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Todd Portune and Mitch McConnell

By Kevin Osborne · April 21st, 2010 · Winners and Losers


TODD PORTUNE: The longtime Hamilton County commissioner is urging his counterparts on Cincinnati City Council to follow the county’s example and change the city’s hiring policies. Portune wants the city to end its usual practice of automatically disqualifying applicants who have a criminal record, no matter how old.

In 2006, the city refused to hire Gene Mays based on two drug-abuse felonies, which were then 13 and 19 years old, even though bureaucrats knew Mays was clean for a decade and ranked No. 1 for all five years of his union apprenticeship. The county loosened its rules to allow more discretion, and Portune says the city should, too. We agree.


MITCH MCCONNELL: The Republican Senate leader from Louisville is urging all GOP senators to uniformly oppose President Obama’s proposed banking reforms, even if most of them (like Sen.

Scott Brown of Massachusetts) can’t articulate why. Although McConnell says his opposition is due to the possibility of another bank bailout, we’d like to point out that A.) McConnell supported the 2008 bailout and tried to block putting any controls on the cash, and B.) McConnell recently met with two dozen Wall Street executives, including hedge fund managers, to listen to their fears about the reform and then — presto! — decides to oppose Obama’s plan.

Don’t try to pose as a populist, Mr. McConnell.


CONNIE PILLICH: The Democratic state representative from Montgomery recently introduced a bill that would ensure mothers of newborns are allowed to take unpaid breaks on their jobs so they can drain their breast milk in a timely manner. Also, the bill would require employers to use reasonable efforts to set aside a private, sanitary location for nursing mothers.

House Bill 488 is a sensible, family-friendly measure that would entail virtually no cost for employers while helping new mothers stay on schedule and help their babies develop healthy immune systems. Who could be against that?


BERDING & BORTZ: Cincinnati City Council wanted to pass a resolution April 14 to support Ohio Issue 1 on the May ballot, which provides bond money to invest in high-tech businesses. Seemed simple enough, as council has passed numerous similar resolutions in past years. But Councilman Chris Bortz told his colleagues they couldn’t do it because city attorneys told him the municipal charter prohibits council from taking a stand on ballot issues.

An irked council majority questioned the advice. For example, Councilman Jeff Berding introduced two such resolutions in 2008, which were approved. The timing seems suspicious to us and more like a snippy political stunt.



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