COVINGTON POLICE: When four people were injured as the result of a gay bashing on Aug. 14 at a gasoline station in Covington, police and city officials there took the situation seriously. The City Commission held a news conference reaffirming its commitment to the local human rights ordinance, while police increased patrols near the six gay-oriented businesses in and near the MainStrasse district. Later, when dozens of anti-gay fliers appeared on poles and vehicles just before a planned rally against hate crimes, police and the city solicitor vowed to discover who posted the odious writings and prosecute them for violating Covington's sign law. Can you imagine Cincinnati police and the City Council here acting with such haste and determination in a similar situation north of the Ohio River? Yeah, neither can we, unfortunately.
JOE DETERS: Hamilton County's prosecutor is notoriously “pro-cop at any cost.” Years of that type of attitude led to the festering rage that exploded in the 2001 riots after an officer shot and killed an unarmed 19-year-old man in an alley.
Now, Joe Deters cites an Ohio State Highway Patrol report to justify not charging Police Officer Marty Polk with any felony charges for killing a homeless woman in July. The patrol concluded Polk wasn't negligent when he drove his cruiser onto the grass in Washington Park and rolled over Joann Burton as she lay sleeping under a blanket, crushing her. Really? Walk by the park — it's small enough and open enough that there's no reason to drive onto the lawn. Why Polk did so remains a mystery, but you'd better believe a civilian would've been charged with a crime in the same circumstance. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what a travesty of justice looks like.
DAN LA BOTZ: Whether you like him or not, Dan LaBotz has a point. LaBotz, the socialist candidate running for U.S. Senate against Republican Rob Portman and Democrat Lee Fisher, has complained to the Ohio Newspaper Association (ONA), which is organizing three debates between Portman and Fisher. In essence, LaBotz argues that since he qualifies for the ballot under Ohio law, the ONA should insist that the candidates from the two major political parties allow LaBotz to participate in the debates. We think Portman and Fisher are afraid LaBotz might throw them off their carefully scripted answers and actually spark a true debate on the issues, including ones they'd rather not address. The two-party system is broken and the public would be well served by including other points-of-view.
GREEN TOWNSHIP: Pity poor Township Administrator Kevin Celarek. His bosses, the Green Township trustees, put him in a dire position when they ordered him to hire the Hamilton County Republican Party chairman's wife as his executive assistant. After all, Jennifer Triantafilou didn't meet the minimum qualifications for the job, applied 11 days after the deadline and wasn't a top-ranked candidate after interviews. Patronage is alive and well among GOP politicians, but Celarek doesn't do himself any favors when he tells a newspaper, “All of this controversy is not improving the functioning of the township is any shape or form.” Umm, it would if you all actually learned from the debacle. And we're still waiting for GOP Chairman Alex Triantafilou to weigh in. Alex? Hello? Bueller?
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