Monday, October 09, 2006

Media Pundit

Check out Media Pundit for media analysis, current events and political news.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Chris Henry Gives Cincinnati a Bad Name

Chris Henry has gone way too far, again.
COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Bengals receiver Chris Henry pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges accusing him of providing alcohol to three underage females.

Henry, 23, has been arrested four times in the last seven months in three states. He was arraigned on his latest set of charges in northern Kentucky on Thursday morning, then went to Paul Brown Stadium for the team's minicamp.

Henry did not practise with the team because he is still recovering from a knee injury suffered during Cincinnati's playoff loss to Pittsburgh last season. Trainer Paul Sparling said Henry could be cleared to resume practice in a few weeks.

The second-year receiver surrendered to Kenton County authorities Thursday on three misdemeanour counts of unlawful transaction with a minor. If convicted, he could get up to a year in jail and a $500 US fine on each count.

It's his second case in Kenton County, where he was arrested last December on a charge of marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty in March and avoided jail time after completing a drug rehabilitation program.

Henry also faces trial Aug. 21 in Orlando, Fla., on a concealed weapons charge. He is accused of pulling a pistol on a group of revellers in January. Earlier this month, Henry was charged in nearby Clermont County, Ohio, with speeding and drunken driving.

The latest charges grew out of an investigation into an 18-year-old woman's claim that Henry sexually assaulted her at a hotel. She was charged with filing a false police report after police said she changed her story.

Henry is accused of providing alcohol to the woman and two other females 15 and 16 years old. Authorities said more charges could be added.

Henry and the Bengals have declined comment.

Under NFL rules, a player cannot be released by a team while he is hurt. Henry could be subject to suspension without pay under the league's policies on substance abuse.

The team should release him as soon as they are legally able to do so.

Hackett Plaintiff in VA lawsuit

From WCPO via BSB.
A Cincinnati attorney has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of 26.5 million veterans whose personal information was on a stolen computer disk.

The suit asks the Department of Veterans Affairs to compensate the veterans and pay for credit monitoring.

Paul Hackett filed the suit yesterday in US District Court in nearby Covington, Kentucky.

Hackett is a Marine reservist who served in Iraq and ran unsuccessfully for Congress last year.

The suit asks the VA to pay damages of at least one-thousand dollars per veteran.

VA officials say the disk stolen from a data analyst's home in early May included Social Security numbers and birth dates, and in many cases phone numbers and addresses.

A previous Beacon Journal article included a quote from Hackett on the issue.
"It's a comedy of errors," Hackett said. "Out of 26 million, some identities have been stolen, and that will end up destroying the financial lives of veterans. It's outrageous."

No Luck for Queen City Gaming

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
A group that was pushing a plan to put slot machines around Ohio because a competitor's gambling campaign does not include Cincinnati has withdrawn its proposal.

Queen City Gaming Entertainment Inc. blamed the decision in part on its rival's hiring of the companies that could gather the 323,000 voter signatures needed by Aug. 9 to get the issue on the Nov. 7 ballot.

"It's become more and more clear that you need a professional firm to do this job, and it's not likely that there is one available at this point," Queen City spokesman Brendon Cull said Thursday.

The state attorney general's office had approved the proposal Monday, authorizing the group to begin circulating petitions.

The other group, Ohio Learn & Earn, has been gathering signatures since May 1 for its plan to put 24-hour slot operations at seven Ohio horse racing tracks and two downtown Cleveland locations.

The Queen City group's proposal included those venues and a Cincinnati location.

Leslie Ghiz, a Cincinnati councilwoman, said she would campaign against the Learn & Earn proposal, should it qualify for the ballot.

"I'll do everything I can to make it fail. They went out and literally hired every firm that collects signatures to conflict them out," she said.

Learn & Earn also had filed challenges to Queen City's petition circulators in several counties, alleging the group had not filed proper documentation that the circulators were Ohio residents.

"We did this because whether it's our (proposal) or theirs, it naturally has controversy attached to it," Learn & Earn spokesman David Hopcraft said. "We are making every effort to comply with the highest standards of state law."

I just have a few quick observations on this.

1. It is pretty sad that initiatives have to be outsourced to private companies in order to succeed. The purpose of this provision is for the community as a whole to propose legislation, not private special interest groups.

2. Learn and Earn is probably the most misleading name possible for an initiative that aims to implement gambling in Ohio. Sure, a small percentage of profits from the slot machines will go to educational grants, but not enough to warrant naming the program after that minor aspect of it.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Harriet Beecher Stowe Lecture: Writing to Change the World

Saw this in Cin Weekly, thought some of you may be interested.

Dorothy Rabinowitz, reporter, columnist and member of the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal will deliver the 4th annual Harriet Beecher Stowe Lecture.

Wine and hors d' oeuvres will be served.

Evening Sponsor: Hilliard Lyons

Wed, Jun 14th 2006 | 7:00 PM

The Mercantile Library
Reading Room
414 Walnut Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

$20 members; $25 nonmembers

Monday, November 21, 2005

Swing State Ohio

For the time being, I'll be blogging primarily at Swing State Ohio. I may bring Cincinnati News back at some point but my current focus is on the 2006 elections.

When you get the chance, you should also check out Andrew Warner's Blog. He covers a lot of Cincinnati issues as well as things of national significance.

Until next time, enjoy!

Friday, November 04, 2005

GOP Officials in Bar-fight

From WCPO:

Three Butler County republican party officials are accused of starting a brawl at a local bar.

According to police reports, Quentin Nichols, Tim Dearwester and Sean Maloney were at Putters on Cincinnati-Dayton Road in Liberty Township when they attacked a bartender.

Allegedly, one of the men made sexual remarks about the bar owner and when the three were asked to leave, they punched the bartender and hit him with a chair.

The incident is under investigation.

So far, no one has been charged.

This reminds me of going to high school in Butler County. Someone makes an inappropriate sexual comment, they are asked to leave nicely, and they start a fight. I guess some things never change.

Update: Daily Kos and the Enquirer picked the story up this morning.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

This Week in City Beat

This is a new piece that will be posted weekly by Thursday morning. In it I will briefly cover the highlights and (occasionally) lowlights of each issue of the alternative weekly Cincinnati publication, City Beat.

This week is the long awaited "endorsement issue." The front cover lists both their mayoral and council endorsements prominently.

The "World Famous, Who's Endorsing Whom?" charts can be viewed here.

John Fox wrote:
These charts provide a snapshot of the endorsement positions from area media, political action committees, parties and nonprofit groups -- and in the case of the statewide issues, we collect the endorsements of Ohio's major newspapers.

One of the best things about these charts is seeing which candidates have broad appeal (Laketa Cole and Christopher Smitherman) and which don't, which races are fairly evenly split (statewide issues 1-5) and which aren't and which issues have generated a consensus of opinion and which haven't.

We also get a kick out of seeing who's endorsed by opposing organizations, such as who's backed by both the Fraternal Order of Police and the Sentinels Police Association (Jeff Berding and ex-cops Cecil Thomas and Wendell Young) and who's endorsed by both Equality Cincinnati and Right to Life (no one).

In Porkopolis, Greg Flannery offers an interesting piece called "Neither Religious nor Right." In it he gives a good summary of a complaint filed last week against Councilman Sam Malone and Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values. According to Flannery:
Some of the donors who anonymously contributed money to (unsuccessfully) preserve Cincinnati's anti-gay law and (successfully) pass a statewide ban on gay marriage might finally be dragged into the light.

The complaint, filed by Former Mayor Bobbie Sterne and President of Equality Cincinnati Gary Wright, says that "What we have here is a network of deception with CCV Action at its hub." I will post the hearing date when the Ohio Election Commission sets it.

Best Quote: Ben L. Kaufman in Media, Myself and I.
Be accurate and fair, correct mistakes and move on and remember that, whatever the medium, audiences require reliable, relevant information on which to base their public and private decisions.

This Modern World: How The News Works Now.

Interesting fact: Candidates with paid advertisements in the Endorsement Issue = Gerry Kraus, Jim Tarbell, Leslie Ghiz, Eve Bolton and Wendell Young (shared).

City Beat is distributed to 1450 locations every wednesday throughout Greater Cincinnati. Voter Guide Bias

The voter guide available on is not a very useful tool at all. It seems like a good concept... give customized, specific information on the candidates and issues to people based on where they live. In my opinion it does more harm than good when the information presented is so incomplete.

The site suggests that you, "Try MyBallot, the easy way to an informed vote" and "See side-by-side comparisons on the issues." Unfortuntely, due to the lack of content, you are unable to do so.

On Issue 8, it describes the proposed amendment as "Salary Increases." This, without other information, implies that a yes vote will directly increase salaries. As many of you are aware, that is not the case. When you click on "compare on the issues" the site informs you that pro means yes and con means no.

In the section on council candidates just 13 of the 32 have pictures and and 14 of them have a one sentence description. The Cincinnati dealer pieced together pictures of 26 candidates here. For Wendell Young, the one sentence description reads, "Cincinnati City Council Candidate." The irony is, of course, that this applies to all of the rest of the candidates as well.

On the mayoral comparison page, located at this link, David Pepper's information is available in full. For Mark Mallory it reads, "Biographical information on this candidate is not yet available."

For fun, I decided to see how long it would take me to find the information on Mallory that they list for Pepper.

It took about 1 minute. Three links (provided below) provide the information. Two are on Mallory's campaign site, one is on the enquirer's site.

Almost all of the information was also in yesterday's enquirer on the front page of a section called "Your Vote '05."

It is possible that Mallory declined the opportunity to respond to questions specifically for the online voter guide. Even if this is the case, probably should have taken the few extra seconds to include basic information about Mallory that is widely available.

Gannett, either intentionally or through neglect, is painting an incomplete picture of next week's election. They are tipping the scales in favor of the candidates with information provided and taking advantage of their position as a media giant to do so.

I am calling on to update this "voter guide" as soon as possible to give voters access to the information they deserve. If they can't do this in the next few days, they should remove the partial and misleading voter guide from their website. At the very least, the guide should include a disclaimer that acknowledges that the information presented is nowhere near complete or representative of the candidates or issues as a whole.

This link has been sent to the helpdesk and editor of If they provide a response, or update/change the voter guide, I'll have it here.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Ohio GOP takes another hit

From the Toledo Blade

A federal grand jury has indicted Tom Noe, the former Maumee coin dealer suspected of laundering money into President Bush’s reelection campaign, Mr. Noe’s attorney told The Blade today.

A number of people have testified before a federal grand jury impaneled in Toledo, including Toledo City Councilman Betty Shultz, Lucas County Commissioner Maggie Thurber, and Donna Owens, a former Toledo mayor. Each made contributions at a Bush fund-raiser in October, 2003, in Columbus.

Local law-enforcement sources said investigators are looking at contributions made by people from the Toledo area to the Bush campaign at the fund-raiser, at which the campaign raised $1.4 million.

Mr. Noe, who was tagged a Bush “Pioneer” for helping to raise at least $100,000 for Bush campaign, sponsored a table at the event, and invited a number of people to attend.

An individual can give only $2,000 to a presidential candidate in the primary and another $2,000 in the general election, according to federal law. Throughout the 2004 campaign — primary and general — Mr. Noe contributed $2,000. His contribution came in August, 2003.

Prosecutors were trying to determine if Mr. Noe gave people money in order for them to give to the Bush campaign, allowing Mr. Noe to exceed federal spending limits.

Add this to the fact that Dewine has consistently been ranking as one of the top 5 least approved Senators and Bob Taft is among the least popular Governors.

2006 is going to be a long year for the Ohio GOP.