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....

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Trees Cut Down In Yeatman's Cove

An entire grove if trees was cut down recently in Yeatman's Cove near the Purple People Bridge.

I would guess they may have been diseased, but no information was available at the park.

New trees are on site to presumably replace those cut down.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Hortsman's Bias Continues And Grows With Cranley's Help

It will come to a shock to no one that Enquirer Writer Barry Hortsman has written yet another hit piece on the Cincinnati Streetcar. What may be a surprise is how much this hit piece was free advertising for Mayoral candidate John Cranley.  Professional journalists and mainstream media outlets, usually don't do that.  That isn't the case for the Enqurier or Hortsman.

Hortsman couldn't bother to get a quote from the other candidate for office? Better yet, he could have written about the article about the Streetcar and not include Cranley at all.  It is called an "Exclusive" by the newspaper.  What that typically means is that the story is one on that media outlet has.  Instead, this article was exclusively filled with the political viewpoints of only one candidate for office, Cranley.  This no challenge to what Cranley says or believes.  His inclusion is irrelevant   This is supposed to be a transportation story, not a political story.

Pure Bias, terrible Journalism.

I honestly don't believe any article Hortsman writes at this point. After claiming to be able to walk as fast as the wind blows, he lost all credibility with anyone paying attention. Now, I would like to hear from any journalist explaining how this article is not an intentional endorsement of John Cranley.

I'd also will be checking the Cranley campaign finance reports for an in-kind contribution from Gannett for the publication of this article.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Where Are the Vote Counts?

The Enquirer is reporting that Chris Smitherman says he won the Cincinnati NAACP Chapter Presidential election, but the organization will not release the vote counts. It would appear that Smitherman graduated from the Hugo Chávez Charm School.

So much for legitimacy.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Kathy Wilson Travels, Fails to Mark the Twain

So cryptic attacks and backhanded praise once again flow like prose laden with random Jazzy CNN almost metaphors in another Kathy Y. Wilson column in CityBeat. If you want to watch ideas dance the Tango for no apparent reason, then have a read.

If you DO NOT want to watch Kathy ride the 2001 Cincinnati Riot Float in another parade, then I suggest you skip it.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Hartmann Must Be Into BDSM

After the City of Cincinnati helped to carry Hamilton County, Ohio, and the whole election for President Obama, Republican County Commissioner Greg Hartmann is reportedly thinking about running for Mayor of Cincinnati.

He must be a Masochist. There can be no other reason for a Republican to want to got through that much pain and then get nothing out of it in the end.

I'm not sure if this is just local Republicans, like GOP party chair Alex Triantafilou, stirring the pot to see if Chris Bortz will run or if he wants to call out Charlie Winburn on lying about not running for mayor.  Either way it comes across as a severe case of denial.  No hardcore Republican stands a chance to win the Mayor's office.

I would have guessed Alex would be talking to John Cranley, seeing how Cranley would have get the Republicans on the Westside to support him if he was going to have even a remote chance to win.

Can Conservatives Stop Misusing the Word Socialism?

I cringe all the time when I hear people misuse words. I often make others cringe when I fail to replace my there with their. I think it is high time for Conservatives to stop misusing the word "Socialism." From the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Socialism is defined as follows:
Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.
There are several other modifications of this definition that are also listed at the link above, but this is the first and the main defintion when talking about Socialism.

The President nor the Demoratic Park believe in Socialism. Anyone telling you otherwise is lying. If they continue to call the President a Socialist, then proceed to call them both a Feudalist and a Fascist and call it even.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Obama Has Won!

Time to celebrate!

So Much for Protecting the Vote, Enqurier.

CityBeat has the details on the dumb error by the Enquirer in posting 'test' data for an election results page that incorrectly showed Romney up by 92K after early voting in Ohio. It has been removed.

Before the error was caught, Drudge picked it up and tweeted, cause he's dying to report impossible to find information.

For the record, there have been no vote counts released by anyone in Ohio. The Enquirer just made a stupid error. I hope this does not become the basis for any conspiracy theories.

I don't know why, but it seems like they did this previously, or I am just having a bout of deja vu?

Enquirer Has Voter Protection Coverage

The Cincinnati Enquirer has several election day efforts to document voting issues in the Cincinnati area.  The main section is located here (behind the partial pay-wall), which includes interactive maps showing the precinct and issue identified.  Already there have been issues with cut/torn bar codes that caused issues with scanning and many reports of provisional voting requirements that were not expected by voters.

You can follow the voter protection efforts of the Enquirer on social media on Twitter and Facebook.

Where are the Election Night Parties?

I know everyone's worried about who is winning the election, so I'm putting out the call to all of political Cincinnati to find out where election night parties are going to take place.  Here's what I know so far:

Northside Progressives will be at the Northside Tavern starting at 7PM.

Southgate House invites those who voted to hear some music.

Libertarians are at Dave & Busters from 7 to 11 out in Springdale.

HRC (Human Rights Campaign) is a Below Zero Lounge starting at 7PM.

Jeff Cramerding and Denise Driehaus will be at Arnold's starting at 7:30PM

Connie Pillich's Team will be at Rudino's in Montgomery from 7:30 to 9:30PM

Democrats will be at Cincy's on Sixth starting at 7:30PM

Republicans will be at Toby Keith's I Love this Bar and Grill starting at 7:30PM

Milton's will a hopping spot to check out the returns and will be the choice to go late if there is a celebration to be had.

These are the only places I found or heard about. If there are more chime in via email or make a comment and I'll update as the day goes on.

Urbanists start off election night at the Moerlein Lager House.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Predictions For Election Day

I am going to say that Issue #1 fails.

Other than that, I am not going to guess, unless you want to bet me that Chabot and/or Wenstrup will lose. I could use some spending money for lunch the rest of the week.

Chime in with your picks: who will be the President in January 20th, 2013 at 12:01PM?

This is what Democracy Looks Like, Literally

Monday morning lines to vote in Downtown Cincinnati. A wonderful sight!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Long Lines at the BOE

Today the line to vote at the Hamilton County Board of Elections at around 11:00 AM stretched to Eighth Street. I fully expect national media outlets be set up TV coverage from Cincinnati on election night. Hamilton County will be one of the most watched counties in the entire nation on Tuesday.

If President Obama wins here, he will most likely carry the state and win the election.

So, where should a political blogger hang out awaiting the returns? I personally want to be in hand in case something crazy happens here. I don't want the national media to fuck up the coverage of this area or our state, so I plan keeping my nose in the game, if it is close.

If one if the candidates is walking away with the election I plan on drinking heavily, very early, no matter who wins.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Political Intervention is Bad Business and Unethical

As a graduate of the Richard T. Farmer School of business I can tell you that I never learned it was a good business practice for a company, any company, to try to influence its employees' votes in an election. Why? For the same reason it is not a good reason to tell your employees what church they should go to. The head of Cintas, Scott Farmer, sent an email to Cintas employees that made it pretty clear how they should vote. It was the wrong thing to do. It creates a hostile workplace, literally. I would resent my CEO if he told me how to vote. The only thing the head of my company has ever done is to encourage us to vote and pass out League of Women Voters guides, the most non-partisan voter guides around.

A sane business manager worries about about attracting a large numbers of customers. A good business manager does not care how that customer votes, as long as they buy the product.  A good manager also attracts the best talent to work for them to attract those customers.  Voting choices don't determine job abilities.  It is a clear problem when bad managers state directly or imply success for employees depends on voting choices.

I don't know if it is egomania, fear, or ignorance that would cause Scott Farmer to cross this ethical line.  All I know is that he crossed it, and is showing he is not a good business manager.  I hope all of the current Richard T. Farmer school of business students pay attention.  If they like what they see in Farmer's actions, they should get an F in the capstone management course we all took as seniors.

So what do we know: at least a few CEOs feel fear from not having complete control over the government. If any Cintas voters were not put off by this, I hope they at least lose respect for their CEO. He obviously doesn't respect the rights and choices of the employees.

Richard T. Farmer's son, Scott, appears to not have learned enough at Miami. I fear that he learned too much from his father on the subject of politics, so that is clouding his judgement.

More from CityBeat.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fingerman Running in the Ohio First Against Chabot?

Another candidate 'appears' to have entered the race for Ohio's First Congressional district and it is Mitch Fingerman.

In a district that lacks a real candidate to face the gerrymandered incumbent, it is great to have someone at least making an effort to go through the motions of running a campaign.

Thank you Mitch Fingerman!

He's having an event at Milton's on November 1st, 5:30 to 7:30. Come out and hear The Goodle Boys play and hear about Fingerman's first campaign.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Cincinnati Herald’s Endorsements Are Out

The weekly newspaper The Cincinnati Herald has issued their endorsements for the 2012 Election. They pick mostly Democrats in the contested races. I'm surprised they picked anyone for the 1st or 2nd congressional districts, since those are effectively unopposed races.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mandel Alters Abortion Position: He's Lying to Someone

The Enquirer Politics Extra blog is reporting that a statement issued by Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel within the last 24 hours differs with a questionnaire he submitted to the Right to Life Cincinnati anti-abortion group. On the questionnaire he stated he does not believe in any abortion exceptions, at all. In the statement issued in response to questions surrounding the Indiana Republican Senate race, Mandel said he has "always" been clear on abortion: he's against it in all situations, except when the mother's life is "threatened."

So, when was Mandel lying in this case? Was it to the general public or to the RTL of Cincinnati?

Mandel has the reputation of talking out of both sides of his mouth, even more than the average Politician, but documenting it takes the cake.  If the RTL group has any credibility, yeah...a long shot, they would at least demand a clear explanation. Clear being the key word. Mandel needs an explanation that does not just indicate carelessness by a staffer. The buck stops higher than that.

TPM Points to Hamilton County as 'Clearest Swing' in Ohio

A very interesting article from Talking Points Memo that provides in-depth analysis of Ohio's points of focus for the Presidential election.

Hamilton County is labeled the clearest swing county in the state and is given lots of importance. We've been a high target for both campaigns and likely will see both candidates here the final week, assuming Ohio's numbers remain close.

I don't think either candidate can write off Ohio, so I expect to see multiple trips over the next 1.5 weeks. In less than 2 weeks it should be over. If not, then buckle up fit trouble.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Planned Parenthood Benefit Tonight!

Take a break from the Presidential Election and come out for a night of laughs: You Say Election, We Say Vagina*: A Night of Legitimate Comedy (Benefiting Planned Parenthood SW Ohio)

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Entertain includes:
Dirty Girl Cabaret
Lovely Ladies of Improv

Show starts at 8PM (7:30 doors open)

Location: Below Zero Lounge
1120 Walnut Street in Over-the-Rhine

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Obama Yard Signs Burned in Green Township

The Cincinnati Herald is reporting multiple incidents where Obama yard signs were burned while they sat in the front yards of Obama supporters.

The undertones of racism to these incidents can not be denied. Burning anything in someone's front yard is obviously based on the KKK, assuming otherwise is ignorant.  It is sad that this likely will not get the coverage it should. WCPO has as story as well.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Quimbob's Endorsements

For what it's worth, here are Blogging Isn't Cool's endorsements in the General Election made by Quimbob.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Nuclear Option Is the Choice Du Jour

I presume this is a game of Chicken, but Hamilton County Commissioners still are acting insane. Weight Loss by starvation is just has harmful as being overweight, if not more harmful. The two Republicans continue to push a radical national Republican effort to use the economic downturn as cover to gut government services wholesale. It is a blind effort that is not about actually determining how government should be run, is just a insane need to reduce government with no forethought. Instead of enacting a fair and open debate on what government should be doing they are play a cruel game that forces department heads to cut off their own limbs to avoid death.

It is like Monzel and Hartmann live in a 1861 post Bull-Run hospital and they are a Copperhead Doctor bent on trimming Lincoln's soldiers down to push their cause.

What is so disgraceful is that no one on the Commission will step up with a plan. They won't do the their job and come up with a detailed budget that will balance. They are playing chicken with various department heads they want cuts from and don't care what the loss of services will be. All the while they seek to appease Property owners by refusing the end the tax rollback to fund the Bengals Stadium shortfall. Votes from the more wealth matter more than the helping the entire County.


Hartmann and Monzel remind me of a Cold War U. S. General who thought we could win a full scale nuclear war. I guess they never saw The Day After.

Hartmann already is planning to place the blame for this on the City, so I think he thinks his bomb shelter will save him if everything around him implodes.

Monday, October 08, 2012

County Looking to Screw the Poor and Renters, No Matter What

The Enquirer is reporting that Hamilton County Commissioners will be given three options by county Administrators to cover the 20 Million dollar budget deficit.

The article tries to point out the differences between the choices, but it fails to put forth the main common action: the poor and people who rent will be screwed no matter which plan is picked. The plans are being cooked to make them semi-palatable to Republicans who are Hell bent on shifting the burden of the Bengals Stadium to the poor people of Hamilton County.

The first option is the nuclear option, where nearly every service is cut, so everyone is screwed, well, everyone who can't afford to pay for their own healthcare, police protection, or have enough money to buy justice and don't have to rely on the courts to enforce the law.

The second two options are just shell games to see who will cut the most from what. What both of the plans do is increase the sales tax rate and offset it with cuts to property taxes. So if you own property, you don't get as much of a tax increase as people who do not own property, maybe even none. This is how the poor and renters get screwed.

Sure, Republicans will say Renters will get the same benefit because landlords will pass on tax savings to their renters.  BWWAHAHAHAH!  That's the biggest laugh in the world, or my attempt to make it appear in this blog post.  No, landlords will pocket the tax savings and increase rents the same way the would have without the increase.  Therefore Renters are screwed even if they are part of the middle class.

So, the County is again looking to screw the poor and people who rent.  Where would you find a majority of those types?  If you said the City of Cincinnati, you would be right.  Bottom line then, the three plans seek to place more burden on City Residents and less burden (or a least no additional burden) on non-city Residents  as long as they own property.  I'm gonna guess that Monzel doesn't plan on getting any votes from the poor or renters who don't live in the city, so he can just pretend they don't exist or he hopes they move.  Either way, they become poorer to help subsidize the Cincinnati Bengals and Mike Brown.

Welcome to the neo-feudalist movement.

Friday, October 05, 2012

COAST Loses, Again

In a fight to make false statements in a political campaign COAST lost its legal defensive action. COAST was trying to get the Ohio Election Commission to be blocked from enforcing Ohio law. COAST lost. So, yes, the anti-government COAST tried to get help from the Federal Government because they didn't like the State Government's laws. It is funny how COAST, and other conservatives, like State Governments having powers to, force religion on others, but chaffe when the Federal Government prevents them from doing so. This is irony at any angle.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Is the Enquirer Delaying Print Stories From the Web, Again?

Since I ponied up and paid for an online subscription to the Enquirer, I thought I would read their front page headline on the print edition to see how they spun the news from last night.

What I saw to the left of the front page headline was another, smaller, front page story with the headline of "NAACP election will be battle." I read the article and thought, hmm, that would be a good story to link to on Cincinnati Blog.

That's basically how news blogging goes. You read other articles and link to them, adding your own take on the subject, often reacting to article itself.

So, I start to look for the article on the Enquirer website. There's not a Local News section.  That kinda sucks.  So I check around all the sections, including the Latest Headlines section, and  I can't find it. I do several searches for the article using the Enquirer's web search function. I can't find it. I go to Google and search on an exact sentence from the article including someone's name. I STILL can't find it. Maybe it was just a hiccup with their new paywall system, I don't know, but I like to find things I know are supposed to exist when I search for them.

So I gave up looking and had a different blog post than I was planning on writing.

Has the Enquirer gone back to a "print only exclusive" model?  Has it had that for a while and as a web only reader I am just now seeing the delay?  That's possible.  I kind of would have thought that such a delay would GO AWAY with the advent of an online subscription model, but maybe not.

It is still early in the morning and the article may pop up before I publish this post, but I was annoyed, therefore I am writing about it.  That's another way blogging happens, you get pissed off about something, so you blog about it.  Kinda simple, but it works for me.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Is Cranley Running For Mayor?

CityBeat has done some good cyber shoe leather reporting and dug evidence that John Cranley is preparing to run for Mayor of Cincinnati.

Some of the few Cranley supports out there read this blog, so I ask them: is it true?

Should I sharpen my knives in preparation for a Conservative anti-urban candidate running in the race for Cincinnati Mayor?

Is the Republican Coroner Candidate Willing to Play Politics with Death Investigations?

The point I get from Republican coroner candidate Pete Kambelos' response to a Cincinnati Herald Candidate questionnaire, as reported by the Enquirer, is that if elected, he's going to determine the results of death investigations, like the taser case mentioned, that will appease a group of people he wants to vote for him. I guess finding the truth of the situation isn't as important as finding the "truth" people want to hear.

After determining that a person has a terminal disease and will die, does Dr. Kambelos tell them it directly, or does he spin the truth?

I really didn't expect to find any political issues to actually write about in the coroner's race, but this one is pretty big.

Does Josh Mandel Have a Personal Space Problem?

Ohio Treasurer and Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel has much to explain for an alleged incident caught on tape where he grabbed/pushed a campaign "tracker's" camera in an elevator. A tracker is a person hired by political groups to follow around a candidate with a video camera looking for embarrassing moments. It is a common practice and normally looks for something the candidate says, not something he might do.

Talking Points Memo has the full report and points out the biggest fact causing Mandel problems: he lied about what happened and the incident occurred in front of a Columbus Reporter. Oh yeah, and it's on video tape. The latter isn't as incriminating as it could be, since you don't see Mandel put his hands on the tracker or the camera, but you do hear what is going and and hear a witness confirm what just happened.

The Columbus Dispatch has a report outlining Mandel contradiction and what should just be called lies.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The Enquirer Does Not Get the Point of Urbanism

If you were to presume that the majority of the Editorial page board live in the suburbs based on this editorial, then I think you would be right. I can't prove it, you know, except if I wanted to look up the individual members on the voter registration rolls, which I will skip tonight. Instead, I feel that I must point out something simple, yet,  that at least the writer of the editorial misses about why people are moving to Downtown Cincinnati.  As a person who lives in the near Downtown area (OTR), I can attest to this personally.

I plan on living here as long as I live in the metro area.

I don't plan on moving into a house with a picket fence.

The suburbanite fantasy is not for me.  Please don't force it upon me or anyone else, which is what the Enquirer appears to be doing, from the editorial:
Most Cincinnati residents live in neighborhoods like these. And we want young adults who live Downtown, attracted by redevelopment, to someday live in those neighborhoods. Neighborhoods need city investment and attention.
No, Mr/Mrs Editorial board members, I don't hope people who move Downtown "come to their senses" and move to a white picket fence neighborhood. I want people who are looking for a City to FIND and LIVE in a CITY.

We choose to live in city, not a 2.2 kid and backyard dream. If people want to move to city neighborhoods, THAT IS AWESOME! I really hope they do. They are far better than exurban wastelands and are closer to the action, the urban core. If you want to live in a city neighborhood, that is a very honorable goal.  That person is not the target for Downtown living.

If people feel more comfortable in Hyde Park, I am SOOOOOO COOOOOL with that. I want people to move there. I want Westwood and Avondale and Bond Hill and Mt. Washington and Madisonville to have tons of people living in them.  None of those neighborhoods have ever been or will ever be economic or cultural centers and they are not meant to be.

Here is what the Enquirer and much of the Conservative Republicans don't get. Urbanism is about creating a core that helps EVERYONE. We build the urban core up and then all the neighborhoods gain. Not everyone wants to live the hardcore city life like Tim Mara apparently doesn't get. That is OK, but we must recognize the urban core as the economic and cultural center of the Metro area and keeping that urban core healthy it helps foster the innovative, creative, and energetic people living in that core to induce the growth all around the Cincinnati Metro area.

We love the nightlife, we got to boggie on the disco 'round, oh yeah.

Yes, this is a hard pill for the "if you build a stripmall, they will come" crowd, but that is the past.  Our future is in our cities.  This is a throwback to the past, but the post War years have killed our culture and society long enough.  If we don't embrace urbanism, then American culture, the good parts of it at least, will decay.

As a side note, the part that I don't get and never will understand is how anyone living way out in the exurbs or traditional inner-suburbs can think that without a vibrant and focused urban core the metro area can grow.  It just will not happen.  I really hope someone at the Enquirer will wake up and see the future and stop fearing it.  Exurbanite Republicans will always fear change, but just because that is your core audience, you can't hide the truth from them forever.

Finally: so if you think the Enquirer isn't biased against the Streetcar and the City core, then I guess you have been living in a cave in Indian Hill for the last 5 years.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Where Will You Get Your Cincinnati News?

With the the Cincinnati Enquirer going to a Paywall format tonight, where will you get your Cincinnati News? Will you subscribe? Will other local outlets expand coverage? There are no other mainstream outlets that have any stories that are as in depth as a daily newspaper goes. Will the TV stations improve their online articles to compete?

I fear few will notice.

The problem is that the public, overall, is filled with ignorant sloths, who care more about sports or Dancing with the Stars, than what happens in their community. They wouldn't be able to tell much of a difference if you moved them from West Chester to Dublin, OH, while they slept.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Manufactured News Is Not Real News: MidPoint Falsely Smeared

When a complaint by one person is just not good enough for a news story, don't manufacture a story that is void of a point or many relevant facts.

Here are the problems with the article from the Enquirer:

  1. The issue is not about Midpoint: I'm not sure who is out to rain on the Midpoint Music Festival, but someone obviously doesn't like it being in Washington Park.  I'd guess the pro-bum crowd (aka 'homeless activists') are helping paint something that benefits OTR and CityBeat in as negative light as possible.  I doubt that former CityBeat News Editor, Greg Flannery,  would be pleased to see CityBeat's new owner benefiting from an event centered on Washington Park.
  2. One man's complaint against the Park gets an article? What makes Tim Mara's complaint more news worthy than the complaints of others on a laundry list of issues: police conduct, Indian Hill Voter Registration, choice prosecutions by the County Prosecutor, etc?
  3. The article alters Tim Mara's complaint: In the minutes of the Cincinnati Bar Association Local Government Committee meeting in early September, Mara is on record raising a complaint about the musical events that take place on Fridays in Washington Park.  He made the complaint there, because the guest speaker was from the Cincinnati Park Board.  The article claims Thursdays and Fridays.  The Jazz night on Thursdays was held in the bandstand, and didn't have the capacity to have the crowds and it ended at 9PM.  The Friday Flow events were at the main stage and all of the reports I heard indicated it drew a larger crowd, which was scheduled to end at 10PM.  The sound at the Bandstand has never been loud enough in my experience to be a problem from the area Mara lives on Pleasant.  Friday nights is the problem he sees, were the music is run through a bigger system and closer to his home. The issue is, and I hate to say it, who is primary audience for Friday Flow?  Also, why didn't Mara bring up the urination at the Bar Committee meeting?  He wrote the minutes referenced above, so he certainly would have noted it if he did.
  4. Where are the details on the complaints filed? What specific events, nights, and number of incidents were cited by Tim Mara that warrented this big of a deal?
  5. What about white guys pissing all over Downtown after Bengals' games?  If you haven't seen drunk white suburban/exurban men urinating in the alleyways and around buildings Downtown (especially South of 4th Street), then you've not been there on Sunday evenings in the Fall.  Why did the article not address this?  It wouldn't have anything to do with the pro-white guys suburban bias of the Enquirer, would it? At the same time as the article can ignore white guys pissing and ignore that the issue for Mara is that allegedly some black people pissing near his home, the article can allude that young mostly liberal Democratic music fans could piss all over Mara's front step.  Again, young people are bad, middle age white guys are ignored when they do wrong.
  6. Why is Josh Spring Quoted for this Article? Why is the reporter so lazy to have not gotten a quote from someone with the Midpoint Festival or maybe a member of the OTR community council?  Hell, why not ask some who went to one big events this year at the park (OTR concert, CSO, or Shakespeare in the Park) how long the lines for the bathrooms were.  Instead the Enquirer quotes someone (Spring) who wants the Park, 3CDC, the OTR Businesses, and the City itself to fail.  That's either bias or sensationalism.  It could be both, but I don't see them as sophisticated as that.
For the record, there were not long lines for the bathrooms at Washington Park during the festival.  All of the shows ended by about 10.  They were loud, I can't deny that, but so were the bands playing at 12th and Vine.  Mara needs to understand that he lives in a city, not a suburb.  If he has the misguided belief that he can turn the city into a suburb, then he may want to join hands with John Cranley and start a really big pouty party, because it isn't going to happen.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Scary Things Come Close to Happening, Even in Cincinnati

Law enforcement did their jobs, but how easily could this good police work turned into epic tragedy?

I'm also surprised this story is not getting more play, nationally. I would surmise the man's intent at running the security checkpoint was not clear, so the media isn't make this out to be a bigger deal than it was. I have to wonder why the ATF is involved and why a federal complaint was sealed on this case. Maybe that is normal procedure, and getting it unsealed is also routine, but it all leads to more questions that a professional journalist should be investigating.

UPDATE: The AP story on HuffPost has far more details than the Enquirer story. Yeah to Erlanger police for catching this guy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sittenfeld Lives Up to the Typical Politician He Is

I hope no one was surprised by council member P.G. Sittenfeld's anti-streetcar stance in today's vote. His prior statements on the subject were nothing but Bullshit. If anyone was confused about it previously, they should have a clear picture of his stance now.

Sittenfeld wants to be a politician and is siding with the Republicans because he thinks he will need to get  Republican votes when he runs for higher office.  I hope he learns that if you want to be a good leader, you have to stand for something, not try and tell everyone what they want to hear.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The BBC Visits Cincinnati

The BBC's World Update came to Cincinnati today to do a story on Ohio and surrounding states as they relate to the Presidential Race. They did the show from the WVXU studio and guests included WVXU political reporter Howard Wilkinson.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Intense Bengals Security at Paul Brown Stadium

Something you don't see in the picture with the barricade is the bomb sniffing dog screening all vehicles parking inside the stadium.

Each person entering also appears to be subject to 'wanding.' So I guess you should feel safe from some type of threat?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Charter School Problems

Ethics questions plague VLT Academy. I am glad the state is doing some auditing of these schools, but why isn't anyone questioning how the Daughter of the school's Superintendent earns $85,000 in the School years, on top of the questionable $17,000 contract for the Summer. When I state 'anyone' I mean public officials.

Public schools get raked over the coals by Republicans, but I don't hear Charlie Winburn, Steve Chabot, or Brad Wenstrup asking for more audits of this Charter school.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Night Video Fights: Seedy Seeds vs. Seedy Seeds


Or This?

MetroMix Print Edition to End with September 19th Issue

Just in time for launch of the Enquirer's NYT style Paywall for it's online content, the FREE weekly entertainment newspaper MetroMix is ending its print edition with the September 19th issue. It will instead be online and incorporated in a new redesigned website. Here is how the Enquirer article describes it:
We’re currently hard at work relaunching’s Entertainment channel – consider this the Extreme Makeover: Entertainment Edition. We’re going to combine all of our entertainment coverage into one easy-to-navigate web site.
I'm not sure how this will impact Cincinnati's entertainment industry, but I do know that it lessons the impact of having a cover story. The one thing a digital edition or website has difficulty doing is creating the impact on the reader, or casual passer by, that a cover story provides. This effect is similar to a front page headline on a daily newspaper, but for weekly or monthly publications, the cover takes on a different focus.

MetroMix provides a boost to certain events by running a cover story on it. I don't see the impact with anything that could be created online or in an email. The medium doesn't have the same type of interaction with readers. This is a loss. I don't know if will or can be replaced.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More Enquirer-Horstman Anti-Streetcar Bias

Another week and another biased anti-streetcar headline from the Enquirer. Here is the latest article: City threatens Duke over streetcar costs.

No where in the article does it say the City threatened Duke Energy. It states the City is “investigating potential legal remedy.” It also says that the City's inability to reach an agreement "threatens to pose significant cost risk" to the project.

It does not say the City is Threatening Duke Energy. The word threat is a bias created by someone at the Enquirer. I'd like to know who wrote it. Headline writing is much talked about and usually creates a frenzied finger pointing effort. Reporters point to Editors. Editors are mum or point to someone else. In this changed internet age, I have to ask, does a reporter submit a story without a title/headline? On most blogging software you have to have a title to the story when you post it, even in draft form. Is that what the Enquirer does? Does the reporter include a headline along with the story when submitted and it then is modified by a copy-editor, content-editor, or layout designer?

Did the word "Threatens" start with Horstman or was it added after? No one will likely ever take blame (or would it be credit?) for the misuse of the word. We just have live with the bias, but we can and must call them out when they fail to present the truth to their readers.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Republican Efforts to Suppress Democratic Voters Continue

I am glad that the Enquirer is covering the voter rights issue and that they exposed the insanity that is "True the Vote" group who held a summit that ending up being a conservative rally, including a Judicial Watch announcement of a legal effort to suppress Ohio voters.

Yes, Non-Ohio base groups are seeking to purge Ohio voter rolls based on the goal of suppressing Democratic voters. Any other claim is just lie (or at best a red herring).

The only thing I wish the Enquirer would do is just report the blatant efforts by Republicans to keep Democratic voters from voting. If nothing else they should be asking the questions and reporting the answers, demonstrating where their comments are lies or distortions. The article above hints at it, but the evidence is clear and it is not just extremists like Judicial Watch, it starts with the Republican Hamilton Country BOE members. They should be asked why they refused to keep keep the BOE open for longer periods of early voting? Why would they oppose that? The political parties, both of major parties, could pay the limited cost to keep the doors open a few more hours into the evening and weekends to help those with jobs that either make it difficult to vote or just won't let them. The latter is a blatant violation of the law.

As long as voter suppression efforts are allow to continue, our Democracy continues to crumble, a brick falling for every voter who is hindered from voting.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fire in Covington

Not sure what is burning, but it appears to NOT be a small fire. The smell of smoke and burnt material is strong at Smale Park, but the fire appears to be at least a mile away.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cincinnati's Master Plan is Again About Being a City

CityBeat is reporting that the City has released it's final draft (how is a draft final?) of it's Master Plan. The key sentence from the CityBeat article that summarizes the main goal of the plan:
"The primary goal behind the plan is to transition the city away from a model that emphasizes suburban living back to a more urban model."
We as a city have come so far from ridding government with the 1950's mentality of development. We don't have the likes of Chris Monzel and John Cranley on council. The county is self destructing thanks to Monzel, but we can all be vigilant and keep Cranley from trying to drag Cincinnati back into the stone age with suburban style development ideas. We don't need any more strip malls. We don't need any more cul-du-sacs. We don't need streets that dont' allow safe walking and bike riding.

We are a city and we starting to act like it again. Don't let the Monzels or Canleys pull us off our path.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Is Winburn Lying Now or Back in 2010 (or Both)?

It would appear that Cincinnati City Council Member Charlie Winburn likes to lie. Yes, that comes as news to no one who has been following Cincinnati Politics any time over the last ten years, but this time it is a whopper. Winburn lied to someone about running for mayor. The only question is did he lie to the Business Courier this year or did he lie to the Cincinnati Enquirer back in 2010? Yes, it is fully possible he lied to both, but either way, he is being deceitful. He has broken a commandment. He is also toying with the idea that he could win. He obviously is delusional. I don't know if he thinks that Republicans will give him a ton of money and then convince all of the Republicans to ignore race, since they clearly did that in 2010. He also must assume that more blacks will vote on nothing but race and ignore the fact that he's a Republican.

I made it clear that I would not let him forget this when he said it. I am glad Quimbob has similar questions for Winburn. I hope everyone asks Winburn via email or social media when he was lying, now or then?

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Outraged Conservatives, Come to Findlay Market to Support Your Comrade!

I really hope all of the conservatives who are voicing outrage over a Findlay Market shop owner's hyperbolic anger about having her store included in a commercial for President Obama's, all come down to the Market! Please be sure to park in the many Findlay Market parking lots, they are priced ver reasonably. Be sure to pick up some produce, meats, coffee, sweets, and much more from the many fine vendors!Yes, conservatives, this shop is located in OTR and you will have walk at least a block near poor poeple, so be warned! I expect to see a line like Chick-Fil-A.In all seriousness, why did the owner of Krause's have to be such a jerk about the Commercial? She should know better than to let her store manager sign documents. Instead of going to the press about this, she could have just let it go quietly. Instead, she allowed this to build up the ignorance on the Enquirer's website. Way to annoy your neighbors!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

When did they become the Cincinnati Inquirer?

I understand that the Cincinnati Enquirer is changing to a tabloid size print edition, but when are they changing their name to the Cincinnati Inquirer? They might as well do that if they are going to print crap like this story about Council member Chris Seelbach.

This story has no point. It is reporting gossip from the comments from the online news article and then tries to link that to facts to point to no conclusion, but to embarrass someone who was just the victim of a crime. Seelbach was disorientated and had a broken foot and 'people' are 'upset' he mentioned he was a member of council a few times to the 911 operator. Gee, maybe the man who attacked him was doing so because he was a member of council, the first openly gay council member. Did that fact run across the reporter's mind? Instead they sought to trace

To top it off, they got a quote from Mark Miller. Seriously, the lone guy who allegedly lives in Hyde Park from COAST is a relevant source for this story? How? Please, someone tell me what caused the reporter to reach into a big pile of irrelevant sources and pulled out Mark Miller's name. If the Enquirer wants to play the tawdrily game it is playing, I hope they asked Miller where he was Monday Night. Instead they gave a political foe of Seelbach the chance to gloat and make fun of him for being the victim of a crime. That sounds like the COAST I know, too bad the Report is either ignorant of COAST or shares the desire to allow COAST's gossip to make it to print. His point wasn't even valid, he was comparing this to Laketa Cole incident where she was with a person being ticketed. Seelbach was clearly the victim of a crime, he did nothing wrong. Miller is trying to damage him and the Enqurier, and the reporters, let him take a shot. There didn't appear to be an editor around to stop this either.

Also, why did they story include a sentence that mentioned where Miller lived? They quoted another people, but didn't state where they lived. What was the relevance? Is it actually true that he lives in Hyde Park?

Finally, they Enquirer again created another false equivalency. The only way to find any sense in this story is to view it as reporting an online flame war. The Enquirer got juicey quotes from both political sides and falsely feels they reported a fair and balanced story. The problem is that this isn't a political story. This is a crime story. Why not write about the crime? Write about what the police know or don't know. We don't need to have stories about Facebook comments. We really could use some news stories that would require the reporters to leave the newsroom.

Enquirer In the Bag for Chick-Fil-A (and Conservative Readers)

Yes, you know who butters the Enquirer's bread, that would be the shrinking readership who are a majority conservative. The over-coverage of yesterday's Chick-Fil-A still avoid the fact that the LOCAL Chick-Fil-A Restaurants in West Chester and Deerfield Township sponsered a CCV event. Yes, CCV is the anti-gay rights group that fought for Article XII and against its repleal as well as lead the charge in the anti-gay rights anti-gay marriage ban that passed in Ohio. How does this not make the story?

Why doesn't the Enquirer report this?  Why are they making this boycott about free speech?  That's not what this is about, this is about the corporate actions of a company, not just the private views of the owners.  That contradicts the rants of conservatives, who want this to be about liberals being  "anti-Christian."

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Enquirer Blog Falls into False Equivalency Trap

I know journalists often look at the political world and try to find two equally opposing viewpoints to compare and then pretend to be objective. That type of action is a false equivalency, see a description of what that is here. The problem is that most of the time, the viewpoints are not equal, they are not the same.

Take yesterday's Enquirer political blog story: Mixing food with politics: What do you think?. The blog post, wrapped around an online poll, tries to marry two topics together: 1) those boycotting Chick-Fil-A for providing financial support to anti-gay groups and 2) The mythical hoards of people who might no longer want to go the Montgomery Inn because the owners took a public political opinion in the Presidential race. The two don't equate. For many reasons:
  1. One is real, the other is speculation.
  2. One is a national effort and one is a mythical-hypothetical local situation.
  3. One is about bigotry and the other is about political opinion.
Number three above is key.  The boycott of Chick-Fil-A, which I participate in, is about the financial support Chick-Fil-A gives to groups like the CCV, the Cincinnati area's own anti-gay bigoted hate group.  This is being treated as a political issue by many conservatives, not a moral issue, and that is the clear false equivalency being allowed to fester by the media.

If a national fast food chain were to sponsor a golf tournament for a white supremacist group, would anyone try to compare a boycott of that fast food chain to what the Montgomery is doing?  No, the media would instead help expose the fast food chain's actions.

Gay rights are civil rights and the CINCINNATI media needs to understand that issue better and more importantly get on the moral side of it.  If too many of your readers are anti-gay bigots, tough shit, be journalists, don't be accomplices in the oppression of gays and lesbians.

We have bigotry in this community happening out in the open and our media far too often lets is slide unnoticed, or in the case of the Enquirer, lets it slide all the time.

The other bad part of the article was that it was talking about an event supposed to take place yesterday where the Republican Governor of Oklahoma was coming to appear with one of the Owners of the Montgomery Inn at their Boathouse location on the river.  This event was a Mitt Romney "We Did Build This” campaign event pushing a lie about the President that falsely claims the President said that small business owners don't build their businesses alone, the government helps. That's not what the president said, but it is the story line that should have been asked of the Governor and the owners of the Montgomery Inn. They should have been asked: Who owns the building where the Boathouse Location resides? The answer is the City of Cincinnati, or as the website says "Cincinnati City Of." I don't think that question was asked, nor asked how much help the people of the City were back in the late 1980's to the suburban based company.  I am just wondering how much hypocrisy you get with a full slab of ribs?

So the Enquirer missed the real story and tried to create one that just wasn't true. Bad day for Journalism.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Why the One-sided Interview?

So the Enquirer's Mark Curnutte had an article called Social worker: Poor pushed from OTR with a subtitle of "5 QUESTIONS: Alice Skirtz". It includes a short introduction to Alice Skirtz and a book she's written. Then it has a really short Q/A, literally five questions, that has no depth what-so-ever on the subject she's writing about. She makes outlandish and unsupported claims in the answers she gives and no follow-up questions are published seeking evidence on what she claims to be true.

What gives?

Is this throwing a bone to a particular political activist group? Is this article a reward for something else? It is not customary to let anyone equate the actions of redeveloping a decaying neighborhood with genocide, calling it "econocide," without calling It insults those who are making the city a better place, and it sullies the memories of those who actually have died in acts of genocide.

This Five Questions concept could be one that I've not seen before, but really is off mark for a story a subject like this. When there is controversy on the validity of what an author writes, then five questions just does not do justice to the reader. We need far more or just skip the author and/or the subject. If you can do something right, please don't do half of it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Great Idea For Outdoor Events

I am not sure if this was planned far in advance, but a great idea used during the World Choir Games was to use large fans at Fountain Square and other outdoor events.

These fans were stationed strategically around Fountain Square and cooled off choir members and city residents at Second Sunday on Main. When it is 95 or even 100 degrees, the mix of mist and wind brought comfort that not only felt good, it helped keep some people from heat stroke.
That is the real brand name, believe it or not. I don't know if these were rented or purchased, but I hope every summertime event in Cincinnati takes note and considers these in similar situations. Cooling stations are common at events, like Riverbend, but they have to be far away from the show, so as to not interfere with the music. At an event like the Square, music quality is not a big factor when the ticket price is free.  I hope to see these fans again.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Greg Landsman Running for Cincinnati City Council

The 2013 City Campaign is off and the first new candidate is Greg Landsman. Landsman is well known inside the Democratic party having worked for Ted Strickland, Nancy Pelosi, and David Pepper. In a year when there is one certain open seat (Thomas) and likely two if Qualls runs for Mayor, there is room for another Democrat and one that comes across more in the Moderate camp, based on the limited information on his website. When you make the following comment in your platform, you are not going for the Urbanest vote:
A renewed commitment to neighborhood growth. We can begin to focus more on our neighborhoods without undermining the progress we've made downtown, but it will take a smarter and more intentional approach.
That sounds like an appeal to the voters who elected P.G. and John Cranley in previous elections. It sets him apart from most of the other Dems and tactically is a logical position to find a way to win in a complicated city political demographic landscape.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Square v. Park, Terms Matter

Terminoligy is important to all societies. To the urban Cincinnti community we need to get a couple of things straight. When we say "The Square," we mean Foutain Square. When we say Park, here's the rub: we have a ton of parks. When I say Park, I am going to mean Washington Park. I don't mean to detract from Smale Park at the Banks, but in reference, I will refer to it as the Banks or the New Riverfront Park. That differs from Sawyer Point, or Yeatman's Cove. Washington Park I believe will be the premier event park in the city, so let's just cut to the chase and refer to it as "The Park."

I say this because people need to stop calling Washington Park "Washington Square" or worse yet "Wahington Square Park" when they remember the difference mid-conversation. We need to remember, words matter. I don't want my friends waiting for me at the foot of the Fountian when OTR Jake Speed are paying tonight.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Kathy Y. Wilson, Island of Trite

Year 2000 called and they want their argument back. I'll guess I should have just wait for the Black United Front's 12 year late press release before I wrote my blog post, but instead I going to look at the present and at reality.

I am reminded of a story I head once about Kabaka Oba, the late black-supremacist, who was protesting the performance of a play at the Know Theatre called Corpus Christi. He struck up a conversation with someone supporting the Theatre and they asked him if he had seen or read the play. He said no. They then asked Oba how could he honestly complain about the play if he had never seen or read the play. Kabaka Oba paused for a moment of thought, and said something like "you're right, I'm going to have to think about that." He then left and wasn't seen protesting the play again.

I guess the comments on the column are just rewards for this blatantly phoned in attempt to generate controversy. I understand that being a lesbian black woman would make me feel like I don't fit in anywhere in the far to often bigoted/racist world, but I wouldn't allow that to lead me to repetitive contrarianism.

I guess someone else at CityBeat doesn't just want a pony, she wants a blue pony and will stomp her feat until she gets it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Enquirer To Erect Paywall For Its Online Content in October

The Enquirer will create a paywall for it's online content starting in October. Earlier this year news broke that by the end of year this would happen. This new timeframe was shared in a speech given by the Enquirer Editor Carolyn Washburn which oddly enough was given an full fledged news article. Here's the main point provided from the story:
The Enquirer beginning in October is also changing its business model to to charge for subscriptions to access both online and print content. The cost of the new subscriptions has yet to be determined, Washburn said. It will be metered, allowing for some free access online.
There wasn't a ton of flack from the earlier announcement of the paywall. I expect the first time someone reaches their allotment maximum and are sent to a subscription page, we'll hear a screaming whine like Porkopolis has ever heard.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bunbury Music Festival Starts Today!

I have my three-day pass for the 1st Annual Bunbury Music Festival and I am trying to pick my schedule from the vast line-up. Yes, I am going to see the headliners and, yes, on Sunday I will be at the GBV show, even if I have to sit through a monsoon. After that, I am going to be exploring. I'd love some advise, so chime in on the bands to see.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mason Home Owners to Avoid Income Tax Increase?

If you read the Enquirer's Mason Buzz Blog, you would learn about a ballot issue that if passed in November would implement a 0.12 % increase to the Mason income tax, taking it to 1.12%. Here's the rub. The blog post indicates that this increase would apply to only "nonresidents." If you read the proposed ballot language, then you would read something very different:
Section  10.05  FUNDING OF SAFETY, FIRE AND EMS SERVICES Mason shall raise funds to pay for safety, fire and EMS services through two revenue sources.  First, a continuing real estate tax levy not to exceed 5.0 mills may be imposed on Mason real estate commencing in tax year 2013 for collection beginning in 2014.  This levy shall continue until changed by the electors of Mason through an amendment to this charter provision.  Second, a not to exceed .0015 tax on income shall be collected by Mason in the same manner as the income tax set forth in section 10.04 of the Charter, with the exception that those who own and live in homes in Mason, and who therefore pay the real estate tax set forth above, shall be exempted from the not to exceed .0015 income tax along with their dependents.   

This income tax shall be imposed starting on January 1, 2013 and shall be at a rate of .0012 during calendar year 2013, and cannot be changed except by legislative action receiving an affirmative vote of at least five council members, and can only take effect on January 1 of the calendar year following legislative action, provided that such legislative action takes place at least six months prior to the effective date and shall not exceed 0015.
I read the above language and I can see a clear intent to not have this tax increase affect home owners who live in their Mason home. The key section is "with the exception that those who own and live in homes in Mason, and who therefore pay the real estate tax set forth above." Furthermore the most telling phrase is "own and live," with the conjunction indicating both are required. It does not say "and/or." It does not say "residents". Renters would be subject to the tax increase in my amateur option, while home owners would not. I don't know if this ballot language must be vetted by anyone else, but I think the blog post was wrong or at least the language is not what the reporter was told it meant.

This is a common Republican and Libertarian theme: give more rights and benefits to property owners. Hamilton County did something vaguely similar by increasing the sale tax to fund the two stadiums while lowering the property tax, a boondoggle in favor of property owners, one we are feeling the pain of presently. The difference is that Hamilton County didn't limit the tax increase to only non-property owners.

This is a nightmare for Mason. It is a clear redistribution of wealth, in favor of of the rich. In case you wondered, homes in Mason are, on average, out of the reach of lower and a majority of middle class people.

According to the article, many are opposed to it because it would affect those working, but not living in Mason.  They don't seem to notice it would affect those renting an apartment in Mason and taxing them more no matter where they worked.

The big thing missing in this ballot language, likely on purpose, is how to enforce the tax rate variance. Private payroll systems will have a difficult time defining "property ownership" so they would either charge the 1.12% on everyone with a Mason address or 1% on everyone, leaving them to deal with the difference on their own.  I supposed those who know their tax rate could request the correct percentage, but then it all comes back to more work for those filing and processing tax returns.

This is just bad policy.  Mason needs to raise taxes, obviously, but they should do so fairly to all, not to the benefit of home owners.  I would bet the massively Republican city will vote this (and any) tax increase down, even though a majority of voters would not be affected.  Mason City Council members are so incredibly gutless to not do this via an ordinance.  Seeking political cover over a major issue is not uncommon in government, it is just unseemly.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

If Peter Bronson was still a columnist

It has been years since I have written about former Enquirer Columnist Peter Bronson, so his current doings are a mystery to me. I believe, however, that if he were still writing for the Enquirer, he would be gushing the praise, as I feel, for the World Choir Games. This is an event that everyone can support and feel proud that people of all backgrounds made happen in our city.

As I type this out on my iPhone while standing on Fountain Square with my third beer in my hand, I feel utter joy. I don't know much about the choirs competing in the World Choir Games, but I feel like I am a witness to the best of humanity.

Youngish Asian men are break-dancing with roots music playing. Tons of people are watching, taking photos, and having a wonderful time. This is humanity. This is Our Cincinnati.

Enquirer's Bellwethers Blog Series Demonstrates Public's Ignorance

The overall point I find hovering over nearly all of the stops the Enquirer's Jane Prendergast makes on her Bellwethers tour of Ohio is that people are vastly ignorant of political issues. Just because they have an opinion, doesn't mean it is an informed opinion. What is demonstrated most is that people can only understand what they see 5 feet in front of of them. That's an over the top metaphor, but on track. Most of the people interviewed seem to exist only in the limited experiences of their lives. They are cut off from the wider parts of the State, let alone the country or the world.

Some talk about not understanding something because they don't "know" anyone who fit into a specific situation.  I am guessing they don't have many friends or live in such an isolated or homogenized community that they are just ignorant.

One lady is so ignorant (or worse) that she still believes the President was not born in the United States.  I am guessing she is not delusional.  If I assume that and I assume that type of belief is not code for racism, then I would presume she doesn't consume enough or accurate news sources.  Anyone left believing the President was not born in Hawaii is either delusional, extremely ignorant, a racist (therefore also delusional) or playing around for affect.

I realize the blog posts are limited glimpses of each person interviewed and don't provide larger transcripts of the conversation, but I am trust the reporter's ability to provide an accurate interpretation of the interaction.  I hope the thing that the reporter, Jane Prendergast, takes back to her editors is that the news media needs to do a better job of educating the public.  It is no longer good enough to report that people have two opinions on the location of the President's birth.  Journalism must present the facts and keep reporting the facts, no matter how many crackpots creep out with promises of controversy and an increased audience.

We need journalism to do better to educate the public on facts and stop pretending there is always a debate on the facts.  Often there is a disagreement on the facts of a situation, like the horse race of an election or what the best policy should be.  The existence of a disagreement does not warrant underplaying facts.  Water is wet, the earth is not flat, Elvis is dead, and you can't dance on the head of a pin.  Journalists don't even alluded to those being false.  If you read a story where a debate on a fact like that is even mentioned, then that story was not written by a journalist.

It takes judgement on defining those facts.  But that judgement is based on evidence, not popular vote.  The public is filled with too much ignorance and reporting the ignorance with equal standing as the fact just makes the public more ignorant.

Yes, I watched The Newsroom's latest episode. I wish all Journalists watched it, but also lived it.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Celebrate the Renewed Washington Park!

Today is the start of a new era for Over-the-Rhine. The opening of Washington Park is corner stone in the revitalization of the neighborhood. A place built for all to enjoy, the park will be a location for people share the elements of life that make it worth living. Music, art, children, pets, play, sport and recreation are some of the elements that await everyone who wants to experience them.  Please check out the calendar of events and delve yourself into the community.  I'd point out City Flea taking place on Saturday, July 14th.

I hope the park never returns to what it was, a wasted space. There are some who want it to return to a dumping ground for trash, crime, and abuse. That will not happen. Spread the word on the rules of the park and help keep vigilance. This park is for everyone, but that doesn't mean a few get to do what ever they want. If there are any groups or individuals that knowingly break these rules, please report them. If they don't know the rules, point them out.  If nothing else, take a photo of the violation and send it to me, I'll post it and expose those who seek to destroy what will be the beacon of OTR.

This park is part of the community and the community must take care of it.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

A Panera Downtown Is a Good Thing

There may be some people out there complaining that Panera will be opening a Fountain Square location. Please stop. This is a good thing for Downtown. Yes, it's another chain restaurant. I try to avoid chain restaurants, but not everyone can. It is just never going to be possible for local resturants to solely serve the public. Chains exist because they can provide meals more cheaply than stand alone resturants, in most cases.   I would prefer there to be few chains, but no use to get ticked off as something that will create jobs and serve a significant number of customers. Panera will provide, hopefully, a consistent product served during consistent hours.  Those hours will hopefully also include evenings and weekends.

Panera beats adding a McDonald's or Burger King.