Tuesday, December 30, 2008

COAST Membership Meetings

Support COAST and bring a friend.

COAST will be hosting three membership meetings to recruit new members and set out the COAST agenda for 2009. We want to hear from you!

The east side event will be held on
Monday, January 19, 2009
Molly Malone's Irish Pub
6111 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, OH 45213

The west side event will be held on
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
6:30 pm
Babe's Café
3389 Glenmore Ave., Cheviot, OH 45211

The North COAST event will be held on
Tuesday Monday, February 2, 2009
6:30 pm
Village Heritage Green Clubhouse
9475 Old Village Dr., Loveland, OH 45140

Join us for one, or for all of the meetings. Please invite anyone you think may be interested. For more information, call Jason Gloyd at (513) 240-4996.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Liberal Democrat Commissioners: 100 Sheriffs deputies laid off

Not a single personal assistant cut

Liberal democrat Commissioners Todd Portune and David Pepper today finalized the 2009 Hamilton County Budget. While claiming "public safety" is their top priority, the Commissioners refused to cut a single position from their nine-member personal staff, but eliminated funding for approximately 100 positions in the Sheriff's Department and closed the Queensgate Correctional facility, which provided 800+ inmate beds.

Commissioner DeWine today proposed spending cuts exceeding $1.4 million, which would have paid for the equivalent of 63,000 bed-nights for inmates. Read the DeWine resolution here. The Commission majority did not support the motion, and it failed for a lack of a second.

The Commissioners also refused to convert $2 million in new monies targeted towards "convention center promotion" or an accumulated $3 million in drug forfeiture funds for public safety purposes.

Fortunately, the 2009 budget shortfall did force the Commissioners finally to adopt more than $8.9 million in budget cuts proposed by Commissioner Pat DeWine for more than two years.

Read more about the wasteful County budget here.

COAST Lawyer on Local Radio

Real Estate Reappraisal Too High? and Be Financially Smart

Addressing the Issue
2008 was reappraisal year for real estate, and many people received unpleasant surprises when they opened their Auditor's notice. Despite the recession, many home values were increased significantly.

Luckily, there often is recourse and the auditor's office does sometimes make mistakes. Chris Finney, Partner with Finney, Stagnaro, Saba & Patterson Co., LPA, concentrates in real estate and commercial law. He will talk about what you can do if you feel your real estate is overvalued, and provide insight into how home value is determined.

Tune-in to discuss real estate
WNKU 89.7 FM - from the Greater Cincinnati Area, or
WNKU 94.5 FM - from the Fairfield/West Chester Area
December 23, 2008 from 5:20 to 5:30 PM.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

COAST Hosts Two Membership Meetings

East-side January 19

West-side January 20

COAST is hosting two membership meetings to recruit new members and set out the COAST agenda for 2009.
  • The east side event will be held on Monday, January 19, 2009 at 6:30 PM at Molly Malone’s Irish Pub, 6111 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati (531-0700).

  • The west side event will be held on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 6:30 PM at Babe’s Café, 3389 Glenmore Ave., Cheviot (661-0831).
Please join us for one or both events.

Property Tax Reduction Seminars Offered

Techniques offered for real savings on your property tax bill

A series of free seminars are being offered by COAST attorneys to teach residential and commercial property owners how to successfully challenge their property tax assessments and reduce their tax bills.

The schedule is:

  • Wednesday, January 21, 2009, 6:00 – 7:30 PM
    at the offices of the Home Builders Association
    415 Glensprings Drive in Fairfield
  • Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 6:00 – 7:30 PM
    at the offices of the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors
    14 Knollcrest Drive in Reading

RSVP to Gretchen Stephenson (513) 533-2730 or gws@fssp-law.com.

2008 is the year in which County Auditors in Hamilton and Butler Counties completely re-assessed all real properties in their jurisdiction. Despite the broad loss in property values, County Auditors in both counties increased overall assessments.

If your property value has been assessed too high you can challenge their assessments before the County Boards of Revision. These courses provide hands-on instruction as to how to complete the complaint for, challenge your values and win a reduction before the Board of Revision.

Please bring along your actual 2008 tax bill and a calculator and instructors will show you how to complete the form.

COAST Helps Dump Trash Tax

Facing protests, Council Flees From Bad Idea "Like Scalded Dogs"

On the same day that COAST rallied to stop the City’s drive to implement a $200 per household per year tax on trash collection, Mayor Mallory announced his formal budget proposal to the Council and eliminated the hated tax.

Once again, by shining the light and applying some heat on the politicians, COAST has succeeded in defeating bad policy,” said COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd. “The voters understand, even if bureaucrats to do, that Cincinnnati, Hamilton County and the State of Ohio are already high-tax areas.

Citing “hundreds” of e-mails and phone calls received by his office on the topic, Mayor Mallory abandoned the City’s mis-guided claim to money of City residents for a service that has been part of general fund expenditures for as long as anyone can remember.

COAST Challenges County’s Wasteful Spending

Pepper & Portune Opt to Continue Spending Binge

At a public hearing on the County budget on December 3, COAST highlighted continued wasteful spending policies by County Commissioners Todd Portune and David Pepper.

Facing layoffs of Sheriff’s deputies and a loss of jail spaces that will result in "people dying,” according to one safety official, Hamilton County’s tax-and-spend County Commissioners have pursued a 2009-2010 biennial budget that includes:

· Two decades ago, when the County had more than a million residents, the three County Commissioners shared a single staff member. Today, they have more than 9 full time staff members. These employees are in addition to the bloated staff of the County Administrator’s office. The Commissioners not only have failed to cut a single dollar from this budget “priority," but have increased this line item by 2%.

· Commencing in 2007, the Commissioners started spending more than $2 million in County dollars annually on convention center promotion in Cincinnati and Sharonville. Prior to the democrat takeover of the County Commission there were no County monies spent on this non-priority item.

· The Commissioners have failed to properly apply more than $3 million in Sheriff’s Drug Forfeiture funds for law enforcement purposes. Current the Sheriff hoards the funds and uses them (we are not kidding) on coloring books, teddy bears, and the Sheriff’s bagpipe band.

· The grossly bloated office of the County Administrator has no real cuts, only eliminating positions for retiring employees.

In the midst of the greatest budget crisis of a generation,” according to COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd, “the commissioners continue to waste money on non-priority items.

Instead of addressing these critical budget savings, the County intends to lay off more than 250 Sheriff’s deputies, close Queensgate Correctional facility, releasing more than 450 inmates.

Big-Spending Stevens Convicted, Loses Seat

COAST Celebrates His Loss !

Thanks to both a Washington jury and Alaska’s voters, the GOP has finally rid itself of one of the internal tumors that have condemned it to tax-and-spend policies in Congress. Unfortunately, it has dozens more that need to be excised. Alaska’s Senator Ted Stevens who for decades led the drive in Washington toward wasteful tax and spending policies, has been convicted of seven felony charges in October and then lost his Senate seat in November, finally freeing America from his four-decade grip on power. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Freedom Center Attendance Falls Further

Pepper’s bottomless pit continues to waste tax dollars

Paid attendance at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (NURFC) fell in 2007 to approximately 61,260 persons compared to 69,000 in 2006, according to its IRS 990 income tax returns. The decline is yet more evidence that the monies invested in the NURFC by City, State and Federal governments is utterly cash dumped down a bottomless pit. Former Proctor and Gamble Chairman John Pepper has spread tens of thousands of dollars in contributions to politicians to leverage the tax subsidies to his pet project.

When, oh when, will our politicians learn,” asked COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd, “that the Freedom Center is a complete waste of tax dollars? It is comical that City, County, State and Federal governments complain about the shortage of tax dollars, and then profligately waste enormous amounts of money on the Freedom Center.

The NURFC filed its required tax return for non-profit corporations for calendar year 2007 at the end of October 2008. The return shows that in 2006, ticket sales generated $827,084. In 2007, that number dropped 11% to $735,125. The $12 ticket price yields the paid attendance numbers noted above. The NURFC, which offers a variety of free admission opportunities to pump up its attendance numbers, had projected 1,000,000 visitors from throughout the world per year when it solicited $55 million in taxpayer subsidy to construct the facility.

The NURFC announced in 2004 that it would seek $3 million in tax subsidies for its operations per annum to sustain itself, after it failed to meet its income and attendance projections. Since that time, the City of Cincinnati, Hamilton County and the State of Ohio have pumped more than $7 million into its operations.

Since that time, John Pepper and other NURFC board members have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to state legislators, Cincinnati City council members and Hamilton County Commissioners to assure the continued flow of tax dollars into NURFCs coffers.

In 2007 the NURFC reported that it had operating expenses of $7.4 million. That means the actual cost of operating the facility for every person who came through the turnstiles is a shocking $121! See the tax return here and run the numbers for yourself; it's astonishing!

COAST lawyer wins case at U.S. Supreme Court

David Langdon defeats state lawyers in preserving ballot access

The United States Supreme Court announced in November that it will not hear the State of Ohio’s appeal of the decision striking down Ohio’s ban on paying petition circulators by the signature. One of COAST’s team of attorneys, David Langdon, represented the successful Plaintiffs in that case.

The order is available here.

David Langdon, attorney for Citizens for Tax Reform, welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision refusing to hear the case. “The Supreme Court rightly refused to hear the State of Ohio’s appeal of the Sixth Circuit’s well-reasoned decision affirming that the First Amendment political speech rights of petition proponents trump the State’s ability to enact measures targeting alleged petition fraud. Hopefully, other states will take note of the decision and refuse to enact similar laws that make ballot access more difficult.

Several commentators and election law specialists had predicted that the Court would take the case. See here.

The Supreme Court’s rejection of the case ends the four-year litigation over the constitutionality of R.C. 3599.111, which mandates that circulators of candidate petitions and initiative and referendum petitions be paid on the basis of time worked, and forbids payment based on the number of signatures collected. The law was temporarily struck down by United States District Court judge Sandra Beckwith only days after it took effect in April of 2005. It has not been in effect since that time.

In March of last year the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision declaring that the law violated the First Amendment political speech rights of petition proponents like Citizens for Tax Reform. (That decision is available here)

The Ohio Attorney General’s office asked the Supreme Court to hear the Ohio case to resolve an alleged conflict between the Sixth Circuit’s decision and the decisions of the Second, Eighth, and Ninth Circuits. Each of those courts has upheld similar pay-per-signature bans in New York, North Dakota, and Oregon, respectively.

Langdon is currently co-counsel in a lawsuit on behalf of Citizens in Charge and other I&R proponents against Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, captioned Citizens in Charge, et al. v. Brunner, S.D. Ohio Case No. 2:08-cv-01014. The lawsuit challenges several other restrictions on the right of initiative and referendum (I&R) in Ohio, including the requirement that statewide I&R petitions contain a “summary” approved by the Attorney General, and the requirement to submit a certain percentage of signatures from half of the counties in Ohio, which violates the constitutional principle of “one-man, one-vote.” The Secretary has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

Amelia Residents Fight Back

Sufficient Signatures Collected to Dissolve Village

Responding to Council’s threats to implement a City earnings tax to subsidize their over-spending, residents of the Village of Amelia have collected enough signatures to place a ballot issue before the voters to dissolve the Village.

Amelia resident Pam Barker headed a citizens committee appointed by the Mayor to identify solutions to the Village’s budget problems. Instead of rubber stamping a request for a tax increase, the Committee recommended (gasp!) spending cuts.

The Council rejected the recommended cuts and instead took steps to implement a first-time-ever earnings tax.

In response, a citizens group headed by Barker has collected signatures from more than half of the electors in the community and will submit them later this month. COAST attorneys Curt Hartman and Chris Finney are assisting the effort.

2009-01-31 UPDATE: Enquirer Reports that more enough signatures were certified by the Board of Elections to place the measure on the ballot.

COAST Speaks on Auto Industry Bailout

In December, America’s three major automakers asked Congress a second time for a bailout, this time totaling a whopping $34 billion. COAST vigorously opposes this request. Here’s why:

· In essence, the big three automakers have for decades “made their own bed,” choosing not to serve customers or shareholders, but demands of over-paid and lazy executives, big unions and government.

· In failing to serve consumers, the automakers have for decades put out over-priced, poor quality cars that failed to meet consumer demand. The recent mistakes included continuing to make large SUVs and not move quickly to high-demand hybrid technology, as gas prices rose and Japanese competitors quickly fulfilled the new consumer demand.

· In failing to serve shareholders, the adjusted stock price of General Motors today is identical to what it was in 1969. That is, if you invested $100 in General Motors stock nearly 40 years ago, you would not have had one dollar of appreciation in value of that investment.

· Ultimately, the companies are losing money, and shareholder value is not increasing, because their expenses exceed their revenues. American automakers expenses are so high compared to competitors because since the 1970s they consistently have capitulated to union demands on wages, benefits and job rules. Foreign manufacturers – even those with substantial U.S. operations – have been more successful in driving down costs. Here are just a few facts and figures explaining their uncompetitive cost structure:

a) GM's health-care costs tack on $1,500 per vehicle.

b) GM has instituted a union “job bank,” which continues to pay workers whose jobs fell victim to technological progress or plant restructurings even though they aren’t actually working. The job bank, established in the mid-1980s, requires GM to pay displaced workers nearly their entire salary plus benefits and pension.

c) For every GM worker, there are about 10 dependants deriving benefits from General Motors, which are defined as retired workers and their families.

d) GM's per-hour labor rate for car assembly is about $75 per hour, compared to $40 to $45 for other car companies.

So what is really happening is that at the very moment the abysmal failure of decades of poor management is brought into full bloom, the Democrat Congress intends to use your tax dollars to shield them from the natural forces of the marketplace.

The reasons why America’s automakers, and their shareholders, should suffer the consequences of their bad management are legion and compelling. COAST opposes the bailout. Read also Mitt Romney’s excellent New York Times editorial on this topic here.

Ohio Senator George Voinovich has been one of the champions of the bailout.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

COAST Holiday Celebration

COAST celebrates the holidays and
a successful year of fighting oppressive government

Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 6:30 PM
The Rusty Bucket in Rookwood, Norwood

Please join fellow fighters for limited government and lower taxes for COAST’s 2008 Christmas Party at the Rusty Bucket Corner Tavern in Rookwood in Hyde Park/Norwood on Thursday, December 18 at 6:30 PM.

In addition to the birth of our risen savior, COAST has a lot to celebrate with the passage of a Charter Amendment banning Red Light Cameras in Cincinnati, the election of Super-Sized Jail Tax opponents Pat DeWine (Common Pleas Court Judge) and Rob Goering (Treasurer), and the defeat of certain (unnamed here) pro-tax Republicans and Democrats.

But mostly, we celebrate another year of battle engaged by COAST fighters across southwest Ohio, whether they won or lost.

There is no charge for this event, but buy your own food and beverages.

Call Jason Gloyd at 240-4996 with questions.

The Rusty Bucket Corner Tavern
Rookwood Pavilion
2692 Madison Rd. Suite K-3
Cincinnati, Ohio 45208
Phone: (513) 841-2739

Sunday, November 30, 2008

County Hearings on 2009 Budget

  • Wed., Dec. 3, 2008 at 6:30 PM
    Drake Center, Rooms F & G, Level A, West Pavilion,
    151 West Galbraith RoadCincinnati, Ohio 45216-1096

  • Wed., Dec. 10, 2008 at 6:30 PM
    Cincinnati State Technical & Community College
    3520 Central ParkwayCincinnati, Ohio 45223-2690
    (no room number given)

Will they do it again? Only last year, our liberal, democrat Hamilton County Commissioners Todd Portune and David Pepper imposed without a public vote a 1/2 cent sales tax increase. In his 2008 COAST candidate questionnaire, Todd Portune says he might do it again.

On Wednesday, December 3 and Wednesday, December 10, the Commission is holding public hearings on its 2009 Budget. The budget contains millions of wasteful spending, and evidence that our elected officials stubbornly refuse to reform County government.

They claim they don't have enough money for Sheriff's deputies or housing inmates, but in the past two years they have found $4 million in entirely new spending for Convention Center promotions, $75,000 for the Film Commission (and David Pepper's former girlfriend), and $26,000 for Planned Parenthood. Indeed, the Commissioners have nine employees on their staff. They are not cutting a single one of these positions as a part of the so-called deep cuts. Clearly safety is not their priority.

Please plan on attending these two public hearings and tell our Commissioners a tax increase now or in the future is unacceptable and that their mis-spending surely is setting us up for such a fall.

Here are the points COAST asks you to make at these hearings:

  1. They did it to us once before and are surely setting us up for it again -- another unvoted sales tax increase.

  2. Instead, they should reform County government operations, thoroughly and promptly.

  3. The Commissioners have stated and it is a general community consensus that public safety is a top priority. If this is so, then why has the County Administrator, hired and paid by our two democrat County Commissioners, established budget prioritization that places clearly lower-priority items below Sheriff patrols and incarcerating inmates? These include:

    a. Two decades ago, when the County population was 50% higher than it was today, the three County Commissioners had a total of one staffer between them. Today, that number is nine. How many positions are the Commissioners cutting from this bloated staff in the face of this crisis shortfall? Not one. Not a single solitary one. In fact, they have increased this line item of expenditure 2% in 2009. My goodness, even the County's Clerk has her own assistant!

    b. In 2007, upon the election of this current Commission majority, the County began a new policy of spending millions of new dollars on convention center promotion, a clear non-priority item. Admittedly this is in a segregated fund that can't be spent on safety, but we have repeatedly asked the Commission to seek state authorization to spend this windfall on our community's #1 priority, and the Commissioners refuse to even ask for that authorization. This coming year, that number will exceed $2 million of either wasted or certainly non-priority spending. In the face of the threat "people will die," this is utterly irresponsible on the part of our Commission. This income stream will generate an estimated $84 million over the life of the convention center tax.

    c. The Sheriff is sitting on more than $3 million in drug forfeiture funds. He claims these cannot be converted to public safety uses, but this is not completely true. First, $800,000 can be spent in any manner he likes., Second, the remaining funds can be "must be used to finance that office's law enforcement efforts relative to drug offenses." Thus, these monies could be completely converted to alleviating the patrol layoffs and the closing of Queensgate. Instead, the Sheriff spends these funds on his Bagpipe brigade, coloring books, donations to the Boy Scouts and teddy bears.

    d. The County has identified that it can achieve $250,000 in savings from combining and competitively bidding vehicle maintenance and yet it steadfastly refuses to implement this cost savings. In the face of the threat that "people will die," how can our elected officials justify ignoring this cost savings., Indeed, the Sheriff, who cries the loudest about budget cuts refuses to implement this simple reform.

    e. This Commission has gutted the managed competition commission empanelled by the prior County Commission. The Chairman resigns and a new chairman was never appointed. The notion that savings will emerge on their own is ludicrous, and this Commission has eliminated the focus on ferreting out savings from the bowels of the County. You are reaping the rewards from these poor decisions.

  4. In light of these obvious deviations from your stated priorities, and the choice to avoid reform, to state that public safety is a priority is a transparent lie. Your desire is to protect the waste and privilege that exists in this County to the detriment of the public.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

COAST Rallies Against New City Trash Tax

Please join us this Wednesday, November 26 at 1 PM on the inner steps of City Hall

City Manager Milton Dohoney has proposed a new $20 per year fee per household for trash collection. Until now, City trash collection was paid for out of the general fund, from other taxes paid by City residents.

Please join COAST THIS Wednesday (November 26) on the inner steps of City Hall (Plum Street side) at 1:00 PM to rally against this new and unnecessary tax on City residents.

"Running out of things to tax, Cincinnati City Council now wants to tax our trash," said COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd. "This City, which has acted utterly irresponsibly for decades with City dollars, now wants to make its over-spending problem the problem of City taxpayers. Join us to 'Trash the Tax' this Wednesday at City Hall at 1:00 PM."

All spending items fit into one of two categories. They're either needs or wants.

There are certain things you have to have in order to be a city; police officers, fire-fighters, roads, streetlights, water, sewers, garbage collection and many others are required city services. They are basic needs.

Flowers, parks, arts and streetcars are luxuries. They're optional. You can live without them. They're very nice to have, but no matter how badly you want them, you really don't NEED them in the truest sense of that word.

A family facing budget problems who called for cutting off the water and sewer services in order to keep the cable TV would rightly be ridiculed. City Manager Dohoney's recent budget proposal is every bit as ludicrous as that.

Eliminating an entire class of police and firefighter recruits in order to continue funding bike trails and global warming measures is the height of irresponsibility. Mr. Dohoney is grinding the seed-corn of the city.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pepper and Portune vote to fund Planned Parenthood

"Change in political climate" opens tax floodgates to abortion provider

In a move that is as much tragic as predictable, Commissioners Todd Portune and David Pepper have reversed more than a decade of County policy in allowing county monies and monies flowing through its Family and Children's First Council to flow to Planned Parenthood.
On October 20, the Commission voted to approve a $26,225 contract between the County and Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Ohio. A copy of the resolution is here. Commissioner Pat DeWine was alone in voting against this contract. Indeed, the grant was for services to patients with an "undocumented immigration status," meaning illegal aliens.
Terribly, this decision to fund Planned Parenthood is not intended to be an isolated occurrence. Rather, as the March 13, 2008 minutes of the Family & Children First Council show here, "Since the political climate has changed" (i.e., a new pro-abortion majority on the Commission), the Family and Children First Council voted to include Planned Parenthood as a "full member of the Child and Family Health Services Consortium and a subgrantee of the Council." This means it is now eligible for grants from the agency.

Commissioner DeWine has introduced a resolution that will work to reverse this new policy.

Super-Sized Jail Tax opponents faired well at ballot box

The two public officials who were among the most vocal opponents of the Todd Portune-David Pepper Super-Sized Jail Tax in 2007, Commissioner Pat DeWine and Treasurer Rob Goering , excelled at the polls Tuesday, leading Republicans in vote totals, while those who stayed on the sidelines struggled.

Of all the contested judicial races, jail tax opponent hero Pat DeWine led, pulling 58% of the vote. Similarly, Treasurer Rob Goering won re-election with 54% of the vote. Both performances were well ahead of contested races for Clerk of Courts and Recorder in which the Republican candidates garnered 50.4 and 51.3% of the vote respectively.

“Standing tall against the outrageous and Super-Sized Jail Tax was not only the right thing to do,” said COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd, “it was also recognized and ultimately rewarded by the voters.”

COAST had strongly endorsed and campaigned for DeWine and Goering in appreciation of their principled stands against the Super-Sized Jail Tax. In contrast, Commissioner Todd Portune took his own campaign funds to air commercials opposing both DeWine and Goering. Thus, the voters' verdict was further repudiation of the ruinous Portune agenda for Hamilton County.

In an historically ignoble act, on May 30, 2007, Todd Portune and David Pepper imposed on Hamilton County citizens a ½ cent sales tax without a vote of the people only six months after a much smaller tax had been rejected by the voters. At that time, Portune acknowledged he had done so because the voters would likely reject the gluttony if placed before them.

The now-legendary WeDemandAVote.Com alliance, headed by NAACP, COAST, Cincinnati Progressive Action, the Libertarian Party and the Green Party, mobilized 435 volunteers to collect 56,000 signatures in 40 days to place the issue before the voters. In November of 2007, the Super-Sized Jail Tax was rejected by 56% of Hamilton County voters, thus completely snubbing the failed Pepper-Portune plan.

"Despite the cynical actions of Portune attempting to undermine these courageous leaders," said Gloyd, "they instead thrived under voter scrutiny precisely due to their honest leadership on this issue critical to our community's future."

Democrats take control of Ohio House

After sixteen years of increasing taxes and spending under Governors Voinovich and Taft, and two more years of ineffectual leadership against the agenda of Ted Strickland, Republican control of the Ohio House of Representatives ended on election day 2008.

House Republican leadership most recently angered conservatives by passing funding for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, refusing even to allow a vote on State Representative Tom Brinkman’s amendment to strip the funding.

“Good riddance,” said COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd. “After more than a decade of deafness on the tax and spending issue under Speakers Larry Householder and Jon Husted they finally got their comeuppance. Our preference would have been for them to reform their ways and hold true to Republican principles, but alas it was not to be.”

Read the Cleveland Plain Dealer story on the hostile takeover here.

"It’s not that the democrats will do any better on taxes and spending,” said Gloyd. “It’s just that they cannot do any worse.”

COAST did not endorse any House Democrat candidates in this year’s election.

Tax-and-spend "Republican" Lovitt loses to Democrat Pillich for 28th House district

Partners in taxing and spending -- Lovitt and Gov. Strickland

The formerly safe Republican seat of Jim Raussen fell into democrat hands election night, with democrat Connie Pillich out-polling tax-and-spend Republican Virg Lovitt 54% to 46%. This loss contributed to the Republicans’ historic loss of the Ohio House of Representatives in 2008.

In July of this year, three-term representative Jim Raussen abruptly left his constituents in the 28th House District to accept a newly-created $115,000 per year job at the Ohio Department of Insurance. Governor Strickland created the position to create a vacancy in the Raussen seat, and make it easier for a democrat to seize the seat. The district, which includes Arlington Heights, Blue Ash, Evendale, Fairfield, Forest Park, Glendale, Lincoln Heights, Lockland, has historically seen tough-fought contests. However, Raussen succeeded in holding the seat for six consecutive years.

“We felt from the very beginning that Virg Lovitt was not the correct pick to run for the seat,” said COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd. “He was cut right from the tax-and-spend cloth of Jean Schmidt and Bob Taft, and his constituents would have suffered with his election.” In a strange display of Party loyalty, Lovitt endorsed for re-election to his County Commission seat liberal, big-taxing democrat Todd Portune.

After Raussen’s resignation, the Hamilton County Republican Party had a choice between Lovitt, 12-year Mayor of Sharonville with a long record of supporting wasteful spending projects and higher taxes and other candidates with records as fiscal conservatives. The Party chose Lovitt. Lovitt’s tax-hiking credentials are legendary. For example, the web site Republicans for Higher Taxes, gave him its “Tax Hiker of the Year” Award for 2008, citing his support for the Super-Sized Jail Tax, a 50% hike in the Sharonville Income Tax, huge increases in the Sharonville Hotel-Motel tax, and his support of Bob Taft’s wasteful 3rd Frontier Initiative.

The message to Republican headquarters is not only that it is wrong as a matter of policy to promote those who have shown distain for the core Republican values,” said Gloyd, “but also that they can’t win tough elections.”

Lovitt’s performance trailed Raussen’s 2006 numbers in the same district against the same opponent by a full ten percentage points.

As campaign faltered, McCain decried Republican spending excesses

Republican spending excesses under President Bush were a lead anchor that helped to drag the McCain-Palin ticket to defeat in November. Read here how even John McCain acknowledged this reality as he struggled to live down the Bush legacy during Campaign 2008. Read the Enquirer story that tells us the same thing here.

“Every two years,” said Jason Gloyd, “our national and state Republicans come home to spending discipline, as they realize that the voters demand fiscal responsibility.” And then as soon as they are sworn in, they seem to forget this cold reality. Sadly for McCain, the Party realized the errors of its ways far too late.”

By November 4, the brand identity of Republicans being the Party of limited government had been squandered and the call to action based upon fiscal prudence finally fell upon deaf ears of the electorate.

“The can of whoop ass that the democrats opened up on Republicans nationwide,” said Gloyd, “was a richly-deserved and long overdue rebuke of the GOP’s wanton abandonment of any semblance of fiscal discipline. In short, as a Party we got exactly what we deserved for not learning anything from our previous defeats!"

COAST posits that the only remaining question is whether any of these GOP leaders were listening. We have not seen any evidence that they were.

Cincinnati Public Schools pays employees too much

State audit blasts bloated salary structure


A state audit released in October says Cincinnati Public Schools pays its employees more than those in comparable school districts or at companies in the Cincinnati region. Read the full article here. Read the full state audit here.

Also, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported in October that teachers accused of mis-conduct are placed on unnecessarily long assignments in a science warehouse in Walnut Hills, while accusations against them are being investigated. Read that story here.

Finally, COAST reminds its readers that property owners in Cincinnati, Silverton, Amberly Village and Cheviot will be receiving an overall increase in their tax property bills of 14% in December, and a whopping 23% increase in the school portion due to a 7.89 mill tax increase passed in March of this year.

“We suppose the bureaucrats will deny that there is a connection between the wasteful spending patterns of CPS and the massive tax increase imposed this year,” said COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd. “Yet, the consequences of their reckless handling of the tax dollars which with they have been entrusted is obvious. CPS voters are getting the performance they deserve by electing irresponsible Board members and voting in favor of giving them more money to waste.”

Red Light Camera ban passes

Second win for WeDemandAVote.Com coalition

Cincinnati voters on November 4 passed a ban on use of red light and speeding cameras. The amendment to the City Charter - a first in the nation - prevents City Council from enacting the odious revenue-generating scheme implemented in cities across the nation.

The initiative was the idea of WeDemandAVote.Com partner Christopher Smitherman and the Cincinnati Chapter of the NAACP, which announced the initiative in January. Soon, other WeDemand partners joined in, including COAST, the Libertarian Party, and the Green Party. We were also joined by new supporters, including the Hamilton County Republican Party, Commission candidates Ed Rothenberg and Greg Hartmann, Congressional candidates Victoria Wulsin and David Krikorian, Councilmember Chris Monzel and former Councilmember Charlie Winburn.

The ban on red light cameras not only prevents the City from needlessly harassing thousands of motorists per year, but it deprives the City of millions in planned revenue. Cincinnati motorist will be spared tremendous new intrusions into civil liberties suffered by motorists in cities in which the cameras have been implemented. The win is the second in two years for the left-right coalition, having defeated the Portune-Pepper Super-Sized Jail Tax in 2007.

"We are proud of our continuing partnership on issues of limiting the power and scope of government with the NAACP, the Greens and the Libertarians," said Jason Gloyd. "We have a good relationship going that we want to continue into the future." The WeDemandAVote.Com partnership is actively exploring new ideas for issues to promote in 2009.

COASTer leads defeat of Fairfield School Levy

Committed COASTer Arnie Engel, a member of the Fairfield Board of Education, led forces opposed to the Fairfield School Levy on the November ballot, a five-year 2-mill permanent improvement levy. Opponents knocked down the levy by 52% of the vote on election day. The tax would have generated an estimated $2.7 million. Engel contends the school district wastes money, primarily on inflated teacher salaries. Engel's efforts were so successful, the Board has also decided not to pursue a tax increase on the February 2009 ballot. Great work, Arnie!

COAST October Newsletter Correction

Bortz did not lead drive to repeal Cincinnati property tax rollback

COAST prides itself on the integrity of its communications, thus we hate to make mistakes. However, we did in our October edition, when addressing the City's decision not to raise property tax rates in 2008, we said: "Council members Chris Bortz and Roxanne Qualls led efforts to hike Cincinnati property taxes." Representatives of Bortz' office have contacted us and assured COAST that Mr. Bortz made no attempts to increase the property taxes this year and did not support such a proposal. COAST sincerely apologizes for the error.

Friday, October 24, 2008

COAST tours Ohio against Issue 5

COAST traveled the state during the last two weeks of September, spreading the word about the privacy violations in Ohio's legislation regulating consumer use of payday loans. A NO vote on Issue 5 repeals this bad legislation.

The legislation that Issue 5 will repeal creates a state-wide database of consumer loan transactions, monitors consumer loan choices, forces borrowers into mandatory re-education classes and limits the number of annual transactions. "The Ohio legislature has enacted a really creepy bill smacking of big-brotherism," said Jason Gloyd. "Once again, the Ohio legislature has voted for bigger, more intrusive government. Vote No on Issue 5."

COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd, Len Grothaus, Steve Dapper, Tom Brinkman and others traveled, alternately, to Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Toledo, Akron, Cleveland, Youngstown, Stuebenville, Canton, and Zanesville, garnering coverage from more than 25 major media outlets during the tour. The rallies attracted more than 25 participants in each City, resulting in a growth of COAST membership and e-mail database for its newsletter.

COAST issues 2008 candidate and issue endorsements

COAST issued enthusiastic endorsements for Congressman Steve Chabot, Pat DeWine for Common Pleas Court Judge, and Rob Goering for re-election to County Treasurer. Chabot has been a solid and consistent advocate for smaller government in a spend-thrift Congress, and COAST wants to richly thank Pat DeWine and Rob Goering for their opposition to the 2008 Super-Sized Jail Tax. Read all COAST candidate endorsements here. Read all COAST issue endorsements here. Read responses to candidate questionnaires here.

COAST encourages a "Yes" on Issues 7 and 8

COASTers worked long and hard this year to collect signatures on petitions both banning Red Light Cameras and to enact Proportional Representation for City Council elections as part of our WeDemandAVote.Com coalition membership. Both are on the ballot as Issues 7 and 8, and COAST encourages a "YES" vote on each for City voters. Also, Red Light Camera signs are in. Call Chris Finney at 720-2996 to get your signs.

Pay back Portune treachery: vote Rothenberg

Todd Portune is facing re-election this year to the Hamilton County Commission, just one year after defeat of the cornerstone of his policy after a liberal democrat majority took control of the Commission - the Super-Sized Jail tax. Fortunately, COASTer and Republican Ed Rothenberg is challenging this devious politician in November. COAST endorses Rothenberg.

"Todd Portune betrayed his own constituents when he imposed the ½ cent Super-Sized Jail Sales Tax without a public vote," said COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd. "Fortunately, the treachery energized both COAST and a broad left-right coalition to collect 56,951 signatures from 642 volunteers to place the issue before the voters."

*COAST erroneously stated the Super-Sized Sales tax was for one-cent in its October Absentee Ballot Endorsements. The Super-Sized Jail Tax increase was for one-half cent only.

Remembering the odious "Deal"

Portune further showed his contempt for the electorate earlier this year with his back-door deal designed to deprive Hamilton County voters of a choice in his election battles. The new magazine called Cincy Magazine provided an excellent analysis of the odious transaction that condemns Hamilton County to no choice but a democrat majority for two more years. Yet another reason to oppose Portune. Read the article here.

County launches open records on-Line

Thanks to the leadership of Pat DeWine, Hamilton County this month launched open on-line County financial records, allowing citizens to search the spending database. Log on here and see how the County is spending your tax dollars. Some waste COAST already uncovered:

1) $60.00 on composting worms
2) $607.00 on blue jean pencils
3) $1300.00 for booths at employment expos and job fairs even though there is a hiring freeze

Send us reports on the waste you have found to COASTUSA@GMail.Com. We will publish a comprehensive list in an upcoming issue of COAST news.

City keeps property tax rollback for one more year

Councilmember Chris Monzel led the drive to prevent Cincinnati City Council from raising the property tax for 2009. Originally enacted by the initiative of Phil Heimlich, the property tax rollback has now survived for eight straight years. Cincinnati property owners are already facing an overall 14% tax increase later this year as a result of a massive increase in taxes for Cincinnati Public Schools. Council members Chris Bortz and Roxanne Qualls led efforts to hike Cincinnati property taxes. Thank you Chris Monzel.

Schmidt backs pork-laden Bush billionaire bailout boondoggle

Despite an outpouring of opposition, running 90% nationally, Congressman Jean Schmidt voted in September for the $850 billion bailout of the financial services industry. Schmidt opposed the bailout before she supported it. The changed that garnered her vote: Democrats added $150 billion in pork and more in special-interest tax breaks. "After six years of supporting every bad tax and spending plan of Bob Taft," said COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd, "we are not surprised by this new sell-out of our nation's taxpayers. By signing on to this bill," said Gloyd, "Schmidt supported the fastest descent into socialism ever in the history of this nation." Voters have a chance to get rid of Schmidt this November 4.

Pepper, Portune back Planned Parenthood funding; New County policy of funding abortion provider

Despite a claimed fiscal crisis, on Monday of this week liberal democrats Todd Portune and David Pepper voted to approve funding of Planned Parenthood to the tune of $26,255. COAST joined Cincinnati Right to Life and Citizens for Community Values in e-mailing their members against this misuse of tax funds. An outcry from more than 1,500 residents nearly closed down business in the County administrative offices with calls and e-mails. This decision to fund Planned Parenthood is not intended to be an isolated occurrence. COAST has learned that earlier this year the Family & Children First Council announced that "since the political climate has changed" (i.e., a new liberal majority on the Commission), the Council made Planned Parenthood a subgrantee of the Council," eligible for annual grants. This dramatic switch in policy -- permanently funding Planned Parenthood -- is a big-spending new direction for our County Commission. Commissioner DeWine has introduced a resolution that will work to rectify this new policy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

COAST 2008 Candidate Endorsements

COAST today issued its 2008 candidate endorsements, enthusiastically backing Steve Chabot's re-election to Congress, Pat DeWine's elevation to the Common Pleas Court bench, and returning Rob Goering as County Treasurer. Pat DeWine and Rob Goering were instrumental in 2008 in defeating Todd Portune's Super-Sized Jail Tax. COAST thanks them warmly for their courageous leadership on this issue. The remainder of the candidate endorsements are listed below.

PRESIDENT/VICE PRESIDENT - COAST Endorsement -- John McCain & Sarah Palin (Republican)
Chuck Baldwin & Darrell L. Castle (Constitution Party)
Bob Barr & Wayne Allyn Root (Libertarian)
Richard Duncan & Ricky JohnsonCynthia McKinney & Rosa A. Clemente (Green)
Brian Moore & Stewart Alexander (Socialist)
Ralph Nader & Matt Gonzalez
Barack Obama & Joe Biden (Democratic)
Donald K. Allen & Christopher D. Borcik (Write-in)
Jonathan Allen & Jeff Stath (Write-in)
James R. Germalic & Martin Wishnatsky (Write-in)
Alan L. Keyes & Brian Rohrbough (Write-in)
Platt Robertson & Scott Falls (Write-in)
Joe Schriner & Dale Way (Write-in)
COAST holds its nose in choosing between two major party candidates who simply fail to understand the plight of everyday taxpayers, but Obama will be worse. Palin shows promise of being a new principled future of the GOP.

Richard Cordray (D)
Mike Crites (R)
Robert M. Owens

U.S. CONGRESS, 1ST DISTRICT - COAST Endorsement -- Steve Chabot (R) (with enthusiasm)
Steve Driehaus (D)
Rich Stevenson (Write-in)
Eric Wilson (Write-in)
Chabot has consistently worked to contain taxes and spending. He is one of the most conservative members of an increasingly unprincipled GOP. Driehaus promises to follow the Barney Frank tradition of fiscal irresponsibility. Chabot has earned our trust and deserves to be re-elected.

David H. Krikorian
Jean Schmidt (R)
Victoria Wulsin (D)
James J. Condit, Jr. (Write-in)
COAST wretches at Schmidt's cynical new advertisement in which she claims to fight for limited government and lower taxes. In addition to being a serial embarassment in Washington, she is also a pronounced sell-out of her conservative Republican constituency. Her departure can not be too soon, but her two opponents have failed to distinguish themselves on tax and spending issues, leaving COAST suspicious that they will be just as bad...they certainly could not be worse.

Daniel J. McCarthy (D)
William J. Seitz (R)
It's hard to imagine a candidate who speaks so conservatively, yet sells out his conservative west-side constituency more thoroughly, but Bill Seitz has distinguished himself in promoting increases in property taxes, sales taxes, cigarette taxes, gasoline taxes, and alcohol and tobacco taxes. Unfortunately, we have no hope his opponent will be any better. Our advice: sit this one out.

Virgil G. Lovitt II (R)
Connie Pillich (D)
Virg Lovitt supports higher sales taxes and funds for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the "arts." He has been overtly hostile to a limited government agenda and thinks Todd Portune deserves re-election to the County Commission. Unfortunately, his opponent did not respond to the COAST questionnaire. COAST elects to sit on our hands as Lovitt seeks help from the conservatives in his district. Yuck!

Louis W. Blessing, Jr. (R)
Adam Noe (D)

Bob Klug (D)
Bob Mecklenborg (R)
Mecklenborg promised in his heavily contested Republican primary to oppose funding for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. It took him only four months to break his promise. It appears he has a promising career in politics.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE - 31ST DISTRICT - COAST endorsement -- Steve Johnson (R)
Denise Driehaus (D)
Steve Johnson is a bright light in a sometimes dreary year. This newcomer has the brains and energy to take Columbus by storm!

Theo Barnes (R)
Dale Mallory (D)

Thomas G. Brown (R)
Tyrone K. Yates (D)
We appreciate Tyrone Yates' courageous leadership against his own Party on the Super-Sized Jail Tax and on the new Proportional Representation proposal. This democrat maverick deserves admiration, but is still too willing to embrace big government for COAST's tastes.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE - 34TH DISTRICT - COAST endorsement -- Peter Stautberg (R)
Jeff Sinnard (D)
Oh how we wish Tom Brinkman had one more term, but we will settle for Mr. Stautberg. It appears he has much to learn about taxes and spending, and we hope he is listening.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE - 35TH DISTRICT - COAST endorsement -- Ron Maag (R)Marcia Garrison (Write-in)
Jonathan Morris (Write-in)
COAST co-endorsed Maag in the primary and has high hopes for him as our new State Representative. We hope he learns the lessons against excessive taxes and spending better than his most disappointing predecessor.

HAMILTON COUNTY COMMISSIONER - COAST endorsement -- Ed Rothenberg (R)
Todd Portune (D)
On the one hand, COAST Board member Ed Rothenberg is a principled and consistent voice for limited government. Without his insistence in May and June of 2007, the sales tax would be 1 cent higher today. On the other hand, Todd Portune is a sinister and consistent agent for unrestrained growth in government. His COAST questionnaire says he might raise the sales tax yet again without a public vote. He is a malignant tumor on the County that cannot be excised too soon.

HAMILTON COUNTY COMMISSIONER - COAST endorsement -- Greg Hartmann (R) Chris Dole (D)
Greg has been a leader in the Red Light Camera ban and shows great promise in understanding the need for a limited government agenda. Despite tremedous pressure, he refrained from joining the Republican chorus in 2008 for a Super-Sized Jail Sales Tax increase and was almost alone in calling for Bob Taft to resign before the end of his term. We encourage Mr. Hartman to fulfill his great potential in his first term on the Commission.

CLERK OF COURT OF COMMON PLEAS - COAST endorsement -- Patricia M. Clancy (R)Martha Good (D)
We do not forget that Clancy, like so many other Republicans voted for each and every one of Bob Taft's tax increases, and we see zero evidence she learned her lesson, but we will hold our nose and vote for her to prevent this important office from falling into the hands of someone perhaps marginally worse. Yuck number 2!

COUNTY RECORDER - COAST endorsement -- Rebecca Prem Groppe (R)
Wayne Coates (D)
Groppe has grown into her role as Recorder and resisted pressure to endorse the Super-Sized Jail Sales Tax increase. COAST recommends her return to office.

COUNTY TREASURER - COAST Endorsement -- Robert A. Goering (R) (with enthusiasm)Steve Brinker (D)
COAST cannot thank Rob Goering enough for endorsing a "no" vote on the Super-Sized Jail Sales Tax increase. His vision and insight into County budget issues, and his tremendous courage in just the right timing helped turn the tide in COAST's favor on this defining issue for a decade. Thank you Rob Goering! Let's return him to office.

JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT - 6 YR TERM - COMM. 1-1-09 - COAST Endorsement -- Maureen O'Connor
Joseph D. Russo

JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT - 6 YR TERM - COMM. 1-2-09 - COAST Endorsement -- Evelyn L. Stratton
Peter M. Sikora


JUDGE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS - 6 YR TERM - COMM. 1/04/09 - COAST Endorsement -- Pat DeWine (R) (with enthusiasm)
Norma J.H. Davis

JUDGE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS - 6 YR TERM - COMM. 1/01/09 - COAST Endorsement -- Melba D. Marsh

JUDGE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS - 6 YR TERM COMM. 2/10/09 - COAST Endorsement -- Fred Nelson
Jerry Metz

Jody Luebbers

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

COAST 2008 Issue Endorsements

COAST announces the following endorsements for 2008 ballot issues:

Ohio Issue 1 - NO. This is a cynical attempt by the state legislature to reduce citizen involvement in the process of governing by making it more difficult to place state issues on the ballot.

Ohio Issue 2 - NO. This is more excessive spending by the state, resulting in yet more burdens on the taxpayers to re-pay these bonds.

Ohio Issue 3 - YES. In a tough analysis, COAST encourages voters to support this initiative to protect Lake Erie property owners.

Ohio Issue 4 - This issue has been withdrawn, but COAST was opposed.

Ohio Issue 5 - NO. COAST supports this repeal of a bad and unnecessary law limiting lending choices for Ohio wage earners. Because this is a referendum on a legislative enactment, a "No" vote is required to vindicate the position of the citizenry in opposition to this law. The original legislative bill that Issue 5 repeals contains utterly Orwellian privacy violations, which COAST will highlight more as the campaign goes forward.
(2008-11-02 Update) This law not only limits interest rates on short term loans, but limits the number of loans a borrower may get per year. To enforce the limitation, Ohio will maintain a database of borrowers containing their personal financial information. State government has a terrible history of losing, mishandling, and compromising the privacy of private financial records. The law also requires frequent borrowers to undergo financial counselling at what amounts to a government reeducation camp. People should be free to conduct their financial affairs according to their individual needs. We don't need a nanny-state treating our citizens like children who can't tie their own shoes.

Ohio Issue 6 - NO. COAST was unanimous in opposing this bad initiative allowing for casino gambling at a single site in Clinton County, Ohio. Some COASTers oppose legalized gambling. Others recognized primarily that the tax revenues for state and local governments simply allow them to avoid the reality that the problem is excessive spending. Finally, all opposed the notion that the state would - by Constitutional Amendment - grant a gambling franchise to a single landowner in Clinton County. This cynical and greedy proposal should be rejected.

Issue 7 - YES. Cincinnatians need to vote "YES" to ban pernicious red light cameras pushed (repeatedly) by rapacious politicians. Vote YES to ban red light cameras permanently in Cincinnati.

Issue 8 YES. COAST endorses Proportional Representation for Cincinnati City Council elections. It is difficult to imagine electing a worse Council than at present. Further, this issue, as with Issue 7, was advanced by our partnership with the NAACP, Libertarians and the Green Party known as the WeDemandAVote.Com coalition, which is building bridges for progress in the City and County.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Jason Gloyd, COAST Chairman, (513) 240-4996.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Dr. Evil Headlines Mini-Me Fundraiser

What kind of congressman would Steve Driehaus be? Would he represent the conservative family values of western Hamilton County? They say you can measure a man by the company he keeps; and we got a glimpse of the real Steve Driehaus this weekend.

Driehaus needed a headliner for his fundraiser Saturday at the Queen City Club. Did he bring in a fiscally responsible pro-life Democrat? Nope. He tapped his all-time favorite hero, Barney Frank.

The same Barney Frank who was reprimanded by Congress in 1990 when his employee/lover was found running a gay prostitution service from Frank’s Capitol Hill apartment. Frank, openly homosexual since 1987, also founded the Stonewall Democrats, and the “Frank Rule” for outing closeted gay Republicans.

The same Barney Frank who caused the current financial crisis. The “Patron Saint” of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who in the early nineties used his position on the Financial Services Committee to strong-arm those institutions into making bad loans to “underprivileged families.” Who as recently as July, 2008 said on CNBC, "I think this is a case where Fannie and Freddie are fundamentally sound, that they are not in danger of going under."

In 2003 Frank rejected Bush administration proposals for increased oversight of Fannie Mae and ignored the need for further government intervention in the mortgage lending industry and stated “These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis, the more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.” Frank was also warned of impending doom in Bush's 2001 State of the Union, by Greenspan in House testimony in 2005, and again by John McCain in 2006. This had been brewing for a long time.

Barney Frank has been a veritable Dr. Evil, unleashing his lame-brain scheme to convert the housing and banking industries into the world’s largest welfare program. A program that blackmailed the taxpayers for $700 billion to bailout his failure. Now Steve Driehaus wants to become his “mini-me.”

Driehaus has projected the image of a conservative, pro-life, Catholic Democrat in an effort to connect with voters on Cincinnati’s west side. But Barney Frank is the antithesis of that image. Recent events have made him an even more toxic commodity. Perhaps that’s why Driehaus did all he could to hold this event in secret. Ordinarily candidates try to publicize their fundraisers loudly and proudly, especially when a nationally known figure is involved. But invitations and announcements were closely guarded, and the Enquirer was told they would not be allowed to cover it. Channel 9 reporters trying to fact-check the story were brushed off.

Somebody should have told Driehaus about the “COAST rule” for outing closeted tax-and-spenders.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Hell No" to Bush Billionaire Bailout

COAST calls on its members to contact their Congressmen and Senators immediately to oppose the latest $700 Billion bailout for America’s richest citizens proposed by President Bush. The vote in Congress presently is anticipated Thursday or Friday. To date, the actual language of the largest bailout bill in American history, which Brit Hume of Fox News says will be voted by the most unpopular Congress in American history at "historic speed," has not even been presented.

Jason Gloyd, COAST Chairman, called the plan "socialism for billionaires and the worst idea of our lifetimes," and said "it is the start of our fastest descent into a government-controlled economy in American history. Washington's interference in financial markets has created this crisis, and Washington's welfare for billionaires will just exacerbate the pain for middle class taxpayers and prolong the downward descent."

The new $700 billion requested by Bush would be on top of more than $415 billion already spent by the Treasury to bail out the failing businesses of billionaires: Bear Stearns ($30 billion), Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae ($300 billion), and AIG ($85 billion). With the new monies sought, the bailout total will exceed $1.1 trillion.

Auto Industry already seeks its (initial) bailout
COAST pointed out that if we bail out Wall Street, inevitably the auto industry, saddled with decades of poor performance, inflexible unions and horrible management putting out an inferior product, and will seek and obtain bailouts as well. See here how Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are already scheming for another $25 billion bailout of the poorest performing segment of the American economy. After them, other powerful segments of the economy, with expensive lobbyists handing out huge political contributions, will seek their Washington handouts as well.

Liberal, big-spending Democrats will correctly ask: "If we have $700 billion for billionaires, why can't we fund $1 trillion in new urban capital, why can't we fund $1 trillion in new healthcare spending, and why can't we spend $1 trillion on some new social program?”

Belief In Markets
COAST asserts that believing in free markets, believing in the strength of capitalism, means having the courage to allow poor performers to fail. "Admittedly, it is always a step of faith to allow the markets to find their own equilibrium," said Gloyd. "Bad businesses will fail, and smart businesses will succeed. But in the end, those who are hard-working, smart and thrifty will thrive. The only other option is allowing Washington politicians and bureaucrats to choose the winners and losers -- in exchange for political contributions and even outright graft."

Hear what others are saying about the Great Billionaire Bailout of 2008

COAST is by no means alone in attacking the horrible plan hatched by Bush bureaucrats:

"This is an appalling bad plan and an engine of corruption. It enriches some people by giving them more than they can get [in the market] and not enriching others. The idea that some bureaucrat in Washington is responsible for managing bad paper is socialism at its very worst. It's wrong in every way. It's wrong to take money and bail out Wall Street. It's wrong to give that kind of power to the secretary of the treasury. We don't know what the rules are. We don't know what the structure is. This is all going to be decided in secret by a handful of congressmen and the Secretary of the Treasury with no American knowing what's being decided, and yet it could shape this country for the next 20 years.” -Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

“This massive bail-out is not the solution, it is financial socialism, it is un-American.” -Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning

"The government brought the economy down, they broke this, I don't think they can fix this. Forget this bailout and focus on pro-growth policies that help our free enterprise system work better. Lower our corporate tax rate, get rid of the capital gains tax. ... The government cannot manage this much money effectively without ineffeciencies and corruption." -South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint

"One of the perverse effects of this bailout proposal is that the worst-performing firms, and those who interjected themselves most deeply into mortgage-backed securities, credit default swaps, and special investment vehicles will be those who benefit the most from this bailout. As with the bailout of airlines in the aftermath of 9/11, those businesses who were the least efficient, least productive, and least concerned with serving consumers are those who will be rewarded for their mismanagement with a government handout, rather than the failure of their company that is proper to the market. This creates a dangerous moral hazard, as the precedent of bailing out reckless lending will lead to even more reckless lending and irresponsible behavior on the part of financial firms in the future." -Congressman Ron Paul

"Before we ask American families to make further sacrifices we need to make sacrifices of our own. Congress must learn the lesson of our current financial situation, which is that you cannot live beyond your means indefinitely. Congress has known about these problems for years, but we did nothing because we were so obsessed with short-term politics and earmarking to do the hard work of oversight and reform that was necessary to avert this mess....The answer now is not a mysterious formula known only to economists at the Federal Reserve, but a commitment among all national leaders to restore the fundamental market principles that made America the world’s leading economic power." -Senator Tom Coburn

"We are concerned that the plan could fundamentally change the role of government in the American free enterprise system." -Congressman Jeb Hensarling, Republican Study Committee Chairman

"The Club for Growth condemned the massive government bailout proposed by the Treasury and the Bush administration as unnecessary, unfair to taxpayers, and fraught with serious costs to the American economy." -The Club for Growth

122 Economists oppose the bailout for three reasons:(i) it is unfair, (ii) it's ambiguous, and (iii) it will have undesirable long term effects: "If the plan is enacted, its effects will be with us for a generation. For all their recent troubles, America's dynamic and innovative private capital markets have brought the nation unparalleled prosperity. Fundamentally weakening those markets in order to calm short-run disruptions is desperately short-sighted." Read their letter here.

Read Walter Williams' editorial “Scaring us to death”

Read Republican Anger at Financial Socialism

Read here how the bailout will prompt inflation.

Politicians Rely Upon Fear
As always, politicians are attempting to instill fear in the citizenry to justify the massive increase in the size and scope of government. In Wednesday night’s speech, Bush said "we are in the midst of an historical financial crisis." Bush warned of “a long and painful recession” if Congress does not quickly enact his billionaire bailout proposal. He threatened taxpayers with “a distressing scenario,” including potential bank failures, job losses and inability for ordinary Americans to borrow money to buy cars or send their children to college.

“George Bush and the democrat Congress have cried ‘wolf’ too many times," said Gloyd. “We will not be cowed by fear time and time again to support Republian-sponsored socialism. We trust the markets.”

We have little time to have our voices heard. Please do not allow us to allow our direction to be dictated by fear. Please call your Senators and Representatives today to oppose the 2008 Billionaire Bailout plan:

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
(202) 224-2315 Washington office
(513) 684-1021 Cincinnati office

Senator George Voinovich (R-OH)
(202) 224-3353 Washington office
(513) 684-3265 Cincinnati office

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH)
(202) 225-6205 Washington office
(513) 779-5400 Butler County office

Congressional Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH)
(202) 225-2216 Washington office
(513) 684-2723 Cincinnati Office

Congessional Representative Jean Schmidt (R-OH)
(202) 225-3164 Washington office
(513) 791-0381 Cincinnati office

Senator James Bunning (R-KY)
(202) 224-4343 Washington office
(859) 341-2602 Ft. Wright office

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
(202) 224-2541 Washington office
(859) 578-0188 Ft. Wright office

2008-09-29 Many thanks to everyone who took the time to contact their elected officials. Your efforts paid off. The vote in the house failed 228 to 205 and, unless they reverse themselves, we're not going to waste $700 billion propping up the losers who caused this mess.
Steve Chabot, Geoff Davis and Jean Schmidt all voted against it. John Boehner voted for it. The senate never got a chance to vote. Keep the heat on Boehner and be to sure to thank the others.

2008-10-03 We are eternally grateful to Congressmen Steve Chabot and Geoff Davis for holding fast and voting once again to torpedoe this terrible plan. Minority Leader John Boehner ignored his constituents for a second time and again voted for it. Jean Schmidt fell back into her old habits, breaking ranks from conservatives, and voted in favor of enlarging an already bloated government. Markets reacted to the news falling to their previous pre-bailout lows. We were going to have a recession either way. Only now we have a recession AND another $700 billion in public debt. Priceless.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

$75k Tax Gift - Pepper's "Sweetheart" Deal

When the liberal democrats took control of the County Commission in early 2007, one of their first official acts was to grant $75,000 to the Greater Cincinnati Film Commission. Many wondered why this institution, with only one fulltime employee, would warrant this largess from the Commissioners?

COAST of course sued to stop the expenditure, a suit the Commission fought for more than a year despite the clear illegality of the grant. Suddenly, in June of this year, lawyers for the Commission called and said they wanted to settle the suit, paying COAST's more than $30,000 in legal fees accrued to date. Why?

Just prior to that call, COAST had taken the deposition of Kristen Erwin, the Executive Director of the Film Commission. In that deposition she revealed why Pepper and Portune had bestowed this $75,000 grant: Erwin was the former girlfriend of Pepper. (Read deposition excerpts here.)

Even after their romantic relationship ended, Erwin remained close to Pepper. Erwin listed Pepper as one of her top five Facebook "Friends" (here) and threw a combination political fundraiser/Birthday Bash for Pepper in 2006 (here). Cozy.

It turns out that as a Councilmember Pepper also voted to give Erwin $25,000 of City funds in the very year in which they were dating and another $50,000 the following year.

Pretty nice gig, isn't it, when you can date a trust fund millionaire, and while you are dating you get a $25,000 City grant, and after you break-up get a $125,000 in grants to heal those old wounds? $150,000 in cold, hard taxpayer cash, and it did not cost the multi-millionaire Pepper a penny.

Almost instantly after the Erwin deposition, and before COAST could get Pepper's testimony, the suit settled. Coincidence? COAST thinks not.

There is no word what favors exactly Pepper got in exchange for the grants.

2nd Annual North COAST Picnic - Please Join Us!

You are invited to the Second Annual North COAST picnic on Sunday September 28th, 2008 at 4:00 PM, with dinner served at 5:00 PM at Blue Ash Recreation Center/Park, 4343 Cooper Rd.

Please RSVP to Kim Grant at (513) 479-8475. Fried chicken is provided, but plan on bringing your drinks and a side dish. We do not expect Kristen Erwin or David Pepper to be in attendance, but they have been invited.

Partners Submit 14,015 Red Light Signatures

On August 20, COAST joined its WeDemandAVote.Com partners in submitting 14,015 signatures to place a ban on Red Light Cameras in the City of Cincinnati on the November ballot. The NAACP and its President Christopher Smitherman initiated the effort in March of this year.

The issue is now certified to the ballot, and Cincinnati voters can strike a blow for liberty on November 4 by voting "yes." The issue number has not yet been assigned.

COAST Endorses Proportional Representation

On the same day as the turn-in of the Red Light Camera signatures, COAST joined its WeDemandAVote.Com partners in turning in petitions to place a new system for electing Council on the ballot - proportional representation.

Weeks earlier, COAST endorsed the proposal and joined the signature gathering effort. With P.R., COASTers hope that solid advocates of limited government can be more easily elected to Council. This issue number has also not yet been assigned.

Liberal Overspending Downgrades County's Bond Rating

Under Republican leadership, Hamilton County has consistently enjoyed a strong bond rating from Moody's Investor Service. In 2006, under Republican leadership, Moody's rated Hamilton County bond investments as a solid "Aa2."

On August 13 of 2008, after only 19 months of tax-and-spend democrat leadership of Todd Portune and David Pepper, Moody's downgraded the County's rating to Aa3, meaning Hamilton County will face higher interest payments on its debt obligations going forward.

Portune Two-faced on Butler County Contract

In the midst of the County's deteriorating financial picture, Commissioner Todd Portune has repeatedly blamed Republicans on "prior commissions" for entering into a contract with Butler County to house 400 inmates, costing the County approximately $10 million.

Portune, however, fails to mention that he himself voted seven times in favor of this policy and this expenditure that he now blames for undermining the County's fiscal health:

  • On April 5, 2006, Portune voted to direct the County Administrator to negotiate a contract with Butler County to house Hamilton County inmates.

  • Noting that the Sheriff also approves the expenditure, Portune voted in favor of a second resolution on April 19, 2006 to appropriate $3,181,750 for housing inmates in Butler County.

  • On April 26, 2006, Portune voted in favor of the contract with the Butler County Commissioners to house inmates there.

  • On September 13, 2006, Mr. Portune voted to approved a resolution authorizing a contract with even more bed spaces for Hamilton County inmates - now 300.

  • On March 7, 2007, after the democrats had taken control of the Commissioner Portune voted to approve an additional $3 million allocation for inmate costs.

  • On May 23, 2007, an additional $2,087,000 was allocated for this purpose. Mr. Portune again voted in favor.

  • On August 10, 2007, Portune and Pepper co-authored a further resolution to extend the jail contract for the remainder of 2007.