by German Lopez
Election Day is today. Find your correct polling booth here. Check out CityBeat’s endorsements here.
After a year of campaigns, the race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is almost over. All eyes are on Ohio to decide the presidential election. In aggregate polling, Obama leads Romney by 2.9 points in Ohio and 0.7 points nationally. FiveThirtyEight, The New York Times’ electoral forecast model, gives Obama a 91.4 percent chance to win Ohio and a 91.6 percent chance to win the election. The New York Times also has an interactive flowchart to gauge both Obama's and Romney's paths to victory.
In the U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown leads Republican challenger Josh Mandel by 5 points in aggregate polling. CityBeat covered the policy and campaign differences between the two candidates in coverage of the first, second and third debate and a cover story.
Gov. John Kasich has taken a noticeable shift to the
center and considered less divisive ideas in recent months, and some of that might be
to help Romney’s electoral chances in Ohio.
In the past two years, Kasich went from supporting SB 5, which would
have limited collective bargaining for public employees, to focusing
almost entirely on jobs.
While we focus on voting on Earth, astronauts in space also vote.
Hamilton County Commission President Greg Hartmann, a Republican, laid out his budget plan yesterday.
Hartmann touted “austerity” as a prominent theme in the budget.
Austerity measures actually led Europe into a second recession, according to prominent economist Robert Reich. This matches the opinion of other economists, such as Nobel-winning Paul Krugman,
who argue governments should try to make up for shortfalls in the
private sector through increased spending during recessions. Recently,
the International Monetary Fund admitted it underestimated the bad economic impact of austerity measures.
Still, Hamilton County is required to balance its budget, so the
commissioners don’t have many options. Todd Portune, the lone Democratic
commissioner, says he will unveil his plan later.
The new Jungle Jim’s at Eastgate is having a large, positive impact on its neighbors. The exotic grocery store has apparently brought a lot of new paying customers to the area.
Cincinnati’s Oakley neighborhood might soon put its traffic problems in the past. City Council is expected to vote on a plan Wednesday
that would block three streets in the neighborhood. Residents have
complained traffic is out of control because of development at the
Rookwood Exchange in Norwood, and traffic could get worse due to the
holiday shopping season.
Workers injured during the construction of Cincinnati’s Horseshoe Casino are looking for a way around workers comp rules.
The exemption-seeking lawsuit filed by four workers against 13
defendants is typical in Ohio law, which generally prevents workers from
suing employers over workplace injuries since Ohio’s compensation rules
provide ways to obtain missing wages and other potential damages.
Time Warner Cable is hiring for more than 50 positions in Cincinnati.
A new partnership between the Memorial Hall Society, 3CDC and Hamilton County’s commissioners may revitalize Hamilton County’s Memorial Hall.
The hall is one of Hamilton County’s architectural treasures, but a
lack of renovations has left it behind modern developments, including
Some of Ohio’s exotic animal owners are not happy with a
new law that requires registering and micro-chipping exotic animals, so
they are suing the state.
A Cleveland woman that drove on a sidewalk to avoid a
school bus that was unloading children will have to wear a sign that
says, “Only an idiot drives on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.” She will have to wear the sign at an intersection for one hour a day for two days next week.
An Ohio woman broke into a family’s house, cleaned the house and left a $75 bill.On Sunday, an amputee climbed 103 stories using a mind-controlled bionic leg. Oh, science.
by Kevin Osborne
In the works since December, Hamilton County commissioners completed the sale of the county-owned Drake Center rehabilitative hospital in Hartwell on Wednesday. Commissioners voted 2-1 to sell the facility for $15 million to the University of Cincinnati, with Greg Hartmann casting the sole “no” vote. Commissioners Chris Monzel and Todd Portune want to use the proceeds to fund a one-year extension of a property tax rebate promised to voters as part of the 1996 campaign to raise the sales tax by a half-cent to pay for new sports stadiums. Hartmann called the deal fiscally irresponsible, noting Drake is worth at least $45 million and possibly more.A state lawmaker is proposing a bill that would ban new ownership of exotic pets like gorillas and lions. State Sen. Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville) hopes the bill would prevent incidents like the one in eastern Ohio last year that led to 48 animals being shot to death after their suicidal owner let them loose.The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday released its list of priorities for 2012 and it didn't contain any surprises. Once again, the business advocacy organization wants Cincinnati City Council to repeal its Environmental Justice Ordinance, despite offering no evidence that it has adversely affected any of its members' businesses. Also, the chamber opposes the taxation of stock options and supports a permanent extension of George W. Bush's 2001 and 2003 federal tax cuts.Speaking of City Council, it will vote soon on a proposal to create a Youth Commission that would serve as an advisory group to the mayor and council members. Councilwoman Yvette Simpson introduced the proposal, and said the commission would make recommendations to address issues involving crime, poverty, education, employment, health and development. How this will differ from Mayor Mark Mallory's “Young Professional Kitchen Cabinet” or similar groups formed by council over the years is anybody's guess.In honor of Cincinnati's storied history as “porkopolis,” two local companies are jointly creating a new sausage to commemorate St. Patrick's Day. Queen City Sausage Co. and Christian Moerlein Brewery created a new beer-flavored sausage, which contains Hudepohl Amber Lager.In news elsewhere, today marks the one-year anniversary of the ongoing anti-government uprising in Syria. The conflict against President Bashar al-Assad's regime has resulted in at least 8,000 deaths so far, according to the United Nations.Syrian activists gave a cache of more than 3,000 confidential emails allegedly hacked from Assad's private account to London's Guardian newspaper. The emails indicate the president took advice from Iran on how to handle the uprising against his rule, and leads an opulent lifestyle while violence plagues the nation's cities.The Pentagon is investigating more than 1,700 recruiters and hundreds of recruiting assistants for allegedly making $92 million in fraudulent transactions involving “bounties” paid to get people to enlist in the Army National Guard and Reserve. The alleged fraud involves programs that paid $2,000 bounties to soldiers or civilians who signed up as “recruiting assistants” and brought in new enlistees. Investigators have found evidence that recruiters for the Guard and Reserve who weren't eligible for the bounties worked with some assistants to secretly secure and split up the money.Supposedly secret negotiations between the Taliban and the U.S. government to end the decade-long war in Afghanistan have been suspended, the Taliban announced in a statement issued today. The statement said U.S. officials kept changing the terms of the negotiations, and had presented a "list of conditions" in their latest meeting that contradicted earlier arrangements. The announcement comes as Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded foreign troops pull out of villages, a few days after a U.S. soldier’s shooting spree in southern Kandahar province left 16 civilians dead.Closer to home, Senate Democrats are pushing to renew the Violence Against Women Act, the bipartisan 1994 legislation that now faces fierce opposition from conservatives. Some lawmakers want to expand financing for and broaden the scope of domestic violence programs, but conservatives dislike it because it would allow more battered illegal immigrants to claim temporary visas, and would include same-sex couples in programs for domestic violence.
by Kevin Osborne
Job will take him out of state often
A Democrat who was challenging Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann in this fall’s election has left the race due to work commitments.Greg Harris, a West Sider who is a former Cincinnati city councilman, said Monday night that a contract awarded to his educational consulting firm means he will be spending a large amount of time outside of the region. Harris’ firm, New Governance Group, recently was awarded a major contract with a nonprofit group in Delaware that seeks to improve public education in that state.“When I filed (to run for commissioner), I filed in all sincerity,” Harris said. “It was before I got this contract.”He added, “I feel bad. This was a race I really wanted to run in, but with all the traveling, I’m not equipped to give it the time it deserves.”Harris, 40, announced his candidacy in early December, when he filed paperwork to run against Hartmann, a Republican incumbent who is seeking his second term.The Hamilton County Democratic Party now will be able to select a replacement for Harris on the Nov. 6 ballot.Harris was appointed in January 2009 to Cincinnati City Council to fill the unexpired term of John Cranley, who was facing term limits. But Harris lost in an election that November, finishing 10th in balloting for the nine-member group, missing the final spot by about 3,400 votes. During his brief term, Harris angered the city’s police and firefighter unions by suggesting changes that he said would improve efficiency and reduce costs.Through his consulting firm, Harris had served as public policy advisor for Cincinnati-based KnowledgeWorks Foundation, a national education philanthropy that seeds educational practices and policy reforms.An Illinois native, Harris moved to the region in 1993 to attend graduate school at Miami University in Oxford. He stayed here after graduation and served from 2000-05 as executive director of Citizens for Civic Renewal, a nonprofit public advocacy group that promotes good government, volunteerism and civic involvement.Harris ran unsuccessfully as the Democratic challenger to U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Westwood) twice, in 2002 and 2004. He also was prepared to challenge Hartmann for the Hamilton County Commission seat in 2008 until Democratic Party leaders cut a deal with the GOP and asked Harris to step aside and let Hartmann run unopposed. A reluctant Harris complied.
0 Comments · Tuesday, September 14, 2010
The Cincinnati Reds today honored Hit King Pete Rose on the 25th anniversary of his record-breaking 4,192nd hit, only the second time Rose has participated in an on-field activity here since his lifetime banishment in 1989 for betting on baseball. Rose afterwards attended a roast in his honor, during which he gave an emotional speech and was subsequently reinstated to Major League Baseball.
1 Comment · Wednesday, April 7, 2010
James O'Reilly has taught law at the University of Cincinnati for 30 years and has written dozens of textbooks and more than 100 articles on regulation and liability. With that type of expertise, it's not surprising that Hamilton County commissioners chose him to co-chair a task force examining methods for improving the efficiency of county government. But even a mind as sharp and quick-witted as O'Reilly's can be challenged when facing off against entrenched politicians and bureaucrats trying to protect their turf.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Ever since David Pepper finally confirmed last week what CityBeat first reported online in mid-March — that the prominent local Democrat will run for Ohio Auditor next year — speculation has run rampant about who will campaign for the seat he's vacating on the Hamilton County Commission.