COAST occasionally is accused of being "toast," and "ineffective," and a "paper tiger." We have read our own obituary over and over.
We have seen the same accusation leveled at Christopher Smitherman and the NAACP. They are "all talk and no action" and they are a "media sensation."
Yet when an establishment politician announces that he is going to place on the ballot a Charter Amendment, Cincinnati's establishment takes a bow and awaits their great works. Todd Portune announced a year ago that he was going to collect the 7,000 signatures to place a ticket tax before the voters to solve the stadium funding problem. (By this column, COAST does not render an opinion on that Portune plan.)
That "major" undertaking would be a grand total of 20 signatures a day for a year. That should not be too hard for a man as accomplished and respected in Cincinnati as the great Todd Portune.
In contrast, the "empty suits," and "paper tigers" at COAST and the NAACP, led by Christopher Smitherman, have placed six issues on the ballot in Cincinnati since 2007, including the Super-Sized Jail Tax referendum that required 56,000 signatures in 45 days. In addition to that, Smitherman-led initiatives included the ban on red light cameras, the ban on the sale of the Water Works, Proportional Representation, and two initiatives on the Cincinnati Streetcar. Three of the six have passed into law.
And yet we await a vote on the Portune Charter Amendment. The enquirer reports on that status of that initiative here.
Paper Tiger? Empty suit? Ineffective? You decide.