Politics Extra
Enquirer reporters give the scoop on what your politicians are doing

Jessica Brown,
Hamilton County reporter

Jon Craig,
Enquirer statehouse bureau

Jane Prendergast,
Cincinnati City Hall reporter

Malia Rulon,
Enquirer Washington bureau

Carl Weiser,
Blog editor

Howard Wilkinson,
politics reporter

Powered by Blogger

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The "Cole Train" has been replaced...

...by a new campaign slogan for Councilwoman Laketa Cole's 2007 run for office. This year's theme? COLE: Collaboration, Optimism, Leadership and Experience.

She's kicking off the campaign tonight at the Vernon Manor Hotel, 400 Oak Street, 6 p.m.

"During my tenure on City Council, I have been successful in increasing economic stability, increasing access to City Hall and increasing home ownership by working in an open and collaborative way, being optimistic about our future, taking leadership roles on many important issues and using my experience as a two-term council member," she writes in her announcement. "I look forward to continuing my service on Cincinnati City Council."

On her list of accomplishments: spearheading the effort to put money in the 2007-08 budget for youth jobs and youth violence prevention; leveraging the Community Reinvestment Act to increase home ownership and decrease foreclosure; creating the Neighborhoods in the Neighborhood program, which brings council meetings out of City Hall and into communities; andcreating the Neighborhood Business District Support Fund.

E-mail laketacole@yahoo.com


Council honors the dead

Councilwoman Laketa Cole has begun introducing memorial resolutions.

Wednesday, the "celebrating the life" resolution was for the Rev. Alonzo Victor Brown, who died Monday. Council members stood for a moment of silence to honor his memory. Brown's family was named Family of the Year for the 2005 Black Family Reunion. He was a pastor in Walnut Hills.

On March 14, council members did the same for Taryn M. Washington. Her family was there to accept a copy of the resolution.


Did we miss a Council election?

Charlie Winburn's acting like he's already got the job. The Republican City Council candidate worked council chambers Wednesday as if he belonged there.

He was passing out his latest anti-crime idea, a way to curb copper theft. It was a copy of Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman's proposal to force scrap metal yards to get photos and possibly finger prints from anyone who sells to them.

In an enclosed letter to Mark Mallory, Winburn writes that he is "kindly requesting" that the mayor direct the city solicitor to write a similar ordinance, convene public hearings on the issue and get five votes to pass it.

As for acting as if he's already won, Winburn says: "You have to act like it to get it."


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Other than The Pitch, what's the mayor up to?

By now, everybody on the planet must know about the Opening Day pitch that wasn't so great. With all the attention the throw is getting, one might think all Mark Mallory is doing lately has been practicing the pitch, pitching the pitch and, now, putting his PR spin on the pitch.

So just in case the planet is interested, here are some other things Mallory has been up to (he gives a list as his Tuesday media briefings):

Last Thursday, he announced his Shop 52 effort to bring more retailers to downtown and the city's 51 other neighborhoods and had his quarterly meeting with community council presidents.

Friday, he spoke about Cincinnati architecture to the Cincinnati chapter of the American Institute of Architects and went to something called the Madisonville Spring Fling Hoparound, a Cincinnati recreation committee event for developmentally disabled people. Mallory said they tried to get him to do the chicken dance, but he wasn't very good at it.

Saturday, he met with his Young Professionals Kitchen Cabinet and his high-school Youth Council. Both groups are advising him about what young people want to see in the city.

Tomorrow, he'll be talking to fourth, fifth and sixth-graders "about how government works and sometimes how it doesn't work."


Two bucks on Deters to show

Nothing like spending a day at the tracks with a prosecuting attorney, throwing money at the ponies.

All you have to do is cough up $150 for his campaign fund and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters will be your congenial host for a day at Keeneland Race Track in Lexington. The bus pulls out of the parking lot of Willie's in Covington at 10 a.m. April 18. For their $150 campaign contribution, Rail Birds for Joe get a bus ride, admission to the track, reserved seating, a race program and something described as "bus refreshments."

You're on your own at the betting window, though.

Steve Chabot wants you

Rep. Steve Chabot isn't spending his "spring break" from Congress on some sunny beach. Instead, he's holding a "town hall" meeting for constituents Wednesday night in Green Township.

The Westwood Republican plans to update constituents on the work of the new Congress so far, and field questions.

The session begins at 7 p.m. and will go for about an hour at the Nathanael Greene Lodge, 6394 Wesselman Rd. in Green Township.

Dems getting closer to having a council slate

The Charter Committee and the Republican party has had their slate of endorsed city council candidates in place for some time now, but the Democratic Party has lagged behind.

Tuesday night, they started to catch up a bit.

A candidate screening committee set up by the Cincinnati Democratic Committee (CDC) -- a group made up of precinct executives from around the city -- has recommended a slate of nine council candidates for the CDC to consider when it meets next week, probably on Thursday night.

The slate will have to be approved by the full CDC, and there could be a dust-up over the screening committee's recommendation that Councilman Jeff Berding be endorsed for a second term, mainly because many in the party have sore heads over the fact that Berding is one of the ringleaders of the "fiscal five,'' a council majority made up of Democrats, Republicans and a Charterite that has pushed for spending cuts.

But Berding was recommended for endorsement by the screening committee, although co-chair Aryeh Alex would not say how the committee voted.

Four other incumbents -- David Crowley, John Cranley, Laketa Cole, and Cecil Thomas -- were also recommended.

The four non-incumbents are an interesting bunch:

- former council member and vice mayor Minette Cooper, making a comeback after sitting out for four years (as required by the city's term limits law);

- former Cincinnati police officer and local NAACP president Wendell Young, who ran unsuccessfully for council two years ago;

- Greg Harris, a former 1st Congressional District candidate;

- and Brian Garry, a community activist who ran as an independent candidate four years ago.

The time and place of the CDC meeting has yet to be set. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Another Painter in office?

Housing redeveloper Mitch Painter, nephew of Ohio 1st District Court of Appeals Judge Mark Painter, announces by e-mail today that he's an independent candidate for Cincinnati City Council.

Here's what he says about himself:

"I feel that it is time young people step up to the plate to push our city forward. My uncle, the honorable Judge Mark Painter, has laid the framework for our family having the political courage to do what's right. I am the next generation of great leadership that represents that political courage, the time is now.

I have rehabbed houses throughout our inner city neighborhoods and grew up downtown. I believe any city is as good as it's core. I plan to create an action oriented team uniting all groups of people. I am running as an independent to demonstrate this deeply rooted intention of mine. It's time that we stop drawing lines in the sand. The retention of our young people in the city is such a huge part of our growth. We need to send the message that Cincinnati is an amazing place to live for young people. Making Cincinnati a "green" city is a big part of this message. I am also a young developer building all green new buildings."


Painter and his twin brother, Matt, own Keystone Properties & Investments. They've bought, rehabbed and sold more than 100 properties. They also own about 120 apartment units in Clifton and Hyde Park. They're also proposing a $12 million, 44-unit condo tower in Columbia Tusculum, with construction to start in the fall.


Monday, April 02, 2007

COAST challenges spending of hotel/motel tax

COAST members Thomas Brinkman and Mark Miller are sending a letter to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters and Cincinnati Solicitor Rita McNeil claiming that the way the city and county want to spend the Hotel/Motel tax is illegal.
Read their March 21 release here.

Blackwell snags another appointment

Ken Blackwell, Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow at the Buckeye
Institute and visiting Senior Fellow at the Family Research Council, recently was appointed to the Club for Growth's Leadership Council.

Last weekend, the former Republican gubernatorial candidate and Ohio Secretary of State from Cincinnati, moderated and participated in a panel at the Club's 2007 Annual Winter Conference in Palm Beach, Fla. The discussion was titled: "Do free markets have an alternative to universal health care."

The Club for Growth is billed as the nation's leading advocate for pro-growth
economic policy. It promotes public policies that advance
economic growth primarily through legislative involvement, national and
state issue advocacy, research, training and educational activity.

The Club also has a political action committee which supports pro-growth candidates for
Congress, particularly in Republican primaries.


When is $5 million really $5 million?

Jeff Berding was a little confused when he got the city administration's financial report for February. The $5 million fund he -- and other members of the "Fiscal Five," as they became known during budgeting last year -- thought they set aside as a reserve didn't have $5 million in it.

"It seems like this money is just in our checking account that we spend each month," Berding said. The $5 million reserve, he said, was "not a wish."

Joe Gray, finance director, explained that the money isn't all there now, but it should be by the end of the year -- if revenues stay as predicted and if the city doesn't spend all of the money that has been appropriated. That $5 million plan, he said, was contingent upon spending being slightly less than what was appropriated.

Instead of $5 million, the amount at the end of February was $1.7 million.


Hilliary Clinton to speak at Ohio Dems dinner

U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton is a featured guest speaker at the Ohio Democratic Party's annual state dinner in Columbus next month.

Randy Borntrager, spokesman for the state party, said as many as 4,000 Democrats are expected to attend the fund-raising event, which costs $150 per person.

Borntrager said the New York senator's appearance underscores the fact Ohio will be an epicenter of campaign fund-raising leading up to next year's presidential election.

Other presidential candidates have been invited to speak, Borntrager said today.

The May 12th dinner begins at 7 p.m. at the Celeste Center on the Ohio State Fairgrounds.

Monzel's Monthly Missive

It's April, so it must be time for a new edition of Chris Monzel's monthly report to his constituents. This time, he includes reminders about the new truancy hotline -- call 363-0003 if you see a teenager you think should be in school -- as well as a little history about Northside.

To check it out, click here


Mayor: We need more businesses

Mayor Mallory is still looking for more local businesses to hire teen-agers and young adults for the summer. Pushing his second annual Youth Opportunities Event, he says "we benefit as a community any time we make young people productive."

Thirty employers and about 2,000 job hunters showed up last year. The event -- April 19, 2-7 p.m. -- had to be moved to a bigger space this time, the Duke Energy Center downtown.

More info: www.superjobs.com or 513-458-7970.


Jim Borgman
Today at the Forum
Paul Daugherty
Politics Extra
N. Ky. Politics
Pop culture review
Who's News
Roller Derby Diva
CinStages Buzz....
The Foodie Report
Classical music
John Fay's Reds Insider
High school sports
UC Sports
CiN Weekly staff