Thursday, February 02, 2017

No More Fun From City’s Commissioner of Fun

For an unknown reason back in 2014, Mayor John Cranley created a "Commissioner of Fun" role for the City of Cincinnati and he picked former radio station owner Frank Wood Jr, a man in his 70's, to be that "Commissioner of Fun."

WCPO is reporting that the City is stating there are no more fun events coming from the Commissioner.  Frank Wood has stepped down and admits that this special position was a failure.  He believe it lacked staff to help him.   To me that seems like a cop-out.  Instead the failure should land squarely at Cranley's feet.  Cranley created this thing and allowed a tiny factional amount of money to be spent on it.  He incorrectly looked back to his youth and WEBN radio and thought Frank Wood did stuff magically.  No, it took money.  Having a drunk fest every Labor Day weekend along the river didn't just happen with access to the City Hall copy machine.  It took money. Also Cranley doesn't get is that the craziness of Riverfest Cranley knew ended 25 years ago.

This idea was pointless.  It was Cranley's vain attempt to appear cool, while not actually doing anything and having something he can point to when it fails. I am pointing at Cranley, so he can forget about letting this slide without notice.  Also, I am not sorry to tell John that there is nothing he can do, ever, to be cool.  I know uncool things very well and John Cranley is the modern day prototype.

WCPO is Reporting 70 Arrested at OU Protest

Based on the article Ohio University officials over reacted to a peaceful event and have now invited violent protest instead of peaceful efforts. In this climate most police forces are giving protesters a chance to blow off steam when they don't do anything violent. Some thick-skulled official at OU instead wanted to make a statement. OU is not the place to do that. OU riots when the bars close early on daylight savings weekend. Myopic people far too often just make things worse.

From the Enquirer: Chabot posts image from anti-Semitic site

I am not going to comment on this, just let the Enquirer story speak for itself: Chabot posts image from anti-Semitic site.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Bigotry and Veiled Racism From an Enquirer Guest Column

Anderson Townshop Trump supporter Marilyn Mackenzie wrote a column for the Enquirer and she comes across like a thoughtful bigot and veiled racist. She doesn't like that some groups don't want to instantly adopt her suburbanite way of life and instead cling to their native culture. She invokes growing up as a kid and getting lots of varied foods, but getting along with the different white ethnic groups.

Her ignorance of the past is amaxing. She seems to forget how these ethnic groups were treated by white nativist Americans. The Irish, Germans, Italians, Jews, and Greeks are all examples of groups that held on to their cultures after immigrating to the United States and were discriminated against because of their religion, their culture, and how they looked. It took decades for these groups to be accepted by the majority white culture. Some of them still are not accepted in all areas (Nazi signs on Jewish colleges as an example).

That leads me to a food I grew up with, tacos. I've been eating Tex-Mex food for as long as I remember. Yet, Trump and his followers have attached Mexicans for everything and Hispanics and Latinos overall. Hispanics were here before the English speakers came here and you want them to melt into your pot? We are part of their pot, but you wan to kick out any reminder that someone brown was here before.

Racism, just plain old racism. Cultural bigotry at the max, but racism is the core of this column.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Cranley Refuses to Stand Up to Trump's Racism

As a Mayor who won election only because he got the overwhelming support of Cincinnati Republicans John Cranley can't risk pissing them off. Because of that, he is failing to take a stand and fight racist-in-chief Donald Trump and declare Cincinnati as a Sanctuary City. Instead John makes a lukewarm reminder that he likes immigrants. He just doesn't want to do anything about those who are here but don't have legal status.

This is typical Cranley. He gets free rein at the Enquirer to publish this column that uses the word immigrant and refugee, but takes no stand on the actual issues and ignores his past. The issues are about Trump's racist and religiously bigoted act of restricting people from certain countries the ability to come to America, but allowing Christian refugees. It is also strongly about Trump's actions to force local cities to carry out his fascist edicts and round up Mexicans without legal status.

This is gutless and hypocritical. Cranley's past contain instances where he knowingly played into the hands of conservative voters who don't like non-white people coming into this county.

In 2015 Cranley came out against having any Syrian refugees in Cincinnati.

In 2006 when Cranley last ran for the US House Ohio 1st District, he attacked his Republican opponent on not being strong enough on illegal immigration.

So ,here we get an unchallenged column in the Enquirer, and we'll have some Dems pretending this is a good thing to promote, when it really doesn't do much, but make Cranley appear to be doing something, when he is hiding from the real issue.

Two times now Cranley has stayed on the sidelines when given the chance to stand up to Trump. Once here and once when thousands of people marched for women's rights the day after Trump inauguration.  Will the number of times Cranley cowers before Trump be higher than the times Trump lies?  Likely no, with Trump's propensity for lying, but I'll be taking note of the times Cranley refuses to stand up to the new fascist state Trump is building.

Friday, January 27, 2017

John Cranley Appoints Top Donor Manuel Chavez III to Port Authority Board

Once again, campaign donations can be tied to John Cranley's actions as Mayor. The Cincinnati Business Courier has the story outlining how Cranley appointed his top donor Manuel Chavez III to the board of the Port Authority.

Cronyism is taking shape and Coranley is flaunting it now.  I guess he thinks the stereotypical low information Trump voter will stick with him. One might conclude he already has the Saylor Park vote sowed up.

Charlie, What's in the Box?


I know you were thinking about this when the stories (Enquirer & Business Courier) broke yesterday about Charlie Winburn's boxes that were sized by the FBI.

What was in them?  Turns out it was a whole lot of Charlie's angst towards Mayor John Cranley and his staff.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Updated List of Current Cincinnati Council Candidates

Here is an updated list of candidates. The GOP still only has two officially named candidates, 1 reported candidate and Smitherman, so they are far from even pretending to get a majority on council.  If everyone on this list runs for office, that will make 25. That is not a record.  It would be a record low for Republicans.


Incumbents:
P.G. Sittenfeld
David Mann
Chris Seelbach
Christopher Smitherman
Wendell Young
Amy Murray

Returning Candidates:
Laure Quinlivan
Greg Landsman
Michelle Dillingham
Brian Garry
Theo Barnes

New Candidates
Ozie Davis III
Kelli Prather
Tamaya Dennard
Tamie Sullivan
Cristina Burcica
Jeff Pastor
Derek Bauman
Cedrick Denson
Tonya Dumas
Henry Frondorf
Manual Foggie
Leslie Jones
Beverly Odoms
Orlando Welborn

If anyone has any other names please send them my way (cincyblog@aol.com) or if anyone named above wants to confirm they are not running, I'll remove them future postings of this list.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Cranley Reportedly to Name His Campaign Treasurer to SORTA Board Seat

Helen "Heidi" Black is being reported by the Enquirer to be John Cranley's next pick for the SORTA Board.

Who is Helen "Heidi" Black, you may ask? Well in the Enquirer article you get a nice bio of a professional who they state is the wife of Cranley's campaign manager, Jay Kincaid. That makes this a controversial pick. It makes this appointment a political favor. It is political cronyism. If anyone else appointed the spouse of their campaign manager, this would have been a banner Enquirer headline with editorials on how ethics matter and the appearance of cronyism is horrible for our political system.  More over the Enquirer would call for Cranley to appoint someone else.

Instead we get an article more puff piece than political story. It has a quote from Cranley in it as if someone in his campaign issued a press release on this. It's like Cranley is knowlingly picking a crony for a political appointment and does not care he is doing it.  It's like he thinks his Trump or something.

What lacking in the article and to this whole story are two things. Firstly it names the appointee as Heidi Black instead of her legal name Helen Black. Secondly it fails to mention one MAJOR element as this screenshot illustrates:
In case you can't read the graphic it states "Paid for by John Cranley for Mayor, Helen Black Treasurer."  This is from the bottom of the front page of John Cranley's campaign website.

Yes, Helen "Heidi" Black is the Treasurer for John Cranley's Mayoral campaign. He's about to appoint a member of his ACTIVE CAMPAIGN STAFF, to a board that governs the Streetcar operation and Metro. Cronyism run amok!

Oh and thanks to the Inquirer who didn't report this fact in their article. Thorough reporting there. Helen also ran for the 17-B seat on the Democratic Central Committee in March of last year, but lost. They didn't report that, either.

Finally, how do I know Helen is Heidi?  A public records search is sufficient to confirm and it's not any type of secret, it was just omitted from this Enquirer article for some reason.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

John Cranley and Denise Driehaus Skip Cincinnati Women's March

The world took notice as millions of people across the globe came together Saturday to rally and march for women's rights, including but not limited too, reproductive rights.  Here in Cincinnati 10,000 to 14,000 people rallied and marched.  Many, many issues were discussed: religious freedom, the right to affordable healthcare, social justice, and the right of women to not be considered property of men, just to name a few. Many local elected politicians attended, including representatives from the State Legislature, Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati. Both female and male elected officials were in attendance.

Many locally also took notice of who was missing.  Two local politicians were no present for the Women's March:  Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and newly elected Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus.

Why were they not there?  In the case of Cranley, Vice-Mayor David Mann claimed Cranley was going to a funeral.  I think that funeral was at best a last minute add for Cranley, once it was announced that this was event was expressly a pro-choice and pro-Planned Parenthood event.  John is anti-choice and needs the votes of the GOP in Cincinnati, and needs avoid the optics involved with openly linking himself to a very progressive movement.  Also, he knew he wasn't going to get the option to control the event, so he stayed home instead.

Where was Denise Driehaus?  We'll she's fresh off her December vote as outgoing Ohio member to ban abortions at 20 weeks, an unconstitutional bill, but one she still voted for.  This is after she repeatedly told progressives after her alleged conversion to a pro-choice stance during the 2012 primary when she "moved" across town to the newly formed 31 District. She moved swiftly to hide her endorsement from Cincinnati Right to Life as well for nearly 4 years, but in the end did their bidding, even when she didn't need to for political cover.

At the event Saturday fellow Democrat, Todd Portune represented the County Commission.  A Democratic woman who has claimed to be for women's rights skipped one of the biggest protests in Cincinnati history. Don't let her forgot that she stayed home when women came out in force to take on Trump.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Cincinnati Women Marched Saturday For Rights and Against Trump Oppression



An estimated 10,000 to 12,000 people rallied and marched through Over-the-Rhine and Downtown Cincinnati Saturday joining Millions of other people standing up for women and a wide number of issues relating to freedom and liberty but focused on reproductive rights, healthcare for all, social justice for all, religious freedom for all, and the right for women not to be treated as the property of sexual predators like Donald Trump.

The crowd was massive, far greater than expected.  Speakers consisted of local activists and politicians who voiced issues that will be be made worse under Trump and his crew of fascists who took over the White House last week.

This was a totally peaceful march and showed that women clearly know best how to get people to come out to protest.  The world wide count was around 5 Million people turned out to oppose Trump's  plans to turn the clock back to a time in American when women's rights were a distant dream.

The clearest sign that Trump does not have deep support lies in the numbers he tried to dispute.  Experts stated that three times as many people went to Saturday's Women's March than when to Trump's Inauguration the day before.  That demonstrates the reality that Trump and Republicans seem to ignore, they are only in power due to gerrymandering, voter suppression, and interference of the FBI and Russia in the election process. They don't have a mandate, they are seizing control as a minority party and will likely do as much damage as they can while the country wakes up and pushes them out of power.

Hopefully this turnout will translate to the 2017 location elections and then next year for the midterms.  Logically, those who cared enough to come out to protest at an event like this care enough without question to come out and vote.  That is how we can counter the right wing fascist power grab.  We can't rely on sensible Republicans to protect the county, we must get people to wake up and get control of the election process back.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

In Case You Are Wondering What Fascism Means and Why You Should Know It

Google Defines it as:
fas·cism
ˈfaSHˌizəm/
noun
noun: fascism; noun: Fascism; plural noun: Fascisms
  1. an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
    synonyms:authoritarianismtotalitarianismdictatorshipdespotismautocracy
    neofascism, neo-Nazism
    "a film depicting the rise of fascism in the 1930s"
    • (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.

For a more in-depth reading, Wikipedia has very good entry.

I want this here so people know what it means when the word is used. I am using this word more now. Many decry it's use. George Orwell long ago criticized its use. With the current Administration of the United States it has meaning that must be applied.

If you have read or listened to Trump's Inaugural Address, here if you haven't, and that speech strongly connected with or appealed to you, then you are most likely a fascist. If you know someone else who strongly connected with it, they are most likely a fascist.

I am being serious.  I am not just trying to lob rhetorical grenades.  I am trying to get people to listen to the whole speech and it's themes and see it as a Trump style fascist manifesto.  People will point to certain minor phrases or sections that they think over-ride these main themes, but they are wrong.  It is a just a ruse, meant to give cover.

I am not saying Trump is going to start creating Concentration Camps.  Seriously not saying that (yet).  That is mostly because I am not calling this a Nazi speech, even though you see that word in the synonyms above.  By using the term "America First" Trump and his speech writers know the history of that term.  They know who used it in the past and they know the meaning it has.  The spokesperson for the America First movement was Charles Lindbergh and his history and sympathies are well known.  This is a part of American history that one would usually want to avoid embracing.  This phrase is the only sense of history that Trump included in his speech.  It is not an accident.  His handlers are not fools.  They are authoritarian and nationalistic ring-wingers who are seeking to lift their brand of white social class back to a place of total dominance.  That is Trump's message put simply and his policy stances and position are pushing that forward

People can pretend otherwise.  They can champion the scraps that Trump throws at them.  They can point to window dressing efforts of Trump to appear different than this fascist stance he has outlined. None of that will make up for the massive shift he is attempting.  I hope he fails, but hope left the White House yesterday and fear, anger, and hate moved in, so count me as a cynic on the subject.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

With just a couple hours left before the United States collectively is pushed off a cliff by the arcane Electoral College, I'm not going to make things all happy and go lucky.  This is about to be a dark time.  Are we all going to die?  I'm don't know.

I am not trying to be flippant, I am giving analysis here, not just a practical reassuring answer.  In January of 2001 I was not concerned about the country being drawn into a nuclear war or falling into a fascist authoritarian state during the next four years.  I was pissed off at the way the 2000 election went, but I was not worried that the people taking control of the government had no understanding of how our Government and Military work.  I did not worry that George W. Bush understood how the base concepts of honor, dignity, rule of law, and honesty work.  Today I do worry about that, so I don't know if we are all going to die in horrible Trump created Apocalypse.

What those of us not part of Trump's new political army must do, especially those who on the surface won't be the target of revenge or oppression, must not be silent.  We must let our voices be heard at EVERY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT or we will end up in a real fascist state were people like Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones can gain and abuse power over our neighbors and friends and fellow human beings.

Keep your voices smart, honorable, but stand up and meet those who oppose American Democracy with more strength and passion that those out to force fascism,  racism, sexism, and hate on you or others.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Case of Bad Journalism From WCPO

The bad journalism from WCPO has two parts. On WCPO's site they have a story about an alleged act of vandalism where "anti-religious" graffiti was painted on two church buildings. So, what's the problem with that? Well, the first part of the problem is in the video portion of the story. That video report does not provide any specifics of what the graffiti stated, only the reporters claim from the Minister who the reporter stated would not tell them what the graffiti said, because the words were so "harsh". No pictures were provided of the graffiti and clean up had occurred on at least one of the structures shown on video. W therefore don't know that is was "anti-religious." We have on claim of something we don't have proof actually happened. The motivation for the vandalism may have been more directed at the actions or beliefs of this church, not against religious in general.  Most crimes are not randomly chosen. It is portrayed as "anti-religious" but this could have been a religious person who just didn't share this church's beliefs.

That does not mean it didn't happen, it just means there could be more to the story and the motivation for why someone targeted this church could have backstory that would give context. Reading their website, this would not be considered a mainline Christian church, it is what I would classify as Pentecostal, so there are possible conflicts with this Church that could be a motive for the vandalism that would not be "anti-religious." The minister went on to claim that he "sensed" this came from a random person. Why does it matter that it was a random person who he senses has no connection to his church? We don't have enough information to judge what the graffiti words stated to know if there could be a connection or reasons this church was targeted. The Church stated they did file a police report, but would not press charges if they get an apology. I sense they may have an idea who the vandal may be, so if that is the case I hope they passed that on to the police and are not using this as a means to gain attention with the media.

So, the second problem is with the online story. In the link above after the video section, there is an article that mostly rehashes the video story. There is a big addition, however, that links this action to the hate crime that occurred at Hebrew Union College where a Swastika was painted on the school's sign. If we don't know what the graffiti on West Chester church stated, how can anyone link these stories by saying both are instances of "religiously targeted graffiti?" We know one was a hate crime, we don't know if they other was, so why link them? It is a bad journalism and WCPO needs to remove that linkage from the story. They also should have reported what the police report stated, assuming it included detail of the graffiti or pictures. If they didn't get the police report prior to running the story, then they failed a third time for this story, not even confirming basic facts.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Where Does One Get Cincinnati Politics Coverage?

Other than this illustrious blog, where can one get coverage of local politics in the Cincinnati area? One reason this blog was started so long ago is that there were not good local media outlets covering the news and specifically political news. Well, there are not as many as there should be, but there are many outlets trying, so here is my list of sources I go to for local political news (in no order):

Local Political News Sources
Cincinnati Enquirer
CityBeat
WVXU 97.1 FM NPR
WCPO TV
Cincinnati Business Courier
FOX 19 TV


For political opinions and commenting, I also regularly read the following sites:

Reddit /r/cincinnati
Greater Cincinnati Politics Group on Facebook (Run by the Enquirer)


There are other local news outlets, but none provide consistent coverage (looking at your WKRC and WLWT) and AM talk radio as you know is just worthless, unless you are looking for sports coverage. There are other outlets that cover local issues, but not the politics around them. Additionally, I am leaving out NKY outlets because I am very ignorant of NKY politics.

What other outlets provide political coverage? I'd don't want blogs that talk about national politics, as that is not Cincinnati related.

If you have good NKY sites, please send those along to help educate me.

Friday, January 13, 2017

A Reminder How John Cranley Worked Against His Fellow Democrats

Lest we Forget: In 2013 Democrat John Cranley after winning the Mayor's office was granted the authority to pick the chair persons of City Council committees. In that same election the Democratic Party endorsed candidates won five of nine seats. Living up to his reputation, Cranley made the choice to punish his fellow Democrats by appointing Republicans and non-Democrats to more Council Committee chairs, including the most important Finance and Public Safety Chairs:
  • Budget and Finance Chair: Charlie Winburn (R) 
  • Economic Growth & Infrastructure Chair: Christopher Smitherman (R)
  • Education & Entrepreneurship Chair: P.G. Sittenfeld (D)
  • Human Services, Youth & Arts Chair: Yvette Simpson (D)
  • Law & Public Safety Chair: Christopher Smitherman (R)
  • Major Transportation & Regional Cooperation Chair: Amy Murray (R)
  • Neighborhoods Chair: David Mann (D)
  • Rules & Audit Chair: Kevin Flynn (C)
So spiteful is Cranley that he excluded two Democrats from any committee chair positions at all, and gave a Republican, Christ Smitherman, two committee chairs.  Why did he punish them, one asks, well most of the Democrats on Council openly supported Cranley's opponent for Mayor.  It wasn't a surprise that he would snub them, but then it makes Tim Burke's comments praising Cranley for support Democratic candidates all the more bullshit.  Cranley only supports Democrats that either support him or don't oppose him. The rest of his term has been filled with opposing the five Democrats on  a large number of issues and turning those battles into public fights that he especially make petty and vicious.  Those issues he's broken with the Party have not shockingly been ones he found allies in Republicans on council and in the community.

John is not a good mayor is his first and most important consideration he makes before any choice is how will it effect him and his future.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Ohio Democratic Party Shoots Self in the Ass, Hits Cranley Endorsement

Meet the Ohio Democratic Party, same as the old Ohio Democratic Party.  Once again the Ohio Dems are interfering with a local primary election. The party has done so to the extreme in State House primary races in recent years (picking Anti-Choice Denise Driehaus in the 31st district as an example). This time it is a non-partisan primary as well.  Chris Redfern has been gone for two years, but little has changed.

Last year Ted Strickland was forced on the Ohio Democratic Party voters and he got trounced by Rob Portman.  The State party tipped the scales in favor of Strickland in the primary and we got a weak Conservative Democrat who under-performed Clinton in a state where Strickland's perceived strength, white rural working class voters, actually has some uptick in turnout.

Now we get an effort by the State party to skip local concerns and anoint 'Democratic' incumbent mayors for reelection.  No consideration for their performance.  No consideration for better candidates who have the support of local Democrats. Instead they go for a candidates who relis on Republican money and more importantly Republican votes as the only way to get elected.

Current Party Chairman David Pepper, a former Cincinnati Council Member, and the overwhelming majority of the State Party committee chose to reward John Cranley for colluding with local Republicans to win his election in 2013 and create a GOP funded war chest for his 2017 reelection campaign.  Cranley does not represent Cincinnati Democrats.  He instead has worked against the majority of them throughout his tenure as mayor.  From the start he punished the local Dems by awarding key council committee chairs to Republicans, shutting out his fellow Democrats.

Local Hamilton County Chair Tim Burke needs to go. He has been a hindrance to the local Democratic Party and now is making Trump like claims about what John Cranley did for local Dems in County wide races. I guess if John got Republican donors to give money to Denise Driehaus, Burke sees this as some big accomplishment worthy of repeating. If that's what he's thinking then he must be pushed out of the party.

With the non-Democratic based mindset, this demonstrates that Burke is part of an old dying faction of the party, along with Rhodes and Luken, who have helped drive down Dems in Cincinnati and Hamilton County over the last 40 years. They only seem to know Republicans and go to them for money and cover. They can't get the voters to vote. Instead they can only get the powerful Republicans to give support on certain issues, which allows the GOP donors to buy in on candidates who give them what they want . Well, that type of Conservative politics sells out the Democratic party and the principles it represents. Locally, it is what makes for a Suburbanization of the City. It drives down the culture of the community and pushes a dying Conservative mindset that created the balkanized community we live in.  We don't need a politics of divide on conquer.  We need one that brings us together. Cranley and his mentors of Burke, Luken, and Rhodes are tearing our City and County apart.  That must end.  It is so disappointing that David Pepper and Brigid Kelly are carrying this horrible mindset forward with their votes for the Cranley endorsement.  They should be ashamed.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Derek Bauman Officially in the Race for Cincinnati City Council



Also a story in the Enquirer.

One really shitty thing the Enquirer is doing, and this may be just how their website works, but they have linked their story to their Streetcar coverage page.
From the Cincinnati Enquirer Website January 10th, 2017
 This is about politics, not the Streetcar. If this is about automatic keyword detection and how their website works, then I understand, but for some readers this can be seen as commentary that the Enquirer is providing that this candidacy is focused on the Streetcar.  If this was a reporter or editor ADDING a Streetcar tag to this story, then that is TOTAL BIAS. He has been and likely will be a Streetcar supporter (including expansion), but that is not what his candidacy or the article is about.  Hopefully the video will add something to offset this spin from the Enquirer, as unintentional as it may be.  I doubt, however, that Cranley has the link, circled in yellow above, on stories about his campaign for Mayor.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Who are the Cincinnati Council Candidates for 2017?

I have combed the local news outlets, social media posts, and general web searches and here is a list of candidates. Now, to be clear, this includes those publicly declared, reportedly declared, and rumored to be running. This list could shrink, but it mostly likely will grow. There are only Three Republicans (not counting self-denying Republican Chris Smitherman) on this list, so I expect them to field a measly five candidates. Charter Committee might have a one or more uni-endorsed candidates as well.


Incumbents:
P.G. Sittenfeld
David Mann
Chris Seelbach
Christopher Smitherman
Wendell Young
Amy Murray

Returning Candidates:
Laure Quinlivan
Greg Landsman
Michelle Dillingham
Brian Garry

New Candidates
Ozie Davis
Kelli Prather
Tamaya Dennard
Tamie Sullivan
Cristina Burcica
Jeff Pastor
Derek Bauman
Cedrick Denson

If anyone has any other names please send them my way (cincyblog@aol.com) or if anyone named above wants to confirm they are not running, I'll remove them future postings of this list.

Friday, January 06, 2017

WCPO Confirms the GOP Likes Cranley and Don't Care About Winning the City

WCPO reports on the GOP's pleasure with John Cranley as Mayor. The telling parts are:
“As far as Cincinnati goes, for a conservative like me, he is about as good as we’re going to get,” former Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann, a Republican, said of Cranley.
And this:
After tough election losses in November, Triantafilou said he would spend much of 2017 prepping candidates for future countywide office runs.
Add this to the big money Cranley has received from GOP donors and it is more than clear that he is the GOP backed candidate. They won't directly endorse him because he can't accept that, but it is clear that Cranley needs the GOP vote to win. Excluding the denials from Cranley's campaign staff and supporters out there, everyone who can casually review voting results knows that in 2013 Cranley ONLY won because he got the overwhelming support of all types of Republicans in the city: Far Right-Wing COASTers, main stream Republicans like Hartmann, moderates, and the Winburn/Smitherman backers.

Cranley needs their money almost as much as he needs their vote. He will being doing a ton of Arafat-type of communications. When talking to Democratic audiences, he'll invoke his support of Hillary, but behind closed doors at his Westside and Hyde Park fundraisers he'll tout his support of the Police Union, Fire Fighters, and city neighborhoods with suburban type homes.

For as much as the GOP likes Cranley, John far more cares about them. He needs them. He even needs those who can't vote in the City but can give him money or the clout he desires.  Political Parties are far less important in City elections, but they do make for a clearer understanding of what one believes.  With Cranley the only thing you know he believes is that the support of the suburbanite Republicans is more important than developing the Urban core. Having a partisan primary would solve some of that, since Cranley would lose that race badly, but with the lack of Republicans actually caring about the city, Cranley could run in a GOP primary and repeat his 2013 coalition with the same type of turnout.

The only way to defeat Cranley is to have a ground game that gets out the vote. If only 29.52% turns out in November, Cranley will win.  If 40% turns out, I think Cranley loses big.  Getting closer to 40% than 30% is the answer and there is no party structure helping make this happen.  Non-partisan elections help and hurt and right now it is hurting.

FBI Seizes Boxes from Republican Charlie Winburn's office

In a very surprising occurrence the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized boxes from Republican Charlie Winburn's City Council Office. The Enquirer's report indicates that Winburn has no idea why they seized his boxes and appeared to deny knowing these boxes existed until the Enquirer's reporting.

What's going on here? Everyone in public office, outside of Charlie, have been quiet about this. Public officials are most often quiet when there is an investigation going on. Could this have anything to do with Winburn's possible connection to money being paid to Sam Malone?

Charlie's Rope-a-Dope game around running for Mayor is pretty clearly over.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Charlie Winburn's Version of Rope-a-Dope


The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that Charlie Winburn pulled petitions from the Board of Elections to collect signatures to run for the Mayor of Cincinnati. To be clear, he has not declared his candidacy. He, I surmise, is feeling jealous of all of the attention falling upon the declared candidates. I don't fear him actually running with this type of comment from his Party's local chairman:
"Apparently Charlie attended the kickoff for Rob Richardson," said Alex Triantafilou, chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party. "This kind of mixed message concerns us. Charlie is either a Republican or for Richardson. He can't be for both."
Unless he's trying to play spoiler for one of the three candidates, there is only a Trump-type hope he could win. So I guess that means watch out for another miracle?

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Richardson's Entrance Given Solid Footing

If you read the Enquirer's article about Rob Richardson's announcement on the Mayor's race you get a very solid image of the man and his general positions. You also get a clever listing out of the attendees. In an election like this, who is supporting you is important in getting out the vote in varied demographics. This paragraph was blunt:
Also in attendance: several top UC leaders, former local television anchor Clyde Gray; the Rev. Damon Lynch Jr.; City Council candidate Tamaya Dennard; local radio host and attorney Janaya Trotter Bratton; and board of elections administrator Joe Mallory. Noticeably not in attendance: Most elected officials. Only Republican City Councilman Charlie Winburn was spotted in the crowd.
The African-American Community is a very diverse group. Three groups are forming around the three candidates. How and if those groups can influence the voters is yet to be seen, but it is clear that all three candidates find it important to reach or at least affect black voters. It is so important that on social media of that article Jim Clingman (a Smitherman and therefore Cranley supporter) sought to defame Richardson for allegations of actions of his father, who happens to have the same name (adding a Sr.).  A slimy action, but Smitherman and his friends aren't known for their honesty.

This is going to be a nasty campaign and race is going to be part of it. I wish it wasn't, but it will be in more ways than just which candidates get which portion of the black vote. We are about to have two black candidates face of against a white candidate who already has had major support from the GOP. That GOP is now hot off an election in which their national candidate and party used racism and hate as a tool to win over some voters. Their hate-lust is up. I don't see what can stop at least some individuals from exercising that hate somewhere on the campaign trail. A rough ride is ahead.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Hebrew Union College Sign Vandalized With Hate Symbol

More hate has come to Cincinnati. A sign at Hebrew Union Has been vandalized with a a horrible symbol of hate and ignorance.

The attached photo was posted to Facebook today from someone passing by on her way to work. This has been reported to Cincinnati police, according commence from the witness.

This makes me sick. I have seen other news reports of similar incidents from all over the county since facsist ideas and methods were used to incite hate and fear as means to motivate people to vote for Trump. When this happens two miles from where I live, the pain in my stomach gets worse. My desire to speak out against this hate grows. Make sure people know this is happening here in Cincinnati. No human being can let hate happen without speaking out, no matter who is saying this.

If you know who did this, report them to the police.

When you final read about this or listen to being talked about on the radio, don't let those dismissing this go on without a rebuke. All people from all parts of our community must come together and defeat this hate.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Mayor Race Shaken Up with Rob Richardson?

The rumors may come to life if the Enquirer's report is true that Rob Richardson Jr., outgoing Chairman of the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees, enters the Mayor's race. He has schedule a press conference race for tomorrow (Tuesday) at 5PM.

The Cincinnati Mayor's election process is an odd construct and was made even more odd for the 2017 election. A non-partisan primary is held from which the top two vote-getters, regardless of political party, face off in the general election in November. In prior years this primary was held in September. It was a special election with exceedingly low voter turnout. The primary is only held if more than two candidates register.

In 2015 Issue 23 passed which amended the city charter to move the primary to May, along with a normal scheduled election, saving the city a bit of money.  This was viewed as a positive for the incumbent by increasing the time between the elections to use the power of office to sway voters with selective attention to certain groups and neighborhoods.

If Richardson gets into the race, we will have a May 2nd primary between John Cranley, current Mayor, Yvette Simpson, current member of City Council, and Richardson.  This would benefit Cranley who has made a more than obvious play to repeat his 2013 winning strategy of pitting the outlying neighborhoods against the urban core neighborhoods.  This can be accomplished with a summer of grandstanding and "vote buying" to hurt anyone running against him.

The positives for this primary is that it will help with turnout, as other issues may be on the ballot. It also blunts the value of being the top vote-getter. A three way race with these candidates is big question mark. Cranley could take 1st place with a sold vote total, but he would likely gain very few of the other two candidates votes in the general, so unless he's over 50% with solid turnout demographics, he will need to start "vote buying" on May 3rd and not stop until election day in November.

If an actual GOP candidate gets into this race, then Cranley has little path to a primary win, unless he can pull out new voters to the primary. He is an easy target if a Conservative Republican ran against him from the right. He's a conservative Dem, but can't go far right and win in the City. This makes any GOP candidate unlikely this year. Their only hope is to build up a Hyde Park moderate Republican with charisma. The charisma from a Hype Park Republican is kinda lacking.

I am holding judgement on Richardson as a political candidate.  He's never run for public office before, but was a leader in the efforts to get the Streetcar going, especially with the ballot issues.  I don't know what kind of candidate he will or can be.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

'Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition!'

Surprise! It's Election Year Cincinnati! You didn't see that coming did you?  Thought 2016 would be the end of it?  HAHAHAHAHAHAAH!  No, our wonderful City Charter decrees that we have elections this year, so the "fun" will continue.

Just when you thought you had the last Facebook comment war with your fascist uncle, alas the 2017 City of Cincinnati elections are upon us.  Races for all nine seats on City Council and the Mayor's Office are up for grabs.  You can sharpen your barbs and insults that you get to sling at your neighbors as we battle for the control of City Government.  Our own legally sanctioned, hopefully peaceful, non-title of nobility granting game of thrones is underway.

House Cranley has been gathering funds from the Bank of BraavosRepublicans and the GOP votes that come with their backdoor endorsement.  Chris "Cersei Lannister" Smitherman has been plotting vengeance on the City and threatens to burn it all down with Wildfile in the form of his support of Republcans at the State and local levels.

House Simpson stands ready to face off to defend the City of Seven KingdomsHills from the onslaught of the White Walkers fueled by House Cranley. Yvette "Daenerys" Simpson has taken the lead to fight the winter storm now upon us.

It will be epic.  It will be bloody.  Lots of reputations will die and some main characters will dielose elections. I hope there will be credible news reports and opinion pieces that both give facts and the ideas of why one side is better than the other.  This blog will attempt to draw its sword against the onslaught of the Bolton Cavalry and give a portion of that opinion and as many facts as it can compile.  In the age of fake news and emotionally charged social media posts, some level headiness needs to exist.  I wont give an oath to do that, but I promise to try my best.  There's no magic here to make anything easy, so everyone needs to work on making the political process in Cincinnati as fair and honest as possible.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

End of the Year

This has not been a great year in politics, overall.  Locally the Democrats actually made some forward strides in Hamilton County, but not much else looked good in Ohio.  2017 is setting up to be a really tough year.  A nasty mayoral race is coming and the knives are already out.  Expect them to just keep slicing.

I may slice a piece off myself here and there.

Council races should be interesting.  There are many new and old names coming back on the Dem side, but the GOP has been very silent.  Other than the expected Smitherman endorsement, I don't hear of any credible candidates they are putting forward.  The Dems stand a fair chance of getting a veto proof majority on council.

With our country about to led by someone who won an incredibly close race by using neo-fascist positions, we are heading into uncharted territory.  We need local officials and candidates to step up and not let the hateful rhetoric from the national GOP filter down. I fear that we may be too late.  With the tone we got from Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman Alex Triantafilou upon his vote in the Electoral College and the insanity from Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones after burning protest letters on his EC vote, I think we are in for the stank of Trumpism to creep into local politics.  We'll know people go off the deep end if illegal immigration becomes an issue in Cincinnati elections. Hold on tight.  It will get bumpy.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Is the Enquirer's Jason Williams Trolling for Clicks?

Why does the Enquirer and particularly reporter Jason Williams continue to report every possible Streetcar accident like its a scandal? The incident they cite ended up not even being an accident.

The amount of time Williams puts into this can logically only be for one reason: get clicks. He knows the hate that exists for the streetcar and Downtown and he's capitalizing on that hate.  He is ginning up any and all incidents, no matter how trivial, so his click rate goes up.

Reporters now have to worry about readership levels, or the number of clicks their stories get online. Streetcar stories are low hanging fruit. There are 100 other more real newsworthy stories to write about in this city, but we get Streetcar accidents. The funniest part is that this was put in the politics section! It's like they are admitting to why they are doing it, but still do it.

This is they type of journalism that is killing discourse and politics. This misinforms the public. This is knowingly misleading the public. If fender benders mattered, there would be a rolling news-wire service dedicated to them, since they happen somewhere practically constantly. We are in another election season and the click rates matter and the political candidates reporters are rooting for are less hidden.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Where are the Election Night Parties?

As if you need any additional reason to drink this election season, there are still the time honored tradition of the Election Night parties.  This year I am sure they will have the high bar tabs in recent memory for all parties.

Here are those known:

Democratic Party: Lachey's in OTR
Republican Party: Horse & Barell in Downtown
Green Party: Boswell's in Northside
Libertarian Party: Firehouse Grill in Blue Ash


If you want something really cool and different and filled with humor and booze, check out the Know Theatre's DEMOCRACY, YEAH! YEAH! starting at 7PM.
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In Person Early Voting Up Over 11% in Hamilton County

The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that in person early voting is up 11.11% this year over 2012 through Sunday, with 1 more partial day of early voting to go. This occurred even with the shorted period of early voting this year, thanks to the efforts of the GOP to suppress the vote. It is great that people have taken the time to vote and made it clear that the need for more early voting is there. Waiting in line for nearly three hours to vote is just ludicrous. Ohio and the whole county needs to overhaul our election processes. We need to make voting easier and get turnout as close to 100% as possible.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Enquirer Now Using Outsourced Reporters

In a non-surprising move, the Enquirer is using outsourced (duplicated) news reports from FOX19. Here's the latest example.  The Enquirer lists footer calling FOX19 a "media partner."  To be fair, the Enquirer is listing it as part of the by-line.  This time around that was especially helpful to news junkies like me who were confused to read Jennifer Baker's name as reporter on the Enquirer article, but the FOX19 after it does make it more noticeable.  Jennifer Baker is a former Enquirer reporter who now is a reporter for FOX19.  It was going to be surprising to see her return after another round of layoffs just occurred with Gannett.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Anti-Clinton Bias From the Enquirer

If you squint you might see something other than Republican Propaganda in this biased article on the Enquirer's website.  When an article has the headline "Local reaction to the FBI's investigation into Clinton's emails," but goes on to list multiple tweets from Trump as examples of those local reactions, you can see the carelessness from a mile away. It is like this reporter is trying out for a job running the website for a conservative talk radio station. Give him the job and get a real journalist instead.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Happy Fourth of July!

Hope you have a safe and mindful holiday. Today is the day we should be thinking about why this country was founded, but also how we can make it better for everyone.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Trump Twitter Account Author Lying about West Chester Rally

The person running the Trump Twitter account is lying, and the Kaiser is still dead:

The facts: For unconfirmed reasons, the Trump Campaign on Friday evening announced to the media that the rally they were to hold Sunday at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Downtown Cincinnati was cancelled. This happened just before the event in Chicago with the protesters was cancelled. On Saturday morning the Trump campaign announced they were holding an event on Sunday in West Chester, Ohio, an exurb of Cincinnati. The media did nothing but report the event. The event in Cincinnati was cancelled, one is West Chester was added. The Report from the Enquirer.

The real story here is that Trump went from an urban core setting for a rally, like the one in Chicago last night, to one of the most Republican friendly areas of the state. Fear of the 'leftist' protesters must be that great for him to up and move his rally to John Boehner's back yard. Butler County Sheriff and anti-Mexican racist Richard Jones is reportedly set to speak at the Trump event. So Eric Deters and Dick Jones are backing Trump. Who could have possibly guessed that would happen.

Here's how you get tickets to the rally in West Chester.  If you go, please be peaceful.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Trump's Fascist Follower Matthew Heimbach Not Registered to Vote in HC

The racist thug who 'allegedly' attached a protester at a Trump Rally in Louisville this week is not not listed on the voter registration list for Hamilton County. That means he does not live in Cincinnati or has not bothered to register to vote in Hamilton County. According to a Facebook search he also goes by"Matthew-John Heimbach," but there is no name close to any combination listed on the registration list. This thug, who at best could be described as an asshat, deserves to be prosecuted to fullest extent of the law. I shall not lose a wink of sleep over any heavy fines or civil lawsuits he or Donald Trump face. This type of person does not respect the rule of law and therefore has no place in our society.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

No On Issue 22 Got More Votes than Cranley For Mayor

The Mayor John Cranley scheme to create a political slush fund went down in defeat last night. To add an additional insult to the Mayor, more people voted against the Mayor's pet issue (34,246), than voted for the Mayor two years ago, (33,428). The voter turnout was higher this year as well. The vote totals for the 2013 race are official, but the No on 22 votes is unofficial and based on not having any provisional votes included, therefore that number should only go up.

Cranley will need to work on getting his GOP vote back for 2017, since he lost that this round.  I think this should remove the last sliver of faux doubt from the Cranley backers claiming he didn't win in 2013 on backs of the GOP voters.

Other than John Cranley, the other big local loser was the Hamilton County Board of Elections. They did not have their act together and that forced a local judge to order the polls stay open an additional 90 minutes.  New technology is never something to not promote to the public.  I had no idea the process changed, and I do honestly pay pretty close attention to such things.  The Local media didn't seem to have that story either.  Our voting process needs a big change.  It won't get that until the state stops being controlled by Republicans bent on voter suppression.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Cranley Gets the Enquirer to Edit Article

Not a big surprise, but Mayor John Cranley was able to get the Enquirer to pull and edit a story that he initially refused to provide a comment. The article makes this admission subtlety:
Cranley, who initially declined comment but reversed course after an unedited version of this story was inadvertenly (sic) posted Sunday to Cincinnati.com, said he had nothing to do with Harris’ exit or the board appointments.
The article was originally published on Saturday and was back up yesterday after his and the City Manager Black's comments and B.S. denials. It was also conveniently  after the Mayor's awkward State of City infomercial (Cranleymerical?). We don't know how the Mayor's office was able to convince Editors at the Enquirer to make this change, but it happened in a very public and embarrassing way.

Cranley is clearly LYING when he told the Enquirer he had "nothing to do with Harris’ exit or the board appointments." We know this because of who was picked for the board. To say that those were the best choices to serve on a the Historic Conservation Board is something that would ONLY be stated by the Mayor or a member of his staff. You don't get that many Cranley donors together in one place via natural selection. Due to his legal training, Cranley likely has no email trail to Black telling him what to do, but how often do the men hold meetings or phone calls? If they do it often, which I am sure they do, why else would they be doing that if it was not a means for Cranley to tell Black what he wants done on every significant issue put before Black.  We have Mayor who is knowingly overstepping his limited power as Mayor and a City Manager who is so fearful of losing his job that he does what ever the Mayor says, even though he's not his boss.  We have dysfunctional leadership at City Hall and a fractured City Council that can't get six members to consistently stand against the Mayor's over-reaching. Mann and Flynn need to step up and stop walking the fence.

Cranley is a politician and knows how to tell a lie that won't get him into legal trouble. The more Cranley acts as Mayor the more lies we get and the worse our city becomes.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

FOP Payoffs? More OT and Electronic Paperwork?

City Manager Black's has put out a loose outline of how he would spend the budget surplus. Surprisingly it has 500K for more police OT and 2 Million so cops can sit in their cruisers and do paperwork on their computers.

His plan has nothing that address's the Mayor's plan to get 10,000 kids out of poverty. So, that effort is off to the expected lack of a start.

Yvette Simpson Column Cleary Demonstrates Cranley's Hollow Plan

Cincinnati Council member Yevette Simpson demonstrated she understands the issues facing the city and shows up Mayor Cranley for his failure to effectively communicate what needs to happen and what is happening in this city. We have a Mayor who lacks credibility, but more importantly lacks any real vision to achieve a goal. He called for bringing 10,000 children in Cincinnati out of poverty in Five years, but his only action to move that forward is to create a meaningless commission to deal with it. Yes, a commission. We all know what that means in political speak: do nothing. To be fair the commission does have a purpose: to make those on it look like they are doing something WITHOUT having to actually do anything to help get children out of poverty.

Let's do some math. So 5 years is 260 weeks. That means Cranley needs to average getting 38.41 kids out of poverty in Cincinnati per week to meet his self imposed goal. While that is a noble idea, it is not something he has shown he has any intention of making happen, let alone proposing any policies that could make it happen. If he has those policies in mind, he might have at least shared some that could actually work and get support from City council. It's not like he can do this all by his lonesome, unless he's planning on using his Issue 22 slush fund to actually funnel money to something other than the parks.  It's not like Issue 22 cold stop that from happening.

To help keep him focused on his goal. I suggest we keep a weekly count. The local media should set up a day, say next Monday, one week after Cranley's speech, and ask him or his staff how many kids his policies have gotten out of poverty. Anything below 38 means he's behind on his goal.

I think we all know this is Bullshit from Cranley and we know this because of the lack of plans to use the Budget surplus (created by the vibrant city we are thanks to efforts of the Eight years prior to Cranley getting into office) to meet the goals. Where is the plan to put that surplus into job programs or other assistance for poor families? Assuming that is really Cranley's goal. In order to get a kid out of poverty, you actually have to get the parents out of poverty too. So I guess that raises the number of 10,000 a bit. So let's say it doubles it (accounting for multi-kid and single parents), so that means 20,000 people need to be out of poverty for Cranley to make his goal. So instead of 38.41 per week, we're now up to 76.92. 77 people per week need to be out of poverty to make the Five year goal. This can be done, but it takes someone with the actual will to make it happen, not just pretending to make it happen.

I wonder how many journalists are willing to question the Mayor on this an actually HOLD HIM ACCOUNTABLE. It won't take much money, it will just take someone sending an email and then publishing the response to the email on a mainstream media outlet. Here's an example email:
Dear Mr. Mayor,


As per you goal to get 10,000 kids out of poverty in five years, which really means getting 20,000 people out of poverty, you would need to average about 77 per week. Please provide me the number of people who got out of poverty over the last seven days and document how your policies achieved that act.


Sincerely,


Cincinnati Reporter
Now I am sure that crack staff at the Mayor's office will have those numbers at their finger tips and this plucky reporter will be able to get the facts reported before the end of the day on Monday. Then that same reporter could repeat this act every day for the next 259 weeks or until the running total exceeds 20,000!


Yes, I jest. Yes, I know the media won't do this. They won't do it because the Mayor's office won't have an answer. The question is how often will the media remind the public what the Mayor pledged to do? Will the Enquirer hold Cranley's feet tot he fire? It is the perfect type of conflict. It is an objective (mostly) race for them to cover. As long as they make Cranley prove his numbers, they can watch the number grow and have a horse race (of sorts) to cover.

That assumes the Enquirer actually covers the coming Mayor's race. They have gotten a bye this year, when we should have a council election, except for the foolish four year term fiasco. Since they have off time, they should start the Cranley poverty Tote-Board. Maybe get the Mayor to put it on Fountain Square. We can all watch the number grow over the next couple years like an extended-acid-induced Labor Day Telethon. Or maybe not.

I would prefer hearing more from Yvette Simpson. She is showing that she has the skills, temperament, and honesty to lead this City. I hope she considers challenging Cranley. We need 20,000 fewer people in poverty, but it will take more people like her in office, the Mayor's office, to make that possible.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Luken and Cranley Appear to Be Chicken

Charlie Luken has bowed out of the debate on October 12th on Issue 22, an amendment to the City Charter giving the Mayor a huge slush fund to help buy votes from a few key neighborhood leaders in hopes of getting elected in 2017. Luken, political mentor and co-destroyer of city finances with John Cranley, was replacing Cranley who refused to debate unless his diva-style debate riders were met. I guess his need for only blue M&Ms and Miller Lite in only cans can be a tough request to fulfill.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Enquirer Demonstrates Bias or Laziness?

In their article this week, discussing who may run for the GOP nomination to fill Boehner's seat, the Enquirer made the choice to outright declare the GOP to be the winners of the special election not even scheduled yet.

It is true that Boehner's district is heavily Republican. It would have been fair opinion journalism to focus on the GOP and state that Dems are unlikely to win. This article is trying to be a straight news story, but failed.  It just skiped over the Democratic party. It was as if they didn't bother to call anyone and picked the least flattering email reference they could find, 'surely' by chance.

It's not like a different Ohio newspaper hundreds of miles away didn't get a hold of Cincinnatian David Pepper, the Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. I wonder if anyone from the Enquirer even tried to call him or the other possible local Dem candidates.

Instead we get a poll that states "Who Will Replace John Boehner?" and below it we read the long list of Republicans. I guess the Enquirer will decide all elections this way? They won't bother to list anyone who they judge has no chance to win, unless they are a Republican, because they need to save time for articles about the sister of soon-to-be former Speaker of the House.

So, biased or just laziness.  I am thinking both.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Truth About the Mayor of Cincinnati

WCPO's Kevin Necessary has a cartoon that sums up a big problem with the Mayor of Cincinnati.

Please note that is no the only problem with the Mayor, just one of many.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Did City Manager Black Just Cost the City a Ton of Money?

Chris Wetterich of the Cincinnati Business Courier has an in-depth article that brings up the Cincinnati City Charter and the section of it that deals with how the City Manager is required to provide the Chief written charges and the right to have a hearing on them prior to being fired. Statements reported, and not yet denied by the City Manager or Mayor, indicate that Chief was just fired and not given a written copy of the chargers and not given the chance to have a hearing prior to being fired.

So a key element to a wrongful termination lawsuit has evidence. When you have a prescribed rule on how to fire someone and you don't follow it, you have a problem.  This is the type of problem that an employment lawyer would cringe upon hearing. When that rule is a city law, well you have mountain of a problem to overcome.

This situation could not have been more poorly handled.  It was an administrative failure.  It was a political failure.  It was a moral failure.  Cranley and Black should be ashamed.

It would be interesting to see how many similar types of documents provided in this case by the City Manager could be produced upon request on any of the prior two police chiefs.  I believe there would be no doubt that Streicher or Craig would have some number of similar complaints.  I doubt those records would be found if requested, however, or someone might create a special power to keep them private.  Some special rule that an elected office might claim doesn't exist, but won't stop invoking.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Marian Spencer Opposes Park Levy

The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that political leader Marian Spencer has removed her support for the Charter Amendment for a Parks levy that is being pushed by Mayor John Cranley.

This presents another good reason this effort should be thoroughly reviewed and not supported without careful consideration of the pitfalls and hidden agendas within this scheme.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Major Donor to Cranley Campaign Gets Appointment to Historic Board

Shree Kulkarni, a local developer and major campaign donor to Mayor John Cranley's 2013 election, has been appointed to the Cincinnati Historical Conservation Board.

In 2013 the Kulkarni family and 4 of his companies contributed $8,300 to Cranley's campaign. The individual limit is $1,100 for both the primary and general election periods. This week he was appointed tot he board by the City Manager Harry Black who takes no action without approval of Mayor John Cranley. Buying your way onto a public board appears to be acceptable to the Mayor. How man other suburban based developers have gotten their money's worth?

As the Business Courier's article points out, Kulkarni's appointment is being questioned by the the OTR Foundation.  Over-the-Rhinre (OTR,) in case you are new, has the most historic buildings for the board to review and is a nationally recognized district of historical buildings.  The OTR Foundation's questions, according to the article, appear to rest on Kulkarni's comments on the recent action of the Conservation Board on the Davis Furniture Building.  As a suburban developer, Kulkarni's belief in conservation of history seems to not extend beyond the best interests of the developers who don't seek to preserve the history and architecture.

We need urbanists to make decisions about urban areas.  We don't need Cranley's strip mall mindset to have more power in our city's government.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Smitherman's Hand Picked Cabal is Sued by National NAACP

The Courthouse News Service is reporting a group calling it self the "Cincinnati Branch" of the NAACP as an "fraud" and unsanctioned group. In Federal court they are seeking an Injunction to shut down the group and $300K in damages.

This group was previously run by Cincinnati City Council member Chris Smiterman who resigned to run for public office. His allies took over the group and refused to allow for an orderly election and allegedly have continued to try and run the organization as if the national organization did not hault the election and freeze out everyone from controlling the local chapter.

A Note for the local media, don't attribute any press released from anyone sued by the NAACP as speaking for the local branch of the NAACP until a new election of leadership is held.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sittenfeld Running for Senate

As much rumored in the last few weeks, Cincinnati City Council Member PG Sittenfeld has announced he is running for U.S. Senate. He'll face a primary challenge next year, but as he's the only known declared candidate, who he'll face is unknown.

This is on the surface a long shot, but Sittenfeld does look before he leaps. All Democrats running against Rob Portman will need the voter turnout to be bolstered by the Presidential race that year in order to win. Sittenfeld has to worry about the primary before that and he could face the challenge of former Governor Ted Strickland, who would be a good candidate against Portman and be the front runner in a primary race.

More from WVXU.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

PG Sittenfeld Is Getting Some National Attention

It is a long held axiom that any attetention is good attention, but for PG Sittenfeld when that attention is positive attention, it it triples the value. The National Journal has given him some of that good attention.

Give a cigar to his PR team.

The next few months wil be where the most the political action will happen when we see who runs for Senate against Portman and who does not. PG wants to run, that much is obvious, but is it wise for home to run now? That is the action that is turning in his head. I don't envy having to make that political judgement, but I'd like to be a fly on the wall when he discusses it with his advisors. 

Strategic planning is the holy grail of political analysis.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Cranely Using Smoke and Mirrors on Pension Deal to Hide City's Sacrifice

From a financial perspective, there are actual steps in the City's pension deal that on the surface appear to help reduce the funding problem, but that is only half of the story.

Yes, getting the retirees to suspend COLAs for three years and then reducing the COLA formula will mean lower benefits paid and help solvency.

Yes, the city paying more into the fund certainly will help solvency.

The details Cranley is hiding deal with where the city will get the additional money to increase funding for the pension trust. Here are the problems:

  1. What is the long term impact of moving $200 Million from the retiree health care trust?  Is this the fund Cranley and Luken already screwed up?  Previously this year the Plan was only going to be $100 million, so how did it double in size and still have Council backing?
  2. Where does the $38 Million a year for seven years come from?  Saying the City will "borrow against future revenue" is no different from saying "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."  Revenue from what?  The pension fund?  Income Taxes? A bake sale?  Cranley's hiding the details. He does not want us to know what he's doing.
  3. Where does the additional 2.25% of the annual operating budget come from? How much is this actually?  Is this based on the $358 Million in expenses or just of salaries? What is Cranley going to do, increase revenue or cut something?  Which ever he is planning, he's not giving the details and is once again hiding something.
What Cranley is doing is typical Cranley.  He's making something sound comprehensive, but he leaves out nearly all of the substance. Either Cranley has no clue where the money will come from or he is hiding it because it will be politically unpopular.  The answer is mostly likely the latter and as is the Cranley way, he's hiding the details in hopes that people will accept half of the truth and forget the rest later.

This is the type of Mayor we have, one who hides the real sacrifices the city has to make to allow him self the ability to take a faux victory lap.  This plan may actually be workable, but the Citizen of Cincinnati deserve to know the real impact this will have on the City Budget and the services the City provides. Hiding details is dishonest.  This is insulting to people of Cincinnati. This is, however, how Mayor John Cranley operates.  We must demand the truth from the Mayor.  We won't get it, but everyone in the City must call out the Mayor's half truths and lies every chance we get.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Zombie News Gone National

Gotta love how the suburbs can look like idiots on a scale to get some national attention.



At least the local media was there first. Can't beat the visuals, so TV wasn't going to miss out on this.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Enquirer Channelling the New York Post

When ever you start out a headline with the phrase "uh-oh" like the Enquirer did with the article Uh-oh, streetcar savings account running out, then you start sounding like a tabloid. Picture the New York Post.

Cincinnati does not need bad attempts at comedy in the headline of a serious news article.

The only reason for this was to YET AGAIN garner the eyeballs from anti-streetcar readers (that means most of the GOP),  and drive up website traffic. The bias comes through once more n the Enquirer. It's what we expect from the hollow news outlet.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Enquirer Appears to Have No Editors Now

I don't know how a news story like this: Suspect in custody in stabbing near casino would be allowed to be published if the Enquirer still had any editors. Review the first sentence of this very short article:
A suspect is in custody after a man was fatally stabbed just a few feet from the entrance to the Horseshoe Casino on Monday night, police said.
Now read the fourth sentence:
He was stabbed in a wooded area on Gilbert Avenue beneath the Interstate 471 overpass about 10:30 p.m., Neville said.
In the third sentence Nevill was identified as Cincinnati Police Capt. Michael Neville. So where does a "few feet from the entrance to the Horseshoe Casino" come from when the man was stabbed in a wooded area on Gilbert Ave? Does this reporter think the entrance to the Horeshoe is in a wooded area under I-471? Does the reporter live in Cincinnati?

This is just horrid reporting. At best the "entrance" being referenced was the Gilbert Ave PARKING LOT entrance to the casino and that is still ACROSS THE STREET from any "wooded" area under I-471. Depending on the location of wooded area in question, saying this was near the Casino may not be 'wrong.'  It would likely be near many places, including the BOE and P&G headquarters. Seriously, the picture with the article includes a shot of P&G in it.

I realize this was written over-night, so it has fewer filters to be passed through, but this can't continue. We can not have stories that are either being reported by ignorant journalists who can't understand when the police are using hyperbole or reporters looking to increase clicks by putting false details into stories to scare the public and create more web traffic.

UPDATE: Compare the WCPO Story.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Is the County's Deal For Mt. Airy Hospital Dead?

The Enquirer is reporting that county has stated it will likely cost 100 million dollars to convert the former Mercy Heath Hospital complex in Mt. Airy to a facility that could handle the coroner, crime lab and Board of Elections.

They don't have that kind of money and the Republican majority won't raise taxes for the critical needs of a new coroner's facility.

They've increased the Sheriff's budget this year.

The Republicans should be looking for a cheaper way to update the Coroner's facility and it possible the crime lab, but give up on moving anything else out of downtown and keep the BOE where it is.

It appears Monzel and Hartmann are not doing anything to update Hamilton County's critical needs. Punting responsibility is horrid governance.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Minor Reporting Error or Sign of Lack of Experience at the Enquirer?

It may just a be a simple mistake, but the following Enquirer article Car strikes building, semi stuck under bridge has a huge error in it.  It reports that a building in the 1200 Block of Vine Street was hit by a car and had to be propped up to keep it from collapsing.

Well I can report that after I walked the entire 1200 Block of Vine Street  at about 5:15 PM there is no evidence of a building that had been struck, let alone one on the verge of collapsing.

The reporter obviously doesn't know the OTR neighborhood because if she did, she'd know that the 1200 block is the heart of the Gateway Quarter and if any building about to collapse here would include a business and/or people's residences, thus a much bigger story.  Also, if they had ever been to that block they would know that at that time of day, everyday, cars line the street, so the crash would have more than likely hit a car, not a building.

Hopefully the article will be updated soon to reflect the correct block.

I really hope this was a simple careless error and not the sign of what we will be getting more of with the new changes to the Enquirer: fewer editors and less experienced reporters. Also an environment where staff will NOT be rewarded for knowing about the places and people they write about, but instead will be judged based on the number of hits their articles get.

Is the Elder Old Guard Pushing Back Against Losing Control of the CPD?

Since Mayor John Cranley suffers from having to payback the GOP for its support, it makes sense that the Republican's newly new regained front, the FOP, would expect that he would throw logic to the wind and allow rumors to undermine the Police Chief. The old guard police officer core that stems from a big Westside/Elder connection could be itching to gain back the power of the Chief's office since it lost Streicher back in 2011.

For those of you who are newer to Cincinnati or have forgotten about the 2001 riots, please remember that the horrible police/black-community relations that existed at that point was in part due to the inability of the mostly white Westside/Elder connected leadership of the police to effectively interact with the black community of Cincinnati.

We don't need Cranley to allow that old crowd to regain the leadership of the police force.  We survived the riot once, WITH NO HELP FROM CRANLEY, we don't need him making police-community relations worse.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Dear Enquirer: You Ain't Gawker

I guess it's a slow news day over at the Enquirer, it's not like there is a ton of election data to analyze or anything, so instead we a get a GIF. That's not news, but I'm sure Buzzfeed would approve.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Details Finally Published on the Cincinnati Charter Reform in Issue 11

I am not sure how this issue could be considered fair and legal if the full text is not included on the ballot, but you can finally see the details of what is being amended or repealed from the Cincinnati City Charter Here. This wasn't posted anywhere I could locate until October 24, 2014, about 10 days before the election. Most of the changes do appear to be non-impactful, but this doesn't bode well for the organization that has been formed to make additional proposals for changes to the charter. The details need to be on the ballot and ready for the public and media to read in full well in advance of the election.

If this information was provided to the local media well before, then for shame on them for not publishing it in full and linking to it extensively.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Vote Yes on Issue 8!

Cincinnati has a history that is rich and deep.  We have a culture that is vibrant and valuable.  We must take the steps to preserve that past so the future will remember and learn.  We therefore must support Issue 8 and save Union Terminal for any further decay and assure it will be here for generations to come to learn and experience Cincinnati's History and Culture.

This isn't a political issue, this is a Cincinnati issue.  No matter your political leanings, this deserves your support.

Go to www.myunionterminal.com for more.

Cranley Proved Wrong Again?

Quimbob shares the report of a survey of Cincinnati Residents stating that an overwhelming number are OK with the Trash Collection established under the Mallory Administration.

Another Campaign claim proved wrong again? I'd say I'd lean yes to that question.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Interesting What If's For City Council If Repbulican Winburn Pulls Upset

Republican Charlie Winburn has gotten his party to pour a ton of money into  his campaign to win a Democratic seat for the Ohio Senate against former Cincinnati Council member Cecil Thomas.  If Winburn wins, his currently held City Council seat is up in the air.

WVXU's Howard Wilkinson has a story detailing the possible scenarios if Thomas, the Democratic candidate, does not win the heavily Democratic leaning senate district.

Thomas is running a lack luster campaign backed by horrid Ohio and Hamilton County Democratic Party leadership.  This year the Democrats in Ohio don't seem to be able to do anything as an organization.  Most of the state wide party candidates are behind in the polls and it is widely held that voter turn out will be historically low in November.  Low turnout dooms down ticket candidates, which is why playing the what if games for what should be a solid Democratic seat are happening. Republican Charlie Winburn, especially with all of the crazy in him, shouldn't stand a chance. Time for the Dems to clean their leadership house and start new.