Sunday, January 26, 2020

Do the Hamilton County Republicans Have a Plan for the 2021 Elections or NOT?

With the internal fight in Hamilton County Republican Party circles still smarting this week, what can be gleaned from what their strategic plan is for the 2021 City of Cincinnati Elections for Mayor and Council?

Get beyond your inclination to ask "Who cares?" That would be a mistake. I am a realist and very pragmatic. Always know as much as you can about what your oppornet is doing.  In the case of the Hamilton County GOP, that is a big question mark.  The one consistent thing they have done for the last nearly 20 years has been to give up on winning control of the City of Cincinnati.

The best they have been able to do is win over back room allies.  Case in point is moderate Democrat John Cranley, who only won the mayor's race because he got full throated support from Republican voters and donors. Cranley got a deal, no GOP opponent.  It has been over 10 years since the last Republican ran for mayor of Cincinnati and the number of publicly endorsed candidates for council has dwindled to less than a possible majority slate.

In 2021 there will be six open seats and a change in the length of term to only two years, down from four after a charter amendment.  That provides a big open door for new candidates. The problem for the GOP is that they have no bench strength.  They have one incumbent, Jeff Pastor, who eked out the ninth spot by just over 200 votes, so he will be at the whims of the tides on the next election.  Seth Maney was the other available endorsed candidate last time around.  Tamie Sullivan was another candidates as well, but I don't remember her getting much Republican support after she made a sensible anti-Trump public statement. She's thought of more as a moderate, which normally is what the Republicans mostly put forth in the City, but anymore you gotta drink the Kool-Aide on Trump.  Based on his Twitter likes, Seth Maney surprisingly fits the Kool-Aide drinking test on Trump, so he may be able to attempt a Yasser Arafat style campaign.  That's one where you speak one way to the world (the voters) and another way to a domestic audience (Suburban Republican donors.) Any other candidates out there are being kept low key or outright secrets.

Another surprise move for HCRP was to their new headquarters in Pendleton. They left their long time Downtown space and when north, to the edge of Downtown.  To many suburbanites, they can't tell the difference between Downtown and Hyde Park, so this move was not significant in terms of geography. The surprise is that they stayed Downtown.  Alex Triantafilou is no stranger to Downtown, but the party rank and file don't like Downtown, let alone anywhere in the City of Cincinnati itself. Keeping the headquarters in the city is a surprise. Moving out closer to their base would have been what I would have expected.  One would think that they could have also gotten a cheaper space, but that may been part of the deal with the move to Pendleton. I don't see a reason for them to stay there, other than the logical point that Downtown is the Center of the region and is where any group looking to be relevant on the big stage of the area. When they moved the BOE to Norwood, one would have thought they would be vacating the city at every chance.  As part of their anti-City national platform, leaving the big city for suburbs is the logical choice.

Does that given any support to the idea that the HCRP has a plan to win in 2021?  Do they think they have a mayoral candidate or a full slate of council candidates that can win? The right combination of money and name recognition can be the basis for any candidate for any party in Cincinnati. Have we reached a point, however, that thanks to national politics and the Westside White Flight of the last 20 years that the Republican Party is not a viable entity in City elections?

That leads me back to my initial thought, do they have a plan?  Well, Republicans are to blame for the frivolous scandal to hit City Hall and are doubly responsible for the interference from the State Republican officials interfering in local affairs to create a round two of that fabricated scandal. This effort is clearly being done for political purposes to damage future Democratic candidates for Mayor and Council. The knuckle draggers who manufactured the initial lawsuit that found a sympathetic activist Republican Judge that gave them a fishing license to create a scandal, would disagree with it, but the odd things is, as I wrote about recently, they are having a fight with HCRP leadership.

While the HCRP is certainly reveling in the scandal the knuckle draggers have created, they also know that overall, they need to have a longer view.  They know the County demographics are not changing in their favor and that they are losing the power of the Prosecutor's office and the Hamilton County Courts. That means the Republican scandals would be fair game for Democrats to pursue.  That pursuit would be one a long time coming and as well all know payback is a bitch. So, embracing the efforts of the knuckle draggers attempting to wrestle control of the Party isn't in their interest at all.

It just goes back to the simple truth about the Republican Party, it has become the White man and his wife's party and few others.  It's policies are extreme. Those in the City don't agree with the narrow mindedness of that party. Hamilton County voters are not far behind the City.  That scares the HCRP.

So, what can they do? I don't have an answer and I don't think they do either.  I don't think they have much of a plan.  Maybe they can find some young candidates or recruit a few well known names to run as candidates, but if they are right wingers, they are going to lose.  I think John Cranley is as conservative as a candidate can be and win as Mayor in Cincinnati. Some Republicans are pushing 80 year old David Mann to run and that is the most disingenuous support as could be. Sure he's in a Cranley orbit on policy, but they would drop him like a rock if flashy guy chose to run last minute and force a primary. It is underhanded to play that game with David Mann.

Unless Republicans can change the election rules, they are going to be out of control of City Hall.  Don't be surprised if they make their support for the effort to change to a district and at-large council structure, which is not a good one.  That would be the only way they can have an advantage, but even then, a right wing candidate wouldn't make it very far and that wouldn't give them the Mayor's seat.

In 2021 I think you can expect more of the same.  They might try and get a high profile Republican that thinks they can be next Brad Wenstrup, the last Republican to enter the Mayor's race.  He was able to turn that loss into a win in a gerrymandered congressional seat.  That will be difficult to repeat in the 2022 mid-terms, but who knows.

As for City Council, I wouldn't be surprised to see five Republicans make the ballot and that be spun as some grand victory alone, but then only two win.  That would be a loss in the number of Republican seats now held by Republicans or people who pretend to not be a Republican, but get elected by their support. That might be the best Plan the HCRP could have for 2021, unless a fascist state is established before then. That would make the knuckle draggers happy, but likely they'd be alone on that one.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Hamilton County Republicans Are Attempting to Eat Their Own

Twitter was a blaze yesterday, at least if you follow hardcore right wing Cincinnati area Republican/Conservative Twitter.  I know, I know, that is tortuous, but this time around there is a key observation to take note.

COAST represents the Trumpists in local conservative circles and they were making that more than clear leading the Twitter rants they made yesterday.  In their sights was Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman Alex Triantafilou.  Here's an example of their attacks:

The first thought on this is: pass the popcorn.

My second thought on this is to consider who is fighting.  One group is the local Trumpist windbag opportunists that love getting attention which I am unfortunately enabling.  This is the group that has worked to damage the City of Cincinnati and make money doing it. They have been extremist Republicans and on the fringe of the party looking in.

The other side is the leadership of the HCRP, namely Alex Triantafilou, who are among those Republicans who have embraced ALL of the hate, bigotry, sexism, criminality, and insanity that is Trump.  Yes, Alex and the local party is endorsing everything that is Donald Trump, right down to "grab 'em by the pussy." They own the abomination they voted for and Triantafilou voted for him twice, as an Trump Elector. The own it because they have not had the courage to break with Trump and dismiss what he says.  They are willing to live with ALL that he is and is doing to undermine the law, to destroy the dignity of the country, and dismantle the gains made in the world for American values of Democracy, Freedom, and Fairness.

So, who cares if they eat each other? Well, the observation I make of this is that the Extremists are looking to complete their take over of the Republican Party.  The COASTers have adopted (or just adapted) the Trumpist world view and are attempting their own internal insurrection.  I see it as COAST dreaming of another "Night of the Long Knives." They are calling to Trump's handpick leadership:
The two referenced Twitter accounts at the end of the Tweet are for Trump's campaign manager Brad Parscale for Trump's hand picked Ohio GOP chair Jane Murphy. So the hope for COAST is that the local party should be taken over by the Trump campaign.

Let's repeat that.  COAST wants the Trump Campaign to take over the Hamilton County Republican Party.

This is the local Republican Party that has compromised their beliefs out of the desire for tax cuts, oppressive Federal Court appointments, and the fear of Trump. This is that Party is not extreme enough for the Trumpists (COAST.)   They are looking for a purge, hopefully sans violence. COAST wants to run the HCRP on behalf of Trump and carry out the extremist agenda being pushed. That agenda is Fascist. COAST is playing the role of wannabe Brownshirts.

I know this is going to be dismissed as hyperbole, but I am going to sound the alarm to Republicans out there.  By appeasing the Trumpists, they are not going to go away and they are going to push you out of power in your own party. No matter who wins in November, this is going to happen.  If Trump loses, well, that may finally kill the GOP. If Trump wins, that kills the Republic, and the GOP will have been a partner in that death.

The HCRP needs to reject COAST and stand up to the wannabe fascists they have claimed to be against. If they don't, watch the HCRP become an Alt-Right led group. Those welcoming COAST are welcoming fascism and that should concern those of who are not Republicans. Those of us who support Democracy, should support the existence of political parties that are not fascist.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

After Years of Desire, John Cranley to Get His HardRock Cafe

17 years ago John Cranley was longing to turn OTR into a chain restaurant paradise. I called his effort ‘McMain Street’ back then, big box chain restaurants as his goal to fill Main Street in OTR. Well, after a long, long wait, John is getting a version of his desire: a Hard Rock Cafe, the pinnacle of pop culture in 1989. As part of the newly renamed HardRock Casino a HardRock Cafe will be built, just a block from Main Street.

I am positive John will be monitoring the construction schedule so he can block out his calendar to be sure to take part in the many events involved around its opening.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

History Made Today With Appointment to the Hamilton County Commission

Victoria Parks was appointed today to fill the seat of Todd Portune on the Hamilton County Commission. This puts three women on the Commission. This makes history. The Enquirer's article points this out:
For the first time in history, the three-member Hamilton County Board of Commissioners is all-female and majority black. It's only the second all-female county board of commissioners in the state, the other being Montgomery County just to the north.
Parks is not seeking election to the office, but will serve out the remainder of the term. Previously she was the Chief of Staff for Todd Portune.

The Democratic primary for this office is setting up to be a close one. The GOP have a placeholder candidate in the primary and are taking for granted their voters.

Friday, January 03, 2020

Cincinnati Politics 101 for the 2020's

Hey there! If YOU are a political candidate looking to run for office in the City of Cincinnati there is one REALLY important rule you need to obey: Don't publically support Donald Trump.

Now, for a Democrat that is a no brainer, unless you are the Sheriff or a crusty old washed up former AM Radio DJ who can't fathom life after the 1960's.

For Republicans, well, that can be a problem.  I mean, I can understand how some Republicans who get excited for big wars with tanks and jets and bombs can't help it.  We all have our vices.  For some it is booze or cigars and for others it is getting a stiffy over a war you can watch on TV from the safety of your living room.

What you need to do is pretend you are actually are fighting a war and KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN. On social media, don't starting liking posts from Trump that filled with bile, hate, and represent the worst Republicanism can offer. I know it's difficult to keep that in check, but if you want power, you must do as all Republicans do: hide your true opinions.

Unless you live in Saylor Park, Trumpism doesn't sell.  I means, sure in a few areas there are some closeted brownshirts waiting to get out. Tom Brinkman in Mt. Lookout is one of the few open extremists in the City, but even he only steps into it when it benefits him, which in his district is not as much as it used to do.

Even on local AM Talk radio stations, you need to dodge the questions about Trump.  Stay miles away from a Trump rally or even a visit by Mike Pence.

Now, if you are at an all GOP happy hour in a deep Westside bar or out in the burbs, let your fascist flag fly! Just remember to change out of the boots and brownshirt before you return to the city.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

That's About it for 2019

Is there a good reason to reflect on a year? For the world this has been another shit filled 12 months.  For Cincinnati I would call it (at best) a "meh" year.  There were not many big issues to fill news cycles or political chat rooms that were important.

There still were some really crappy moments:

  • There were poorly chaperoned teenagers acting shitty in DC.   
  • There were many in the media who continued to use tabloid terminology as a means to demean members of Cincinnati City County they don't like personally or politically. If they keep it up into next year, I think I may be forced to come up with term that fits their actions.  The term Cabal comes to mind.
  • There was a dumb ass Trump supporter who punched a protester outside the Trump Nuremberg-style rally. That was almost expected and promptly forgotten by the local media.
  • There was former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin demonstrating how horrible a human being he is with his pardons of a murder and of a child rapist. An investigation is underway to determine if the wealthy relatives of the criminals made any type of trade with Bevin for the pardons. His actions are morally corrupt, so the fitting punishment would be his conservative Christian community punishing him would be less than he deserves, but something.  Him behind bars would be the right thing, but it will be likely be tough to prove unless someone turns on him.
  • There was the local media in this town collectively focusing on click-bait crap, overall being conservatively biased, and/or just being understaffed because the public is too lazy to read and pay for valid journalism. Two of the three points are common with most local media across the country.  The conservative bias here stems from so much of the exurban areas the TV news and the Enquirer are desperate to keep. Also, there are locals in the media who are actually Republicans.
  • There were the seven days the Republicans had a candidate for Hamilton County Commissioner. That ended with the neo-fascist Trump Supporter Dan Hils (also local FOP president) quitting. We are all better for him quitting, but the CPD rank and file are stuck with him now. It would be good for them to vote him out, but the rank and file CPD has too many right-wing Republicans.
  • There were Chabot and Wenstrup embarrassing Ohio during the Impeachment hearings. When you can't deal with the facts and instead jump into false process dogma or outright conspiracy BS, you just need to resign.  Neither will, but history will not forget how they chose the political party and the personal futures over the county and the state of our democracy.
  • The Suburban Republicans continued to attack the City any chance they could.  This is a regular occurrence, year after year, so nothing new, just something people need to be reminded occurs again and again.
So, kinda shitty.  I wanted to find the positives.  I really didn't find many.  There were some wait and see actions like the music venue at the Banks deal and the Streetcar "divorce," but that was about it.

The only moment that stood out the dignity of Todd Portune. He stands out as a man with a deeply held sense of public service.  The widespread praise given to Todd by all corners of the political spectrum is the lone shining moment for the Cincinnati area this year.

2020 will be a year with lots of turmoil. Most of it will be coming from the national political race. Some of the above shitty moments will repeat.  Some will get worse. There will be many new ones that will drop on the Cincinnati Area like a ton of bricks.  We will be moving from "meh" down to a "fuck this" year, based on history. The more I write about about, maybe the more I can make lemonade with the shit on the horizon. Bring on Bing with Auld Lang Syne.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

If You Don't Want It On Microscoops, Don't Do It.

If I could blame Jason Williams on another generation I would, but I am fairly certain he is a Gen-Xer and my generation has it share of hacks, just like any other, but his latest column stretches into the territory normally reserved for NY Post Page Six gossip columnists.
POLITICS & JOURNALISM: It's been known in insider circles for weeks that Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters and WCPO anchor Tanya O'Rourke are dating. It seems that became more widely known this week, when Hamilton County GOP Chairman Alex Triantafilou posted a photo of him and his wife, Jennifer, standing alongside Deters and O'Rourke at a Christmas party. Why is this worth mentioning? Well, Deters and O’Rourke are high-profile figures in the community and you might see them around town together.
Williams is more than willing to help float this trial balloon in the air for Deters and the Republican Party. He's in their pocket and lives off their scraps scoops. What I judge this to be is an effort by the Deters Campaign to test the waters. They need to find out if there is going to be any flack for the divorced Catholic forming a high profile relationship. Williams is able to help serve that goal, while still being able to play the otherside, with his mouth watering for a new scandal that he can dive into.

This is just so tawdry. Williams is just begging for there to be controversy so he can defend Deters and O'Rourke.  The WCPO anchor will gain respect with Suburbanites with her affiliation with Deters, but any serious person who wants good journalism would not trust any story she is involved on. So any controversy that is made feeds into both Williams and Deters' playbook. Spin it on Talk radio, avoid questions, but attack, attack, attack.

Let's be honest, Joe Deters is fucking asshole. He is a huge problem for Hamilton County. He has been representing the Republican 'Establishment' he entire career and has let that influence who goes to trial and who does not.  He stands on the scales of justice and leans the way he wants, to help or hurt those he wants.  He is everything wrong with the Justice System in America and needs to be dumped to curb.

I don't care who he is sleeping with, however.  Local TV 'news' is bullshit anyway and if O'Rourke can keep clear of Deters or big Hamilton County Trial stories, nothing much will change. The bias on Crime stories is baked into TV news. The only risk is that WCPO producers will be dying for her to get more dirt on crime (the sexy ones) that they can sell to suburbanites.

Williams belongs on TV or radio.  He's a tabloid writer, who wants clicks and eye balls on him.  Truth isn't his focus (or concern), emotion is what he cares about.  Well, he cares about exploiting it in others. If he gets an offer to start a local version of Inside Edition, he should take it.

Also, as an educational side note to Jason Williams: people and specially musicians/composers can be icons too, not just buildings.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Early Look at the Candidates for Cincinnati City 2021 Council Race

You maybe thinking: "Woah, Woah, Woah , it is only 2019 and there nearly two years to go before the next Cincinnati City Council election, what are you doing? "  Just so you are clear, this blog does not cover the national primary races and that appears to be sucking out all of the political analysis wind out of the sails of near every political pundit around, so bear with me for having an early look at who may be running for Cincinnati City Council.  The political party notations listed below are NOT endorsements, they are my understanding of their affiliations.  In a couple of cases I don't know what they are, currently.

Incumbents Eligible to Run
Tamaya Dennard (D,C) *
Greg Landsman (D) *
Jeff Pastor (R) *

Announced Candidates
Jeff Cramerding (D)
Michelle Dillingham (D)
James Jenkins (I)
Brian Garry (D)

Prior Candidates Likely to Run
Derek Bauman (D,C)
Laure Quinlivan (D)
Henry Frondorf (D,C)
Seth Maney (R)
Kelli Prather (D)

Prior Candidates Who Might Run
Ozie Davis III (D)
Cristina Burcica (I)
Manuel Foggie
Tamie Sullivan (R,I ?)
Leslie Jones (D)
Tonya Dumas (D)
Erica Black-Johnson (I)

Rumored Or Speculated Candidates
Cam Hardy (D,C,I ?)
Matt Woods (C)
Dadrien Washington (D)

Candidate Twitter List: I have created a list of candidates on Twitter. Here is the actual list Twitter handles for the candidates.

As always:  If anyone has any other names please send them my way ( or if anyone named above wants to confirm they are not running, I'll remove them future postings of this list. If there are other social media or full websites I don't list, send them along as well.

* = Incumbent
‡ = On Ballot (signatures turned in)
D= Democratic Party
R= Republican Party
C= Charter Committee (aka Charter Party)
G= Green Party
I= Independent

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Get Off Your Ass If You Are Running For Office In The City Of Cincinnati

We are now less than two years out from Cincinnati City Council and Mayoral elections on November 2, 2021.  If you are running for an office, you better get off your ass now and start organizing your campaign or you will not win.

Sure, if you have tons of money or are well known, you will think you can win, but you still need to begin planning now.  You need to line up support.  You need to formulate a strategy to win.  You need to start making personal connections that give you the chance to make it.

The next election will have a super majority of non-incumbents.  All indications are that the GOP has something up its sleeve.  Whether that is putting a ton of money in the Race behind enough candidates to even win a majority of council OR if they are just going to wage a hidden support campaign for Chris Smitherman for Mayor, we don't know.  I'd expect something, at least something superficial that gets local media attention.

Smitherman is the choice of Republicans, but Smitherman is scared to accept their open endorsement and instead is attempting to manufacture a tight-rope campaign that is trying to appeal to the Right Wing money he needs, but keeping that secret from the African-American voters who don't like Republicans. I don't know if a political duality like this can work, but if Smitherman acts like other Republicans and limits his message to voters who only consume a small number of information sources, he can attempt to keep his Right Wing support hidden from an important voting block.

The duality of telling one group he accepts the racist policies of the Republican Party while telling he rejects those same policies is the type of tight rope to drive a person to a level or derangement that can only be harmful.  Smitherman has a reputation for and has made historical examples of what I would characterize as unhinged behavior.  Trying to like this duality will only exacerbate the problem.

So the fun is ahead of us!  I am working on creating my list of candidates running for council and their endorsements.  I'll include mayor if that list grows significantly.  Send me an email at or send word to @cincyblog if you have information on a new candidate getting into the race.

I expect a nasty mayor's race and I expect the Republicans to be complete shits as they run a VERY dirty campaign. Hope they can take as good as the give.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Predictions on the Level of Circus at Trump's Cincinnati Rally

What do you expect will happen? Will it be a love fest of peace, Jesus, and smiles? Will it be a bland policy lecture? Will it be a Leni Riefenstahl inspired spectacle to get the Grand Children of the Cincinnati Bund all exited? Or will it be a shithouse circus with a rambling old coot on stage with a fake tan pausing to let the racist and xenophobic chants echo in the arena, where the ratio of confederate flag clothing is higher than any other place in the tristate area?

I would bet on some version of the shithouse circus.  The only variable questions are :

  1. How racist will Trump go?
  2. Which local Republicans will show up?
  3. Will the media cover this any more than usual?
  4. How many of the attendees will make ignorant statements to a member of the press?
I expect a normal hate filled Trump rally with the usual level of ignorant fools there.  I am only curious to see what local Republicans attend.  I will not let them forget it if they do attend.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Do Republicans in Cincinnati Know Latin? "Qui Tacet Consentire Videtur"

"Qui Tacet Consentire Videtur" is a Latin axiom that roughly translates to "He who is silent is understood to consent."  I am sure this phrase or a variation has come up in an Op/Ed you have read in the last week.  I say that assuming you are a person who reads Op/Eds from reasonable news outlets.  For the limited audience of my blog, I am going to make a reasonable assumption that you do.

Another bit of information that most people know is that Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a rally on August 1st here in Cincinnati. This will be a couple of weeks after Trump made his racist Tweets about four members of the House of Representatives. and then a few days later at another Trump rally in NC made horrific xenophobic chants, that are clear examples of fascism.

What is going to happen at the next Trump rally here in Cincinnati?  Will hoards of local racists, fascists, sexists, bigots, white nationalists, and xenophobic assholes show up?  You better believe they will.  There are tons of them in the tristate area and they are attracted to Trump and love to vent their hatred and blame on non-white people for all of their troubles.  Yes, that is currently the primary motivational strategy of Republicans for the 2020 election.

With this in mind, I am calling out all local Republicans officials to take a stand.  Do you oppose racism/xenophobia or do you condone it?  You have to take a stand one way or the other.  There is no wiggle room here.  I'm not looking for Republicans to change their party affiliation or anything, I am looking for basic humanity.  Simple acknowledgement that what Trump tweeted and a significant portion of his followers at the rally chanted were racist and xenophobic and that is wrong.  Or you could agree with both and come out of the closet, so to speak.That is it, just denounce the racism and xenophobia or embrace it.  There are not three sides to this.  So, those local Republicans out there, make your stances known.  Those people include the following list:

  1. Senator Rob Portman
  2. Senator Mitch McConnell
  3. Senator Rand Paul
  4. Representative Steve Chabot
  5. Representative Brad Wenstrup
  6. Representative Thomas Massie
  7. Prosecuting Attorney Joe Deters
  8. Treasurer Robert Goering, Jr.
  9. Engineer Ted Hubbard>
  10. Cincinnati City Council Jeff Pastor
  11. Cincinnati City Council Amy Murray
  12. Anderson Township Trustee Andrew Pappas
  13. Blue Ash City Council Jeff Cappell
  14. HCRP Chairman Alex Triantafilou
  15. Sheriff Jim Neil
  16. Cincinnati City Council Christopher Smitherman
How should they take a stand against the racism and xenophobia?  Well, two things everyone on this list should do are 1) not appear at the Trump rally on August 1st and 2) denounce Trump's tweets as racist and the chants at his NC rally (and him letting it grow) as xenophobic.  For the purpose of what I am asking, that is it.

IF you DO NOT do either of these simple and honorable requests in a reasonable way WITHOUT a "whataboutism" or WITHOUT attempting to shift the blame to something else, THEN I am going to forever believe that you agree with Trump and his hoard of followers.  He or She who is silent is understood to consent.  If you don't have the courage to go on Twitter or Facebook and denounce this racism and xenophobia, then you are condoning it, even if only as a means to get elected.  There is no difference between believing in racism/xenophobia and simply exploiting voters' agreement with elements and policies of racism/xenophobia as a means to gain support for an election.  The ends don't justify the means.  If you come out in support of it, well, you just might get more criticism, and face the wrath of your god at a later point.  I'll stay out of that fable and let your conscious deal with that.

My belief is not much of a punishment, I know, but it is a question of honor.  There are honorable people on this list who know better, but are going along with this abomination out of a misplaced sense of fear and a lack courage.  Look to the former Governor of Ohio, John Kasich.  I don't agree with him politically on much, but I can consider him an honorable person for taking a public stance against Trump on his racism.

There are people on this list who don't claim to be Republicans, but they certainly act, vote in Republican primaries, appear at Trump rallies, or take GOP contributions like a member of the Party, so they get the same treatment.  Some on this may have already taken a stance, like Mitch McConnell, which fails on all levels, so I don't expect him to change.  Others may have already taken a firm stance against Trump and if they have, good, I hope they repeat it louder so I can read it.  They are included because of their chosen Party affiliation, and I won't give them a 100% pass for doing the right thing.  I've left off a bunch of other lower officials that I hope also will make a choice. 

My list also didn't include the many local conservative media blowhards or social media trolls.  I expect most of them either to embrace the hate or be silent like the cowards I believe they are.  Also, why give them any more attention, which they crave?

Among the few who read this, I am sure there will be criticism of me.  Fine, you can try, but I am not going to budge or falter in your attacks.  Yes, I am judging people based on their actions or inactions.  That is how we should be judged.  The only repercussion is my opinion of other people based on their actions or inactions. Nothing Earth shattering, but if one or two people are nudged to action, that's better than not saying a damn thing. I may call people racist or xenophobic in the future and I will mean it.  I will point to this and their actions or inactions and will be more than satisfied with my conclusion.  IF you don't like me exercising my 1st Amendment right to redress my grievance with my government representatives, then you have problem with the U.S. Constitution.  I am not not going back anywhere.  I am an American, love me or leave me alone.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

On Playing Political Football In Cincinnati

If you ever wanted a lesson on the ills and faults of political and social discourse, expression, and action in America, then look no further than the latest episode surrounding building a Soccer Specific Stadium here in Cincinnati.

The details of the latest confrontation to fire up the local media, social media, and varied activists & advocates are immaterial.  Yep, you read that correctly, I am saying the details don't matter. I am sure you are shocked, but what matters is just a simple fact: in 2021 FC Cincinnati is going to begin play in a new stadium in the West End.

What is happening now with the latest episode is just noise for most of us.  Yes, if you want to know about the details of how things will happen, that is certainly understandable.  It is also understandable for people to want to influence the details of how the stadium will be built.  What is not reasonable is for people trying to change the one basic fact, the Stadium will be built.

What is ironic is that the sides to this issue have reversed from another contentious project, the Streetcar.  When that was built and continuing right up to today, its opponents, including the Mayor and his cabal, are taking actions (often through inaction) to hinder or hurt the project.  Based on my observations, many (not all) of those who support the Streetcar were opposed to building the Stadium in the West End or even at all.  So, what should be happening is that both sides should be examining how the other side's shoes feel.

We didn't get much of that this week.  We instead got knee jerk reactions online and in real life.  Local media capitalized on the controversy, but they were mostly reacting to the actions of local politicians, local arts organizations, and FC Cincinnati leaders.

My interactions saw multiple attitudes that made little sense to me.  Some local politicos (office holders and activists) sought to either wage a last ditch Quixotic effort to derail the project or at least try to damage it and the Soccer Club.  Another different, but allied, segment were some of the arts supporters, who let loose on social media with virulent viewpoints that varied from being anti-sports to anti-conservative, which sports far too often is attached (unfairly). This was just unproductive on so many levels.  For the politicos, it is just wasting powder on future struggles they could wage effectively to hold the team and the Mayor accountable to deliver on their promises.  For the arts supporters it is shooting themselves in the foot.  Alienating potential arts goers is just foolish.  Even if they think that sports fans are not arts fans (which is also foolish,) you have to want any exposure to the neighborhood that you can get.  A few thousand people hanging out in Washington Park are a marketer's ideal group to be exposed to a pre-match concert or event.

The Cincinnati Ballet gets its own separate call out.  They are in direct conflict with FC Cincinnati and are using this as a ploy to pressure the club, with their latest press release to delay a zoning vote.  The problem is that they are hurting themselves.  Along with the CAA releasing the sound report without listing the possible solutions to whatever sound issue exists at Music Hall, this attitude is not going to win over any NEW patrons and may hurt some of their existing patrons.  Sure, it appeals to their base, but unlike politics, the arts really do need a wide group of people to support them.  This makes them look elitist and to be very frank, like prima donnas.  I respect the musicianship that goes into every performance at Music Hall and this may have a noticeable effect on some performances and rehearsals, but to the average person it is not going to make sense.  The average person likely wasn't the intended audience, the donors and city officials were, but doing it such a public way doesn't help in the end.

The other side of the coin were conservative FCC supporters unleashing simplistic and divisive attacks on the arts organizations themselves and local politicians.  I say conservative FCC supporters not because they are all conservative, I am a four year season ticket holder myself, but because there is what I see as a divide amongst the political stance of the supporters. It is my observation that those who hit hardest on this were suburban and critical of city government.  That logically stems from conservative viewpoints.  This must stop. Mixing politics with anything makes it suck, and sports, especially soccer (football) are greatly damaged when politics is layered on. A noticeable section of sports fans in general act like pricks. Soccer has them, but for the first three years of the club’s existence that mentality has not dominated the discourse, like it has surrounded other big sports like baseball, basketball, and American football. I hope it remains a small group and they learn to scream at the TV and radio and not spout crap online. I won’t be holding my breath.

What I believe needs to happen now is for all city leaders (Mayor and Council) to make thoughtful decisions and then either support the project or get out of the way, like the Mayor SHOULD have done for the Streetcar. The arts supporters should focus on finding solutions, not making enemies. FCC fans should be more understanding of the effects the stadium will have on the surrounding neighborhoods, not act like entitled jerks.

I don’t expect this to happen and that really disappoints me. If people continue to take the same aggressive attitudes they invoke on national issues and apply it locally,  they are going to regret the repercussions. We need to live together and make things work. Part of that is accepting when you lose. The Mayor failed at that, opponents of the stadium are failing at that now. We need the Mayor to stop blocking the traffic study and give the Streetcar better signal flow and enforcement of blocking the tracks. The arts supporters should work on solutions to issues that might arise, like scheduling.  FCC Fans should be open minded and respectful of the people who will be living, working, and playing near the stadium. Let’s be neighbors and not enemies, at least more often than we are.

What is most awkward is that FC Cincinnati is holding an event on Monday at Music Hall. I hope everyone is on their best behavior.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

CovCath H.S. in Northern Kentucky Linked to Incident at DC Anti-Abortion Rally

Multiple news outlets are reporting (here, here, and here) evidence and accounts that a group of local students from Covington Catholic High School were involved in an incident Friday  January 18th at the March 4 Life event, an anti-abortion event in Washington, D.C.

Video exists that shows students taunting a Native American Elder who was attending an Indigenous Peoples protest against Genocide, that also was taking place in Washington, D.C.  on Friday.

Saturday morning, multiple videos went viral on Social Media.

The simple truth of it, the kids doing the taunting, while some wore "MAGA" hats, were despicable.  There is not been a full confirmation that all of those involved were from CovCath, but in the videos multiple individuals are wearing Covington Catholic clothing.

Few are defending this group of kids at this point, but more will come once parents start trying to spin things.  This should be an incident that the parents use to teach their kids and hope they can learn from it.  I think some parents will do that.  Unfortunately, some will not, and will either condone or make excuses.

Learning from one's mistakes is how we grow as people.  Parents letting their shitty kids get away with this crap and face no consequences, that is the entitlement that drives people apart.  I fear that too many of these kids learned this type of behavior from their parents and those parents think it's appropriate to be horrid and mocking to people who look different.  I hope they can learn.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Worst in Cincinnati Journalism for 2018

In non-election years, local journalists don't always get the attention they desire.  In today's media atmosphere of gaining readers/viewers at any cost, the desire turns into a need and brings out the worst in journalists.  This year there have been many examples of bad journalism in the Cincinnati area.  Here's my list of the worst:

Jason Williams of the Enquirer - Many years ago CityBeat gave me a special mention in their annual "Best of" awards: The best Anti-Peter Bronson Blog.  I can state without question that Jason Williams is no Peter Bronson, no matter how hard Williams tries to be.  The reason why is that for all of his negative hits against his political foes, Peter Bronson remained a gentleman about it. Bronson didn't make it personal.  The Enquirer's Jason Williams makes it personal.  He takes pot shots at people and is a prick about it.  He indirectly singles people out and attacks them, not for their political stances, but for their personal ones.  Williams doesn't like OTR and the Streetcar.  I don't know if it is because he is against urbanism or can't take criticism from the people who don't agree with the lifestyle he lives.  He keeps that lifestyle mostly hidden.  He's a suburbanite, but tries to deflect what comes across as a dislike of cities.  He is most likely a moderate Republican of some stripe.  He viciously attacks progressives and has a disdain for their politics that usually only comes from the most vile far right wing conservatives.  He steers clear from criticising most Republicans and moderates like John Cranley.  He'll rip on the low hanging fruit, like Trump, when he's committing the worst sin of a columnist: attempting to appear balanced.  Williams opinions are not balanced and he will never be a good columnist until he admits that.  He won't be close to Peter Bronson, who never denied being a very conservative Republican.  A good columnist has to commit to something and Williams has only committed to being mean and embracing the anti-city characters lurking about.

"Self Proclaimed" - Many journalists were guilty of laziness or bias this year when they referred to five Cincinnati members of council as the "gang of five," but those who claimed the term was "self proclaimed" were inaccurate, and committed an act of bad journalism. While not the only journalist to do so, Jennifer Baker, of FOX19 and carried by the Enquirer, doubled down on the term even after it was pointed out to her, by me, that use of "self proclaimed" was not accurate. For those wondering how this is inaccurate, I ask where the public proclamation is of the five members making claim of this term.  A couple of joke texts is not the group proclaiming anything.  The term was adopted by Republican lawyer who filed a politically motivated lawsuit against the city and the five council members. Running with the Republican a taking point makes for bad journalism. Even the grossly biased, but within his lane as a columnist, Jason Williams used the term "gang of five" with the quotation marks included.

WLWT's Twitter Account - Local news has a simple goal: report LOCAL news.  WLWT's twitter account dumps in tons of crap that is not local.  Crime stories have been the most relevant examples that have been Tweeted by the station with no indication in the Tweet that the story's byline is no where near Cincinnati or even the wider region.  Stories that take place in any of the three states that make up the Tri-State area I think are semi-reasonable to report for a Cincinnati media outlet, but local crime in Florida or New York or Alabama are not local stories and have no place being reported WITHOUT reference in the headline of the location.  That's the problem.  The Tweets I am talking about are really just the headlines from online articles that hit the WLWT website and then are pushed to Twitter.  If the Local outlet wants to gain followers, find, but they have journalistic responsibility to accurately convey information.  Assuming people read the article is not being responsible, and creates misinformed readers.  Far too many people think crime is rampant when they see these types of stories on their local news social media pages.  Responsible journalists look to inform the public with fact, not to provide sensational stories that gain clicks, but misinform people on their communities.  WLWT is not alone in doing this, but I've seen far more from them than other outlets.

I don't expect any of those mentioned above to change in 2019, but I can hope others won't follow their example.  For all of terrible journalism we get exposed to, local journalism has the most responsibility to be accurate.  They touch stories of people and organizations and governments that we see and are affected by every time we walk out our front doors.  We are suffering through the creeping destruction of journalism at the hands of a combination of commercial and political interests.  Every step the consumer can take to push those interests back is the only remedy, so make sure others call out bad journalism when they see it.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

What Do You Make of the CincyTrollFarm? Porn, Soccer, and Politics, Oh My!

If you use Twitter and post something that criticizes Cincinnati City Council Member Chris Smitherman, a Republican, then a "pack" of Twitter accounts comes out from under their respective rocks and starts liking and retweeting Twitter posts from a small cabal of Smitherman supporter's Twitter accounts or other aligned Conservative Twitter accounts.  Some of this pack of accounts have profiles that appear to be some type of porn advertisement that also likes local soccer. 

It is disappointing that some FC Cincinnati fan is also a right wing conservative troll that has some type of online porn business. I know there are conservatives into Soccer, but here in the US the fandom is younger and has a much more progressive fanbase.  American based sports have fans that are traditionally more conservative on the whole, so having Soccer fans without the Bud Light walking commercials is refreshing. It is more disappointing that he/she either forgets what Twitter account they are on or they are knowingly mixing their politics, porn business, and soccer fandom.  An odd mix.

That being said, recent articles about the NYCFC "Proud Boy" fans makes me concerned that there are facist idiots hanging out in the Bailey.  I am NOT talking about Republicans or Conservatives, I am talking about Fascists and misogynistic White Nationalists.  They don't belong in any supporter group.  I know of one FC Cincinnati supporter group who has been the most confrontational and quite frankly acted like juvenile assholes on many occasions over the last three years.  I hope they DO NOT let fascists into their midst.  I hope the same for all other supporters groups, but this one group has the reputation for being the closest  on the spectrum of being like European hooligans.  Soccer hooligans in Europe have in many instances been affiliated with far right wing political groups that push fascist stances. So, with no evidence, I am looking with both eyes at the group who are most likely to hold those views.  Call it unfair or not, but those in the FCC fandom community know the group in question, who sit to the far front left side of the Bailey (when facing the pitch), and keeping watch on our fellow supporters groups is part of what must be done to make Soccer in Cincinnati grow and prosper.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Making the Correct Choice When Dealing With the Enquirer's Jason Williams

If you wonder how a politician should treat the Enquirer's conservative columnist Jason Williams, just refer to this sentence from his latest column:
Pureval declined Politics Extra's interview request on Thursday.
You are not going to get a fair shake with Williams unless he likes you or you fit his bias. He is biased against nearly every Democrat, namely John Cranley, so the best action is to refuse to be interviewed by him.

I would suggest coming up with colorful ways to say no.  Think of a greeting card type response, a "Sorry for you biased column" card or something similar.  Sending him a bouquet of straw might be applicable.  Avoid sending dead fish in newspaper.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Biased Journalism from FOX19's Jennifer Baker

While not the only member of the local media to create bias in referring to a group of Cincinnati Council members as the "Gang of Five", Jennifer Baker of FOX19 has gone multiple steps further. In an article today she refers to the group as a "Gang" directly:
In the meantime, however, the Gang and their lawyer can’t just ignore the judge’s order or try to seek exemption, Shrive wrote in court records earlier this week.
I added the bold section for emphasis. This is not a direct quote, as no quotation marks were used. At best she was trying to paraphrase. That's a failure. It is language a reporter would use when talking about a street gang. Something I think she and COAST and the Republicans know. It wasn't just one instance. She repeats it multiple times.
The Gang is “in contempt of this Court’s lawful order and should be required to show cause why they should not be held in contempt for their failure to comply with the Discovery Order," his motion reads.

On Wednesday, Shrive went to higher court and filed a motion to dismiss the Gang’s appeal.

The Gang, he wrote in court records, can’t use attorney-client privilege now on appeal to escape a judge’s order to release their secret text messages and emails.
What is just as bas is that she claims in the article the term "Gang of Five" is "self named" which is a lie. She's using a single text message that was never intended as anything more than a joke. The group didn't issue a statement declaring this reference. It was dug up by the Republicans and lawyers for them who are suing these council members as means hurt them.

To add insult to injury, she didn't even have a quote from anyone representing the members of council being sued.  She had all of one side's arguments and nothing else to refute it.

Baker's article extremely is biased. This is terrible journalism. She is using this to either push her political opinions or to manufacture catchy controversy to gain Conservative readers.

For Cincinnati Council The Terms They Are A Changin', Again

As cliche' as this post's headline is, it blends along an un-Dylanesque harmony with the Fourth Street backed Cincinnati Charter Amendment re-establishing two year terms for Cincinnati City Council. This ballot issue handily won Tuesday night. Due to a quirky 1930's established rule, since this amendment got more votes than a separate conflicting Charter Amendment issue proposing four year staggered terms, the two year term Amendment will be adopted. It will go in effect after the current four year terms end in 2021.

I am sure that everyone is certainly thinking about the impacts and future ramifications of this change compared with the current four year terms, so I'll reverently excite you with my list. It's based on a combination of my experience, logic, and a second cup of coffee:

Impacts and Ramifications of Change Back to Two Year Terms
  1. Not as much its supporters wanted you to believe.
  2. The current term limited council members will have half as long to wait to run again.
  3. Funding increases will be required s to run more frequent elections.
  4. Candidates have more flexibility in planning to run for office if they only have to wait two years.
  5. Elected candidates have to begin running for office immediately after taking office.
  6. There will be every other year election year antics, filled with grandstanding.
  7. Likely would decrease the advantage of incumbency for those up for re-election after their first term.  After the second term it would be close to the same level of advantage.
  8. The Mayoral office loses more relevance and would motivate the office holder to create conflict as a means of influence.
  9. Voters would have the opportunity to vote out members of council more frequently.
  10. It will impact the 2023 race more than the 2021 race.
What was missed on this entire process is that it was not discussed openly. For all of the talk about transparency by the local media and partisan Republicans looking to attack the city, no one cared to spend significant time to discuss who funded this process and why. Local professional media are just not doing a good job or are being prevented from doing it. Some are knowingly letting this issue go by because they just want the conflict to cover. Others are just ignorant. Some are siding with one group. Our local media collectively has taken a massive step back the last few years. Whether it is the negative influence of John Cranley and Republicans or is something else, I don't know, but it is happening.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Cranley and Smitherman Both Want a Blue Pony, with Jason Williams as Stable Boy

With the John Cranley's self made drama at City Hall this month, one might be fooled into thinking that the City Manager is a threat.  Harry Black is a not a threat, he is a roadblock.  He is blocking the lustfully power hungry Mayor and 'Vice-Mayor', John Cranley and Chris Smitherman respectively, from illegally seizing control of Cincinnati City government.  Other than the City Manager and City Council, the real hurdle getting in their way, and making their efforts illegal, is the the law, specifically the City Charter and how it defines the role and power of Mayor.

Both Cranley and Smitherman want power.  They want to be a strong mayor.  I really hope this isn't some type of fetish role-playing for either man, trying to be a modern day Boss Cox.  I get they might like gilded age costumes, but that's just taking it too far.  Steampunk Smitherman does sound like a good nickname, however.

The problem for them is that the Mayor has limited power.  The mayor is not the boss of the city.  The mayor has  some power, but not total control of all City employees.  Cranley wishes he had that, but knows unless he can somehow remove term limits (unlikely as the GOP likes them), he's only working for his legacy.  Cranley's legacy rests solely on Republican Chris Smitherman.  Yes, I called him a Republican.  I am probably going to be called a racist for daring to call a duck a duck, but Smitherman's Twitter StormTroopers can bloviate all they want.  I just hope they can figure out I am a real person.  They've claimed I'm an pen name for elected officials or maybe they think I'm a Russian Bot, but here's hoping the kids can study up.  Maybe even read the over 15 years worth of blog posts I've written, on my archive.  I may not be a good writer, but I sure as Hell have been doing this long enough to know who the players are in Cincinnati politics.  I've been around long enough to know that when you vote in the Republican primary, endorse Republican candidates, adopt Republican polices, campaign with Republicans, attack Republican enemies, and take Republican money, then I am going to call you a Republican.  If Smitherman thinks he can't get elected mayor as a Republican, he should understand that lying about you policies and allegiances isn't going to work either.  You can't compartmentalize like Yasir Arafat in Cincinnati.  Don't mix messages with different audiences.

The funny twist in recent Enquirer coverage of the Mayor's Chaos comes from the resident hack political columnist Jason Williams. He is almost criticizing John Cranley.  I say almost, as Williams still tried his best to blame Cranley's drama on what he's calling the 'urban progressives' and 'Progressive 5.'  Not sure what he means by urban, as this is a city, but we do have a suburban mayor, so I'll presume Williams isn't a fan of people who like cities. He's certainly championing those against the City of Cincinnati. That would include Republican member of council Chris Smitherman.  Williams, I guess, finally figured out he's not going to get a job in Cranley's administration, so now he's pushing the anti-city Manager form of government that Smitherman painfully desires.  His lust for power borders on the psychotic and makes Cranley's penchant for sticking it to his political foes look like pin pricks in comparison.  A character like Smitherman without a professional city manager to run the day operation would look like a small version of a Trump White House.  Same kind of ego, but with more outward signs of psychosis.

Strong mayors are not a good idea in Cincinnati and not with those wanting it now.  Former Ohio State Senator Eric Kearney stated well what I believe is the underlying problem with the position Cranley and Smitherman (with Williams) are putting forth:
The problem is with the way they are trying to govern.  They want the government and the populace to bend to their will.  That's not leadership, that is bullying.  Leaders don't create controversy as a means to push forward as a political pretext to change the form of government. If there is a problem with the form of government, make the claim as to why, present facts, and be honest.  If you just want to gain more power, then I say fuck off, we don't need mini-Trumps in Cincinnati.

Friday, February 16, 2018

More Continued Bias Against the Streetcar at the Enquirer

Screenshot from on 02/16/2018
Yep, you may think this is a broken record. Surprisingly, however, the bias at the Enquirer I am pointing out is not directly sourced from the usual anti-Streetcar and anti-OTR Resident and Enquirer Columnist Jason Williams. No, this time it falls on the editors.

Shown on the left is the graphic that was the news page of the Enqurier's website and a similar version on the Front page this morning.  The column is about SORTA.  The column is about SORTA's finances.  The column does include in the last paragraph one reference to promotions of people with Streetcar.  The headline of the column actually reads the following:
Screenshot from Enquirer column:
Yep, that is the headline of actual column, which doesn't include the Streetcar.  That headline might have been changed if you read the link name in the graphic caption, but without internal info from the Enquirer, I can only see what I can observe.  Blaming the writer for the headline has traditionally been wrong.  So, how does a column that is mostly about SORTA and it's Buses and it's Finances and a Sales Tax wind up leading with the Streetcar in the headline?  It's a classic bait and switch advertisement.  The Enquirer (along with the Republicans) has help create a controversy over the Streetcar.  A bird can't shit on a Streetcar window and not make headline news for days. Meanwhile SORTA has serious issues with its's Bus Service.  The Bus Service is the vast majority of SORT is responsible to provide the City and Southwest Ohio region.

This isn't about the Streetcar, but the Enquirer wants readers and has created a damned controversy so it does not give a shit about truth, it wants eyeballs of suburbanites who love to hate on the city and Conservatives in the city who love to hate on anything Downtown.

Bias in journalism sucks when reporters and columnist do it, but when editors tilt things like TRUTH, one must question everything that is published.  This also plays into a FOX News type of infotainment, pretending opinion journalists, like Jason Williams, is hard news with this type of biased headline and link to the column.  For all of the chest pumping by the media for being self declared seekers of TRUTH, there is the cold reality that far too often they take dump on the TRUTH for sake of increasing readership and advertising revenue.  Journalists around the city must be so proud.....