ALAN KALMANOFF: Local political junkies will remember Kalmanoff as the city of Cincinnati’s first federally-appointed police monitor, hired in 2002 to oversee the implementation of dozens of reforms to the Cincinnati Police Department. He left after six weeks, however, following a highly publicized dispute with city officials over allegations of excessive spending. We’ve written before about how some of The Enquirer’s articles on Kalmanoff’s billings at the time were distorted or just plain wrong, but he’s carried on as director of his consulting firm, the California-based Institute for Law and Policy Planning.
Now Kalmanoff can add “author” to his resume with the recent publication of Second Ticket to the Dance, a book about his battle with heart disease and the changes he made to his life as a result. Good for you, Kal.
JOE DETERS: Poor Joe just can’t seem to catch a break lately. The Ohio Supreme Court last week voted 6-1 to issue a stay preventing Deters from firing the law firm hired by Hamilton County commissioners to handle legal issues connected to riverfront redevelopment.
Deters had convinced 12 Common Pleas Court judges in October to sign an order axing the law firm, stating it was an unnecessary expense and the Prosecutor’s Office could handle future riverfront issues. Commissioners, however, said the firm’s expertise was needed and that Deters lacked the authority to fire it. Also, commissioners questioned his motives because he opposes The Banks riverfront project.
Deters’ order was to take effect Jan. 1, but the high court’s stay prevents that until it makes a final ruling in the matter, expected later this month.
CITY COUNCIL’S KINDLES: Try saying that three times quickly. At the suggestion of Cincinnati Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, City Council is buying 10 Kindle electronic readers — one each for the mayor and council members. The devices will cost $7,200 but will save $25,632 annually in paper costs by eliminating the need for hard copies of reports and resolutions. Republicans are crying foul, saying it’s an unnecessary expense when the city is facing deficits. Apparently the local GOP doesn’t understand math.
Still, politics is unfortunately all too often a matter of perception, and buying the devices now sends mixed messages to the public. The real test on whether the purchase is a good thing, however, will be seeing if the devices remain available to future council members and don’t mysteriously disappear when current members leave office.
ROB PORTMAN: Facts often are the enemy of many political campaigns. A case in point are the statements made in Republican Rob Portman’s campaign for the U.S. Senate. Portman is the former congressman from Terrace Park and budget director under George W. Bush who wants to replace the retiring George Voinovich next year. Portman has been stumping against the TARP bailout, a program he supported in 2008, as well as what he calls excessive spending by President Obama.
As noted by Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, a Democrat who’s running against Portman, that’s blatant hypocrisy. “He decries the size of the budget deficit, but the debt swelled to $500 billion on Portman’s watch as director of the Office of Management and Budget under George W. Bush,” Fisher’s campaign manager rightly said. Own up to your past, Mr. Portman.