Monday, March 26, 2012

Boomers Don't Get Extra Sympathy From This Gen Xer

Yesterday the Cincinnati Enquirer highlighted the difficulties of Baby Boomers who lost their jobs during the Recession.  I don't have a ton of sympathy.  Those mentioned in the article are over 55 and most over 60.  These are people who are close to retirement age and often early retirement.  They are the type of person who it was extremely difficult to layoff in the recession because of their age, and the discrimination prevention laws that exist for people based on being older.

As a member of Generation X, I don't have any extra sympathy for Boomers on this issue.  Generation X has long been subjected to the collective excesses and selfishness of Baby Boomers, to our detriment.  Here the issue is Retirement.  Boomers don't seem to want to retire or maybe far too many of them are ill prepared to retire as they reach the appropriate age.  So, instead of retiring, like their parents did, they continue to work or in case of this article, continue to seek jobs.

For the people involved, they have no choice, they have bills to pay.  On a personal level, that is understandable and I hope they all succeed.  Collectively I wonder why so many Boomers, and maybe this is pointed to the older Boomer already past 65, are not retiring?  Why are they not getting out of the way for those younger?  How many people delayed retirement during the recession because they lost money in their 401K and wanted to wait to make sure they retired at the level they are accustomed.  They should have been invested in a way to prevent such a radical loss.  They instead took a risk, lost, and forced someone younger to lose their job because laying off an older person is not possible, even though they may be less qualified.

Younger generations are suffering just as much as these Boomer are.  Sure, a 41 year old father of two likely has a far wider skill set that would allow him to get other jobs more often, but he has far less of a safety net, having had far less time to prepare for these types of problems. More of my sympathy goes out to the 41 year old who lost his job.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Yelp Helps After School Special - March 30th

On Friday March 30th the Cincinnati Yelp community and a laundry list of local non-profit organizations are congregating at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center for a great event to help out a wide variety of causes. The Yelp Helps After School Special (A Giant Party For A Good Cause!) brings the vibrant social media community here in Cincinnati together with a strong collection of very worthy non-profits. Hopefully fun and a little education will ensue.

Groups like Caracole, Crayons to Computers, Enjoy the Arts, and Women Helping Women will be present and attendees will have a chance to learn more about those organizations and find out what they do and how you can support them.

Enjoy the Arts is presenting the entertainment with an ETA Cabaret with spots from grand organizations like the Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the NewEdgecliff, Theatre.

Come for the food and drinks from tons of local Restaurants. It will be great opportuny to find a great organization that could use a contribution or voluneer support and while you mingle and eat you can chat with non-profit representtaives.

Full lists of the organisations, Resturants, and entertainment is on the website link above.

It all starts at 8PM, but you need to have an RSVP to attend. Get out and have some fun for a good cause.

Oh, and if you are so inclinced to dress-up, the theme is school themed, so nerd it up, dig out the prep school wear, or the ladies can use their imagination. If I find some tape, a pair of nerd glasses may be in order. I

Thursday, March 15, 2012

This is What a Douchebag Thinks Like

When you are at home pondering about what a Douchebag looks like, you most often get the image of a frat-boy or some guy wearing a baseball hat inside a bar on a Friday night.  Well, if you want to know what someone like that has rolling around in his head, I will point you to anti-education and anti-women Rich Hoffman of West Chester.  Based on his photo in the Enquirer article, this guy looks more like someone with a really misplaced Indiana Jones fetish, than a frat boy. His thoughts make him the spokesman for Douchebags the world over.

This guy is part of the effort to block any and all tax levies for the Lakota School district out in Exurban paradise of West Chester.  This is one guy I am so glad lives out there.

Greg Harris Has Dropped Out of County Commision Race

CityBeat broke the story earlier this week that former Cincinnati Council member and Democratic Candidate Greg Harris is dropping out of the race for Hamilton County Commissioner.  Harris's job will be requiring him to travel extensively, so he won't be able to effectively campaign or later serve on the commission.

The Hamilton County Democratic party will be able to name another person to run in November.  Harris was unopposed in the Primary last week.  This opens up the possibilities.  I would not be surprised to see some familiar names brought up as possible contenders to face off against Hartman.

With the Presidential election taking place this year, the Democratic nominee will have very strong coattails to seize upon.  President Obama won Hamilton County by pulling in non-regular voters to the polls.  All expectations are that he will do this again in 2012.  Republican Hartman ran against an non-endorsed candidate in 2008 and still only got 216,000+ votes, compared to 251,000+ votes for Democrat Todd Portune, running the same year in a separate race.

With the right candidate, say a John Cranley or maybe even a Jim Tarbell, Hartman could go down.

The problem is having a campaign team.  Neither Cranley or Tarbell have a campaign up and running and it will take resources.  Both have the most important resource to have in November: name recognition.

The other name I could think of would be Cincinnati Council member Cecil Thomas. Thomas is term limited and he ran against Tarbell in 2010 Dem primary for commissioner, so he has interest in the job.  Thomas does not have the name recognition of Tarbell or Cranley, but he's a pretty conservative Dem and a former police officer.  That type of resume plays well in the inner-suburbs.  Add the fact that he's African-American and likely can county on support of Obama voters who bother to vote down ticket, he could be a strong candidate, if he can get a campaign off the ground soon.

Salon Writer Comments on Occupy Cincy Settlement

Natasha Lennard of Salon has some mixed thoughts on the Occupy Cincinnati settlement with the City of Cincinnati. She's not pleased with the limited free-speech zone.  I myself actually find the over-all elements of the settlement to be reasonable.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Did Kasich Allies Offer Quid Pro Quo to Control the Ohio GOP?

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that the chairman of the Portage County Republican Party, Andrew Manning, has filed an affidavit with police claiming that "allies" of Ohio Govenor John Kasich offered Manning influence over Gubernatorial appointments in return for not running for Republican Party statewide central committee.

A Kasich spokeperson claimed the Governor would never do what was alleged.  That sounds like something close to a non-denial denial, meaning that it may have happened, but without Kasich's knowledge. So that might let the Governor off the hook, at least if his supporters don't turn state's evidence.  It all then comes down to who these "allies" are.  Manning needs to name names so police can get to the bottom of this and then the public can judge the politics of what is alleged to have happened.

If Kasich is another Nixon, we need to get him out office now.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

John Fox Hired as VP of Events and Programming for 3CDC

Former CityBeat publisher, editor, and events director has been hired by 3CDC as the Vice President of Event Productions & Programming, accroding to a press relase issued this morning. His responsibilties will include the events at Fountain Square and the soon to be finished Washington Park. He will also be in charge of fundraising and sponsorhsips of the programming at the Square and Washington Park. Fox's position I conclude is filling the job left open when Bill Donabedian left 3CDC Last year. Bill is a co-founder of MidPoint and was key in the success of Fountain Square's popular summer music programming. I really like John and I believe he has been a vital member of the Midpoint team, so I hope he can carry much of the same ideals to the Square and the Park. I hope Midpoint itself can become part of the Park's future voice.

Monday, March 05, 2012

CityBeat Sold to SouthComm

CityBeat has been sold to SouthComm of Nashville, Tennessee. SouthComm ( is the owner of five other alternative weeklys beyond CityBeat. The purchase includes A-Line Magazine and the Midpoint Music Festival. Dan Backrath will remain as the leader of the paper.I know nothing of this company or of any of its other publications, so no word on what if any other changes will occur. Time will tell. This is the second big change after changing editing staffs earlier this year.

UPDATE: CityBeat Editor Danny Cross has a blog post discussing the acquisition of the newspaper.

Luke Brockmeier Is the Only Choice for the 31st District

This Tuesday there is only one choice for the Democrats in the New 31st Ohio House district and that is Luke Brockmeier.  I fully support Luke Brockmeier and here is a short list of the countless reasons to vote for him in the Democratic Primary on March 6th.

  1. Luke Brockmeier is the Future of the Democratic Party. 
  2. Luke stands with the full Democratic platform..
  3. Luke is from the grassroots of the Democratic Party.  He is not part of the power structure of the party.
  4. Luke is not part of a local political dynasty that has strayed out of its region of influence.
  5. Luke does not take big corporate money and won't be endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce.
  6. Luke is the ONLY PRO-CHOICE CANDIDATE in the race.
  7. Luke supports no-co-pay coverage for birth control.

The New 31st is a progressive district and needs a Progressive Force to represent it in Columbus. Please vote for Luke Brockmeier tomorrow.

For more information please check out

Friday, March 02, 2012

Conservative Economic Planning Fails Again

The Mason, Ohio area has all of the earmarks to be considered a Conservative Republican mecca.  It is an Exurb.  It has lots of cul-de-sacs, strip-malls, chain restaurants, churches, white people, and lots of businesses.  The Mason area, to be fair, has a significant amount of office parks and corporate operations.

So that leads it to be a place where the free market system would flourish and the problems that arise from a growing population would be solved by private entities.  You know, like if traffic became a job killer, where people literally would leave or avoid the area because traffic happened their ability function either when trying to go to work, come home from work, or just go shopping.

So, today I read a story in the Enquirer that indicates that traffic mess that is the Field-Ertel exit off I-71 is no where near being improved or better yet cured of the problems that plague the mangled interchange.  Why are the roads not able to be improved to keep the economics of the area chugging along?  The answer is there are not enough Government funds to build all of the the road improvements needed.

Yes, you read that right, the Conservative mecca of Mason can't improve their roads because the Government doesn't have the funds.  The place filled with Republican voters who regularly attack Government spending on everything short of Defense and Religious schools, is not fixing its own roads because there is not enough funding from the Government to get the job done.

When people complain about Government spending, remember the subtext of what they are really saying: "the Government is spending too much, on other people."  If the Government is doing something to benefit Republican communities, then those programs are championed.  When the Government does something for a mostly Democratic community, the Republicans oppose it and call it wasteful.  You don't need to look past the Streetcar to see that.  That will help the City of Cincinnati.  Not enough Republicans live there, so Republican voters don't tend to care what happens in places that are not mostly Republican.  That's a sad state to live in, but the modern GOP has become a sectarian movement.  It's like living in the Balkans or Iraq.

I for one would like the State of Ohio to kick-in funds to improve the Fields-Ertel interchange.  The Republican run State government should get on that.

Dear Chief Craig: Just Take the Test

Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig has given notice he will not take the Ohio police certification test, which would be required for him to have police powers.  This sounds bad to me.  Why would he not just take the test?  It's reportedly 200 questions.  I don't know how hard of a test it is, but I would have presumed he could pass it quite easily.  By him not wanting to take it leas me to assume it may be more difficult, thus his knowledge of Ohio laws may not be up to snuff, yet.  That may be the reason for him not taking it.  I'm just surprised this has become an issue for him to address at all.  He should just take the test like every other police officer has to do.  I understand he doesn't literally need police powers, but I think the Chief of police of Cincinnati should have the power to make an arrest if needed.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Basic Geography and Civics Lesson For Denise Driehaus

In case Ohio House District 31 candidate Denise Driehaus or the Ohio Democratic Party or anyone else following politics in Cincinnati didn't know, here's a lesson in geography and civics on the simple fact that the New 31st Ohio House District is an open seat.

The claims of others, specifically the ODP and Driehaus herself, are not only an insult to the people living in the New 31st District, it is an insult to the people currently in the Old 31st District.

Democracy starts when the political leadership is honest with the voters. That seems to be lacking here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Are Denise Driehaus's Values Your Values?

An interesting video clip highlighting what Denise Driehuas's record indicates are her values:

Bill Sloat at The Daily Bellwhether has more on her record of an endorsement from an anti-abortion group. That's something you will not read on her campaign website, at least not anymore.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Will You Subscribe to the Enquirer's Paywall?

The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting on itself today and confirms that it, along with all of Parent Company Gannett's regional newspapers, will adopt a Paywall model for its website by the end of the year. The paper indicates it will use a subscription model similar to the New York Times, which allows for a limited number of free articles per month.

Needless to say this will send some into a tizzy. Not me. I have no problem with the Enquirer doing this. We as a public have long been coddled by having free news websites. It costs money to gather and write news articles. Sure, I wish the Enquirer did a better job of doing that, but that does not make the economics of reality go away. So I really hope the complainers get it out of their systems quickly. I for one will not be forgiving when anyone complains about having to pay for news. I also will challenge them to find a more comphensive source for local news in Cincinnati. If all you want is national news, you had 1,000 better sources than the Enquir anyway.

There are several things I believe the Enquirer must do in order to make this work:
1. Create more local content. Laying off more reporters is not the way to go. Some more hires better be in their future.
2. Don't rehash national Gannett content behind the Paywall. If I am going to pay for something it needs to be unique, so make the news local or at least by local reporters.
3. Bring back some opinion. Commentary is not evil, it just needs to be smart and not anything like Peter Bronson.
4. Make the archives free for online subscribers. If I am going to pay for content, I want to be able to read it now or three years from now. It should be retroactive too. I'd personally pay a slight premium for this, but not an arm and a leg.
5. Make it cheaper than the New York Times. The NYT may be able to make up the difference in volume, but you can't consider the value of the Enquirer to be more, let alone the same, as the Times.
6. iPad App: I believe this is in the works, but it can't come soon enough.
7. Make it easy. Don't have 12 price levels, a few is enough. Also allow access from all online tools: PC, Tablet & Phone.

What ever it looks like, I will subscribe. I am a news junkie and need the fix. I hope I like the high it gives me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A District Isn't Only a Number, It's About the People

When someone decides to run for office, the first thing I believe they should understand is that they are seeking a job to represent the people of jurisdiction that they live in.  Running for office is not about getting a job.  You don't just move to a new city to become its mayor.

Denise Driehaus does not understand this.  She did the opposite and foolishly says it to CityBeat. To her it's all about a number, not about the voters. Read what she said here:
“The only way to define statehouse district is by its number because geographies change,” she says. “Everybody’s districts changed during this redraw… the number is 31 for my current district. The number for the new district is 31. So, I consider that to be my district, and I consider myself to be the incumbent in that district.”
Driehaus is not the incumbent for the New 31st, that's just a lie and she knows it. The New 31st district is totally different than the Old 31st. The people and places she represents are totally different. She moved to the New 31st district a few weeks before the deadline.  She hasn't even changed the official campaign address for her campaign committee.  It's still in Price Hill.

Let's face the simple fact: Denies Driehaus moved to the New 31st because she wanted to keep her job, not because she wants to represent the people living there.She's an opportunist. This is about her, not about representing the people of the New 31st.  She's a carpetbagger.  Her views are in conflict with the majority of the people in the new district but she'll happily pretend otherwise.

She's a conservative Democrat and is hiding the fact that she's pro-life.  Her voting record on the subject is clear, but she's scrubbed her 2010 Right to Life endorsement from her website.  She didn't get it in the primary only because Terry Tranter managed to find a way to be more extreme on the issue, otherwise she would have gotten it.

Driehaus's answers to the 2010 Cincinnati right to life survey should make it clear to all where she stands on abortion rights.  In a year when the rights of women to control their own bodies are in danger in Ohio as well as across the county, the people of the New 31st district need to know this and not be fooled because she evades answering the issue head on.  She instead allegedly wants to focus on other women's issues, like jobs and education.  Well, those are issues that affect both men and women.  Driehaus needs to address issues that only affect women.  She needs to be honest with the voters and make her position on abortion clear and open and avoid letting people think she agrees with them on choice. She's anti-abortion and has voted to limit abortion rights.  She's not just against it personally, she actually has voted to limit the rights of women who have been raped or the victim of incest from being able to choose an abortion. There is only one candidate who supports the right of women to control their own bodies and that is Luke Brockmeier.

Make sure the voters know who is thinking about them instead of the number on a paycheck.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Shots Fired Into Downtown Business and This Wasn't Huge News?

Someone fired shots into a jewelry store on Main Street last week and it didn't really make that much of a splash in the media, surprisingly.  Local 12 did a story on it, but I didn't see much else on it.

It appears it may be gang related, so it wasn't random.  The business in question, Main Street Jewelry, comes across as a store catering to a style often associated with gangs. Having a "Gold Teeth $13.99" sign stenciled in lettering on the window points to that.

This type of crime is very difficult to deal with, as witnesses and victims are often either scared to testify or are involved with a gang themselves.  It has the earmarks of an intimidation actions or maybe an initiation for another idiot.  It is very dishearten to see this happen in Downtown.  I am glad to hear the police up front about this and I hope they do take a look at some of the clientele, who according to the report appear to also be in gangs.  This unfortunately will likely not get a big penalty for the shooter, assuming he is caught.  The state of the justice system will render this criminal to the bottom of the pile, since he hasn't killed anyone yet.  When (not if) he does, then he'll get the full weight of the law.  This type of reality is not something that works for our society.  Joe Deters should be holding press conferences about that fact and stop wasting people's times with other political antics.

I am also just so surprised that this hasn't gotten anyone to make a statement. Smitherman is silent on this, but so are the City-Haters, so I'm perplexed.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hamilton County Coroner Dies After Injury

Tragic news from WKRC today: Dr. Anant Bhati died late yesterday from the injuries he suffered after falling and hitting his head. He was 71 years old.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bunbury Announces Headliners: Jane's Addiction, Weezer, Death Cab

Then inaugural Bunbury Music Festival has announced the headliners for each night of the 2012 Festival: Fri July 13th: Jane's Addiction Sat July 14th: Weezer Sun July 15th: Death Cab for Cutie Those are really huge names for this event. I am astonished and pumped! I hope a series of more emerging indie acts along with the best local music can fill out the festival line-up.

Did Westwood Annex Part of Northside?

Blogging Isn't Cool is reporting that the Westwood Civic Association placed a "Welcome to Westwood" sign 500 feet inside Northside.  Allegedly Westwood asked to Northside cede that area to their neighboorhood, but Northside said no. Westwood proceed to annex CzechoslovakiaPart of Northside anyway.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Exurban Lunacy Alive in West Chester

As the result of the desire to destroy the community, Lakota School District officials were required to put out thier plan to deal with massive budget cuts forced on the school system by a majority of voters. There is no other way to describe the majority of voters in the Laktoa district other than lunatics. They have a wealthy school district with good schools and most voters there want lower quality schools. That defies logic. I also can't understand how they can cut a single teacher without cutting all extracurricular sports programs. They should sell all of land their football stadiums are built on, but no, they'll keep funding football above nearly everything else.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Bad Boys, Bad Boys! What's Chabot Gonna Do?

Congressman Steve Chabot may not want his son coming home for three-day this winter after Brandon Chabot was arrested on Felony charges. The Enquirer is reporting that the 22 year old son of the Republican Member of the U. S. House is charged with breaking into a building in Oxford, Ohio, where he attends college. I am not shocked by this, other than the fact this actually made the news. It is refreshing to hear about this outside of the bubble of Oxford and Butler County. The younger Chabot is just another dumb college kid who made a mistake. If he only had not done this smack dab in the middle of Speaker John Boehner's district.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Another Local Republican Faces Sex/Drug Scandal

The reason for the resignation of former Clermont County Commissioner Archie Wilson, Republicsn, became very clear today. The Enquirer is reporting that He is being charged with solicitation of a prostitute and drug Trafficking in Kentucky.

Brockmeier Gains Jennifer Brunner Endorsement

The Enquirer is reporting that former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has endorsed Luke Brockmeier in the Democratic primary for the Ohio House district 31 race.  Brunner is a statewide political force with a wide following both in Ohio and nationally.  This is a very big pick-up for Brockmeier.  This demonstrates that his message that he's the real Democrat in this Democratic field is reaching the right people.  Brunner is a progressive force and the New 31st is a progressive district.

Brockmeier also is getting attention on DailyKos.

Monday, February 06, 2012

31st Ohio House Democratic Candidates on Newsmakers

Check out all three candidates on yesterday's Newsmakers program on WKRC. Luke Brockmeier stood out with strong direct answers on the issues. Terry Tranter sounded more like a Republican than a Democratic candidate. Denise Dreihaus is doing her best to avoid stating she is an anti-abortion, while still NOT championing a core Issue of the Democratic Party. It was unfortunate that the candidates were on for only half of the program. A full show would have better demonstrated the differences amongst the candidates.

Two, Four, Six, Eight

Cincinnati City Council has enough votes to put an issue on the ballot to change the term of council members from two to four years.  I'm torn on this.  I get the logic of it, but I like the idea of having the ability to vote the bums out when they screw up.

We need a broader set of council structural reforms and this could be part of it.  We need to consider changing the at-large only aspects of council and other elements, not just the length of term. I would prefer if a larger effort were made to discuss all reforms in city government, but this particular change is too good for some on council to pass up.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Where Are the Republican Cheers For This?

Local Townships are having to pay for their own police patrols starting April 1st, instead of Hamilton County paying for it.  This sounds like a conservative Republican's wet dream!  Self-reliance!  I am going to expect COAST or someone akin to propose hiring a private firm to conduct the police patrols of the townships.  Then I would expect either a wall or fences surrounding the townships with razor wire and electrification to be erected.  Maybe some search lights and tall guard towers?

What is the world coming too?  Just last night I was in the exurbs getting gas on the way home from work and while pumping gas, I was approached by a person who happened to be on their way to Cleveland but just realized they lost their wallet at a restaurant a while ago and just happened to make it here to the gas station with their family and their bank account just happened to be closed and their spiel was way too rehearsed, not remotely honest enough to be believed.  I mean this can't happen in the burbs, can it? Scammers? What is needed is RoboCop and we need it now or we are all going to constantly be harassed by con artists.  Someone call Omni Consumer Products!

Not Bad, But It Could Have Been So Much Better

If you grew up in the Suburbs/exburbs of Cincinnati, this is geared towards you. If you didn't grow up in the Suburbs/exurbs, this is could be so much better.

Alternate versions I would like to see are:
Shit People on the Westside would say (which may not be that different)
Shit People in Hyde Parker would say
Shit People in OTR would say
Shit People in Northside would say
Shit a COASTER would say (might be too bigoted for public viewing)

Here is an alternative version that is not work friendly in the least.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tonight! Musicians for Luke - Margaret Darling, Serenity Fisher

This is a reminder that tonight local musicians Margaret Darling (of the Seedy Seeds) and Serenity Fisher are teaming up to support Luke Brockmeier.  Tuesday January 31st come to Sitwell's Coffee House at 7PM and hear these talented musicians play.  A suggested donation of $5 is mentioned, but not required.

Jason Wells of For Algernon is the special quest appearing with Margaret.

For more information on the event, check out Facebook.

For more information on Luke Brockmeier, check out

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sin & Tonic YPCC Choral Concert on Valentine's Day at Below Zero

The Cincinnati Young Professionals' Choral Collective are staging a concert, Sin & Tonic, February 14th as an early start for Valentine's Day at Below Zero. From the Press Release:
Audience members will listen with martinis in hand to quality choral music that explores all aspects of love.  The doors (and the bar) will be open from 6-10pm, and the performance will take place from 6:45 – 7:30pm.  Audience members are invited to start their Valentine’s Day evening with bawdy English madrigals, sassy French chansons, gorgeous vocal jazz arrangements and soaring American spirituals…or to make a whole night of it!
Space is limited.  Free reservations (donations accepted) can be made at
For people with arts minded significant others, this would be a great prelude to your Valentine's day evening.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Glacial Past of Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Enquirer had very interesting article on the pre-historic glacial history of the Cincinnati area. We were just on the edge of where the last ice age affected the North American continent, and the effects can be felt not only in the topography, but in our weather.

I really like the historical articles the Enquirer has been publishing. Cincinnati has such a long past to draw from. I would love to read more about the 19th century.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Musicians for Luke - Margaret Darling, Serenity Fisher and More!

Local musicians Margaret Darling (of the Seedy Seeds) and Serenity Fisher are teaming up to support Luke Brockmeier.  Tuesday January 31st come to Sitwell's Coffee House at 7PM and hear these talented musicians play.  A suggested donation of $5 is mentioned, but not required.

There are rumors of special guests as well.  To find out who, you'll have to come to Sitwell's.

For more information on the event, check out Facebook.

For more information on Luke Brockmeier, check out

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bortz Pulls a Romney

Former Cincinnati Council Member Chris Bortz appears to most political observers to be positioning himself for a political run as a Republican.  No, he's not made any type of announcement.  He's done two things.  First he is openly supporting a Republican candidate in the Republican primary for the 2nd Congressional district. That alone indicates he's a Republican, at least on National issues.  He's joined forces with anti-city and anti-gay bigot Chris Finney to support that Republican candidate.  Linking one's name to Finney on any level is deplorable in my view, but politically it shows who you are willing to court to get what you want. In the case of Finney it indicates you are not courting a moderate city voter, you are instead willing to dive into the conservative sewer.

Where we can see the political posturing more up-close is in the other thing he did.   He's taken a blatant political position that is an attempt to align himself with conservative anti-City Republican voters.  He has changed his stance on the Streetcar.  He'll deny he has, I am sure, but no, you don't support something during the bottom of a recession when Federal Dollars were very available, and then oppose it now, claiming we wait and think about it more.  I guess Chris thinks we need more suburbanites to support it before we do it.  I didn't know that we had to be subservient to them.  I guess when you are thinking about running for a political office that would either include suburbanites or need there money to win, then you care what they think about.  Since they don't care about the city, why would those in the city care what they think about us?  It sounds like he's bring drinking a cup of what ever Leslie Ghiz was drinking.

Bortz has flip-flopped.  He's pulled a Mitt Romney.  The Streetcar is now Bortz's RomneyCare. Being for the streetcar was a position that helped him get elected in the city.  Positive ideas that benefit the city tend to get most voters support.  Anti-city or divisive issues don't get you votes.  Negative thinking is more rampant with local Republican voters, so if you are going to get their votes, you have to change your views to fit. Bortz has made a big change and it's not a pretty sight.

I'd like to have his flip-flop graded for political posterity, but it would require diving judges, and none were available.

Is Smitherman Under Investigation?

A complaint has been filed by a Cincinnati resident charging that Cincinnati City Council Member Christopher Smitherman is in violation of Ohio ethics rules.  Smiherman is simultaneously holding the positions of city council member and President of the Cincinnati Chapter of the NAACP, a 501(c)(4) organization.

There is clearly a conflict of interest.  Smitherman should either resign from council or more likely resign as President of the local NAACP chapter.

I seem to recall Smitherman recently wanted the city to pay for Ethics classes.  Well, Council Member Smitherman appears to not have taken his class yet.  Any person with any sense of ethics would see the conflict of being on council and being President of the local NAACP.  That leas me to believe that Smitherman lacks ethics. The reasonability test has bee exceeded ten-fold, so this compliant has merit.  The city should be investigating Smitherman to make sure he is not in violation of Ohio ethics rules.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

TweetUp For Luke Brockmeier Wed 6PM at Baba Budan's

Tomorrow, Wednesday January 18th, Luke Brockmeier, Democratic candidate for the New 31st Ohio House District, is gathering up those in the social media world for a meet and greet to discuss the issues facing the community and Ohio.  The event takes place at Baba Budan's, 239 W. McMillan St., and starts and 6PM and will end around 8PM.  All are welcome.

For more information on the event, check out the Facebook event here:

To learn more about Luke Brockmeier's campaign, go to

Monday, January 16, 2012

In Case You Forgot, Phil Burress is Still a Bigot

Bill Sloat at The Daily Bellwether has an important article detailing the latest bigoted action by the hateful Phil Burress, one of the leading anti-gay bigots in the state of Ohio.

A man who does not even live in the City of Cincinnati is threatening to file a lawsuit because the City Council voted in favor of Domestic Partner insurance coverage. This is clear evidence, as if we need any more, that Burress's anti-gay marriage crusade was never about 'protecting' marriage, but it was all about oppressing gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals, and transgendered people. The city isn't marrying anyone, they are trying to provide equal benefits to all of its employees. I wish they were allowing gay marriage, but far too many ignorant bigots voted to oppress people when they baned gay marriage in Ohio, making that against the law. Treating gays and lesbians with equal rights is what Burress is fighting against. Equal rights should be for all, not just the Phil Burress clan.

I feel like a broken record on this subject and I feel that most of readers of this blog think Burress is horrible, but he has an audience. I hope everyone who opposes the bigotry of Burress takes every opportunity to speak out against his type of bigotry. The people who could speak most directly to this are those of you who participate in the large number of religious institutions across the region. Many (not all) of those institutions have terrible stances on gay rights. I encourge those of you who face that bigoty to speak out against it and at least question the faux rationalizations used to justify the type of bigotry Burress pushes.

Preaching to the choir only goes so far, sometimes you have to stand up and speak out, even if you risk your reputation. That's how all civil rights issues should be addressed. It is a shame that religion, in the case of gay rights, is far too often the hurddle to make many silently let that bigotry exist in the places based on the philosphies of peace.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New CityBeat Print Edition Hit This Week

CityBeat has revamped it's print copy with this week's edition and editor Danny Cross has a column decscribing the changes and some background on himself as the new editor of the Alt-Weekly.

The changes are three fold. First the paper has a fresh new design that I like a lot. The page headings and titles are much appealing and pleasing to the eye. The second element is the order of sections, which move the music to the back and the arts & culture (art,theatre, film, dining) all together. The third element is the most striking: more relevant content. The inclusion of a focused stand along cover story has returned, which is not just a highlight of one section's story. Also the inclusion of a media and sports column along with more than one news story (in addition to Porkopolis)add more meat to the publication.

I like this week's edition and look forward to more. I hope the structure continues.

More Wussy, in an RV and Acoustic


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lack of Ethics Starts With Smitherman

Why couldn't COAST pay for an ethics lesson for Chris Smitherman himself? That would do hopefully do the most good, as long as COAST is not conducting the ethics lesson, since they don't have any. This would be a great alternative to Smitherman's motion he submitted to council requiring training sessions for council members and their staff, something the City already does. Smitherman needs a lesson in ethics. Some of things he should learn:
  • Don't threaten to have your non-city-employee lawyer sue the city because council didn't vote your way.
  • Don't even consider frivolous lawsuits that are more about getting legal work for your anti-city lawyer than a valid legal issue.
  • Don't go on the Radio and falsely claim a member city council works for the CIA.
  • Don't claim that a reason to vote for a position on the waterworks ballot issue would be to prevent the government from lacing the water of black residents with drugs.
  • Don't make up numbers about how much the Streetcar plan will cost.
  • Don't lie to the public when you claim Streetcar funds could be used to avoid police or fire layoffs.
Those are just the start of the many thinks Smitherman could learn. They are mostly just common sense, but a bright examples of what not to do. I really hope Smitherman can learn from these examples.

Hat Tip to Quimbob

Monday, January 09, 2012

Differences in District 31 Statehouse Race Clearly Shown on Women's Rights

Bill Sloat of the Daily Bellwether has an interesting article that outlines the Differences among the candidates running for the Democratic nomination for the newly redrawn District 31 Ohio House seat.  Women's rights comes forward as the most striking difference where only one candidate, Luke Brockmeier, is in sync with the district's overwhelming belief in protecting a woman's right to choose. Sloat describes at length the record of Denise Driehaus and exposes her support for a GOP sponsored anti-abortion bill.  Tranter, the third candidate, was endorsed by Ohio Right to Life, something previously held by Denise Driehaus when she ran on the west side of town.  The new 31st District is not a Westside haven for Conservative Dems. The issue of choice matters in progressive neighborhoods. I'm guessing Driehaus and Tranter don't know much about the district or just hope no one notices their anti-women's rights beliefs.

Monzel's Failures Exposed

Quimbob at Blogging Isn't Cool brings up the campaign Mantra of Hamilton County Commissioner Chris Monzel and points out that Monzel failed to balance the county's budget through "efficiencies." Yeah, Monzel actually claimed he could do that.  The Suburban Republican Monzel has not appeared to learn much while in office, other than how to screw over tax-payers.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Tranter Loses Challenge to Driehaus Residency Move

The Hamilton County Board of a elections has rejected the challenge to the residency of Denise Driehaus who moved into the new district 31 district after leaving her old district after the Republican made her old area more difficult for her to win.  Tranter, another candidate was challenging her residentcy via proxy because, as this quote from Tranter in the article from WVXU puts it
"It was perfect for me to run in. She decided to move over into it even though she has no familiarity with the district or it's constituents."
Yes, Tranter has a political point to make. Driehaus is not from this district. She's lived on the Westside her entire life and fits in with the Westside Conservatives, not this progressive district. That is a reason not to vote for her. It is not grounds for a  legal case. The challenges Tranter made via his neighbor were frivolous and a waste of tax payer's money.

The even bigger waste was in the challenge to the ballot signatures for Driehaus and candidate Luke Brockmeier. 50 signatures is the low requirement and both candidates had more than enough valid signatures.  There was no evidence of any problem and other than getting some media attention, served no purpose.  Tranter is making a huge mistake. He should not focus on being bitter that he has to face off against two other candidates. He should face the fact that along with Denise Driehaus, he's not living in a conservative Democratic district. He's living in a really progressive House district. He might want to ponder how to climb that Mt. Everest before playing political games.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Anti-Tax Extremists Take Tax Payer's Money

COAST lawyer Chris Finney has successfully shaken-down the City of Cincinnati on an invented scheme that gave his law firm $10,000 of tax payer's money.  Yes, let's get this straight.  A self-professed anti-tax group sued the city on a non-issue worth a few dollars and managed to get paid $10,000 to do it by the City.

Yes, to repeat, again: an anti-tax group staged a frivolous lawsuit over a few dollars and then collected 10,000 dollars worth of tax payer money.  The anti-tax group who claims to want to reduce spending, maneuvered the City into paying it's lawyers $10,000 of money they don't want the City to Spend.  The anti-tax group forced the City to waste tax payer's money.

Is it just me or is the level of insanity and hypocrisy emanating from the area around Chris Finney's fat head causing earthquakes in Youngstown?

COAST has one goal: Destroy the city.  They are not yet forming an army or planting bombs, but their goal is clearly the destruction of the city.  If they think that what they do is anything else, then they are even more delusional than they appear.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Is COAST Bleeding Quadrophenic?

CityBeat's Kevin Osborne has an interesting blog post detailing the many varied stances of COAST since they got beat in the November election. I agree with Kevin's general assertion. It sounds like either a single member of COAST has a hardcore split personality disorder, or there is conflict in the ranks.

A silver star goes to anyone who got the reference in the title.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Residency of Denise Driehaus Challenged in Ohio 31 House Race

Denis Driehaus, a Westside Democrat, is having her residency challenged by a friend of another candidate (Terry Tranter) in the 31st house race.  The issue at hand is the question of Driehaus living in the 31st district 12 months prior to the 2012 election.  Driehaus has been a house representative on the Westside of Cincinnati and after her district was totally wiped out she has apparently moved to the new 31st district, which runs from Central to the Eastside of the Cincinnati.

Tranter's friend also questioned both Driehaus's and candidate Luke Brockmeier's signatures, claiming "irregularities" on them.  The article reports that the BOE of elections found that both candidates had enough signatures to be placed on the ballot.

Depending on the views of the board, a hearing could be held next week.  That would seem to be a really big waste of time.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

IRhine's: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas All-Star Cincy Edition

COAST Members Looking to Waste More City Money to Benefit Finney

"Attorney" Chris Finney, along with token "residents" of the City of Cincinnati Mark Miller and Tom Brinkman, want to waste more of the Taxpayer's money by subsidizing the "career" of Finney.  They've sent a letter to the City Solicitor as the first step in what likely will be a frivolous lawsuit that has no basis in law. Finney stands to benefit from this if the lawsuit goes on and he can collect legal fees in a settlement or, if he gets an insane judge, an actual positive ruling.

This action is the exectution of the threat issued by Council Member Chris Smitherman and nothing more than is a total waste of time.  It is based on a single word "all" and as I previously blogged, the "all" clause "arguement put forth in the finney letter was fully satisfied when Council's legislative power was exercised with the passing of the rules of council.  All Legisilative powers included giving others in the government the power to carryout the charter.  Let me quote my own blog post linked above:
Section 5a of Article II of the City Charter states "The Council shall organize itself and conduct its business as it deems appropriate...." That's what they did with a 5-3 vote (one member was absent.)

Section 2 of Article III of the City Charter state "The Mayor shall preside over all meetings of the council, but shall not have a vote on the council."
I am far from a legal scholar, but any educated person who understands the core basis of Representative Democracy and Divided Government understands that Finney has no case. They can dislike the rules of Council and they can voice their dislike, but unless they get a majority of votes, they have to learn to deal with losing.

Side Note: Originally Smitherman stated he was going to be the having Finney send the letter if Council didn't cave to his threats.  Why is this letter written with Miller and Brinkman as the complainants and not Smitherman?  Where's Chris Smitherman's name on the letter?  He is obviously, based on his original grandstanding incident, in cahoots with this cabal, but why the lack of his name?  Is there a misrepresentation here?  Is there a conflict? Is there any possible dereliction of duty as a Member of City Council? Should this be investigated by the authorites?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jeff Cramerding Running For Treasurer

CitBeat has a good summary on Long time behind the scenes campaign guru Jeff Cramerding's effort to put his own name on the ballot for Hamilton County Treasurer.

Monday, December 19, 2011

OccupytheLeftists Why Don't Ya?

If you are going to be a Leftist political movement, then just be a leftist political movement!  OccupyCincy shouldn't be picking the most leftist idea and pushing it as if they represent a belief shared by "99%" of the country.  I'm over it.  I had sympathy for the concept, but now it's just a front, and I'm not just talking the People's Front of Judea, I am downright talking the Judean People's Front.

And in other news, the Parks Board members are idiots.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Streetcar to Run to the Banks

The Federal Government has come through again and has awarded another grant to fund the Streetcar to allow it to reach the Banks project, near Great American Ball Park.  The $10.9 Million grant was announced yesterday with a visit from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to City Hall.

This really solidifies the Streetcar.  Not having the funding for the Banks was a setback that was going to require help and the Federal Government has come through for the people of Cincinnati and the entire region.

This grant also adds a little more salt to wounds of Streetcar foes who suffered big at the ballot box last month. I am not going to shed a tear if Tom Luken and COAST feel the sting a bit more.

We should see ground breaking by 1st quarter 2012 and the streetcars running in 2013.  The phase 2 portion, the connector to the Uptown area, still needs funding, so more work is still ahead and this should be from the State of Ohio.  We need to get the anti-Urban Republicans to start governing for everyone in the State, not just the Suburbanites.  That starts with voting and it starts with holding the Democratic Party's feet to the fire, something they need a the moment.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What is the Future of Metromix?

Last week Gannett, parent company of the Enquirer, announced that it was closing seven Metromix outlets.  The Cincinnati edition of Metromix was not included, but how much longer will the publication last or in what form could it continue?

The MinnPost is reporting that the Twin Cities Metromix will be replaced by an "Express Metromix" which the article states would be an aggregation website for Entertainment.  I would prefer they shutter the website instead of being an aggregator.  We don't need any more aggregators.

Do we see the future of all of Metromix in these stories?  Will Metromix Cincinnati follow the Minneapolis model?

I hope not, but if you make me bet, I would give it until the end of summer 2012.

Is print advertising that unprofitable?  I still read the advertisements.  I do that mostly because in entertainment publications that is often how I can find out what events are going on, since original content in these print publications have become nearly non-existent.

I'm still waiting on the Enquirer iPad app, which reports indicate will require a subscription to read it.  I don't know how this will affect the regular online edition or iPhone app, but free online news in Cincinnati is endangered.  If the paper takes the profits from the iPad subscriptions and invests in more LOCAL reporters covering LOCAL stories, then I will pay for an online edition of the Enquirer.  I just don't see Gannett making any investment in anything that actually provides original local news content, just eyeballs to crap.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Light Up OTR On Friday At Neon's

Join the neighborhood in celebrating the holidays!

Here's the who-what... on the event:
WHO: Ionic Collective and Peanut Butter Jelly Co. (PB&J) 
WHAT: The 2nd annual Light Up Over-the-Rhine (Light Up OTR) will take place this Friday in Over-The Rhine. Community leaders, residents, young professionals and artists will join together this holiday season to set up over 1000 luminaries framing an 8-block radius from Central Parkway to Liberty Avenue.  The warm glow will symbolize safety, unity, and the coming of the holiday season. A 25-foot tree will be mounted as a permanent holiday fixture at The Famous Neon’s Unplugged. Light Up OTR will benefit the Freestore Foodbank with a $1 entrance fee, or a non-perishable canned good, required for entry.
WHERE: The Famous Neons Unplugged, located at 208 E. 12th Street in Over-The-Rhine, and the outlying Over-The-Rhine area.
WHEN:  Friday December 16, 2011

  •  • 7:00 p.m. Volunteers can gather together to assemble luminaries at The Famous Neon’s Unplugged.
  •  • 8:00 p.m. Teams will be coordinated to disperse the luminaries throughout the neighborhood.
  •  • 10:00 p.m. All volunteers and guests will gather back at The Famous Neon’s Unplugged to gather for the second annual lighting of the OTR Christmas tree.

Monday, December 12, 2011

City Budget Process To Be Sane This Year

One of the best results of the Cincinnati City Council election this year was the increase of a civil and sane budget process.  Gone are the pissing matches and games of Chicken.  Gone are the right-wing demands that require the suspension of the rules of Math.

Sure, we gained a level of insanity in the form of the election of Chris Smitherman, but other than being a pest, he has no power.

The only problem with this situation is that the comfort provided by the Convergys settlement is a one time event.  This time next year we will face a budget shortfall again, unless the economy does far better than expected.

With this fact in place the majority members of council can not wait.  They must begin the process to examine the 2013 budget as soon as the 2012 is passed.  The issue of property taxes must be resolved far earlier then the mid year deadline looming next year.  The public needs the whole year to digest the possible cuts that we could face.  New ideas can be vetted and discussed.  Hell, there will even be time for Winburn and Smitherman to come up with a plan on their own.  I'm going to presume that they will be able to use math more correctly than the Republicans of the past, but we'll see.

This is the first test of the new council.  How well they do making the budget process open and civil will help us determine the future of this council.  We'll have an idea if the seven can work together or if petty squabbles will arise and consume the process.

I am keeping my optimism going.  I've not had much of an optimistic attitude about council in recent years.  This year my optimism has returned and I hope it stays around for a while.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

CityBeat Reorganizes Staff and Layoff 'Several'

The tough econmic climate has reached down to Cincinnati's Media landscape again and this time hit altweekly CityBeat.  In a blog post yesterday, publisher Dan Bockrath announced a new leadership team for the newspaper and stated that they have "eliminated or restructured several staff positions." No details on the exact staff members or positions affected were listed in the article.  This is sad news. I very much love CityBeat. I've regularly criticize articles and columns in the newspaper, and always tried to be fair.  I hope to continue to read the paper every Wednesday, filled with local news, arts, and culture articles.

I wish the best for new leadership of the newspaper. I hope they can provide new momentum to a much needed institution for the Cincinnati Community. I also hope all of the individuals who were affected in the layoffs are able to move on to new jobs as quickly.

Friday, December 09, 2011

ATT Claims Expanded Coverage in Downtown, Mason, & CVG

ATT has issued a press release claiming to have upgraded the cellular coverage in Downtown, Mason, and near the Airport in Northern Kentucky.  Does anyone agree?  I've not noticed this, but the next time I am at a large event in Downtown Cincinnati area, I will compare and contrast.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Smitherman's First Act of Grandstanding

It didn't take long, not even a week, and already Chris Smitherman has committed his first offense of Grandstanding in his term as a Cincinnati City Council member.

Smitherman is all in a tizzy because a majority of Council has approved a council rule removing a 90 day requirement for putting ordinances on the Council calendar.  Smitherman is upset because a majority of the council voted.  This would be a majority of the elected representatives of the people of Cincinnati.  They voted to establish their own rules, as provided by the City Charter which operates legally under State law.  Smitherman is "threatening" to sue.

According to the article, I think I can take the quote off the word threatening because it states that unless council votes his way, he will sue.  That sounds like a form of extortion, but in political activities you can get away with more than the average person.

I do question Smitherman, as a member of Council, taking legal action with any indication or standing as a member of the City Government without use of the City's legal representative.  If he, as he threatens, gets his right wing zealot attorney, and anti-gay bigot, Chris Finney to sue the city, I'd like to know what standing Smitherman is planning on using.  Also, who would pay Finney's fees?  If any legal fees ever go to any non-city lawyer suing on behalf of  Smitherman on a city issue, the fees should come from Smitherman's budget.

Section 5a of Article II of the City Charter states "The Council shall organize itself and conduct its business as it deems appropriate...."  That's what they did with a 5-3 vote (one member was absent.)

Section 2 of Article III of the City Charter state "The Mayor shall preside over all meetings of the council, but shall not have a vote on the council."

What is he going to sue over? The City Charter was followed. This is Democracy in action.

Smitherman better get used to not getting his way on council unless he can get 5 or for veto-overrides, 6 votes on an issue.  He can't act like a child and threaten to sue over everything, especially when he has no grounds for a law-suit.  He can complain about the rule, but using threats to change the minds of his fellow members of council isn't going to win many (no one) over.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Greg Harris Seeking County Commission Spot

WVXU is reporting that former Democratic City Council member, Greg Harriss, is running for Hamilton County Commissioner against Republican Greg Hartmann.

Democratic Commissioner Todd Portune is running for re-election as well, but there is no word on any Republican opponent, who must file by 4PM today.

Another Take On the SGH Situation

I am going to start calling the Southgate House Closing as more of a Southgate House Situation. Yes, that makes it sound remotely like I'm referencing a reality TV show.  While the drama surrounding the family business dealings involved might bring that to mind, that's not my intention. This guest column on Each Note Secure from Margaret Darling of the Seedy Seeds makes it clear to me that there are two separate issues at stake here: 1)What will the New location of the Southgate House be like (and where will it be) and then 2)What will be come of the Southgate Building?  So SGH closing isn't the only issue, there is a much more complex concern. a "situation," if you will.

Number two becomes the more cloudy concern.  The operators of the SGH are planning on opening a new place.  We'll just have to wait and see where that is and how well the new location will work.  The Southgate Building is something different and the resulting owners don't appear to have the plan in place with what to do with the building.  That is bigger concern to me.  I don't fear that the new location for the SGH will be like.  I fear that the new owners will not use the building wisely.  It would be a great place for a music venue, but the building needs to be used wisely.  It is important to Newport and needs to continue to enrich the culture, no matter what it becomes.  We have a situation and the City of Newport needs to keep that situation from ruining a vital piece of the community.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Luke Brockmeier Campaign Kickoff Speech

Luke Brockmeier is running in the Democratic primary for the 31st District in the Ohio House. Above is his speech from his campaign kickoff event. For more information on his candidacy check out

Editorial Note: I am a supporter of Luke Brockmeier.  I am biased towards his candidacy and will not hide that in the least. As a political blogger, I am not going to censor myself, but will endeavor to be honest in what I write. This is an opinion blog, however, and it is the opinion of this blogger that if you live in the new Ohio 31st House District, you should vote for Luke Brockmeier in the Democratic primary in March and then when he wins, vote for him in November of 2012 in the general election.  If you don't live in the 31st, then you can still help a progressive candidate bring change to Columbus by contributing to his campaign: HERE.

Cincinnati and Findlay Market Featured on NPR Morning Edition Story

NPR had an interesting story this morning on it's Morning Edition programming that included interviews here in Cincinnati on opinions on Congress.  It took place at Findlay Market and included quotes from Dan Korman, owner of Park+Vine located in Over-the-Rhine.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Anti-3CDC Bias is Abundant This Holiday Season

So, a report comes out naming a census track in Over-the-Rhine as the most income mixed census track in the nation based on 2005 to 2009 data and then all the biased media fingers point to 3CDC.  It doesn't surprise me that attacks will be made on 3CDC for its redevelopment efforts, but this attack is totally unfair.

Track 17, the area cited, is located in the Northeast part of OTR.  What the article doesn't mention is that 3CDC's efforts are not in that area. If they had looked in track 9 or 10, then they would have found areas like the Gateway Quarter, Main Street, Washington Park. The variances in income cited in Census Track 17 are almost totally caused by the nice homes up on Mulberry Street at the top edge of the district.  Pair this with the sparsely populated area below it and presto...the numbers fall into place giving the disparity.  When you cut neighborhoods apart, then you can find lots of things.  Hell, if 1 person making $100,000 moved to Queensgate, I think with the low population in that area, they would take over Track 17's title.

The other big bias in the article was drawing in the Metropole issue, which is not located in OTR and is a vastly different situation.  The Metropole on the surface fits the conclusion the writer had formed, so adding it in was like icing on the cake.  If you are going to draw in unrelated incidents, there is a nice empty field sitting in Norwood near Smith and Edwards that could serve someone's political agenda.

A significant part of the article attempted to look at OTR overall and provided a reasonable view on 3CDC's efforts, but this has nothing to do with cherry picking statistical and using that as the basis of the article.  That makes a biased and just false claim that 3CDC caused the disparity.  In fact with the time frame involved, 3CDC had not completed that many new locations and had at best purchased the empty, unused buildings that become the condo/apartments now flourishing.  If you want to write an article criticizing redevelopment of OTR, then start typing, but keep the misleading statistics out of it.

I do credit one thing in the article without hesitation: the photo.  The photo looks to me to be of Track 17, at least in part. In contrast, if you look at CityBeat's article on this story, then you should notice that the picture listed is not in Track 17 at all. It's of Gateway Quarter and it's inclusion with either a careless mistake or purposeful deception.  I'll let you decide on that.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Southgate House Closing

According to it's Facebook page, the Southgate House will be closing it's doors after this New Year's Eve show. This esteemed music venue has been serving the great Cincinnati music scene for decades and has been the sight of scores of epic concerts.  News that it is closing a big blow to the Cincinnati music scene.  The post indicates that the owners may move the business.  There is no announced reason for the move and no word on what necessitates the closure or what will happen with the historic landmark.

Joe at has more on the closing, which had been rumored recently.

UPDATE: Lauren Bishop of the Enquirer has more.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Biased Gannett Bleeds On Enqurier

If you've read this story about Rob Portman's participation in the 'Super-Committee' you would think the only person of interest on the committee was Rob Portman.  You'd also assume that what ever Portman was doing, he was doing it without any hint of politics or partisanship.

The bias of the article was astonishing to me.  I'll use the cliche 'putting lipstick on a big' because that's basically what it did.  You can still smell the stink that was the 'Super-Committee,' but you can also smell the gallons of perfume trying to hide the Republican responsibility for the failure of the committee. I understand that Portman is local, but it is biased to make him the focus of the coverage when he was at best a single member of a team that failed. We got no insight about the Democratic members of the committee. We got a cloudy puff piece on a Republican that didn't hide the failure, but went out of it's way to make Portman look like he's not to blame.  It's homerism of a different political/partisan bent.

The most annoying example of bias in the article came in how the reporter alternately labeled the American Enterprise Institute vs the Brookings Institution when describing a person quoted for the article.  The AEI was referenced without any qualifying partisan adjectives:
"Portman is the key to me," Norman Ornstein, a longtime congressional expert at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Fiscal Times in August, after the 55-year-old Portman was tapped to be one of the six GOP lawmakers on the bipartisan panel. "Rob is smart, decent, not a crazy. He is the kind of person you'd want on this panel."
On the other hand the Brookings Instituion was labeled as 'left-leaning:'
Thomas Mann, a congressional expert at the Brookings Institution, a left-leaning think tank, similarly said the "supercommittee was doomed to failure" because Republicans took such a hard line opposing any significant tax increases. "The minor concessions were not serious," Mann said, referring to a GOP proposal that offered some revenue increases. "As a consequence, I don't think there were any pivotal players."
Gannett and the Enquirer know the AEI is a Conservative think-tank. It may be representing the more libertarian wing of the Republican Party, but it clearly is at a minimum a 'right-leaning' think tank.  Bias runs deep and when you don't treat groups the same, you sink farther down into the muck with FOX News.

Friday, November 25, 2011

What Did You Buy Today?

Now, be honest, tell everyone what you purchased today on the holiest of shopping days.

I bought lunch for a couple of friends and that was it. It was at an independent restaurant, to boot.

It was a good day!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey, Turkey!!!

Eat, drink, nap, repeat!

Happy Thanksgiving Day!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Luke Brockmeier Ohio 31st Campaign Kickoff Event Tonight!

Newly declared Democratic candidate for the Ohio 31st House District, Luke Brockmeier, is holding his kickoff event tonight (Thursday November 17th) at the Greenwich in Walnut Hills.  Join Luke and his supporters at 6PM to celebrate the beginning of his campaign and learn more where he stands on the issues.

Here is more from the event's press release:
Luke Brockmeier, a Madisonville resident and grassroots organizer, is entering the Democratic primary for the 31st district of the Ohio House of Representatives.The campaign kickoff event will be at The Greenwich (2442 Gilbert Avenue) in Walnut Hills on Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 6:00pm.

Brockmeier is a first-time candidate who has political experience with Citizens to Restore Fairness, America Votes Ohio, and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, where he is employed as the Public Affairs Coordinator. He is a graduate of Princeton High School and Miami University, and has also worked extensively with local arts organizations as a stage manager and technician.
For more information check out

Also check out Luke on Twitter @LukeforOhio and Facebook.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Where Would Charlie Go?

The buzz yesterday that surrounded Council Member Charlie Winburn's comments to the Enquirer about a conversation he had with local Republican Party officials Monday Morning was quite the thing.  The gist of the post is that Winburn may be considering, or wants people to think he is considering, leaving the Republican Party.

The problem is, where is he going to go?  I don't think he's going to be welcome back in with the Democrats. The local Green Party is willing to ignore its philosophy, so maybe he could get an endorsement. Could he join the SHERO-HERO party with Sandra Queen Noble?

In my opinion this is all a stunt.  Charlie wants attention and respect from the GOP, because he is the only Republican on Council.  He also maybe trying to gain more power.  I think he's going to be told to go take a hike.  The GOP cares little about the city, and at this point, they appear to be poised to write it off. Unless they make big gains in 2012 in Hamilton County. I wouldn't be surprised to see only a couple of Republicans running in 2013.  I don't see them having 5 candidates again for a couple of terms.

On the other hand, Charlie may be asking about the Mayor's race.  He could be asking if he could get the backing from the GOP if he were to run.  This would be a mistake for Charlie.  Firstly he would get crushed by Roxanne Qualls.  Secondly, he already said publicly that he wasn't going to run against Qualls, and in fact he would support her.  This is what he said back in 2010:
Winburn: I don't want to be mayor, I'm supporting Qualls. "I already told her that."
Lying to your opponent wouldn't be a good thing to defend during your campaign.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Bad Cop Quits CPD

The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that a Cincinnati Police Officer has resigned as part of the deal made because he allegedly accessed police records on behalf of a relative of his, who is a suspected drug dealer. It appears as if this cop is getting of pretty easy for what he allegedly did.

I am wondering, what else has this cop done on behalf of his suspected drug dealing relative?

How Did Chris Smitherman Get Elected?

I am extremely disappointed that Chris Smitherman was elected to City Council, but I am not concerned with him actually having any significant influence on the direction of the city.  I lack that concern because of the seven Democrats now on council along with the Mayor in solid control of the government.  All we citizens are going to have to do is put up with his antics.  I'm wondering what he will do for his first performance.  I'm hoping for a little David Mamet.

Anyway...How did Chris get back on Council?  I think the answer is quite simple, but there are two parts.

1) His name recognition as a former Councilman and as local NAACP Chairman got him votes on a low/moderate level across the city.  He never placed below 18th in any ward, and only was that low on the East Side.
2) The main reason was the turnout of African American voters.  Specifically in Ward 7 (Bond Hill/Roselawn) where Smitherman was 1st, with over 3,700 votes.  Ward 7's turnout was 42.43% up 6.33% from 2009.

His COAST endorsement I am going to say was meaningless. If he gained any votes from it, then he likely lost just as many, if not more.  The higher turnout was the main factor.  He still barely got on, placing a very weak 8th, so when the Mayoral election rolls around, he may face trouble with more conservatives voting if there is actually a contended race.

I honestly hope Smitherman behaves. If that sounds likes I am considering him childlike, well, I do.  His track record is not good on this front and I fear he will take grandstanding or school yard threats to new heights, since that is all he will be able to do.  He won't actually introduce meaningful legislation, because he can't get it passed without cooperation from others. Since his not known for playing well with others some level of circus is ahead for Cincinnati City Council.  I hope it is only a one ring circus and not three.

Ghiz, Door, Ass

Of the many things that happened in last night's election, Council Member Leslie Ghiz's surprise 13th place finish was nothing I or I dare say anyone else was expecting.  She had alienated much of the city, but one thought her Republican base and FOP endorsement would have won the day.

Not this time.

The conservatives did not vote for her.  In 2009 Leslie got 3,209 votes in Ward 1 (Mt. Washington.) Last night she only got 2,355, almost 1,000 less in one of the main Republican districts. In Ward 25 (West Price Hill/Covedale) she got 2,765 votes in 2009, and last night only got 1,906. Ghiz's fellow Republican amy Murray came close to holding her votes from 2009 in both Wards, showing at least on the surface that the GOP wasn't sitting on their hands in large numbers. Instead, I think people are tired of Ghiz's negative attitude and more importantly I think that the Enquirer's non-endorsement really hurts Republicans more than Democrats. So for the next few weeks we'll still have the chance for more Twitter Theatre or massive demonstrations of how to properly grandstand on both East Side and the West Side. After that, Ghiz is Gone.

In what has to be one of the most classless acts I've seen in local politics, Ghiz told Enquirer Reporter Jane Prendergast that she's putting her house up for sale and moving. She didn't come out and say she was moving to the Suburbs, but she doesn't have to, there would be no other reason to mention it. She has never cared about the City and this is just one more act of disdain.  If she was thinking about moving, why bother running again at all?

I don't know what changed about her. When she first came on the political scene she was, or appeared to be, here for good reasons. In the end, she's cutting and running. She can't find a way to exist without alienating the city she claimed to serve.

It is sad to say good riddance, but everyone is better off with her off council. We will, however, never get to read her non-existent nearly magically plan to balance the City Budget without laying off police officers, something I've was waiting for with bated breath. Alas, another mystery we will be forced to live with. Life goes on.

So long, Council Member Ghiz, don't let the door hit you in ass on your way out of town.

News Round Up On Council Election

Here are a plethora of news links on last night's historic City Council Election:

CityBeat: Newcomers join council; Bortz, Ghiz among ousted
Enquirer: Cincinnati voters shake up City Council
Enquirer Politics Extra: More Re Stunning Council Election
WVXU: Cincinnati Council full of new faces
WVXU: Cincinnati Council race stuns observers
WCPO: Voters choose new members of Cincinnati City Council
700WLW: "Sea Change" for Cincinnati Council
WXIX: Cincinnati City Council receives major overhaul in election
WKRC: Voters Shake Up Cincinnati City Council
WLWT: 4 Newcomers Lead City Council Shakeup

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Huge Defeat For Republicans In City Council Race

In an amazing turn of events, four incumbents from council lost their seats tonight. Gone are Chris Bortz, Leslie Ghiz, Amy Murray, and Wayne Lippert.

Joining Council are P.G. Sittenfeld, Yvette Simpson, Chris Smitherman, and Chris Seelbach.

This is a game changing election. I myself am astonished at the turnover. I shall be crunching the numbers as soon as the ward and precinct detail becomes available. The tale of the numbers will be telling.

Cincinnati should be proud. We are a city moving forward and shedding much of the past. Our future is looking bright tonight, and I am going to enjoy it!

Mingling and Waiting at the BOE

Early Council Results

Here are the top nine after the early votes:


Polling Location Details Not Updated On BOE Website

I had a minor problem at my polling station this morning.  This year after the precinct locations were revamped, I double checked to make sure that my location did not change.  It didn't.  It is still at the Emanuel Community Center at 1308 Race Street.

So Knowing where I going, I walked in the same entrance I've gone to since I moved to OTR in 2007.  I went down the ramp in front of the building, went around to the back door and found that it was locked.

I was perplexed.  I was pondering what was going on.  Why would the doors to a polling place locked at about 10 AM.  There must be some kind of mistake, so I went in the front door and asked and found that a different room was being used in the building and was pointed quickly to the room not far from the main door and voted without a problem.

No big deal.  Things change and I just didn't pay enough attention.

After I got back to blogging and was researching another report of problems at my precinct, where it reportedly was not opened for voting until 7:15 AM, I checked the polling location search on the BOE's website ( and I found a problem.  They still list the building entrance as "FRONT RAMP ENTRANCE" as can be seen below:
I hope that no one gave up when trying to find the entrance.  I would have hopped that the BOE would have the website more updated, unless this was a last minute change, which has other implications.  I also hope that building has a third entrance that is wheel chair accessible, because the main entrance did not appear to be.

Where Are the Election Night Parties?

Election night can be a fun and exciting event for many candidates and Issue supporters.  It can also be a depressing night for some as well.  Here are the locations for the candidates/groups that I am aware of so far.  I'll update the list as I learn more:

No on Issue 48: Arnold's
Chris Seelbach: Milton's
Jason Riverio: Mixx Ultra Lounge
Yvette Simpson: Mixx Ultra Lounge
Wendell Young: Mixx Ultra Lounge
SB5-No on Issue 2: Holy Grail
P.G. Sittenfeld: The Cincinnati Fire Museum
Republicans: City Cellars

Monday, November 07, 2011

Berding's Sour Grapes and Partisan Flip

So, I guess Jeff Berding's anger over getting the boot from the Hamilton County Democratic Party appears to be strongly lingering over two years later with his classless robo-calls against Democratic Council Member Cecil Thomas.  Berding has become the darling of the Republicans with his support of Issue 2 (SB5).  I'd be happy if he came out and declared himself a Republican and drop any pretense.  His appointment of Wayne Lippert was the clearest sign he had left the party that had left him. Going to the other side by playing attack dog is the real sign that you are now on the dark side.

Darth Berding isn't going to sway anyone, even if the Bengals defy all predictions and make the playoffs.

COAST Misleading Voters on Issue 2

It is no surprise that COAST will knowingly mislead voters on any issue or candidate they support. Greg Sargent of the Washington Post reports on the sleaze COAST is pushing on Issue 2, so it what he reports is not a shock, just a succinct example of the way COAST operates.  Here's a recording of the message on a phone line on the flyer Sargent reported is being circulated in Ohio:

There are outright lies on that recording, namely the claim that voting No on issue will cause layoff of public workers. The recording states that the phone line is funded by COAST and sounds like a robo-call.  I wonder if it is being sent out as such.  If it is, I hope the anti-Issue 2 folks take a cue from the No on 48 team.

Council Election Predictions!

There are many ways to make council predictions.  You can crunch the numbers.  You can throw darts or pull names from a hat.  I've run the numbers, but running the numbers assumes I know who is going to vote.  I can only guess at that.  Those guesses include the historical facts that elected incumbents rarely lose council races here in Cincinnati. Un-elected incumbents have lost, but tend to win as well.  So, if you run the numbers, you tend to point to the likelihood that we will not see much change on council.

I'm not going to predict zero change, but conventional wisdom indicates that there are only three possible seats in play.  Who might loose depends on who votes, so the only prediction I can make is the following:

I predict we will have one new member on council once the votes are totaled tomorrow night.  (I'm not going to name names, because I don't like being wrong.)

If there is more than one new member, I will be surprised.  The only way I can see that happening is a drop in Conservative votes or a big influx of more Moderate and Liberal votes.  That's the rub: Turnout.  It is almost always the only definitive indicator that can be factored into predictions.

What are your predictions?  Sound off in comments.

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.

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.