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.

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 ( 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. 

* = 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.