by Kevin Osborne
Complaint upheld against Rucker's opponent
A judicial conduct panel ruled this week that the primary election opponent of a local Municipal Court judge knowingly misrepresented himself in campaign materials.The panel decided that retired appellate court judge William O’Neill from Cleveland left the impression that he is a current judge in a two-sided campaign card he distributed. In fact, O’Neill now works as an emergency room nurse at a hospital.O’Neill and Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Fanon Rucker are vying to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for the Ohio Supreme Court.Whoever wins the March 6 primary election will face off against incumbent Justice Robert Cupp, a Republican, in the November general election.The three-judge panel upheld the complaint filed by Richard Dove, secretary of the Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline. The panel said O’Neill’s campaign card refers to him nine times as “judge,’’ while describing him as “former court of appeals judge’’ once.“The fact that he is known as judge because of his tenure on the 11th District Court of Appeals and that as a retired judge he is known as a judge, he nevertheless as a judicial candidate is prohibited from using the term ‘judge’ before his name in campaign materials since he does not currently hold that office,’’ wrote Guernsey County Common Pleas Judge David Ellwood, who chaired the three-judge panel.The panel recommended no discipline for O’Neill other than he stop distributing the card. A 5th District Court of Appeals judge must appoint a panel of five fellow appellate judges within the next week to consider the lower panel’s recommendations and make a final decision.Rucker is the Ohio Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate, but O’Neil has twice before — in different races — had party leaders rescind an endorsement and give it to him.O’Neill has run twice for the state Supreme Court — in 2004 and 2006 — and then Congress in 2008 and 2010. Although he has won in the primaries, O’Neill has lost in the general elections.Local Democratic Party leaders are criticizing O’Neill, stating he is moving too slowly to remove misleading material from his campaign website.“While Mr. O’Neill promised Monday to make the required corrections, as of this writing on Wednesday, Feb. 29, his website remains unchanged,” Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman Tim Burke wrote in a statement issued Wednesday night.“This is not the kind of conduct we as Democrats should condone by any of our candidates, especially candidates running for a seat on the highest court of our state,” Burke added. “Ohioans deserve a Supreme Court candidate who not only understands the law, but respects it as well.”For more on the O’Neill/Rucker race, see this week’s issue of CityBeat.
Election means GOP resumes control of Hamilton County government
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 3, 2010
With Republican Chris Monzel's decisive victory Tuesday night, the Hamilton County Commission will now return to GOP control after four years of having a Democratic majority. Monzel received 56 percent of the votes cast, compared to Democrat Jim Tarbell's 44 percent. A difference of 35,066 votes separated the candidates, according to final, uncertified results at the Hamilton County Board of Elections.
2 Comments · Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Watching Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes squirm and contort the reasoning about his double-dipping plans during the past week has been supremely entertaining to anyone who's followed his political career closely. A former radio disc jockey, Rhodes has always had a flair for showmanship.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 8, 2010
If you were to believe some West Side Republicans, State Rep. Denise Driehaus is caught in a predicament that would do Romeo and Juliet proud. The Price Hill version of this tale has Driehaus supposedly asking the Hamilton County Board of Elections if she can deny her father and change her last name on the Nov. 2 ballot, instead using the surname of her husband, Zeek Childers.
Kentucky ruling could affect how Ohio elects judges
0 Comments · Tuesday, July 20, 2010
A federal appeals court recently made a groundbreaking decision that will change the way judicial candidates run for office in Kentucky and has some experts worried about how it could potentially impact Ohio judicial elections and the impartiality of judges. The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the rules used in Kentucky for electing judges, stating the current rules violate the candidates' First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 9, 2010
While it's true that some local Democrats dislike Tim Burke, calling him imperious and secretive, they're also aware the Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman knows the ins and outs of the political system like few others. That's what has kept him in power for 16 years.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Just weeks after winning his third term on Cincinnati City Council, Cecil Thomas surprised most political observers by announcing he would seek the Democratic nomination to run for the Hamilton County Commission seat being vacated by David Pepper. Party Chair Tim Burke is favoring Thomas over previously announced Democratic candidate Jim Tarbell, hoping Thomas will help mobilize African-American voters to provide a much-needed boost for U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Price Hill).
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 3, 2010
When a Jan. 25 e-mail exchange between Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune and Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman Tim Burke became public through a leak, it lifted the veil on the thinking of some political bigwigs. The pair began the exchange to discuss who should be appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board of Elections and ended up opening an ugly window into inter-party dealings and behind-the-scenes jockeying.
5 Comments · Wednesday, August 26, 2009
For the last few weeks, prominent leaders in the local Democratic Party have been privately talking about a dispute between Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and first-time council candidate Tony Fischer that could have serious consequences for Fischer's campaign. Well-connected sources at City Hall and within the Democratic Party say Mallory and Fischer recently had a stern confrontation during a meeting of the party's slate of candidates for City Council. Mallory told Fischer (a one-time political protege of sorts) not to mention Mallory's name or use the mayor's image on Fischer's Web site or in any campaign literature.
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 8, 2009
On July 8, an interesting private meeting will occur that could influence who sits on Cincinnati City Council next year. At the request of Mayor Mark Mallory, a high-powered group of Democratic officials will convene behind closed doors to discuss growing discord on council. He called the session after CityBeat's blog reported last week that some Democratic Party precinct executives were angry about recent actions taken by Councilman Jeff Berding, a Democrat who's running for his third term. Those precinct executives are trying to build support for calling for a special meeting of the party's Executive Committee to rescind Berding’s endorsement.