Portune grows 'increasingly distant' from party boss
Today's Enquirer reported on the criticism Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman Timothy M. Burke was getting -- some of it from within his own party -- for attacking GOP mayoral candidate Charlie Winburn's comments on religion and politics in his 1989 book.
Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, a Democrat, led the criticism of Burke. But Portune's letter also hinted at deeper issues with his party boss:
I am distressed that your approach and mine to electoral issues seems to be growing so increasingly distant and apart these days. My hope is that we will find a way to bridge these gaps and move forward. Nonetheless, I cannot allow a desire to accomplish a better relationship, or a concern about how my comments might affect your or the local party’s support of me in other matters, influence my reaction to your comments that I find so wrong and potentially harmful to our party and its candidates.What are the issues that have Burke and Portune "growing so increasingly distant?" Portune didn't say, and neither would Burke.
"I treated it as a personal letter," Burke said. "I’m going to leave my discussions with Todd, since he told me they were personal, just that way."
Here's one issue: In an e-mail in June, Portune - a Green Township resident - complained that he's excluded from the city Democratic caucus meetings that Burke holds at his law office Wednesday mornings: "I needn't have to remind you or anyone on Council that had we been meeting regularly as a Democratic Caucus, city and county together, we might all be on a much better page on this and many other issues. But I digress and that was a proposal long ago dismissed by, or not really taken seriously by, others," Portune wrote.
Whatever the issues, they'll have to get along a little longer. As Enquirer reporter Kimball Perry reported today, Portune said he would not seek statewide office, ending a short exploratory campaign for Ohio attorney general.