BOARD OF REALTORS: The Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors, under the guidance of Republican-elected official Mark Quarry, recently gave a $10,000 donation to Chris Monzel, the GOP candidate for the Hamilton County Commission. That strikes us as odd because it means the Realtors must embrace Monzel's anti-transit, anti-gay and anti-urbanist policies — positions that are contrary to attracting young, creative professionals to any region and making it more vibrant. But the goofy Quarry, a conservative who sits on the Silverton City Council, is full of inconsistent views. He's the guy who frequently posts anti-Obama, pro-Tea Party rhetoric online, even though Realtors benefitted greatly from Obama's first-time homeowner tax credits. What's that old saying about biting the hand that feeds you? Maybe Quarry wants Republicans elected so they can loosen regulation and trigger another housing bubble based on artificially inflated prices.
COUNTY DEMOCRATS: The race between State Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-Price Hill) and Republican challenger Mike Robison took a bizarre turn in early September when the Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman lodged a complaint that Robison falsely claimed in appearances that Driehaus wanted to change her last name on the ballot to that of her husband's.
Democrats thought the tactic was a backhanded method to alienate Ms. Driehaus from some of the conservative Catholics in her district. The county Board of Elections split 2-2 (along party lines) about whether to have Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner launch an inquiry against Robison. Brunner, a Democrat, declined to break the tie, adding the Elections Commission was the appropriate forum for the dispute. The crafty Robison has never denied the allegations against him, making us wonder why local Dems don't pursue this incident further. People who blatantly lie need to be taught a lesson.
DICK FARMER: The board chairman of Mason-based Cintas Corp. was among the roughly 210 powerful elite in business and media who was invited to attend a secret meeting sponsored by Charles Koch, chairman of Koch Industries. Koch and his brother, David, are billionaires who've helped organize and fund the Tea Party movement. The meeting, to be held Jan. 30-31 in Rancho Mirage, Calif., is a twice-annual event designed to plot strategy against the progressive agenda. Koch's memo, obtained by liberal blog ThinkProgress, states participants will “outline a vision of how we can foster a renewal of American free enterprise and prosperity,” adding they should commit to “an unprecedented level of support” for sympathetic political candidates. We're sure that Farmer, who was the 15th largest fundraiser for George W. Bush in 2000, has the time to attend because he sure doesn't seem to pay much attention to his firm's abysmal worker safety record.
COUNTY BOARD OF HEALTH: Even after The Enquirer outed the Hamilton County Board of Health for quietly giving Public Health Commissioner Tim Ingram a $24,615 bonus — on top of his $197,000 annual salary — board members and Ingram remain unapologetic. Their response? Ingram deserves the bonus, despite the fact he's already paid more than any other health commissioner in Ohio, including Cleveland's. Moreover, the board hired a $175-an-hour public relations firm to help it deal with the fallout, even though it already has a PR specialist on staff. Ingram has received bonuses for at least the last three years, a period during which the county cut $60 million and eliminated hundreds of jobs, The Enquirer reported. No wonder this nation is spawning angry, radical anti-government sentiment like the Tea Party contingent. Rein it in, folks.