WCPO-TV: Kudos to Channel 9, which performed a valuable public service this election season by sponsoring and airing debates featuring candidates in several noteworthy races. Better still, WCPO didn't bury the debates in the wee hours of the morning. Most ran around 7 p.m. and then were kept available for replay on the station's Web site. In an era when many TV stations are reducing their commitment to public affairs programming, this was a welcome change. And in an election cycle filled with a seemingly non-stop barrage of noxious and misleading campaign ads — thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court's horrible Citizens United ruling — the substantive debates were a breath of fresh air. (Of course, WCPO's high-definition broadcast made some of the politicos look especially scary, so it might have cost them a few votes from squeamish viewers.)
JEAN SCHMIDT: She might have won reelection to Ohio's 2nd Congressional District seat, but Schmidt continues to show poor judgment. While speaking to an assembly of students, ranging from the first to eighth grades, at Queen of Angels Montessori School recently, Schmidt mentioned her opposition to abortion.
Concerned that some people might not like having their 6-year-old child exposed to the concept, Principal Dan Teller sent a letter to parents afterward. "I apologize for any confusion or fear that this may elicit on the part of your child, and for the awkward position this may put you in of introducing a difficult issue at a time that may be premature for you," Teller wrote. C'mon, Jean: Show some common sense. If a Democratic official had mentioned abortion to young children, you'd be calling for a censure hearing. It's way past time you shape up.
SIMON LEIS: We don't always see eye-to-eye with the crusty ol' Hamilton County sheriff, but we give him credit when appropriate. So, for the second time ever, we're applauding Leis. This time, it's for have the cojones to call out his own party when it lies during campaigning, as well as for supporting the better candidate in a race, regardless of party affiliation. Leis has taken heat from GOP leaders for supporting Democrat Jim Tarbell for the county commission and for complaining that party leaders unfairly attacked Democrat David Pepper, a candidate for state auditor, in a TV commercial. What this really tells us is that local and state Republicans have a shoddy field of candidates this year and run campaigns devoid of substance. Maybe Si needs to get his trusty night stick and spend a few moments alone in a room with Kevin DeWine and Alex Triantafilou.
PORT AUTHORITY: This is us doing a double take. During a recent Hamilton County budget hearing, Port Authority officials complained about a proposal to keep their funding at 2010 levels for another year, which is a not-at-all-meager $350,000. That would mean the Port would likely get another $350,000 from City Hall, as has been the usual practice in the past. Port Board Chairman Otto Budig Jr. claimed such an action was insufficient and would exhaust the group's cash by next October. Oh, boo hoo. Many private-sector companies during this recession have been expected to make do without any increases and the Port Authority shouldn't be an exception. The whole concept of filling its board with local business executives was supposed to make use of their great acumen. Well, use it already and stop belly-aching. It's unseemly.