CHARLIE WINBURN: The flashy preacher-turned-politician held another of his seemingly daily press conferences Dec. 17, this time to propose $27 million in unspecified cuts to help ward off a deficit. Winburn suggested how much should come from each department (like $2 million from the city manager's office and $4 million from police administration), but didn't elaborate on what, exactly, should be abolished. Deciding what to cut is the manager's job, he said. (Uh, Charlie, every time he proposes cuts, you and your colleagues undermine him and demagogue on the issue.) We'll make you a deal: The manager will propose cuts if you agree to keep your mouth shut about them. Yeah, we didn't think you'd go for that.
JEAN SCHMIDT: Should someone be praised for doing the right thing for the wrong reason? How much does motivation count, particularly in the political arena, a realm where compromise is required? These are the existential questions that have haunted our nights ever since Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township) was the sole vote among Greater Cincinnati's delegation to oppose extending the Bush tax cuts for another two years.
The tax cuts, which will be financed by borrowed money and flow mostly to millionaires and billionaires, add to the national deficit and history suggests we'll be lucky if they create any jobs. Schmidt says she likes the tax cuts, though, just not the $136 billion in additional spending tacked on in a compromise with President Obama. (“Damn that wily rascal,” she probably muttered while jogging through Milford.) Nevertheless, she finally distinguished herself with a vote. It only took five years.
WENDELL YOUNG: Proper notice must be given to the freshman on Cincinnati City Council for proposing the most common-sensical idea during recent chatter about possible budget cuts. Young, a retired police officer, suggested repealing all city-only criminal offenses that entail jail time, instead relying on the state's criminal codes and statutes. Such a move would save $300,000 in police overtime, prosecution costs and jail rent, which he said should be used for human services funding. (A word of warning, though: Stop letting yourself be bamboozled by smooth talkers like Roxanne Qualls and Jeff Berding. They're using you for political cover on their odious idea to contract patrol duties to the Sheriff's Office. Wise up!)
JOHN KASICH: We rarely list someone two weeks in a row, but the governor-elect's recent statement criticizing transparency in government is truly disturbing. Kasich told a group of reporters that he resents transparency while making hiring decisions, prompted by questions about conflicts of interest after appointing a man to run the Ohio State Highway Patrol who already has a wife and son working there. “We have so many stupid rules and regulations that prevent us from getting the best people to come in here,” Kasich said. “Now I blame it on all of you, all this transparency and conflicts and all this other stuff.” This attitude really isn't surprising coming from a former worker at the shady Lehman Brothers firm. Voters, you get the leaders you deserve. Too bad Ohio is going to suffer for the next four years due to your poor decision-making skills.
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