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

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Denise Driehaus to kick off campaign

From the Denise Driehaus campaign:

Denise Driehaus To Host
Campaign Kickoff
Prepared to continue a life of service.

CINCINNATI – Denise Driehaus will host her campaign kickoff tomorrow, Sunday, April 13, 2008 at the Front Porch Coffeehouse (5245 Glenway Avenue) in Price Hill. The event will take place between 5:00pm and 7:00pm.

Driehaus, a life-long resident of the west side, currently resides in Price Hill where she and her husband, Zeek Childers, co-own two businesses - the Front Porch Coffeehouse and Philipps Swim Club. Driehaus has served as a member of the Cincinnati Recreation Commission for sixteen years. Driehaus is also on the Board of the Price Hill Civic Club and is Vice President of the West Price Hill Merchant’s Association. She has served as a volunteer at St. Teresa Church and School, Seton High School and Elder High School and acted as the Childrens Coordinator for the Dunham 1000 Hands Playground Build.

Driehaus is looking forward to serving the 31st house district in Columbus, “As a small business owner and a life long community volunteer, I have made a commitment to this area. I would welcome the opportunity to use my knowledge and years of experience to serve the district in Columbus. This is an exciting time in the State of Ohio and I look forward to serving as a member of the legislature to address this district’s challenges and to move our state forward.”

Driehaus is a graduate of Miami University.

Driehaus has two children, Sarah and Andrew Childers.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Clinton, citing CIRV: Cut Murders By Half

In a speech today in Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton said if elected, she'll set a goal to cut homicides in half across the country. To do this, she'll build "partnerships between these cities and the Department of Justice."

In a news release that lists how she'd do this, Clinton mentioned Cincinnati and Chicago as cities who've copied the 1990s Boston program that reduced homicides among young men. She said she'd start something called a Gang Violence Reduction Grant.

Cincinnati's version of that program is called CIRV, the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence. It calls felony offenders on parole and probation into meetings with law enforcement, social service agencies and relatives of murder victims to ty to impress upon the offenders that their behavior has to stop for them and for the broader community - and if it doesn't, police will be on them and their cohorts like white on rice.

Officials involved in the program, which started last summer, are careful to say it's too soon to say too much about its success. But they're pleased with the results so far, and homicides stand at 12 so far this year, compared to 22 at this time last year.

Click here to see what the University of Cincinnati's public relations office issued about CIRV this week.

Flannery: "Rosa bites."

Out of Cincinnati Public Schools last weekend, a reminder that politicians and humor are a dangerous mix.

Former stand-up comedian and CPS board member Michael Flannery agreed to do a comedy routine at a fundraiser for Walnut Hills High School last Saturday.

According to several witnesses, during his performance, an audience member asked him why he was wearing a protective ankle brace. In the midst of a comedy routine, Flannery responded:

"I came to find that, in fact, Rosa bites."

The insinuation that Superintendent Rosa Blackwell, who's had her fair share of disagreements with the school board over the years, had something to do with his injury, got a big laugh.

But when discussing the act today, Flannery wouldn't confirm he made the joke at all.

"Anybody who saw the show heard everything I said," he said. "If it's in print, it's not going to work. It would be misunderstood."

CPS spokeswoman Janet Walsh said she'd ask Blackwell if she wanted to respond, but doubted, while laughing, that she'd have anything to say.

For his part, Flannery said the show went well, and thinks comedy could be a winning fundraiser for more schools. However, he was clearly concerned his joke, transmitted out of the comedy context, could hurt his relationship with Blackwell.

"I'm not a politician," he said. "Is it my fault that they elected a comic? I never said I was a politician."

Trouble in "deal" paradise?

UPDATE: Read Jessica Brown's story in this morning's Enquirer here.

As first noted on Citybeat's "Porkopolis" blog, there is speculation that the Democratic Party may indeed endorse a candidate in the Hamilton County Commission race – against the wishes of its chairman, Timothy Burke.

“Let me make it very clear. I would oppose any endorsement at this point,” said Burke. "But if you’re asking if I have veto power, I don’t have any veto power."

There are rumblings that the party’s 197 member central committee (the governing body of the party), may be asked at their April 21 meeting to endorse Crosby Township Trustee Chris Dole to run against Republican-endorsed Greg Hartmann for the commission seat being vacated by Republican commissioner Pat DeWine.

Dole threw his name in the ring as an independent after Burke and then-Republican Party Chairman George Vincent agreed on a deal in which the Democrats wouldn’t run anyone against Hartmann, who currently is the county's Clerk of Courts.

In exchange the Republicans agreed not to run anyone against Democratic commissioner Todd Portune. (Hyde Park realtor Ed Rothenberg is running against Portune as a Republican, but the party has so far declined to endorse him.)

Burke said he doesn’t know of any immediate plans for a Democratic endorsement of Dole. But it's no secret that some people didn't agree with the deal.

“Someone may try to force a vote at the central committee meeting by putting a motion” on the floor, Burke said.

Dole said he plans to try to get the Democratic endorsement. He's not on the central committee, but he too believes someone will present a motion, though he wouldn’t name names. And he thinks if a motion is made, he’d have enough support in the central committee.

Burke said his stance against an endorsement is not personal. He admitted that Dole’s a respected trustee and has shown himself to be a motivated candidate.

“I give the guy a lot of credit,” Burke said of Dole’s ability to get the thousands of signatures needed to get on the ballot. “He’s a decent guy. But for better or worse, we made – I made – a commitment on behalf of the party not to endorse a candidate in the race. I believe it’s for the better. I am sticking with that position.”

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Toll bridge? It could happen.

Even though Kentucky legislators dropped the idea of charging tolls on a new Brent Spence Bridge, and stacks of local officials have denounced the notion, the concept still lives in Washington.

That's the word from Ohio Sen. George Voinovich, a member of the Senate committee in charge of hashing out ways to pay for roads and bridges nationwide, including the Brent Spence. Voinovich said he has no objection to using a toll system where necessary.

"Sure, it’s going to be one of the options. It’s got to be looked at," Voinovich said.

McCain returning to Ohio

But not down here:

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain is expected to return to Ohio on April 22 for a campaign stop in Youngstown and a fundraiser in Toledo.

Here's the Dispatch's full story

Councilmembers' First Jobs

As part of his promotion of his third annual Youth Jobs Fair next week, Mayor Mark Mallory had his staff collect a list of the first jobs held by council members. Here's what some of them said they did:

Laketa Cole: paper route, Rally's and KFC.

David Crowley parked cars and sold newspapers.

Chris Monzel caddied, worked at McDonald's, then at Bethesda North delivering food to patients.

Leslie Ghiz worked at TCBY.

John Cranley was a janitor in high school. Later, he waited tables at a country club.

Chris Bortz: Construction worker, camp counselor, "wrangler" and trail guide and bar back.

Jeff Berding: Construction worker, drug store clerk.

Roxanne Qualls: cashier in a shoe store. she later managed a house-painting business.

Cecil Thomas delivered newspapers, worked in the junior high school library, did janitorial work in nursing homes and mopped floors for Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co.

City Manager Milton Dohoney was once a page at a Louisville library, worked at a day care and a nursing home. He also worked "100 years ago" at his parents' restaurant called Milt's Place.

Mallory was a production assistant at WCET in the summer of 1977. The next summer, he washed cars at a dealership. He also delivered phone books and worked at the library.

Sheriff: No preferential treatment

Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis on Wednesday defended the handling of the alcohol-related case against one of his top officials.

In his first public statement about the case, Leis said Maj. James Dattilo, who was found drunk in the drive-through of a fast-food restaurant in a parked county-owned car last month, was not given preferential treatment.

"We handled him the same way as anybody else would be handled," Leis said.

Read Jessica Brown's full story here

Dann: Aide not in pajamas at apartment

Being political junkies, most Politics Extra readers probably have been following "pajamagate."
For those who haven't, this seems like a good time to catch up/update on some of these interesting doings recently in Columbus, involving staffers in Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann's office.

It's hard to resist a headline like this, in the Plain Dealer:

Dann denies aide wore pajamas at his apartment

Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann on Wednesday denied that a woman he supervises was wearing pajamas when she was in his Columbus apartment on the night another staffer claims to have been sexually harassed by one of Dann s top managers.

Read the full story here.

Also read more about this here and here. As DC blogger Wonkette notes in the usual Wonketty tone, "Ohio is blowing up with the biggest scandal of all time, in politics."

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Calling all judges: Want a job?

Judges hopefuls, dust off your resumes.

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland's office has issued an open invitation for applications to fill the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge seat vacated by Alex Triantafilou.

Read the release here

Triantafilou earlier this year gave up his judgeship to take over as head of the Hamilton County Republican Party.

If you want his old job, you have to have experience and run in the November election.

Portman at White House today

Terrace Park's Rob Portman, a former Ohio congressman and Bush administration official, is back in Washington today.

Portman joined President Bush this morning for the signing of the Second Chance Act, a bill that Portman worked on while he was in Congress.

Portman was, in fact, the original author of the bill, which he named "Second Chance Act" after Bush's 2004 State of the Union address called for such a focus.

The legislation passed the House last November and cleared the Senate last month, both times with overwhelming bipartisan support. It will allow state and local entities to work together to help keep prisoners from returning to prison by providing funding for drug and alcohol treatment programs, job training, mentoring and job placement services.

"The work of redemption reflects our values. It also reflects our national interests. Each year, approximately 650,000 prisoners are released from jail. Unfortunately, an estimated two-thirds of them are rearrested within three years," Bush said as he signed the bill.

He added: "The high recidivism rate places a huge financial burden on taxpayers, it deprives our labor force of productive workers, and it deprives families of their daughters and sons, and husbands and wives, and moms and dads."

CLICK HERE to read the entire transcript of the president's remarks and watch a video of the bill signing ceremony.

Trying to control social agencies in the West End

UPDATE: Mayor Mark Mallory says he wants to talk more to Chris Bortz about this before deciding whether to put it on a future agenda. He said he is concerned that such a move by council would appear to be trying to re-visit the issues the city already tried to handle in court and could, therefore, open the city up to more litigation.

This isn't on today's City Council agenda, but it passed out of economic development committee Tuesday: A resolution from Chris Bortz that would direct the city administration to "adhere to the policy that social service agencies and programming shall not be concentrated in a single geographic area and shall not locate in an area that is deemed impacted."

He writes that the West End - the location for the proposed CityLink consolidated social services center - "provides significant potential for job growth through commercial and light industrial development, thereby increasing City of Cincinnati tax revenues."

The city late last month lost its fight against CityLink when the Supreme Court of Ohio declined to hear appeals.

Read Bortz's whole resolution here.

Mayor Mark Mallory, who grew up and still lives in the West End, did not put the item on this week's agenda, but still could.

Butler County vote machines lost 105 votes

A recently discovered computer glitch caused at least 105 votes in West Chester to go missing after the March 4 primary election, Butler County election officials said.

Two computer cards containing votes from touch-screen voting machines were not uploaded on election night - even though the computer reported that all cards had been read. Those votes have since been counted and were included in final, official results approved last week.

Officials say they don't yet know whether the same glitch may have affected results from previous elections in Butler County or elsewhere. Forty-four of Ohio's 88 counties - including the urban counties of Lucas (Toledo), Montgomery (Dayton) and Stark (Canton) use the same software - from Premier Election Solutions - as their primary vote-counting system

Greg Korte has the story here

Sheriff won't talk, so Portune does

Jessica Brown reports from today's Hamilton County Commission meeting:

Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune today gave his take on why the alcohol-related case of a sheriff's office major was handled the way it was.

Maj. James Dattilo was found drunk behind the wheel of a county car March 14 while parked in a Green Township fast-food drive through. A sheriff's deputy cited Dattilo for being in control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Questions have since swirled about why the major was not charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Sheriff Simon Leis' office has refused to answer Enquirer questions relating to the case.

A member of the public addressed the Hamilton County Commissioners this morning about the issue. She said she felt Dattilo was getting preferential treatment and asked the commissioners if they could do anything about it.

So Portune, who said he's received a few e-mails on the issue as well, broke the sheriff's silence.

"It's my personal preference that the sheriff speak publicly on the matter. But I have looked into it," he said.

He said a recent law change makes the charge against Dattilo the appropriate charge because the major was on private property rather than a public roadway.

"That's the only offense he could have been charged with. He was arrested, and was sentence to what first-time offenders are sentenced to and suspended by the sheriff's office. I would have liked for the sheriff to say all that and put an end to the controversy, but he didn't."

Portune later added that the Major Sean Donovan was very forthcoming with the information when Portune asked questions and he's not sure why the office was so close-lipped about it to the public and the media.

"Absolutely no preferential treatment was shown," Portune said. He said he recognized it is the sheriff's perogative not to answer those questions or make public statements about the issue.

"Personally I wish they would have put it out because the information is helpful to them," he said.

Portune said he did not ask Donovan why Dattilo had been driving a take-home vehicle -- another question that the Enquirer had unsuccessfully sought an answer to.

Roll Call: Pepper, Kearney rising stars

Roll Call, a respected Capitol Hill newspaper, reported yesterday:

BYLINE: Shira Toeplitz, Roll Call Staff

First of two parts

If there ever was a state that exemplified the Democratic hurricane of 2006, it was Ohio. The same GOP that delivered the 2004 election to President Bush suffered from widely publicized corruption scandals in both the state and national Capitol.

As expected, many rising stars played a part in the the 2006 sweep that delivered almost every statewide office to Democrats. What’s more, term limits in both state legislative chambers — eight years in each the state House and Senate — ensure a new crop of pols are always coming up through the ranks ...

In the southwestern part of the state, Democrats see both Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper and state Sen. Eric Kearney as part of their first string. Pepper lost the race for mayor of Cincinnati in 2005, leaving him with a loss on his record but higher name identification in the 1st Congressional district. Nonetheless, Democrats say Pepper is a great fundraiser.

Kearney, who is one of the owners of a chain of African-American news media outlets in the region, also is a possibility, but he is term-limited after 2010.

Even though party leaders recruited state Rep. Steve Driehaus (D) to run against Rep. Steve Chabot (R) in 2008, they could easily look to Pepper or Kearney further down the road if Driehaus loses.

NEXT WEEK: Ohio Republicans

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Dole family gives thanks

Chris Dole and his wife Susan submitted this letter to the editor. (It's the second last one on the list).

And their daughter is doing well.

Independent joins 2nd District race

Madeira businessman David H. Krikorian officially qualified Tuesday to run as an independent for the Ohio 2nd Congressional District now represented by Republican Jean Schmidt.

The Hamilton County Board of Elections validated Krikorian petitions bearing more than 3,000 signatures, his campaign announced.

Schmidt already faces a challenge from Democratic nominee Victoria Wulsin, who lost to Schmidt by a narrow margin in 2004.

Voinovich targets Brent Spence Bridge

U.S. Sen. George Voinovich will be in Cincinnati on Monday for a closed-door confab with Ohio Department of Transportation chief James Beasley, among others, to talk about the Brent Spence Bridge.

Voinovich and others on Capitol Hill have been under growing pressure to come up with ways to pay for the $3 billion bridge replacement and other high-dollar infrastructure needs.

While the press will not be allowed to sit in on the chat, Voinovich may talk to reporters afterwards about whether he brings good news from Capitol Hill.

Top ed official really a visionary

Jon Craig reports from Columbus:

Most of the public, including Gov. Ted Strickland, doesn’t know the visionary side of the state’s top policymaker for education, several state Board of Education members said Tuesday.

They spoke in defense of Susan Tave Zelman’s during breaks at the first meeting of the 19-member state board since Strickland openly criticized Zelman during an editorial board meeting of the Enquirer.

Zelman, the independently appointed state schools superintendent, challenged the state Board of Education Tuesday to dig deeper to glean the best ways to bring innovation and creativity back to Ohio. Sher made her rare public remarks during reports on how the state education board's work meshes with education plans proposed by Gov. Ted Strickland and Board of Regents Chancellor Eric Fingerhut.

"I think we're still at its infancy. . .in terms of understanding how the brain works,'' Zelman said. "I think we're just beginning to scratch the surface.''

Zelman's comments came at the first regular board meeting since Strickland questioned her vision at an Enquirer editorial board last month. They also come as the state school board prepares to give her an annual review in June at a meeting where board members expect to make sweeping recommendations to the state legislature and governor on how to proceed in overhauling the school system academically and financially. The state Supreme Court has ruled several times that Ohio's system of funding schools is inadequate and overly reliant on property taxes.

On March 13, speaking to Enquirer editors and reporters, Strickland called Zelman "an academician, a psychometrician, a statistician. But she's not an Eric Fingerhut, a visionary leader. . . She's a very bright person who contributes a lot to education, but she's not carrying out that


It also was announced today that the governor's education policy assistant plans to attend the June meeting, a fact confirmed by Strickland spokesman Keith Dailey.

Some board members have criticized the governor for not sending top staff to the school board meetings.

Calling a high school in Shanghai, China, the most exciting she'd ever seen, and innovative programs in India and at progressive American engineering schools, Zelman said the next step for the school board is to "go deeper into research literature on innovation and creativity (and) see what we can glean and bring back to Ohio."

Several Cincinnati-area members of the 19-member school board welcomed Zelman's comments, calling her a quiet leader behind the scenes.

"We actually have been doing a lot of this preliminary work for years,'' said Jane Sonenshein of Loveland. "The legislature has to make it happen. Dr. Zelman has been extremely supportive of the thought processes. Dr. Zelman has made many changes that they need to make that nobody really had touched."

Sonenshein and other board members heard staff reports showing that the board, governor and chancellor actually agree in most areas. "There is a whole lot of agreement in where we want to go,'' Sonenshein said.

Susan Haverkos agreed that the public doesn't get to see this side of Zelman, which board members experience private conversations.

"We don't get to see that a lot publicly,'' Haverkos said of Zelman's remarks. "We see it a lot on a one-on-one basis. The board works best when we don't all agree."

Even so, both Haverkos and Ann Womer Benjamin, a former state legislator from Portage County, are concerned that squabbles among the governor, legislature and school board can lead to gridlock instead of doing what's best for Ohio schoolchildren.

Womer Benjamin also said she'd like to see more action taken by the board, instead of more study.

"This is the beginning of a journey,'' said board member Steven Millett. "This is a milestone in a journey."

Portune gets bird's eye view in court

There were no $1 million dollar bonds set in arraignment court on Tuesday. At least not while Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune was there.

Most bonds set Tuesday, if any, were less than $5,000. The highest was $250,000 on a shooting case with "life threatening injuries". Many defendants were released on electronic monitoring.

The commissioner was invited by Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Brad Greenberg to sit in on a courtroom session Tuesday to get a birds-eye view of what the judges do.
"I invited him because I know he’s interested I the issues. I thought it would be a good idea to see what happens in Courtroom A," said Greenberg.

The invitation came after Portune made a controversial suggestion that the county keep track of the bonds each judge sets to see which judges are contributing to jail overcrowding. Portune made the suggestion after a different judge refused to reduce a $1 million bond on an 18-year-old $21 theft case (it was later reduced by another judge). Portune reasoned that if too-high bonds are constantly being set on low-level cases, those defendants unnecessarily take up needed jail beds.
UPDATE: So here's what Portune learned.
1) It’s a fast-paced machine.
“Just the sheer volume of cases doesn’t give the judges a whole lot of time to reflect on what needs to be done," he said. "They’re very dependent on a system of other players all working together toward the administration of justice. I didn’t see any breakdowns there today.”

2) Electronic monitoring was used a lot.
“He used it, it seemed, almost every other case," Portune said. "One of the oft-discussed notions is that the court should use things like electronic monitoring and they aren’t doing that very much. I didn’t see that. It was used quite frequently.”

Portune also saw two areas where he expects reforms could increase efficiency.
1) When someone is charged with a felony and misdemeanor stemming from the same crime, the charges should be handled together. Currently, the charges are handled by separate courts which creates more court hearings and drags out the case for longer than necessary.
2) Bails shouldn’t be higher just because the defendant lives out of county. Currently a standard $1,000 bond jumps to $2,500 just because the person lives in Clermont or Boone county. That could swell the jail population.

Portune plans to sit in again sometime this week. He is holding firm to his belief that judges’ decisions need to be tracked.

"Beyond bonds I think we should develop a system that provides a snapshot of what judges are doing. How many cases are being handled? How many were disposed of in a time frame? How many were handled in the time frame that the Ohio Supreme Court espouses? How are sentences on identical charges? How are bonds on identical charges?," he said. "All these things present a snapshot of the kind of job our judges are doing and provide general public a better understanding of the job they are doing. That type of thing will be necessary in accountability that justice is being meted out in our courts. I’m not saying this to say anyone’s doing a bad job or a great job. Just that the data should be out there.”

UPDATE: Portune gets praise from NAACP

NAACP President Christopher Smitherman gave Portune kudos for his efforts to track bonds.

“The bond issue is one leg of many legs (of the justice system) we’re concerned about. We are happy to see Commissioner Portune move in this direction,” said Smitherman. “This is a positive step that has not gone unnoticed.”

The NAACP had gone against Portune when he tried (unsuccessfully) to increase the sales tax last year for a new jail and public safety programs. Smitherman had claimed the system was "broken."

Greenberg dealt Tuesday with charges ranging from probation violations and driving infractions to more serious charges like robbery and assault.

Portune pored over courtroom documents, asked questions and listened to more than a dozen cases. during the roughly 75 minutes he was in there. After most of the cases, Greenberg and Portune huddled at the bench for a moment and Greenberg explained things about the case adn the documentation.

"“He was asking about the information that Pretrial provides to the judges,” said Greenburg. “That’s the main information I use in setting bonds.”

For example, the cover sheet for the case summarizes the person’s prior criminal history and whether they’ve failed to appear in the past. It also displays the “point system.” Defendants get positive or negative points based on things like whether they have jobs, houses, or have been on probation before. Points are another factor in setting bonds, he explained.
"He was asking what some of these things mean," Greenberg said.

Portune spoke up just a couple times in the courtroom.

“When was he sentenced?” asked Portune after one case in which the defendant had been sentenced to prison for a drug conviction, but had not been transferred because some pending misdemeanor charges had not been dealt with. “April 4th” came the answer.

Portune has expressed concern about whether inmates are held for inordinate amounts of time in the justice center between the time they’re sentenced to prison and the time they’re transferred. A Criminal Justice Commission on which Portune and several judges sit on are looking into all these issues.

In another case, Portune asked for some explanation about the defendant’s past jail stay.

He also inquired at one point, when the glass was installed separating the judge and court staff from the audience. The judge wasn’t’ sure. Portune eventually got his answer from someone else in the room.

Portune said this was his first time observing court proceedings from this viewpoint. Portune is a civil law attorney.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Dole petitions to be certified

UPDATE: Chris Dole's petitions have been certified. He's officially a candidate. He turned in over 4700 signatures. The minimum is 2875 valid signatures.
Here's what Dole says about it.

And here's what his opponent, Greg Hartmann says.

Crosby Township Trustee Chris Dole's candidacy for Hamilton County Commissioner is about to become official.

The Hamilton County Board of Elections is expected Tuesday to certify Dole's petitions. He will be running as an independent against Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Greg Hartmann for the seat being vacated by Commissioner Pat DeWine. DeWine is leaving the office because he is running for common pleas court judge. A much-criticized deal between the county's Democratic and Republican parties resulted in no Democratic candidate being on the ballot to challenge Hartmann. That's why Dole stepped in.

Says Dole: "The petition campaign has been both challenging and rewarding. Rewarding, because of the thousands of Hamilton County residents across all party lines spontaneously signed on, of which seventy five circulated petitions. They were eager to sign because they wanted to join in the cause of giving voters a choice. As Thomas Paine said, “The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected.”

The others to be certified Tuesday:
  • David Krikorian of Madeira, filed for a Second Congressional District seat. He turned in over 3400 signatures. The minimum was 2875 valid. Here's what he said about it.
  • James Condit Jr. was certified as an official write in candidate for the Second Congressional District.

Gableman get's award for work on The Banks

Attorney Tom Gabelman from the law firm Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, has been given a Distinguished Citizen Award by the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners “for outstanding service to his community and his unwavering dedication to The Banks Project.”

Gabelman has worked on The Banks project on behalf of the county since before it was even called "The Banks" and is a member of the Banks Working Group. Before that, he worked on riverfront development issues including the stadium projects. He was presented the award at The Banks groundbreaking ceremony last week.

Bush to goetta king: "What's goetta?"

Malia Rulon reports:
WASHINGTON - The owner of Glier’s Meats, the largest commercial producer of goetta, met with President Bush on Monday.

The president’s first question: "What’s goetta?"
Daniel Glier said he told the president, “It’s a Cincinnati thing,” as he explained the origin of the German breakfast meat mixture popular mostly just in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. (It’s a mix of pork, beef, whole grain, steel-cut oats, and spices.)
Read the new story here

Here's the White House press release....

Today, President Bush met with small and mid-sized business owners to discuss temporary tax incentives in the economic growth package. In February 2008, President Bush signed into law an economic growth package that will boost our economy by putting money back into the hands of American workers and businesses. This growth package meets the criteria the President laid out in January – it amounts to more than $152 billion, or about one percent of GDP, provides tax rebates to more than 130 million American households, and offers temporary tax incentives for businesses to invest in their companies and create jobs this year. These incentives are already in place and are starting to have an impact. The growth package was carefully calibrated and is large enough to promote short-run growth in our economy without jeopardizing our long-term budget objectives.

Today's Meeting Participants Were Prompted To Make New Investments This Year As A Result Of The Economic Growth Package

-- Dan Glier is the President of Glier's Meats, Inc., an 18-employee, USDA-inspected meat processing plant located in Covington, Kentucky. Established in 1946 by Glier’s father, Glier's Meats is a manufacturer of many types of gourmet meats but is most renowned for their specialty product, Goetta. Holding in excess of 90 percent of the Goetta market, Glier's annual production of Goetta now exceeds over 1,000,000 pounds. Earlier this year, Glier installed a new replacement refrigeration compressor for approximately $15,000. When the stimulus package passed, he additionally began planning to install a deer processing facility, an investment he would not have made without the incentives in the stimulus legislation.

And a goetta-less pool report:

Pool report #1

Meeting with small and medium sized business owners in the Roosevelt Room.

No news, no questions, but POTUS reiterated his view that the economic stimulus package should be given a "chance to work" before another one is considered.

He said the stimulus package would encourage business owners to make decisions "that will help us recover from this economic slowdown".

Acknowledging concern about high fuel prices, he said: "I fully understand that not only are people worried about their homes, they are also worried about the cost of fuel."

High fuel prices were among the reasons why "we've got to keep taxes low,"
he added. (Check quotes against transcript).

The pool was ushered in at 1.47pm at the bottom of the meeting. POTUS was sat at the conference table with nine small and mid-sized business owners (see WH fact sheet for names and business details). Also at the table were advisers Joshua Bolten, Ed Lazear, Barry Jackson, Joel Kaplan and Kevin Sullivan.

POTUS grasped a black permanent marker pen with which he had scrawled a few notes -- unintelligible to your pooler -- on the notebook in front of him.

Andrew Ward
White House Correspondent
The Financial Times

About that 'southwest suburban blob...'

From this Dispatch column:

The Ohio maxim had been that if Democrats turned out, their candidates won. Republicans trumped that in 2004, notably in the southwest Ohio suburban blob anchored by Cincinnati, Dayton and Lebanon, including Butler (Hamilton and Middletown) County.

For McCain to have an Ohio win, he'd have to swamp Clinton in southwest Ohio despite those
Cincinnati-area Republicans who think he's a closet Democrat. But what if there and everywhere else in Ohio black Democrats stayed home, irked that their party spurned Obama? Advantage, McCain.

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