So many times politics is dominated by money. Other times it is driven by powerful forces like union organizers or racial politics. And still others, it is driven by the politics of personal destruction.
But in some years, reason triumphs over all of these. Such was the case in 2013.
As much as Roxanne Qualls tried to ignore both, the Mayoral election election was decided by two issues: the Cincinnati Streetcar and an epic political and policy disaster -- the Parking Plot. And Laure Quinlivan and Pamula Thomas joined her in driving their political careers into the ground on the twin pillars of policy folly.
All year long, COASTers asked: How much pain can they endure? How tone deaf can they be? We even wondered if our political instincts might be askew as these experienced politicians persisted in pursuing the most politically reckless strategies in event memory. Then, in the closing days of the campaign, they rubbed salt in the wounds they first opened with the voters by installing streetcar lines and pushing forward the parking bond deal, forcing both unpopular issues into the headlines at just the right time for the challengers.
More than ever before in COAST's memory, a Mayoral race and a Council race were about issues that defined the candidates, defined their character, defined their hubris, defined their refusal to listen to their own voters and defined their political philosophies. The Streetcar and Parking Plot were on the lips of common voters, businessmen and opinion leaders. Across the City, voters asked the candidates and one another: Why won't you listen to us? Candidates, like Qualls and Quinlivan, who enjoyed significant levels of personal popularity saw their support evaporate as they relentlessly and senselessly pursued these unpopular policies.
COAST is grateful that the issues of the day dominated the election. So, in addition to just having better personnel in the Mayor's office and on Council, those elected have a mandate to rein in reckless spending at City Hall, starting with killing the Streetcar and the Parking Plot.
Cincinnati, a bight new day has dawned. Let's now move forward together.