Whenever Cincinnati Police Chief Thomas Streicher Jr. eventually decides to retire, city officials will be able to look nationwide for the best possible replacement. That doesn't sound like a radical idea, but some special interests in this city have spent eight years and untold stacks of cash trying to prevent that from ever happening. The Ohio Supreme Court finally put an end to the foot-dragging last week.
Within 48 hours of Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland signing House Bill 545 — characterized by many groups as the "country's strongest payday lending reform law" — the payday lending lobby mobilized to fight it. But Ohio voters embraced reform by a wide margin, passing Issue 5 63-37 percent. Payday lenders were singled out with this law, but the national mortgage financial crisis has also raised the question of how banks and other financial institutions earn their big bucks.