OTR FOUNDATION: Or at least we hope the Over-the-Rhine Foundation will be a winner. The nonprofit group currently is in the running to receive a $25,000 prize in a contest held by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. If the local group wins the online voting competition, it will use the money to save at-risk buildings in OTR, a neighborhood that’s believed to be the largest historic district in the nation. The foundation was one of 100 finalists and now has made it into the top three. The other two contenders are old theaters in Texas and Oregon, but we’re guessing that the money would have a bigger impact if used here. If you haven’t voted yet, hurry up and do it: Voting ends June 30. People can vote at www.preservationnation.org.
JOHN BOEHNER: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint last week against the blubbery House Speaker from West Chester.
The group alleges Boehner violated a law designed to stop officials from overspending appropriations. In April Boehner directed the Office of General Counsel (OGC) to hire its own attorney to protect the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court challenges, after the Justice Department deemed it unconstitutional. But CREW notes the Antideficiency Act prohibits federal officials from making expenditures above the amount available in appropriated funds. The $500,000 allocated for the attorney is more than 35 percent of the OGC’s budget, and would leave insufficient funds to cover both its own salaries and the costs of defending DOMA.
P.G. SITTENFELD: CityBeat likes what it’s seen so far from Sittenfeld, a first-time candidate for City Council. The youthful Democrat is full of forward-thinking ideas. But it causes us some concern when he wins the endorsement of the presumptuously named Leadership/Excellence/Action/Dedication (LEAD) political action committee. Sittenfeld won the straw poll June 16 after LEAD held a candidate forum that featured several council contenders from all three local parties. That’s because LEAD was formed by Rocky Boiman, an ex-NFL player who campaigned for Steve Chabot in the 2008 and 2010 congressional elections. Other pols endorsed by the PAC in the past include Chris Monzel and Rob Portman, all of whom are conservative Republicans.
FIFTH THIRD BANK: After the Park Board canceled the annual Fourth of July fireworks show this year planned for Sawyer Point due to budget cuts, it looked like pyrotechnic lovers would have to go the ‘burbs to get their thrills. Thankfully, Fifth Third Bank stepped up to the plate and saved the “All-American Birthday Party” event by donating $30,000. “This annual event has become an important tradition for many families and members of the greater Cincinnati community,” said bank CEO Mike Michael. Of course, it helps that the bank reported $265 million in net income for 2011’s first quarter, after it repaid a $3.4 billion TARP loan from the federal government issued in December 2008. It’s nice that it can return the favor, such as it is.