GREG HARRIS: He was a standout on Cincinnati City Council last year for bravely challenging wasteful spending in the city’s police and fire departments. Unfortunately, the powerful police and firefighter unions then waged a highly misleading disinformation campaign against him, leading to Harris’ defeat at the polls in November.
We’re glad to see that didn’t dissuade Harris, who published a guest editorial in the Jan. 31 Enquirer detailing his all-too-accurate views. Meanwhile, his replacements on council helped avoid a deficit this year only through the use of one-time borrowing and cuts to basic services rather than showing true leadership. Union leaders must be feeling so proud of their slate.
‘TAKING THE STAGE’: Yes, we know reality TV shows aren’t really real. But there are degrees to their phoniness, ranging from the mostly true Cops to the totally fake Operation Repo. Leaning toward the latter side is Taking the Stage, MTV’s show set at Cincinnati’s School for the Creative and Performing Arts.
We had heard from students that producers would film supposedly impromptu scenes late at night, after classes had ended. For its second season, producers have gone even further by actively recruiting white students from other schools to balance out the once mostly African-American cast. We’re guessing producers actually wanted to do a remake of the fictional Fame, but the rights were too expensive.
JIM TARBELL: A familiar face is returning to the political scene. Tarbell, a former Cincinnati City councilman and vice mayor, left office in 2007 due to term limits. A fierce advocate for urban redevelopment and one of the region’s biggest boosters, he's a plain-spoken politician who gets the big picture issues.
A Charterite when he was on City Council, Tarbell will run as a Democrat for the commission, taking on Whitewater Township Trustee Hubert Brown for the party’s nomination. The winner will run for David Pepper’s soon-to-be-open seat. Regardless of the outcome, it’s good to see Tarbell back in action.
MARK QUARRY: The Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors’ government relations director has become known recently for posting anti-Obama, pro-Tea Party rhetoric on Facebook. It’s an odd stance for someone whose job is to interact with political officials.
It’s odder still because most Realtors have praised Obama’s homeowner tax credits for saving their butts. Under Obama’s program, eligible buyers have until April 30 to buy a home to qualify for an $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers.
Many realtors reported a 30 percent to 40 percent increase in sales last year due to the credits. If you feel so strongly about your conservative views, Mr. Quarry, maybe you should advise your members not to offer the credits.