DAVID PEPPER, TODD PORTUNE: The two Hamilton County commissioners, both Democrats, have long complained about how the Bengals’ lease for the county-owned stadium is wreaking havoc on taxpayers. With sales tax revenues less than expected, commissioners may have to soon dip into county accounts to pay for the debt, meaning services to residents might be cut. Why, then, did Pepper and Portune announce their support for Cincinnati City Councilman Jeff Berding on Saturday? Berding was campaign manager for the tax and sold the deal to voters. The pair should ask Berding — a Bengals executive who recently lost his party’s endorsement — to give the county some of his salary.
ELIZABETH TROMBLEY: We commend local resident Liz Trombley, a recent UC graduate, who is the only person from our region that’s attending the U.N.
Climate Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark this December. She has a background in international affairs, particularly on issues related to the Arab Gulf and oil. Trombley is raising money to help pay for the trip and also trying to get people to sign the Climate Countdown petition, which urges President Obama to increase U.S. actions on climate change prior to the conference. For more information or to donate, visit www.liztocopenhagen.wordpress.com.
CHRISTOPHER SMITHERMAN: The controversial president of the NAACP’s Cincinnati chapter issued an odd press release last week in which he complained about the ballot wording for Issue 9, the anti-rail amendment he proposed. He thinks the wording is misleading, with “yes” meaning “no,” and vice-versa. “This is nothing short of madness and political corruption,” Smitherman wrote. Except… the wording is exactly the same as written by NAACP lawyer Chris Finney and submitted by Smitherman. In fact, Finney threatened City Council awhile back if it changed the wording. Now, who is trying to mislead voters?
LOCAL GOP: Many Republicans are touting 2009 as their comeback year for winning political offices, what with Tea Parties, Glenn Beck and all. The actions (or lack thereof) from the Hamilton County Republican Party, however, seem to contradict that assertion. Some GOP candidates for Cincinnati City Council, along with their campaign staffers, are complaining that the local party hasn’t contributed cash to their efforts as it’s done in past election cycles. Typically, most candidates get about $11,000 from the mother ship. This year, many have received far less than that, with some getting zilch. Party leaders remain tight-lipped about the issue.