Nasty, Brutish & Short

Local Politics Archives

McCain shakes up campaign to reassure base...

July 2, 2008 01:28 PM

...trouble is, he's still confused about what his base is.  From Politico:

One source familiar with the inner workings of McCain's campaign said that the move came after a sluggish ramp-up to the general and number of unforced errors had left the candidate, senior staff and elected officials unhappy with the state of the campaign.  

"This will help reassure the chattering class in D.C.," said the source.

Oh good.  That'll get him elected.  I'm waiting for the chattering class in D.C. to start going door-to-door or working phone banks for McCain any minute now.  Especially here in Southern Ohio, where he sorely needs the help.  Not many locals are signing up, I can assure you.  Let's fly in those chattering D.C. people.  Heck, they've been reassured.  All it takes to win Ohio is reassured chattering D.C. people. 

DCCC Still Doesn't Think Wulsin Has Much of a Shot

June 20, 2008 08:53 AM

I'm sure they'll add her to their "Red to Blue" program later this summer.  But round three of their list of targeted pick-ups is out, and Ohio 02 isn't on the list.  From The Hill:

Democrat Victoria Wulsin came within 3,000 votes of defeating Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) in 2006 and is taking another shot this year, but she’s still got something to prove to national Democrats.

Unlike every other near-miss rematch candidate, Wulsin has not yet been named to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) Red to Blue program.

The Democrats were fools to pick Wulsin over Steve Black in the primary.  Yes, Wulsin came close last time.  But Black is a much better fit for the district.

Getting on the Red to Blue list brings lots of attention and money.  The Wulsin Campaign seems ticked by the DCCC's neglect. 

Wulsin spokesman Kevin Franck was critical of the DCCC, and cast doubt on whether national Democrats know what is happening on the ground. He pointed to recent gains in Democratic registrations and Wulsin’s outperforming in her district of Gov. Ted Strickland (D) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in 2006.

“I’m not sure I understand the D-trip’s thinking, completely,” Franck said, adding: “Interacting with the D-trip and the national party organizations, when you get to the highest levels of decision-making, where the choices are made about which list a race goes on, there seems to be a lot of mystery surrounding the metrics they’re using.

“I think we have a very clear case. We have an incredibly unpopular incumbent in a district that’s not a Republican stronghold anymore. Vic has been running for two and a half years now. Her name ID is much higher than it was. We have more money than before.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has taken note of the DCCC’s lack of action. NRCC spokeswoman Julie Shutley, said: “With one loss already under her belt against Rep. Schmidt, Wulsin seems to be having a tough time convincing her own party she has a remote chance of launching a competitive campaign.”

If the Wulsin campaign hasn't made its case to the DCCC by now, it's probably too late.  Like I said though, they'll add her to the list later this summer (they've already got her on some sort of watch list, that means it's coming next time).  It'll give her the chance to put out a release that says the DCCC thinks the race is tightening, and she'll get some free media out of that. 

But in the meantime, the campaign cash and the attention is going elsewhere.

Attorney General of Ohio one day, and the next...

May 16, 2008 12:34 PM's helping the missuz slog crap on ebay (no really).  From the Columbus Dispatch:
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Former Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann spent his first day after resigning helping his wife with her business selling dishes online.

Dann's attorney Mike Harshman says Dann helped his wife, Alyssa Lenhoff Dann, with her side job selling Fiestaware on the Internet.

Dann walked two miles from his suburban Youngstown home Thursday to the office where he took orders and packed dishes.

Harshman says Dann is weighing career options that could include the law, teaching or another run for political office.

Dann resigned Wednesday after acknowledging an affair with a subordinate and ahead of a threat of impeachment.  

So pathetic.  If you did what he did would your wife let you pack her Fiestaware?

Dusty Rhodes to Single Moms: "And your little dog, too!!!"

May 6, 2008 12:22 PM

From today's Enquirer:

Kathleen Akin of Wyoming was featured in The Enquirer April 24 for her decision to be a single mother. But it was her dog that got the attention of the Hamilton County Auditor's Office.

After a photo showed Akin, 45, and her children walking with Sophie, the family's King Charles spaniel, Akin got a letter from the Auditor's Office.

"We saw a picture from Thursday's Cincinnati Enquirer of you in the 'Single Women Who Choose Motherhood" article,'" stated the letter. "When we checked our dog registration database, we didn't find any references you had licensed your dog Sophie."

Obviously, something had to be done about these law breakers:


Dr. Kathleen Akin, Wyoming, walks with her children, Matthew and Claire, and their dog, Sophie.


Can you f***ing believe?  The Auditor justifies it thusly:

"We've done it six times so far," said Auditor, DEMOCRAT [ed.] Dusty Rhodes. "We've got a pretty hip staff and people are reading things."

His advice: "Keep your dog out of the picture if it's not licensed."

Since when is being an ass "pretty hip"?

Mike Allen has a PR guy touting his expertise on politicians who get in sex scandals

March 11, 2008 03:41 PM

What a thing to be an expert in.  You'd think he'd try to get people to forget.  So to throw yourself out there as an expert?  Weird.  And so from the Enquirer, we get this: "Allen Feels Sad for Spitzer,"

“I felt a sense of sadness for Gov. Spitzer and his family,” Allen said today. “My heart went out to him and his family.”

Allen volunteered to speak to The Enquirer after a local public relations firm called the newspaper to pitch Allen as an expert on the Spitzer story.

That part was not supposed to make it into print, Enquirer.  Which I'm sure they knew, and did anyway.  It's too funny not to note as aside.

The lede is amusing too:

When New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer went before cameras Monday to apologize for his alleged involvement in a prostitution scandal that could end his political career, Mike Allen knew how he felt.

“To be honest, when I saw (Spitzer’s apology) yesterday, I was the first one I thought of," Allen said.

Still singing in one note: Me me me me me.  Isn't the deep-rooted self-absorption what got him in trouble in the first place?

[For the non-locals: Four years ago, Mike Allen was our County Prosecutor and local GOP chairman, who was sued for sexual harassment by an Assistant Prosecutor (who seemed a little nutty herself) who Allen was having an affair with.  It was a big local disaster, because Allen was up for re-election himself and running the local Bush-Cheney re-election effort.  Oh to have had a blog then!]

Is the Secretary of State taking on the "Limbaugh Effect"?

March 6, 2008 02:29 PM

And if so, to what ends?

From the Enquirer's Politics Extra:

Brunner's staff has begun to call counties to find out how many crossover voters there were and how many 10x forms were filled out by pollworkers if someone switches parties within two years.

"Once we start to gather the figures of what rate of crossover was, then we can start to dig into . . .what some of the motivations were."

Why is she digging into what some of the motivations were?  How is that an appropriate area of concern?

And what about this?

She does plan to ask counties for statistics and details on voters who signed forms attesting that they switched political parties.

Gathering statistics doesn't concern me.  Gathering "details on voters" does. 

Is she going to also look at the McCain Effect from 2000?  That was when Democrats in Ohio voted for McCain in the Republican primary to slow down George W. Bush.

I say what's good for the goose is good for the gander.  And I think you're playing with fire when you start looking at voter's "motivations."

Jean Schmidt is more popular among Republicans in Ohio 02...

March 5, 2008 09:00 AM

...than John McCain is among Republicans in Texas.  Jean won her district with 57%.  McCain won Texas by 51%.  Texas!

Don't tell me John McCain doesn't still have a lot of work to do convincing Republicans to go out and vote for him. 

For the first time, I walked in to the polls not knowing who I was going to vote for.

March 4, 2008 09:07 AM

The temptation to cross party lines and vote for Hillary was very, very strong.  Having her continue to battle it out with Obama is very good for the cause.  But in the end, I couldn't do it.  The woman in front of me did, though.  And I know a lot of people who were considering it.  When you switch parties, you have to complete a form that says you swear "to uphold the principles of the Democratic party."  Well that wouldn't be too hard--since they have no principles. 

How's that for an obvious joke?

Anyway... I placed my protest vote for Mitt Romney.  Not that it will matter in the end.  My protest vote in the 2000 primary didn't matter either.

I did get to vote in all the down ticket Republican races.  For Congress, I voted for Jean Schmidt.  Over at WMD, they've pretty much summarized my thoughts on that race, so I won't repeat it all here.  The only other contested race was Pat DeWine v. Kathy King for Judge.  I voted for Pat, since he's pro-life, and Kathy is not.  For most of the other judicial races, I refrained from voting for the party's endorsed candidates.  Most of the people they put up are total chuckleheads--though it was a nice reminder of how glad I am that I litigate almost entirely in federal courts these days. 

And of course, I voted against the Cincinnati public school levy and the zoo levy.  The only way I'd get behind either of those two organizations would be if they switched missions.  Let the zoo put the CPS students behind bars, and let the schools educate the animals.  We'd end up with a safer community and a more intelligent workforce.

I'm kidding of course.  Well, slightly kidding.

So, who did John McCain appear on stage with, the day after LocalRadioGate '08?

February 28, 2008 10:29 PM

John Hagee, an influential pastor in the "Christian Zionist movement." Whatever the hell that is. Senator McCain was on stage with Pastor Hagee to receive his endorsement. Has Pastor John Hagee ever said anything controversial? Anything John McCain might want to repudiate? I dunno... let's see...

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League is objecting Hagee's extremist writings, particularly his denunciations of the Catholic Church. For example, Donohue pointed to instances in which Hagee has referred to the Catholic Church as, "The Great Whore," an "apostate church," the "anti-Christ," and a "false cult system."

Okay. So we know what he thinks about the Catholics. What about the Jews? Well, Pastor Hagee says that the Jews have been persecuted throughout history because of... what? ... their failure to accept God.

Wanna see Pastor Hagee in action? I bet you do.

But Bill Cunningham? He's the bigot.

From the "still not getting it" department: Mike DeWine on LocalRadioGate '08

DeWine says to the Enquirer:

"I can't believe in the end that voters are going to make a decision in November based on what John McCain said about Bill Cunningham in February," DeWine said.

How quaint.  He thinks the latest uproar with the base is about McCain repudiating Willie.  It's not.  It's not that at all.  It's that this is YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE of McCain throwing a conservative under the bus.  And when you throw enough people under the bus, you will wake up one day and find that there is no one left to speak for you.  Will that be in November?  We'll see.

McCain Local Radiogate '08

February 27, 2008 03:55 PM

Just how many people did the McCain campaign manage to offend when they were in town?  Here we have the producer of 55KRC's morning radio show, chiming in about the treatment he received from the McCain camp.  Take it away, Joe Strecker:

As you know, it's Ohio's turn to be in the spotlight, for the last 2 weeks, I have been pitched and pitched AND PITCHED every person under the sun to stump for Sen. McCain.  As agreed to by his PR, if I put guests on to stump for Sen. McCain, he would be made available to 55KRC when he came to town (2/26)...

Well here is the email reply I received from the McCain camp

"I don't think for tomorrow, things are pretty set by now. " Rebecca - McCain 2008

As you can tell by my response, I was a little upset.

"I am getting a little frustrated.  55KRC is / has a very Conservative base...Much more than a lot of people think.  These are the voters Sen. McCain needs to win over.  Since the election started, most of our callers initially were Thompson fans, then when he dropped out, Paul and Romney fans.  If there are any listeners/voters to win over, it would be 55KRC's.  I hope you reconsider.  We could do just 5 minutes on his drive up from downtown to West Chester?"

Here was my reply.

"I'm sorry but the decision is not mine.  I recomended you to the higher ups for the exact reason you mentioned.  I will try to ask again when I can but right now I am stuck." - Rebecca McCain 2008

I find out at 10:30 yesterday that McCain was on with Mike McConnell, who McCain called "Bob".  I called Rebecca, and when she said on the phone he wasn't available, I told her he is on right now with WLW.  >>>Silence<<< then she told me "Can't you just use their audio??"  You have to be kidding me..I let her know that we will let our listener's know what happened.

Now, I do understand this is a business and we constantly try to scoop the other guys, but for McCain's people to actually go back on their promise and to act the way they acted and treated the station with the listener's he needs to convince, is just reprehensible. This proves to me what kind of person he is.  Why?  You surround yourself with like minded people.  If his 'people' don't care about you '55KRC listener' vicariously he doesn't care about you '55KRC' listener....

What's even funnier is that last night at 9PM, I received a pitch for another guest to stump for McCain.  I don't think I'm going to book them..

I honestly don't know why he'd even consider it.  And it's more than a little concerning that they're willling to put a candidate's supporters on the radio in exchange for the big "get"--i.e. an interview with the candidate himself.  I suppose that's the way the media game is played, but it doesn't speak well of its participants.  When you whore yourself out, Joe, don't be surpised when you get stabbed by jack the ripper.

And again, how stupid is the McCain camp for missing the interview?  Joe is totally right that the Morning Show's audience is exactly the people McCain needs to be reaching out to.  But there's just little or no effort.

It's almost a parody of a well-run campaign.  "Can't you just use their audio?"  Um no.  Have they ever worked with the news media before? 

John McCain Comes to Southern Ohio to Make Peace with Conservatives, and Promptly Throws Bill Cunningham Under the Campaign Bus

February 26, 2008 01:44 PM

The same Bill Cunningham who has worked tirelessly for Republican candidates and conservatives causes for years--usually using the same kind of rhetoric that he used today.  From the Enquirer:

Cunningham came out on stage to whip up the crowd as he often does at Republican campaign events in Cincinnati. He repeatedly referred to Obama using his middle name -- Hussein -- and said that Obama was a product of the "Chicago-Daley mob."

Nothing untrue, and nothing unusual there.  Willie had similarly direct comments for Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004. 

So what does the McCain camp do?  His aides get all bent out of shape, and have McCain (who didn't even hear the remarks) trot out after his speech to "repudiate" Willie:

Only minutes after his campaign rally ended, McCain apologized for remarks by WLW talk show host Bill Cunningham that McCain said he thought were offensive to Obama.

"I take responsibility and I repudiate what he said," McCain told reporters after the rally.

Not the way to make Republican friends in Southern Ohio.  Oh well.  Who needs Republican friends in Southern Ohio?

McCain went on to explain the approach his campaign will take:

"I will not tolerate anything in this campaign that denigrates either Sen. Obama or Sen. Clinton,'' McCain said.

And what does that remind me of?  Another 700WLW personality, Marty Brennaman, who got in hot water last year for comparing one of the Reds' West Coast roadtrips to the Bataan Death March. Because that's what this campaign with John McCain is going to be. 

One long Bataan Death March.

UPDATE:  Clerk of Courts Greg Hartman is now on Willie's show blaming "the media," and saying this goes to show how Republicans won't get a fair shake this fall.  But the media weren't the ones who apologized for, and repudiated, one of the region's most prominent conservative voices.

When people like Dick Finan say they may stay home in November instead of voting for McCain...

February 7, 2008 05:19 PM says a lot:

Finan, one of the first Ohio Republican party leaders to endorse Romney, said he believes many Romney supporters around the state will have a hard time voting for McCain in the fall campaign – and, he said, he is one of them.

“I might just have to sit it out,’’ said Finan. “Some of them, obviously, will vote for McCain over whoever the Democrats put up. But some of them just won’t.”

Dick Finan is a conservative Republican, but he's not some unhinged radical.  He used to be President of the Ohio Senate, for crying out loud.  He's a total party player, but he's not willing to party with McCain.  Incredible, really.

Random OH-02 Political Observations, New Year's Eve

January 1, 2008 12:12 AM

So I was out tonight with a mostly Republican crowd (I know, big surprise).  And I found my first convert: A Republican who is crossing party lines to vote in the Democratic primary for Steve Black.  Her exact words to me: "He's basically a Republican."  Uhhhh, no, he's not.  And I know several Indian Hill-ites who are voting for him too.  He lives there.  They know him.  Go to church with him, etc.  So they like him.  More than they ever liked Victoria Wulsin, who most of those types believe is kind of weird.  And let's face it.  She is.  Weird.

But Steve Black... kind of an Indian Hill favorite son. 

But not, I think, among the astute political crowd.  Outside of the Magic Mountain, his name recognition is nil, and I think Wulsin will trounce him, even though people in Indian Hill think she's crazy.  In the rest of the district, people at least know who she is.  She's run before, and done well.  Steve Black is not going to do well outside of Indian Hill.  But he may do better than Wulsin does there, because smart, mostly wealthy people, don't like her.  At all.  But Black's I-Hill vote is NOT going to carry through the rest of the district, unless he raises millions of dollars (which he hasn't).

So that's my prediction.  Black loses in the primary.  And Wulsin, without a disaster in Iraq to campaign against, loses in the general. 

So sorry, weak-kneed Republicans.  Just because you know someone from the Indian Hill Presbyterian Episcopal Church, does not mean they have much credibility outside your sphere of influence.  Shocking, I know.  But the truth is Ohio 02 is a lot bigger than Indian Hill.  Thank God.

Also: There is a whole sub-story here about how the Republican party is not the party of the elites, as is widely assumed.  The Democrats are.  Two Democratic candidates with old school Indian Hill names...  And they're up against a Republican girl from Loveland.  Any real reporters want to take on this story? 

God, I promised I'd blog something today

November 7, 2007 06:59 PM

And now it's late, I'm still at work (love the new job but it is a LOT more work).  If I get out of here any time soon, maybe I'll be able to get home, relax (i.e. have an adult beverage) and get something tantalizingly witty up.

In the meantime, I am waiting for a colleague to finish red-lining an Answer to a very, very lengthy Complaint we are responding to.  Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.

Hey, how about some local politics?  Every single city council candidate that I voted for lost, except Chris Monzel.  It continues to amaze me that some people think conservative Republicans run this town when there is only one of nine on City Council.  Oh well.  We're leaving for the suburbs soon anyway.  I hear out there the streets are paved with gold, they don't have any taxes, and the schools are all fantastic.  We shall see.

Maybe I'll do one of those walk by the door to his office things.  Hold on a sec.

Nope, he's still typing away.  Did I mention he wanted to get started on his review, so he instisted on working on a draft of mine that I was still working on?  So now someone is going to have to reconcile the edits, and I'm betting it will be me.  The secretaries are long gone.   

Here's something else that will amuse the legal eagles out there... Guess what an opposing counsel said to me yesterday?  That Judge "X" is crazy, unpredicable and we should forum shop away from him.  His exact quote?  "You know the type.  Bush appointee.  Federalist Society.  Goes to Prayer Breakfasts.  All that crap.  We'll take a remand to state court if you will." 

Uh, no thanks on that offer, pal.  I'm thinking Judge X and I are going to get along just fine.

The Enquirer not only buries the lede, they don't even put the lede in their article

October 16, 2007 08:53 AM

The lead story over at the right now is that the E.W. Scripps Company is going to split into two separate entities.  This is a huge story for the Cincinnati business community.  And people want to know if they'll still have jobs, be transferred, etc. etc.

But the article the Enquirer runs does not even mention whether the newly created companies will keep their corporate headquarters in Cincinnati--a big issue, since media outlets logically belong in L.A. or New York.  You have to go directly to the company's press release to find this information--which is where the Enquirer got all their information for their article.  They practically reprint the press release verbatim.  Except the most important part, and the part their readers will care about. 

I assume the Enquirer will update their story shortly.  But why even put anything out there, when it doesn't even address the first question people will have?

Both new companies are staying by the way.  NBS breaks the news by reading the press release!  Should I insist the Enquirer "credit" NBS as the source? 

This year's crime stats for Cincinnati are way down...

October 15, 2007 10:59 PM

...but what does it mean?  Homicides are down 21% from last year.  There have been 55 as opposed to 70 at this time last year.  I maintain that if you aren't involved in drugs, your chances of being murdered in Cincinnati are basically nil.  About the same as being struck by lightening or hit by a drunk driver.  Killed in the crossfire... sometimes it just happens.  But hardly ever to anyone who is not involved in drugs. 

Violent crime (murder, rape, robbery and assault) in Cincinnati is down 12% for 2007.  That's a recognizable difference.  

But what causes the improved stats?  Better policing?  More police?  Luck?  And what are the trends nationwide?  Is crime down in all the major cities?  If so, we can't claim we are doing something right here. 

If you want the neighborhood breakdown, things are getting much better in Over the Rhine, the West End, English Woods, Hyde Park, East Walnut Hills, Spring Grove Village (f.k.a. Winton Place) and North Avondale.  Things are worse in Mount Washington, Sayler Park and Bond Hill.

How much do I hate Delta's monopoly at CVG?

October 12, 2007 10:07 AM

I'm trying to book tickets to Maine for Thanksgiving, and Delta will let us fly out of Dayton for $122 less per ticket.  But to do that, we have to have a layover.  In Cincinnati.  Which we would be driving from to get to Dayton.  And how long do they want us to sit at CVG for our layover?  Five hours and 27 minutes.

Which will probably be even longer once all the flights get delayed. 

Suggested new slogan: "Delta.  We love to have you sit at CVG for five and half hours, and it shows."

UPDATE: Continental and Northwest have the exact same ticket price for the exact same dates.  It's almost like there's some sort of price fixing going on!

As if Republicans needed yet another reason not to vote for Leslie Ghiz...

October 9, 2007 11:01 AM we hear the news that she has been endorsed by the Republican Leadership Council.  The RLC is a group of left-leaning Republicans whose express goal is to drive the party further to the left.  They call it "the middle," but believe me when I tell you, it is not that.  Mark my words, gentle readers: This is the path of disaster and electoral defeat.  Just ask, well, pretty much all the Republicans who lost in Ohio last year because of the "moderate" sixteen years we had under Voinovich and Taft.  We do not need to be grooming more leaders in that mold.

Also disturbing: The email trumpeting this news contains a link to Leslie's campaign website, where we read:

Leslie is engaged to be married shortly after the November election.  She and her fiancé, Steve, reside in North Avondale. 

I know we are well past the point where we can expect model behavior from politicians, but when did we pass the point that they stopped pretending?  I mean, why put this information out there?  Not classy.  At all.

New Poll: Thompson and Giuliani are tied with Hillary in Ohio

September 24, 2007 03:54 PM

Per Survey USA.  Romney trails Hillary by 10 points. 

If the Democrats nominate Obama (which they won't), Thompson, Giuliani and Romney are all ahead or tied.  The stats are there for John Edwards, too.  Not that you care about him.  No one does.

This is all good news, in my opinion.  It feels like all of our potential nominees are 10 points behind Hillary.

HT: Ohio Daily Blog

Day 4: Is Steve Black Black?

September 21, 2007 09:25 AM

So it's been four days since the Dean of Cincinnati and Nate Livingston from the Cincinnati Black Blog debated whether Congressional Candidate Steve Black actually is black.  And guess what?  Nate still can't figure it out.  He writes:

It really doesn't matter, but I'd like to know if Steve Black, the guy being challenged by Victoria Wulsin in the Democratic primary for Congress, is white or Black?

If it doesn't matter, why does someone who runs the Cincinnati Black Blog need to know?  Should we answer Nate's question, readers?  I'm thinking we shouldn't.  You know.  Since it doesn't matter.

UPDATE: The Dean still can't figure it out either.  Too funny.

It's been awfully quiet around here

September 17, 2007 08:42 AM

So sorry for the lack of posts here at NBS lately.  The press of every day life has pretty much overwhelmed.  But more on that later.  In the meantime, if you're looking for entertainment, check out this round of Idiots Delight, which we find (predictably) over in the comments section at the Cincinnati Beacon.  There, we find the self-important Dean of Cincinnati debating the race-mongering Nate Livingston over this key question:

Is Steve Black, the guy who is running for Congress, actually black?

If so, someone needs to tell the Camargo Club, stat!

So folks, today's discussion topics are:  Is Steve Black the "It's Pat" of local indentity politics? 

 It's Pat

Can a dark skinned whitie ride to victory with the help of confused African Americans like Nate Livingston?  Has Steve Black out-tanned John Boehner and locked up the minority vote?

Still MORE on Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby

September 9, 2007 09:56 AM

Kudos to Dan Horn and the Enquirer for writing a story about the Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby case that actually explains the legal issues involved.  Newspapers rarely look at these matters in depth, and it's definitely unusual to see the popular press analyze mental states and what they mean under criminal law.  Oh sure, Dan doesn't throw out the Latin, so I will:

Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea.

It means "the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind is also guilty."  There are different mens rea (i.e. mental states) and culpability is based on whether the offending party possessed the mental state that comports with a particular crime.  In the Nesselroad-Slaby case, the necessary mental state is recklessness, and to prove that, you need to show that the offending party perversely disregarded a known risk.  That is different than forgetting something.  As the Prosecutor explained:

"Here's my challenge to anyone who thinks she should have been charged: Do you believe she left her child in there on purpose?" White said. "That's what I have to believe as prosecutor to charge her. That's what the law is."

The law he's referring to is child endangering, which in Ohio requires a parent or guardian to act recklessly by disregarding a substantial risk.

To many, there is little doubt the mother was reckless. But the legal definition of reckless requires proof the mother perversely disregarded a known risk.

"When people hear the word reckless, they say, 'Well, certainly this person was reckless,' " Piper said. "But the legal definition of reckless is way, way higher than the definition we use every day."

White decided the evidence supported Nesselroad-Slaby's claim she forgot her child was in the car. Once he made that decision, criminal charges were out of the question.

If the mother forgot, White said, she could not have disregarded a risk because she didn't know the child was there.

That is why this is completely different than cases where someone leaves a baby in the car while running errands.  In those cases, they haven't forgotten the baby.  They're just leaving it the car, and assuming (wrongly) that nothing is going to happen to it.  When someone does that, they are perversely disregarding a known risk, and they can be charged with child endangering.

One other quick legal point: The purpose of criminal law is two-fold.  It is designed to punish the offending party, and to deter future conduct (either the offending party's future conduct, or someone else's).  In this case, prosecuting Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby would not have a deterrent effect on her or anyone else.  There's zero chance she'll leave a baby in a hot car again.  And as for members of the public, no one is more likely to leave their baby in a hot car just because Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby wasn't prosecuted.  If anything, people are going to look at this tragic situation and be more cautious about their kids, not less.

And as for punishing her, I have to say that the people who think she needs to be punished more are just creepy.  I can think of no worse a punishment than having your child die and have it all be your fault.  The idea that something more should be piled on top of that is just vile.  People need to keep their blood lust in check.  And, they need to watch out for bad karma when they demand that someone else be prosecuted for what was obviously an accident.  It's not something you would want to have happen to you. 

The woman who forgot her child in the car...

September 5, 2007 08:10 AM

...will not face criminal charges.  The Clermont County Prosectutor took two weeks to arrive at a decision that was perfectly obvious from the beginning: She did not have the requisite mental state, and thus committed no crime.  Horrible accidents happen.

Already, people are screaming racism.  Take it away, Chris Smitherman

"Here today, we have a white woman down in Clermont County who killed her daughter, clearly endangerment of a child and we have the prosecutors saying not one charge will be levied against this woman," said Smitherman.

"And, at the same time, we have a an African-American woman in Avondale who's locked up right now for leaving her children in the closet," said Smitherman. "We have a prosecutor saying he's going to lock her up for 100 years."

Is it possible that he does not see the difference between these two cases?  Does he understand "intent" at all?  Or is creating racial discord all part of his plan?

I will say though, that Nate Livingston over at the Cincinnati Black Blog is right about one thing: It is ridiculous that Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby's attorney is a Clermont County Commissioner.  Talk about creating an appearance of impropriety!  I'm mortified that a county commissioner is acting as a criminal defense lawyer in any case pending in his county's courts, much less this one.  It's almost as bad as Butler County, where you have Judges who operate as criminal defense attorneys.

Update: Wow, it's even generated allegations of sexism.  Still unexplained?  Why someone should be charged with a crime just because a man would be, or because an ethnic minority would be (even assuming that is true, and I don't believe it is).  If that were happening, the right thing to do would be to stop charging similarly situted men or minorities with these kinds of crimes--instead of just charging this poor women because others have not been.  But apparently cries for guillotine justice aren't limited by the two wrongs don't make a right concept. 

Matt Dole signs up with my former boss...

August 20, 2007 12:06 PM

... Mark Weaver.  Funny how things turn out.  Matt was (until mid-July) one of Ohio's most prominent GOP bloggers.  A few weeks ago, he mysteriously announced he was closing down his blog to pursue other opportunities.  And then last week came the news that he had signed up with Mark Weaver to work at Communications Counsel.

I've been surprised by the attention this has received, such as this post from the prominent left-wing site Buckeye State Blog:

Last week Matt Dole, the prominent Republican blogger which surprised all by scrubbing his blog and going underground, popped back on the radar. Not surprisingly, Dole had been hired into to Ohio Super Republican Consultant Mark Weaver's Communications Counsel. For those out of the loop, Weaver was largely responsible for Betty Montgomery's place in Ohio government, along with countless others in the Ohio statehouse. The position with Weaver is quite a reward for the young Dole.

It will be interesting to see how these two fare together.  Mark has a bloggers' brain--he's a news junkie, he's eccentric, and he works really weird hours--so I'm a little surprised he thinks he even needs help with new media.  But he and Matt should have a good time working on creative ways to get the blogs to drive what the old media is covering.  I just hope they're careful about how they try to "use" the conservative blogs to feed the old media machine.  We're pretty savy.

Monday morning and I'm busy with real work...

...but I do have to take a minute to roll my eyes over this comment, left over at the Beacon:

Of possible interest to local blogwatchers, yesterday Nasty, Brutish and Short ran an item about the Beacon’s cuckold story with the title, “Ridiculous Blind Item of the Day.”

Interestingly, earlier today the above faxed letter to George Vincent was posted as a comment under NBS’s item and appeared briefly on his blog before being deleted. (NBS, if the story’s so ridiculous, why delete a letter to the chair of the local Republican Party?)

In his item, and this is typical for NBS, he pontificates without knowing what he’s talking about. There are several examples in his cuck item which confuses cuckoldry (a fetish behavior) with swinging. Here’s the most obvious example of NBS’s ignorance of the subject:

And what about that “hot wife” clue?  Surely it’s not a physical description?  If so, it certainly narrows the list of potential cuckolds quite dramatically.

If NBS had done minimal Googling, he’d know that “hot wife” doesn’t mean “good looking wife” or “sexy wife” as he assumes. From Wiki:

The term hot wife refers to a married woman who has sex with men other than her spouse, with the husband’s consent. In most cases the husbands take a vicarious pleasure in watching their wives and the other male’s enjoyment, or enjoy watching, hearing, or knowing about their wives’ adventures.

Therefore, NBS, for failing to do mininal research before posting, for writing and posting an ignorant item, and for censoring legitimate comments simply because you disagree with the POV, you must be disciplined without mercy. Your punishment is to get down on all fours, beg, and vote the straight Republican ticket!

Oops, nevermind. You’re already there. I’ll have to think of something else....

Typical.  I suppose I should ignore crap like this, but I do want to point out that I am having major problems with comment spam, as I have mentioned numerous times.*  If a "real" comment gets deleted, it is an accident.  I would have been more than happy to have a copy of the letter to George Vincent (Hamilton County GOP Chairman) left in my comment section.  Because the letter is so asinine!

Also, who knew I'd ever be excoriated regarding the subtle difference between swinging and cuckolding?  Apparently I am an idiot on these matters, and I apologize for misleading my readers.  If you set out to swing this weekend and instead ended up cuckolded, I apologize.  It is all my fault.  You should have known not to rely on me, as I have such ignorance of my subjects!

I do know about the "hot wife" term, though--thanks for the suggestion that I google it.  As was completely obvious from my original post, I was making a joke about the relative unattractiveness of policial wives.

*Comments are turned back on, by the way.  We'll see if my new fix works.

Ridiculous Blind Item of the Day

August 16, 2007 08:34 AM

Comes from The Cincinnati Beacon, where the Dean announces that a high profile local Republican (who he refuses to name) is into some kinky hanky panky:

[W]ord is that Hamilton County has its own high-profile hypocrite with a taste for unusual extra-curricular activities. Like Vitter, this Republican preaches “traditional family values” and attacks all the usual targets. Like Vitter, he’s used his own family to hype his wholesome image. But in private he’s said to indulge in a decidedly more exotic activity known as “cuckolding.”

He then goes on to explain what cockolding is, inexplicably assuming that his readers are all over the age of 75.  And the clues he gives us about the identify of this person are pretty lean:

A source tells us that Southern Ohio has an active “cuckold” subculture, complete with internet hook-ups. Rumor has it our family values Repub and “hot wife” are known on the scene.

You gotta love the ridiculousness of the phrase "a source tells us that Southern Ohio has an active 'cuckold' subculture."  Did someone finally tell him about the Terrace Park Swingers?  They've got to be a myth, by the way.  I just can't believe that Terrace Park swings.

And what about that "hot wife" clue?  Surely it's not a physical description?  If so, it certainly narrows the list of potential cuckolds quite dramatically.

George Zamary is running for City Council...

July 2, 2007 08:14 AM

...I heard this over the weekend, and was a little surprised.  Not that he's running for office, but that he's running now.  Anyway, now I see others are reporting it too, and it is not just a rumor.  I know George pretty well, and would describe him as a "liberal on social issues" Republican.  Perhaps he's going for the disillusioned-with-Leslie Ghiz demographic? 

George is a good guy, and better than a lot of people who are running.  It's too bad about that "liberal on social issues" bit, though.

Local Republicans Switching to Thompson?

June 21, 2007 11:38 PM

Interesting news from the VikingSpirit blog (one of the best local Republican blogs).  He's been the leading local supporter of Rudy Giuliani's campaign.  And now?

After much deliberation, I'm dropping my support of Rudy Giuliani for Fred Thompson in the Republican Presidential primary. Why you ask? Well, it's somewhat based on ideological reasons, but more based on having a chance at winning the Presidency in 2008 (and, in turn, stopping Hillary Clinton).

Firstly, I believe the political environment is ripe for the base to stay home in 2008. Our party is in open rebellion over the immigration issue, and I don't think base voters will come out to vote for Rudy because he's pro-choice, anti-gun, and pro-gay rights. If the base stays home, we cannot win the election, which leads me to my second reason for supporting Thompson.

He's totally right about the base, which is not enthusiastic about Giuliani at all.  So this is an interesting development.  Giuliani has been the front-runner for some time (which I have always attributed to name recognition, and never understood) but some polls suggest Fred Thompson has pulled ahead.  He's much more in touch with the Republican mainstream.  So welcome back, VikingSpirit!

[I do have to say though, in drafting this post, I see VikingSpirit is working for John Eby's Cincinnati city council campaign.  I voted for John Eby in 2005, but having heard him speak at political events over the last two years, I am not sure he has the ideological qualifications that the job requires.  John Eby is an endorsed Republican, but my impression of him thus far is distinctly unfavorable.  If John Eby wants the party's support he's going to have to do something that suggests he is in line with the party's values.  As yet, we've yet to see that.  If you're involved in his campaign, this should be a big source of concern, VikingSpirit).

Councilman breaks pelvis in pothole incident

From Politics Extra:

Councilman David Crowley broke his pelvis in two places in a bicycle accident Saturday. He was trying to avoid one pothole and hit another.

He expects to be on crutches for a month to six weeks.

"Other than a lot of pain and crutches," he said in a memo to colleagues, "I am fine."

The potholes have been fixed.

Trying to avoid one pothole and hit another.  Typical.  Why not fix the potholes before they cause broken bones?  How's that for a wild idea?

Local Cases of Prosecutorial Misconduct...

...are all over the paper this morning.  First up is Butler County Prosecutor's decision to prosecute the Miami students who got drunk with the girl who died on the railroad tracks:

Three of the accused women - Christine Carr, Kathleen Byrne and Kristina Sicker - have court appearances today on charges of permitting underage consumption at a private place.

Danielle Davis faces the same charge in court July 5. Maureen Grady is to appear June 28 on a charge of furnishing alcohol to an underage person while at an uptown bar.

Like Speidel, the women were themselves too young to drink legally.

How on earth do any of these woman share any more responsibility for this tragedy than the girl who died?

And second up is the Hamilton County Prosecutor's horrific decision to prosecute 16 year-old Chad Metzgar.  He's the kid from Northwest High School who was driving when Lauren Dietz and Miranda Phelps were killed last week.  That community is appalled by Joe Deters' decision:

"Nobody wants to lose anybody anymore in any type of manner," said Jeanne Glore, a close friend of the Dietz family.

Glore called on the community to continue to come together each Wednesday to grieve and bond. The gatherings will also be a sign of solidarity for Metzcar.

Joe Deters wants to have Metzgar tried as an adult, which means if he is convicted, he will be serving hard time in a state prison with the worse of the worst.  He faces 13 1/2 years.  I heard Joe Deters speak about this issue yesterday, and his explanation was basically that they have brought similar charges in similar cases.  What kind of excuse is that?  Where's the introspection about whether the charges in those cases were excessive, too?

One of the fundamental principles of criminal law is that the punishment is supposed to match the mens rea (mental state) of the offending party.  For centuries, criminal law has recognized that accidents happen.  But in Hamilton County, prosecutors have made it a policy to always seek jail time whenever there is a fatal car accident.  This means all of us are always one wrong turn away from a lengthy jail sentence.

It used to be that prosecutors would excercise discretion, and not bring charges when there was an accident.  When I heard Joe Deters speak yesterday, the principle of prosecutorial discretion seemed lost on him.  It's a shame. 

Portman falls flat on Willie's Show

June 20, 2007 11:55 AM

Bill Cunningham just spent half an hour interviewing Rob Portman now that Rob's back in town for a while.  Willie kept telling Rob over and over again how out of touch the administration is and Rob was, well, not getting it.  At all.

I know he has to be polite and not trash his former boss the day after he quit, but Rob's going to have to show he understands the party's anger if he's going to get my support for another office.  The last thing Ohio needs is another bland, dispassionate Republican office holder.

Governor Stickland speaks to group with terrorist ties

June 19, 2007 08:07 AM

You won't hear about it except from the bloggers, but Ohio Governor Ted Strickland gave a speech this past weekend to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR),  CAIR describes itself as a human rights group, but it's shady, terrorist-loving record has been known for some time.  In fact, just a few weeks ago, CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in an alleged criminal conspiracy involving Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.  Hell, even Democratic Senator Chuck Shumer has said: "we know [CAIR] has ties to terrorism."

So why does the Governor think CAIR makes for good company?

HT: Bizzy Blog

And now Voinovich comes out in favor of the D.C. "voting rights" bill

June 13, 2007 11:28 AM

From National Review's Bench Memos blog:

Via e-mail (nothing yet on his website), Senator George Voinovich's office has released a statement declaring the Ohio Republican's support for the D.C. "voting rights" bill, which would give the District of Columbia a seat in the House of Representatives (but none in the Senate), and an additional House seat to Utah as well.  Voinovich is ranking member of the Senate subcommittee with D.C. affairs in its portfolio, so I suppose this announcement is intended to make some waves—though I haven't noticed that the senator ordinarily carries many other Republicans along in his wake.

Voinovich acknowledges that opposition to the bill on constitutional grounds shouldn't be "dismiss[ed] . . . without serious study," but his statement provides nothing more than his unexplained conclusion that "the District Clause grants Congress the ability" to pass this bill.  He's referring to Article I, section 8, clause 17, which provides Congress power to "exervcise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever" over the District where the nation's capital is located.

For a detailed explaination of why this is patently unconstitutional, read Bench Memos, which does not even bother to mention the politically obvious reason for opposing this bill: It gives the Democrats one "free" seat in Congress.  This is on top of Voinovich's asinine statement on Monday about Alberto Gonzales (i.e. the President should fire him, but the Senate shouldn't say so).

And he still hasn't issued a statement explaining what his position on immigration actually is, even though at the end of the day he ended up supporting the President's awful bill.

Does Voinovich have anything going for him?

SW Ohioans 4 Fred (Thompson)

June 12, 2007 12:38 PM

I learned over lunch that a friend of mine is behind the website SW Ohioans 4 Fred.  It's the blog "for Fred Heads primarily in Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton & Warren Counties- the counties that decided the 2004 election."  Great point about how this area decided the 2004 election.  People have already forgotten that. 

As for me, I have not yet decided if I'm 4 Fred.  But I'm sure I'll be reading SW Ohioans 4 Fred as I come to a decision, and you should be too.

Senate Kills Immigration Bill...

June 7, 2007 11:22 PM

...let the record reflect that in the final vote, Senator Voinovich came down on the wrong side.

Is anyone surprised?

Other Republicans on the list of shame?  Senators McCain, Hagel, Graham, Lugar, Specter and Martinez.

And now Voinovich flips back the other way on immigration

He has voted against enforcing existing border security laws.  Does he have multiple personality disorder, or what?

Voinvovich Flips on Immigration?

Is it a flip, or is it a flop?  So yesterday Senator Voinvoich voted against killing the bill.  But today, he's voted to limit the "guest worker program" to 5 years--which is being construed as a vote to kill the bill.

The latest roll is is here.  If the Senator would just say whether he supports the bill or not, this would be a lot easier.  Surely a plain statement that that summarizes his position is the least he owes his constituents?

UPDATE:  Sean Hannity is on Laura Ingraham's show, and they are both pleased as punch with this morning's developments.  Is this Harriet Miers II?

"Any charitable organization involved in $10 million in litigation has some explaining to do to the public."

Attorney General Marc Dann threatens to intervene in the Health Alliance legal smackdown:

"We could seek to put everybody in receivership," he said. In that case, the court would appoint an officer to manage all daily operations of the organization.

Few people realize it, but the AG has pretty extraordinary authority over charitable organizations in the State of Ohio.  Of course these hospitals aren't really functioning as charities.  Perhaps the AG is sensing that is the problem?

Conservatives attempt to kill immigration bill; Voinovich votes with the Democrats

June 6, 2007 02:10 PM

... and with the President, who seems to have suffered a break with reality on this.  The specific issue was whether they should give amnesty to illegal immigrants who have felony records.  Voinovich says the felons should be allowed to stay.  The roll call is here.

Other Republican Senators in the Hall of Shame: Lindsey Graham, Chuck Hagel, John McCain, Dick Lugar, Larry Craig, John Kyl, and Mel Martinez.

But Voinovich is the one who is Ohio's fault.

Butler County Republicans Select Democrat for County Commission

From the Enquirer:

FAIRFIELD - Developer and former Democrat Don Dixon swept his competition Tuesday night, getting 58.2 percent of the Butler County Republican party vote in a three-way race for Butler County Commission....

Dixon switched parties in 2000 for what he called philosophical reasons. Before the switch, he was the county Democratic Party chairman and a prominent financial contributor to that party. The Dixon family operates Hillandale Communities, which specializes in retirement centers

Yeah, philosophical reasons such as "no one else in Butler County is a Democrat anymore."  This shows what too many years of one party rule leads to... careerism, and the promotion of leaders who do not have sufficient ideological grounding to qualify them for the job.  Six years is no where near enough of a ripening period, and the Butler County GOP should have known better.  Sadly, they will reap what they sow.

Over at Weapons of Mass Discussion, Matt Hurley is not happy.  He asks:

Here's hoping Dixon really is a Republican... Am I crazy or has the Butler County GOP been taken over by Country Club Republicans?

Not County Club Republicans, Matt.  Just plain fools.

Good Times: Jerry Springer's "I paid her with a check" spot from the 1980 campaign

June 5, 2007 09:21 AM

Jerry Springer for Governor - kewego
Jerry Springer for Governor - kewego
Jerry Springer for Governor - kewego
In this campaign ad from 1980, Jerry Springer admitted he has slept with a hooker and paid her by check.
HT: Llama Butchers

Crime stats are way, way down

May 30, 2007 08:19 AM

The Enquirer reports:

The number of gunshot victims arriving at the trauma units at both Children's Hospital Medical Center and University Hospital is down. At Children's, the number is down 78 percent, with five juvenile victims so far this year, compared with 23 victims at this time last year.

University Hospital's trauma center has seen a 17 percent drop in gunshot victims with 100 victims this year compared with 120 last year.

Violent crime for the first four months of the year is down from this time last year.

City crime statistics show that violent crime - murder, rape, felonious assault and robbery - is down 15.3 percent to 1,002 for the first four months of the year from 1,183 incidents last year.

Contributing to that decrease is big drop in homicides. As of early Tuesday evening, 28 homicides have been recorded in Cincinnati. A year ago at this time, 37 people were counted as homicide victims.

An Enquirer analysis of monthly crime figures dating to 1968 shows that if historic crime patterns stay on track, the city will finish the year with 62 homicides - 27 fewer than last year when the city broke all modern homicide records with 89.

But will the trend hold while the summer gets hot?

The Idiot of the Day...

... is the new CEO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Donald Murphy.  He explains why the Freedom Center needs taxpayer funds

He used the comparison of early Google investors, who didn't expect or get a return for years after they first contributed their money.

He really needs to come up with a line that's not laughable, if he wants people to support his cause.

There was no Kent State conspiracy or cover up. I'm telling you, I know.

May 23, 2007 10:01 PM

But first, a little context:

The Cincinnati Beacon is up with a post on the Kent State shootings, which happened 37 years ago, in a time of angst and uncertainty about a foreign war.  And when a good many people became extremely exercised about the motives of people in power, and were inclined to believe the worst. 

The Beacon links to an article by Bob Fitrakis (a former Green Party candidate for Ohio Gov.) and Harvey Wasserman (a very well known left-wing academic and commentator).  Their article contends that there is "new proof" that shows the Ohio National Guard intentionally opened fire on the students at Kent State, killing four of them.  They write:

For 37 years the official cover story has been that a mysterious shot rang out and the young Guardsmen panicked, firing directly into the “mob” of students.

This week, that cover story was definitively proven to be a lie.

Prior to the shooting, a student named Terry Strubbe put a microphone at the window of his dorm, which overlooked the rally. According to the Associated Press, the 20-second tape is filled with “screaming anti-war protectors followed by the sound of gunfire.”

But in an amplified version of the tape, a Guard officer is also heard shouting “Right here! Get Set! Point! Fire!”

The sound of gunshots follow the word “Point.” Four students soon lay dead.

The article contends that this tape was recently discovered, and that it proves what conspiracy theorists had long suspected--that the Government killed these students.  In fact, Fitrakis and Wasserman go so far as to directly accuse then-Governor Rhodes of ordering the National Guard to open fire.  They call it a "premeditated and unprovoked order" to fire live ammunition at the students, and that it came from the Governor:

For we now know that a premeditated, unprovoked order was indeed given to National Guardsmen to fire live ammunition at peaceful, unarmed American students, killing four of them. The illegal order to arm the Guard with live ammunition in the first place could only have come from the governor of Ohio.

It is a scathing claim.  They are accusing Governor Rhodes and the Ohio National Guardsmen of murder.  It is a claim that is not worthy of two people who are, though to the left, well-within the confines of customary Ohio political discourse.

And they are wrong.  How do I know this?  Seven years ago was the 30th anniversary of the Kent State shootings.  At that time, I was a newly-minted law school grad, and was working for the government.  And I was given an extraordinary assignment: review the Kent State files, and determine what the media could and could not see in response to FOIA and Ohio Public Records Act requests (they were writing their thirtieth anniversary retrospectives).*  And I got to see everything, and determine what the press and the public would be allowed to see.  There were boxes and boxes of materials--including all the records pertaining to the numerous investigations after the shootings.  The records were so voluminous, it took weeks to review all of them.  It was a brutal assignment--there are photos from the scene that day which are so graphic and disturbing that the press will not publish them.  And, I quickly became an expert in all things related to Kent State.

I cannot comment on the contents of the non-public records, but I can say that very, very few fall in the non-public category, and the press got to see every thing pertinent.  And the important thing is this:  There is absolutely no evidence to support Fitrakis's and Wasserman's outrageous claims.  None.  All of the evidence supports the conclusions of the official investigations from thirty-seven years ago.  There was no conspiracy, and neither the Ohio National Guard, nor Governor Rhodes, murdered anyone.  It is disgraceful that Fitrakis and Wasserman would level the allegations that they have.  There is no evidence to back up their claims of intentional and premeditated murder.  None.

*If you're wondering why all the records are not available to the press or the public, the reason is that law enforcement investigatory records--especially those pertaining to uncharged suspects--cannot be produced under FOIA or the Ohio Public Records Act.

Ahhh, so this explains it

May 10, 2007 08:37 AM

Image hosting by



Family Feud '08

May 9, 2007 03:01 PM

Phil Heimlich is officially running against Jean Schmidt in the Republican congressional primary next spring.  He's already raised $120,000.

Just what we need.  A nasty and divisive local primary in a Presidential election year.  As Jean's Chief of Staff properly notes,

[Heimlich] showed last fall that he doesn’t have much support in Hamilton County, much less the rest of the district.

Quite true.  Why does someone who was voted out of office in his home county think he is entitled to a promotion to Congress?

That said, though, I am very annoyed with Jean for telling the Enquirer this:

"I have no idea why some opposed The Banks funding, but I can tell you why I voted for it," Schmidt said, explaining that Hamilton County commissioners, the Cincinnati City Council, Mayor Mark Mallory and the downtown business community all identified The Banks as their No. 1 priority.

"I simply went to work on making it a reality," she said. "I am very happy I got The Banks project in the bill. I am proud to have voted for it. ... If people want to criticize me for fighting for my community, I will gladly admit my guilt."

Very, very annoyed.  Why do we need a Republican in Congress who doesn't understand her constitutional role, when we already have so many Democrats who don't?  Quotes like this make it very hard for people who have supported her in the past to defend her. 

Chalk me up as reserving judgment on this one, for now.

How to be a modern day snake oil salesman...

May 3, 2007 11:15 AM

...charge the City of Columbus $125,000 to tell them how to appeal to "young professionals."  Meet Rebecca Ryan, CEO of Next Generation Consulting:

Graphics lit up behind her on a gigantic projection screen as she launched into her enthusiastic spiel.

First was a brief glossary of terms and acronyms, from the ever-popular DINKS (double income, no kids) to the less uplifting BASICS (bachelor of arts still in customer service).

Then she introduced the Power Clap.

If you think a Power Clap is just a bunch of loud applause, well, that’s why you’ll never work with a young professional. It involves everyone in the room clapping at once—but only once. CLAP. That’s it.

Sound more like crap than clap, if you ask me.  So what sort of substantive advice did Ms. Ryan provide to the City of Columbus? 

Coleman and Marsh, the mayor’s former chief of staff, said Ryan earned her paycheck by providing the city with intangible commodities such as focus, commitment and validation.

Wow.  Commodities so intangible, they're worthless.  "Focus, commitment and validation."  It really is crap not clap!

And get this: The advice she gave to Columbus?  The exact same advice she gave to Akron.

Yes.  Akron.

Continued Republican Frustrations with Leslie Ghiz

May 2, 2007 10:10 AM

The scene: a posh downtown conference room.  The crowd: a group of high-powered Republican attorneys.  The topic of conversation?

Attorney No. 1:  Did you get that thing from George Shaefer and Bob Castellini asking you to be on the host committee for a Leslie Ghiz fundraiser?

Attorney No. 2: Yes, but I'm not going to because what's the point if she won't return my phone calls?

Attorney No. 3: I have a call in for her too, but she just had an underling call me back.

Attorney No. 4: I have a call in for her, and she's not calling me back either.

Attorney No. 1: And she likes you.

Attorney No. 4.  Apparently not.

Leslie, if you want the support of the Republican business and legal community, you have got to call people back.  It's really pretty basic.

Wherein the Hamilton County Republican Party Disappoints, Yet Again

April 20, 2007 10:40 AM

Okay, so I get a call from a fellow Republican asking me to contribute to Andre Harper's City Council Campaign.  Even though I am pretty active in local politics--having served on the board of local GOP organizations, and worked on numerous campaigns--I had never heard of Andre Harper until the party announced it's City Council slate a few months ago.  It's never a good sign when a active member of a political party has never even heard of the party's nominee for major elective office.  In fact, it is usually a pretty good sign that something is seriously amiss.

So I explain this to my friend, and tell him that I don't make political contributions to candidates I don't know anything about.  And I can tell that my friend secretly agrees with me, but that he'd promised someone he'd make a few calls.  Just research Andre, he says, and see what you think. 

So good to my word, I google Andre Harper, looking for a reason to like him.  But what's this?  The first result is an interview he gave recently with his fraternity's online publication.  It talks about his public service, and of course public service is great.  But the alarming thing was this bit from the interview, when he was asked to identify his "most treasured honor."  His response?

I was elected Homecoming King in high school. I failed at two previous school-wide elections, but I worked very hard. That crown goes with me everywhere I go. It reminds me that I can do anything.

What?  Are you kidding me?  We have a grown man running for City Council with the endorsement of a major political party, and his "most treasured honor" was being elected homecoming king in high school?  Come on!  Why are we running someone who believes that the homecoming king crown "goes with me everywhere I go"?  Shouldn't we run someone who is a little more in touch with reality, and with a post-high school popularity contest track record of electoral success?  Did anyone from the party run a google search on this guy before they endorsed him?

Lest you think I am being too harsh, read his perfectly asinine "Manifesto:"

Here's a political tip, Andre: "Manifestos" are for third world dictators and first rate serial killers.  People seeking elected office in the U.S. ought to avoid the term.  But if you do feel that having a Manifesto sets you apart from rivals who merely have Plans, you need to make sure there's plenty of meat on the bones, not things like "support the vehement enforcement of the law," "protect the interests of all victims of crime," and "support civil servants who work to maintain our city."

Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio Implicated in Controversal AIDS Research Program

April 6, 2007 08:52 AM

Well!  Here's something to chew on this Good Friday morning.  The Cincinnati Beacon, which is itself a somewhat controversal publication here in Cincinnati, has published a story implicating the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio in an extraordinarily controversal AIDS treatment program in Africa.

I do not have time this morning to get in to all the details, but the gist is this.  Non-locals may not realize this, but in recent years, Cincinnati medical hero Dr. Henry Heimlich has turned his attention away from rescuing chocking victims, and has instead focused on curing AIDs.  As I understand it, his research has not passed bio-ethical muster here in the U.S., so he's had to turn to sources overseas.  In layman's terms, his medical theory is this: AIDs can be cured by "frying" the virus at extremely high temperatures.  The malaria causes the immune system to go into overdrive, and attack not just the malaria, but HIV.  To achieve these temperatures, Dr. Heimlich introduces malaria to Third World AIDs victims, and allows their body temperature to soar to extraordinarly high levels.  The results are not pretty.

The World Health Organization has described this research as a modern medical monstrosity.  The FDA and the CDC are strongly opposed to it.  I, frankly, think it could be worth it if an AIDs cure can be found.  But it is hard not to have extremely serious reservations about performing this kind of medical research on humans.

Apparently, our late Bishop, Herbert Thompson, did not share those reservations.  It appears he was actively involved in soliciting patients for Heimlich Institute malariotherapy research.  Those patients came from Anglican parishes in Africa.

Flashback: How a Real Leader Starts a Ballgame

April 3, 2007 04:29 PM

Beautiful day, great game... marred only by the Mayor throwing out the first pitch

Jim Tarbell Suffers "Minor Finger Injury"

March 24, 2007 10:56 PM

Well here's another story to clip and send to my aunt out in Oregon.  A guy she went out with back when they were both in high school--Cincinnati City Councilman Jim Tarbell--got in yet another crime thwarting battle downtown.  This time he threatened to call the cops on an overly aggressive pan-handler, and ended up in a fistfight.

This marks the umpteenth time Jim Tarbell has been in some bizarre confrontation with a criminal, as this article in the Enquirer duly notes.

What Not to Say When Testifying in Your Own Defense, No. 387...

March 13, 2007 10:23 PM

... that the United States is a "terrorist state."  Jurors tend to not like that kind of thing.  But that's what one of the anti-war trespassing protesters did last week at her trial:

Sister Mary Evelyn Jegen returned to the stand, talking about U.S. foreign policy and why she feels obliged to oppose it.

“Weapons of mass destruction — the largest arsenal is on our country,” she said. “When we talk about terror, the United States of America is, in my view, a state terrorist, because we are holding the world hostage to nuclear weapons.

Thank God loons from other denominations come around often enough to make me feel less bad about being an Episcopalian! 

But anyway... as you may remember, I wrote about the anti-war trespassing protesters here, and then was quoted in CityBeat about it, here.  They raised a necessity defense, arguing that their trespassing was necessary to save innocent lives.  Necessity is a viable defense to any criminal charge, but it is typically used in situations where the threat is imminent and actually connected to the Defendants' actions.  Not the case here, though they apparently argued that they believed their sit-in at Congressman Chabot's office would stop the war in Iraq.  Is it too uncharitable to say this was a stupidity defense and not a necessity defense? 

The protester's were convicted of trespassing earlier today.  The jury didn't buy the necessity defense.  Frankly, I'm surprised the Judge even allowed them to argue it.  At least he quashed their ridiculous attempt to subpoena Donald Rumsfeld to testify at trial.

The protesters get probation and 20 hours of community service.  They contend that the "real crime" (i.e. the war in Iraq) has gone unpunished.  I think the real crime is that their lawyers were allowed to present meritless arguments before the Court.  Supposedly that is an ethical violation, warranting attorney discipline by the bar.

Ohio considering green license plates for sex offenders...

March 7, 2007 09:44 AM

... we already have red and yellow ones for multiple DUI offenders.  I've only seen a handful of them since the legislation was enacted a few years ago.

But a green sex offender license plate certainly would be more memorable.  And I was amused by this line from The New York Times:

A 2005 bill that called for pink license plates for all sex offenders failed after critics deemed it too harsh and Mary Kay Cosmetics and advocates for breast cancer research objected to the color.

Pink was "too harsh"?  Perhaps it was the sex offenders who didn't want to be confused with the Mary Kay reps, rather than the other way around?

Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

February 25, 2007 10:19 PM

From the Llamabutchers, we learn of what it's like to pay taxes in Virginia.  Apparently it is much, much better than it is here in Ohio. Blogger Robert describes how he:

1.  Mailed his return two weeks ago.

2.  Already has his refund check.

3.  Received, along with said check, an explanation from the Commonwealth of Virginia explaining that if he'd filed differently (married filing jointly v. married filing separately), he would have received a bigger refund.

4.  Further explaining that the Commonwealth has gone ahead and recalculated the amount, and added the extra funds to the enclosed check.

Can anyone imagine any of this happening in Ohio? 

What is Ken Blackwell doing now?

January 24, 2007 11:43 AM

He's writing, in Townhall, about the '06 election:

I think about the considerable personal and political setbacks endured by Abraham Lincoln before he ascended to the presidency. The death of a child, unsuccessful business endeavors and several election losses shaped his perspective but did not dampen his resolve.

Lincoln understood that life is about struggle – wins and losses. He refused to be defined by defeat because he was driven by hope and a belief that we can improve the human condition.

I like what Elie Wiesel wrote: “When He created man, God gave him a secret—and that secret was not how to begin, but how to begin again. It is not given to man to begin; that privilege is God’s alone. But it is given to man to begin again—and he does so every time he chooses to defy death and side with the living.”

Our conservative causes are just as true and worth fighting for as they were on November 6 (the day before the election). So, we must keep perspective, and continue. We must encourage others to also remain engaged in the struggle – to be a force for living change. In more than thirty years of pubic service one thing I have learned is that the only way a cause is truly lost is if the army is scattered and resolved to defeat.

What an interesting juxtaposition between that and Jim Petro's Stan Chesley news.

HT: Right Angle Blog.

Petro Goes for the Ambulance Chasing Cash

Former Republican Ohio AG Jim Petro has signed on with Democrat Stan Chesley's law firm.  A lot of lawyers are going to be very surprised by this.  So will a lot of Republicans.  You'd expect someone in Jim Petro's position to sign on with a big law firm, have his name on the letterhead, and be in charge of bringing in big ticket clients.  But the fact is, there's a lot more money to be made working for the Plaintiff's bar.

Apparently making money is Jim's priority right now.  And there's nothing wrong with that, in theory.  But when you saddle up with a major Democratic fundraiser, whose approach to the law is that is should be used as a redistributivist tool, it's a problem.  Stan Chesley has devoted decades of legal practice to taking money from one person, and giving it to another--while keeping 1/3 of it for himself.  He probably thinks he has provided a public service.  Apparently Jim Petro does too.

I hope Jim realizes that it is harder for a RINO to pass through the eye of a needle, than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.  But I don't think he does.

NBS quoted in CityBeat!

January 19, 2007 05:37 PM

Well this is fun!  We've been quoted in CityBeat.  You know, a real publication that puts ink on paper and sells advertising and everything!

This all stems from back when we were talking about the anti-war protestors who were arrested for trespassing at Steve Chabot's office.  Their attorney had announced that they were going to subpoena Donald Rumsfeld to testify at their trial.  They were going to "put the war on trial," and get Rumsfeld on the witness stand to interrogate him about it.

We thought the very notion was laughable and still do.  The Defendants were apparently going to raise a necessity defense.  That basically means that they'd argue that violating the law was necessary, because they done it to save innocent lives.  For example, if you see someone drowning, and have to trespass on someone else's property to save them, you can say that your trespass was a necessity, and get off the hook on trespass charges.

The protestor's problem, however, is that the case law is clear that what one is doing out of "necessity," actually has to be necessary.  Protesting the war in Iraq from a Congressman's office in Ohio is never going to be necessary.  There's no connection between protesting here and saving a life there.  Sorry Protestors, but it's true. 

But anyway, CityBeat is out with an update on all of this

Critics have blasted the protesters, saying that sit-ins are an ineffective method for changing other people's views and that the effort to force Rumsfeld to testify was a publicity stunt.

"Whether or not he agrees with this president's policies is not an issue," says Assistant City Prosecutor Elizabeth Tye. "What is at issue is that Mr. Flannery trespassed at Mr. Chabot's office."

One local lawyer, who is a conservative Republican, wrote on his blog, "The necessity defense is actually a viable defense in criminal cases, but certainly is not under these circumstances."

In his ruling, Stockdale essentially agreed, stating that Rumsfeld's testimony would be irrelevant.

That's us!  We are that "one local lawyer, who is a conservative Republican."  What a nice description!  Who knew we'd get such slathering press from CityBeat?  It's just about the nicest thing anyone could possibly say.  And they even helpfully point out that Judge Stockdale agreed with NBS in his ruling.  It's almost like we know what the law is around here. 

But we're more excited about the way CityBeat fawns all over us.  "One local lawyer, who is a conservative Republican."  We'll have to give mom a copy for the fridge!

I love you, a bushel and a peck

January 4, 2007 04:22 PM

Joyce Branham gets to keep her chickens!  The Ohio Civil Rights Commission intervened on her behalf, after the City of Fairfield decided it was illegal to keep barnyard animals in residential neighborhoods.  Mrs. Branham argued that the chickens are therapy animals that help her cope with chronic anxiety.  Now it's all settled, and she gets to keep her chickens!

Who's a little chicken?  Yes you are.  Yes you are a little chicken.

Photo: The Enquirer/Carrie Cochran.

UPDATE:  How is it that when the Enquirer changes the picture they have running--after I have copied it and posted it here--this photo automatically changes and gets switched out when they change theirs?  These internets, I tell you I will never understand it.  I thought the other picture went with my caption better.

Anyway: Does the Fairfield chronic anxiety-chicken lady remind anyone else of the Miami Township jumping goat-ADHD boy?  I guess the moral of these stories is that you can keep any kind of farm animal you want in a residential neighborhood, as long as you have a doctor's note.  Such legal silliness would not be necessary if people were more mature about chickens and goats!

Subpoena to be quashed like a bug...

The attorney representing several anti-war protestors here in Hamilton County plan to subpoena Donald Rumsfeld and Congressman Steve Chabot.

They want to "put the war on trial."  They want to present a "necessity defense."*  What they're going to get is Judge Stockdale throttling their attorney.

The funniest part is the press release from some of the defendants, which begins,

CINCINNATI—Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will be a key witness in the trial of five local anti-war protesters.

Um.  No.  He will not be a key witness, because he won't be here.  What they may get, though, is a few gullible reporters at their press conference, which is in front of the courthouse tomorrow afternoon.

*The necessity defense is actually a viable defense in criminal cases, but certainly is not under these circumstances.

Makeover time for Jean?

July 18, 2006 10:06 AM

Over at Ohio 2nd Blog, Mrs. Editor has a somewhat amusing post, suggesting Jean Schmidt needs an Extreme Makeover.  Although we are fans of Jean's, we do have to agree that the aesthetics need a little work.  Ohio 2nd has the following suggestions: 




We vote for Bachellorette No. 3!!!  Hott.

Marc Dann Thinks Criminals are the Victims

Lincoln Logs has an interesting post up on Marc Dann, the criminal defense attorney/Democratic candidate for Ohio Attorney General:

Anyone know what happens to drug vehicles and assets?  Of course, they are seized and forfeited to the locality where the crime took place.  The local department can then use the vehicle or sell it and use the assets for operations.

That is, unless Marc Dann is involved, at which point he wants the vehicle and money returned to the “victim’s” family, and when Marc Dann is talking, the “victim” is the criminal.

You can read more about the lawsuit Marc Dann brought against the Village of Poland PD over at Lincoln Logs.

Ohio Urn and Learn

July 13, 2006 12:31 AM

Well!  Things are getting ugly in Ohio politics over the whole casino gambling issue.  For those who haven't been following along, here's the deal.  We do not have legalized casino gambling in Ohio.  We do have race tracks (not that we ever go to the ones in Ohio, nor does anyone else we know), but anyway, we have them.  As happens somewhat regularly, the issue of legalized gambling has come up again.  It is currently unconstitutional in Ohio, per the terms of the rather crappily written and much amended Ohio Constitution.   

So to change things, and get a casino gambling in Ohio, we will have to have a constitutional amendment.  A group has formed to do that, and has put together a good head of steam.  Not, mind you, because of grassroots support, but because of out-of-state gambling interests who want to tap into the Ohio market.  They have formed a grouped called "Ohio Earn and Learn," which has put together a ballot amendment to change the Ohio Constitution to allow casino gambling, and direct a chunk of the proceeds towards education. 

All of which is fine, at least in principle.  We have no objection to fair profits or educational funding from non-traditional sources (i.e. individual taxpayers).

The problem is that the group behind Earn and Learn are the owners of the Argosy Casino in Indiana--a short drive from Cincinnati, and a popular destination.  In order to protect their interests in Indiana, Argosy/Earn and Learn has specifically excluded Cincinnati as one of the locations that will be chosen for slots and/or casinos.  Cincinnati is the only one of the three major cities in Ohio to be excluded this way. 

Some Cincinnatians--NBS included--take exception to out-of-state gambling interests dictating policy in Ohio.  Especially when it will exclude the city we love from the windfall profits associated with having legalized gambling here.  We could use that money for a new jail.  Or to off-set tax breaks!  Or, just to draw people into downtown, to spend money at our terrific restaurants, and revitalize retail shopping. 

But anyway, we don't mean to bore our out of state readers.  This is all merely the background you will need before we start regailing you with amusing tales of hypocracy and outlandish behavior

Stay tuned!

Victoria Wulsin Claims She Is "Dead Even" With Our Jean

July 12, 2006 11:28 PM

In political news, Victoria Wulsin's campaign has announced they have conduced a poll that shows she is dead even with our beloved congressional catfight winner Jean Schmidt.

Even the Daily Kos is all excited, raising false expectations among their blogospheric left!

We at NBS would like to issue an invitation to liberal democratic activists and supporters: Please, please start sending money to the Wulsin campaign.  Just remember, every dime you spend here is money that could be spent somewhere else.  So it just might as well go for a race in a district that is overwhelmingly Republican.  Makes no sense to try with those marginal seats.  You can't win without a 50 state strategy!

In case you can't tell, we are trying to be cute.  Failing at it perhaps, but trying nonetheless.

But the bottom line and the God's honest truth is this: we love Jean, and her values reflect those of this Congressional District.  You may not like it.  You may not believe it.  But it is true.  If you think this is a winnable seat--and you believe Wulsin's poll (despite the fact that this race is not on the DNC's list of potentially winable races)--have at it.  Welcome to Ohio!  Spend as much time and money here as you can.  We are glad to have you! 

Oompa Loompa doompety-do

July 10, 2006 09:47 PM

I've got a Congressional Candidate for you.

This John Cranley, a Cincinnati City Councilmanperson.  He is running for the First Congressional District here in Ohio, against Steve Chabot. 

The only good thing about him is he makes NBS look like John Wayne.