Showing posts with label Smitherman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Smitherman. Show all posts

Sunday, October 09, 2022

The Smitherman Gambit - Don't Bet on it Winning in November

Christopher Smitherman has a plan to win a seat on the Hamilton County Commission.   The former member of Cincinnati City Council has gambled that a perfect storm will occur that if he takes the right steps could lead him into a win. His wager is one that requires many moving parts to align perfectly. Call this the Smitherman Gambit, his path to "victory", at least if all of it happened, without a hitch.  Here's my interpretation of the list of steps needed for the Smitherman Gambit to work.

  1. Obfuscate: Smitherman's first step is to pretend to be many things to many people. 
  2. Subtlety and not so subtlety align with Conservatives and Republicans: This includes voting in the Republican Party Primary, gaining the support of right wing extremists like COAST and publicly supporting Republicans just short of Trump. This is easy for a Conservative like Smitherman to do and why he is a Republican in all but name only.
  3. Attack the Democratic Party and anyone not directly aligned with John Canley: This was highlighted by Smitherman's participation the promotion of the text messaging scandal manufactured by Republican lawyers and the cooperation from a sympatric Republican judge.
  4. Give up on being the Mayor of Cincinnati: This one hurt.  The ego of Smitherman so desired the title of Mayor. His overuse of the unearned title of "Vice Mayor" is case in point.
  5. Rebuff invitations to declare himself a Republican: Being labeled a Republican will hurt his standing amongst a segment of African-American voters that don't know he's aligned with the extreme Conservative Republicans.
  6. Bank on a Republican Wave Election in  2022: The politics 101 conventional wisdom states that the1st term midterm election will be a significant win for the party out of power.
  7. Target a Democratic Woman Opponent: Stephanie Dumas fits a type the typical Conservative Republican campaign would target.  The logic presumes Republicans would pick a man over a woman 9/10 times. There is truth to that logic, as Republicans seek to have power over women’s bodies. What also would appeal to Smitherman is trying to gain the support of Conservative black male voters. He may gain that support, but Smitherman may have over estimated how many Conservative black men there are in Hamilton County.
  8. Attempt to finesse the Hamilton County Republican Party into not fielding a candidate for County Commissioner: Smitherman needs to face any Democrat one on one.  This is a must have to ride any Republican wave.
  9. Beg and plead for Republican Support: Even without a Republican running against him, Smitherman would run like a Republican and would depend on the campaign contributions from big GOP donors.

So, now that we are just about a month away from the election, how well are things going for the Smitherman Gambit? 

The clear answer is not so good.  

He has done pretty well on steps 1 through 5. Alas, those were the easy ones.  They didn't require him getting help from anyone else outside his own supporters.  

Steps 6 and 7 are not working out so well.  The Republican wave is not going to happen in Hamilton County.  The SCOTUS abortion decision has vastly reduced any GOP wave.  That wave would have needed to be strong in Hamilton County for Smitherman to do well in a one on one race against a Democratic candidate.  A black woman candidate is the type of candidate that many Republicans want to run against, but that pushes a niche tactic that just turns off voters from a campaign that even hints at pushing those buttons.

The pipe dream in the Smitherman Gambit was from the beginning focused on step 8.  He couldn't stop anyone from running in the Republican Primary.  That by itself is what makes his chance of winning VERY low.  He has to convince Republican voters to vote for him over a candidate with the word "Republican" next to his name. Matthew O'Neill is the Republican candidate and got a formal Hamilton County Republican Party endorsement.  If O'Neill get's 5% of the vote, that alone would likely be enough to doom Smitherman’s campaign.  Depending on how well Democratic turn out occurs, it may not even matter, as Dumas could win an full 50%+ 1 majority.  It is going to take a massive campaign to convince the average Republican voter to go against their party and for Smitherman.  I could imagine O'Neill getting 20% or more of the vote based on party ID alone, even without the Republican donor money Smitherman is getting.

Smitherman’s chance relied on the full support of the Republican Party and he would have to cross over and get some of the past voters going to the Dems. That along with a less than stellar Democratic turnout, where elements of the perfect storm that has failed to materialize for Smitherman. His miscalculation has been epic. The rest of his campaign will be one for him to demonstrate if he has any sense of grace or if he will go down in a fire pit of dirty politics, clawing at his opponents in vain. His reputation is not as a graceful person, so I fear the display of pettiness and animosity he and his campaign team displays towards the rest of the county will be grotesque. I hope I am wrong about that, but hope is wasted on Conservatives too scared to publicly declare they are a Republican.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Cranley and Smitherman Both Want a Blue Pony, with Jason Williams as Stable Boy

With the John Cranley's self made drama at City Hall this month, one might be fooled into thinking that the City Manager is a threat.  Harry Black is a not a threat, he is a roadblock.  He is blocking the lustfully power hungry Mayor and 'Vice-Mayor', John Cranley and Chris Smitherman respectively, from illegally seizing control of Cincinnati City government.  Other than the City Manager and City Council, the real hurdle getting in their way, and making their efforts illegal, is the the law, specifically the City Charter and how it defines the role and power of Mayor.

Both Cranley and Smitherman want power.  They want to be a strong mayor.  I really hope this isn't some type of fetish role-playing for either man, trying to be a modern day Boss Cox.  I get they might like gilded age costumes, but that's just taking it too far.  Steampunk Smitherman does sound like a good nickname, however.

The problem for them is that the Mayor has limited power.  The mayor is not the boss of the city.  The mayor has  some power, but not total control of all City employees.  Cranley wishes he had that, but knows unless he can somehow remove term limits (unlikely as the GOP likes them), he's only working for his legacy.  Cranley's legacy rests solely on Republican Chris Smitherman.  Yes, I called him a Republican.  I am probably going to be called a racist for daring to call a duck a duck, but Smitherman's Twitter StormTroopers can bloviate all they want.  I just hope they can figure out I am a real person.  They've claimed I'm an pen name for elected officials or maybe they think I'm a Russian Bot, but here's hoping the kids can study up.  Maybe even read the over 15 years worth of blog posts I've written, on my archive.  I may not be a good writer, but I sure as Hell have been doing this long enough to know who the players are in Cincinnati politics.  I've been around long enough to know that when you vote in the Republican primary, endorse Republican candidates, adopt Republican polices, campaign with Republicans, attack Republican enemies, and take Republican money, then I am going to call you a Republican.  If Smitherman thinks he can't get elected mayor as a Republican, he should understand that lying about you policies and allegiances isn't going to work either.  You can't compartmentalize like Yasir Arafat in Cincinnati.  Don't mix messages with different audiences.

The funny twist in recent Enquirer coverage of the Mayor's Chaos comes from the resident hack political columnist Jason Williams. He is almost criticizing John Cranley.  I say almost, as Williams still tried his best to blame Cranley's drama on what he's calling the 'urban progressives' and 'Progressive 5.'  Not sure what he means by urban, as this is a city, but we do have a suburban mayor, so I'll presume Williams isn't a fan of people who like cities. He's certainly championing those against the City of Cincinnati. That would include Republican member of council Chris Smitherman.  Williams, I guess, finally figured out he's not going to get a job in Cranley's administration, so now he's pushing the anti-city Manager form of government that Smitherman painfully desires.  His lust for power borders on the psychotic and makes Cranley's penchant for sticking it to his political foes look like pin pricks in comparison.  A character like Smitherman without a professional city manager to run the day operation would look like a small version of a Trump White House.  Same kind of ego, but with more outward signs of psychosis.

Strong mayors are not a good idea in Cincinnati and not with those wanting it now.  Former Ohio State Senator Eric Kearney stated well what I believe is the underlying problem with the position Cranley and Smitherman (with Williams) are putting forth:
The problem is with the way they are trying to govern.  They want the government and the populace to bend to their will.  That's not leadership, that is bullying.  Leaders don't create controversy as a means to push forward as a political pretext to change the form of government. If there is a problem with the form of government, make the claim as to why, present facts, and be honest.  If you just want to gain more power, then I say fuck off, we don't need mini-Trumps in Cincinnati.

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.