CITY COUNCIL: How can you tell when an idea is really, really bad? When it brings together people to oppose it who otherwise are typically political foes, that's how. Mayor Mark Mallory, police union President Kathy Harrell and local NAACP President Christopher Smitherman all are united against City Council's proposal to consider letting the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office take control of policing in the city. Make no mistake, it's not a “merger.” Council's action is foolish because a) it violates the city's charter, b) it likely violates a deal for federally-mandated police reforms, c) it would spark a lengthy, expensive lawsuit by the police union, and d) probably would be rejected by voters anyhow. What a tremendous waste of time and resources. Council needs to focus on more rational budget-cutting ideas instead of trying to slough off its problems onto someone else.
ERIC DETERS: We give some credit to the loud-mouthed Northern Kentucky attorney and WLW radio host for his willingness to challenge authority and stick up for the underdog. Lately, though, Deters just seems out of control.
In October Deters filed a lawsuit alleging libel against Jim Schifrin, publisher of the gossipy Whistleblower e-newsletter. Schifrin alleged the married Deters was having an affair with his secretary, which he denies. Surely Deters is aware he's a public figure, and the action doesn't meet the stricter standard required under the law to prove libel. Instead, he gave the rumor more attention than it otherwise would've received. Now Deters might be sanctioned for his frivolous lawsuit against the Kentucky Supreme Court's chief justice and the state bar association. The judge deciding the matter said a first-year law student could've done better research for the case compared to Deters' court briefs. Maybe you need a vacation, Eric.
JOHN BOEHNER: No, he's not a loser for making the cover of the National Enquirer, in an embarrassing article that alleges the House Speaker had at least two extramarital affairs. The veracity of that report has yet to be proven. (Hey, didn't you vote for Clinton's impeachment back in the late ’90s?) And the Orange One didn't make our list for rejecting a request by C-SPAN to allow its cameras to cover debates on the House floor, which would've increased transparency about how lawmakers work, although that's bad, too. No, the Speaker makes our list for caving into special interests and trying to politicize the meaning of rape. Currently, government aid can be used for poor women who are pregnant due to incest, rape and danger to the mother's health. A pending, GOP-sponsored bill would exclude rapes that aren't “forcible,” like statutory rape and date rape. Really? This is the GOP's priority after an election that you all said was about creating jobs? Same old pandering.
KELLER'S IGA: We're all for reopening the beloved grocery store that is the heart of Clifton's Gaslight District in some form. But we're not sure the petition drive started by co-owner John Vierling is the best method to go about it. Unless other investors and business advisors are involved, it seems like the same financial problems that led to the store's closing in early January simply would reoccur. The store, which opened in 1939, owes nearly $190,000 in back taxes. Some residents are lobbying Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, an official with Cincinnati ties, to help with the situation. Yet another group of Clifton residents is exploring other uses for the Ludlow Avenue building, but having a grocery store within walking distance of homes is important to many people. We hope some viable solution to this dilemma can be found, and soon.