CPS levy strategizing
Supporters of Cincinnati Public Schools' second attempt to pass a tax hike say they don't need too many more "yes" votes this time around, even though they lost by a wide margin in November. They just need a lot fewer "no" votes.
In a strategy meeting last week, campaign coordinator Jan Leslie estimated that the schools need about 30,000 votes to pass the 7.89-mill emergency tax levy on March 4.
That would be just 935 votes more than they got in November, when they registered 42.2 percent. The difference, of course, is that they're banking on much lower turnout in March.
If their count is accurate -- that 30,000 votes would equal a majority of votes cast, then "no" votes would decrease by nearly 10,000 from the November count of 39,675 anti-school tax voters.
But Leslie admits her calculations are complicated by the uncertainty of the presidential primary season. CPS's chances to get those 30,000 votes depends a lot on which party, if any or both, still has a competitive presidential race.
"Certainly historically, we've had a lot of support from Democrats, so one would assume if it's a hotly contested Democratic race, there would be more Democrats coming to the polls," Leslie said.
Anti-tax mainstay State Rep. Tom Brinkman, R-Mount Lookout, now in his own race for Congress, said November's defeat was broad and deep -- the entire electorate is untrusting of CPS, no one group of voters or political party, he said.
"I think they're overstrategizing," he said, again predicting a CPS defeat.