Wednesday, August 19, 2009

CFP Screwing With Ballot Language

Feeling screwed?
You should.

Cincinnatians for "Progress" treasurer, Don Mooney, is attempting to undermine democracy itself by changing the language of the proposed anti-boondoggle charter amendment. See details here.

Hundreds of petition forms were presented to, read by, and signed by over 11,500 people. Every one of them contained exactly the same language:
"The City, and its various Boards and Commissions, may not spend any monies for right-of-way acquisition or construction of improvements for passenger rail transportation (e.g., a trolley or streetcar) within the city limits without first submitting the question of approval of such expenditure to a vote of the electorate of the City and receiving a majority affirmative vote for the same."
The language is simple, straightforward, and crystal clear. Some voters objected to the language, and didn't sign the petition. But enough voters agreed with it to bring it to a vote this November. And therein lies CFP's problem.

The last thing in the world the "Progress" movement wants is a vote on passenger rail transportation. They don't even want a vote on the notion of voting on passenger rail transportation. Why? Progressers are fully aware they are pushing something the people don't want, and the only way they are going to get it, is to steal your right to say no.


  1. I'm confused as to how exactly CFP and Don Mooney want to change the language. Your blog makes this accusation yet provides no supporting evidence. Did I miss something?

  2. ^End of the 2nd paragraph, click on the word "here" to bring up source documents acquired under Ohio's sunshine law.

  3. The Streetcar folks DO NOT TRUST THE VOTERS. They believe that the unwashed masses are not capable of deciding this issue for themselves. Instead, the educated elite should make their decisions for them.

  4. i agree that there really doesn't need to be any changes in the language. However, I think this blog overstates what's going on here. After reading the changes being proposed in referenced link, I do not really sense any subterfuge, just an attempt to clear up the language. Honestly, I think removing the "(e.g. streetcar or trolley)" reference would make the most sense because that line makes the amendment appear to be ONLY about the streetcar, when clearly its about the streetcar AND all other passenger rail improvements also.

  5. ^Which is exactly why the original language referenced the streetcar AND passenger rail transportation. You have to include both to make it about both.

    CFP are scheming to make this about anything but the hated streetcar plan becaue they know it will never survive a public vote.

    CFP should quit trying to screw things up and just print what the voters signed.

  6. Let me get this right -
    CFP screamed for months that COASt was making this initiative about all rail and not just the streetcar.

    Now, CFP wants to change the charter amendment so that it's about all rail and not jus tthe streetcar.

    I smell a rat.

  7. ^It's worse than that. CFP want to drop any mention of the streetcar at all.

    It's going to hard for them to pretend that the streetcar isn't a part of this charter amendment, when their Honorary Campaign Chair, Mayor Mallory, laid it out pretty clearly. He said, "A yes vote would kill the streetcar."

    CFP are deceptively trying to convince voters that this isn't about the streetcar at all. Make up your minds.

  8. >CFP are deceptively trying to convince voters that this isn't about the streetcar at all

    COAST is deceptively trying to convince voters that this isn't all a power grab. COAST is deceptively using Chris Smitherman when they don't give a damn about this city's black citizens -- they only want their votes.

    A delay caused by COAST's charter amendment means we'll miss out on $50+ million in free federal money. If we don't get it, another city will because it's already been allocated.

  9. Provost,
    Show me where it's been allocated. I see a bus allocation, but nothing for rail.

    And I'm not buying the delay argument. Transit systems aren't impulse purchases. They take years to plan and construct. We hold an election every November anyway. Board of Elections says the only additional cost to add an issue, is the price of the ink. Surely that can be worked into the project timeline.

    Federal matches are typically done by bond issue, and those nearly always require a public referendum. The federal funding process already accounts for this. Plenty of cities vote, and it isn't slowing them down. Quit whining about it.

    This is about a power grab alright. The voters are grabbing back the power to approve transit policy from city leaders who have bungled it.

    And you need to be reminded that the NAACP is the lead on this project. COAST is working for them.

  10. "Your blog makes this accusation yet provides no supporting evidence"

    Rob, welcome to a typical day on the COAST blog!

  11. Mark Mallory is a liar - period.

  12. The charter amendment is a false choice and an attempt to create an inequitable system. It's disingenuous to say it's about giving voters choice on public investments when you've singled out only passenger rail and are not giving voters a choice on other major capital investments. It's not really about spending tax dollars when the only specific target is "passenger rail," is it? It's about you-don't-like-passenger-rail.

  13. COAST: You are an idiot and your arguments make no sense. If the ballot would affect all rail, then the words "streetcar" or "trolley" have no place in there, and having them there is merely peripheral information (which doesn't belong on a ballot initiative intended to explain to the reader exactly what it does).

    Why don't you state exactly what rail options you want the public to vote on here, so that we can get a clear idea of them.

    Say "all rail options" if you want a vote on all rail options.

    Or, are you trying to argue that a reader of the ballot language (a citizen of cincinnati) cannot figure out that "all rail transit" includes trolleys and streetcars?

    Oh yeah, and CFP is absolutely not saying that this is "not about the streetcar at all". They are saying that it is about the streetcar, plus other transit.

  14. I'm frankly tired of COAST. They are just disillusioned Republicans that want to be activists now that all of their economic models have been shattered. "Let's fight against socialist transit, but keep funding defunct military projects, strip malls, and subsidized corn."

  15. Anon -
    If you're so disgusted then why don't YOU lead a referendum against subsidized strip malls, corn, and military projects?

    I eagerly await your answer.

  16. Bris, I am actively involved in politics and put my money where my mouth is. You frankly have no idea and are making assumptions about my involvement in fighting against corrupt government. Don't make assumptions of what others are involved in doing, because you have no idea.
    What I am pointing out is your hypocrisy to fight against rail while truckloads of taxpayer money get funneled into corrupt Conservative backed endeavors. It is an issue of mole hills vs mountains. Why not protest the submarine program that costs billions that is intended to launch 15 commandos in a torpedo onto a beach? Surely that money could be better spent, eh?

  17. Anon - You didn't answer my question,which doesn't surprise me, but I'll answer yours.

    "Why not protest the submarine program that costs billions that is intended to launch 15 commandos in a torpedo onto a beach?"

    BECAUSE IT WOULDN't MAKE A LICK OF DIFFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We have the ability to work to sway LOCAL issues here. The City of Cincinnati has a referendum process that citizens can take advantage of. Please point me to the the referendum process that the US military has where citizens can vote to get specific projects on the ballot. IT DOESN'T EXIST.

    Congratulations on being active in politics, and putting your money where your mouth is. I would imagine that you put your money into issues and campaigns where you can actually MAKE A DIFFERENCE. COAST is doing the same thing.


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