Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Smitherman, Qualls and Seelbach oppose Mahogany's Funding

Mahogany's Restaurant, whose owners owe more than $49,000 in federal tax delinquencies, today received a nearly $1 million grant and loan package from the City to build out their restaurant improvements at the Banks on a 6-3 vote from the Batshit Crazy Council.  Read the Enquirer's report of the funding here.

Only Council members Smitherman, Qualls and Seelbach opposed the deal.

Smitherman reports that the City administration refused to share the details of the loan application with the members of Council before they voted on the loan proposal.

A tip of our cap to those Council members who appear to think like businessmen in this matter.  We are not quite sure what the other six were thinking.

SuperPAC has new web ad exposing Jean Schmidt's awful record

Here is Enquirer story on ad.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Great article from GOHP blog

Read it here.

Empower U's Spring offerings broad and in-depth

Empower U Spring 2012 Calendar

Here's your chance to become educated on a variety of issues important to the cause of liberty.

The 2012 Empower U spring schedule is here.

Jean Schmidt is a "Tool" according to statistical analysis of her record

The independent group "Watching the House" has done a statistical analysis of all members of Congress and has given Jean Schmidt a score of -1.2 that places her in the category of a "major follower,"which COAST calls a "tool."

Read it here.

Indeed, if you added the descriptor "corrupt" to the words, it would describe her more accurately: "corrupt tool," or "corrupt major follower."

Let's be done with her, quickly, please,

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine files remarkable Amicus Brief in "Tweets" case challenging Ohio's False Claims Statute

This past week held major developments in the landmark case of COAST Candidates PAC v. Ohio Elections Commission, to some known as the "Tweets" case, specifically,
  1. the filing by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine of a brief pointing out the infirmities of Ohio's false claims statute
  2. in the "Stolen Valor" case before the U.S. Supreme Court, oral argument strayed to statutes like Ohio's and the Justices and the U.S. Solicitor General indicated it was unconstitutional.
Background
Ohio is one of a handful of states with a statute punishing "false" political speech in the context of election campaigns (i.e., in the vast majority of jurisdictions, "free speech" reins and those aggrieved can rely upon traditional defamation principles).  Unfortunately, the Ohio Elections Commission has failed to understand a proper role for those regulating in the First Amendment arena, irresponsibly running roughshod over those who participate in electoral campaigns and punishing speech that is entirely true, and unquestionably defensible under the U.S. and Ohio constitutions.

Knowing this miserable history of the OEC, advocates of greater taxes and spending in Cincinnati filed a Complaint against certain "Tweets" of COAST tying streetcar spending to brownouts of fire departments.  They hoped for a last minute "swipe" at COAST by the OEC and a hostile news media over entirely true statements from COAST in the great Streetcar debate. 

COAST sued in federal court to stop their unconstitutional interference in COAST's free speech rights.  That case is pending before federal district court Judge Mike Barrett.

Actions of the Ohio Attorney General
The Ohio Attorney General is the statutory counsel of the Ohio Elections Commission, defending the OEC in that suit.  This is his obligation under the Ohio Constitution.  (Interestingly, decades before becoming Ohio's Attorney General, DeWine was involved with a similar case in which the false claims jurisdiction of the OEC was at issue, so he is quite familiar with its over-reaching.)  DeWine is also charged in his oath of office with defending the U.S. and Ohio Constitutions.  Thus, he must have been in a quandary in defending such an obviously unconstitutional law, and its bizarre enforcement by the OEC.

Well, this past week, in response to that dilemma, DeWine did a remarkable and brave thing -- he filed an Amicus Brief pointing out to the Court the unconstitutionality of Ohio's False Claims statute.  He is represented by preeminent First Amendment attorney Brad Smith, a former FEC Commissioner, to present this ground-breaking argument.

It remains up to Judge Barrett to boldly do the right thing, and strike this unconstitutional law, but COAST's collective hat goes off to Mike DeWine for this courageous move in defense of First Amendment liberties.

U.S. Supreme Court Developments
In a related development, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments this past week in U.S. v. Alvarez. This is the case in which the Defendant is challenging the "Stolen Valor Act," in which the Congress made it a crime to falsely claim military honors one did not have.

In that oral argument, Justice Kennedy said: "[The statute] presumes that the government is going to have a ministry of truth . . . and I just don’t think that’s our tradition.” Also, that oral argument saw the following exchange among Justice Kagan, the U.S. Solicitor General and Justice Scalia, all quite illuminating of the problems with Ohio's statute:

JUSTICE KAGAN: . . . what about these State statutes -- there are more of them than I thought that there would be -- that say no demonstrable falsehoods by a political candidate in a political race, and prohibit demonstrable falsehoods by political candidates?  How would your analysis apply to those?  Would they come out the other end as constitutional?

[SOLICITOR] GENERAL VERRILLI:  I think that those kinds of statutes are going to have a lot harder time getting through the Court's “breathing space” analysis because the context in which they arise is one that would create a more significant risk of chill -
. . .
JUSTICE SCALIA: So maybe we allow a certain amount of puffing in political speech as well.... Nobody believes all that stuff, right?
____________
It is so thoroughly refreshing to have an Attorney General, the Solicitor General, and at least three Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court who understand how pernicious the Ohio statute is.  COAST hopes Judge Barrett shows a similar degree of wisdom in this regard.

Finney to deliver final Schmidt/Corruption Scandal Speech at Blue Chip Young Republicans Monday night

Chris Finney's will deliver his speech one more time -- Monday night  -- to the Blue Chip Young Republican Club, chaired by Charlie Norman.

The details are 7 PM, Monday, February 27th, at Molly Malone's in Pleasant Ridge on Montgomery Road a few doors down from the intersection with Ridge Road.

Please join us for this important presentation.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Family First endorses Wenstrup, Brinkman

The endorsements are rolling in.

Family First, the influential pro-family PAC in southwest Ohio, has endorsed Brad Wenstrup for Congress and Tom Brinkman for State Representative.  Great minds think alike. Informed, principled voters act alike.

Good news!

Calling a Spade a Spade -- Schmidt is a big-spender, big-borrower

They hit the mark yet again -- the Campaign for Primary Accountability has its fourth district-wide mailer out telling the tale of Jean Schmidt's deficit spending, and nailed her for hypocrisy for good measure.

Read it here.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Proctor shedding jobs; bad news for Cincinnati and its tax collections

The golden goose, the cash cow, the mother's milk for Cincinnati and the coffers at City Hall is P&G. 

This week they have announced that they are shedding 5,700 jobs worldwide.  A goodly number of those will be in the City of Cincinnati.  Our City fathers need to -- soon -- get serious about cost cutting. 

Time's up!

Ohio Liberty Council, the Council of all Tea Parties, endorses Wenstrup for Congress

This is an important endorsement.  Read it here.

Ha ha ha! Whose endorsement would matter the most?

The Enquirer asked its readers with respect to the Presidential context, whose endorsement would matter the most, among local elected officials, including Rob Portman, Steve Chabot, Governor Kasich, John Boehner, Jean Schmidt, etc.

Last, dead last, was Schmidt.

We wonder why.

Schmidt makes us proud again

As if we all were not sufficiently embarrassed by Schmidt's fawning over Barack Obama at the State of the Union, check out Schmidt pandering for Nancy Pelosi's autograph at the Congressional Women's Softball Game.

Does this wretched woman have a clue as to how her pandering demeans her constituents and district in D.C.?

Wenstrup addresses Schmidt corruption

Read it here.  Maybe the Ed. Board at the Enquirer will read this.  Apparently they are unaware of Schmidt's corruption.

By margin of 56% to 31% voters want cuts in government more than higher taxes

Read it here.  It's pretty simple.  Shrink the size and scope of government.  Got the message yet?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The stupidity of this is monumental; when it fails, note that COAST was (almost) lone voice in opposition

Oh. My. God.


Yes, it is really happening.  The Batshit Crazy City Council has approved $4.4 million to put a glass roof over the courtyard of City Hall and then use it for weddings and conferences.

As COAST has said, this was without any income projections, any operating expense projections, or really any understanding of the engineering involved in the plan.

The City has no idea how much it will cost to light, heat and cool the area.  It has no idea how much it will cost for operating staff to reserve the area, set it up, tear it down, clean the area, or anything else.

They just did it. And they did it for one reason: because they can.  Because there is virtually no dissent at City Hall.  There are only two voices of reason -- Smitherman and Winburn -- and the Mayor, the Manager and the rest of Council just ignore them.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, elections have consequences.  And the consequence of the 2011 election is that the voters and taxpayers of Cincinnati are S-C-R-E-W-E-D.

America's per capital debt is worse than Greece's (thank you, Mrs. Schmidt)

The story is here from The Standard.

Not much more to say, as we lurch towards an unsolvable crisis.

Oh, yeah, of our local Congressmen, Schmidt supported it.  Thank you, again, Mrs. Schmidt.

The Enquirer's Schmidt endorsement

The Enquirer's endorsement of Jean Schmidt, its sixth since 2005, is coming out this weekend. Rather than make COAST blog readers wait, we thought we would give you a preview:

* After seven years in the Ohio House, Schmidt is an accomplished member gaining seniority and experience. (Please ignore the fact that she has sponsored not a single piece of major legislation, chairs no important committee or subcommittee, fails to grasp a single important issue before Congress beyond her FoxNews talking points, and has not had a single creative idea since elected).

* Schmidt is born and bred Cincinnati (Clermont County) and reflects the view of her constituents well. (Please ignore the fact that she is a lockstep vote for House Leadership regardless of the view of those in her district.)

* Schmidt has served with honor (just please ignore that $500,000 illegal gift, the fact that the OEC found her to have lied about a college degree, the two instances of plagiarism, the Murtha flap, the lies to the House Ethics Committee, and being named "most corrupt" by CREW; please ignore that she is one of only eight House Members who need legal expense funds to defend them against ethical and legal challenges).

* You know, that Dr. Brad Wenstrup has no experience in elective office, and we need a steady rudder on the ship of state (ignore the fact that Schmidt's experience has been marred by scandal after scandal, and distraction after distraction, thus making her a back-bencher of epic proportions, one of the biggest jokes in D.C.).

So, we hope you will ignore Schmidt's critics, and elect her to Congress again, where she can continue her legacy of, ummmm, fine service.

Love, Maggie Buchanan and Ray Cooklis.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Is Santorum a fiscal conservative?

There is no doubt that Rick Santorum has fired up the social conservative base of the GOP, but the dirty secret of Rick Santorum is that he is no fiscal conservative. Indeed, during his career in the Senate, the man was a disaster with a voting card on fiscal policy. He was not bad; he was awful.

See this article about Ron Paul's new ad on this topic.

Now, like Romney needed to compromise in Massachusetts on social issues to be accepted, maybe Santorum was reading the tea leaves of big-spending Pennsylvania in deciding how to cast his votes.

So that then raises the question: do we want a President who is a weathervane? If so, either Santorum or Romney will fill the bill just nicely. But on fiscal issues, don't pretend one is any different than the other.

They are not.

Jean Schmidt Dishonest and Reproachable

Check out this new video showing Jean's Dishonesty

Anderson Tea Party endorses Wenstrup

Is it Schmidt's corruption?  Is it her votes for TARP and to raise the debt limit? Was it her votes to raise the gas tax, personal income tax, sales tax, liquor tax, dry cleaning tax, hair cutting tax and other taxes and fees?

We are not sure, but we are pleased to trumpet this morning the endorsement by the Anderson Tea Party of Dr. Brad Wenstrup for the United States Congress. Read about it here.

2nd District voters are blessed with a clear choice for Congress, an absolute lying, unprincipled scoundrel versus a war hero with integrity, business acumen, healthcare experience, military experience, and common sense.

Umm, hard choice, isn't it?

Wenstrup for Congress, please.

Get involved in Empower U, to Empower and Educate Citizen Activists

In another project brought to you by COASTer Dan Regenold (a man full of energy and ideas if there ever was one), Empower U starts its third year this year, empowering citizens activists through education.

For FREE, citizens can learn from elected leaders, political activists, attorneys, and activists on key elements of the liberty agenda.  Read their entire lineup of 2012 courses here.

The series started this year with "Intervention," the push for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the US Constitution.  Last night, COAST attorney Chris Finney spoke in Dayton on property tax valuation reduction.  Coming up, are the following courses:
  • Court of Appeals Judge Pat Fischer on the judiciary (February 28)
  • John Becker on the Ohio State Republican Central Committee (March 8) 
  • Rebecca Heimlich holds two sessions on Powering Ohio's Economy (March 22 and May 21)
  • COAST attorney Curt Hartman hosts a session on Ohio Open Meetings and Public Records laws (May 3) 
  • Ohio School Board President Debe Terhar speaks on Ohio Schools -- College and Career Readiness  (April 11) 
And there are dozens of more offerings.  These great speakers are prepared to deliver information to empower the citizenry to become active and involved in their communities.

Take the time to learn more!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Jean Schmidt loses her case at the Court of Appeals

This means David Krikorian can soon use the powers of discovery to learn the circumstances under which the Turkish Coalition of America came to pay nearly $500,000 of her attorneys fees.

Read more here.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The real and present danger of debt

The story of Greece continues to be instructive for America, if only we would listen.

Almost daily, the papers have another story of yet another traunche of bailouts from the remainder of Europe, and another round of austerity on Greece, through budget cuts, and the downward spiral of the Greek economy as a result, with soaring unemployment and taxes.

But we must remember, that the problems of today arose because of out-sized Greek debt.  Here are the demonstrated consequences of too much debt:

1)  The debtor becomes beholden to the creditor, in the case of Greece, doing things with its budget that it does not want to do, but in order to avoid being declared in default of their debt obligations, they do what as a solvent and sovereign nation, they would not.  This means that Greece is really no longer a sovereign nation.

2)  The debt eventually must be paid.  The pain that Greece is suffering today of paying more and more of its budget for fewer and fewer services, so that it might retire its debts, is exactly what COASTers and others have warned all along.  The over-spending party of this generation must be paid by later generations.

3)  Debt incurred in good times, means you can't stimulus spend in bad times.  Because of too much debt, Greece in a recession is unable to now over-spend to stimulate its economy.  Imagine, however, if they had saved and built a surplus in good times.

4)  Because of 1, 2 and 3, above, when debt problems arise, there is no time, no flexability, and no options to address the problem, because we spent and borrowed against our time, flexability and options when we should have been saving and investing.

So, U.S.A., hold onto your hats.  A bumpy ride is still to come.   

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Photoshopped or did this prankster get in to see President Obama?

Either way, we like it very much.

Is it patriotic to oppose wasteful spending?

COAST is a citizens group whose aim is stamping out wasteful spending in government, especially state and local government in Ohio and southwest Ohio. 

We find that, unquestioned and unchecked, human nature being what it is, waste, corruption and cronyism are rife in government.  On the other hand, if our elected officials know there is an active, educated, informed, aggressive accountability group in their midst, how will they change their behavior?  We tend to see, for those exposed, and for those who fear exposure of their corruption, that the process of accountability is a powerful tool to force more honest, efficient and effective government.

Thus, the question is posed, is it good for our governance and for society at large to have fair-minded groups like COAST in our communities?

COAST posits that it is.  That it is patriotic, and beneficial, to have an ever-suspicious, ever-questioning, relentlessly aggressive accountability group in our midst.

We expect that those who don't like that accountability, that those who don't want that exposure and questioning, that those who are corrupt, and inclined to corruption, will continue to attack COAST and COASTers for thier outspoken activism.  And we wear their scorn as our badge of honor.  For eternal vigilance is the price of liberty and the minor arrows we take for that activism is a small price to pay for the betterment -- indeed salvation -- of this community we love.  

Join COAST to help us advance this mission.

COAST: Overturning the applecart of corruption, cronyism and incompetence daily

Sometimes it takes the dogged persistence of a small group of individuals, and in some case simply shining the light of truth on one bad idea, to make a difference.

Know that we are trying....and rest assured that once in a while, just once in a while, we score a victory for the little guy, that poor sap you all call the taxpayer, who ends up cleaning up the messes of bureaucrats, politicians and crooks taking advantage of the system for their own gain.

We exist to strike fear in the hearts of all those in government who prey on this noble man who pays his bills, plays by the rules and pays his taxes.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ground breaking or cover up?

What did the media event at Memorial Hall today mean?  Is this the start of a big public works project, or is this just posturing from the City?

We are not sure, but this photo shows that one half hour after the big ground-breaking event, the City had filled the holes with asphalt.

Hmmmm.

New SuperPAC mailer attacks Schmidt ethics

A new SuperPAC Mailer attacks the ethics of Jean Schmidt, this time on her voting for the TARP bailout that benefited her husband's company, Smith Barney.

Seems her corruption extends well beyond the Turkish affair.

See mailer here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Senator Portman reports: USA will hit debt limit before election day!

US Senator Rob Portman from Ohio reports that the USA will hit the debt limit Congress recently increased before election day.  This sets the stage for another political showdown before November's election.

Anyone want to take bets that Jean Schmidt (i) promises not to raise the debt limit and (ii) votes to increase the debt limit anyway, only days after her promise. 

Just a guess....

Sherrod Brown, Tax Deadbeat


The Weekly Standard has it here.  Sherrod Brown, the esteemed Senator from northern Ohio, is officially a tax deadbeat.  Well, at least a tax delinquent.

Suburban Press has nice spread on 27th House District: "Tax Killer" Brinkman v. Peter Stautberg

COAST hero "Tax Killer" Tom Brinkman schools Peter Stautberg in this article, just as he will on election day.

Go Tom!

(Wouldn't you love to have a nick name like "Tax-Killer?)

Freedom Center Deal is major win for taxpayers' cause

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center was conceived as a museum for African Americans history in America to tell the story of their escape from slavery.  And in that idea, it was certainly a noble cause.

However, as big egos of wealthy businessmen, and agendas of the Cincinnati corporate elite, took hold, the NURFC became out-sized and over-budget.

Thus, unintentionally, the Center became a symbol not of freedom from oppression 150 years ago, but in fact a huge symbol of modern-day oppression from corporate oligarchs, out-of-touch politicians, and a rapacious non-profit sector that seems to believe that sucking tax dollars is easier than obtaining market dollars or charity for their missions.

The deal this week with the Museum Center to take over NURFC operations was more than simply sparing taxpayers the annual ritual of NURFC officials begging for cash to correct their planning and projection errors, it was a very important capitulation from these very oligarchs and politicians that the taxpayers have had enough, and aren't going to be pushed around any further for silly projects backed by a few wealthy individuals.

And perhaps, for a moment, the taxpayers will get a little breathing room from the near-daily new demands on their pocketbooks.

Make no mistake, they will be back, and will be back with a vengeance when they think they can get more taxpayer cash.

But for now, it was a reprieve and a victory for taxpayers.  For a day, anyway.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Union Terminal Owned by Cincinnati, Not Hamilton County

Recently the Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) informed the Hamilton County Commissioners that they will seek a massive countywide property tax levy for a $141 million repair of the Union Terminal building. The final cost will be nearly double that number when including 30 years of interest payments. In other words, this request would cost county residents over $250 million to fix a building that the Auditor values at $24 million.

One key fact not getting the attention it deserves - the Union Terminal is owned by the City of Cincinnati. Hamilton County does not own the building.

In light of this fact, it is puzzling why the CMC continues to expect Hamilton County residents to pay this enormous expense. This is Cincinnati's building and Cincinnati's problem. The city needs to take the lead role and pay for most or all of the costs of maintaining their property.

As you may recall, the CMC made the same request of the County Commissioners last summer and failed to pick up any support. The Commissioners made it clear that they were not going to support a proposal that required the county to pay most of the costs. The CMC was told they need to seek funding from other sources, such as the City of Cincinnati, the private sector, surrounding counties, and corporate partnerships, before coming back to the county.

It is surprising to many of us, then, that the CMC appears poised to make a very similar request to the one that was soundly rejected a few months ago. Not surprisingly, the Commissioners have made it clear again that they will not support such a proposal. My impression is that the Commissioners are unanimously opposed to any plan calling on county residents to shoulder most of the burden.

COAST applauds the Hamilton County Commissioners for protecting county taxpayers from being forced to subsidize the City of Cincinnati. We encourage them to hold firm and continue their efforts to direct county resources to solve the county's many financial challenges. Cincinnati has choices to make. If Cincinnati wants to squander their capital money on a streetcar and wedding atrium, that's their choice, but it doesn't obligate Hamilton County to start fixing Cincinnati's buildings.

Gosh, this is really funny, really sad

In response to WLWT's questions to Jean Schmidt today about her ethics problems, Schmidt says:

"I am honest and I am above reproach.  What you're looking at is an individual who has been sanctioned by the elections commission for reckless disregard of the truth, and that's Mr. Krikorian."
This is hilarious:

*  This woman was found herself to have lied four times by the Ohio Elections Commission.
*  She was caught plagiarizing articles twice.
*  Even Danny Bubp said she lied about the Murtha comment.
*  The House Ethics Committee found she accepted an illegal $498,000 gift.
*  The House Ethics Committee found that she failed to report that gift on her financial disclosure forms and ordered her to amend them.
Honest and above reproach?

What a joke!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Will the media ask the hard questions at the Streetcar groundbreaking Friday?

  • Mayor Mallory, your budget numbers don't add up.  Duke Energy says they won't move their lines at ratepayer expense.  That's a $13 million gap in your budget numbers.  
  • Mayor Mallory, MSD says they won't pass the cost of moving sewer lines on to ratepayers.  That's another $5-8 million funding gap.
  • Mayor Mallory, if you don't move those utility lines, and rather build on top of them, that's a design, operational and safety nightmare.
  •  Mayor Mallory, what exactly is the plan to address these massive gaps in your plan to build the trolley?  How do you plan to finish the project on time and in budget?
  •  You say you have no plan?  You say you are still in negotiations?  You say you will address this later?  Isn't that a recipe for fiscal or operational disaster?  Aren't you condemning the taxpayers to pick up the gaps in funding as they arise, especially stating the project knowing of $18 million in unfunded costs?
  • Are you serious, Mayor Mallory?
Will the media rain on the parade with Ray LaHood and demand that our City fathers either tell us their plan, or admit that they have no plan, and that they plan on sticking it to us when the pieces fall apart about nine months from now?

Cincinnati media, face it.  You blew it on the stadium fiasco that blew up after it was too late.  Please ask the questions now, at the front end of the project, before we bankrupt the City as Bedinghaus and Neyer bankrupted the County.

What Friday's Streetcar groundbreaking really means

City Manager Milton Dohoney and Mayor Mark Mallory are Friday convening a media event with Ray LaHood, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, to break ground for the long-delayed Streetcar.

What does this mean for the Streetcar, what does this mean for the taxpayers, and what does this mean for the City?

For starters, it means nothing.  The Streetcar media event is just that -- a media event.  No problems have been solved, no issues addressed.  It's a press conference.

But it really is more than that, isn't it?  It's the Mayor and Manager planting a flag, saying from this point we are going forward.  There is no more planning; it's all implementation from here.  We are forming contractual obligations, issuing bonds, and turning dirt.  Yes, it probably means that as well.

But it is also funny to watch the City fathers and Streetcar proponents' glee at this step, as the plan as no budget, inadequate financing, and unanswered legal, safety and operational questions.

Most notably, the City does not have the money budgeted to properly move lines for MSD and Duke Energy (gas, electric and chilled water), and does not have a legal and engineering plan to not move them. 

So, what that means is that the City will either move forward with an illegal and improperly engineered Streetcar plan, or one that it has not budgeted for, and which budget is "off" already by about $15 million.  Does either of these options sound prudent to you?

That's a heck of a way to run a railroad, as COASTers see it.

Breaking: Museum Center to take over operations of National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Cincinnati's Museum Center has committed to taking over operations of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, according to this breaking story in the Cincinnati Enquirer that just went up on their web site.

Importantly, finally, the Cincinnati media are covering what Cincinnati voters have known since John Pepper came with his hat in hand for government bailouts in 2006: 

From its origins in the early 1990s, long before it broke ground on its building in 2002 and opened in 2004, Freedom Center leaders said they would not be taxpayer supported. That pledged changed, and the center received $20 million in federal, state, county and city money since its opening, a funnel that has closed to about $275,000 in 2012.

Until this article, Pepper and Freedom Center backers have deflected, denied and hidden this solemn promise that they made ten years earlier to gain some $60 million in capital investment from the City, County, State and Federal governments.  It is refreshing both that the promise is again clearly in back-and-white, and that new management seems willing to back that promise with the new management and ownership structure.

COAST appreciates the honesty that has been breathed into the discussion about the NURFC, the fresh new management to take over an otherwise failing institution, and the drive for efficiency that was sorely needed.

As COAST has said all along, we want the NURFC to be a successful, vibrant, important part of Cincinnati and the riverfront.  We just want them to do it without additional tax dollars, which is what they promised to our community.

So, is it too much to declare that this is one problem solved?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Absolutely packed house, overflow crowd for new drive for balanced budget amendment

Crowd packs "The Farm" for kickoff of "Intervention"

COAST's Dan Regenold and the Tea Party's George Bruenemann tonight launched an exciting new initiative -- one designed to work this time -- for a balanced budget in the USA.  Called "Intervention" the program is intended to be shock treatment for the U. S. Congress and the President to enact, once and for all, a balanced budget amendment to the U. S. Constitution.

Please read about -- and get involved in their initiative -- here.

The need is critically important.  The timing is urgent.

Does CPS shortfall mean another attempt at a property tax hike? Of course it does.

S.B. 5 again, anyone?

The Daily Bellwether blog is the first to report that CPS' poor judgment of anticipated state and federal funding has left a $43 million budget gap for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.  $43 million.  That's not chump change.  You could almost build 1/2 of a streetcar line with that.

Read Bill Sloat's piece here.

So, what do you think CPS will do to solve the funding gap?  Yup, you guessed it, come to the taxpayers for still more money.

B.O.H.I.C.A.!  (Google that if you're not sure what that means.)

L.M.F.A.O.

No, not the pop group of the same name, but our reaction this morning to this from a COAST Board member:


Just for the record....I know memories are short....

THEN:

According to a study released by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber,  the Purple People Bridge Climb in its first year will generate an economic  impact of $32.1 million annually, based on the projection of 80,000 bridge climbers  a year. The study estimates bridge climbers will spend nearly $6.6 million a year on admissions and souvenirs, and an additional $5.5 million at local  restaurants, hotels and retailers, generating 350 new jobs for local  workers and annual earnings entering households of $8.1 million.

NOW:
About the Cincinnati Streetcar:
The streetcar will increase mobility, decrease gasoline consumption and create economic development and jobs in the City of Cincinnati.
- Economic analyses estimate a positive impact to the city of $1.4 billion
- The project has an estimated benefit to cost ratio of 3:1
- The development in the city will create an initial 1,800 jobs, with up to 9,000 over the long term
- Over 3,700 trips a day will be taken on the streetcars

Studies have indicated the local streetcar system would spark nearly $1.4 billion in new development along its route. That means it would produce — when adjusted in today's value — up to $2.70 in economic activity for every $1 invested.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Is a second SuperPAC targeting Schmidt?


Is a second SuperPAC targeting Jean Schmidt for Defeat?

COAST certainly hopes so.

About two weeks ago, the Alliance for Self-Governance announced it would be coming into the Second Congressional District to aid Dr. Brad Wenstrup in upending Jean Schmidt.  And they have already unleashed at least two district-wide mailings targeting Schmidt and her flim-flammery on TARP and raising the nation's debt limit.  That PAC appears to be fully committed to this race.

Today, COAST just received a Google Alert that www.RestoreAmericasVoice.org is now also highlighting the Schmidt race: see here and here.  They point out that the bipartisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) have named Schmidt one of the 14 most corrupt members of Congress (something most of our local media seem to have missed). 

Restore America's Voice is a significant participant in contested races, having spent more than $200,000 in the 2010 election cycle in independent expenditures, including helping such COAST heroes as Jim DeMint, Pat Toomey and Michelle Bachman.

COAST encourages both PACs and anyone else nationwide seeking integrity in Congress, and progress on tax and spending issues, to come now and spend their resources to defeat Jean Schmidt.  We welcome your aid.

SuperPAC Mailer targets Schmidt

Welcome assistance in fight to upend Jean Schmidt in her primary fight against Dr. Brad Wenstrup comes from a SuperPAC in Texas known as the Alliance for Self-Governance.

They have sent their second mailer into 2nd District households, and it is most welcome.  This one hits Schmidt, deservedly, on her vote to raise the debt ceiling, immediately after promising not to do so.

The combination of liberal voting record, combined with lying about it is so Schmidt-like.

You can read the mailer here.

COAST hopes it works!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

COAST attorney Chris Finney gives two more speeches on Schmidt corruption scandal

This week, COAST attorney Chris Finney presents once again on the topic of the impotence of the House Ethics Committee and the Jean Schmidt corruption scandal.  The speech is Wednesday night at 7 PM before the Cincinnati East Tea Party at the Oakley Community Center (behind Bigg's in Hyde Park Shopping Center).

Finney also has been invited to present to the Hamilton County Blue Chip Young Republicans on the same topic on Monday, February 27 at 7 PM at Molly Malone's on Montgomery Road in Pleasant Ridge.

If you can't make it either, watch Chris' speech here.

Please try to make one of these compelling presentations.

Friday, February 10, 2012

COAST and Empower U host a needed intervention for Congress

Coast is a Major Sponsor of the EmpowerU Educational Series 
  

EmpowerU hosts an

with the Budget of The United States Government   
Monday,February 13, 2012    
Program 7:00-8:30 PM  
(Dinner at 6:00 PM if you can)   
You must have reservations!   
The Farm In Delhi, 239 Anderson Ferry Road,  
Cincinnati, OH 45238

The Federal Government is addicted to credit and is destroying our country with its insatiable appetite for spending.    

74% of the American People Favor a Balanced Budget Amendment.    

Why can't our elected officials get this done?   

EmpowerU Managing Board Member Dan Regenold and Southwest Cincinnati Tea Party Leader George Brunemann will launch a new Nationwide Initiative  
this coming Monday, February 13, 2012.    

Local leaders will be pledging their support  
in person and via video.    

Do not miss the opportunity to be a part of this "Great Experiment" to see if a group of concerned citizens can force the Congress to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment!     

Have something you want to say to the Government about this Mess?  We will be videoing your comments at the program from 6:00-7:00 PM
    
Reserve your spot now at www.empoweruohio.org.

Dan Regenold
 
George Brunemann

    Reserve your spot now at www.empoweruohio.org.
  

    

Take two pledges

Usually, citizen groups ask politicians to take pledges to do or not do something once elected.

Two different organizations taking a slightly different tact, asking voters to take a peldge, and COAST supports them both:

1)  www.WeDemandABalancedBudget.Com has asked for voters to pledge not to contribute to or vote for any candidate for the US House or Senate unless they agree to pass the People's Balanced Budget Amendment.  COAST heartily supports this and asks that you take the pledge.

2)  www.alliance4selfgovernance.org asks that voters take a pledge to vote in Congressional primary elections.  This group correctly points out that the vast majority of Congressional districts in the nation are so tilted in favor of one political party or another that challengers in general elections have little chance of prevailing.  As a result, politicians are insulated from their constituents and become beholden to special interest grouns in Washington.  Take their pledge here.

Corruption scandal dogs Schmidt

Last summer, the House Ethics Committee issued a report purporting to whitewash the illegal conduct of Jean Schmidt in accepting what it called an "improper" gift of $498,000 from the Turkish Coalition of America.  The Ethics Committee ordered Schmidt to pay back the illegal gift, and to correct her  failure to report the gift three separate times on her annual financial disclosure statements filed with the House Clerk (three separate felonies).

Schmidt surely thought that the nightmare of the House Ethics Committee investigation was over.

However, since that time, two Complaints have been filed against Schmidt with the Office of Congressional Ethics, one by the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and one by David Krikorian.  These Complaints allege (i) that Schmidt lied to the House Ethics Committee when she said she did not know of the illegal gift and (ii) that she refused to comply with the mandates of the House Ethics Committee in their original decision.  In addition, Krikorian has filed a Complaint with the Internal Revenue Service claiming that the gifts are illegal, unreported income, and a separate Complaint with the Federal Elections Commission for having accepted an illegal campaign contribution.

So, in addition to the headache of needing to raise nearly $1/2 million to pay off her illegal gifts, Schmidt is paying attorneys to defend four separate Complaints filed against her and she continues to pursue her $6.8 million suit in Clermont County Common Pleas Court against Krikorian, a suit that will cost her more than $1 million in additional legal fees to pursue.

COAST predicts that there are other shoes still to drop in the Schmidt corruption scandal.  Stay tuned for additional details.

The essence of big government is telling others how to live their lives

The media has, appropriately, latched onto the foolish policy of Cincinnati native, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, to force employers, including churches, to provide health insurance coverage that includes birth control medications (including abortifacients) to its employees.

The Catholic Church, and other faith-based institutions, have rebelled against Sebelius' heavy-handed policy.

However, whether it is telling people where they can live, what transportation they can drive, what kind of light bulb they can use, what kind of toilet they can flush, it's all different sides of the same coin.

The essence of big government is telling people how to live their lives, instead of letting them decide for themselves.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

We knew this day would come. Council tries to overturn term limits

It ain't gonna happen

In 1991, Cincinnati voters enacted term limits on members of Cincinnati City Council, and that provision has served us well since that time.  This amended was authored by COAST's esteemed counsel, Chris Finney.

That year, David Mann tried to engineer an anti-term limits amendment, cynically designed to confuse the voters.  It didn't work!  And voters since then have had new blood injected every few years as a result. (Not always good blood, but new blood.)

Various Councils since that time have flirted with attempts to un-do term limits.  They have all floundered, knowing that upwards of 70% of the electorate supports limiting legislative terms.

Well, this year, Laure Quinlivan reports that she has the votes on a Charter Amendment to repeal Term Limits.  These are, of course, the same folks who have brought you the Streetcar, the Freedom Center, the $4.4 million Glass Atrium at City Hall, the Riverfront Transit Center, and on and on and on. 

COAST intends to fight it all the way.

We will keep you informed.

$52 million here, $18.7 million there, and pretty soon it adds up to real money

Mayor Mallory and his merry band of thieves on Cincinnati City Council are desperately trying to hold out an appearance to the public that the Cincinnati Streetcar vision remains "on track."  Um huh, yeah.

Yesterday held two developments in the Streetcar world.  

First, Duke Energy issued an dramatic blow to the project, stating that negotiations on underground utility relocation (gas, electric and chilled water) were at an impasse with the City because the City was demanding ratepayers eat $18.7 million in excess costs, and the City proposed an unsafe distance between the tracks and utility lines.

Second, as the project appeared to be rapidly falling apart, Mayor Mallory in a "remain calm" moment issued a press release from his conference in D.C gathering streetcar fanatics from across the USA.  In that release, our esteemed Mayor said "let me assure you that we are moving forward on the Streetcar."  

But reading between the lines of the Mayor's press release, it is clear that the City has no "Plan B."  Either Duke relents and subsidizes the City's trolley folly, at the expense of ratepayers regionally, or the City can't move forward with the Streetcar project.  

In other words, even hiking parking meter charges, filling fewer potholes, and diverting casino revenues that have not yet started to flow the City can't fill that new $18.7 million cost overrun, and the project is not going forward.

Thus, we now see that this ruse that streetcar groundbreaking is awaiting an opening in Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's schedule for a ceremonial visit is complete bunk.  The reality is that the Mayor's men don't yet have their Streetcar act together.  It's already three months behind schedule and $25 million over budget, and they haven't even broken ground yet. 

This blow, of course, follows by one year, the loss of $52 million for the project when our brave and visionary Governor Kasich killed state funding of the project. (Thank you, Gov'na.)

The City continues to pay the Black Knight role of "its just a scratch" and "it's merely a flesh wound," but $52 million here and $18.7 million there, and pretty soon it adds up to real money. 

God, this is fun to watch. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

They're baaaaack! Museum Center wants only $141 million this time

The Enquirer has the story here.

The Cincinnati Museum Center has its hand out yet again for taxpayer dollars, this time for a $141 bond issue for repairs to the historic building that houses the multi-museum facility.  Both the facility and the museums are wonderful assests to the City, for sure.  And they generate lots of visibility (Union Terminal) and visitors (2 million + to the museums).

But $141 million?

Let the debate begin!

This memorial for the Streetcar is a little more upbeat

Here.

Another musical note for Cincinnati's Streetcar

Here.

In honor of today's announcement by Duke Energy (below), we thought we would offer this musical interlude

Here.

Death knell for Streetcar? Duke blows $13 million hole in City's trolley budget

Read it here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Schmidt ethics/corruption scandal topic of Clermont Tea Party speech tonight

The fourth in a series of speeches on the Jean Schmidt corruption scandal will be presented this evening at the Clermont County Tea Party at 7 PM at the Eastgate Holiday Inn.

Join us!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Stautberg defends Taft-era HB 66 that created CAT tax and raised sales tax

After the Congressional debate before the three allied Tea Parties (see below), Tom Brinkman and Peter Stautberg squared off for the 27th District Republican primary contest.

(Note: COAST cudos to Stautberg for giving the audience respect showing up, in stark contrast to the notably absent Rep. Schmidt.)

Still, the contrast between the candidates was clear, with Brinkman pointing out Stautberg's shameless advocacy for the City's desired tax exemption for City-owned Convention Center and golf courses, in stark contrast to private operators who must compete while paying these taxes.

Stautberg volunteered his own high-taxing credentials by defending the Taft-Era HB 66 that permanently raised the sales tax, and implemented a new Commercial Activities Tax, a bill Brinkman opposed while in the legislature.

In all, it was a great evening for airing views to a large and enthusiastic liberty-minded audience.

Jean Schmidt snubs Three-Tea Parties; is a no-show at their debate!

Schmidt is a no-Show at Three Tea Party Debate

Tonight, the Anderson Tea Party, the Liberty Alliance (formerly the Indian Hill Tea Party), and the Eastern Hills Tea Party united for a Candidates Night among the candidates for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Congress at Miami Valley Christian Academy.  More than 250 citizens were in attendance.

Jean Schmidt was a no-show.

COAST suspects she is fearful of defending her indefensible votes to raise the debt limit, for the TARP program, and in favor of greater regulation in Washington.  Likely, she is also unwilling to address the corruption allegations leveled against her.

So, Jean has snubbed the core of the Republican Party, the fiscal conservatives that comprise COAST and the Tea Party groups.

This is shocking behavior from a woman who claims to want to continue to be our Congressman.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Two important events this week

  • Monday night is the Big Debate at Miami Valley Christian Academy at 7 PM on the 2nd Congressional District and the 27th Ohio House District (featuring COAST hero Tom Brinkman, Jr.).
  • Tuesday night Chris Finney delivers his fourth in a series of speeches on the Jean Schmidt corruption scandal before the Clermont County Tea Party at the Eastgate Holiday Inn at 7 PM as well.
Both events should be barn-burners.  Please join us for the fireworks!

Do conservatives have chance to change direction of socialist Mexico?

The conservatives have a chance -- if just a chance -- to turn the tide from the socialist PRI Party that has decimated Mexico with socialist policies and corruption, including its slide into narco-violence.

Read it here, and remember Josefina.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cincinnati area Tea Parties unite for the really big meeting Monday night

Eastern Cincinnati's allied liberty groups are hosting a candidates night and debate Monday evening at Miami Valley Christian Academy in Newtown at 7 PM.

The first hour of the program will be a debate between the candidates for the Second Congressional Distrct, Jean Schmidt and Brad Wenstrup, and the second hour will be a debate between Tom Brinkman, Jr. and Peter Stautberg for the Republican nomination for the 27th Ohio House District.

COAST intends to confront Schimdt at the debate with questions about her legacy of corruption in Washington.

COAST has endorsed Tom Brinkman for the 27th Ohio House district and Brad Wenstrup for the 2nd Congressional District.

The public is invited to the event.  It is free of charge.

More details are here.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Schmidt attacks COAST attorney Finney

Jean Schmidt must be getting desperate in her race to hold on to her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Today, Schmidt's taxpayer-funded P.R. person wrote to Dierdre Shesgreen at the Enquirer and said the following about Chris Finney, COAST attorney, who also represents David Krikorian in his legal various proceedings against Jean Schmidt:
  • “Is it possible that the lawyer has his right hand up the back of Wenstrup pulling his strings, while the lawyer's left hand is up the back of Krikorian pulling his strings?”
The diatribe was apparently in response to a question the Wenstrup campaign had raised about Schmidt 's campaign paying her back part of an old personal campaign loan at the coincidental time Schmidt was paying her Turk-Am-Paid lawyers the $42,000 that the House Ethics Committee ordered her immediately to repay.

Touchy, touchy, touchy.

And the funniest part is that Schmidt is suing Krikorian for $6.8 million, in part for calling her a "puppet," having used, of course illegal monies from the claimed "puppet masters" of Schmidt.

Read the Enquirer blog here.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tom Brinkman Featured Candidate Eastern Cincinnati Liberty Group’s 27th District Debate

From Tom Brinkman press release:

Tom Brinkman is pleased to announce his participation in the Eastern Cincinnati Liberty Groups’ 27th District Debate on Monday, February 6, 2012.  This debate will include introductions of candidates and Q&A from the moderator and the audience.  Tom will discuss his legislative achievements, including killing e-check, supporting concealed carry legislation, and cutting taxes.  In addition, he will outline how his demonstrated conservative principles are necessary for recovery and growth in this great state.
Event Logistics