MARC MONAHAN: Willing to stoop to any level to save the jobs of firefighters, the leader of the local firefighters union recently alleged brownouts delayed the rescue of two people from a burning house Nov. 5 in Northside. Monahan said brownouts — when certain pieces of equipment are taken off-line at some fire stations to save money — affected response times. That's simply not true, replied the city manager, noting the first truck arrived three minutes after it was dispatched. The first truck to respond had an aerial ladder but it couldn't be used due to the house's design. Instead of enflaming public sentiment with spurious allegations, Monahan should focus on ways the Fire Department can reduce its skyrocketing overtime costs, a problem that's festered for years.
GREG HARTMANN: With less than two months left in its tenure, the Democratic majority on the Hamilton County Commission remains divided about how to avoid a deficit in the county's stadium account. Commissioner Todd Portune wants to approve an emergency half-cent sales tax increase for one year, to raise $60 million. Commissioner David Pepper, who's about to leave the group, is opposed. He wants to reduce the property tax rebate granted to more expensive homes.
Hartmann, a Republican who will lead the GOP-controlled commission come January, doesn't like either option and has remained mum about how to handle the shortfall. Reportedly, Hartmann will unveil a new plan later this month. Make it a good one, Greg.
JOHN KASICH: Two days after his victory in the Ohio gubernatorial race, Kasich warned lobbyists to stop their “business as usual” tactics or they would be left out of the state's budget-writing process. Then it was revealed that Kasich's longtime friend, Don Thibaut, who served as the governor-elect's chief of staff for almost 20 years in Congress, had started a lobbying firm in Columbus. Before forming The Credo Co., Thibaut was paid for a decade through political committees tied to Kasich. One such group, the nonprofit New Century Project Issues Forum, is the subject of an IRS complaint that it spent most of its money on salaries. Sorry, Mr. Kasich, but this sounds exactly like business as usual, to us. We'll keep a close eye on how Thibaut's clients fare in next year's budget. Speaking of business as usual...
JOHN BOEHNER: The orange-hued Congressman from West Chester, who will be House Speaker in January, doesn't personally ask for earmarks for his district in the federal budget and has campaigned against the practice that's widely used by his Republican and Democratic colleagues. Still, to garner the Tea Party vote in this election cycle, Boehner actively campaigned against earmarks this year — although he suspiciously stopped short of promising to ban the practice. Now we know why. In an interview with Fox News two days after the election, Boehner said, “Only because some things that people call earmarks here wouldn't classify as an earmark to the American people.” What a cop-out. But what do you expect from someone who's served in Washington for 19 years and counting? Outsider, my ass.