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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Who rules Cincinnati?

From Dan La Botz:

A NEW STUDY titled "Who Rules Cincinnati?" published on the Internet today argues that seven corporations have dominated the City of Cincinnati's economy, society and politics leading to "distorted development" and "grotesque contrasts between rich and poor" with "a particularly damaging impact on the African American population."

The study, a compendium of information on Cincinnati-based corporations, their revenues, profits and the salaries of their officers, and their political contributions, also describes the role of corporate coalitions such as Cincinnati Business Committee (CBC), Downtown Cincinnati Incorporated (DCI), and Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC).

The study also found that two families, the Lindners and the Peppers, the first associated with American Financial Group and the second with Procter and Gamble, play an inordinate role in the financing of local political campaigns and candidates. This is the first such study of wealth and power in Cincinnati since Polk Laffoon IV wrote "Who Runs Cincinnati?" published in the former Cincinnati Post in the 1980s.

Read the study here

La Botz calls himself an "independent scholar and community activist."


at 5:55 PM, January 23, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"P& G PAC also contributed $2,000 to the 2006 Senate campaign of George Voinovich,
Republican candidate from Ohio."

Sorry, Voinovich didn't run in 2006. Get your facts straight.

This was the worst piece of scholarship that I have ever had the misfortune of spending 40 minutes of my life reading. His bias shows through so unabashedly and his claims are unsubstantiated.

In fact, if you simply changed a few key words to change the tone and bias of his piece, it could come across as a glowing endorsement of the successes of those who he criticizes.

I'm all for organized labor and I recognize the the pay inequity issue is crippling the development of the city, but this "study" is for the soap box and is the stuff of manifesto.

This is a long way from an honest and scholarly analysis of the conditions in which our city exists. It is absolute garbage. I'm sure that Haap and Jeffre are going to fall in love with this guy.

And the thing is, La Botz and I probably share many of the same political views.

at 7:52 PM, January 23, 2008 Blogger usefullidiot said...

Boldboy rules

at 9:28 PM, January 23, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's stunning Miami would hold his name out as one of their own. He's a nutjob.

at 10:11 PM, January 23, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Dan LaBotz had a real job in the real world he might have a clue, but sadly and clearly he doesn't.

at 10:56 PM, January 23, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is becoming more or less accepted knowledge that the county, state, and nation have suffered uncredibly from the Repugnicants' terrible policies and even-worse implementation of them. But so many of the knuckle-draggin, mouth-breating, Jesus-loving right-wing haters on here like to retort that the Dems run the city.

This report should put an end to that sillly nonsense. Or at least it will until Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly come up with some other clever retort for these Repug-bots to employ.

at 11:39 PM, January 23, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

La Botz is an editorialist and not an academic.

Mr. Weiser, I can't believe you got suckered into thinking La Botz's work was a "study" when it is nothing more than a 100 page blog post.

You were played.

at 11:57 PM, January 23, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the DIRTY COUNTY DEAL King Todd Portune pulled??? At least Pepper still asks for votes!!

at 1:08 AM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And the thing is, La Botz and I probably share many of the same political views."

What views do you "probably" share?

That 'corporations rule Cincinnati', or that the "surge" isn't working because the war is a racket baised on lies and propaganda that is disguised as news by corporate stenographers?

Who's interest is Gannet's Enquirer representing? The corporate masters, or the citizens of Cincinnati?

Let the debate begin!

"Bring it on"-GWB

at 6:14 AM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to hold all comments on this for a couple years...

at 6:14 AM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Under socialism this wouldn't be a problem.

I say we place bold typist as our czar and we can all be poor together.

"Independent scholar and community activist" = local educated self-righteous idiot that expects government to solve all ills of society and anything wrong is someone else's fault.

at 8:14 AM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carl: please, that's "Dan LaBotz (Socialist- Clifton)".

You should note the "Board":

Editorial Board

* Janis Dutton
* Tom Dutton
* Greg Flannery (Socialist- CityBeat)
* Saad Ghosn
* Justin Jeffre (Socialist- Cincinnati Beacon)
* Dan La Botz (Socialist- Clifton)
* Linda Newman (Socialist and Boycotter nee of Cincinnati Progressive Action)
* Bob Park (Socialist- CPA)
* Suhith Wickrema

at 9:51 AM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Mark M said...

I wouldn't really call that a study... not too much studying invovled, mostly just a few facts with opinions interjected.

I was hoping for something a little more substantial, but that was just a poorly written article spinning facts into opinions.

at 10:04 AM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

This report confirms what I've always thought about Cincinnati. The greedy leading the blind. It's why more often than not, I choose to purchase items (not) made by P&G, I prefer not to make a political statement when buying groceries - so I shop at Meijer. I stopped shopping at Macys about 5 years ago and my wardrobe has never looked better. I will drive 10 minutes out of my way and pass by 2 United Dairy Farmers (Lindner family) to make my purchase elsewhere.

Does everyone understand that the consumer has the power to change all of this. Dollars spent means more to these greedy pigs than words spoken or written ever will.

at 10:16 AM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leave it to the wRong wingnut whackos Rich Lindners to know all about the foot-tapping Bold Typist and Bold Endeavors!

Rich families who make fun of 'Bold Endeavors' are not appreciated !

Keep, obsessively, researching all the 'fishwRap' blogs because we:

Wanna talk about me !

Wanna talk about eye !

Wanna talk about Number ONE Oh My, Oh My !

PATHETIC 'HypocRite' !


at 10:57 AM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What views do you "probably" share?"

Ok, I expect that we both share the view that a society's health is measured by the strength of its working class and policy decisions should be made with that in mind. For this to be achieved, labor needs to organize and be strong in their demands. I figure that point is something on which La Botz and I agree.

This is something that needs to be addressed and anti-union policies should be aggressively opposed. However, writing a pseudo-academic "study" that is simply an excuse to opine about what you THINK is happening is not the way to seriously confront the issue.

La Botz is a fool and crap like this hurts those who are legitimately interested in furthering the cause of organized labor.

There is a point between entitlement and exploitation and La Botz doesn't make any effort to find out what that point is. His "study" is simply saying "Here is how things are and here is how I think things should be" without even thinking to ask the question why.

That is the proper focus of an academic. La Botz is no academic and The Enquirer should be embarrassed for giving him this exposure which might only serve to legitimize his simple and down right stupid methodology.

at 12:15 PM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe you posted something from La Botz. I went to Miami University and La Botz is well-known there for being a socialist. I don't use the term in the pejorative sense, but rather because La Botz believes in the Marxist underpinnings of socialism. He will readily admit to that.

at 12:33 PM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Writing a pseudo-academic "study" that is simply an excuse to opine about what you THINK is happening is not the way to seriously confront the issue."

What way would you seriously confront the issue? Have you done anything to do so? I think his critique of labor being stifled by reliance on the Democratic Party is dead on.

This isn't a psuedo- academic study. This is a study filled with facts. He uses those facts to draw his own conclusion and open a "discussion" about who controls our city and why we are the third most impoverished city in the nation.

The question is, why are we the third most impoverished city? The answer is because we are ruled by corporations with distorted views of what's good for the city.

Corporations have no loyalty to our people, only to their bottom line. They have no place in our political system. They are fictitous entities that have fraudulently been given the same rights as people and more.

"There is a point between entitlement and exploitation and La Botz doesn't make any effort to find out what that point is."

Please explain what you mean. Again, he has created a work that looks at who has the power and sets the priorities in our city and opened a debate. Instead of engaging in a grown up debate you call him a "fool" and the facts he's laid out "crap".

To pretend that Cincinnati isn't corporate occupied territory is crap spewed by fools! If you can't engage in a serious debate then you know who I'm refering too.

The Enquirer is owned by Gannet, but answers to their big advertisers and sells their propaganda. Margaret Buchanan is on the board of 3CDC. Have you ever read anything critical of 3CDC in the paper?

at 12:41 PM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the other side of the story?

How about:
These corporations and their employees in fact contribute millions to a broad range of philanthropic organizations (noted in the "study")The United Way, The Urban League, The Freestore Foodbank The Talbert House, The Taft Museum, The Art Museum, The Ballet, The Opera, the Pops, etc. What would happen to our city if they suddenly stopped those contributions?

Those corporations permit and encourage their employees to sit on VOLUNTEER boards to bring their experience and skills to the table (as noted in the "study"). What would happen to those organizations if those people stopped participating? (See Empowerment Zone through the 1990's)

Those corporations employ thousands of people at high wages. Those people in turn pay the lion's share of local, state and federal taxes in addition to corporate earnings taxes. The top employers in Cincinnati pay over 60% of total city income taxes. What would happen to Cincinnati if those companies relocated, say to a community that invites them, encourgaes their participation in community affairs, and thanks them for their time, money, and effort?

Why is it not noted in the "study" that the biggest players on the corporations list are publicly traded companies? Meaning anyone with about $70 can buy shares and actually own a piece of them and earn the right to vote for members of the Boards of Directors.

The "study" or "report" or whatever tells a very narrow side of the story. There is no question that government oversite and regulation is necessary to keep market forces in check and those regulations must be vigilantly reviewed and updated to close loopholes and ensure tranparency, level playing fields, and guard against runaway greed by a handful of directors.

But, on the other hand, large corporations are much more than just the potential evils of greed and unfair competetive practices. They also provide jobs and wealth to thousands and thousands of people which in turn pay for the bulk of government services. P & G, for example, is the catalyst for the growth of a host of ancillary industries, including branding and design, chemical manufacturing, agriculture, and a host of research and development investments across dozens of industries.

Corporations are not single minded monsters. They are influenced and shaped by employees, shareholders, clients and customers. In other words, they are influenced by thousands, millions of people.

Socialism looks wonderful on paper, but simply doesn't work. In large measure because the economy is global and people demand freedom of action and defend it to the death.

As a result, Socialist and Communist communities and nations are at a severe disadvantage in the global economy. They disintegrate internally because of the basic human drive for freedom of action and choice and are ill-equipped to compete with free markets.

There is no question that corporations influence and shape policy and politics. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. The same can be said of governments, labor unions, politicians, media, and religious and philanthropic organizations.

Hasn't the media, obsessed with drama and conflict, soundbites, half-truth and inuendo, been enormously destructive to our society? Yes, but media has always been like that. Read some of the political dialogue of the Revolutionary period. Those guys went after eachother, agressively and mercilessly. But we survived it and can still call ourselves perhaps the greatest society of all human history.

Can the magical "middle class" or the "masses" really do better? What makes them better than any other socio-economic class? Don't those people also watch Extra and Access Hollywood? Don't those people also take drugs, shoot people and abuse their spouses and children? Don't those people also buy, at an alarming rate, the products that keep those corporations in the black? Especially Big Macs and Whoppers. What is the cost to society of the obesity that follows unhealthy choices? Who foots that bill?

Do people make those choices because they don't know any better? Because they were hoodwinked or brainwashed? Should government make Bic Macs illegal to protect us from becoming obeese, sick, lethargic and depressed? I don't buy that. I don't want the government to save me from myself. Personal responsibility is paramount in a free society, and that responsibility is encouraged with accountability, high standards and consequences for failure.

The answer, as always, seems so obvious it is ignored for its simlicity. The strength of the family unit, whatever shape it takes, is critical to societal health. Everything starts at the family table. Education, discipline, tolerance, ethics and morals are all passed to the next generation by whatever adult steps into the void. Teachers can't do it and shouldn't be expected to. Their job should be to establish and maintain the highest standards. It is then up to guardians to instill the skills needed to meet those standars.

I don't blame corporations or the media or the church or the schools for the worst of our societal ills, I blame government. They tried, with the best of intentions, to provide a social safety net for those who could not, for whatever reason or personal circumstance, earn their piece of the American Dream. But those handouts had no strings attached, did not encourage responsibility and accountability, encouraged single mothers to have more children, provided no skill training for household management or workplace success. Poverty was concentrated and a breed of criminal was born and took control.

Check out Gangland on the History Channel and the story about the Cabrini-Green Housing Project in Chicago for a microcosmic example.

Sweeping changes were made to those federal policies in the 1990's under President Clinton. After those reforms, welfare rolls dropped by 57%, much of it due to the elimination of recipient fraud (those collecting welfare who did not qualify or who were collecting in multiple jurisdictions). African American child poverty rates have dropped sharply. As has teen preganancy. Housing projects have been demolished and income-mixing has taken hold. The consequence? Homelessness is at an all time low. Crime dropped steadily for over a decade.

It seems the solution may have more to do with controlling government programs than controlling corporations.

at 12:47 PM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Peter said...

I am embarassed for the enquirer for giving this guy thos type of exposure and calling it a 'study'.

Some no name guy writing his opinion and interjecting a few facts is not a study. Seriously, how long did it take to figure out that this likes of P&G, Kroger and Macy's are big companies in this city ... I bet you could ask a fifth grader and they would know that.

Plus this so called study could be written for any city in the USA. Just replaced the names. And that is why it is not a study, but just a fool ranting away.

You all got suckered for publishing this.

at 1:05 PM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heck, I would be classified as almost socialist (in the regard that I think countries like Sweeden get it right) and I get a little weirded out by this guy.

I'm all for debate about this type of thing, and I am glad to see that viewpoints once deemed "un-American" are entering into our national discussion about the health of the country again. However, those should be based on level-headed academic research, which means studying the surrounding and then coming up with a conclusion, not the other way around.

at 1:41 PM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is a menace, was during the riots and after, and is an "academic" in the worst sense of the word. Uses his title to pretend he knows something. Why don't you check this guy out? He has never done anything, except say what is wrong with other people.Raging, raving lib who does not let facts get in the way of his biased opinion.

at 4:05 PM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 1/24/08 10:04AM, you're not alone in your shopping discretion. I do not have a Procter & God product in my home & haven't for many, many years. I don't need their landfill clogging, environmental compromising crap to keep a clean, sanitary home.

I haven't been in a United Dairy Farmers since the Lindners condemned the Mapplethorpe exhibit. I was repulsed at their shoving their smug ideologies down the throats of thousands of adults who could decide for themselves the merits of the art. To this day, I wasn't put off by any aspect of the Mapplethorpe exhibit. What was offputting was a bunch of stody money players attempting to decide for me.

While these corporate giants "give" to the greater community with one hand, the other hand is out, expecting favors in kind. I don't call that generosity or corporate charitable giving. I call it greed.

As long as I live, I will not purchase overpriced, overvalued, underperforming Procter & God crap nor will I buy frozen snot from Lindner's UDF. You gotta remember how one of the Lindners snaked around a narcotics charge in Indonesia!

at 4:45 PM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...I wasn't put off by any aspect of the Mapplethorpe exhibit...."

I don't know the pieces with the finger tip and metal file made us squirm !

at 5:01 PM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carl Weiser isn't allowing comments that are positive about the article to be posted. Corporate bias from the corporate controlled media again. Comment # 1 is incorrect.

anon 12:41,

How about:
Corporations receive hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate welfare. They get half a billion stadiums here, new parking garages there, tax breaks all around. They get to dump toxic waste into our air and water so society has to bear those costs as well.

So what about personal responsibility? Where's theirs? That's not capitalism, that socialism for the rich at the expense of the poor working class.

The closest thing we've seen to socialism is in the EU where their health care is paid for, they have higher living standards and life expectancy rates. Our country is declining, not theirs.

We have more violence, people in jail, more deaths from preventable diseases, more uninsured and underinsured people (including millions of children). We have more adult and child poverty than any other industrialized world. Our city has a third world infant mortality rate.

And just because you buy 70 dollars worth of stock doesn't mean squat. Corporations aren't democratic institutions, they are top down tyrannies where the owners (small investors)have no say and the managers and people at the top control things for their own benefit. CEO salaries in this country are way more than in other countries.

If you blame government for everything, ask yourself who owns the government? The answer to that billion dollar question is corporations control our billion dollar corrupt elections and it's their policies that benefit the few at the expense of the many that are to blame.

Talk about lacking facts and being nothing but opinions, where did you get your statistics? La Botz provided sources with his facts and you have the nerve to call him a fool.

at 8:26 PM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 4:05- That's "Profit & God" to you.

Profit comes first.

at 9:43 PM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you mr labotz for an insightful and truthful report; unfortunately it only confirms the real fact that big money controls our lives and our politics and that there is no limit for greed in our society.
is not "in god we trust" the motto printed on our currency and which, without any superfluous subtlety, points to our real God, the dollar?
and can anyone make it into politics today unless wealthy and/or financed (and therefore controlled) by big money?

hopefully your report will open the eyes of many and will generate a healthy discussion among the open mindeds. our society surely needs more voices like yours.

at 10:36 PM, January 24, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you read many of the above comments you can see that ultra liberalism is enemy #1. Above comments attacking Jesus and our nation is out of control. Yes, liberalism is a mental desease. PROOF: just read comments above.

at 9:25 AM, January 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The anonymous comments posted at 10:36PM suggest liberalism is a mental disease and indicates the 'proof' is in our comments. I would suggest to the anonymous writer that they only need to pull their head out of the sand and open your eyes. Whats wrong with our society is the way conservatives view compassion. How does that go again, oh yes, 'only those worthy'. Seriously, WTF?

at 1:12 PM, January 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANON 9:25 Do you view compassion as agreeing with anti USA and anti Jesus remarks ? Or do you view compassion as condemning many of the above remarks that show no compassion?

at 10:22 AM, January 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I beleive that 'people' come before nation and religion. I could care less about partisan politics. I beleive in small government run by honest people. As it turns out this time around it looks to me like the Democrats are a far superior choice to lead this country out of the Darkness that the GOP has lead us into.

at 12:23 PM, January 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Democrats have led this city into darkness anon 10:22. Now what?

at 1:48 PM, January 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pick new Democrats. We already know that the greedy GOPer's can't be trusted. And with any luck they will all be put in jail. So again, I say, find a good Democrat and stand behind her.

To many people have been burned by the GOP. They are a party of greedy criminals and corporate elitest who are so far out of touch with what effects our lives that you would think they are on another planet altogether. Want more of the same - cast your ballot for Romney - he's like GW Bush on steroids.

at 10:19 PM, January 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

National politics is interesting and newsworthy but really has little effect on our lives in Cincinnati. Local elections such as City Council, County Commish, and Mayor have more of an impact. George Bush has impacted your lives very little so stop that blame. First, look in the mirror and see the true reason of success or failure. And, both Dems and Repubs are the parties of greed, annointed families, and country club politics.

at 8:58 AM, January 28, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"National politics is interesting and newsworthy but really has little effect on our lives in Cincinnati." That has got to be the most ridiculos comment I've read in a LONG TIME. I'll share that quote with my brother who's stationed in Iraq. May God help you and your family during this confusing time.

at 11:15 PM, January 28, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:19 >> I absolutely agree with your last sentence (Rep & Dem are criminals). And absolutely disagree with locals (council, mayor) having more influence than "our" president. Wait until inflation kicks us all in a year!!

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