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David Pepper on Campaign Finance (p. 6)
Where Divergent Views Collide
Clowning with the Charter Party (p. 8)
The Cincinnati Beacon
Black Males Under Arrest!
by Michael Earl Patton, Senior Analyst
Get Published? What rubbish!
When The Cincinnati Enquirer decided to inﬁltrate the blogosphere -feeling intimidated by the threat posed by blogs and the “new media” -- they unveiled over 30 blogs of their own and an interactive feature called “Get Published.” That way, they could get free content from unpaid citizen writers. But this was not “citizen journalism” in a grassroots sense. It was a corporate attempt to monopolize the democracy of blogs. But who needs The Enquirer’s “Get Published!” feature, when you can simply publish yourself! To learn more, just visit cincinnatibeacon.com. Then click the button labeled “Rubbish.”
Ever since Cincinnati enacted its anti-marijuana ordinance, thousands of people have been arrested, earning permanent marks on their criminal records. But how do these arrests look from the perspective of race? From the law's inception through May 10 of this year, 577 whites have been arrested." For that same time period 3,644 blacks have been arrested. " 20 " people of unidentiﬁed race have also been arrested along"with 2"Asians." This means that about " 6 blacks have been arrested under the ordinance for every 1 white." Ye t s u r v e y s s h o w
that " marijuana usage between the races is approximately the same. And census data shows the City is 53% white. Many people who speak out against the"new j a i l p e n a l t iThis man is more likely to go to jail than white people. es " under the Cincinnati marijuana ordinance " express have been arrested since It is interesting to note"the concerns about African the"ordinance was enactneighborhoods where Americans suffering prefed"for possession of small whites were arrested." erential enforcement. amounts of marijuana -The " following numbers not for drug dealing." reﬂect the arrests just for Penalties may"include 30 the calendar year 2006 days in jail for a ﬁrst ofThe average amount of and do not include Janufense and 6 months for a marijuana conﬁscated ary through May 10"of this second offense. during these arrests was year." 7 grams. " Analysis by Under the " Ohio Revised race of the arrests since The largest number -- 90, Code,"possession of less the law was enacted in fact -- were arrested in than 100 grams is not a show that"overwhelmingly Over-the-Rhine. criminal offense, but it is the ones arrested are criminal under Cincinnati black." (con!t on p. 2) ordinance. " Thousands
Another 98º Star in a New Reality Show
by Jason A. Haap, MA The Dean of Cincinnati Nick Lachey became a household name when the Cincinnati native and member of pop band 98 Degrees starred on a reality show. Now, another member of 98 Degrees, Jeff Timmons, is starring on a new reality show for VH-1 to be released this fall. Recently, Timmons gave The Cincinnati Beacon an exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming program. The premise of the new show (which has not yet been named) was to take guys from different boy bands to see how they would make music together -- so VH-1 contracted Jeff Timmons, Chris Kirpatrick (from InSync), Brian Abrams (Color Me Badd), and Rich Cronin (LFO). The gimmick should seem obvious at ﬁrst -- using the genre of reality programming to make boy band members look ridiculous.
The Labor Report ....... p. 4 A Closer Look .......... p. 6 Lifestyle .... p. 8
Notes ‘n Dotes
! Did Jeff Berding, Chris Bortz, and Leslie Ghiz get drunk off wine during the City!s budget negotiations? If you have any evidence, let us know! ! Have you seen this man?
Soapbox .... p. 10 “The List” – Cincinnati’s Big Money Contributors .... p. 12 The Big Beacon Party! .... p. 12
"The intent at ﬁrst might have been to make people look foolish," explained Timmons. "The writers would put us in situations that made us less than comfortable, but we were used to doing things that make us look that way." "We were all in 'boy bands,'" continued (con!t on p. 2)
(con!t from p. 1) Other neighborhoods where more than 20 whites were arrested in 2006: 42" in the Central Business District"and along the riverfront, "29" in East Price Hill, 25 in West Price Hill, 25 in California, and 21 in Fairview." The Cincinnati Police Department sometimes combines Clifton with University Heights, and when they do that the combined neighborhoods had 20 whites arrested for possession of small amounts of marijuana. In case you were wondering, there was 1 white arrested in Hyde Park under this ordinance. " There were 7 blacks arrested in Hyde Park, which certainly does not reﬂect the racial composition of
this overwhelmingly white and upscale neighborhood. " A similar discrepancy can be seen in the combined neighborhoods of Clifton and University Heights. " As mentioned above there were 20 whites arrested, compared to 120 blacks. These data are very troubling, and show that the law seems to be enforced in a racially biased manner. " The data are"from the Cincinnati Police Department statistics, which can be found in the Cincinnati web site, www.cincinnati-oh.gov. " Click on Departments, then Cincinnati Police, then Statistics." 2006 and 2007 Part I and Part II Arrests were examined." Only drug arrests under section 910-23 of the Cincinnati Municipal Code (possession of less than 200 grams of marijuana) are included.
New VH-1 Reality TV Show
(con!t from p. 1) Timmons, "so no matter what, as much as we were well received, we all had negative reactions to our music or our image. We had already been through that kind of scrutiny." Perhaps the challenges of overcoming a genre designed to make people look ridiculous is easy to overcome for a boy band member. Of course, there still remains the question of how the production team will edit together the material. "I haven't seen any of the edits, so who knows how that will turn out," admitted Timmons. "I trust the team around this show." But not everyone from 98 Degrees has such trust in the reality show genre. The Cincinnati Beacon’s own Justin Jeffre offers a different perspective. "Having been on a reality show, and seeing my friends be portrayed a certain way, it is obvious to me that while something like The Newlyweds may have been one of the more 'realistic' shows on TV, there is no question that the cameras change things," explained Jeffre. "Producers
try to pull together stories that don't necessarily happen in real life the way they get depicted on the screen. At the end of the day, it is about entertainment." "I was actually asked to be on a couple of reality shows, like The Surreal Life," Jeffre continued, "but I have no interest because it seems to me that they are just trying to make people look like clowns because that is proﬁtable. They are really not interested in the stories of who those people actually are." "If people are looking to see reality on TV," concluded Jeffre, "then I suggest non-commercial channels, like Free Speech TV and Link TV on Dish Network." Despite the "unreality" of the genre as a whole, the prospect offers someone like Timmons a chance to showcase some of his other projects. "I'm working with a lot of up-and-coming artists -some female artists and rock bands," said Timmons. "I'm doing some nontraditional approaches." According to Timmons, the VH-1 program is not a career boost, but an opportunity for some of his projects to gain exposure. "We didn't think it was going to be a launching pad for our careers," said Timmons. "It ended up being really funny."
Tu r n F r e e d o m C e n t e r i n t o Ohio River Museum
offered at The Freedom Center? I remember the big pen w h e r e s l a v e s used to be sold. Okay. Interesting, I guess. But after seeing it once, there seems little reason to return. There's a movie by Oprah. Not bad, I suppose. But again, I see no reason to return for a second viewing. I remember lots of text and graphics on expensive looking presentation boards. But if I wanted to spend an afternoon reading, I would just buy a book for a fraction of the cost of admission to the Center. I also seem to remember something about dining utensils that are like what slaves might have used. I am not impressed. The Freedom Center should be reinvented as "The Ohio River Museum." The reason is elementary: such a concept would envelope the social justice issues inherent in the story of the Underground Railroad. After all, it was the Ohio River that symbolized freedom. But the theme "Ohio River" just lends itself to so much more that it could become a more effective tourism spot, and a more likely repeat destination location for Cincinnati residents. As with the CMC, the place could combine information with family friendly, attractive, and interactive exhibits. Aquariums with Ohio River animals. Incorporate Tall Stacks with the concept. Include a riverboat section, with models, and hands-on things for kids. On Ohio River Museum would touch on so many subjects - from literature to science to biology to chemistry to history (which would include a permanent Underground Railroad exhibit as part of the larger whole). It may be cliche to mention, but a deﬁnition of madness is to repeat the same behavior and to expect a different result. The Freedom Center has shown us, consistently, that it cannot succeed. Time to try something else.
Slave Museum by Jason A. Haap, MA The Dean of Cincinnati The Freedom Center (called "The Slave Center" by African American critics) remains a doomed project. But who can be surprised? I visited the place once, and never intend to return – an attitude vastly different than my take on something like the Cincinnati Museum Center, or the Contemporary Art Center. I have family passes to each. At those places, there are lots of things to see and with which to interact. I can't tell you how many times I have gone to the CMC with my son. Though the three main museums do not change (for the most part), there is constantly a sense of freshness and fun and discovery associated with a visit. But what is
The Teachings of Mr. Pig
by Jason A. Haap, MA The Dean of Cincinnati A few weeks before he died, I spoke with Findlay Market BBQ extraordinaire, Mr. Pig, and he shared some of his theories about what has really been happening in Over-The-Rhine. According to Mr. Pig, ten years ago, there emerged two competing visions for the future of downtown Cincinnati. In one corner, independent entrepreneurs and urban pioneers inhabiting the center city. In the other, corporatized developers in league with the City!s Blue Chip Companies, hoping to colonize the center city with development aimed at their own clientele. And what if the independent entrepreneurs got there ﬁrst? Young creative class types bringing bars and night life and Bohemian lifestyles, managing to co-exist (in some capacity, anyway) with many of the people who lived in the neighborhood before their arrival. Who would feel slighted by such a move?" Do big-money corporate types like feeling snubbed by youthful, and disorganized small business
development dollars. Then, once this population is counted, move them the hell out of the way. (Townhouses in the West End, Huntington Meadows, etc.) But what about the urban pioneers in the center city? How can they be scared away? Step 2: ! Shakedown & Terror Vortex Get your police force to start shooting unarmed black men to death, over and over, until the natural result occurs. Riots. Organize a police slow down, and let crime take over." Refuse to respond to calls about drugs deals and vandalism. " Scare everyone away. Let the City collect lots of abandoned buildings. Drive down the price of real estate. Step 3: Incorporate. What if the plan was to establish a corporate entity to beneﬁt from federal dollars being funneled into the City from the 2000 census to help with the large-scale purchase and redevelopment of real estate? What if riots, police
slow downs, and other smallscale acts of community terrorism were designed to scare people away to give access to large parcels of property? What if that is where 3CDC enters the picture? What if this is all part of a plan to re-inhabit the City with a proﬁle of wealthy young urban dwellers seeking jobs at Blue Chip Companies? Step 4:! Media Blitz Take control of the corporate media environment. " Get the president of the area!s major daily paper to sit on your corporate board." Through an online portal, like Cincinnati.com, partner with televised news, and get WCPO!s I-Team to run ﬂuff stories on what great work 3CDC is doing in Over-The-Rhine." Sway public opinion through indirect means whenever possible. These were just some musings by one man in the ﬁnal days of his life. His political ideologies may be gone, but you can still buy his BBQ at Findlay Market. Mr. Pig’s restaurant is still operated by his wife. Find them at 109 W. Elder, or on the web: www.mrpig.us
people with no comprehensive plan? What could these big money interests do to take control of an entire center-city development project—when so many key locations were being taken up by independent investors? And, how could a redevelopment overhaul plan get subsidized by federal dollars? What if the big power players strategized their moves? Step 1: ! "em Count "em & Move
Wait for the 2000 census. Establish that areas are ﬁlled with high poverty so they qualify for federal
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The Labor Report
More Power to the People? The growing grassroots movement for social justice
by Justin P. Jeffre In an era of hostile corporate takeovers of public spaces, resources & decision making, it's clear that there's a political force pushing back & reclaiming power for the citizens that deserve it most. AMOS, organized labor, & the NAACP are a growing political force that may not be getting a lot of media attention, but Cincinnati's power players are increasingly taking notice. The Banks Working Group consisted of ﬁve white males until the growing coalition of labor, religious congregations & civic organizations came together & ﬂexed their political muscles by demanding minority inclusion. Though most people wouldn't have known it from the lack of coverage these groups receive from corporate media outlets, they moved City Council & the County Commissioners to add two African Americans (Steve Love & Robert Richardson) after the Banks Working Group had been meeting for a year. (The coalition also pushed the seven member working group to move back a deadline they said couldn't be moved.) This is not the ﬁrst time corporate media has ignored newsworthy actions. On March 6th, hundreds of people representing labor unions, AMOS, civil rights leaders from as far as Atlanta Georgia, members of the South West Ohio Green Party & the NAACP gathered on Fountain Square with banners, drums, shopping-carts & one person wearing an eagle costume to protest the poverty wages that too many local fortune ﬁve hundred companies pay their janitors. They said that corporations like Convergys have a responsibility to pay living wages to the hard working men & women in our community because the city has given them special tax incentives to the tune of $52 million in recent years. (con!t on p. 5)
The Buzz’s Lincoln Ware Calls Out Insurance Giant Western and Southern on its Treatment of African Americans
by Kevin O!Donnell, SEIU Lincoln Ware, local radio talk show host on The Buzz, dedicated a recent hour-long show to the discriminatory corporate practices by the Western and Southern Group, an insurance company headquartered in Cincinnati. For decades, Western and Southern allegedly charged 56,000 African Americans higher life insurance premiums because of their race. It wasn!t until last year that the Ohio Department of Insurance and Western and Southern entered into a consent order to address the problem. In the meantime Western and Southern continues to stand in the way of good jobs in Cincinnati. “Twelve hundred janitors have come together for a voice, but Western and Southern and its cleaning contractor Executive Management Services are holding out on us,” said Doris Graves, a local janitor at the Western and Southern!s ofﬁce downtown. “Because of Western and Southern, there!s no process to give us a voice to stand up for our families and our communities.” The janitors who clean Western and Southern are primarily African-American, and are paid as little as $28 per night with no access to affordable health
care. Graves has cleaned the Western and Southern headquarters for six years, and has never received a raise or even a cost-of-living adjustment. She and her family are forced to depend on public assistance to get by. Other guests on the show included Gary Hughley, Vice President of the AMOS project, a faith group with 40 member congregations in the Cincinnati area. “We!re working hard with organizations that value workforce development and minority inclusion,” said Hughley. “We need decent wages, health care beneﬁts, and other things to help lift people out of poverty in our community.” An afﬁliate of Western and Southern, Eagle Realty, recently requested $21 million in public subsidies from the City to build luxury condos, despite the dire need for affordable housing in Cincinnati. (con!t on p. 5)
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Allied Media Conference Hits Motor City
by Gavin Leonard Since 1999, the Allied Media Conference has been held on the 3rd weekend of June in Bowling Green, Ohio. But on June 22-24, the conference moves north to Detroit in what promises to be the biggest and best set of training, workshops, panel discussions – and parties – yet. Whether you!ve been going for years, or the 9th annual AMC will be your ﬁrst, you won!t regret the trek up I-75." For the past 10 years I!ve probably averaged 4 conferences every year. As a local activist with regional and national connections, I!ve been a participant and presenter of more than my fair share of get-togethers. But in 2007, the AMC is the one and only conference I!m going to. As Josh Breitbart, the long time organizer – or “bridge between the founders and the new crew of organizers” – puts it, “I've never seen a project move from a tiny crew of organizers to a collective sense of ownership as dramatically as the AMC has. It's a testament to the quality of what the founders built and to the critical need we have to gather and build for a better world.”" The AMC sets itself apart because the organizers work yearround to ensure the conference grows more relevant every year. They build upon past successes, and they constantly pay attention to building new audiences. For instance, during the past 2 years, the AMC has been building relationships and developing partnerships with young people and youth organizations across the country. Jenny Lee, a Detroit local who has been involved with the AMC for years, says “The AMC is the only national media gathering that intentionally develops youth participation, ownership and leadership within the media justice movement. " We have no doubt that the young people who attend and help organize the Allied Media Conference will be the next generation of leaders in this movement."" And it!s not just talk. More than simply catering to young people, women, or people of color, they actually work to provide leadership development opportunities for a variety of folks. Examples
Power to the People
(con!t from p. 4) With a Democratic majority on council some wonder why the city is subsidizing poverty wages & why clawback provisions aren't being vigorously negotiated & enforced. "I think it's important that we build coalitions. "I don't think this is a single ﬁght," said Christopher Smitherman, president of the NAACP and a former councilman. He explained their strategy is to operate within coalitions "so we ﬁnd issues that different organizations agree with, and the NAACP, with labor, with AMOS, as an example, come together and move as a uniﬁed front on those issues." Determined to keep the pressure on, the coalition showed up at a Business Courier event at the Zoo on May 23rd. When asked about this growing movement, Matt Ryan, an SEIU organizer, said, "I think it's been happening
organically for the past few years. We may be looking at the problems from different perspectives but more & more people are realizing we have to get organized & work together to make sure that everyone gets treated fairly." When Lt. Gov. Lee Fischer saw coalition members on May 23rd, he said, "I want you to know that obviously I just found out about this in the last 24 hours, so I appreciate you allowing me to go by and do this." He proceeded to tell an audience of about 250, "Gov. Strickland and I are Democrats but we are unabashedly pro-business. When we have an economy that prospers, everything gets better." Despite an explosion of technology, great increases in worker productivity, soaring corporate proﬁts, more tax shelters and corporate welfare, tens of millions of American workers have seen a large decline in their real wages. Working Americans work longer hours for less pay than any industrialized nation on the planet. "
in 2007 will include: 2006 youth participants leading sessions, INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence organizing a track of sessions, a youth media lab, and an amazing and huge team of local Detroit organizers." "The AMC is for everyone who sees communication as a key to changing the world,” said Josh Breitbart. So whether you!re a professional ﬁlmmaker, the
tightest emcee on the block, or a total beginner, you can meet great people, learn new skills, and get inspired by great ideas at the Allied Media Conference." Registration is on a sliding scale, and some travel stipends are also available. Check out www.alliedmediaconference.org for all the details. City Council and the City Manager to stand up for good jobs with living wages, and to stop awarding corporations that take advantage of our communities.
Western and Southern
(con!t from p. 4)
“We need to call on our local elected leaders to take a moral stand to help families in our community,” said one caller, Reverend Damon Lynch III. “We can!t allow companies with a track record like Western and Southern
to continue mistreating members in our community.” After the radio show, Doris Graves joined other janitors and community leaders to deliver 2,000 signed petitions calling on the
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A Closer LooK
Campaign Finance Reform: The Struggle
by Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper
A Closer Look...
The Cincinnati Beacon
Jason A. Haap, MA
President, Content and Audience Awareness
Justin P. Jeffre
President, Community Outreach and Minister of Information
Richard D. Hines
President, Publishing and Professional Development
Other contributors: Amanda Grifﬁn, Josh Krekeler, Kevin O!Donnell, Michael Earl Patton, David Pepper, Zak Nordyke.
The Cincinnati Beacon, LLC 407 Vine Street, Suite 210 Cincinnati, OH 45202 voicemail: (513) 407-4233 The Cincinnati Beacon is an independent media project designed to provide quality alternative perspectives on Cincinnati living. Currently, we boast an all volunteer staff, and we provide excellent opportunities for professional development for up-and-coming journalists or journalism students. Contact us to learn how you can become part of The Cincinnati Beacon team!
From a campaign ﬁnance standpoint, the 2006 County Commission race was a mess!" " While I was proud to win, it was a case study of what can happen under a broken campaign ﬁnance system, and why people lose faith in politics. " Certain individuals gave more than $50,000 or $100,000!" People appointed to inﬂuential positions contributed to the candidate who appointed them." Businesses with valuable County contracts were asked for, and gave, large amounts." About $3 million got spent in total, with a massive amount pouring in over the ﬁnal weeks." " Much of the problem exists because there are no contribution limits at the County level - unlike in City, state and federal elections."" As one side begins accumulating contributions from individuals of $10,000, $25,000 or more, the other side must compete, or lose. It quickly spins out of control from there. "
In my case, knowing the fundraising prowess of my opponent, I tried to raise a large amount, generally through modest contributions." " By the end, as generously funded attack ads against me piled up, we had to make a decision."" I could simply lose under the onslaught of negative ads, or I could compete. " " Knowing I led the polls, I chose to compete - but that was an expensive proposition." " I not only had to ask some people for more support than I would have liked, I had to take out large loans to keep pace." " The risk paid off (although the debt is still there)." " Few candidates could even contemplate taking such a risk. " This type of out-of-control spending creates an unequal playing ﬁeld. " " Equally bad, it understandably makes citizens highly skeptical of our system. " The lack of contribution limits is worsened by contributors having too much direct interest in County decisions - either because they do business for the County, or because they are individuals the Commissioners
have appointed to important boards and committees (and are therefore making important policy decisions and recommendations on behalf of citizens). " For these individuals, when a commissioner comes calling for fundraising dollars (with unlimited contribution amounts), what are they going to say? At what contribution amount will they # # # # (con!t on p. 7)
Stranded! The Lonely 3CDC Parking Garage
by Jason A. Haap, MA The Dean of Cincinnati Imagine being a young woman, all alone, stuck in the middle of the night at Fountain Square with no way home, with no one to help, with only a parking ticket that the pay machines won!t accept. Without acceptance of that magic ticket from the dysfunctional machine, your car cannot get out of the garage. With no one responding to the “Help” button, you are left alone. Stranded. meant to discredit 3CDC – our City!s corporatized version of urban planning? According to Kristy Marcelle from Northside, this scenario made for a very troublesome reality after spending an evening downtown with friends. For whatever reason, the machine would not accept her parking ticket, and therefore she was not able to get her car out of the garage. “It was a frustrating experience,” said Marcelle. “Luckily I was with someone who parked in the same garage, and I was able to get a ride home.” (con!t on p. 7)
Photo credits Pictures of David Pepper, and Jeff Timmons reproduced, with permission, from their web pages. All other photos issued free of restrictions as stock footage, with the exception of the picture of The Underground Railroad Freedom Center, from Wikipedia, reproduced here under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Welcome to the latest threat brought to us by 3CDC!s “new and improved” parking system at the Fountain Square garage. Welcome to Fountaingate. Think the scenario depicted above sounds like a conspiracy
The Green Party Challenge: No Inﬂuence Peddling!
by Josh Krekeler, Convener, Southwest Ohio Green Party The Southwest Ohio Green Party has sent a letter to all candidates for Cincinnati City Council, asking them not to accept contributions from some of the people and groups that historically give large contributions." Some in this race will raise close to $100,000, and others will raise quite a bit more." In the Green Party, we understand that broad political exposure usually has a price tag, but we also think that excessive fundraising undermines democracy." It leads to political alienation." Regular people, without highpowered connections or large incomes, see candidates raising two or three times as much as they make in a year - just to campaign for City Council." Many of them conclude that such politicians only care about the wealthy." This attitude leads to low voter turnout and general mistrust of elected ofﬁcials, two signs of an unhealthy society. " Local Greens believe that candidates who agree to run without money from these sources will be more responsible to their constituents and
(con!t from p. 7) say no? Again, this leads to poor practices, as well as public cynicism about the whole system. " What can be done to reform?" " It starts with reasonable limits, and full disclosure. " At the County level, Todd Portune and I immediately enacted ethics reforms to County appointed boards and commissions."" All current and future members must disclose prior campaign contributions (as well as business relationships, etc.) with County elected ofﬁcials." " And during their terms, these members are not to contribute to Commission candidates. " " That way, the decisions they make represent citizens,"independent of County Commission campaigns. " Only the state legislature can impose contribution limits. " " In the wake of their November 2006 election loss, the Republican legislature rushed through a campaign ﬁnance reform bill. " After more than a decade of doing nothing while they held statewide ofﬁces, it now looks like this "reform" was partisan payback for their loss."Unfortunately, the bill creates numerous headaches in
freer to make independent decisions if elected." A close examination of campaign ﬁnance reports shows that certain people regularly contribute to a group of candidates who are able to maximize their exposure with expensive media advertising." Once they're in ofﬁce, there's a common perception that the politicians will return the favor by seeking opportunities to help those donors' companies, employers, friends, and relatives at the public's expense." In Cincinnati, there is a growing history of major commitments of public money that gives cred e n c e t o t h a t i d e a ." Multimillion-dollar deals made for the beneﬁt of Saks, Convergys, and Kroger, preferential misuse of Tax Increment Financing programs, and other less-publicized initiatives, all point to an inappropriate inﬂuence over how our city's money is spent. " Although identifying the most likely inﬂuential contributors (both people and entities) is an inexact process, we have compiled a partial list based on historical contribution
applying limits to contractors of state and county government, but not to others. " " This has caused even more complications at the County level - where many citizens and family members (including, perhaps, foster parents) will face limits, at the same time that others can continue to give $100,000 checks. " " The process of sorting between who faces limits and who doesn't has become a bureaucratic, costly nightmare. " My proposal is simpler. Let's have a reasonable limit on ALL contributors to County races."" Whether it be the city level ($1,000 per person), Congressional level ($2,200), or the old state level ($2,500), let's pick a reasonable number that applies to ALL contributors." " Very simple." " No costly bureaucracy. " Easy to enforce. " Let's make sure there is disclosure of who's giving to whom, including in the closing weeks when money starts ﬂying. " " My good friend State Representative Tyrone Yates is pushing for reasonable limits in Columbus, and I support his effort. " I saw ﬁrst-hand in 2006 the mess that results from a broken campaign system. Through common sense reforms, we need to make the changes necessary to avoid such a mess in the future.
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(con!t from p. 7) For critics of 3CDC, it is troubling that private property can be held hostage by dysfunctional technology. Since cash cannot be used at the exit, the new parking system encourages people to carry their tickets with them. Such handling can subject the tickets to damage – such as folding, wrinkling, tears, etc. Such damage may make the ticket unreadable by the machine.
But Marcelle claims no such problems plagued her ticket, which appeared in perfect working order. For Marcelle, the issue has left her feeling apprehensive about not only parking at Fountain Square. “I'd be weary about parking in that garage by myself in the future,” she said. Bill Donabedian of 3CDC did not respond to inquiries regarding the potential danger of this situation given his management strategy for the parking garage.
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Clowning around with the Charter Party: The S.I.P.
by Jason A. Haap, MA The Dean of Cincinnati Dave Rothfuss has a career as co-owner of Unselﬁsh Productions (an event planning business), and as a musician in the band “2 Night Stand” – but he also has an alter-ego of sorts, a political persona designed to ridicule the absurdities of the political process. Enter “The Singing Secretary,” complete with ragged straw hat and huge sunglasses. A singing secretary? Such a monicker begs several questions, like “A secretary for whom?” That would be Sean Holbrook, a larger than life candidate for Cincinnati City Council running as part of the Social Ironist Party (S.I.P.). Somewhere along the line, the Holbrook team decided that all press inquiries would be handled in the form of a song, and voila – The Singing Secretary was born. For the past few months, Dave Rothfuss has been actively blogging satiric posts at The Social Ironist Party!s ofﬁcial website:
socialironist.cincinnatibeacon.com. Dave Rothfuss, aka “The Singing Secretary”
by Zak Nordyke In the summer of 2005 when I was still in college, my mom (Joan Barlage) made a five hour journey to Murray, Kentucky to visit. This small college town isn’t exactly the entertainment capital of the world, so one must be creative to avoid boredom. The university had opened a state-of-theart fitness center, so I joked that this could be the perfect opportunity for her to get a “buff” body. Surprisingly, she said, “We don’t have many other options, so I might just as well do something to improve my health.” We journeyed over to the fitness center and I put my mom through a workout. It was absolutely horrible! (con!t on p. 9)
(Full disclosure: The Cincinnati Beacon provides hosting for the S.I.P. site.) Now, why, you might ask, should someone care about any of these shenanigans? That!s where the Charter Party comes in. A few months ago, The Charter Party (which touts itself as an open and transparent political party who welcomes anyone to join) returned my membership check, telling me that people afﬁliated with the media (be it print, online, traditional, or non-
traditional) are not welcome to join Charter. That gave Rothfuss an idea: join Charter, and then get a bunch of social outcasts and weirdos to join – a hostile takeover, of sorts, from the S.I.P. “We want to inﬁltrate the Charter Party,” said Rothfuss. “I!ve always wanted to be an elitist.” So while some may question why any of this matters, Charter!s actions get at the heart of the current political landscape – one mistrusted by many, viewed as exclusive and ﬁlled with insiders. (con!t on p. 9)
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sue – one that gets at the heart of not only the political lifestyle, but also at the heart of free speech (con!t from p. 8) and the basic rights of Americans to participate in their local govJeff Cramerding, Executive Direc- ernment. tor of Charter, did not return our message asking about this appar- Though the Charters talk about ent hypocrisy. themselves as if they are one of the oldest independent political Rothfuss, whose answers always parties in the country, the truth is push the line of satire, thinks he that Ohio only recognizes two poknows why. litical parties: Democrats and Republicans. Charters are not a “The Charter Party is like a country party, they are a committee – with club for politics,” he explained. private membership lists and pri“Joining an elite and exclusive vate rules. group like that is going to be great for my ego.” So the Charter Party, which pro-
(con!t from p. 8) She didn!t understand any of the terminology I used, and the weight was either too light or too heavy." It seemed that every 5 seconds she would yell, “This is hurting my joints.” When we left the gym, I threw my hands up in defeat, furious that I could not ﬁgure out the proper exercise routine for my mom. This anger drove me to become a personal trainer/ﬁtness coach. For three straight months I read every health magazine, watched countless exercise videos, and trained any friend or family member that wanted to get in shape. I decided to put these new skills to use by taking on the job that captured my interest in the ﬁrst place -- getting my mom in great shape. This time, I came equipped with an array of tools and techniques. I was able to take my mom from 145 lbs and 28% body fat to 127.5 lbs and 23% body fat in about 6 months.
fesses to be about open and transparent government, really just masquerades as a political party. In reality, they are a private club where certain people can be denied membership according to the “I really want to get hooked up on whims of Jeff Cramerding. their insider deals so I can make lots of money,” said Rothfuss. And even if Cramerding invents When asked about the Charter rules as he goes along (as he did Party!s political platform, Rothfuss when he denied my membership continued with his quirky but in- based on my participation in nonsightful line of reasoning. “Non- traditional media), there is nothing partisanship is cute, but I want this to force him to play by his own t o b e a b o u t t h e p h o t o - rules. (Welcome to “Chartergate.”) Rothfuss said the chance to get his own people into Charter is a great opportunity for the Sean Holbrook City Council campaign. opportunities.” In all seriousness, The Singing Secretary!s clowning around with The Charter Party and Jeff Cramerding plays with a very real isThe Singing Secretary emphasizes this point, joining Charter to expose their hypocrisy while gaining more exposure to the quirky satire of the S.I.P.
M o n d a y - We d n e s d a y - F r i d a y : Joan!s Fat-Blasting tool of choice has always been the treadmill. We developed a simple system of power walking one minute and switching to a light jog the next. This alternating system of low to medium intensity enabled Joan to complete her 3 mile objective in a reasonable time without causing over exhaustion. At the end of 6 months, Joan was able to jog the entire 3 miles at a moderately intense pace. Tuesday-Thursday:" Joan mainly used nautilus machines to tone and tighten her major muscle groups. This equipment made it easy for her to maintain good lifting form while staying safe. On weight training days, we selected four exercises: two upper-body and two lower-body -- each performed for 30 seconds. " Joan!s goal was to go through the entire four activity circuit three times. This basic ﬁtness regiment, in conjunction with some smart dietary changes, created massive physical change.
The Joan Barlage 6 month body transformation program
New Favorite Spots Await
by Amanda Grifﬁn Take the time to free yourself of suburbia & make your way back downtown. Adventure is lurking on every corner, just waiting to be rediscovered. Although we have all heard stories of turning this city around, stadiums, art galleries, & the new Fountain Square are only a mere step in the right direction. It is the residents who truly make this all of this come to life. The quirkiness of the locals makes Cincinnati unique in so many ways. Just lunch can become a day of adventure. On any given afternoon you may spot the kung fu ninja ﬁghter with tainted skin spouting out jargon from one cross walk to the next. The career woman ready to take on the world in her JC Penney suit & reeboks. Or the lowly artist belly up at
Kaldis stirring controversy from a wooden seat. When was the last time you truly walked about listening to the chimes that ﬂow from steeples in every direction, taken a deep breath & known that this is a living city? Have you ever made your way to the Carew Tower, only to ﬁnd yourself on the 49th ﬂoor taking in views of the entire city & beyond from one vantage point? On any given afternoon you can try out your skills on the nearly empty outdoor skating rink. Music of the 80s acts as your inspiration to lace up your skates & dust off those old leg warmers that until now had served no purpose. The playgrounds & the wading fountain are yet another reason to search for your inner child & enjoy the day. It is amazing how many people have yet to experience Tuckers on a Saturday morning or ﬁnd their way to Findlay Market for fresh cut ﬂowers. Embrace all that is good right here before us. Take advantage of life!s little adventures & discover your own favorite spots.
The Hearing Speech & Deaf Center of Greater Cincinnati is a nonproﬁt organization working to provide Better Communication for ALL. The Center serves people with hearing loss, those with speech disorders and people who are Deaf. The Center!s staff are nationally certiﬁed and committed to providing cutting edge technology and services in a family focused environment. Center staff and leadership volunteers are committed to removing obstacles to communication.
2825 Burnet Avenue Cincinnati, OH 45219 Voice (513) 221-0527 TTY (513) 221-3300
Prohibition II: History and Weed
by Michael Earl Patton It is odd that we “stay the course” or even “surge” in the Drug War when we already have the precedent of Prohibition." We are repeating the same mistakes seeing the same effects." We make the mild stuff illegal and put it in the same category as the hard stuff." The result is that the consumers of the mild stuff switch over to the hard stuff." And an industry that could be regulated and taxed is driven underground, protected by corrupt ofﬁcials. " Proﬁts go up, cash is king, and criminal gangs start to get involved." Disputes are settled by gunﬁre rather than lawsuits. Prohibition, or the Noble Experiment, made the manufacture and sale of all alcohol illegal, starting in 1920." Before Prohibition most Americans who drank consumed beer and wine. " These items were too bulky to be transported and hidden in anything like the quantities before." Consumers determined to obtain their alcohol switched to harder forms such as gin, whiskey, and rum." These were more easily concealed as they were smuggled in from overseas and Mexico—I mean Canada. In Cincinnati we treat marijuana much like the harder drugs." And why not? " It is bulkier, easier to detect by smell, and is detected in drug tests for longer periods of time." The reasoning seems to be that if we cannot stamp out the trade in the hard drugs like cocaine, meth, and heroin, we can at least stamp out the trade in marijuana. And thereby drive the pot smokers to the harder drugs." Are our leaders that ignorant of history?" Did they not learn that clamping down on beer and wine sales during Prohibition I led to the collusion of public ofﬁcials with organized crime, the St. Valentine!s Day Massacre, and many other shootings? " After we increased the penalties for marijuana in Cincinnati during Prohibition II didn!t we have a record number of murders? Prohibition I was repealed by popular demand in 1933." When will we repeal Prohibition II?"
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Tom Brinkman on School Choice: Where Democratic Voters and Republican Politicians Meet
The Cincinnati Beacon: Why do you value "School Choice"? How do you respond to those who say you are pulling students, and resources, from a struggling public school district in Cincinnati? Tom Brinkman: Monopolies do not allow for choice and lead to tyranny. Our nation and its citizens have thrown off tyranny throughout our history. We have universal choice in almost everything except K to 12 education. In that area only the rich have choice and this has lead to a greater distance between our richer and poorer citizens. School choice gives students a chance to ﬁnd an educational opportunity that ﬁts them. Public schools win when students go to charter schools and use vouchers. They retain levy money that does not follow the student and thus have much more money to spend on fewer students.Their arguments sound like those at the post ofﬁce who criticized Fed Ex and UPS of taking resources from the "poor" Postal Service. Their cries ring hollow. The Cincinnati Beacon: Many Cincinnati charter schools serve a black and urban" population -a stereotypical proﬁle for a Democrat. Considering the relatively low number of African Americans registered as Republicans, what do you make of this discrepancy? " Why do Democrats oppose schools that Democratic voters choose, and conversely why do Republicans support an issue that their voting base does not utilize? Tom Brinkman: The Democrat Party is controlled by Big Labor and the teachers at public schools do not like the competition that Charters and vouchers give them. " Therefore, Democrats must tow the line when it comes to support of public education even when it is not in the best interest of one of their largest constituencies. The Cincinnati Beacon: " How would you describe the "disconnect" between the Republican Party and the African American community -- at least locally? Tom Brinkman: The local Republican Party has a proud history of supporting African American candidates." Ken Blackwell is a prime example. " Certainly there is a disconnect between all parties and a majority of the citizens, as can be seen by the low voter turnout in local elections. The Cincinnati Beacon:" What decisions, if any, do you see Democratic leaders making locally that harm the African American community? Do you see any decisions being made by area Republicans to beneﬁt the African American community? Tom Brinkman: See my answer above about the teacher unions for things that local Democrats do to the African American community."
Harmony Community School
“One Size Fits Few” Harmony Community School is a public charter school in Roselawn, grades 7-12. Next year, we will offer Cincinnati’s ﬁrst free and public access to single gender education with our split gender model. Learn more: 9215260
(Con!t on p. 11)
(con!t from p. 10) Democrats have run the City of Cincinnati for over 35 years and the decline has occurred on their watch. " Cincinnati is poorer and more dangerous than ever before, under their watch. " Republicans try to reach out to the African American community, but it is not a Republican city. Bush only received 30 percent of the vote in 2004. The Cincinnati Beacon: How do you see school choice working out in the Cincinnati" educational landscape in the next ten years? Tom Brinkman: Voucher requests are double what they were last year. This occurred despite the Cincinnati Public School attempts to keep information from eligible students and parents. Charter Schools continue to grow and prosper. Perhaps the Cincinnati Public Schools will learn to coexist with school choice. (Hey, I can dream, can't I?)
Not the Best in Ohio
by Cincy News Ache The Associated Press Society of Ohio awards prizes in ﬁve classes, based on the circulation of the newspaper. The Enquirer competes against just ﬁve other newspapers for prizes -- the Akron Beacon-Journal, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Columbus Dispatch, the Dayton Daily News and the Toledo Blade. The competition gives three awards for General Excellence, so each paper has a 50-50 chance of getting at least a mention. It's a coin ﬂip. When the awards were handed out a few weeks ago, the Enquirer lost. First place for General Excellence went to Cleveland, second to Akron and third to Columbus. In all, there were 109 awards in 31 categories. The Enquirer won 19 awards, including six ﬁrstplace awards, including Best Business Writer (Alexander Coolidge), Best Investigative Reporting (imagine that, for a package on eminent domain)
and Best Web Site. The Enquirer was strongest in photography, where it won three ﬁrsts for Best Spot News Photo, Best General News Photo and Best Photographer -- all for Glenn Hartong, who deserves the recognition. That's the good news. The big winner was the Columbus Dispatch, which won 30 awards and eight ﬁrsts. The Cleveland Plain Dealer won 28 awards and 11 ﬁrsts. The Enquirer was shut out in 14 categories, including General Excellence, Best Columnist, Best Feature and Best Community Service. In 15 categories where writing and reporting were most important, including "best section" awards, the Enquirer didn't do well -- just two ﬁrsts and eight awards overall. The Dispatch received 16 awards and seven ﬁrsts. The Plain Dealer: 14 awards and three ﬁrsts. There were four awards given for Best Community Service. Columbus won the top two, followed by Akron and Dayton. Cincinnati's over-the-top Marcus Fiesel coverage -- clearly the paper's highest priority story since August -- got an honorable mention for Best Breaking News. The Enquirer also won a second
in that category for its coverage of the shooting involving rapper T.I. I point this out to show just how weak the Enquirer's news operation has become. Start with 19 awards. Take out seven that went to photo, four to sports, and one each to the web site, Borgman and the recently departed Byron McCauley. That means the heart of the news operation won just ﬁve awards, and two of those were honorable mentions. There were zero for features, graphics and headlines. This is a newspaper that doesn't know how to excel. I'm not sure it wants to. number per year, depending on size. " For example, buildings with 2 or 3 apartment units are allowed 6 calls per year." If that number is exceeded the owner is warned that the building is “in danger” of being declared a chronic nuisance and they must develop a plan acceptable to the police to reduce the nuisance calls within 13 days." The key is cooperation with police. " If police determine the landlord is cooperative, they said they would not pursue penalties." And the police emphasized not to rent to people with drug convictions. Not even sexual offenders were so mentioned. For whatever reason, AfricanAmericans are convicted much more often than other groups for drug crimes." Reports indicate that people are arrested and sentenced to jail for an average of 7 grams of marijuana. " Were most of the convictees black? " Whether they were or not, the CPD is recommending to landlords that they NOT be allowed to rent an apartment anymore in Cincinnati. The net effect will surely be to change the ethnic composition of Cincinnati."
by Michael Earl Patton One way to change the ethnic composition of Cincinnati is to restrict housing options. " At a landlord training seminar, the Cincinnati police recommended landlords not rent to people who have any kind of drug conviction. " The seminar was held to explain the chronic nuisance premises ordinance, which holds landlords civilly and criminally liable if their property exceeds the quota for police runs. The message was clear: rent to someone who has had a drug conviction, even for possession of a marijuana joint, the landlord runs the risk of fees, ﬁnes, and even jail. The chronic nuisance premises ordinance sets quotas for police calls to service “nuisance activities,” which include such diverse activities as assault, drug possession (including marijuana), prostitution, loud noises, curfew violations, truancy, and kidnapping. " Each multi-family dwelling is allowed 3 calls per month and a certain To order copies, call Tony Brunsman: 513.382.4315
The Dean’s Phrase Maze
L L E I E L O S N S I N I N A W G D O E B E R V L F F M E P J E B E R
Start in the top right, and the correct path of the maze will form a continuous path, without crossing, moving through the top, bottom, left, or right of boxes. When you reach the end, you will be able to read this month!s secret phrase. It!s a phrase maze!
Cincinnati’s Big Money Contributor List
This list was complied by Josh Krekeler (Convener of the Southwest Ohio Green Party) based on historic contributions patterns. These individuals, lobbyists, or PACs traditionally give more money to more candidates than anyone else. Robert and Marilyn Rhein Gilbert and Mary Richards Jack Rouse Jeff Ruby William Rumpke John and Lynn Schiff J. Robin Sinclaire J. Robert and Mary Ruth Smyjunas James Verdin Alexander Warm Geraldine Warner Richard Weiland James and Alison Zimmerman " " " "
For more info, visit http://www.nojailtax.org
Individuals and/ or Lobbyists
T. Justin and Kristen Ackermann Jeffrey Anderson Thomas Atkins Troy Blackburn Neil Bortz Mike Brown Otto Budig Thomas and Karen Cassady Robert and Susan Castellini Martin and Manuel Chavez Stanley Chesley Robert Coletti Thomas and Cathy Crain John Davies Tim and Sharon Dodds W. Stuart and Martha Dornette Richard and Joyce Farmer Henry and Elaine Fischer David and Elizabeth Hendy Michael Hoch George and Amy Joseph Ronald Joseph Robert and Mary Kohlhepp John Lefﬂer Lindner Family Anthony, Joseph, Jerome, and John Maas Robert and Cynthia Muhlhauser Quentin and Jeanne Nesbitt John and Frances Pepper
Political Action Committees
Cincinnati Bell Convergys Fifth Third Bank Frost Brown Todd, LLC Home Builders Association Keating Muething & Klekamp Procter & Gamble Good Government PAC Realtors PAC Taft, Stettinius & Hollister Vorys Sater Seymour & Pease LLP Western Southern " NOTE: This list is a variation on the recently issued “Likely Killers” list. Could this be called the “Likely Inﬂuence Peddlers” list? You be the judge!
Celebrate The Cincinnati Beacon’s Inaugural issue!
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