SEEMANN & ELLINGTON: If you’ve lost your faith in good Samaritans, consider the examples of Scott Seemann and Gene Ellington. When the two men, who don’t know each other, read about the plight of Dorothy Rembert in The Enquirer, they separately decided to help.
Rembert, 61, is now in failing health and could’ve been sent to prison for five years for a recently discovered $3,005 unpaid fine in a criminal case from 1981 that she thought an ex-husband had paid. Seemann, of Liberty Township, stepped up and donated $1,000. Then Ellington, of West Chester, paid $2,033. In a time when many people view greed as a virtue and have grown callous to the plight of others, the actions of the two men remind us of what a good life is all about.
DUSTY RHODES: An idea being considered by a citizens’ task force that’s examining ways to streamline Hamilton County government is making the county’s eight independently elected offices — like auditor, clerk of courts, coroner and recorder — positions that would be appointed by the county commission instead. As anyone familiar with county government knows, many of those offices are filled with scores of patronage employees or people who got their jobs as a favor for work done on political campaigns or making donations.
Longtime County Auditor Dusty Rhodes wants to protect his turf, so he’s dipping into George Orwell’s “doublespeak" to do it. Rhodes convinced the Ohio Auditors Association to create an opposition group, the “Committee to Protect and Preserve Limited County Government.” Hey, Dusty: County government would be smaller if guys like you didn’t make hiring decisions.
CONTACT CENTER: Beginning in November 1967, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. shifted his focus to the “Poor People’s Campaign,” an effort to help the nation’s poor, regardless of their skin color, through concepts like a guaranteed income. Unfortunately, King was killed less than six months later. His work is being carried on, though, by the Cleveland-based Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.
The group is marching from New Orleans to Detroit April 4-June 20, in an effort to build a leadership base for a broad movement to abolish poverty everywhere. The local Contact Center hosted the marchers last week as they stopped in Cincinnati for a brief rest. With its 41-year history of community service and organizing, the center is focused on helping those most in need and deserves kudos for its tireless efforts.
PHIL HEIMLICH: It appears that the former Cincinnati city councilman and Hamilton County commissioner might soon disappear from the TV airwaves. After Heimlich failed in his commission reelection bid in 2006, he jumped into the GOP primary race against U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township) in 2008, only to drop out shortly afterward. He then used the nearly $350,000 he raised for that campaign to finance a series of one-minute “commentaries” called Hard Truths, which aired periodically during the morning on WXIX-TV (Channel 19).
But in his most recent report to the Federal Elections Commission, filed in April, Heimlich reveals he has only $638.68 left. Either airtime is mighty costly on WXIX or his suits are more expensive than they look. Either way, we wonder how his campaign donors feel about the situation.