Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ummm, this is kind of what we have been warning about for some time

Debt is pernicious.  We must act and quickly.  Good editorial here.

Duke Files for Streetcar Boondoggle Rate Increase

Contact PUCO NOW!

As Chris Finney discusses on WLW today at 1:05 pm Duke Energy is seeking a rate increase for Cincinnatians to cover the cost of moving utility lines along the streetcar line.  This is nothing more than a hidden tax increase for all Cincinnatians. Update - you can hear Chris Finney on WLW here.

PUCO case number 12-1682-EL-AIR contains the request by Duke.

As with all proposed rate increases PUCO will consider public comment before ruling on the request.

Or you can send your comment in the mail to 180 East Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215.

It is important that you include PUCO case number 12-1682-EL-AIR so your comment is properly received and filed!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Enquirer focuses on Cincinnati/Duke Energy Streetcar squabble

COAST loves a good fight over a boondoggle, especially when we don't have to use our own bullets in the fracas. 

The Enquirer here provides more depth on the WVXU and COAST stories over the City's threat to sue Duke Energy over the now-$20 million gap in costs between what Duke charges and the City is willing to pay for relocation of Duke Energy's electric, gas and chilled water lines to accomodate Streetcar construction.

In the meantime, the Streetcar is already eight months behind schedule, and no one at the City seems to care a bit.

Gosh this is fun to watch!

Catholics take on Obama

COAST focuses on issues of taxes, spending and debt, and not social issues.  But we are in solidarity with religious conservatives over the mandate that religious institutions (or anyone) provide health insurance that includes abortion coverage.

This is unquestionably an instance of abuse of the authority that the Congress has been granted.

Thus, we share a pretty powerful commercial that "Catholics Called to Witness" has produces that speaks powerfully to this and other issues.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rev. Charlie Winburn demands Mayor kill Streetcar over $20 million Duke charges

Once again, Charlie Winburn, the "Right Reverend" on City Council, has hit the nail on the head. 

This time it's with this release exposing the latest expense associated with the Streetcar boondoggle that Mayor Mallory and the Bat Shit Crazy Council are determined to foist on Cincinnati taxpayers.

As with all boondoggles, Mayor Mallory and the City administration are trying to hide all of the bad news until it's too late to pull the plug on the project.  This is just the latest drib and drab that is leaking out about the foolish waste of money.

City, Duke continue fued over Streetcar funding

As we have reported previously, the City has massive funding gaps in its streetcar plan, including the problems with the use of the Blue Ash Airport monies, and the refusal of Duke Energy to fund the $12 million between what the City has budgeted to pay for gas, electric and chilled water line relocation costs associated with the Cincinnati Streetcar.

[COAST heard recently, but we have yet to confirm, that the City now intends to use all $37.5 million in Blue Ash Airport sale proceeds to fund the Streetcar, instead of just the $11 million that previously had been announced.]

At the City's insistence, Duke Energy has applied for a rate increase for City residents only with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to fund those relocation costs.  COAST will soon be issuing an Action Alert asking its members to contact PUCO opposing that additional "tax" to fund Mayor Mallory's boondoggle.

Despite that action by Duke to solve the City's chronic Streetcar funding problems, WVXU reports today that the City is threatening legal action against Duke to force them to fund the relocation costs now, so they can get started on Streetcar work.

[The Streetcar project that broke ground only eight months ago is already eight months behind schedule, with the City missing benchmarks for ordering the cars, the rails and the signing the contract for rail installation.  The keystone cops of development have only just begun their incompetent administration of this project!]

Short and simple, the City just cannot afford this foolish project.  Even the Enquirer editorialized to this conclusion.  Citizens and groups across the region have counseled against this waste of money, and yet this Council and this Mayor persist.

And the voters who put them there deserve just what they are getting.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

COAST pushes message with two guest editorials appearing this weekend

Two weeks ago, the Blue Ash City Council voted 6-1 to re-do the deal for the sale of 130 acres of land at the Blue Ash Airport with the City of Cincinnati solely to enable the City to use the proceeds for the Streetcar boondoggle.

Because the Blue Ash Council members knew this vote enabling a bad project to proceed -- with no benefit to Blue Ashers -- would be unpopular at home, they and their lawyers spun a lie that somehow Blue Ash would be embroiled in litigation if they did not re-do the deal. 

That is a lie, and they know it is a lie, as COAST Chairman and founder Tom Brinkman, Jr. explains in detail in this Cincinnati Enquirer guest editorial.

To make matters worse, Blue Ash has employed a taxpayer-funded spin machine to both explain their indefensible vote, and to attack the good name of COAST and its members.  Thus, Blue Ash resident Jeff Capell penned this guest editorial in the Community Press this week.

The final word has not been spoken on this ignominious deal -- legally or politically.  As long as voters put in office big-spending, irresponsible public officials (like the Blue Ash Council), COAST cannot promise that boondoggle projects like the Streetcar will not proceed, but we do commit to continue to do all in our power each and every day to stop the foolishness, and to expose the elected officials who insist upon engaging in it.

Blue Ash voters, remember this treachery by your elected officials and act upon it when the time is appropriate.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lessons of history

Recently COAST had reason to be refreshed on Romanian history, encountering someone who lived through the Communist oppression, then the overthrow of Nicolae Ceauşescu and the turn to democracy.  

It caused us to peruse the web on the reign and fall of Ceauşescu.  From that, we were greeted with some video and reportage of some of the most remarkable moments in world history, certainly that have been captured on film.

First, some background.  Ceauşescu rose to power in 1967, some 20 years after the communists had seized power in that County.  Among the thugs behind the iron curtain, he was among the most pro-western, opposing the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, recognizing western Germany as a nation, joining the International Monetary Fund and entering into trade agreements with the west.

To reward their "good behavior" and to induce a further split with Moscow, the west loaned Romania some $13 billion to finance economic development programs; but in that debt lay the seeds of destruction for Ceauşescu.  The interest and principal re-payment, for money that was squandered through the socialist system, was a burden on the economy.  After realizing the drag that placed on their centralized economy, Ceauşescu later outlawed foreign debt in the Constitution, and engaged in an aggressive strategy of re-paying the debt, by exporting much of the country's agricultural and industrial products. This generated domestic shortages reflected in the daily life of his citizenry as a battle for survival with food rationing and heating, gas and electricity blackouts.

That, in turn, led to the events of late 1989.   In the City of Timişoara, small protests began over an otherwise insignificant fight with ethnic Hungarians.  But Romanians joined the demonstrations, and on December 17, troops fired on and killed demonstrators.  Clueless as to the unrest boiling over around him, Ceauşescu made a two-day state trip to Iran.  When he returned, the matter needed to be addressed, and quickly.

That's when Ceauşescu made his most critical mistake.  On December 21, 1989, misreading the mood of the people, he spoke in Revolution Square in Bucharest.  Here is a description from Wikipedia of what happened next:

He had seriously misjudged the crowd's mood, and several people began jeering, booing and whistling at him. Others began chanting "Ti-mi-şoa-ra! Ti-mi-şoa-ra!" Ceauşescu's uncomprehending facial expression as the crowd began to boo and heckle him remains one of the defining moments of the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe. He tried to silence them by raising his right hand, and when that did not work, he announced that they would receive a raise of 100 lei per month. Failing to control the crowds, the Ceauşescus finally took cover inside the building, where they remained until the next day. The rest of the day saw an open revolt of the Bucharest population, which had assembled in University Square and confronted the police and army at barricades. The unarmed rioters were no match for the military apparatus concentrated in Bucharest, which cleared the streets by midnight and arrested hundreds of people in the process.
And here is that dramatic video from YouTube.Com:

Note the adoring throngs with chants, signs and posters in the front of the crowd.  Those are paid government thugs.  Then, hear the protests from the crowd, watch the expression on Ceauşescu's face, and listen to the pleas of he and his wife, when confronted with the crowd, who, after 22 years of iron-fisted Communist rule showed how out of touch, how autocratic Ceauşescu had become.

Finally, when he realizes that he has lost the support of the masses, he promises increases in the minimum wage, the benefit paid for each child, and pension payments.

Four days later, Ceauşescu and his wife were arrested, summarily tried (a 2-hour proceeding), taken to a courtyard and shot to death.  

Here is the video of his execution:

The people of Romania were free to pursue their own destiny.

Ohio Poll: Josh Mandel positioned to topple Sherrod Brown

The Presidential sweepstakes is grabbing all the attention nationally and on state and local coverage, but almost as important is the fight for control of the U.S. Senate.

The Ohio contest to unseat radical liberal democrat Senator Sherrod Brown is critical to that fight.  Fortunately, Ohio has a well-positioned, well-qualified candidate in challenger Josh Mandel, Ohio Treasurer and Iraqi war veteran.

This morning, the University of Cincinnati's Ohio Poll pegs the race at Brown 48 and Mandel 47.  That is fantastic news for a challenger race, this far from election day.

[To provide some perspective, the way political polling typically works is that a non-incumbent who lags the incumbent by double digits can still be positioned to win if the incumbent is close to or below 50% in the polls.  This is because voters already know the incumbent, and if they aren't voting for him in August, by November they will usually (like by 9-1 margins) swing to the challenger.  For example, Jean Schmidt claimed Wenstrup was behind 27 points in January, but her own numbers hovered around 50%.  We all know how that turned out.  This is a common phenomenon.]

Returning the Senate to GOP control is absolutely critical to repeal of ObamaCare, as Senator Reid, who has craftily hung onto the Senate even during a massive swing of voters in the GOP direction, will refuse to allow the repeal to come to a vote.

So, vote Josh Mandel this fall, and spread the word!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Two important citizen organizing and training opportunities

Citizen Watchdog training
COAST is pleased to co-sponsor with Franklin Center 
and West Chester Tea Party 
COAST has made its mark in southwest Ohio through aggressive and creative grassroots citizen activism for 13 years.  The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity is a national organization that is taking citizen activism to a new level by training and equipping conservative activists across the nation with tools and networks to achieve the change they seek.  Together, we have joined with the West Chester Tea Party to present Citizen Watchdog Training tomorrow in West Chester.  We hope you can join us.  Details follow:

Citizen Watchdog Training
Saturday, August 18, 9am-5pm 
 5430 West Chester Road
$10 per person, lunch included

 Join the West Chester Tea Party and COAST in welcoming the Franklin Center For Government and Public Integrity for their Citizen Watchdog Training.  Ohio and our nation are in a fiscal crisis.  You've heard the egregious examples of waste, fraud, and abuse on a daily basis.  We can no longer afford to sit by and wait for the government or mainstream media to fully inform the public about what's going on behind closed doors.  The time has come to stand up and take action.

Please join us at 9 am on Saturday, August 18, at the West Chester Tea Party training facility to learn how you can get involved to hold our elected officials accountable and set this county on a better path for future generations.

Click here for more information about this event! For only $10 per person you can enjoy a full day of training!

In the training you will learn:
-How to use investigative reporting tools and skills
-How to enhance state transparency with open records laws
-How to hold elected officials accountable through social media
-Legal tools to protect your liberties and empower citizens

Saturday, August 18, 9am-5pm 
Citizen Watchdog Training
5430 West Chester Road 
West Chester, Ohio 45069

Together, we can begin the hard, but important job of taking back America.  We hope to see you there!   

Next Saturday:
Ohio School Board Leadership Council      
New organization seeks to organize   
education reformers    
Ohio has lost an entire generation to poor performing schools, urban and suburban.  Dr. Kelly Kohls has taken the Springboro Board of Education by storm, and now is committed to reforming schools statewide.  She and others have formed the Ohio School Board Leadership Council to advance that cause.

Its first meeting is next Saturday in Columbus.  Details follow:

When: August 25th 1-5 PM
Where: Berlin Presbyterian Church,
            5175 S Old State Rd., Lewis Center OH 43035-9254
(740) 548-6856. 
What: OSBLC is a professional organization to act as your one-stop
coach and resource center on education issues and information. 
Why: OSBLC empowers citizens and education professionals to
          advocate for increased academic standards achievement and
          fiscally sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

To register, please call Dr. Kelly Kohls, President of OSBLC at 513-314-7285.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"It's out of our hands" - Blue Ash Council

- submitted by Mike Lavengood

"It's out of our hands."

"We can't tell the City of Cincinnati how to spend their money"

"You people in this room that have a problem need to go talk to the City of Cincinnati..."

These are some of the instructions and/or clarifications from Blue Ash City Council that were given to the citizens who attended last Thursday night to express their dismay, and in some cases, anger with the politicians that run that city.

Funny, that's not how the people who elected them may remember events. That may not be what was said when the politicians were pushing for their income tax increase. Maybe they thought you would forget. Maybe you did. Let me help your memory, a la Glenn Beck, from their very own mouths (the press release is attached, if you want my source):

"CINCINNATI, Oct. 25, 2006 – The City of Cincinnati today approved the sale of Blue Ash Airport property to the City of Blue Ash. Blue Ash will pay Cincinnati $37.5 million over the next 30 years. The 8-1 vote paves the way for the creation of a 130-acre signature public park in Blue Ash. It also creates a strong future for a reconfigured Blue Ash Airport."


"Nov. 7 is the day that Blue Ash residents vote on raising the city’s earnings tax cap by 0.25 percent to fund the land purchase as well as a host of parks and recreational improvements. If approved, Issue 15 will enable Blue Ash to transform the airport property by adding:

• A 130-acre park complete with walking trails, a reflecting pool, an amphitheater, gardens, woodlands and lakes
• A performing arts and conference center
• A World War II memorial anchored by a vintage B-17 bomber

(Whoops! Must've forgotten that one! They really meant to do this. They weren't playing on the emotions of veterans and their families. Nope. Just forgot.)

• Two golf-course holes relocated from the Blue Ash Golf Course, allowing for the addition of a driving range at the course
• Several sit-down restaurants
• A reconfigured and improved Blue Ash Airport on the 98 remaining acres"

(How many voters voted "YES", thinking POLITICIANS told them what was true?)

"This is a long-term commitment that reflects the long-term vision shared by both Blue Ash and Cincinnati," (former Mayor Robert) Buckman said, adding that other talks about the property over the years, including recent overtures by out of state investors, fell short in one way or another."

(Do citizens may want to know how a bona fide $30,000,000 investment of PRIVATE CAPITAL into their city falls short? Do citizens think that a private investor, WHO ACTUALLY WANTED TO RUN AN AIRPORT, would have been an asset to the City? Is there something inherently suspicious about out-of-state investors? I thought if we elected Republicans, we would get out-of-state investors. Because if we elected Democrats, they'd probably sell it to the City of Cincinnati, and we'd just be transferring tax dollars, like the federal administration.)

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory agreed. "This continues to be an excellent deal for everyone involved. The Blue Ash Airport plan is a perfect example of what we can accomplish when we work together in the spirit of regional cooperation and mutual benefit,"

(BINGO! THIS IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE! Let all who participated be judged by this "perfect example". Let all who vote, cast their vote remembering this "perfect example".)

(But they weren't done talking. Back to our City Fathers):

If voters approve the funding for the plan, the two cities will continue to work together as the airport is reconfigured and enhanced. "Together, Cincinnati and Blue Ash have created a great blueprint for a great future and we are prepared to see it through," Blue Ash City Manager David Waltz said. "It’s in the hands of the voters now."

It is in the hands of the voters. But how many are paying attention? That's up to you. has great interview with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on the 1st Amendment

Many observers of local politics and legal actions have noted COAST's persistent and successful litigation in the arena of free speech, using primarily the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

And by and large, we have enjoyed great success in these endeavors, fighting the suppression of speech by, for example,
  • Our actions to strike sign ordinances in nearly a dozen communities
  • Stopping the unequal use of public fora, such as 
    • placing signs in Cincinnati Public School school yards, 
    • and holding rallies and press conferences in the City Hall lobby and 
    • holding rallies and pres conferences in the corridors of the County Administration Building
Some fail to see the nexus between these activities, and our conservative cause.

Here, on, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell advocates for a vigilant defense of the First Amendment and explains how liberals perniciously and persistently nibble at the edges of the cherished principle of free speech for their political advantage.  He also nails McCain-Feingold:
one of the great disappointments I’ve had on this issue is to have to witness a Republican president sign McCain-Feingold, a bill that passed through a Republican house and a Republican senate
Candidly, we don't agree with all of the positions and priorities of Senator McConnell on a lot of issues -- we long for a tougher stand on debt and spending for example -- but we must say Senator McConnell consistently and firmly gets the First Amendment right.  And for that we are tremendously appreciative.

The Paul Ryan effect

Conservatives and Republicans hopeful that the selection of Paul Ryan will help the prospects of Mitt Romney in defeating President Barack Obama this fall were heartened by polling results showing positive momentum arising from the choide:

  • The Purple Insights Poll shows Romney posted gains in 12 swing states following the Ryan selection.
  • A Zogby International poll shows Romney cutting into the percentage of young voters supporting President Obama.
So, ladies and gentlemen, there is hope, to wrest control of this great nation from the grasp of a committed socialist who would destroy the foundations that made us great.  A hope.

Another one bites the dust

Yet another establishment Republican was defeated in yesterday's Florida primary election.  It was Rep. Cliff Stearns' (R-FL3) turn to be toppled by the forces of the Tea Party, this time embodied by large animal veterinarian Ted Yoho.

As to the twin powers of incumbency and establishment-Republicanism, Stearns was a towering fortress to defeat having served in the House since 1988 and having started the race with more than $2 million in the bank.  Like the clueless Jean Schmidt as she was being crushed by Lt. Col. Dr. Brad Wenstrup back in March, Stearns was haughty enough not to spend any of his bankroll, ending the race with approximately the same $2 million. 

Still, Stearns was able to garner only 33% of the vote in the 4-candidate race.  He was defeated by an 800-vote margin in a race in which Yoho spent only $300,000.  Yoho was the only candidate in the primary field who had never held elected office.

So much for the pull of incumbents and moderate Republicans!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The earth moves in Kansas

There has been a fundamental shift in tectonic plates of the Republican Party, moving a staid party that has been willing to go along to get along on tax and spending issues into one that is fundamentally more principled, more firm, more demanding on tax and spending issues.  This change has been driven by a robust, intelligent, activist, determined GOP electorate no longer content with the status quo.

We saw it in Cincinnati with the decisive defeat of status quo (and corrupt) politician Congressman Jean Schmidt.  We saw it with the resounding defeat of Ohio GOP Chairman Kevin DeWine.  We saw it in neighboring Indiana with the lop-sided primary win of Richard Mourdock over 36-year Senator Dick Lugar.  We saw it in Texas with the primary win of insurgent Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate over the Lt. Governor. 

But the biggest news of this election year comes to us from elections for the Kansas state legislature where a week ago today voters ousted -- read this carefully -- 20 incumbents in the GOP state house primary.  20They removed nine Republicans from the State Senate alone, including the 20-year incumbent President of the Kansas Senate.

These changes in the 2010 and 2012 election cycle are not an aberration, outliers that can be explained away one at a time.  They are part of a national trend expressing utter disgust at the GOP establishment that has sold out our principles and our soul.  They have engaged in pay-to-play with the lobbyists and special interests, forgetting why the GOP electorate put them there to begin with.

We share with you today's e-mail blast from the Campaign for Primary Accountability, our absolutely favorite SuperPAC this election cycle:

Last Tuesday night, something groundbreaking happened.

Voters in Kansas took to the polls during their primary, and voted 20 sitting members of their state legislature out of office. This represents a blowout of historic importance, because prior to last week’s election, the record was held by Rhode Island voters, who in 2010, voted 10 members of their state legislature out in a primary. Voters in Kansas doubled that number!

And the icing on the cake? One of the incumbents to fall was the Senate president, Steve Morris, a 20-year incumbent. His history highlights the huge importance of primary elections. He was reelected in 2008 with 18,215 votes, which was 100% of the vote.  He was operating under the illusion that he was popular. But when voters in his heavily Republican district were offered a choice from within their own party, they ousted him by 334 votes.

This reinforces our major message:  Primary elections are the place where voters have the most leverage to hold politicians accountable.

We're proud of the activists in Kansas who decided that enough was enough, and used the leverage of primary elections to hold incumbents accountable. If serious challengers run in primaries, no incumbent is safe from the wrath of an educated, mobilized populace.

Please help us continue to educate voters about the power of primaries with a small donation of just $10 or $20 today. Every dollar counts in this important effort to empower Americans who feel trapped in an unrepresentative system.

You and I understand that voting in low turnout primaries yields victories for the voters - please help us continue spreading this proven method to Americans everywhere who feel the deck is stacked against them, and there's nothing they can do. While I sympathize with their frustration, I want to empower them, and I know you do too.


Eric O’Keefe


Campaign For Primary Accountability

PS: Ballotpedia has been keeping track of how many state legislative incumbents are losing in primaries this cycle. After last night, the total is up to a record 134. I suggest you follow their research on this matter, and share it with your networks.
The message from all of this, ladies and gentlemen, is that we don't have to sit back and take it.  Not from our most revered, long-serving elected officials, or from newbies.  We can seize control from those in power -- GOP or Democrat -- and have them do the will of the people to bring down spending, lower debt and reduce taxes.

Please spread the word, because the first step to effectuating change, is demanding it.

This page from (still needs to be updated) gives the box score for this dramatic and unprecedented election:  9 GOP Senators, and now 11 House members -- at least 8 Republicans, unceremoniously hoisted on their petards by the voters.

It brings a glow to COASTers nationwide just to think about it!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ohio Liberty Council announcement about Romney VP Pick

Here is the OLC announcement about the Ryan VP choice.  COAST concurs.

Ohio Liberty Coalition
2531 Tiller Lane* Columbus, OH * 43231 * 740-837-4593 * 216-342-1147 (Fax)



Columbus, Ohio - The Ohio Liberty Coalition released a statement today supporting the announcement of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as the Vice-Presidential pick of Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney. OLC President Tom Zawistowski said "Our members will see this as a solid conservative pick and will be excited about supporting a Romney-Ryan ticket. It tells us that Mitt Romney intends to take our current and future financial challenges seriously. That he is willing to do the difficult things that must be done to get government spending and regulations under control and allow the private sector to start growing again. Paul Ryan is an excellent choice and he will be a valuable asset on the campaign trail and in working with Congress as the Vice-President."

He concluded by saying, "This pick will force the Obama camp out of their campaign of distraction and into a position of having to defend their failed economic policies and flawed tax-and-spend socialist economic philosophies. Paul Ryan understands our fiscal issues better than anyone and is articulate enough to make the case for fiscal reform in an easy to understand manner that will connect with the American people."

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Blue Ash Council buys itself litigation and a referendum

Tonight, as expected, Blue Ash City Council enacted by a 6-1 vote an ordinance to re-do the 6-year-old purchase of the Blue Ash Airport property from the City of Cincinnati to allow the proceeds to be used for the boondoggle Cincinnati streetcar project.

Unfortunately for the pro-streetcar folks, COAST believes the Council enacted the ordinance improperly, which may (after analysis from the COAST legal team) result in Court action to stop it and, concurrently, COAST is launching a referendum on the Ordinance to place the issue before the City's voters.

If you want to assist in the referendum petition drive, contact Mark Miller at 617-2263.

Through the use of some creative -- but inaccurate and deceptive -- wording of the ordinance by Blue Ash's counsel, Council has tried to avoid the citizens referendum right.  COAST's counsel is hopeful the Courts will see through that and force a citizen vote on the ordinance.

If the Council had turned down the Ordinance tonight, the City's ownership of 130 acres of Airport property would continue, and the City of Cincinnati would have turned over possession to Blue Ash in September.

As it stands now, if COAST can succeed in putting the issue before the voters, the deal could be delayed as much as 14 months, or turned down entirely.

Mayor Mark Weber was the hero of the evening, voting against the measure.

Voting for the measure were Lee Czerwonka, James Sumner, Stephanie Stoller, Rick Bryan, Robert Buckman, Jr., and Thomas Adamec.

We are hopeful the voters of Blue Ash will take note and have long memories of those who cost their City money, and potentially significantly delayed the development of their park, because of the need to "go along to get along" with the big-government agenda in Cincinnati.

We assure you this will not be the last time COAST writes of their ignominious treachery.

Action Alert - Blue Ash Council poised to advance Cincinnati Streetcar, your urgent help is needed


Blue Ash Council will meet tonight to vote on the ordinance to rescind the purchase of the Blue Ash Airport Property.  This purchase took place in 2006 and Blue Ash has paid $6 Million so far.  The sole purpose of the rescission is to allow Cincinnati to close the Blue Ash Airport before reselling the property.  Thus allowing Cincinnati to use the proceeds of the sale to help pay for their Streetcar Boondoggle.  This is the only reason that Cincinnati has asked Blue Ash to rescind the contract.

Scott Meyer was on 55KRC with Brian Thomas yesterday morning discussing the issue. Scott did a great job!  Listen here.  The Airport discussion begins at 15:50 and continues into the next hour here.

Rescinding and redoing the sale does nothing to help the people of Blue Ash or to further the development of the promised park.  This is a one-sided deal that ultimately harms the people of Blue Ash and Cincinnati.

It has been reported that Cincinnati has threatened litigation to entangle the property for years if Blue Ash does not go through with the rescission.  As we've noted before, Cincinnati provided Blue Ash with a Warranty Deed.  If there are issues of title, Cincinnati must indemnify Blue Ash - that is Cincinnati must pay Blue Ash's legal expenses and related costs.  Quite simply Cincinnati cannot afford the threatened litigation.  Blue Ash need not fear Cincinnati City Council on this issue.

Our understanding is that a majority of Blue Ash Council is willing to go along with this scam, and is hoping to use the threatened litigation as cover for their misdeed. Put simply this is a bad deal for Blue Ash and the litigation is nothing but a smoke screen.

More importantly, Blue Ash should not trust Cincinnati City Council or Mayor Mallory.  In promoting the idea of selling the airport initially Mallory promised to used the proceeds of the sale to fund a Neighborhood Endowment.  When he made that promise he either knew or should have known that the FAA rules would preclude such an arrangement.  And now, he seeks to redo the sale, not to be able to make good on his promised Neighborhood Endowment, but to use the funds on his Trolley Folly.

At every step of this entire six plus year process, Mayor Mallory has been lying to the voters of Cincinnati about his plans for the Airport Deal - do you think he would bat an eye about lying to the people of Blue Ash?  Do you honestly believe that once freed of its legal obligation to complete the sale to Blue Ash, Cincinnati won't sell the property to a higher bidder? If Blue Ash Council agrees to this rescission, that is the risk Blue Ash will be taking. Is it worth the risk?


Blue Ash Council has not yet agreed to this horrible deal.  There is time to stop it. But time is running out fast.  Make sure your voice is heard.  Use the links below to email and call Blue Ash Council and let them know that you are watching.  We will track their votes and the voters of Blue Ash will remember which Council Members sold out the people of Blue Ash and which Council Members stood firm with the people.

Member Name
Mayor Mark Weber
Lee Czerwonka
James Sumner
Stephanie Stoller
Rick Bryan
Robert Buckman, Jr.
Thomas Adamec
Email all at once

Tonight's meeting begins at 7 p.m. and is located at 4343 Cooper Road.  Click here for a map.

Make sure to forward this email to your friends and family and make sure they join the fight!
COAST will continue the fight against this reckless assault on the taxpayers.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


COAST applauds the actions of Hamilton County Commissioners Greg Hartmann and Chris Monzel for holding the line on higher taxes and voting to place the Mental Health and Senior Services Levy on the November 2012 ballots without an increase.

Both Hartmann and Monzel know that county taxpayers are suffering through a terrible economy and reductions in their home values.  The last thing taxpayers need is to pay additional taxes.

COAST Chairman Tom Brinkman Jr. stated, "Both of these men are true friends of the taxpayers and showed the voters that they understand just what we are going through in this tough economy."

We note that Todd Portune also voted in favor of taxpayers.

COAST Chairman Tom Brinkman Jr. stated, "Portune had hard time shedding his 'taxes go up no matter what' mindset, but eventually even he succumbed to reality and signed off on this very balanced plan."

COAST is the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes and has been the voice of reason in Hamilton county since 1998.  COAST is non-partisan and never forgets those Republicans and Democrats that have sold the taxpayers short.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

We know you will be surprised: Mallory lied to the voters

Here's how Mark Mallory approached the proceeds from the sale of the Blue Ash Airport when he was a candidate for Mayor.

He said he would spend it for Neighborhood Endowment Program, not the crazy streetcar!

Action Alert - Blue Ash Council Poised to Advance Cincinnati Streetcar

Thursday evening Blue Ash Council will meet to vote on changes the City of Cincinnati has proposed to the Blue Ash Airport sale.  These changes are intended to allow Cincinnati to use the proceeds of the sale to fund the Streetcar.

The City of Cincinnati seeks to essentially un-do the 2006 sale of the Airport to the City of Blue Ash so that Cincinnati can close the Airport, then re-do the sale to Blue Ash.

This process will allow Cincinnati Council to avoid FAA rules against using the proceeds of the sale for any purpose other than running an airport.  You see, if the sale (which has already occurred) was done after the airport was closed, then technically Cincinnati isn't selling Blue Ash an airport, so the FAA rules don't apply. Problem is, the sale already happened, SIX YEARS AGO!

Blue Ash gets nothing out of this deal other than to help Cincinnati's City Council in its never ending quest to build the Streetcar Boondoggle.  It makes absolutely no sense for Blue Ash to go along with this charade.  Even still, the Blue Ash Council has announced its intention to support this trick.

Make no mistake.  Cincinnati's City Council is hijacking the sale of the Blue Ash Airport to fund their boondoggle.  And if Blue Ash's Council doesn't stand firm, this will be the just the first time Blue Ash's pockets are picked for the Streetcar.  

At every turn, Cincinnati's Council has been thwarted in their efforts to fund this boondoggle: Governor Kasich withdrew state funding, Hamilton County Commissioners Monzel and Hartman made sure that County funds could not be used for this, and Congressman Steve Chabot is working to end federal outlays. Cincinnati City Council is desperate for funds for this lunacy and this is their latest money grab.

At best, this scam will get Cincinnati roughly $11 Million toward their $150 +/- Million streetcar.  If these funds become available, the next piece of the puzzle will be an additional line item on your Duke Energy bill.  Cincinnati's Council has not given up on countywide funding for this ridiculous streetcar to nowhere.

As noted above, this is a definitive issue for Republicans.  Republicans at every level have been resolute against this waste of taxpayer dollars.  Now it is time for the Republicans on Blue Ash City Council to hold the line.

Vice Mayor Lee Czerwonka is reported to have said that Cincinnati is "blackmailing" Blue Ash into agreeing to these changes; that Cincinnati is threatening litigation if the changes don't go through.  However, Blue Ash owns the property through a warranty deed.  This means that the seller (Cincinnati) will indemnify the buyer (Blue Ash) against any issues of  title to the Airport Property. So, even if Cincinnati did bring a lawsuit against Blue Ash, Cincinnati would have to pay all of Blue Ash's costs.  In short, Mr. Czerwonka's excuse rings hollow.

There is simply no fiscally responsible justification for allowing Cincinnati to bully Blue Ash in this way.  


1: Email Blue Ash Council and let them know that you stand firmly against the Streetcar and against making changes to the terms of the sale.
2: Call Blue Ash City Council and let them know where you stand. (513) 936-0001 (oops wrong number originally) 745-8500.
3: Listen to Scott Meyer on the 550 KRC with Brian Thomas at 7:40 a.m. on Wednesday.
4: Attend the Council hearing.  The hearing is Thursday night at 7 p.m. at 4343 Cooper Road.  Click here for a map.
5: Keep track of how your council members vote on this issue and pledge only to support those who oppose this unnecessary and wasteful change.  COAST will follow this issue and keep you informed of the votes.
6: Forward this email to your family and friends and make sure they too join the fight against this bullying.

COAST will continue the fight against this reckless assault on the taxpayers.

Margaret Buchanan where have you been all these years?

Apparently Enquirer Publisher Margaret Buchanan's editorial page woke up yesterday after five long years and realized that Mayor Mallory and the Bat Shit Crazy Council was intending to spend $150 million on a Streetcar project.

We came to this conclusion because the timing of her editorial today on the streetcar is curious at best, irresponsible at worst.

After five years of planning and discussion, two ballot issues, the expenditure of more the $20 million, the floating of bonds for an additional $64 million, the withdrawal of $52 million in state funds, and a groundbreaking all the way back in February, the Enquirer today finally concludes that "many other public safety, health and neighborhood priorities are more pressing" than the Streetcar project.

Hello, hello, this is what the NAACP, COAST, the FOP, the Baptist Ministers, the Homeless Coalition, Westwood Concern, the Firefighters Union, the CODE Labor Union, Christopher Smitherman, and others have been saying for the entire five years, before the first $20 million was squandered.

We suppose that the belated commentary is appreciated, but where has the needed opinion leadership been while Council, the Mayor and the administration have flailed around irresponsibly with this snake-bitten project?  Does the Enquirer really believe that their late entry into the debate impacts the discussion at all?

There used to be a time in Cincinnati when the Enquirer's voice was needed and respected, tempering of views on each side of the equation, and even plowing important new fields.  Today, they run an editorial column once per month, and usually make some trite commentary that is largely irrelevant to the actual debate underway.  Their views are much like Krista Ramsey's feel-good, rah-rah Cincinnati bosterism, or touchy-feely sensitivity, rather than much needed objective critical thinking about where we are headed as a community.

So, from COAST's perspective, sort of welcome to the party.  But we kind of wonder where you have been while the heavy lifting was being done, and doubt that you will stay for the cleanup.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Gibson Guitar seizure and now settlement shows absurdity of federal regulations

Can you imagine a federal policy that requires U.S. companies to export labor to other countries, or face criminal prosecution and stiff penalties if they do not?

As Fox News reports here, the feds in 2009 and 2011 seized imported wood "fingerboards" for guitars because they were made of wood product illegally exported from other countries.  However, the only reason it was illegal was that the product was not finished before shipment.  In other words, because Gibson chose to use U.S. labor, rather than foreign labor, the materials were illegal.

From the story:
The shipments of wood from Madagascar and India were deemed illegal because they were unfinished -- something those countries prohibited. However, finished fingerboards presumably would have been legal. In the Indian case, court documents said one intercepted shipment was "falsely" labeled as finished when it wasn't.

Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz said last year that the U.S. government essentially went after his company because the work wasn't being done in India. 

"The fact that American workers are completing the work in the United States makes it illegal," he said last year. 

Obama's final resolution of the claims: a $300,000 fine for Gibson.  Absurd.

Privatizing Gains and Socializing Losses

Oftentimes when politicians speak of privatizing government functions they seek to allow the efficiencies of the market to lower the costs. For instance, when municipalities hire private companies to run golf courses the private companies can do so at a lower labor cost because they do not have to pay unionized government workers to mow grass and work at the snack bar.  Other times, the reason is more nefarious, to provide for a chosen "winner."

Recently Amtrak's food and beverage service has been under the microscope for posting HUGE losses in the last decade: $833 Million!

Rep. Jean Schmidt has sponsored a bill to require Amtrak to solicit bids for its food and beverage services.  As Jean herself said, "This is an easy fix."  Well, Jean's bill is a fix alright.  The bill, which is nominally aimed at eliminating these losses, continues to subsidize losses incurred by the private companies who bid on the contract.  As such, all this bill does is allow for private companies to be the beneficiaries of the Amtrak subsidy rather than Amtrak.  This is nothing but a shell game!

From the Bill:

    (7) SUBSIDY FOR NET LOSS- The Federal Railroad Administration shall provide directly to the entity providing food and beverage service on Amtrak trains any portion of appropriations for Amtrak necessary to cover a net loss resulting from the provision of such service, but only to the extent that such net loss was anticipated in the bid selected.

So, on those routes where there is profit to be made, the gains will be privatized; and where there are losses, the losses will be subsidized.

Jean's bill does little more than change who benefits from the government subsidy.  This is just another naked attempt by Congresswoman Schmidt to pretend to be a conservative!

Proving once again the wisdom of the voters on March 6, 2012.

1/3/13 cannot come soon enough!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Will Blue Ash Council Aid and Abet the Great Train Robbery of 2012?

The Cincinnati Streetcar is the great local fiscal disaster that has been wrought by out-of-control liberalism.  It is a project borne of fundamental irresponsibility.

And, make no mistake, by and large, Republicans have stood firm in trying valiantly to stop it.

  1. The Hamilton County Republican Party and Alex Triantiafilou endorsed both ballot issues to stop the train wreck.
  2. State Senator Shannon Jones sponsored, and the Republican House, Senate, and Governor passed and signed into law a prohibition of spending State monies on the Streetcar.
  3. Governor John Kasich yanked $52 million in State monies from the project.
  4. Hamilton County's Commissioners have prohibited the expenditure of MSD funds for utility relocation relating to the project.
But it appears the ever-painfully-moderate Blue Ash City Council may go along with the Streetcar project, providing needed millions for the construction to proceed.  Let us explain:

  • Mayor Mallory and the Bat Shit Crazy Council have slated $11million of the proceeds from the sale of the Blue Ash Airport to the City of Blue Ash for streetcar construction costs.
  • The FAA told the City that they can't use the proceeds from the sale of an operating airport for anything other than improvements at other airports.  So the $11 million was locked up at City Hall.
  • However, the FAA will allow the use of the funds for a streetcar if the sale was effectuated after the closing of the airport.
  • So....the lawyers at the City have cooked up a plan to un-do the 2006 deal with Blue Ash, then close the airport, and then re-do the sale, thus freeing the funds for boondoggle use.
That plan is well on its way to approval by the Republican Blue Ash Council this Thursday, for no reason whatsoever as they basically get nothing at all out of the deal (how's that for negotiating prowess?).

Thus, the 7-member GOP Council and Mayor in Blue Ash appear poised to aid and abet the abuse of Cincinnati taxpayers and to abandon their Republican constituency that is strongly opposed to the Streetcar boondoggle.

COAST is encouraging its members to call and write the squishy Council members in Blue Ash and oppose this outrage.