Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Republican Sam Malone Fails to Appear in Court

What is the first thing you should do when you are running for public office? Answer: Follow the law. Republican Sam Malone, who is reportedly running for Cincinnati City Council, failed to pay a speeding ticket and then failed to appear in court as directed. A judge had to then issue a warrant for his arrest. Malone was able to avoid arrest by simply paying fine, which was higher due to Malone's carelessness.

This guy is being backed by Republicans. They still want him to be elected. How can anyone trust the guy when he can't even pay his speeding tickets on time to sit on Council?

Another question: Why are the Republicans scraping the bottom of the barrel They only can find four candidates and Malone is one?  Mike Allen is considered worse than Malone?

Why Did the Enquirer ID the Student Who Attempted Suicide?

The choice to name the student who attempted suicide at LaSalle High School was the wrong one to make. I am trying to rack my brain to figure out the reasons for doing it. It's not information that is really going to drive readers to find out more by reading the paper. If they want to know about the case, adding the name isn't going to drive up circulation. I can see the argument that publishing all of the information known is good, but that assumes an extreme viewpoint where privacy is deemed wrong.

The technical reason I can see the Enquirer using is the strong likelihood that the student will be charged with a crime for bringing the gun to class and firing it, if nothing else. Naming suspects or potential suspects in crimes is an acceptable journalistic practice. Joe Deters likely won't let the case go anywhere, to help the school, if nothing else, but that's the type of story that could be written in a month or so once events play out. In that story that name of the student would then be far more relevant.

In this case at this time there is no good reason to name the student, who according to the article is under 18 years old. The young man's medical condition is not known. We don't know if he will even survive, let alone in what condition. Adding his name to the public sphere doesn't serve a purpose to the community. The Enquirer made a big mistake.

UPDATE #1: The Enquirer posted a response on why they named the student.  The response is lacking in my opinion.  It appears they did it for clarity because there was allegedly false information out there.  Also they did it because the name was already known, including allegedly being given to LaSalle parents by the School. It appears to me that not a whole lot of thought went into the act of publishing the name.  The Enquirer may want to rethink their policy and practices.  Hell, most of the time they don't report when suicide attempts happen, whether successful or not.

UPDATE #2: CityBeat has also named the student in a blog post today, based on the Enquirer article.

Monday, April 29, 2013

MidPoint Music Festival ’13: Announcement Coming Soon

Keep your eyes on the City Beat Blog for the announcement of the Fountain Square MidPoint Indie Summer Line-Up.

Monday, April 22, 2013

BOE Must Investigate Parking Petitions

The following video provides damning evidence that some petitions collected by businesses were not being handled correctly according to Ohio Election Law. It is possible that anyone who signed the each page committed perjury if they did not witness all of the signatures listed on that page.

If nothing is done, than all the cries of voter fraud from Alex Triantafilou and Joe Deters mean absolutely nothing. Since they haven't done anything to investigate the 114% registration rate of Indian Hill, their efforts thus far are clearly just political grandstanding.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

CityBeat Has Great Overview of City Budget Battle

CityBeat's German Lopez has a fact laden commentary in today's edition that lays out the clear truth about all of the plans put forth by council members and mayoral candidates: they won't work.

The best part of the article is a wonderful example of when a journalist is able to hoist a political candidate by his own conservative patard.
Cranley has also criticized the city’s parking plan for failing to structurally balance the budget. But Lea Eriksen, the city’s budget director, says the city has been running structurally imbalanced budgets since 2001, and Cranley was in office between 2000 and 2009 and chaired the budget committee for eight of those years.
The lesson of the story: John Cranley gets more blame for our current budget problems than anyone else either currently holding elected office in Cincinnati or seeking to hold it.  Outside of Governor Kasich's attack on local governments, which constitutes the lion share of the budget gap, Cranley's budget tricks from the past have come home.  So unless he wants to start attacking the Republican governor and thus stop beingpretending to be a Republican, he better find a spot under his ass for those chickens to roost.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Xavier Allowing Hate Group to Hold Fundraiser on Campus

A big question for current Xavier students, Alumni, and staff: Why is Xavier University allowing a hate group to hold a fundraiser on its campus a week from tomorrow, April 23, 2013?

If you don't know about CCV and Phil Burress, then I suggest you do some reading. Try Here and Here and Here and Here and for a history lesson try Here.

CCV is an anti-gay/lesbian hate group. They seek to oppress LGBT people and force everyone to be subject to their religious rule.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The Enquirer Whitewashes Cranley's Ethics Investigation

So then City Council member John Cranley resigns from office in 2009 as a means to halt the State of Ohio ethics violation investigation. If you have done nothing wrong, why resign?

That is a very legitimate question that should have been asked by the local news media to Cranley and then asked repeatedly until he answers it fully. The Enquirer instead decides to publish a whitewash article that portrays itself as an in-depth explanation that spins the story to make Cranley look like a good developer.

Why not ask another question to Cranley: If Cranley didn't violate any ethics rules in 2009 when he invested in the project, why would he need or even want to divest himself of the property if he is elected Mayor?

While they are at it, why doesn't someone ask Cranley if he did violate ethics rules over this project?

So, if a news outlet can't ask the bottom line questions, why cover the story at all? It wouldn't be bias towards Cranley, would it?

Friday, March 29, 2013

John Cranley is Lying About His 'Plan'

I am not shocking anyone when I call mayoral candidate John Cranley a liar. When I say John Cranley is lying about his budget 'plan' I think anyone knowledgeable about Cranley's shady city financial management past would be chiding me stating the obvious.

Yesterday I think he crossed into charlatan territory with what he billed as a 'Structurally Balanced Budget.'

There is nothing Structurally balanced about his budget and anyone saying there is lying.

His plan takes money from other city budgets to plug holes, something that is not valid and got us into the trouble we are in now when he did the same thing when Charlie Luken was mayor.

His plan uses money from the Casino that is uncertain, at best.  Why not just use a rosy project that tax revenue will rise and call that structural?

He takes already dedicated Parking revenue and yanks it from another city budget to plug a hole in another (The good Catholic boy knows how to Rob Peter to pay Paul).

He then just cuts most everyone else by 10%.  Well, not everyone.  He doesn't touch the Police and Fire budgets.  The biggest parts of the budget.  Yep, that's a world class act of pandering.  He also carries the tool of fear along and drives it through the West Side.

He also doesn't say what gets cut in those departments with that 10 %.  Is he just mimicking Charlie Winburn's salary cut plan? Does he want a 10% staff cut in everyone else?  What other programs will he gut?  Where's his courage to name what he would reduce?  Is he willing to layoff other works but not cops or fire fighters because that means it would cost him votes?

So, Cranley creates the most insane budget plan I've ever read (actually worse than Winburn's). No one in the media will likely question much about it, least not at the Enquirer.  He and his surrogates will run around lying about this plan and few will call them out on their lies.

Well, I'm here to ask you to call them out.  Ask John Cranley why he is lying about his budget plan.  Ask him to explain how his plan will not destroy the city.

While you are at it, ask him to explain how his plan differs ideologically from the budget plan of the House Republicans? I mean they want to cut everything in the Federal budget, except for Defense.  The comparison to Cranley is either eerie or intentional.

Ask Cranley if he plans on getting the Republican endorsement?  He so far is running the same campaign Brad Wenstrup ran 4 years ago.  Brad was suburbanite Republican.  Does that make Cranley a suburbanite Republican?  I'm going to say yes, yes it does.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Blogging Isn't Cool: Cranley On the Issues 'Bad to Bizzare'

Quimbob sums up the core of Mayoral Candidate and former Councilman John Cranly's horrid stances on public safety issues as 'Bad to Bizzare.'

Simply put: Quimbob is correct.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Some Funny Hyperbole...Hehe...Can't Hurt!

Quimbob may be on to something for the secessionist residents of Westwood. We're talking about a dozen people, maybe, so after Melva Gweyn and Mary Kuhl finally seek asylum in Cheviot, we'd really would not be talking about that many people.  All it all, it would take maybe 10 minutes.  What judge can spare the time to administer the oath?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Smitherman Lies to NAACP Membership

The Enquirer's political blog documents the lie sent to local NAACP by their local chapter President and member of City Council Chris Smitherman. His lie was simple and blatant:
“Our right to vote is the issue,” Smitherman said in an email to members and others.
No, the effort to defeat the Parking Plan is all about Republicans trying to defeat Democrats, because they only have two solid votes on Council and want more.  They see the Parking Plan, which really would normally be welcomed ideologically by businesses focused Republicans, as a way to get to the uninformed voter and exploiting their ignorance.  How better to get people mad than by making them think the price for something is going up.  It works if you use donuts  beer, McDonald's, or even guns.

Smitherman is supporting the Republicans.  I would not be surprised if he is courting the GOP for an endorsement and trying to factor in how many votes that would cost him in Bond Hill and Roselawn.

John Cranely is doing the same thing, but seems to be backing off the spotlight.  He knows the GOP endorsement would kill his chances to win the Mayor's race, but he'll walk the line even more blatantly than Smitherman, one of his supporters.  Dishonesty in being two faced is not either politician shys away from.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Who is Running For City Council?

As of now there is a growing cast of characters running for city council. The incumbents running are:

Laure Quinlivan (D)
Wendell Young (D)
Chris Seelbach (D)
Yvette Simpson (D/C)
P.G. Sittenfeld (D)
Charlie Winburn (R)
Chris Smitherman (I) (All I could find was a Facebook page. Seriously?)

Those either announced or close to it:
Amy Murray (R)
Greg Landsman (D)
Michelle Dillingham (D)
Kevin Johnson (?D)
Mike Moroski (?D)
Pam Thomas (D)
Vanessa White (D)

Other maybes or less solid indications of a yes:
Kevin Flynn (C)
David Mann (D)
Sam Malone (R)
Janaya Trotter (D)
Catherine Smith Mills (R) (She still has a website up so ?)

The question that arise from three sides are who will get the Party Endorsements?  There are two many running for the Democratic Party.  I list 13 possible Dems as running and I've heard there are 14, but don't know who else is running.  I don't know if it is possible for the GOP to field even fewer candidates than last year, but they might, with only 2 candidates announced.  Charter also is thin, as the group as there may be only one non-cross endorsed candidate from the third 'party.'

If anyone knows of anyone else running, or has more information on websites for the above listed possible candidates, please pass it along.

For More check out WVXU from a few weeks ago.

Friday, March 08, 2013

How Far is Cranley in Bed with COAST?

John Cranley's political stunt carried out by his Republican supporters has COAST wrapped up with the anti-city lawsuit. COAST's bigot in chief, Chris Finney is representing the Cranley scheme. It would appear Smiterman's support for Cranley is landing the Westside native further and further into the political fringe. I thought Craney had limits, but when you hire Chris Finney, your walk to extremist gets a lot shorter.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Portune Can't Seem to Do Math

I think everyone, even fellow Democrats, would call Portune's call for cheaper parking in Downtown the bi-product of too many visits from Mary Jane.

The problem is that the City has no funding to cut the current prices of parking and then increase the funding to maintain the expenses behind those parking spaces.

The cities of Ohio are being punished for not support the GOP, mainly the governor, so their governments have had millions of State funded cut.

Hamilton County owns the nearly biggest parking garage in the damn world, I don't see Portune making efforts to cut the prices to 1 dollar there.

I don't know what Portune's angle is here.  It is the most impractical thing to consider at this point. I'd like to give my family all a new car for Christmas this year, but unless the PowerBall comes through, it wouldn't be a good idea to send an email telling them it would be a good idea if I did that.

I will at least give someone like Chris Seelbach credit for coming up with a plan that does not lease the parking spaces out and still has a theoretical way of balancing the budget.  Portune seems to not like to live in the theoretical world of basic math.  He wants some magic parking beans to make everything alright.

Cranley Supporting Republican Effort

In case you are wondering who John Cranley is focusing on getting to vote for him in the election, then look no further than his 'support' of the Republican effort to disrupt the city's ability to pass laws.

It should be presumed that Cranley did more than just support this effort. It is likely he is behind it. I mean, if he wants to pretend he his Frances J. Underwood, he might not want to actually go to the court hearing after he orchestrates it to appear he isn't involved.

BTW John, How much will this lawsuit cost the city?

Sunday, March 03, 2013

John Cranley is Soft on Crime

Somewhere along his educational path John Cranley, candidate for Cincinnati Mayor, must have just confused taxes with penalties for breaking the law.  If not, he seems to want to let people break the law without being held accountable.  That's not much of a law and order thing to do.

In an Enquirer article about the parking deal, Cranley was quick to call enforcement of parking ordinances (aka LAWS) as a "tax increase."
"Critics, however, say the numbers show the private operators will aggressively issue parking tickets to meet their revenue projections.

“We’re talking about a massive increase in tickets for decades,” John Cranley, who is running for mayor, said Saturday. “It’s a 100 percent hidden tax increase on the citizens of Cincinnati.”"
Every time John pays his income takes, does he really think he violated the law?

It is not a surprise John is talking like a Republican, where he plays word games with the truth. He'll have Westside Republicans thinking that it is their 'God' given right to park free where ever they want.  It's 'free' to park at Walmart, after all.  Those massive parking lots just grew out the ground naturally, waiting for a big box store to be built around it.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sittenfeld Gets It Wrong on Sunday Parking

Looking to fabricate false political issues to be the grandstanding champion of the hour, Cincinnati Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld sent out an email (pdf)  yesterday with what must have been very short sided or just careless analysis. In his email he included a draft copy of the of Parking Plan Agreement between the City and the Port Authority. Sittenfeld is claiming that City Manager and other elected city officials were not honest when they stated that the parking meters will be free on Sundays under the new plan.  Well, it is my opinion (based on the agreement) that the City Manager was being honest, and Sittenfeld is either creating a false news story to mislead the public or he really just didn't read the document very well, or yes, it could be both.

Schedule 4 of the City agreement clearly states the hours and days of operation of Parking meters.  Sundays are not included in the Period of Operation.  There, that simple.

So on the surface that seems good, and Sittenfeld is plain old wrong.  Sittenfeld is playing a dishonest political game and is wasting his and our time with a sideshow.  Instead he could go into more depth and find a problem.

There is a big catch to Free Sundays.  If Sittenfeld was looking carefully, instead of charging at windmills, he might have read the following sections and definitions listed in the agreement:
“Period of Operation” means, (i) with respect to each Metered Parking Space, the Days and the period or periods of time during each Day that the City permits the parking of a motor vehicle in that Metered Parking Space and requires the payment of a Metered Parking Fee for use of that Metered Parking Space as set forth on Schedule 4; and (ii) with respect to the Parking Facilities, the Days and period or periods of time during each Day that the City permits the parking of a motor vehicle in a Parking Garage or Parking Lot as set forth on Schedule 4.
So the definition of Period of Operation includes the days and the hours during each time. Next P.G. should read Section 7.8a(ii)
(ii) Increases in Period of Operation. Following the Initial Adjustment Date, the Port Authority may increase the Period of Operation for the Parking Spaces, provided, however, that the Port Authority shall not increase the hours of operation for the Metered Parking Spaces to any hour earlier than 7 a.m. or later than 9 p.m. without the unanimous approval of the Advisory Committee.
So, they can change the Period of Operation after a certain date. Next you better read what "Initial Adjustment Date" means:
“Initial Adjustment Date” means, with respect to each Parking Facility or Zone, the date on which all technology improvements have been made to the respective Parking Facility or Zone in accordance with Schedule 18.
Finally, read up on Schedule 18:
On-Street Parking System
Smart parking meters must be installed at each Metered Parking Space in each Zone for the Initial Rate Adjustment Date to occur for that Zone. These smart parking meters must be battery powered, wireless, and offer coin and credit card acceptance. Smart parking meters do not need to be installed at Metered Parking Spaces where the City installed IPS meters approximately two years ago.
Bottom line, in my humble layman's opinion, there is the strong possibility that the Port Authority could adjust the Period of Operation to include additional days, including Sundays, after the Initial Adjustment Date has been met.  Therefore under the agreement, free Sunday street parking is not a permanent requirements  if the Port Authority meets its upgrade obligations.   If Sittenfeld or any other member of council wants to propose an adjustment to section 7.8a(ii) which defines how a period of operation can be changed, to exclude adding any Sunday Street Parking, then I would support that.  This could be a real problem that might just be an oversight, instead of the confused mess Sittenfeld made of Schedule 9.

Just to tie up a loose end, let's examine why Sittenfeld made his false claim at all.  He's worried that there is a limit to the amount the city can exclude parking rates from being open.  He points to this definition:
“Identified Event Threshold” means not greater than five and one half percent (5.5%) of the aggregate number of Parking Spaces which would otherwise be operated during a Franchise Year but for an Identified Event.
That is true. The problem is how Sittenfeld then went through a big calculation to determine what the threshold would be assuming that that "aggregate number of Parking Spaces which would otherwise be operated during a Franchise Year" to mean all possible spaces open all the time the whole year. He even misquotes the section by saying "all parking space hours in a year." Clearly Sittenfeld didn't want to mention Schedule 4 and how it defines what spaces can be operated and when, thus creating a differing number of parking hours, not including Sundays or other hours not open under the schedule. Sittenfield was all bent on the inclusion of Sundays and Holidays in the definition of an "Identified Event."  Those should be included when talking about parking garages since under Schedule 4, since the Parking Garages are open on Sundays and Holidays.  For Sittenfeld it is not clear enough, so via Twitter he advised me that the Port Authority is going to make changes to address the issue.  If I were them a simple addition of  " in the Parking Garages" on lines 18 and 19 of Schedule 9 should be enough to quell the perceived mighty Knights threatening the public.

So when in his email Sittenfeld wrote "Sundays Would Not, In Fact, Be Free:" he was lying on two levels. First he was lying because under the contract Sundays are not days of Operation for Parking meters, they will be free (for now). Hell, even if someone tried to incorrectly invoke his false Identified Event Threshold theory, street parking would be free on Sundays, the city might lose revenue on the deal. Second is that even if the contract is too confusing and the lawyers need to tighten it up, there was no intent of deception on the part of the City or Port Authority. Sittenfeld used "can't keep a promise" as words to disparage the City Manager and those elected officials supporting the parking plan. That is the implication that they did this on purpose. No, they didn't.  That's a lie.

This type of argument is something I would have expected from a Smitherman or a Winburn or a Cranley.  Sittenfeld doesn't want to be in their anti-progress camp.  Go with the future, don't go with the politics of the past.

What needs to happen now is

  1. The lawyers to tighten the language to quell the fears of Sittenfeld et al.
  2. Sittenfeld and the rest of City council needs to look at the section I pointed out above about how the period of operation can or should be change to exclude street parking on Sundays.
  3. Add a definition of what 'Holidays' are mean. I didn't find one mentioned.  Saying all State and Federal holidays with some language about changes in the future should suffice.

Then if there are other bigger issues that are not disputed as written, but for which anyone, especially those on council, disagree with, then debate those.  If there are details not in the agreement that are key, it is valid to have that before voting on it.  Stay away from paper tigers.

Don't cherry pick topics, like parking free on Sundays, and try and get the public pissed at the City, especially under false pretenses.  That is just the worst type of grandstanding and it is a soul killing political action.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mike Moroski Running for Council

Mike Moroski, The former Catholic high school administrator fired for supporting gays rights on his personal blog, announced he is running for Cincinnati City Council in 2013. The field of candidates is growing, but few Republican candidates thus far.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cincinnati Parking Plan Analysis

Former Ohio House candidate Luke Brockmeier has a thorough analysis of the Cincinnati Parking Plan issued by the City Manager.

I agree with his take. If the assumptions are correct, it is a more positive than negative plan. It is not all roses for everyone affected, but it helps the city.

It is sad seeing John Cranley misrepresent the plan, but that is what can be expected from a hack politician like Cranely, who cares more about getting votes than actually governing the city.

Cranley suffers from suburbanite syndrome where he things all parking (at strips malls) should be free.

What a sad candidate. A visonless candidate who seems to not understand that he lives in a major city, not some bland suburban community that is based on conformity, not innovation.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Cranley Loses Another Blogger

Mayoral Candidate John Cranley got an early repudiation from Quimbob.

I wonder how many more are to follow....