WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Kevin Osborne 01.19.2012
Posted In: News, 2011 Election, City Council, NAACP, Ethics at 01:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
 
 
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Resident Files Complaint Against Smitherman

A resident has filed a complaint with the city's Law Department, alleging that Christopher Smitherman’s dual role as a Cincinnati city councilman and president of the NAACP’s local chapter constitutes an abuse of corporate powers.In his complaint, resident Casey Coston states that the NAACP’s status as a 501(c)(4) organization under the federal tax code allows it to lobby City Hall and participate in political campaigns and elections without jeopardizing its tax-exempt status. Such activities are a conflict of interest with Smitherman’s council duties, Coston alleges.

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by Kevin Osborne 12.30.2011
 
 
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COAST's Latest Apology?

A series of contradictory tweets and blog comments posted by members of an anti-transit group has observers wondering of there is dissension in its ranks — or whether one member simply has anger management issues.Ever since an initiative put on the Nov. 8 ballot by the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST) was rejected by voters, someone with the group has vowed on various local blogs that it still would try to block Cincinnati’s streetcar project.

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by Danny Cross 11.22.2011
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

The Hamilton County Commissioners' stadium funding failures have caused County Auditor Dusty Rhodes to describe a “dream world” where politicians think their inaction doesn't affect anybody. Today's news that the stadium fund will be bankrupt by March without additional funding has not deterred Republican Chris Monzel and Democrat Todd Portune from giving property owners the tax credit that convinced them to vote for the 1996 sales tax increase."It would be the height of irresponsibly to commit funds they knew were not there," Rhodes said. "I've long criticized various governments for living in dream world. "This takes it to a whole new level," Rhodes said.

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by Danny Cross 11.21.2011
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

It's deadline day for the Congressional super-committee charged with reducing the federal budget by $1.2 trillion, and talks are not going so well. The defense and national security budgets are going to face the majority of automatic spending cuts if the two sides can't make a deal. Disagreements have centered on whether tax increases should form part of the budget reduction measures, with Democrats in favor of such rises but Republicans opposed. A last-minute proposal that included some new taxes raised hopes in the final week of negotiations, but could not muster enough support. … Republicans had also demanded cuts in entitlement programs, such as social security, Medicare and Medicaid — something that Democrats had shown willingness to permit, but only in return for tax rises on the rich that were not forthcoming from the other side.

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by Danny Cross 11.14.2011
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

One of the judges overseeing the Occupy Cincinnati trespassing cases says there's nothing in the city charter that gives the Park Board the authority to dole out misdemeanors. Several other municipal court judges either declined comment or said they would consider the point Stockdale makes in his letter if it is raised during the hearings.Attorneys for the protesters said they intend to do just that. They already have asked judges to dismiss the charges on grounds the park board rules violate the free speech rights of the protesters.They say Stockdale’s letter raises another weakness in the city’s case against their clients. “Whether it’s a violation of the First Amendment or an over-reach by the park board, they are clearly relevant questions,” said Rob Linneman, an attorney for the protesters.

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by Danny Cross 11.08.2011
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

Happy Election Day! It looks like SB 5 is headed for a big defeat even though Gov. Kasich last night told a bunch of East Side Tea Partiers how cool it would be if Issue 2 passed, while a union representative told opponents of the bill that it was about to get “shoved down the throats of John Kasich and the Republicans.” The Hamilton County Administrator yesterday said “sorry homeowners, but our stadium deficit will not allow us to offer the tax credit Republicans said would make up for your part of the stadium sales tax.” Commissioners Todd Portune and Chris Monzel today said they're going to include the credit even though they don't know how yet. Hopefully they can figure it out soon so they can work on adding public housing to the suburbs before the county gets sued by the Feds.

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by Kevin Osborne 11.04.2011
 
 
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CityBeat's Cheat Sheet

During the past two weeks CityBeat has published its list of endorsements in the race for Cincinnati City Council,along with those on local and state issues.Some readers have requested that the endorsements be put into a smaller format that will be simpler to print out and take along with them to their polling places on Tuesday.So, here it is. Clip, save and enjoy.

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by Danny Cross 11.07.2011
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

An organization called Citizens' League Against Subsidized Sports is gathering signatures for a ballot measure that would add a tax on Reds and Bengals tickets. Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann says he knows that the county's lease doesn't allow it to institute a ticket tax but that it doesn't say anything about a citizens' initiative.Police costs are rising even though the force is shrinking, partially because it hasn't hired any new officers since 2008 while the top ranks have held steady. The SB 5 debate is expected to draw a high voter turnout, which could bode well for school levies as voters come out to vote "no" on Issue 2.

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by Danny Cross 10.31.2011
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

The Cincinnati Enquirer announced its endorsements over the weekend, and four incumbents were left thinking, “What the [expletive] did I do?!?” The current councilpersons who the paper decided not to endorse are Republican Wayne Lippert, who was appointed in March, and Republicans Leslie Ghiz and Charlie Winburn, along with Democrat Cecil Thomas. Ghiz was described as having a penchant for starting arguments that have been “personal, petty and nasty,” while Winburn's “unpredictable behavior” was noted along with Thomas' problems fully grasping budget and finance issues.

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by Danny Cross 10.28.2011
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

Streetcar proponents have spent considerably more on their campaign than the anti-streetcar people, probably because Issue 48 is so wide-reaching it has brought out people concerned with things way more important than the streetcar such as regional planning, commuter rail and making Cincinnati not look like it totally sucks. Also being outspent are the SB 5 supporters, who have seen support decline dramatically in recent weeks as people look around their neighborhoods and see a bunch of regular people whose rights would be taken away. And Building a Better Ohio does unethical things like this, which makes people think they are meanies. Here's a blog about City Council candidate Chris Smitherman arguing against all the legal experts who say Issue 48 will block all rail construction through 2020.

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