Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Classism of the Ohio GOP

The State of Ohio's Republicans are chopped full of examples of unflappable mendacity, but sometimes the truth of their motivations are plain as day.  Greg Sargent of the Washington Post writes a blog post on the (in my words) classism of Lou Blessing, Ohio House Representative from the 29th District located in the Suburbs of Cincinnati.

Blessing is quoted on Ohio Public Radio as stating that he's against cutting the pay of Republican lawmakers, as an act of shared sacrifice with Ohio union workers who stand to loose jobs, benefits, and pay as the result of SB5.  Cutting state law makers pay is not going to amount to that much money and won't solve any problems.  It is just the way he said it.  His pure arrogance and callousness dripped like acid from his lips as he dismissed the idea, claiming he and other Republicans "earn" their money, implying the unions and the Dems don't.

That's classism in my book.  It sounds like he's channeling a 19th Century Industrialist complaining about his workers asking for basic safe-working conditions.  The type of thing that would cost him a few dollars, but he doesn't want to part with a single dime, unless it goes to those loyal to his company, or in the case of Blessing to those supporting his political philosophy/constituency.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Quimbob Has a Great Take on the Anti-Rail Camp

Quimbob at Blogging Isn't Cool has a thorough summary and analysis of Issue 48 and it's advocates and opposition.  His summary of those in-favor of Issue 48 (the anti-rail camp) is succinct and very valid:
A quick look at the supporters of this issue reveals a rogues gallery of self interest groups who all derive their existence in part or whole from the public trough - all led by an Erisian COA T.
Some of the Greens are pretty wack. Their position explanation uses phrases like "mowing down people in the street". Westwood cares little for other neighborhoods or the city at large. This is the neighborhood that considered secession from the city. The ministers group seems to be the same crew that got called out for being absentee slumlords in WCPO's Visions of Vine Street.
CODE is the city employee union that was concocted by a woman seemingly for the sole purpose of swindling her coworkers. It will be interesting to see how that pedigree effects them in the future. The safety unions don't seem to see the benefit of improving a neighborhood where they frequently risk their lives dealing with vice and abandoned buildings owned by uncaring absentee landlords. Given the low scores of council candidates on the NAACP's scorecard, one has to wonder how relevant the organization is. If their goals are so important, how come next to nobody seems to realize it?
It reminds one of William Burroughs' discussion of Junky Relations. They all need each other but absolutely hate each other because they all are competing for the same supply of junk.
Indeed!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

OTR And MOTR Get BBC News Mention

An interesting political column from a BBC writer with a take on American National Politics from experiences and conversations at MOTR during a show. I don't know why this reporter happened to find his way to OTR, but I hope he find out something interesting. He also has a radio report on political issues from Ohio here.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

One Week Out: Council Election Preview

We are just one week away from the November General Election and there are things locked up about the election for Cincinnati City Council, but there are seats that are clearly in play.  Here's my take on what is locked up and what is in play:

Locked Up Winners:
Roxanne Qualls
Chris Bortz

Heavy Favorites to Win:
Cecil Thomas
Leslie Ghiz

Likely Unless Odd Things Happen:
Charlie Winburn
Laure Quinlivan

In the Mix:
Kevin Flynn
Wayne Lippert
Amy Murray
P.G. Sittenfeld
Wendell Young

Still in the Mix, But With Higher Hurdles:
Mike Allen
Nicholas Hollan
Jason Riveiro
Chris Seelbach
Yvette Simpson
Christopher Smitherman

Out of the Running:
Catherine Smith Mills
Jacqueline Allen
Kathy Atkinson
Patricia McCollum
Sandra Queen Noble

Not that much can change over the next week, except for the turnout. The turnout is expected to be low compared to national election years, but conventional wisdom would indicate that it should compare to what the 2007 council election drew out. I would say the more new voters go to the polls the more likely that non-incumbents will gain votes. It is easy for incumbents to win, but difficult for non-elected incumbents to get on without lots of new support. We have three appointees on council and all three, even with the amounts of money the Republican appointees have, need voter turnout to help them.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Enquirer 2011 Endorsements For Council Are Published

The Enquirer has published it's endorsements for Cincinnati City Council and I will be the first to admit I am surprised and actually fairly pleased with the group they picked.  While, this not the group I would pick, the list is far less conservative than in years past.  Their list:

Roxanne Qualls
Amy Murray
Kevin Flynn
Chris Bortz
Laure Quinlivan
Wendell Young
Catherine Smith Mills
Chris Seelbach
Yvette Simpson

Three Dems, two Republicans, four Charterites (including two cross-endorsed as Dems.)  That is a whole sale change of government, leaning back to the left from the current council.  That's impressive for the traditionally Mainstream Republican editorial board on the Enquirer.  I think they changed the process a bit this year, creating a more objective measurement of candidates.  With that measurement they did not endorse four of the nine sitting council members, including three of the Republican incumbents.

The biggest surprise was the additional editorial the paper included saying which three incumbent candidates should "move on." Leslie Ghiz, Charlie Winburn, and Cecil Thomas all were called out as being "distractions." All three were candidates the Enquirer previously endorsed in 2009, something they allude to in the article.  Calling out candidates in that manner is new and we'll see how effective it is in changing voter's views.

This year I don't see this (or any) endorsement as a game changer, but it will help add some critical votes to those either hoping to sneak into the number 9 spot or want to climb as high as they can in the vote count to help them make a case for a possible appointment to council when someone steps down.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Complaint Filed With OEC Charging COAST With Misleading Voters

Cincinnatians For Progress has filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission charging that COAST has knowingly made false statements to affect the outcome of the Issue 48 election vote.  20 instances are cited as violations of Ohio Revised Code Section 3517.22.  These false statements have included claims that the city has taken funds away from fire services to fund the streetcar project, which is a blatantly obvious lie.

I am curious if the compliant can be amended to include Chris Smitherman who is also misleading voters about Issue 48 on his Facebook page, as documented by CityBeat.

FOP Endorsements Officially Announced

The Enquirer was finally provided with an official list of candidates for Cincinnati City Council getting endorsements from the Fraternal Order of Police of Cincinnati (Local Police Union). Another short list has been issued and it is filled with surprises. The List:

Mike Allen
Kevin Flynn
Leslie Ghiz
Amy Murray
Jason Riveiro
Christopher Smitherman
Charlie Winburn

The big shock is the inclusion of Chris Smitherman, which I wrote about before. The other surprises include the absence of Wayne Lippert and Chris Bortz. I am guessing the lack of support against Issue 2 led to Lippert's Snub. Bortz likely wouldn't take a pledge not to lay off police. He's not made any statements stating he supports cuts, but pledges for Republican leading organizations seems to be the norm.

Flynn and Riverio are surprises to me, but good ones.  It is good seeing some variation from just Republicans getting support from the FOP.

Mike Allen isn't a surprise, but as I wrote before is a disappointment.  Allen settled a sexual harrassment suit from a former staffer who worked for him while he was the Hamilton County Prosecutor.  Yes, the man responsible for prosecuting criminal charges in the county settled a law suit which as its basis argued that he abused his power while in public office.  This goes against what the purpose of the police.  It is so very disappointing that the FOP will look past this egregious fact because Allen will do what ever they want.  A Faustian bargain, but in this case I don't know who is playing the role of the devil.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

CityBeat Council Endorsements Announced

CityBeat has announced it's picks for Cincinnati City council this year and is doing something differing, only picking seven candidates.  The list is:

Kevin Flynn
Nicholas Hollan
Roxanne Qualls
Laure Quinlivan
Jason Riveiro
Chris Seelbach
Wendell Young

This list, one might argue, is short on African-Americans. Two other candidates that could have filled that role would have been Cecil Thomas and Yvette Simpson. Thomas is not a surprise, but skipping Simpson in favor of Young or Flynn is surprising for CityBeat.

I'm not a fan of short ticket voting, which many groups, including CityBeat, are advocating. It might be a valid 'strategy,' but for all of the increase in the value of a single vote for a candidate it makes, short ticket voting takes away from the voters overall power to pick the nine they want.

Lippert Pulls a Romney

Cincinnati council member Wayne Lippert appears to be channeling the tone and actions of Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney with his flip-flop yesterday reversing his vote after being told to change for political reasons.

Romney was busy yesterday flip-flopping on Issue 2 (SB5) where was now for it, but previously he would take a stand on the issue when appearing at a political office of the Anti-Union Issue 2 campaign on Tuesday in the Cincinnati area.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Enquirer Rips Jeffre With Snark

Journalists do not often get the chance to add analysis or a little opinion in news stories. Well this article including reference to Justin Jeffre's, former boy band singer, arrest as part of the Occupy Cincinnati protests gave this gem of a quote
Going to jail could be a good career move for Jeffre. Spending time behind bars inspired many blues and country artists to write some of their best material.
Coffee nearly shot out of my nose after I read that. Snark is a joyous thing, especially about this topic.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quimbob Sums Up Problems With OccupyCincy

As I write this, Piatt Park is the scene of possible confrontation as speculation mounts that protesters who have been 'occupying' the park for over a week will be forced to leave, or face arrest.  I generally agree with some of the 99% and OWS movement, but I share the view of Quimbob at Blogging Isn't Cool, who criticizes the group.

The means of the protesters in the park is part of their problem: a failure to follow the rule of law.  They may not like the law, but they must follow the law.  That is basis of our democratic republic. If you don't like the law, you must change the law via the open process of our political system.  If you don't like our government, then you are going to face the wrath of the 99% who make want to change part of the way our government and political system works, but agree it works.

Another issue that has also killed support for this group is the folly of its members in listening to people like Josh Spring of the 'Homeless' Coalition.  If you think Josh believes in the 99%, then I think I have a life-size test model of the Brooklyn Bridge to sell you.  He, and others like him, are about their own 1% and nothing else.

Now, we just need a respectful and calm resolution and for everyone to go home safe.

UPDATE: Some of the protesters are getting wind of the problems with dealing with the Homeless Coalition.  Here's the classic retort to a report that homeless people are disrupting and stealing from the occupy movement:
News 5 did ask the Homeless Coalition about the problems at Piatt Park. The station was told it boils down to simple personality conflicts.
It would appear Josh Spring seems to not want any laws enforced. Theft and threats of violence are just personality problems, not crimes, apparently....

UPDATE #2:  The Enquirer reports that around 1 AM police came to the park and very peacefully arrested 23 protesters who refused to leave the park.  Another report is here from Sentient Cincinnati.  Also, there's more from WCPO.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ghiz Conflict of Interest?

I did not see this mentioned in the the Leslie Ghiz and Wayne Lippert's grandstanding letter protesting the protests, but Leslie Ghiz's law practice is located on Garfield Place, right across the street from the protests at Piatt Park.  I find that to be a huge conflict of interest. Is Council Member Ghiz acting as a member of City County or as the owner of a business affected by the protests?

She should not take any additional action on this issue.  Let those without anything to gain from prosecution of the protesters to act on behalf of the City.  We also don't need arrests.  That will not do the city any good.

Further more: a vote of no confidence?  Seriously,  Ghiz and Lippert want to talk about confidence?  I am sure no one has foreclosed on either of Leslie's or Wayne's Glass Houses.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What The FOP Forgot About Chris Smitherman

While I am still unable to find an official listing of Cincinnati FOP endorsements (CityBeat has a list posted yesterday), I must point out what I would think was a clerical error.  Chris Smitherman is listing the FOP as one of his endorsements for Cincinnati City Council.  This is what I would expected if we lived in Bizarro World, where pigs actually fly.  Instead I will collectively pinch everyone and confirm that you are dreaming.

That in mind, I will just have to assume that someone in the FOP must have broken in the evidence locker and took out a truck full of weed and drove it over to FOP headquarters before they picked their endorsements.  What I am sure the FOP didn't bother to do was vet Chris Smitherman before his endorsement, other than to determine if he would pledge not to fire anyone on the the police force and for his No vote on State Issue 2 (SB5).

If they did, they might have dug up this article from Greg Korte in the Enquirer about some of the antics Smitherman pulled right after taking office as a Council member in 2003.  As soon as Smitherman had run a 'moderated' campaign as a Charter Committee endorsed candidate, he came right out of the shoot attacking the Cincinnati Police Department.  He demanded a list of where all police officers went to high school.  He was so loved by the FOP back then former FOP President Keith Fangman had this to say:
"Chris Smitherman is the master of illusion," said Keith Fangman, the Fraternal Order of Police vice president. "He hoodwinked the voters into believing he wanted to improve police-community relations. And he has done the exact opposite."
So, I guess the FOP has now been 'hoodwinked' into giving an endorsement.  If Smitherman is elected, I would make a bet at what parts of the CPD he would start targeting.

No matter how much of a Republican Smitherman claims to be, which he should do as he's getting praised by the likes of Chris Monzel, not to mention COAST and Charlie Winburn.  I really don't understand how the local NAACP can just abandon it's principles under the ruse of getting one man more power.  Making deals with the 'devil' will do nothing but ruin you in the end.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gruesome Playground Injuries at Know Theatre


See this show! I saw it on opening night and it a great cast, great director, great staging, awesome use of video, and tremendous story. it's playing Thursday to Saturday until November 5th. Go to www.knowtheatre.com for more information.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Leslie Ghiz Was NOT Endorsed by CincYPAC

If you read my blog a few weeks ago, you'd know that Leslie Ghiz was not endorsed by CincYPAC this election season.
 If you read Leslie Ghiz's detailed list of alleged endorsements  (Pictured above) on the current League of Women Voter's website, Smartvoter.org, then you would find the false information indicating she was endorsed by the YP policital action committee.

I don't know if Leslie is mistaken about who endorsed her or if she's just not running a serious campaign that would take the time to update her candidate page on the LWV web site from the prior election, with just over three weeks before the next election.  She also lists an endorsement from POWR PAC, which I can't find published anywhere.  The POWR PAC website isn't coming up and they've not posted anything on their Twitter account for months, so I think they've not issued any endorsements yet this year.

Ghiz has got a more up-to-date endorsement listing on her website, one would think she could get a staffer to update the LWV page.  I guess all of the time she's been spending coming up with a detailed Republican plan to avoid police layoffs while still eliminating the $33 Million budget deficit has prevented her staff from this type of simple house-keeping item.  I'm sure we'll all get to see that plan any day now.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chaos Headed to Ohio in the 2012 House Election

Ohio may have election chaos of its own making in 2012.  The Enquirer has an in-depth story on the repercussions on the Ohio Supreme Court 7-0 ruling on Friday that requires Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to accept a ballot initiative to overturn the gerrymandered Republican plan to draw Federal Congressional districts.

In case anyone was thinking this was not a bullshit plan, take in a simple fact: each district must contain 721,032 residents.  Hamilton County's 2010 Census population is 802,374.  There is no reason the 1st District, where the law starts off, should not have been created entirely inside Hamilton County.  That's Fair.  Sure part of the county would need to be in another district, but only around 80,000 people. Instead the 1st District, as set by Republicans, includes parts of three counties.  That's the bullshit.

Sure, Republicans could claim that Democrats  have done the same thing in the past.  I don't care about the past.  We are in the present.  If you are going to say this plan is "Fair", as a quote in the Enquirer article from Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder (R) did, then you the purveyor of bullshit that deserves opposition and a little scorn in the form of a  blog post like this.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Aja Roberto Appears To Be A COASTer

I'm perplexed that someone would go from being the Treasurer of CincYPAC to a supporter of COAST.  Ben at Cincyvoices has a very good article describing what I would characterize as the bizarre and unprofessional actions of Aja Roberto in how she resigned from the CincYPAC board and made unclear and unsubstantiated claims against the organisation, then went on to be a host of the COAST fundraiser supporting Issue 48 and against all passenger rail projects in Cincinnati.

It made her appear to just be a Republican pissed that most of her Republican candidates who don't agree with CincYPAC issues didn't get endorsements.  Something to be shocked over, I'm sure....

What the evidence of this situation points to in my opinion is that a hardcore Republican confused the stated issues of CincYPAC with the anti-city stances of Suburbanite Republicans and was pissed that more people were not as confused as she was, so she created a spectacle.  Classy, I know.

That's what I'd call a shit show.  It's also radioactive for any political candidate who allows her into their campaign on a significant level.  She'd fit in well with Chabot or Winstrup, I'd surmise.  I hope she stays out of City politics, of which she's greatly mistaken on where YP's stand.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Where's the Full List of FOP Endorsements?

I've read the Smartvoter.org website listing details about Cincinnati City Council candidates and their campaigns. These details include endorsements. I see at least two candidates that I am surprised are listing an FOP (Fraternal Order of Police - the Cincinnati Police Union) endorsement. One of those two I am down-right shocked at reading. I've not seen a press release or posting on the FOP website listing the candidates. I'm wondering why.  Reading this candidate's Facebook pages makes me think I've figured out the litmus test that got this candidate an endorsement, but without the full list, I can't pieced it all together.

I already commented on the Mike Allen's reported endorsement from a local media outlet, but I've not found any other mentions than candidate's listing on the page linked above or shout-outs on their own pages. I don't want to comment on one of the alleged endorsements without some official confirmation.

This candidate appears to have transformed from something they were into something the FOP would endorse.  I don't see how the past can be forgotten.

Over-the-Rhine to Headline The Emery Theatre 11-11-11 Kickoff

Soapbox Cincinnati happily broke the story this morning that famed local band Over-the-Rhine will headline the 11-11-11 benefit event for the Emery Theatre restoration project.  Details on the event are here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wayne Lippert Is a REPUBLICAN, Don't Forget That

If you have seen Cincinnati Council member Wayne Lippert's political TV commercial (search for it on YouTube) then you can conclude many things about him, but the one that stands out to me is that he is a hardcore national REPUBLICAN. I put that in capital letters to draw extra attention to it. He's not a Cincinnati Republican running for City Council, he is a RNC inspired candidate pushing a National REPUBLICAN agenda. That is not good for the city.

His commercial could have been written by REPUBLICAN House Speaker John Boehner. It is like he knows nothing more about the City than a West Chesterite listening to 700WLW knows. If you use national political GOP talking points like "Job Killing" in your local TV Ad, then I dismiss your participation in City Politics as nothing more than a prelude to moving to the suburbs to run for the U.S. Congress. It is clear to me that Lippert is going through the motions before he runs for higher office, not actually working to unite and better the city. You don't say we are on the wrong track without telling us what we should be doing, but doing that doesn't get votes. Using rhetoric that preaches a contradiction, (refusing to cut police while not rasing taxes), is evidence that you are ALL about getting votes, not about having a plan to improve the city.

I don't know why he did not move to Anderson Township and plan for higher office from there? In the city he is doing nothing but pushing a national GOP agenda that is bent on the destruction of cities and the protection of the wealthy. Lippert is carrying that water so far without any variance.

Friday, October 07, 2011

County Cutting Police Protection, Not Attacked For Funding Sports

So, I find it funny, yet not surprising that when the County leadership is working to cut police coverage (Sheriff's patrols) in some suburban townships, we don't have a circus screaming about the impending increase in crime that would follow. That's what we get when anyone in the City dares state that we should cut our police force. We hear that most from the FOP, the police union. How many of those police officers live in the townships (outside of the city) that are affected by the possible cuts to the Sheriff's patrols?

Chris Monzel, current County Commissioner and former member of Cincinnati City Council, is part of the leadership looking to cut the police. Why is he not cutting funding for the Bengals Stadium? Why would we subsidize a professional sports team instead of funding police protection? Why can't he just do what people like him claim should happen in the City, which is tap restricted funds? COAST, members of Westwood Concern, and the FOP all tried to make various forms of this argument. Monzel played to that crowd and won the County race based in part on his pro-police antics. We don't hear the circus attacking him or fellow commissioner Greg Hartmann for doing the same thing the City administration wants and should do, cut the police force.

I really don't like hypocrisy, but I really hate it when the hypocrisy is enabled. The media enables it by giving a voice to the crazies, who are surprisingly (or not really surprisingly) silent on this.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Finney Takes In Big Money From Suing Governments

Once of COAST's main agitators, Chris Finney, regularly sues local governments. It is my opinion he does this to punish his political foes.  However, there's another reason he does it: money.  The Enquirer is reporting that Finney and another attorney have collected over $150,000 in legals fees after suing local governments over the last seven years.

If this was about civic duty, they wouldn't have collected a dime.

Now to point out the obvious: Why this matters?  COAST is against any 'additional spending.'  Their efforts have been targeted against selected government officials and organizations, not consistent and balanced against all municipalities and political parties.  What's funny is that Finney stated the following in the article:
"We want everybody to play by the rules," Finney said. "I want them to be fearful that if they do something like this, they'll be sued."
The funny part is that when he says 'everybody' I wonder if he means 'everybody I don't like' instead?  I'm wondering if Finney is putting the same scrutiny on Republican politicians.  Did he do the same type of check on the Anderson Township administration and board of trustees?  Did he do that on the County's two Republican Commissioners' staff?  I would bet no and no.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

COAST Fundraiser Has Nearly Undetectable Turnout

For all of the swagger behind COAST's efforts to ruin the city of Cincinnati, one would think they could get a big crowd to show up for a Fundraiser to support Issue 48, which would ban all rail projects in the city for at least 10 years.

The Cincinnati Monocle had a blogger on the scene to cover the event and reports, with just a hint of being aghast, that the COAST fundraiser attracted no more than 25 people to the event, not counting the media.  Yes, they had one TV news crew there, along with local bloggers, so the level of coverage is slightly odd for the turnout, but it was FOX19, so....

The only thing not reported was how many donations were mailed in to COAST from the suburbs and exurbs and the Governor's Office.  People to busy to attended, but rich enough to help COAST destroy the city for kicks.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

More Evidence COAST seeks to Hurt the City

In case you were wondering, as I know you do, there was more evidence reported by the Enquirer last week demonstrating the lengths that COAST's minions will go to hurt the city.  Left with lots of spare time, Chris Finney went fishing and caught Cincinnati City Council Member Laure Quinlivan's staff from accessing and updating a website from a city owned computer. The cost to the tax payers for this trivial infraction: $0.13. Yes, that would thirteen cents.

The cost to taxpayers for the investigation brought by Finney and COAST, "several thousand dollars." Yes, that is thousands of dollars.  The sense of proportion and sense of justice will go out the window when ever a COAST lawyer walks into a courtroom again.

Don Quixote would be proud, except that Don Quixote character was a man of honor and there is no honor in anything COAST does. They are bent on destruction of the city at all costs, and that costs us, the taxpayers, more in the process.

Friday, September 23, 2011

MidPoint Music Festival Day TWO!!!

Day One of MidPoint was a huge success! Yes, those who missed out still have two full days to hit great shows and really amazing events. If you have not been to the MidPoint Midway, then you are missing out on heart of the festival. The Box Truck events are a fun augmentation to the music, but there is still plenty of music there too.  Tonight my shows of choice include:

Toror y Moi at 9:30 at the SCPA Corbett Theater
Deerhoof at 11:45 PM at the Know Theatre
STRFKR at 12:30 at MOTR


According to Twitter the live.mpmf.com should be fixed, so Tweet on.

CincyPAC Endorsements Announced

CincYPAC has annoucned their 2011 Cincinnati City Council election endorsements. The list is:
Chris Bortz
Kevin Flynn
Nicholas Hollan
Catherine Mills
Roxanne Qualls
Jason Riveiro
Chris Seelbach
Yvette Simpson
P.G. Sittenfeld
The Republicans have only 1 candidate on that list, Catherine Mills, and her YP connections, I believe, were more the cause of her getting the support of enough people at CincYPAC than her positions on the group's issues.

It says much when no other Republican running has anything in common with the mainstream issues put forth by CincYPAC.  The Republicans in this Council race are nearly uniformly running an anti-city platform, which entails enacting policies that benefit people living outside the city more than inside.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

MidPoint Music Festival Day One!!!

One of the best times of the year has arrived and I am more than excited, I am ecstatic with the prospects of what awaits over the next three days.  Tonight my shows of choice include:

The Seedy Seeds at 7:30 at the SCPA Corbett Theater
The Watson Twins at 9:30 PM at the Know Theatre
Jessica Lea Mayfield at 11:45 at the Know Theatre


Be sure to keep tabs on live.mpmf.com for Tweets and texts from all over the festival.


Chamber Of Commerce 'Endorsements'

The Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce released a scorecard of candidates for Cincinnati City Council.  As would be expected, the endorsed Republicans got a uniform high score, along with Charterite Chris Bortz.  Vice-Mayor Roxanne Qualls also got a mostly high score.

The Cincy FOP Likes Sexual Harassers

I always wondered why the Cincinnati FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) would stand behind police officers who abuse their power, fighting to keep bad cops on the force.  Well, it just may be a fetish they have.  The FOP have reportedly endorsed disgraced former Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen for Cincinnati City Council.  Allen settled a lawsuit with a former staffer for sexually harassing her.  Abuse of power by the top legal man in the county is alluring to some people.  The police union leadership likes to play it kinky, at least in politics.

I've not found a full listing of endorsements from the FOP, but I would feel really embarrassed to be listed along side Mike Allen if I were any candidate.

NOTE: The Fire fighters reported endorsed him too.  That's just sad.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Waiting on COAST's Casino Sidewalks Causing Deaths Tweet

I am waiting, totally on pins and needles, for the latest Tweet from COAST.  I'm expecting it to read something like "$16.8M Casino sidewalks cause brownouts to all fire houses for a week, thousands to die."

Hold on, you say?  That's not fair?  Sidewalks are funded by the capital budget and the Fire Department is funded via the Operating budget?  Hmm, that's crazy Streetcar talk!  Everyone knows that via magical (and illegal) means, the City could violate the law and use that Sidewalk money to save cops jobs!  We all know that, right?  Right???

The four Republicans on council wouldn't vote to spend money $16.8M to fund sidewalks to promote a private endeavor when that money could be spent on saving police and fire jobs, would they?  Especially when that endeavor is gambling.  Isn't that a sin in Charlie Winburn's eyes?

Is my snark getting through to everyone?  Yes, today the city is set to approve spend $16.8M in funds to build street and sidewalk construction around the new casino and if the committee vote there is no one against it.  Only Chris Bortz is questioning where the funding is coming from, which is a fair question.  The Republicans on council are not questioning it, yet they play into the lies that anti-Streetcar forces put forth, claiming that capital funds in the budget could be used to prevent police or fire layoffs (or "brownouts".) For the record, I am for the new streetscape, but I would like the source of funding of it to have some help, like from the State. The people of the State of Ohio voted to put the Casinos in, so if there is public funding needed for any part of it, the State should pony up for it, not just the localities.

None of the those anti-streetcar forces are screaming about $16.8M in street work that will actually redirect traffic.  They I guess like to gamble and are not doing anything to prevent the city to spend money on the Casino.  Again, COAST (the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes) seems to be rather subjective on the "Spending" part of their name.  I've seen others call them "COA T" in comments on other blogs and on the Enquirer's website.  Well, here's another example to fit the hypocrisy of that group.  It fits well with all of the lies they spew.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More COAST Bigotry

Are we just numb from the bigotry and veiled racism that flows from the people behind COAST?  I starting to think we are heading that way, but Kevin Osborne of CityBeat has a strong blog post outlining what the latest incident entailed.  The surprising source of the bigoted graphic came from a black UC student who, according to Osborne, has volunteered on local GOP political campaigns, including Council member Amy Murray.

Si Leis To Retire At End of Current Term

Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis announced last week that he will not seek reelection after the end of his current term.

The Enqurier reports that Leis stated his Chief Deputy, Sean Donovan, plans to run for Sheriff next year. I know nothing about Donovan, but I would think there would be many possible candidates considering running. I am not sure a Leis supporter would get a lot of Republican primary support, since Leis broke with the party on many issues recently, namely with his belief that the county needs funding and can't be starved to death by Monzel and Hartmann.

Don't Tell Leslie Ghiz, But She's Ignorant on Issue 48

I am just not sure if Leslie Ghiz has read the text of of Issue 48, the anti-rail charter amendment, but she's in favor of banning all rail projects in Cincinnati for a generation. Well, she likely will claim otherwise, but she seems to think Issue 48 only covers the Streetcar, but as the Enquirer reported, all six experts consulted for the story agreed that the Issue could ban the City from enacting any type of rail project. I guess her prior "not right now" position on the streetcar really means never, which I believe is what it was all along.

At this point, Ghiz seems more about defeating the Mayor and anyone who criticizes her, than she is about improving the City.  She's starting to sound more like a COAST member every time she makes a public statement.  I can't find a Republican running for office in Cincinnati who doesn't sound like a COAST flunky.

It is so disappointing that the local Republican party has chosen to run all of its candidates on the same tone and strategy as National Republicans.  It does nothing more than divide us, but alas, that's the point.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Get you beer steins cleaned and work on your beer fighting weight. This weekend is Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. The world of beer and brats will be centered on Cincinnati's 5th Street for 2 full days., plus a preview night on Fountain Square on Friday.  Don't miss a second, unless you need to relieve yourself, which after a day's worth of beer drinking, you will need to do. Bring your grandma and your dancing shoes.

If anyone can find me at the event and you dressed in German-esque garb, then I might buy you a beer.  Note the word "might" in the last sentence.



Oh, and Prosit!

If Chiquita Moves, Blame COAST, Winburn, and Smitherman

An Enquirer article reports that Chiquita Brands International, headquartered in Downtown Cincinnati, is being courted by other cities, mainly Charlotte, to move the company.  In the article, Council member Charlie Winburn is quoted in the article:
Added Winburn: “Anytime 400 jobs are at stake, I take that serious. If the city loses this company, then we need to call for an evaluation of city administration.”
No, Council Member Winburn, don't shirk your duty and point to the Administration. Point to yourself. If you want to keep Chiquita then you need to do several things to keep them here.  It starts with voting on a budget that would free up money to add to an incentive.  Then go to the Governor and get him of his ass and do something for Cincinnati.  Finally, start acting like you want to make this city into a progressive community that will attract news people and new businesses here.  Work to build the Urban Core of the city and agree it must be a vibrant success if the rest of the City and metro area are going to have sustained growth and prosperity. The article goes on about the air service.  Well, that's quiet frankly a tough thing for a city or even the metro area to transform.  It will take years to attract more direct flights. A more simple and immediate way to improve the city is to support rail projects, like the streetcar or light-right or the East Side commuter-rail.  None of these will happen if COAST and Smitherman's anti-rail charter amendment passes. So, if nothing else, don't support the anti-rail forces.

Why does rail matter? Well, ask Charlotte, they have rail transportation and they stand poised to take a major headquarters from our city.  Destroying the city may be COAST's and Smitherman's goal, but surely Winburn doesn't want this to happen.  If he wants to get "serious," then  he should rethink his stance on the streetcar and stop pointing fingers at others and get on board with those try to make this city a better place.

The solution is rather simple: don't shill for the FOP and don't think making the city into another suburb will solve any problems.  All of the endorsed Republicans running might gain some respect and maybe even some votes if they took that to heart and lived it.  That action would lose many Conservative votes and Suburban contributions, however, which leads me back to my cynical default stance, where Winburn's opportunism lives and keeps progress back, as long as he and other Republicans are in power.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Is Frey Pleading Guilty?

The Enquirer has an in-depth article about the property sales and purchases Diana Frey and family have made over the last few years.  Frey is the former president of the CODE union who has been indited on charges that she embezzled over $700,000 worth of union funds.

What is news to me is that the article reports that a guilty plea is allegedly in the works.  The deal is not known, but Frey faces 20 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.  A deal would likely bring down both the jail time and fine, assuming restitution of the stolen money is made in some capacity.

What ever the deal, significant jail time must be part of it.  Frey, if convicted, deserves at least a decade behind bars.  The other question the Enquirer article brings to mind: who else in her family could be charged with a crime?  Will a plea from Frey keep the rest of the family from jail time?

Monday, September 12, 2011

COAST Goes To The Extreme, Even For Them

5chw4rtz has the best response to COAST comparing 9/11 terrorism to the Streetcar in a Twitter post. Here is a pictorial version of the tweet:

Yes, the anti-city group went there and did it on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and they tweeted more about terrorism and the streetcar beyond this single tweet.  They lied and are totally full of shit, but they went there. That says miles about their lack of character and willingness to lie and slander others. Sure, they'll call it a joke and maybe they'll take the offending Tweet down.  They will not admit they were wrong.  They really need some counseling.  Beyond a public apology from the group's leaders, the person or persons running the twitter feed should be replaced, if any attempt to show dignity exists within that group.

If there are elected officials who support COAST, even in the slightest, and they don't PUBLICLY condemn this and the other similar tweets from COAST, then they are going to be called out as tacidly supporting it.  As the maxim goes "Qui tacet consentire videtur" (he who is silent is understood to consent), which holds true doubly here for the political climate of the times.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

CityBeat Website Gets Big Makeover

I can't tell you when, exactly, but Citybeat.com has undergone a much needed make-over.  It is a great improvement, but is moving slow this morning, at least for me.  The mobile version is a bit different, but mostly structured the same.  I am not pleased that on my iPad I wasn't able to open the regular site, just the mobile version.  I am hoping that's a kink that can be worked out.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

MidPoint: A Decade of Audio Addiction!


Mid Point Music Festival from The Big Media Company on Vimeo.

Downtown Cincinnati As Safe or Even Safer than Exurbs

The Cincinnati Enquirer had an excellent article about crime in the CBD/Downtown area as compared to several of the Cincinnati area's most populated exurbs, like West Chester, Florence, and Mason.  I really hope people read this and understand what it means. Far too many people I've talked with can't tell the differences amongst Downtown, Gaslight, Northside, OTR, or even in a few instances Hyde Park.  Therefore, I am not going to hold my breath that an understanding that crime happens everyone mixes with how safe the CBD area has become.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Desperate Candidates Lead to Misleading Press Conferences

If you are going to claim something to be true, like Republcian Council Members Wayne Lippert and Amy Murray, both appointees to council, then you better have facts, not misleading allegations that come close to out right slanderous lies, if they had named an individual.

I understand both council members are up for election and neither have actually won a council election. That tends to lead to desperation. They may have all the Suburban GOP money that is possible, but they don't have the loyal Suburanite GOP voters to go with those dollars, since they aren't city residents. Instead they have to resort to stunts like this and as far as stunts go, this is one of the most dishonest ones I have ever seen. They make a claim and can't prove it.

Yes, that is like calling some a cheat, but not being able to back it up.

That's something people can be sued over and made to pay damages, under the right circumstances.

Here, Lippert and Murray chose to assume that the people of Westwood are ignorant fools. Westwood is the place they chose to hold their press conference and that is the city neighborhood they both need to place in 4th or 5th place in if they hope to get elected.  So, lying to their prospective voters is worth the dishonor, as long as they can fool enough people into believing their unsubstantiated and unprovable claims.

Candidates who do more than appeal to the far extreme of their base are those who have a much easier time getting elected. Neither Lippert or Murray are looking like leaders for the majority of the City, just the small extreme GOP Base, looking to leave for the suburbs as soon as they can sell their house.

Political Nonsense From Sittenfeld

P.G. Sittenfeld has a well organized and well financed campaign for Cincinnati City Council.  He also has quickly learned how to make nonsensical statements on important political issues.  Here's his answer to the Enquirer's question on where he stands on the Streetcar:
P.G. Sittenfeld: The city's focus right now needs to be on basic services ahead of streetcars, but the reality is, this project is now in the hands of the voters, and I will respect the direction they give us in November.
Yes, experts of all political views would agree that this answer is a prime example of "bull shitting." That's the act of pretending to take a stand on something, but actually saying things in such a confusing way that you can deny to supporters of both sides of the issue that you are not against their side. Does my definition come across like double-talk? Well, that's the point.

I personally call Sittenfeld's statement political cowardice. I don't know who is advising him, but it sounds like a professional who is well schooled in how to be for and against everything, simultaneously. That is the most shallow and worthless manner a politician can exhibit and it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of anyone with a brain.

Since far too many people lack functioning brains, P.G. stands a good chance of becoming yet another bad member of city council, one more focused on getting elected than actually doing anything for the City.

What's even worse, P.G. appears to not want to get involved with the anti-Rail ballot initiative, based on his "in the hands of voters" line. What P.G. now needs to first realize is this isn't just an anti-streetcar issue, this is an anti-rail issue. Then he must take a stand on it. Is he part of the anti-rail delusional fringe of Cincinnati politics or is he with the majority of sane people who are NOT looking to ban all rail from Cincinnati for another generation?

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Half a Budget Plan is No Budget Plan at All

The Enquirer's Jane Prendergast has a blog post that discusses Cincinnati Council Member Chris Bortz stating he is tired of 'Democrats' saying he and the 'other side' don't have a plan to balance the budget.  Jane then outlines a list of steps from Bortz that would cut half of the $33 million city budget deficit.

I hate to point out the obvious and I don't have any other way to say this but: half a plan is no budget plan at all.   If Joey Votto hit the ball half way to the fence at GABP and wanted to call it a home run, I think everyone, including Bortz, would call that a joke.

Leslie Ghiz said Republicans have a plan, or at least are working on one.  Bortz is not endorsed by the Republicans, but has been voting with that 'side' on budget issues, so whether these are the same issues Ghiz is taking about, then Ghiz has no more of a plan than Bortz. She should keep working on it.  I thought Amy Murray, Charlie Winburn, and Wayne Lippert were spending the August recess working on issues like the budget, no?

The bottom line is a simple number: zero.  The budget deficit has to be zero after cuts are made.  I can't find anyone who thinks that both unfilled budget jobs and current staff working must be eliminated from the 2012 budget to reach the legally mandated zero number. If Chris Bortz or Leslie Ghiz can make those staff cuts without cutting police or the fire department, then that means they are cutting some other departments, heavily, reducing city services. The details on that should be made public an put forth now.  In case anyone forgot, Cincinnati is having an election and voters should know where the candidates stand and what services they would cut to balance the budget if elected (or re-elected).  That kind of knowledge is something that means candidates have to make political choices.  They have to either take on the FOP or be their shill.  It is a crappy choice, but that is the box the FOP and it's supporters have forced the Republicans and Bortz into and I for one am not going to give them a pass on making that choice.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What Type of Math is Joe Deters Using?

The County Department heads, including County Prosecutor Joe Deters, issued a report of what they state will happen if cuts are made to the county budget.  The results are not good, but Joe Deters seems to be using some type of new math or really has a internally top heavy salary range and high overhead.  I say this because he claimed that if he had to bear $1.9M of cuts of his $10.4M budget, he will have to cut 50 of his criminal attorneys. The Enquirer reports that 50 is 41% of his staff attorneys.  That works out to an 18% budget cut, which Deters claims equates to a 41% cut to his number of attorneys?  What the hell kind of cut is he making to his staff?  Is he just picking the 50 lowest paid attorneys and staff and laying them off? The average cost comes out to $38,000 for 50.  That's expense for the employees, not salary.  Salary would have be something much, less.  I don't know what the starting wage is for a county lawyer, but something in the low 30K seems really low.

I am guessing that 50 would include attorneys and support staff combined and it doesn't include expenses for benefits.

Therefore, either Deters is lying, or the Enquirer is mistaken, or both.

This is disappointing because the County is in horrible shape and the Republican majority is not willing to do anything to prevent these types of cuts. Reports like these issued by the department heads are helpful to the public understand the type of impact we face because of the failure of Hartmann and Monzel to maintain the services required by the state.  It would help department heads' cause if Deters would be more straight forward with the facts.

UPDATE: Yeah, someone is not adding correctly.  If you read page 41 of the impact statement you find that the very half-assed report from the Prosecutor's office assumes $3M in cuts and base 50 attorneys at $50K, plus 10K for benefits, totaling $60K each.  So, the question is where does the $3M vs. $1.9M of cuts discrepancy come from?  A million+ dollar difference is a big one.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

CincyFringe Shows Get Noticed Across the Country

CityBeat's Rick Pender reports on the good review the Performance Gallery's IndyFringe performance of Fricative received.  The show is a provocative Dadaesque use of vocalisation that played CincyFringe in 2008. Here was my Review on TheConveyor.com.

Also getting some attention for the upcoming Chicago Fringe is Pones Inc whose production The Four Food Groups was the featured photo for this UpChicago Fringe article.

Chicago Fringe also features the amazing Artemis Exchange show Aberrant Reflections on the Barbarism of You & I.

If you happen to be in Chicago over the next week and a half, see both shows, they both were Conveyor.com award winners and are rousing fun.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bigotry Wins a Battle in a Local Catholic High School

It is sad, but not a surprise that the Cincinnati Archdiocese bowed to local and national pressure from anti-Muslim groups and parents.  Archbishop Dennis Schnurr cancelled a potluck dinner at Mother of Mercy High School in Westwood between students and local Muslims. The dinner was to be Ramadan meal and was meant as a way for students to learn about and meet local Muslims in hopes to better understanding the religion and the people who practice it. Instead, the event at the school was cancelled and a different Catholic group in University Heights will hold the event, without the school's involvement.

Teaching that bigotry wins is the result of this incident. That will create more bigotry. What is worse is that some parents, like Kelly Jennings, are teaching bigotry directly by acting to prevent this event. I just don't understand the fear and ignorance of fools like Jennings. They appear to live in bubble, with just a single tube of information flowing in and scared stiff that adding more sources will pop their mythical safety net.  This lingering bigotry is so foolish, yet so hard to break.

Where Is the Conservatives' Budget Plan?

Leslie Ghiz said there was going to be a budget plan, but we still haven't gotten word of one.  We get more grandstanding and pandering by the Conservatives on Cincinnati City Council, but no plan.  It is a pathetic game.  Promise not to fire police officers, but refuse to document and detail whose jobs would be cut is all we get.

Let's be clear, jobs will have to be cut based on current State cuts and the continued low revenue projections.  The Conservatives (mostly Republican) on council have the majority and have the responsibility to state before the election what they would cut.

We're not going to get much more than promises made to score endorsements and votes.  Elections don't breed honesty, they are about saying what your voting base wants to hear.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Check Out Some Great Aerial Photos of Cincinnati

Check out some great aerial photographs of Cincinnati, including Downtown, the Rverfront, and Kings Island, from QueenCityDiscovery.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Here They Are: AMERICA'S MERCURY ASTRONAUTS!

There are a few Cincinnati City Council candidates who need their signatures verified, but everything's been turned in and the list of candidates for the ride of a lifetime are as follows:

Incumbents:
Chris Bortz (C)
Leslie Ghiz (R)
Wayne Lippert Jr. (R)
Amy Murray (R)
Roxanne Qualls (C/D)
Laure Quinlivan (D)
Cecil Thomas (D)
Charlie Winburn (R)
Wendell Young (D)

Previous Candidates:
Kevin Flynn (C)
Nicholas Hollan (D)
Christopher Smitherman (I)

New Candidates:
Jacqueline Allen (I) *
Mike Allen (I)
Kathy Atkinson (I)
Patricia McCollum (I)
Sandra Queen Noble (I)
Jason Riveiro (D)
Chris Seelbach (D)
Yvette Simpson (C/D)
P.G. Sittenfeld (D)
Catherine Smith Mills (R)

Write in Candidate:
Orlando Welborn

More from CityBeat and the Enquirer.

*Please note that CityBeat and the Enquirer have slightly different lists.  CityBeat includes Jacqueline Allen, the Enquirer does not.  CityBeat indicated J. Allen had turned in enough signatures, but was among those waiting for the signatures to be verified.  I am not aware that the verification were completed.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Help the Streetcar and All Rail Projects: Cincinnatians For Progress Fundraiser - Tonight!

Cincinnatians For Progress is holding a fundraiser tonight,Thursday August 25th, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at The Blue Wisp, 318 E. 8th St. There will be music by Dave Hawkins. There will be door prizes from Milton's, Iris Bookcafe, Park + Vine, Segway and others. Get there and support progress for Cincinnati.

A suggested donation is $20 to the general public, or $50 to hosts. If you can't make it tonight, you can contribute online here.

Chabot Hates Open Meetings and is Ignorant About Tax Rates

In case you missed the video, check out what happened when Republican Congressman Steve Chabot's staff directed a Cincinnati police officer to seize cameras of private citizens during a Chabot Town Hall event in Avondale at a publicly owned building.

I feel sorry for the police officer, but he should know better, and should have questioned the validity of "security reasons" when two television station cameras are there. Here is a tape of this from a third camera:



Here is more from the Enquirer's political blog. (If this was Steve Driehaus, this would have been front page news).

In other Chabot News, Steve Benen of Washington Monthly has a great story discussing an exchange, at I believe the same meeting above, where Chabot was advised that Federal Tax rates are the lowest they have been in 50 years.Chabot didn't believe it. He was told this by a voter, not likely one to vote for him, but a voter none-the-less. Benen gives Chabot-the-Ignorant the truth about Federal Tax rates. I understand that in the middle of a meeting, Chabot can't Google this, but as a member of Congress who is talking about tax policy, he should know this simple fact. What I fear is that he knows this, as do most Republican office holders, but he doesn't want any else to know this. They want people to think they pay far more taxes then ever before in hopes that the ignorant public will support cutting taxes, without a worry about how much their lives will change when they are asked to buy why they can't afford, assuming they want the same service the government provided. Republicans like Chabot want to destroy more government services for the public and will lie in order to do so. That's the modern GOP way.

The System Works! No Thanks to Republicans on Council

So, no laws had to be changed.  No, arms had to be twisted.  Instead, the Republicans Grandstanding on a non-issue just needed to waste some time.  None of that mattered.  The Oakley Skyline Chile Restaurant has approval to expand as it wanted.  If you hear any of the Republicans taking credit, ask them to explain what they did, exactly, to get his done.  If they don't have anything beyond a B.S. answer, then you can figure out what stinks.  If you can't smell what they say, then you have your nose up someone's behind.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dear Chief Craig, Deters Is an Ignorant Political Hack

Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig was on WDBZ radio recently and reportedly was troubled by the comments made by Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.  I can help Chief Craig here by telling him that Deters is a Republican who gets elected by making people in Hamilton County, mostly Republicans, scared of the City and of black people specifically.  That's what he does.  He's subtle about it, but he does it on purpose.  Case in point is Deter's ignorant comments about the incident on Fountain Square, where he compared it to Times Square and claimed "It's had one gun crime in the last three years..."

Well, let me help some more and do a quick Google Search on the topic:
1. April 5, 2010: 4 Shot, 54 Arrested in Times Square Easter Melee
3. May 1, 2010: Car Bombing Attempt

So, after a really quick search, I found two incidents of gun crimes (five dead), one almost tragic terrorist attempt, two fatal stabbings, one non-fatal stabbing, and one attempted rape. All of these happened with the last three years.  This is by no means a complete list, just a quick Google Search.  So, yes, Joe Deters is full of shit.  Times Square is a relatively safe place, far safer than it used to be.  I somehow survived walking with my high school classmates through Time Square in 1989 back in the old scary days, and lived to tell about it.  Time Square is still far more dangerous that Fountain Square has been or will ever be.  You can't find how many muggings or thefts in the news in NYC because those don't make the news.  Here in Cincinnati, sometimes it makes the news, on slow news days or when the victim makes for good pictures.

Bottom line, Deters makes stuff up to gain attention and make people scared of the City and Downtown specifically.   He does so, in my opinion, to make people scared and more open to his brand of fear politics.  Thankfully, I've not seen this from other Republicans in the same manner.  I'm still waiting for the next council meeting, where I hope it is not used as a political weapon. Having a police chief that is willing to not ignore the comments of people like Deters and is willing to call them on it is a refreshing spirit that I hopes continues.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Around the Blogs Recently: Things you Might Have Missed

CinAwesome! may have found the cultural incubator that keeps producing douchebags.

Carrie Bradshaw is full of shit stirs up the dating world with a summary of a recent two date night that came up empty.

McCoy on Movies has a take on Ann Hathaway's new movie One Day.  Editor's note: I, for the record, find Hathaway hot, but maybe not this movie, so much.

Monday, August 22, 2011

False Perceptions Are Fueled By the Media, and Build Walls

The events Friday and Saturday are tragic events, but the lingering tragedy is in the fuel that burns the false impressions into the minds of ignorant people from the media coverage of these events.  No, there's nothing false about the news, but it's the intensity given the story. The articles are going out of their way to give the truth about crime rates and the exceptions that these incidents represent, but people like Joe Deters are using it and will use it to build fear.  All they need are the images and the words describing what happened.  The headlines and the pictures are what linger in the minds of the average Joe-Q-Public.  When there are three or four different headlines about the same story, an extra importance is perceived.

This results in the false perception of the city and of Downtown.  It strengthens the bigotry of some and it puts doubt in the fickled ignorant, who consume news as if they are window shopping for shoes.  This is a cultural state that is plaguing the public and I don't know any type of solution, short of driving around every cul-de-sac and neighborhood in the tri-state area, shouting slogans on a megaphone.  That still wouldn't get the truth into minds who don't want to know anything that isn't easy and familiar.

What I am bracing myself for is the political onslaught of fear mongering.  There was some from Deters in the article above.  He's done it so many times I think everyone expects the same and they get the ignorance he puts out, like his ignorance on Times Square crime rates. (Hat Tip to CincyCapell).

What I am really hoping we don't get are Council Candidates using this as political fodder.  I encourage council members and candidates issuing comments that are introspective or positive.  We need to work together to prevent crime and we need to make people understand that our city is safe.  We don't need council candidates claiming this is any type of indication or example of something that should drive future action of government.  Here the system worked. No more or no fewer police officers were going to prevent a person from carrying a gun illegally in a public place. It is tragic that a 16 year old put himself into this situation.  I also really hope that the police actions are allowed to be reviewed, but not used as a tool to build hate.  If there are questions, they can be asked.  We don't need to push fear of the police.  I am looking right squarely at Chris Smitherman on this. I hope he does not play politics with these incidents. Instead I really hope he helps people understand what happened, not assume they know what happened and create more false perceptions.  False impressions build walls.  Many of us have tried to tear down all of the walls that separate  us into conflicting factions.  It is the duty of all public officials, and those trying to become public officials, to help keep those walls down and create open spaces were people and their cultures can freely blend with all others.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Republican Council Members Are Exploiting Tragedy

A Cincinnati police officer was on his way to work recently and was very seriously injured in a car accident on Columbia Parkway on the East side of the City. This is a terrible tragedy and I believe everyone wishes him a speedy recovery.  Four members of Cincinnati City Council hold a press conference, along the side of the road, calling for a study of that road.  They don't say how they would pay for such a study or pay for improvements to the road.  They don't say why this incident is more important than other car or pedestrian or bicycle accidents that happen during their terms on different roads in throughout the city.

The fact that they held the press conference along the side of the road, likely caused enough commotion that they are lucky they did not cause another accident during the presser.

This accident happened to occur to a Police Officer.  That means it will get media attention and get the attention of the type of voter that listens to the FOP (police union) when it makes endorsements for city council. This grandstanding event is designed not to improve road safety, but to increase the voter tallies for Ghiz, Murrary, Lippert, and Bortz (the Charterite of the group).  That's explotation, but that is politics and these members are playing politics like conjoined quadruplets.

A functioning mainstream media needs to rip them a new on this issue the same way Kevin Osborne did on the Oakley Skyline faux controversy.  Since we live in a culture where criticism of any perceived to be helping a police officer injured, we will not get much.  The WLWT article linked about had some hints of reporting when they asked ODOT.  Now they need to just dig further and find out how dangerous this road is considered as opposed to other roads.  I've driven on it and I have driven on Glenway and Queensgate on the West side.  Couldn't they be holding the same press conference over there?

UPDATE: It appears the mainstream media, the Enquirer specifically, did rip them a new one, and handed it to them.  It is too bad that more people will watch the TV news clip and not read the article.

UDATE #2: You might ask three of the four (Ghiz, Lippert, Murray) if they oppose COAST's anti-rail issue.  That issue would make it impossible to have any passenger rail transportation until well into the next decade. Rail transportation along Riverside/Eastern Avenues would help reduce traffic on Columbia parkway thus taking away at least one factor that increases accidents.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Number of City Council Candidates Is Growing

Joe Wessels has a great article reporting on who is officially on the ballot for the Cincinnati City Council election and who among the declared candidates are still working on getting on the ballot.

The big news is that we officially have more than one nutty candidate running (other than Smitherman). Life would boring without conspiracy spouting political candidates. The additional person, who is no stranger to the tin foil hat community is Sandra Queen Noble. "Queen" is joined by 1 official write-in candidate Orlando Welborn, who will not appear on the ballot, but his write-in votes will be counted. Good luck on that.

Other possible candidates, none of whom I've heard of, are:
Jacqueline Allen
Kathy Atkinson
Patricia McCollum

Joe also lists out a group who have taken out petitions, but have yet to turn in any signatures. I'll not mention any of them out of a semblance of respect, except for Theo Barnes, who is on the list and who has been a candidate for council before. I'm not surprised to see him back and he could be in the lead for last place, even with a write-in candidate in the mix.

So, this puts us to maybe a list of 23 running for council, counting the write in candidate and assuming none of they-who-shall-not-yet-be-named actually get their act together. I will predict, for no apparent reason that we will see 21 candidates listed on the ballot, not counting the write-ins.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lippert Is Carrying COAST's Water

When Councilman Wayne Lippert issues a press release demanding that all work on the Streetcar be stopped until the Anti-Rail issue on the ballot in November is voted on, he is helping COAST and its anti-city efforts. The question that will persist about Lippert: Does he support COAST and it's anti-city efforts?This press release goes along way in supporting COAST.  In my views it does the following:

  1. It legitimized COAST's extreme anti-rail effort. 
  2. If signals to COAST voters that Lippert is in full support of the anti-rail issue without having to say it.  He may not be in support of the issue, but wants COAST voters to think he is.  Tea Party money may be politically toxic to anyone who cares about the City, but it is still green.
  3. It gives more free press to COAST and Co.
  4. This solidifies Lippert as desperate to get every far right wing vote he can.  He's lost any hope of getting moderate voters that are not just closet Republicans.
  5. This confirms to me that Lippert is looking not to help the city, but is laying the groundwork to run for higher office and will do so by pushing the agenda he thinks will get him elected at that later time, not what will improve the city. He wants to appease conservative base voters and they are in the suburbs and not in the city.
Lippert has made a harsh political choice and is playing to the media and to the extremes of the city and really the suburbs. A real leader would not help do anything to help propel COAST's anti-rail amendment. Everyone can see it is a horrible idea is meant to hurt the city. A real leader would speak out against this issue not hide behind false equivalency. A "let the voters decide" attitude is not leadership, it is being chickenshit.  If Lippert truly wants to the let the voters actually vote unhindered, then he should not have said a thing about the issue.  Instead he does what he can to push COAST's agenda, without actually endorsing it. When will the Enquirer ask and publish Lippert's stances on the anti-rail issue?

What makes this on the surface laughable, is that if you use Lippert's logic, the City, County, and State should not take any action, spend any money, have any discussion of anything that will be affected by a ballot initiative. That therefore means that since we have a statewide ballot issue (anti-healthcare law effort) that will decide if Ohio will knowingly violate constitutional law (supremacy clause) , we should avoid following the U.S. Constitution or any federal laws until the voters speak. Oh, Lippert didn't mention that one in his press release? Hmmm, I wonder why.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

MidPoint Schedule Released

In case you still living in a cave, you should know that the 2011 (Tenth annual) Midpoint Music Festival Schedule and line-up was announced. This year there are some new interesting add-ons and what caught my eye was the MidPoint Midway that will close off part of 12 Street and include an Artworks box truck project which sounds very interesting.

For the full details, including the venue listing and showcase times, check out mpmf.com.

SPAETHC Provides Analysis of the CBD Grocery Shopping Options

SPAETHC from Cincyvoices does some research and provides an analysis of the grocery options in the central business district, aka Downtown. He purposely leaves out OTR, which has a small Kroger's and Findley Market.

He brings to mind a big question: how far away is a grocery store away from a non-downtown resident?  The Newport Kroger and the Corryville Kroger are 5 to 10 minutes away by car. Is that not how long it would take for most people in Hyde Park, Oakley, and Mt. Lookout to get to the Hyde Park Kroger?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Republican Council Members Appease Business Owners, Ignore Public Good

If you left the Republicans on council with total control of the city government, they would let businesses do what ever they want. Instead of discussing why the city law requires what it does, they just attack a city department for DOING ITS JOB. We have a building code. We have a government that enforces that building code. We have a process in place that allows for business owners to appeal or seek exemption from the building code. That is how it works, and has worked well for a long time.

If Ghiz, Lippert and Murray seek to end the building code or the means to enforce it, then they are setting up business owners for long term failure when disaster or crime strikes. Yes, those are reasons for the building code. We have building standards that help buildings during disasters and help prevent massive damage and loss of life in those types of disasters. We, as a society, need building codes to exists because if another building on my block catches fire, my building could catch on fire. We need the building codes to require businesses and building owners keep standards that will help the WHOLE community in times when we need to work together.

If the Republicans want to improve the process for appeals or exemptions, then they could draft legislation to make it happen, unless there are State requirements that they must look to Columbus to address.  We don't get that from this effort. Instead we get sound bites that place business as the 'victim' to an evil government, something that appeals to the ignorant fools who think that government is bad, except for the police and fire departments and roads and health inspectors and all of the other services they use.  I guess having logic only a mother could love, is better than no logic, but it makes for bad public policy.

Attacking government departments for doing their job is a typical type of grandstanding, but a specialty for Republicans, with Ghiz as it's primary champion on Council. With a press conference you would think the media would ask questions and print answers that question what laws Ghiz & Co. want to change, why Ghiz & Co. would make a spectacle of this issue instead of making motions in a council session to address the issue, and why Ghiz & Co. are using this a political issue instead of acting on it?  No we don't get that, we get accomplices for the appeasement of business interests.  Business owners give more to Republicans in Cincinnati and business owners buy commercials from the media.  Walking a fine line is what makes reporting here extra fluff and no meat.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Updated List Of Who Is Running For Cincinnati City Council

Not everyone running has turned in their required signatures, but here's the latest listing of who is running for Cincinnati City Council:

Incumbents:
Chris Bortz
Leslie Ghiz
Wayne Lippert Jr.
Amy Murray
Roxanne Qualls
Laure Quinlivan
Cecil Thomas
Charlie Winburn
Wendell Young

Previous Candidates:
Kevin Flynn
Nicholas Hollan
Christopher Smitherman

New Candidates:
Jason Riveiro
Chris Seelbach
P.G. Sittenfeld
Catherine Smith Mills
Yvette Simpson

Likely Running:
Mike Allen

At most there appear to only be 18 candidates. Anyone else not listed above who turns in signatures will not be a significant candidate, unless they have more gold than Midas. Later this month the 'official' list will come out. If it looks different than above, I'll be astonished for all of about 43 seconds.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Is Smitherman Running For Council? Maybe An Answer Today

Is Chris Smitherman running for Cincinnati City Council or does he just like pretending he is the President of the United States and is trying to invoke the 25th Amendment?  He's been saying he has been running for months, but this latest stunt is the biggest sign he is actually going to do it. His website is not up, but someone has the domain registered.

Is he trying to ride to the wave of anti-City voters with the reported news that his anti-rail charter amendment will be on the ballot?

I've been pondering why there has been a lack of crazy 'independent' candidates running for council this year. I guess later on today, we shall get another crazy one in the mix.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Heartmann and Monzel Officially Screw the Poor

Hamilton County Commissioners voted 2 to 1 to lower the Indigent Care levy. Greg Heartmann and Chris Monzel showed the county that they care more about giving a few dollars more to property owners than they care about watching poor people die.

They could have just left it at the same level and felt and let the property value decrease be felt, which on one level is 'reasonable,' but no, they went ahead and lowered the millage rate, cutting funding even more. There is no reason to cut funding. University Hospital needs the money. Instead they will just increase the costs that go to all paying customers, so, the middle class public still pays for this, just the landowners get to buy a couple more Bud Lights at Walmart before they head home and watch TV in their basements all next year.

What a mindless world conservative Republicans live in.

The only thing worse that could happen is that monsters like COAST will spend money to defeat the levy and then succeed, thus achieving what they might hope would be a purge of the poor.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Barry Horstman's Anti-Streetcar Cheerleading Continues

In case you still had any doubt of the bias of the reporting on the Streetcar issue from the Enquirer's Barry Horstman, then read this article, which is more cheerleading than reporting. Horstman has not properly reported on what the ballot initiative says and provides a tacit explanation of it's  language with selective quotes that provide more of an argument for Smitherman to use, than a balanced summary. Any objective analysis of it, like Judge Mark Painter provided in the Enquirer, would conclude that this ballot initiative would ban the city from spending any money on any rail project, not just the streetcar. This type of bias is what I have come to expect from Horstman, which is very disappointing, but there is hope that he will soon end his involvement in reporting on this issue.  It is very pathetic that the impetus for a story on the Streetcar is going to be an email or phone call from Smitherman to Hortsman providing an update on his signature boondoggle.  The number of press releases and blog pots put out there last week on the ballot language was not something Horstman would have missed, especially if he reads the guest columnists in the newspaper that pays his salary. Hortsman failed to report on many substantive details of this situation. Here is an outline of some of what he failed to do.
  1. Question Smitherman on the language used in the ballot initiative. 
  2. Question COAST on the language used in the ballot initiative. (Didn't they write it?)
  3. Provide evidence on the validity of the claim that August 10th is a soft deadline. This contradicts a prior article he wrote.  What changed?
  4. Ask Smitherman how he's going to get over 1,200 signatures in 3 days, when it took around 5 days to get nearly 800.
  5. Ask Smitherman how he knows the signatures he has gotten in the last 5 days are valid, is that his guess or have they been validated by the Board of Elections?
  6. Ask Smitherman a question about a member of his campaign trashing at least one box full of CityBeat issues last Friday night. (This may happen yet. Hortsman and the Enquirer do like reporting on dirty tricks.)
That's not everything he could have done and included in the article, but the list summarizes some of the key details that would provide the most factual and fair presentation of the current situation.  We really are suffering with the lack of news gathering in this town.  TV and Radio don't have the resources to provide in depth reporting, so we are stuck with what every the Enquirer puts out.  That's a shameful way to live in a democracy.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Grammer's Robbed At Gunpoint Last Night

According to Grammer's Facebook page they were robbed at gunpoint last night (Friday) and will be closed tonight, tomorrow, and Monday. They will be reopening on Wednesday. Luckily no one was injured. I've not seen or heard of any news reports on this, yet, so unless the owners report more, I doubt we'll get any other credible details on what happened. I hope they catch the thief or thieves as soon as possible.

Smitherman Campaign Worker Trashes CityBeat

SpaethC at CincyVoices has a great post about witnessing a Chris Smitherman Campaign worker trashing all of the newspaper copies in a CityBeat box downtown Friday night.  My wonder is: how many other boxes did this or other Smitherman workers trash?

The evidence is all in blog post, debating it is pointless. Chris Smitherman must immediately investigate who did  it, fire them, apologize to CityBeat, and pay damages.

He won't do that, but that will allow everyone to see how Smitherman is NOT running a normal rational political campaign.  Instead he'll either ignore the incident or claim it was a CIA conspiracy.

OK, to be fair, he may claim it was an FBI or NSA  or CPD conspiracy, not just the CIA.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Republican Commissioners Seek to Cut Health Services for the Poor

If you are Hamilton County commissioners Greg Hartmann or Chris Monzel, both Republicans, then you would be in favor of letting some of the Hamilton County poor residents die.  I'm sure they wouldn't phrase it that way, but what else would you expect to happen when you cut funding for indigent health care services by eight million dollars.  That would be around a 17% cut (46 to 38 million).

Not to only be after the health of the poor, the Duo of Death also are looking to cut children's by 2 million dollars.  So if you are a poor child, I guess you are just doubly screwed.

Just when you think that's enough, Hartmann also is putting out the idea of sales tax increase as away to fix the stadium fund deficit, as long as there is a property tax rollback to help offset it.  So, the poor get taxed even more disproportionately and the property owners get another tax break.  There's no class warfare to see here, move along, move along.

Republicans at work to save the property owners from the peasants.  Long live Feudalism!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Spread the World: It's An Anti-Rail Ballot Issue

The anti-city forces (COAST and Chris Smitherman) who are circulating a petition they say is to outlaw building a streetcar is really about preventing all passenger rail in the city, similar to issue 9's efforts.

So when Smitherman and COAST's minions are out over the next week desperately trying to collect signatures, be sure to ask the collector what the ballot issue means, correct them if they say it's about the streetcar, then politely decline to sign.

Be sure to spread the word about NOT signing to all Cincinnati residents. COAST and Smitherman are coming up short and only have another week to get a couple more thousand valid signatures.

Don't bother telling your friends who are residents of the suburbs or Northern Kentucky about this. If they are really anti-streetcar and want to sign a petition, you really can't stop them from doing so. No need to waste your time explaining it to them.

Ghiz Is On the Record: Republicans Will Have a Plan

Enquirer reporter Jane Prendergast got an important comment at Monday's council budget committee meeting:
"Plus, Councilwoman Leslie Ghiz said, cutting officers would actually cost the city this year – more than $71,000 in payouts of accrued time – and would cut “only” $2.5 million out of the 2102 budget. The Republicans will come up with a plan, she said, that will cut that $2.2 million some other way." (emphasis added)
Yes, Council member Leslie Ghiz reportedly claimed that Republicans are working on a plan that will cut $2.2 million dollars from the City Budget. When you put a number out there, the public should expect it to add up. If any of the Republicans issue any type of plan and it doesn't add up, then you know that Ghiz was blowing hot hair in the direction of the FOP, while not actually doing anything.  That's something she has perfected over her tenure on council.

Previously, Ghiz has said this type of thing wasn't her job. I don't know if she's going to pawn it off on the rookie GOP members of council, but I expect one of the conservatives to do something.

If not, I'm calling someone a liar, and she'll not be able to defend herself very well.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Another Charlie Winburn Five Year Plan

Comrade Charlie Winburn, while wearing a 'Red's' cap, announced his plan a single five year term for Cincinnati Central CommitteeCity Council members.

I'm thinking Stalin would approve of Charlie Winburn.

The fine print in Charlie's nine slide 'simple' proposal includes removing the limit on campaign contributions.The rich are Charlie's future champions of the proletariat. ¡Viva la RevoluciĆ³n!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Mike Allen Appears To Be Running For Council

The Enquirer's Howard Wilkinson is reporting that disgraced former Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen has taken out petitions to run for Cincinnati City Council and has created a campaign bank account with $10,000 of his own money in it. Wilkinson has not been able to get Allen to directly say he is running, but those actions indicate he is going to try. He has to get 500 signatures by late August and will need far more than $10,000 to get elected. By most accounts he will need a few hundred billion dollars to develop a medical procedure to wipe away the memories of at least 20,000 Republican voters. I don't know how successful that will be in the time he has before the election.