by German Lopez
President Barack Obama is in town today. Expect some coverage from CityBeat this afternoon. Last time Obama was in Cincinnati, he discussed gay rights, small
business support and girl scout cookies. Ohio is typically considered a
must-win for presidential candidate Mitt Romney, but he is currently
losing in aggregate polls.Ohio Rep. Connie Pillich of Cincinnati criticized the
University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees for former UC President Greg
Williams’ severance package. She told The Enquirer, “It’s
really disappointing that the trustees would make such a decision while
so many students and families are struggling with rising tuition costs.
As the trustees vote to needlessly spend over a million dollars, the
University is trying to decide how to fund $10 million for the
Cintrifuse project and students are taking out more loans to pay a
tuition that was increased by 3.5 percent this year.” Williams got a
package totaling $1.3 million after abruptly leaving the university,
citing personal reasons. Despite the allegedly rocky past between the
Board and Williams, the Board of Trustees insists it did not force him
out.Local governments setting 2013 budgets are feeling big cuts from the state government’s Local Government Fund. Eligible residents could save $163 a year with natural gas thanks to a new aggregation program in Cincinnati.
The city announced Friday it's working on the new plan with Duke
Energy, and customers should get details about the deal soon. The city
says the deal will reach about 64,000 residents and small businesses.Voter fraud is still not a widespread problem. A Butler
County Tea Party group found zero complaints with sufficient proof to
remove anyone from the voter rolls.As part of its expansion at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, DHL is adding 300 jobs.In case you missed it, the streetcar has been delayed to 2015. The city is now looking
for consultants to help manage the project with CAF USA, the city’s
preferred car manufacturer. The first phase of the streetcar will span
the Banks and Findlay Market. The city is also trying to study a
connection to the University of Cincinnati, Uptown’s hospitals and the
Cincinnati Zoo.U.S. senatorial candidate Josh Mandel of Ohio claims he
has seen a recent surge in the polls, closing a 13-point gap. But a new
poll from Rasmussen Reports, which typically has a Republican-leaning
in-house effect, says Mandel is still very far from Sen. Sherrod Brown
in the polls with an eight-point gap. Aggregate polls show Brown leads
Mandel by 7.2 points.There is a lot of criticism being hurled at public charter
schools. While some charter schools are successful, some have serious
financial and educational problems. Critics say the schools need tougher
standards.Romney is facing criticism for saying middle income is
$200,000 to $250,000 and less. However, Obama made a similar distinction
in the past when he said income up to $250,000 is middle class. The
reason for this strange distinction from both sides — most Americans
would find $250,000 to be beyond middle class — is to protect small
businesses. Typically, politicians try to bundle up small businesses
with middle class protections, and taxing income between $200,000 and
$250,000 as if it’s not middle class could potentially hurt small
businesses.Dissatisfied with the lack of innovation in the iPhone 5? Apparently, you might be alone.Scientists can now levitate fluids with ultrasonic sound.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 12, 2012
I’m more inclined to pop open a bottle from the experts,
but, hey, I don’t have the White House staff on hand to fix what “ales”
me. So I asked a home brewing friend, Matt Canale, a video game
developer in L.A., to fill me in on his experience and give our readers
some tips on how to get started.
by Andy Brownfield
Posted In: 2012 Election
at 01:00 PM | Permalink
Amusements and things that didn't make it into our story
There are a lot of things that don’t make it into any given news
story. When you attend an event as a reporter, such as Republican presidential
candidate Mitt Romney’s visit to Union Terminal last Saturday (as I did), you
wait in line for about an hour, then wait inside for another hour while
security checks every visitor.
During that time, you’re talking to people who are attending,
taking notes to provide color for the story (things such as what songs are
playing, slogans on shirts or signs, the general mood or atmosphere) and
getting information from the event staff, such as how many tickets were given
out, how many people are estimated to attend, etc.
Then there are the speakers — about an hour of politicians
talking. After that, there’s the counter press conference with local Democratic
officials. Then you make phone calls to fill in any gaps.
With all of that material and the average reader attention span
on 800 words, a lot of information gets left out of any given piece. So here
are some things I found interesting from Romney’s visit that didn’t make it
into my story that day.
The most popular attire seemed to be Reds items. Many
event-goers wore Reds T-shirts or caps, and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, who spoke at
the event, wore a Reds ballcap and opened his speech with “So Cincinnati, how
about these Redlegs?” and talked about Jay Bruce’s homer the previous night.U.S. House Speaker John Boehner attended the rally. I remember
seeing him on TV at the Republican National Convention and commenting that he
didn’t look as tan anymore. Must have been the cameras. In person, he was at
least five shades darker than the pasty Portman.U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot also spoke at the rally. While most speakers
stuck to short speeches meant to pump up attendees and introduce Romney, Chabot
got local. He encouraged attendees to vote against Issue 2, a ballot measure
appearing in November that would change the way redistricting is done in Ohio.
Currently congressional redistricting is done by the Legislature, which can
give one party an advantage if they control both houses and the governor’s
mansion. Chabot said Issue 2, which would set up an independent commission to
redraw congressional districts, would allow special interest groups to take
voters out of the equation and have the lines drawn by “unelected,
unaccountable” people. (CityBeat covered this year's redistricting issue here and here.)As politicians do, speakers from both Republican and Democratic
camps tried to spin the message. Portman told rally attendees that we were in
the midst of the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression, a
statement independent fact checkers determined to be false. UPDATE 9/5/12: According to Republicans in the Joint Economic Committee and a report by The Associated Press economic growth and consumer spending have recovered more slowly from this recession than any time since The Great Depression. A PolitiFact check of Romney's claim that it was the slowest jobs recovery was deemed to be false.Meanwhile, in their
press conference after the rally, Democrats had maybe a dozen local
Cincinnatians in a small public area near Music Hall. Obama’s campaign provided
signs and had them all crowd behind a podium where local politicians spoke. For
the TV cameras, it probably looked like a sizeable crowd, which is an old
by Andy Brownfield
Local Democrats say GOP nominee's plans would hurt middle class, Hamilton County
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Saturday laid out
five steps that he said would have America “roaring back” during his first campaign stop since formally accepting the
Republican nomination.At Cincinnati's Union Terminal, Romney was joined on stage by his wife Anne, who spoke briefly, echoing her convention speech meant to humanize her husband.
He said his plan involved encouraging development in oil
and coal, implementing a trade policy that favored American companies
and not “cheaters” like China, making sure workers and students had
skills to succeed in the coming century, reducing the deficit and
encouraging small business growth.
“America is going to come roaring back,” Romney told the crowd of thousands packed inside Union Terminal.
Not everyone was so impressed with the GOP nominee’s promises.
About an hour after the Romney campaign event, Cincinnati
Democratic leaders held a news conference to rebut the Republican’s
“Much of his (Romney’s) speech was like his speech in
Tampa, which is where Romney gave Cincinnatians nothing more than vague
platitudes, false and misleading attacks without one single tangible
idea on how to move forward,” said Democratic/Charterite Cincinnati City
Councilwoman Yvette Simpson.
Simpson, along with Democratic Councilman Cecil Thomas and
Bishop Bobby Hilton, attacked the tax plan put forward by Romney and
his running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. They said it would cut taxes
for the richest Americans while raising taxes on the middle class by
about $2,000 per household, citing an analysis from the nonpartisan Tax
“Mitt Romney’s plan would take Ohio and Cincinnati backwards, and we don’t have time to go backwards,” Hilton said.
Hilton credited Cincinnati’s revitalization and urban development in part on federal money obtained from Obama’s stimulus plan.
“We deserve better than this. We deserve better than Romney/Ryan,” he said.
Romney would have disagreed with Hilton’s assessment of
Cincinnati’s growth. During his speech he praised Ohio Gov. John Kasich,
crediting him with bringing jobs and businesses to the state.
Romney also took time to attack President Barack Obama’s
record in office. The GOP nominee said in preparation for his convention
speech he read many past convention speeches — including Obama’s.
“He was not one of the ones that I wanted to draw from,
except I could not resist a couple of things he said, because he made a
lot of promises,” Romney said. “And I noted that he didn't keep a lot of
Romney also criticized what he called the bitterness and
divisiveness of Obama’s campaign, saying as president he would bring the
country together. He mentioned the “patriotism and courage” of the late
Neil Armstrong, who was honored in a private service in Cincinnati on
“I will do everything in my power to bring us together,
because, united, America built the strongest economy in the history of
the earth. United, we put Neil Armstrong on the moon. United, we faced
down unspeakable darkness,” Romney said.
“United, our men and women in uniform continue to defend
freedom today. I love those people who serve our great nation. This is a
time for us to come together as a nation.”
The candidate’s remarks ignited the crowd of thousands,
many of whom wore shirts with slogans like “Mr. President, I did build
my business,” in response to a remark made by Obama about businesses being helped to grow by government contracts and
infrastructure, and “Mitt 2012: At least he never ate dog meat,” referring to a passage in Obama’s 2008 memoir during which he recalls being
fed dog meat as a boy in Indonesia.
Steve Heckman, a 62-year-old environmental consultant from
Springfield, Ohio, said he voted for Obama in 2008 but will likely
vote for Romney in this election.
He said he’d written “some pretty ugly stuff” about Romney
in the past but felt jobs was the No. 1 issue and thought the Obama
administration’s policies were sending them out of the country.
“The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has, to me, become a little too almost like a fringe group, putting so much pressure
on businesses that they are moving to Canada,” Heckman said. “Things
like air permits, the EPA is taking too long to issue them. It’s not
just power plants they’re affecting, but all manufacturing.”
Heckman said he didn’t blame the president personally but thinks whoever he put in charge of the agency is being too strict.
“I grew up when the EPA was first put in place in the '70s, and they were, in my opinion, doing God’s work,” he said, citing
the cleaning up of rivers such as the Cuyahoga near Cleveland, which
famously caught fire because of pollution in 1969.
“I support the EPA, but it’s driving businesses out of here.”
Speaking ahead of Romney were U.S. House Speaker John
Boehner, Sen. Rob Portman, U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, Ohio treasurer and
GOP senatorial candidate Josh Mandel and Republican U.S. House candidate
for Ohio’s 2nd District, Brad Wenstrup.
“This election is all about changing Washington,” Mandel
said. “The only way to change Washington is to change the people we send
by Andy Brownfield
Romney campaign, Murray Energy dispute who made call to close mine for event
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Punk band forces uptight newscasters to say the word “pussy”
uncomfortably thousands of times on U.S. news outlets, Silversun Pickups think it's funny Mitt Romney used "Panic Switch" at a campaign stop (but still asked him to stop) and Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine said our secret Muslim president is behind all the recent massive shootings … all part of his ploy to finally get rid of that pesky Second Amendment.
by Andy Brownfield
Posted In: Humor
at 02:12 PM | Permalink
Jean Schmidt brings sexy back to the Ohio delegation; named 5th sexiest on the Hill by TMZ
U.S. Congressman from Illinois Aaron Schock has shredded
abs that he shows off on the cover of men’s magazines; Google was
inundated with queries for shirtless pictures of fitness fanatic and
presumed Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan after the
announcement of his joining the Romney ticket; President Barack Obama is
known to frequently hit the basketball court and is a favorite among
female constituents.So who brings home the sexy bacon back to Ohio? According to gossip blog reputable journal of record TMZ, it’s Miami Township Rep. Jean Schmidt.
An avid marathoner who has completed 88 races,
Schmidt is probably better known for calling decorated Marines
“cowards,” making dubious claims about her college education and flip
flopping about whether the president is an American citizen than her sculpted quadriceps.
Schmidt ranked No. 5 in the list 20-member list of
“Sexiest U.S. Politicians – The Right to Bare Buff Arms.” She beat out
such noted sexpots as Bill and Hillary Clinton, former California Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and President Merkin Muffley.
We at CityBeat say “keep on it, squirrelfriend!” and can’t wait to see her on a “babes and hunks of Congress” calendar one day soon.Here's a video of Schmidt looking pretty great when she misunderstood the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act. (She thought it was struck down.)
by Andy Brownfield
Presumed GOP VP nominee to visit alma mater Miami Wednesday
Preempting the Wednesday homecoming of presumed Republican
vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan to his alma mater Miami
University, the Obama campaign is opening an office in Oxford Tuesday
The guest speaker at the office opening will be Butler
County Democratic Party Chairwoman Jocelyn Bucaro who, according to a
news release, will contrast the competing visions of President Barack
Obama and his presumptive Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
“The Romney-Ryan budget would devastate the security of
senior citizens — ending Medicare as we know it by turning the program
into a voucher system and privatizing Social Security,” the release
read.Along with a Milford office which is also opening Tuesday, the Oxford office with contribute to the total of nine campaign offices in the region. The Obama campaign has offices in East Walnut Hills, College Hill, Forest Park, Cheviot, Middletown, Springboro and Mason.
Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Ryan will speak Wednesday evening at Miami
University’s Engineering Quad, according to the Miami College
Republicans’ Facebook page.
Ryan graduated from Miami in 1992 and was asked back as the commencement speaker in 2009.
Romney is planning a bus tour with three Ohio stops on Tuesday.Updates to include the opening of a Milford office on Tuesday.
by Andy Brownfield
Northern neighborhoods can prepare for calls, canvassers
President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign is upping its
ground game in Cincinnati, opening its fourth field office in the city on
The new College Hill office will be the source of phone
calls and canvassers to the Mount Healthy, Northside, North College Hill and
College Hill neighborhoods. The Obama campaign already has field offices in
East Walnut Hills, Cheviot and Forest Park.
Obama’s Republican rival Mitt Romney’s campaign has three
offices: in Kenwood, Westwood and Colerain. Staff contact Kelsey Romanchik said
she didn’t know if there were plans to open more.
More than 150 people braved the sweltering Cincinnati
humidity for the opening of the Obama College Hill field office. They were
greeted by a drum line outside of the office, as well as inside a mainstay of
any such campaign event — snacks.
Keynote speaker City Councilman Cecil Thomas sounded off
many of the Obama campaign’s talking points, attacking Romney’s tenure at Bain
Capital, his refusal to release further tax returns and Romney’s tax plan,
which a recent study by the Tax Policy Center says will raise taxes on the
middle class by eliminating popular tax credits.
“Why in the world would I vote for someone like that?” asked
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 18, 2012
President Barack Obama and the Democratic
Party filed a lawsuit July 17 to restore voting during the three days
prior to Election Day in the state of Ohio. If the restriction is
removed, it could benefit as many as 93,000 Ohioans who voted early
during the 2008 presidential election.