures turned in)
D= Democratic Party
R= Republican Party
C= Charter Committee (aka Charter Party)
G= Green Party
I= Independent
?= I am speculating based on my reading of the information and observations available to me or unsure.