Of course, the real reason for the continuing conflict is that Smitherman and the Cincinnati branch of the NAACP refuse to toe the line for the democrat party and organized labor on each and every issue, challenging their orthodoxy on such things as the bankrupt City pension system, the wasteful Streetcar system, an oppressive and unconstitutional red light and speeding cameras, the sale of the water works, a new tax on trash collection, and the Big Kahuna of an issue around the corner in the Spring of 2014 -- a massive hike in the City earnings tax to pay for their decades of excesses.
Imagine that, Cincinnati's African American community is expressing an intelligent voice towards fiscal restraint and common sense.
Smitherman's two-year term as NAACP President just started last month following a pitched battle started by the unions and liberals on Cincinnati City Council to unseat him. Despite an overwhelming victory by Smitherman and his entire team for the Board in the NAACP elections, union lawyer Robert Richardson, Jr. and several other mischief-makers continue to stir the pot in the media and at NAACP meetings to try to undercut Smitherman's leadership.
The latest tactic is a letter to the NAACP's national chapter, linked above, that focuses on the NAACP's "relationship" with COAST. In that letter, short on details to support their conspiracy theory, they cite:
- A five-year old contribution (from 2008) from the NAACP to COAST for $3,000. What the letter-writers fail to point out is that the Board and membership approved this contribution and it was solely to help pay for the order for yard signs against Red Light Cameras that together COAST and the NAACP placed on the ballot that year. Because Ohio elections law requires a disclaimer on all signs, and that disclaimer was COAST's (none of us wanted to set up a separate committee for that campaign), the money was run thru COAST's Issues PAC account for that exclusive purpose.
- Smitherman's participation in the COAST Christmas Party (we are not kidding!).
This is, of course, further evidence of the dying throes of a liberal democrat establishment whose failing policies are fraying in our City, trying to enforce strict adherence to their political agenda, and allowing no independent thought by the local branch generally, and Smitherman specifically.
COAST remains proud of its relationship with Smitherman and the Cincinnati NAACP and looks to their leadership on municipal issues going forward.