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

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mallory Leaving Israel Soon

Mayor Mark Mallory will return from his trip to Israel on Sunday.

He's been in Jerusalem and other cities this week as one of six U.S. mayors and 30 mayors of international cities there taking part in the 25th annual Jerusalem Conference of Mayors. And for those of you who are going to ask - the trip was paid for by the American Jewish Congress-Council for World Jewry, and neither bodyguard Scotty Johnson nor any other staff members went with him.

The trip, his third international trip in two months, has been about "the fundamentals of familiarity," he said in a phone call Friday afternoon.

"In other words, I've got A-B-C company and we make some kind of switches. I need an operation in the U.S. It needs to be near a river, a rail line and it needs to have a sizeable labor force. So, who do I start talking to? It just becomes that fundamental. So if you don't have a presence...Why on earth should the guy or the woman who's running the A-B-C company look to your city if they don't have any reason to?"

He's been talking about his Young Professionals Kitchen Cabinet and the power of the creative class in creating opportunity. He's also been touting the revitalization of downtown and Cincinnati's arts and cultural assets.

"You're hard-pressed to find another city that has as many fortune 500 companies as Cincinnati does."

Today's endorsement

May add more as they come in...

The Western Economic Council (WEC) is supporting Issue 27.

The release: The Western Economic Council is a non-profit group formed in 1985 by citizens and business leaders from the west side of Hamilton County to promote preservation and quality development and redevelopment. Our overall purpose is to preserve the quality of life in our western Cincinnati neighborhoods.

WEC’s Board endorses the new County jail levy to be voted on in this November’s election and encourages all voters to vote in favor of Issue 27.

The reasons are simple: we need to support meaningful action to stem crime and reduce the “revolving door” that returns criminals to the streets. At present, we cannot even fund the inadequate number of jail cells the County has, let alone provide more jail space for criminals that the public should have protection from. Further, the current rehabilitation programs are inadequate to keep the wrong doers from returning to patterns of crime.

If the levy effort fails, we will face more crime, more criminals returned to the streets before they should be, and continuation of inadequate rehabilitation programs. All this leads inevitably to deterioration of our neighborhoods and property values as well as reduced public safety. A “yes” vote on Issue 27 represents our best current hope for breaking this trend. Please vote “yes” for Issue 27!

More New Ads

Look for ads starting Monday from the campaigns of Leslie Ghiz and Chris Monzel.

Chris Bortz's focuses on Cincinnati's positives. He says there may still be a long way to go, but that he's proud to be part of the successes of the past two years and that his dad taught him the importance of listening to people. "I love my city. I love my community."

Click here to see it.

Now We Get It

So this is why Kreg Allison wanted to know the deadline for sending letters to the editor in order to see them in the Enquirer before Election Day. From this Fischer campaign early this morning:

Write a Letter to the Editor
Please let Cincinnati know why you want to see Pat Fischer on City Council.
You can mail, fax or email your letter to the Enquirer.
Please send your letter to:
Letters, Enquirer Editorial Page312 Elm St.Cincinnati, OH 45202
Fax: (513) 768-8569
Email: letters@enquirer.com
Please include your name, address (including community) and day phone.
Letters sent via email should be submitted as plain text without attachments.
Try to limit your letter to 100 words. Longer letters may be considered.
You can also submit your letter online by clicking on the link below.


Please try to have your letter submitted by Friday, October 26th.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Area lawmakers vote to uphold Bush veto

Greater Cincinnati's House members voted today against overriding President Bush's veto of the children's health bill. The measure failed, meaning that the president's veto stands. It also means it won't be considered in the Senate.

Meanwhile, Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, introduced Thursday an alternate measure to renew the State Children's Health Insurance Program, known as SCHIP, along with a $1,400 per child health care tax credit. Reps. John Boehner, Steve Chabot and Jean Schmidt are co-sponsors of the bill's House counterpart.

Here is what Cincinnati's local lawmakers had to say about today's vote:

Minority Leader Boehner, R-West Chester, voted AGAINST the veto override: "I’m disappointed that we’ve reached this point. I think all of us know that Democrats want to renew the SCHIP program; Republicans want to renew the SCHIP program. We haven’t been afforded the opportunity to sit down and work together to resolve the differences we might have in order to keep this important program alive and available to children in America who deserve and need good health care coverage."

Chabot, R-Westwood, voted AGAINST the veto override: "The vote today sends a message that we must work together in a bipartisan manner to pass an extension of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. … I fully support the SCHIP program. I supported its creation in 1997, and I am a cosponsor of legislation that will extend and enhance this important program’s effectiveness in covering the children of families who need assistance the most."

Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Hebron, Ky., voted AGAINST the veto override: "I want my constituents to know that I fully support the reauthorization of SCHIP for the tens of thousands of Kentucky families that benefit from it each year. But, the SCHIP bill put before the House was irresponsible legislation that would have made it easier for illegal aliens to obtain benefits while at the same time massively expanding government-controlled healthcare."

Schmidt, R-Miami Township, voted AGAINST the veto override: "The governments program for providing health insurance to poor children is an excellent program. It must be continued. However, it must also be improved. Today 131,000 poor children in Ohio alone are uninsured even thought they qualify for Medicaid or SCHIP. These children must be our focus."

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Lorain: "More than 81 percent of Americans support expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Ohio children like Emily Danko, Tanner Stainbrook, and Seth Novak, rely on CHIP to stay healthy. Those who voted today to uphold the president’s shameful veto should travel across Ohio and meet with these families one-on-one. Ohio voters and Ohio children were ignored today. I’m extremely disappointed."

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Louisville: "Now that the veto has been sustained, it’s time to move forward with a serious plan to extend health coverage for those SCHIP was meant to cover: low-income children. It’s time to stop the campaign ads and time to start working across party lines to forge a bipartisan compromise."

Sen. George Voinovich, R-Cleveland: "We all want to cover more uninsured children but we should not unnecessarily increase a government program beyond its intent when the private sector is already providing coverage. … Our bill looks at the big picture and finds ways to increase funding for SCHIP while using the tax code to insure millions of children."

Raga's thoughts, and a dig from Issue 27 backers

Here's what State Rep Tom Raga, who is Ohio Chapter Chairman of Americans for Prosperity, had to say about the group's jump onto the anti-jail tax campaign.

"AFP is going ot send out a first run of 15,000 mailers to voters in Hamilton County to educate them on what we believe is just an eggregious raid on taxpayer pocketbooks: An unvoted tax increase that the commissioners have decided to put on the backs of Hamilton County taxpayers. We think this is the right time to get this out. People are starting to pay attention. There's been good work done by our partners, including COAST on that process. We’re essentially brining assistance of a national organization to help."

And here's what Citizens for Safe Communities released today, poking fun of the national group's jump onto the bandwagan.

Note: The city crime rate they refer to is for the DC headquarters.

Here's the press release:

Breaking News? Out-of-Town Group from City with High Crime Opposes Local Public Safety Plan
39 “Home Grown” Hamilton County Groups and Leaders Endorse Issue 27
(October 18, 2007) -- Apparently, they want company at the top. A group from a city with one of the highest murder rates in the country announced today it will donate to defeat an effort to reduce violent crime in Hamilton County.

Local proponents of Issue 27 brushed off the outsider influence.

“The benefits of a safer community should be obvious even to outside political interests that don’t understand Hamilton County’s needs,” said Sen. Bill Seitz, a Republican leader who studied both sides of the issue as part of his work on the Republican Party policy committee that recommended endorsing Issue 27.

“Comprehensive public safety can’t be had for free. The cost for not acting will likely exceed the cost for acting. This modest temporary cost is outweighed by the benefits of a safer community,” Seitz said.

It should be noted that the so-called “grassroots” organization, Americans for Prosperity, operates from Washington, D.C. and is led by Kansas business titan David Koch who is the 33rd richest man in the world according to Forbes Magazine. His company Koch Industries has $90 billion in annual revenues.

This contrasts with the overwhelming support for the county-wide safety plan from key leadership within the County, including: all three major political parties, elected officials from across the county, law enforcement, business groups, labor, civic groups and prominent community leaders. For a complete list, go to http://www.safercommunity.org/ - click the Endorsements link.
# # #

Endorsements galore

Both sides of the Hamilton County sales tax increase (Issue 27) are getting showered with endorsements this week. Wednesday County Treasurer Robert Goering announced his support of the anti-sales tax campaign. Also Wednesday sales tax proponents said County Auditor Dusty Rhodes has given his endorsement of the tax.

Thursday more groups came out. The national tax-fighting group Americans for Prosperity announced it is joining the opposition and sending out mailers (click here and here to view) to urge a "no" vote.

Meanwhile three local civic groups, the Cincinnatus Association, Democracy for Cincinnati and the Bridgetown Civic Association announced their endorsement of the sales tax.

The sales tax revenue would pay to build and operate a new 1,800 bed jail and pay for public safety programs. Voters will decide Nov. 6.

Going viral

The Cincinnati Federation of Teachers is experimenting with viral marketing this week, as part of an abbreviated, low-dollar campaign for the CPS school board and Issue 22, the CPS tax levy.

On Wednesday morning, the CFT -- helped out by Jamie Horowitz, a media consultant for the American Federation of Teachers -- sent an e-mail to roughly 10,000 addresses culled from the membership rolls of labor unions and community groups.

The e-mail includes this link , a 2 minute, 48 second video. In the video, union honcho Tim Kraus pleads for two things: A "yes" vote on the levy, and support for the CFT's three endorsed candidates for school board.

The total cost of the video production was under $2,000, Kraus said - compared to tens of thousands for a much shorter, less effective TV campaign, he said.

"We're hoping what this does is spread, where (recepients) will forward it on to other family and friends," Kraus said. "...Obviously, we're experimenting with this."

While acknowledging the high stakes of the CPS issues on the November ballot, the CFT does not plan any traditional paid media advertising before Election Day.

The video might have been a little too viral. Kraus and Horowitz both say they were surprised to learn that the Enquirer had quoted the video in an article published Wednesday morning, before the e-mail blast.

Mitt's early start in Ohio

Granted, Ohio is not a top priority for any of the presidential candidates, Democratic or Republican, with its March primary likely to be a so-what affair.

But, nonetheless, Mitt Romney is light years ahead of the opposition when it comes to building a general-election campaign here.

It's one of his best fundraising states, thanks to Carl and Craig Lindner, the Pied Pipers of GOP fundraising who signed on with Mitt early and brought a lot of their corporate buddies with them.

Romney's campaign has also signed on two state legislators from opposite ends of the state to tout his candidacy - State Sen. Kevin Coughlin of Cuyahoga Falls to handle the north end of the state, State Rep. Shannon Jones of Springboro to handle Ohio south of Interstate 70.

The latest news from the Romney camp is that they have signed on a veteran GOP operator as their Ohio state campaign director - David Gallagher, who helped elect Mike DeWine to the U.S. Senate and was part of the Bush-Cheney team that won Ohio in 2004.

Gallagher has been working on GOP campaigns in Nevada for the past couple of years.

The only other GOP candidate to have a high-profile endorsement in Ohio is John McCain, whose state campaign chairman will be DeWine, his former Senate buddy. But there is no hint of any kind of McCain campaign organization in Ohio. Nor for any of the other GOP contenders.

Better get crackin'. Mitt's starting to suck all the air out of the room.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Goering becomes target

Things got a little ugly on the sales tax front Wednesday when Hamilton County Treasurer Rob Goering, a Republican, announced he was against the jail sales tax increase.

He might have just as well posted a target on his forehead.

The ugliness started in the morning when opposition camp chairman Jason Gloyd put out the press release, announcing Goering is encouraging a "no" vote. It included an expected quote from Goering "The commissioners want to have lots of extra funds to spend on who knows what... I can't figure it out and I don't think voters can either."

And Gloyd noted the treasurer "took the time to carefully analyze the jail tax proposal and concluded-- as each of us has -- that this is a super-sized jail tax that we simply cannot afford."
Not so, said Commissioner David Pepper, a Democrat.

"He doesn't know the details of the plan. He's not asked one question about this," Pepper said. "He doesn't want to meet and discuss it. It's all politics. Those who have asked (for details) have supported it."

Commissioner Todd Portune, also a Democrat, went a little further.

"He's attempting to deflect attention from his (shortcomings,)" Portune said. "He's ... contributed to the county's fiscal problems by letting delinquent taxes rise to an unprecedented level. It's political grandstanding at its worst."

Commissioner Pat DeWine, a Republican, supported his new ally.
"We ought to have respect for someone who has had the courage to come out against this. I appreciate the courage of Rob to stand up," he said.

Apparently between the commissioners' comments (around 10:30) and the Goering/DeWine/anti-sales tax camp press conference (2:30), Goering was bombarded with phone calls from the commissioners, the sheriff, the administration, seeking meetings and offering to explain the plan.

Goering still came out against the tax at the press conference, held in front of COAST attorney Chris Finney's law office, citing numbers that DeWine had given him.

"I don't like taxes. I really don't like tax issues and this tax is too much for our community," he said. "To build the jail its $200 million. To fund it its $300 million. Why are we at $770 million? Goering asked.

But afterward the criticism continued as Portune said his comments show he hasn't examined the plan. The rest of the money goes to treatment programs.

"For him to (oppose the tax) when he doesn't even have an elementary understanding of the facts confirms my comments about how inappropriate his comments are," Portune said via phone later in the day.

Boehner speaks in honor of Dalai Lama

Republican Rep. John Boehner of West Chester, the minority leader of the House, joined President Bush and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to speak today at a Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony in honor of the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet.

Click HERE to watch a video of Boehner's speech.

Here also is the text of Boehner's remarks:

“Mr. President, Mrs. Bush, Madam Speaker, my colleagues and all of our special guests here today, thank you for coming as we celebrate His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. The United States Congress has voted to present our highest honor to a great leader, a great leader who has struggled his whole life for religious freedom and the liberty of his people.

“We gather under this very symbol of democracy. This rotunda completed during our nation’s Civil War has come to embody the words of our founding fathers. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ Those words are as true today as they were 231 years ago. They are a beacon for any people anywhere yearning to break the chains of tyranny and live and worship in peace.

“Now Tibet is the roof of the world. It’s the home to Mount Everest and most of the highest peaks in our world. It has a capital, it has a flag, it has some six million people who live there. Most of them are simple farmers and shepherds. But the people of Tibet have become well acquainted with brutality and cruelty. Some have faced imprisonment for their religious beliefs. The Dalai Lama, who we honor today, has taken on the burden of his people. And he's become a symbol of dignity, of tolerance and of religious freedom.

“Tonight when this work is done, this ceremony is over, all of you will go home. Members of Congress will finish their work tomorrow, and they will go home. We'll go to our districts and we'll see our families. But the Dalai Lama will not go home. He has not been home in 50 years. So today, we honor his sacrifice and his struggle and with a firm commitment that we will never forget the people of Tibet.”

Fountain Square Candidates Meet and Greet

There seemed to be more candidates and media today at the Chamber's get-to-know-the-candidates event on Fountain Square than there were people actually wanting to get to know the candidates.

A few people asked about The Banks, Chris Monzel said. One man wanted to vote Joan Kaup for mayor.

Here are some more tidbits:

Kaup says to look for her CityBeat ad next week. It'll show two couples - one interracial, the other homosexual. People told her it would never fly in Cincinnati, but she said she went for it anyway because she believes in unity and diversity and wants to make sure her campaign stresses those ideals.

Sam Malone says he'll have a television ad soon that will appeal to women.

Monzel has an ad coming soon too, and Winburn said he'll have another one. He promised it'll be totally different than his first, which emphasized crime.

Justin Jeffre says the city's West Side soon will start seeing his signs and literature.

Winburn says he and Melanie Bates are campaigning together because they're trying to show that they can work together. He insists she's running seventh in polls right now - "she's going to win."

What campaigns spent their $$ on

Other than office rent, payroll expenses for campaign staff and phone bills, just what did our local candidates for the U.S. House spend their hard-earned campaign cash on?

You might be surprised!

Together, they paid for live animals, coolers, personalized cups, wristbands, legal services, campaign stickers, T-shirts, magnets, yard signs, banners, iTunes songs, a live band, a campaign manual, flowers, parade candy and a camcorder.

They shopped at Target, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Staples, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Amazon.com.

They flew Delta Air Lines and US Airways, but mostly, they drove.

And now, the most juicy details we could glean from the Federal Election Commission data:

-- Together, Republican Reps. John Boehner, Steve Chabot and Mike Turner spent nearly $6,500 on seven live animals at county fairs. No clue what has become of said animals.

-- Boehner and Turner both donated money to other campaigns while Boehner (he is the House Republican leader after all) forked over $20K to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

-- Democrat Victoria Wulsin, who is again challenging Rep. Jean Schmidt in the 2nd District, donated $1,000 of her campaign cash to the Hillary Clinton for President campaign. No word yet on whether Clinton will return the favor.

-- Chabot used campaign funds to donate to several local causes: $750 donation to the Sonny Edrich Memorial Scholarship Fund; $235 donation to LaSalle High School; $250 donation to the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce.

-- Chabot also spent $1,000 for a survey while Schmdit spent $6,853 for polling. (We're waiting for the results, folks!)

-- Schmidt spent $211.03 at Skyline Chili for food for a fundraiser. She also paid the Portsmouth Brewery $1,000 for a fundraising event.

-- Republican Phil Heimlich, who is challenging Schmidt in the 2nd District primary, flew US Airways to Washington for meetings and to "gather supporters" in July. (Hello? No visit to the Enquirer Washington Bureau?!)

-- Democrat Steve Black, who is running for the 2nd District seat, is clearly banking on yard signs, parades and wristbands. He spent $3,928 on the signs, $2,967 on wristbands and $650 to hire a live band for a parade from the Showstoppers Talent Agency! He also spent $20.79 to to download parade songs from iTunes.

-- Meanwhile, both Turner and Boehner held golfing fundraisers. But while Turner spent $10K at the Golf Club at Yankee Trace in Centerville, Boehner spent just $1,260 at Brown's Run Country Club in Middletown.

-- Boehner, Turner and Kentucky Rep. Geoff Davis all held fundraisers at the self-described "refined and elegant" Capitol Hill Club in Washington during the last three months.

-- Boehner also spent $28K on a fundraiser at the Tex-Mex waterfront party locale Cantina Marina in Washington and $5K for a room for a political event at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington.

-- Boehner's campaign staff eats pretty well and works in a clean office. Their boss's campaign paid for more than a half dozen meals during meetings at places like Bobby Van's Steakhouse, The Monocle on Capitol Hill, Tortilla Coast, the Back Porch Saloon in Hamilton and Cosi.
-- Boehner also paid the Molly Maids between $62 and $75 every two weeks to clean his campaign office.

I'll raise your Goering one Rhodes

Hamilton County Treasurer, Robert Goering comes out today against the sales tax.

But the pro sales tax folks just sent this out:

Auditor Rhodes: Issue 27 Makes Fiscal Sense

(October 17, 2007) -- In a press release issued by Issue 27 opponents today, County Treasurer Robert Goering is quoted as supporting a jail-only tax. But this proposal is exactly what voters rejected last year because it was not a responsible or comprehensive solution.

Issue 27, which is on the ballot this November, builds the facility that is needed, pays for its operations for 30 years (which the prior plan did not do), adds police to the street, and funds rehabilitation programs so prisoners don’t re-offend. It is a Comprehensive Safety Plan, and polls show that such an approach is supported by a majority of voters.

“This is an honest, thoughtful plan that makes sense for the taxpayer,” said Dusty Rhodes, county auditor, well known for being a strong fiscal conservative. “It makes no sense to build a jail and then have no funds for operations.”

The Republican Party, Democratic Party, Charter Party, and numerous elected officials have endorsed the plan, along with a broad cross-section of civic organizations.

County officials confirmed that Treasurer Goering has not once met, nor asked any questions of other county officials, about the plan before today’s announcement, including its financial details. He also did not attend any of the many public hearings about the plan, a number of which occurred in the same building where Goering’s office is housed.

County treasurer to oppose sales tax

TO: Press Organizations

FROM: Jason Gloyd
Campaign Director, WeDemandABetterPlan.com

RE: Hamilton County Treasurer Recommends “No” on Issue 27

DATE: October 17, 2007

Hamilton County Treasurer announces opposition to jail tax TODAY!
Robert Goering says Issue 27 is “too much money, too much tax”

Today, Hamilton County Treasurer Robert Goering will announce that he is joining with opponents of the jail tax in encouraging voters to oppose Issue 27 on the November ballot. Goering will make the announcement at a press conference at 2623 Erie Avenue at 2:30 PM today, Wednesday, October 17, 2007. Among other things, Goering will say “The proposed $700 million dollar tax is not a jail tax, but a ‘Commissioners Spend Tax.’ If we want a jail tax, a third of that amount is sufficient, according to my calculations. The Commissioners want to have lots of extra funds to spend on who knows what....I cant figure it out, and I don’t think voters can either.” The announcement is significant for a number of reasons. First, because of the weight Goering carries with voters. Second, Goering is taking on powerful leaders in his own party in joining with anti-Issue 27 forces. Third, Goering has been relatively quiet on tax issues in the past. Fourth, Rob Goering is an expert on County finances, serving as Treasurer for more than 16 years ”We are pleased that Rob Goering — who is intimately familiar with County finances — took the time to carefully analyze the jail tax proposal and concluded as each of us has — that this is a super-sized jail tax that we simply cannot afford,” said WeDemandABetterPlan.Com Chairman Jason Gloyd. “He holds enormous respect with the voters. We applaud Rob’s independence, insight and courage in speaking out against this bad policy direction for our community and are pleased to join him in this significant battle.

Organizations Against Issue 27:
--American’s for Prosperity --Hamilton County Business Owners
--Cincinnati Progressive Action --Libertarian Party
--Cincinnati F.O.P. --NAACP
--C.O.A.S.T. --No Jail Tax.org
--Green Party of Southwest Ohio
Paid for by WeDemandABetterPlan.Com, an Ohio political action committee, 3630 Zumstein Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45208, Jason Gloyd, Chairman and Treasurer.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Have lunch with the city council candidates

Most Cincinnati City Council candidates will be on Fountain Square Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

It's part of a meet-the-candidates event put on by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.

The chamber's Doug Moormann says 20 of the 25 candidates have agreed to be there.

Campaigning in Carthage

From the Carthage Civic League's candidates' night Monday:

Candidates came and went, working the Carthage meeting in with appearances in Westwood. Here's what a few of them had to say to this neighborhood:

Roxanne Qualls: The crowd of about 40 people cheered her when she talked about redeveloping Carthage Mills into new housing and "creating a new future for Carthage" and the rest of Cincinnati's neighborhoods.

Joan Kaup: Trying to get the residents to understand how to pronounce her name and remember it, she told them it sounds like "cow" as in "Holy cow." She wants a creative, inclusive, safe and green Cincinnati. "I'm asking you to think differently, be part of the solution."

Wendell Young: He started his police career in Carthage in 1967. "I'm the guy who's made a lot of tough decisions, some on these very streets."

Justin Jeffre: He mentioned traveling the world yet still seeing so much potential in Cincinnati. "We continue not to meet our full potential...I think it's clear that we need change." He told the residents to watch for his neighborhood rescue plan, to be released this week.

Greg Harris: He passed out his magnets, with kitchen measurements on them and told the people if they didn't like what he had to say, they could keep the measurements and just cut his face off them. He thinks Cincinnati's coming out of a 30-year crisis in confidence.

Chris Monzel: He got involved in city government first as a vice president of his community council in Spring Grove Village. He said he prides himself on sending an aide to as many community meetings as possible.

Cecil Thomas: Like Young, he started his police career in Carthage. He said the focus of his first two-year term, the current one, was to reduce crime by "taking the handcuffs off the police" and show them more support from City Hall. "There is no longer that us-versus-them mentality."

Read the sales tax transcript

Pat DeWine and David Pepper took questions live at Cincinnati.com today.

Here's the transcript

Tally of who's got the $$

The latest campaign finance reports were due to the Federal Election Commission by midnight Monday. So now, finally, we have everyone's numbers to share:

Here's a tally of who's raised what:

Chabot, Driehaus in money race

Rep. Steve Chabot continued to raise thousands of dollars in campaign cash during the past three months, although he brought in half as much as he did during the previous three-month period.

From July 1 to Sept. 30, Chabot collected about $157,000, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission late Monday.

But from April 1 to June 30, Chabot had raised more than $300,000

With minimal campaign expenses, Chabot has about $535,000 in the bank.

That may seem like a lot, but it's only about one-sixth of the amount of cash it cost the seven-term lawmaker last year to defend his seat against Democrat John Cranley.

Next year, Chabot faces Ohio state Rep. Steven Driehaus, a Price Hill Democrat.

Driehaus raised about $122,000 during the last three months and has $251,000 in the bank – half as much as Chabot, according to his FEC report.

Raising less cash, however, is not unusual for challengers running against long-time incumbents.

Last year, Cranley was both outraised and outspent by Chabot, who dropped nearly $2.99 million compared to Cranley's $2.02 million.

Chabot beat Cranley, his toughest opponent in years, with 52 percent of the vote.

Mental Health Organization Supports Issue 27

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is endorsing Issue 27, the sales tax increase that would pay to build a new jail and fund public safety programs.

The national organization supports people with mental illness and their families.

Here's what it said:

“Many of the repeat visitors to the county jail system are there due to mental illness and substance abuse. Issue 27 will finally address the county’s 70 percent recidivism rate through investment in reforms and treatment,” said David Ranz, NAMI executive director. “Let’s get it right – and stop locking up mentally ill and drug/alcohol addicted citizens. Instead, let’s hold them accountable for their own recovery.”

Republican Pig Roast

The Hamilton County Republican Club is having a Pig Roast this Thursday, October 18, starting at 5:30 p.m., at the Maple Ridge Lodge in Mt. Airy (3040 Westwood Northern Blvd.)
The cost is $20/person - food and drinks provided.

For tickets, please contact Kristie Cornelius (305-3060).

Monday, October 15, 2007

CET to present election issues

CET, an educational television station in Cincinnati, will be bringing viewers in-depth looks at election candidates and issues.

  • 7 p.m. Oct. 17: CET will broadcast a special live program on Issue 27, the sales tax increase that would build a new jail and fund public safety/rehabilitation programs. Commissioners Pat DeWine and Todd Portune will each give their side of the issue and take questions from community members.

  • Oct. 18: The Issue 27 program will be posted on CETconnect.org.

  • Oct. 26: Videos of Cincinnati City Council candidates will be posted on CETconnect.org. The four-minute long, unedited videos allowing each candidate to introduce themselves and talk about their platforms.

  • 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1: Kathy Lehr will host a program that will explore some of the other Hamilton County issues.

Get more details here

Lindgren: Let them eat cake

Sherry Coolidge reports:

Hamilton County Municipal Judge candidate Larry Lindgren, who is running against incumbent Richard Bernat, doesn't want you to throw away his campaign literature so he came up with a clever way to make voters want to hold onto it.

On the back, he's giving out "Mama Lindgren's Truly Magnificent Wonderful Celebration Cake."
Want to try it? Here's the recipe:

1 box deluxe yellow cake mix
1 box vanilla instant pudding
1/2 C. oil
1 C. sour cream
4 eggs

Mix together for two minutes

1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. chopped nuts (Walnuts work well)
1 tsp. cinnamon
Grease bundt pan. Spread 1/2 of topping on the bottom of pan. Cut remaining 1/2 of topping into cake batter. (Larry recommends doubling the topping).
Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Coolidge is on a diet, but a co-worker reports it to be delicious. But for a judge, wouldn't a tort be a better dessert?

Schmidt, Heimlich in money race

Malia Rulon has the early story here

Deters on jail tax

The anti-jail tax group put out this release today saying that not only is the Cincinnati FOP against the sales tax (which we knew), but that Prosecutor Joe Deters has refused to endorse the tax. Interesting.

Enquirer reporter Sharon Coolidge asked him. Here's what Deters had to say. Note: Commissioner Pat DeWine is against the sales tax. Commissioners David Pepper and Todd Portune support it.

Deters: "I have made it very clear that I have clients for and against the levy and although I have not specifically endorsed this issue I have made it clear wherever I go we need a new jail.
I’m not taking position on whether this is the best way to go about it.

I am attorney for (Pat) DeWine, as a commissioner, and David Pepper, who is a commissioner. And I am the sheriff’s lawyer.

Last year was different, it was a unanimous vote. I didn’t have a client who were in conflict."

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