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

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Friday, October 05, 2007

The day in politics

Sheriff Leis wins a round over the sales tax. Story here

Jessica Brown looks into Hamilton County's tax abatement program. Story here.

And some City Council candidates single out some parades for subsidies. Jane Prendergast has that story here

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Check Out Ghiz' Digs

The campaign to re-elect Leslie Ghiz invites you to an open house at its headquarters:

Wednesday Oct. 10, 5:30-7 p.m., 3024 Harrison Ave., Westwood. 662-0330.

Following the Candidates Around

If you haven't gotten enough information yet about Cincinnati City Council candidates through their robo calls and lit drops, here are some events coming up in the next couple of days where you can see/hear them in person:

Saturday, The Greenwich, Walnut Hills, reception starting at 6 p.m., questions at 7 p.m. Topic: "Strategies for Cincinnati neighborhood revitalization—what has failed in the past, what will work for the future."

Sunday: 1-2:30 p.m., with candidate introductions by Courtis Fuller starting about 1:20 p.m., Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park, Riverside Drive, East End. There'll be a couple of bands playing, and bring the kids to get their faces painted. The questions will be focused on the parks and parks funding.

Monday: 7 - 8:30p.m., POWR PAC's event to introduce its endorsees, Price Hill Chili, West Price Hill.

Friday, Oct. 12: Joint forum by the Hyde Park, Mount Lookout and Oakley community councils, 7-9 p.m., Crossroads Community church, Madison and Ridge roads.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Charter Committee endorses Issue 27

The Cincinnati Charter Committee has endorsed Issue 27, the sales tax increase that would build a new jail and fund public safety programs.

The Republican and Democratic parties endorsed the issue last month. The Cincinnati FOP and the NAACP have decided not to endorse it.

Said Michael Goldman, president of the charter committee: "Public safety is a complex issue in Hamilton County. We heard from both sides and enthusiastically endorsed Issue 27. It is unusual that all three parties endorsed and demonstrates the importance of this issue that support crosses party lines."

Charter members Chris Bortz, Roxanne Qualls, Joan Kaup, and Melanie Bates have endorsed Issue 27, according to the committee.

Police Union Endorsements

The Cincinnati police union's endorsement arm, The 1900 Club, endorses these 10 city council candidates:

Jeff Berding, Chris Bortz , Laketa Cole, John Eby, Pat Fisher, Leslie Ghiz, Sam Malone, Chris Monzel, Cecil Thomas and Charlie Winburn.

For judgeships:

District One: Dwane Mallory

District One Unexpired Term: No Endorsement
District Two: Nadine Allen

District Three: Kendal Coes
District Four: Julie Stautberg

District Five: Heather Russell
District Five Unexpired Term: Brad Greenberg

District Six: Richard Bernat
District Six Unexpired Term: Bernie Bouchard

District Seven: Melissa Powers

They also said:

We support the need for a new jail, but must oppose the Comprehensive Safety Plan as proposed. (The plan includes putting more county sheriff's deputies on patrol in the city, which some officers disagree with)

We oppose the Tax Levy for the Cincinnati Public Schools until the need can be justified.

Issue 27 opponent has own fact-sheet

The No Jail Tax political action committee, one of the groups opposing Issue 27, has released its own "Just the Facts" statement. Issue 27 is the Hamilton County sales tax increase to pay to build a bigger jail and fund public safety programs.

Read the statement here.

Commissioners: kids, play on

Hamilton County Commissioners said they think a proposed Cincinnati ban on kids playing in the street is silly. No, they don't want kids to be hit by cars, but jailing anyone for a game of street basketball is extreme, especially when they're trying to decrease the jail population. \

Read the press release here.

CPS campaigns get going

This week marks the beginning of the heavy-duty campaign season for the small field of candidates running for the Cincinnati school board.

Tonight, Chris Nelms holds a 7 p.m. kickoff event at the New Birth International Church in Bond Hill. He'll be joined by Eve Bolton and Michael Flannery, who round out the three-person Democratic/organized labor slate for the board. Then they'll move to the Laborers' Local 265 union hall on Montgomery Road for an event at 7:30 p.m.

Tonight's events follows up a Flannery fundraiser on Monday, a meet-the-candidates forum in Pleasant Ridge and two other events already this week. More are coming.

"It's a whirlwind," said Nelms, a first-time candidate.

The trio is running together against incumbent Rick Williams, the only other candidate in the race. Nelms, Flannery and Bolton all are endorsed by the Democratic party and the teachers' union as a concerted effort to keep Williams from a third term. Williams said last week he intends to run a more laid back campaign, appearing at various neighborhood events but foregoing a formal campaign kickoff announcement.

The top three finishers in the four-person race will win a seat on the board.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Former Mayor Now Insurance Lobbyist

Documents filed Monday with the Cincinnati city clerk's office show a familiar face in a new role - Charles J. Luken as a legislative agent for Humana Inc.

Luken left the mayor's office in 2005. He's now a lawyer/lobbyist for Calfee, Hatler & Griswold in Columbus.

Young professionals' endorsements

Here's which Cincinnati City Council candidates CincyPAC thinks you should vote for:

Jeff Berding, Chris Bortz, Laketa Cole, John Cranley, Pat Fischer, Greg Harris and Roxanne Qualls.

"We feel that these candidates, if elected, will move our city forward," Sean Parker, founder of CincyPAC, wrote in a press release Tuesday. "All of them have voiced a commitment to: providing adequate public transportation to connect the city, funding the arts in our community, supporting the parks and green spaces in the city, creating more environmentally friendly initiatives within the city, and expanding our current wi-fi network currently available through Lily Pad."

More than 250 members of CincyPac reviewed the responses from questionnaire responses sent in by 22 candidates and 20 candidate interviews.

CincyPac plans to contribute money to these candidates' campaigns, Parker wrote, do an aggressive Get Out The Vote effort and help with the campaigns.


Response to "super-sized tax"

The opponents of Issue 27 (the jail/safety plan sales tax increase) launched their campaign today with Big Macs and super-sized fries.

Later that afternoon the supporters of Issue 27 sent this document out via e-mail to rebut any points or potential inaccurate information that might have generated from the campaign launch.

Here's what they said. "Led by Commissioner Pat DeWine, the opponents of Issue 27 have begun distributing a variety of so called facts and theories about the Comprehensive Safety Plan that, on close analysis, are simply not accurate?

Attached is JUST THE FACTS. It sets the record straight for media and citizens, in order to have a well-informed debate for this November."


Anti sales tax campaign kicks off

Jessica Brown has the story here

Yates vs. Ahmadinejad

Press release from Rep. Tyrone Yates:

COLUMBUS - State Representative Tyrone K. Yates (D-Cincinnati) will soon introduce a concurrent resolution condemning the comments made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his recent visit to the United States.

President Ahmadinejad, in his public statements at Columbia University and at the United Nations in New York, repeated inflammatory comments made in the past concerning the United States, the nation of Israel and the Jewish Holocaust of World War II, as well as a number of other offensive claims. He has been quoted as saying that “Israel must be wiped off the map,” and he has refused to acknowledge the suffering undergone by millions of Jews during the Holocaust perpetrated by the German Nazi regime.

“Tact and respect for differing opinions are necessary elements of international diplomacy, but President Ahmadinejad has gone too far, abusing our trust and hospitality,” said Rep. Yates. “I hope my colleagues will join me in proclaiming our disapproval of President Ahmadinejad’s remarks.”

Copies of the resolution will be submitted to President Bush, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, the United Nations and the Iranian ambassador, among others.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Berding's Revived Safe and Clean Fund

Jeff Berding had a press conference Monday at Hoffner Park in Northside to announce that it's time for neighborhood groups to start applying for grants from the Safe and Clean Fund that council brought back this year.

The fund began as an idea of Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper, when he was a councilman. Communities have used the money to do things like buy lights for problem street corners. The money is supposed to go for projects that improve safety and quality of life.

The fund was bigger, then. The new version pushed for by Berding started with $50,000. He hopes it grows in the future. Grants will be a max of $10,000.

In his release, Berding said: "One of the biggest assets Cincinnati has is citizens who are passionate about preserving and improving their neighborhoods. The City strongly supports these voluntary efforts, and this fund provides monetary resources to help the grassroot efforts in our neighborhoods to clean up blight and create a safer environment for residents. Everyone wins."

The application deadline for the fourth quarter of 2007 is Nov. 9. Grant applications are available on the City website at www.Cincinnati-oh.gov <http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/>, or can be requested from Keep Cincinnati Beautiful at 352-4388 or Robin.Henderson@cincinnati-oh.gov <mailto:Robin.Henderson@cincinnati-oh.gov>.

Charlie Winburn's new ad

You can see it on our Election Page here

Who brings home the bacon?

Read Malia Rulon's story here - and be sure to check out the Data Center...

Charlie Winburn Reporting .....

that several polls predict these City Council results on Election Day. He didn't quite remember percentages for everyone:

First: Roxanne Qualls, with about 60% of the vote.

Second: David Crowley, 57%

Third: John Cranley, 55%

Fourth: Winburn himself, 52%

Fifth: Laketa Cole, 46%

Sixth: Sam Malone, 39%

Seventh: Minette Cooper, 37%

Eighth: Melanie Bates

Ninth: Chris Monzel

Then, in order: Cecil Thomas; Chris Bortz; Leslie Ghiz; and Jeff Berding.

Mallory to be on ESPN radio

Jane Prendergast reports:

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory takes a break from tailgating with Bengals fans tonight to do a pre-game report for ESPN Radio. The mayor plans to talk to John Seibel about 8 p.m. after spending an hour or so mingling with fans who are tailgating.

Mallory will be the one in the suit without a beer in his hand.

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