Friday, October 31, 2014

We won't be fooled again

The stadium tax campaign, the Bengals lease, the Paul Brown Stadium cost overruns, and the lying. cheating and stealing that went with all of it, was awful for our region and its taxpayers.  But it was also one of the best things that happened for the tax movement in greater Cincinnati.  It birthed COAST and gave us a rallying cry that lasted for more than a decade.  Thereafter, Hamilton County voters became infinitely more skeptical, more circumspect, more realistic about levies on the ballot and big public works projects birthed by politicians and business leaders.

Today's Enquirer has an instructive footnote to that story, here.  To induce the voters to approve the sales tax hike, and ultimately the bloated construction of two stadiums, the State supposedly although vaguely promised an $81 million grant.  But guess what happened?  As Dusty Rhodes reminds us, the State reneged (if they ever "promised" at all) on $7.5 million of that, leaving Hamilton County taxpayers holding the bag.

This is why, the next time they shine us on with promises of money from Washington and Columbus to "save" our City, have us "join the big leagues," tell us that "Washington is watching," we can thumb our noses at them, and say "no thanks."  You can keep your empty promises and we'll keep our money.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cuyahoga County Red Light ban organizer says cameras are pure cash grab

"The sole purpose of photo-automated Red Light and Speeding cameras in Cleveland is to generate cash for the Red Light Camera company and the City of Cleveland," according to Jason Sonenshein, the Chairman of the local effort to ban the pernicious devices.  Sonenshein declares that the claimed public safety benefits are entirely illusory.

COAST encourages Cuyahoga County residents in Cleveland (Issue 35) and Maple Heights (Issue 99) to vote "Yes" on these issues on election day.

COAST encourages Cuyahoga County voters to kill Red Light Cameras

COAST is pleased to remind our friends and readers from the north part of the state that we have an active contingent of COASTers in Cleveland and surrounding areas.  There, our volunteers placed on the ballot not one but two initiatives this year to ban red light cameras in both the City of Cleveland (Issue 35) and the City of Maple Heights (Issue 99).

Thanks to our strong local team, and please remind your friends in these cities to vote "Yes."

COAST wins again against Ohio Elections Commission

As our attorneys at the Finney Law Firm explain here, Federal District Court Judge Michael Barrett issued last week a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of Ohio's "False Claims" statute as it relates to ballot issue campaigns.  That decision is here.  Judge Barrett has promised a more extensive ruling on the motion for permanent injunction in the coming weeks.

Monday, October 27, 2014

1851 Center Judicial Report

The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law has released a report connecting judicial rulings to campaign donors. Read the report here and the guide to understanding judicial records here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

COAST joins broad coalition opposed to tolls for Brent Spence Bridge

Today's Enquirer has it: COAST has joined the broad coalition on both sides of the Ohio River against tolls on the Brent Spence ridge.  Read it here.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dayton Daily News Flash: People allowed to speak freely in America!

Today's article from the Dayton Daily News is the latest in a series of disappointments from the formerly vaunted Fourth Estate.

In this article, the reporters bemoan the development that Ohioans have been freed -- as a result of COAST's groundbreaking litigation accomplishment -- to speak about candidates on the ballot without fear that they will be dragged before Ohio's Ministry of Truth, the Ohio Elections Commission.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Chris Finney Updates Lisa Wells on Ohio Elections Commission Case Against Cincinnatians for Jobs Now

Chris Finney has been working to uncover the details of the funding and expenditures of a dark money group "Cincinnatians for Jobs Now" that targeted Christopher Smitherman in the 2013 City Council campaign.

The Ohio Elections Commission has ordered discovery to proceed, including depositions and document production.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Really, Chris Wetterich? Really?

Oh, the Fourth Estate.  How low have they sunk?  How completely has it abandoned its role as a force to challenge the power structure in our community, and to educate the public?  

Read this blog entry and you decide.

To illuminate this issue, one need look no further than the exchange COAST had with Chris Wetterich of the Cincinnati Business Courier this evening, including his condescending, loaded questioning. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

SORTA uses public funds for tax hike survey, and yet refuses to release the results to -- the taxpayers

Gosh, this is sleazy.  SORTA is seeking a tax increase, spent your tax dollars to do a public opinion survey to advance that cause, and yet refuses to release the survey results to the taxpayers who paid for it!  

Just make it stop!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Ryan Messer and his urban hipsters are a funny bunch -- really!

Streetcar booster and hipster leader 
Ryan Messer has no funding plan 
for $3.8 Million Streetcar operating deficit

The bill eventually comes due, doesn't it?  Well that day is about 16 months away, maybe sooner.

And it's pretty funny watching the folks who committed us to the costs of the Cincinnati Streetcar, worming and squirming as decision day approaches on the funding issue.  Yes, petulant children, you have to pay for that pony, feed him hay every day and then shovel out the stall.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ohio Democrat implosion entirely enjoyable, but let's establish a mandate for coming four years

GOP and conservative activists are downright giddy at the complete collapse of the Democrat Party in Ohio in 2014.  If things remain on their current trajectory, Governor Kasich, AG DeWine, Auditor Yost and other statewide candidates will cruise to victory, and the GOP will retain sizable majorities in the House, Senate, and Ohio Supreme Court.

So, it's time to celebrate, right?  Well, not exactly.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

FitzGerald, Neuhardt hop aboard crazy train

We have been so pre-occupied in following the foibles of Ed FitzGerald that we have missed the opportunity to analyze his crazy, liberal Cleveland Democrat positions in the race for Governor.  And that's unfortunate in that he is indeed just another crazy liberal Democrat from Cleveland.  For those of us from Cincinnati, Cleveland Democrats are a whole new level of crazy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

These guys in Maple Heights are funny!

As we reported here, late Friday afternoon, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the Maple Heights City Council had to follow the Constitution of the State and place on the ballot a Charter Amendment that has been submitted to Council on a petition signed by more than 10% of the City electorate.  The Charter Amendment will effectively ban the use of red light and speeding cameras within the City.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Arrogance, stupidity combine to secure win against City of Maple Heights, OH

For the past six weeks, the Law Director and City Council of the City of Maple Heights, Ohio have refused to follow their duties under the Constitution of the State of Ohio by placing on the ballot a Charter Amendment limiting the use of red light and speeding cameras in their fair City.  The citizenry had obtained a sufficient number of signatures to secure ballot access, but the City fathers just did not seem to care.

So COAST did what COAST does, and we sued them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dispatch calls on OEC to give up the ghost

Today's Columbus Dispatch calls on the Ohio Elections Commission to end the litigation over Ohio's law banning "false statements" enforced by the Commission.  Last week, Judge Timothy Black declared the law unconstitutional and permanently enjoined its enforcement by the Commission.  The Dispatch editorial asked the Commission not to appeal that ruling, saying that an appeal "likely would fail and waste money."

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Whining, Chris Seelbach tries to change the topic from his poor choice on the Streetcar

The subject of this post is a September 3, 2014 Facebook Post of Council member Chris Seelbach, and his letter to the editor in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Before we offer our commentary, we want to note that the topic of the Seelbach post is important, and certainly worthy of debate as a community priority.  We believe a thorough discussion of the reasons and cures for infant mortality and Ohio's #1 role in this scourge is entirely appropriate. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

COAST prevails in First Amendment Litigation

Four years later, COAST and Susan B. Anthony List - and all Ohioans - have their First Amendment Rights vindicated!

Ohio's law criminalizing false speech about a political candidate has been permanently enjoined by Judge Black.

Read more about the case, including the decision here.