Sunday, March 31, 2013

Where's Roxanne?

Immediately following Judge Winkler's ruling, and since, we've heard from Mayor Mallory, City Manager Dohoney, the City Solicitor, Laure Quinlivan and Chris Seelbach, all wringing their hands and striking out against those who would allow Citizens to exercise their rights.

Thursday at 2 PM

Just to be clear, the crisp, clear and correct decision of Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Winkler to allow the Parking Plot to be subjected to referendum did not place the matter on the ballot.  Rather, it simply empowered the citizenry to undertake the petitioning process to place the issue before the voters.

This means that we have the right to place the issue on the ballot if, by this Thursday we submit 8,729 valid signatures to the City to place the issue on the November ballot.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Petition Drive Gets Key Endorsement!

This afternoon COAST was pleased to learn that one of the most respected members of the community has come out in full support of the Petition Drive.

Drive-thru petition signing today in Mt. Lookout Square

Drive thru  

Today is our biggest day yet in the petition drive to place before the voters the Parking Plot foisted upon us by the City Council.  And indeed it must be as we need thousands upon thousands of signatures to successfully place this issue before the voters.  

Our biggest day yet

Cincinnati's media and public, as well as its political leadership, have come to expect extraordinary things from the Cincinnati NAACP and COAST, and their coalition partners on our many petition drives: jail tax, red light cameras, water works sale, trash tax, streetcar (x2), etc.

35 indicted in Atlanta schools; Waiting for Cincinnati's

Today's NYT has a fabulous piece on the indictment of the former superintendent of the Atlanta School System and 34 other educators for systematic fraud in reporting test scores.  Read it here.

Friday, March 29, 2013

This proud little town stands up for itself

George "Boss" Cox ruled Cincinnati until 1923
and implemented the subway system, 
later abandoned by Murray Seasongood's reformers

When George "Boss" Cox ruled Cincinnati, reform-minded citizens lead by Murray Seasongood took control back from their oppressors.  In 1923 they adopted a City Charter that implemented reforms making Cincinnati one of the best-run cities in the nation.  (One of their reforms was to kill Boss Cox' over-priced, corrupt and failed subway system.)  Read about all this here and here.

Shameless Demagoguery from Mallory and Dohoney

In response to Judge Winkler's ruling today, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and City Manager Milton Dohoney immediately sought out the nearest television cameras and laid out the disaster scenario.

Not since politicians' shameless threats of falling skies over the Sequester have we seen a more transparently dishonest display of political demagoguery.

Note, that Mayor Mallory is currently suing the city of Cincinnati to protect an illegal car allowance he has been receiving for 7 years. Note also that Milton Dohoney recently received a $30k+ raise.

And these two esteemed politicians are going to lecture the people of Cincinnati on the budget?

Watch their shameless display below:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Winkler -- Win!

The decision has just come in from Judge Winkler.  It is a complete win for the coalition fighting the parking plot.

The referendum is ON, but we need signatures.  Lots of them.  Call Tom Brinkman, Jr. to help.  237-4054.

The decision is here.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Final Saturday -- Drive thru signature gathering at Mt. Lookout Square

This Saturday, COAST will again be gathering signatures from 9 AM to 5 PM in Mt. Lookout Square (intersection of Linwood and Delta Avenues).  We can accept with drive-thru signatures as well as signatures from pedestrians.

This is the last weekend we will be collecting signatures, as the deadline for the petition drive is next Wednesday or Thursday.  We at that time must have 8,500 good signatures turned in to the City.

We are many, many signatures short of the goal.  We need volunteers to collect (anyone in who lives in the state of Ohio), signatures from City residents and money to pay petitioners if you don't have time to collect yourself.

Thanks to everyone who has sacrificed so much to date.

If you have not signed, please come by Saturday at Mt. Lookout Square, and send your family, friends, and co-workers to sign the petition. 

Duke Streetcar Tax Settlement Deal in Works...

Today PUCO released an announcement that the Duke rate case has been "settled."

While details of the settlement won't be available until April 2, one thing is certain: when the regulators and the regulated industry come to an amicable settlement, the public loses.

Read the PUCO entry below:

Why Parking Plot + Streetcar = Cincinnati tax increase


Politicians simply love it when they can turn to the populace and explain that the reason they voted for a tax increase was to avoid...something even worse.

Thus, read here and here about the careful buildup to this year's "fiscal cliff," with politicians and the media claiming that a Congress-created calamity -- the fiscal cliff -- was much worse than the largest tax increase in American history that they voted for, dem and GOP, earlier this year.

Cincinnati City Council is already setting up Cincinnati voters with a budget situation so calamitous, so draconian, that no rational voter would reject their entirely predictable demands for higher taxes in 2014 or 2015.  Here's why:
  • Because of over-staffing, wasteful multi-layered bureaucracy and overly-generous pay and benefits, Cincinnati's operating budget is annually out of balance by $25 to $50 million per year.
  • The Parking Plot continues that overspending for two more years, pissing away $50 million from the sale of a permanent asset in just two years.
  • At the end of that two years, the income flow from the parking meters and lots drops anywhere between $6 and $9 million per year.
  • In addition, when the Streetcar is up and operating each year, it is estimated to have negative operating expenses of between $3 million (City estimate) and $9 million (COAST estimate) per year.
  • Thus, these two awful decisions by the Council -- the Streetcar and the Parking Plot -- will take a City budget that is structurally imbalanced and hemorrhaging $25 million per annum, and drive it another $9 to $18 million into deficit, for a total of $34 to $43 million in the hole each year.
The thinking of Roxanne Qualls and other deficit-spending City leaders is that when faced with a choice of police and fire cuts of the magnitude of $34 to $43 annually, voters will choke, and approve their massive -- and predictable -- tax hike.

And we promise that at that time COAST will be there to remind them: "We told ya so!"

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

This deal's getting worse all the time...

Kevin Osborne at Channel 9 has uncovered details on the Parking Plot, revealing that the bulk of the revenue of the parking deal will end up in the hands of a Wall Street hedge fund.

Milton Dohoney's mouthpiece, Meg Olberding, claims the city will see nearly 41% of the value, but the City's own economic director says the city's take will be 24%.

Just as the streetcar bids came in widely over projections, we expect that the 24% number is close to correct. And probably inflated!

To quote Lando Calrissian, "This deal's getting worse all the time!"

Will crazy Council succeed in selling Cincinnati's parking assets?

The news media, voters, politicians and others ask COAST leaders on the street and on the phone:  
Is City Council really going to sell Cincinnati's valuable parking assets, and the sovereignty to enforce Cincinnati's parking laws, or will COAST stop them?
The answer is that COAST simply does not have the ability, on its own, to stop this devastatingly foolish act.  We don't.  Despite our network of volunteers, our communications systems, our capable attorneys, our coalition partners and our financial resources, COAST simply does not have the throw-weight to get this done on its own.

First, because of duplicitous parliamentary maneuvering by the City Solicitor and Chris Seelbach, the City takes the position that the ordinance that authorized the lease is not subject to a referendum.  That is the topic of litigation in front of Common Pleas Court Judge Bob Winkler.  By next Wednesday, he will rule on whether the issue may proceed, by petition, to a vote of the people.  We rely upon the courage and wisdom of Judge Winkler in getting past this legal hurdle.

Second, we rely upon volunteers, and donors, to advance the issue to the ballot on pretty much the same date, with sufficient signatures.  Do not mistake that COAST can accomplish this on its own, or that even with the tremendous leadership of Christopher Smitherman, Peter Witte, Amy Murray and others that this is a "given."  It is not.  Much, much hard work is yet before us to bring this petition drive to a successful conclusion.  The cold weather, the tight time constraints and the legal uncertainty hanging over the effort have all hampered collection efforts.

The bottom line:

We need your help.  

Write a check to COAST, circulate a petition, and spread the word!

And we need courage, wisdom and inspiration for Judge Bob Winkler.  Please pray that his ruling follows the law in this case.

COAST has been encouraged by the efforts of our attorneys, and our dozens of volunteers blanketing Cincinnati to advance this important cause.  We have been encouraged that Judge Winkler has issued a 28-day Temporary Restraining Order to allow this drive to proceed.  We are inspired by our coalition leader Christopher Smitherman and his committed groupd of NAACP volunteers.  We have even been inspired by Mayoral candidates Jim Berns and John Cranley.  They have all provided invaluable backbone when it is truly needed.

Thank you to everyone who has helped so far.      

Parking petition drive surging forward

Despite the adverse weather conditions since Sunday, the petition drive to bring to referendum the Parking Plot by Cincinnati City Council is proceeding at a furious pace, with about 750 signatures being secured daily.

We need more help, however.  If anyone wants to circulate, donate, or do other volunteer work, we certainly need the help.

Call COAST Chairman Tom Brinkman, Jr. to assist: 237-4054.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Municipal Bankruptcy: The future for Cincinnati? Hamilton County?

The NYT has a nice profile on the bankruptcy proceedings of Stockton, CA.  The choice: either municipal bondholders or pensioners take a haircut.  The Court has to decide.

At the rate they are going, the City of Cincinnati is rapidly headed in this direction.  Hamilton County seems like it is working its way out of the Stadium fund deficit without a (further) tax hike.

Read it here.

A very big two weeks ahead for COAST

COAST has a big two weeks before us.

1) By next Wednesday, and possibly earlier, we will have a decision on the permanent injunction on whether the petitioners will be allowed to referendum the issue.  (Note, regardless of how Judge Winkler rules, we intend to submit our petitions and the deadline is the third, so we have to get these petitions fired up!)

2) Judge Steve Martin is reviewing, "in camera" (meaning that the Judge sees them for now), the e-mails to and from the personal e-mail accounts of CPS personnel as they plotted the use of school resources.  We expect him to decide by next Friday which of those e-mails must be turned over in this case.

3) We MUST finish the Parking Plot petition drive by next Monday.  We need all COASTers to weigh in to help on this important effort.

So, we expect progress on a number of fronts this week.  We are calling on all COASTers to help out.

The home stretch

The Parking petitions are due next Monday Tuesday, April 2.  (Sorry, was looking at calendar for wrong month.) 

Thus, we are in the final, final stretch of this petition drive for a referendum to claim (reclaim) our City from the greedy investment bankers from New York City, and really from the utterly irresponsible City Council who has forced us into a position of mortgaging our future in this way, rather than addressing head-on our City's budgetary problems.

We hope to have a new petition count by night, but we know WE NEED HELP to finish this drive.

1)  Cash.  For every $2 donated, we will turn that into a good signature.  $5,000 in cash would finish off this drive.

2)  Time.  We need petition gatherers working hours in good locations.  We have the petitions; we have the locations.  Each volunteer hour nets between 35 and 50 signatures.  It's pretty much a straight-line equation of hours to results.  Can we count on you for four hours this week, 100 signatures?

3) Spread the word.  Liberty is not free; it comes at the price of eternal vigilance, and this petition to prevent a catastrophic decision from our Council is part of that vigilance.  ANY OHIO RESIDENT can circulate a petition.  Please spread the word to City residents and Tea Parties throughout the region.

We are not over-stating the need; it is critical and it is urgent.  We need several thousand signatures to finish this drive strong.

Please let us know how you can help. Call Tom Brinkman, Jr., 237-4054, to learn how you can help.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

COAST kills it with big day of signatures

In the annals of COAST's history today, March 23, 2013, will go down as one of our big days.  Today, a dozen COAST volunteers hit the streets with Parking Plot petitions to stop the Wall Street takeover of Cincinnati's parking meters.

Tom Brinkman, Jr. led a crew that did a drive-thru signing in the middle of Mt. Lookout Square with Dan St. Charles, and Kim Grant manning the station with him.  Hundreds of motorists and pedestrians came by to thank the petitioners for leading the charge against the misguided City policy, and to sign the petition.

Others worked Hyde Park Square, Findlay Market and other City locations.

Christopher Smitherman, Amy Murray, Pete Witte and John Cranley were leading other teams in the field.

It was a beautiful, sunny day and hundreds if not thousands of signatures were obtained.

We have only one more weekend before the petition drive concludes, and so please volunteer this week and next weekend for the final push.

Thanks to everyone involved.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Calling all patriots

We are today exactly 15 days into the referendum period for the Parking Plot petitions with exactly 15 days left.  While our organizers have not given us a new count for a few days, we know we will have to turn on the afterburners, inject some nox, kick it up a few notches, and fire it up. 

The NAACP volunteers have carried the heavy burden of this petition drive to date.  Mayoral candidate Jim Berns has himself collected more than 500 signatures.  And COASTers, while helping, have not yet fully delivered in this effort.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is time.  We are calling all patriots to brave the elements this weekend.  Attend Fish Frys and Ravolli dinners.  Stand in Hyde Park and Mt. Lookout Square in the snow.  Tromp door to door in Evanston. And pound the pavement in Westwood.

We are calling -- right now -- all patriots to the aid of this critical cause of liberty.  Help us reclaim Cincinnati from the elected lunatics on Council.  Any Ohio resident may circulate a petition.

We are calling on all patriots to help in this noble and historic cause.

Call COAST Chairman Tom Brinkman, Jr. to volunteer.  513-237-4054.

Outrageous Abuses Never End - Email of the Day

COAST has been diligently highlighting the more outrageous abuses of public dollars by Cincinnati Public Schools. 

Today we bring you an email exchange between a teacher at the John P. Parker school and Jens Sutmoller, the campaign manager for the levy campaign. Patsy Holmes asks if they can host the pro-levy postcard signing party at the school. 

Why Judge Winkler should rule to allow the referendum

As dozens and perhaps hundreds of volunteers throughout the City busily gather signatures to place the Parking Plot referendum before the voters, they all have one underlying question: Will Judge Winkler allow the referendum to proceed to the ballot?

COAST does not know the answer to that question, but after reviewing the briefs in this matter we know that he certainly should.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Read Judge Winkler's Order Extending the TRO

This afternoon Judge Robert Winkler extended the Temporary Restraining Order against Cincinnati precluding the execution of a lease of Cincinnati's Parking Assets for another 14 days.

Petitioners will continue to circulate and gather signatures. Now is not the time to rest on our laurels. Please redouble your efforts so that the people of Cincinnati will have a voice in one of the most important decisions in Cincinnati history.

Keep up to date on petition news at

Read Judge Winkler's Order below:

Breaking news: Judge Winkler extends TRO for 14 days!

Petitioners seeking a referendum on the City's Parking Plot just got some good news this morning.  Apparently Judge Winkler's chambers has announced (have not seen actual order yet) that he intends to extend the Temporary Restraining Order for an additional 14 days, through April 3. 

This guarantees petitioners have sufficient time to finish the petition drive.

Please do two things to advance this effort:

1)  Please get as many signatures as possible as soon as possible.

2)  Please get them turned in to Christopher Smitherman at 1703 Dale Road, Cincinnati, OH 45237.  That's his private financial planning office.

We need to finish this part of the effort strong!

Urging our petitioners forward

Ladies and gentlemen of COAST, and our loyal blog readers, this is a sincere call to action.

The petition drive to get the Parking Plot referendum on the ballot needs the aid of all good men and women of this City.  As the legal wheels grind forward, many are waiting anxiously for Judge Winkler's decision.  But we cannot "wait." We must move forward with the petition drive, because the clock is ticking on the deadline.

Our esteemed Chairman, Tom Brinkman, Jr., is working to organize a thrust for this weekend, and has petitions available.  Please contact him at 237-4054 to get a petition, get cracking, and get involved this week or for this weekend.

The deadline is not being extended by the legal wrangling.  It is still the end of the month.  So, please engage now to help this important cause.

More details are available at

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Parking: No word yet

The arguments presented in Friday's dramatic hearing in front of Judge Bob Winkler in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court are aimed at determining whether the citizens of Cincinnati have a right to hold a referendum vote on the disastrous Cincinnati Parking Plot foisted upon us by Roxanne Qualls, Chris Seelbach and a majority of the Council.

Judge Winkler took the matter under advisement, needing time to sort through the facts presented and the arguments made in briefs and orally in Court.

In the meantime, dozens if not hundreds of volunteers, on the streets, inside small businesses, at community Councils, at Fish Frys and in homes throughout the City have been busily gathering the needed 8,500 signatures to place the issue before the voters.  Organizers hope to turn in those signatures no later than month's end.

We wanted to let you know that Judge Winkler has not yet ruled, and indeed is in the middle of a major murder trial.  So, he might not rule any time soon.

But every day we have the injunction in place, is another day that the people of Cincinnati breathe the air of freedom of being able to petition their government, and is another day we have a chance, just a chance, to reclaim this City from an out-of-control City Council.

One month of radio silence on Streetcar

It was Friday, February 11 that the City of Cincinnati received bids for laying the tracks for the Streetcar system.  The bids came in some $37 million over budget just weeks after the City placed its non-revokable order for the streetcars from Spain at a cost of $20 million.

Immediately, the City Manager and Mayor were issuing press statements that "all is well" and we were, as a citizenry, to remain calm.  It was, as always, well in hand.

That week, they promised us they would be re-working the numbers and reporting back to us soon.  In the meantime, the City passed the parking plot, and voters and the media have been distracted with that new shiny object.

Now, it has been more than a month since the latest Streetcar crisis and...nothing.

And all the while, the City fiddles in re-working yet another time the Streetcar project, figuring out just how they can save face, save money and save the all important Cincinnati Streetcar project...from itself.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The consequences of unsustainable debt

History and human experience tell us the consequence of unsustainable debt: the creditor "owns" the debtor and, being in a superior negotiating position, gets to name his terms.

Such is the case in the Cincinnati Parking Plot, where New York investment bankers dictate horribly one-sided terms to a Council strapped by debt and unsustainable spending.

As this article about the Cypriot debt crisis addresses, the consequences are painful.

Is City Council finally cornered?

In case we have not yet been clear about what COAST wants in the great City budget debate, it is really just honest, efficient, balanced budgeting. For eight years under Mayor Mark Mallory, Cincinnati has suffered grievously from just the opposite -- dishonest, inefficient and structurally imbalanced budgeting.  

But as is explained below, the final act in the play of betrayal by this odious Council may start next week. For, if Judge Winkler continues his current injunction permanently when he rules next week, Council will have utterly no option but finally to come to grips with their unreformed, profligate spending. 

The rats finally will be cornered. 

Can you really trust a parking meter?

Track the time displayed on the parking meter versus the YouTube timer on this video. You'll see a difference of about 3 seconds develop over a period of 30 seconds, indicating the meter is running about 10% fast.


Red light cameras (now banned in Cincinnati) use similar dirty tricks to ensnare unsuspecting citizens with expensive tickets by monkeying with yellow light times.

Over and over again we see that whenever law enforcement is viewed as a 'for-profit' enterprise by government, it ALWAYS leads to abuse. Sign the parking petition today.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The path to victory

A powerful drama played out today in Judge Bob Winkler's courtroom with attorney Curt Hartman representing community leaders fighting for ballot access for a referendum on Cincinnati City Council's Parking Plot.  On the other side were three attorneys from the City Solicitor's office and three more from the Dinsmore law firm, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars to Cincinnati taxpayers.

Judge Winker has taken the matter under advisement.

How might this play out?, everyone is asking.

Why do they so fear the voters?

Mayor Mallory and his majority that slavishly supports every item on his agenda have made their careers by winning elections, convincing the electorate to back their various candidacies.

Thus, you would think they would embrace, not fear, the voters.

But not on the parking issue.

Throughout last week's City Council debate on the Parking Plot, they tried every procedural and legal trick in the book to make the measure referendum-proof.  And then last week and this, they ramped up the battle in Court, fighting COAST's challenge to assure the voters' referendum rights.  Yesterday, they added -- at a cost of tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars -- attorneys from politically-connected Dinsmore & Shohl to try to influence the outcome of the judicial proceeding (it won't work).

We find it amusing when legislators, who make their living wooing the electorate, so strongly fear a public vote, the very voice of their constituents.

We suspect their fear is for good reason.

Can you trust a parking meter?

...or the rapacious politicians who use them to get into your wallets?

The meter reads "10," and when he inserts the nickel it goes up to "14."
After inserting a dime, it goes up to "23."
after inserting a quarter, it goes up to "31."

14-10=4; 5 cents divided by 4 minutes equals 1.25 cents per minute.
23-14=9; 10 cents divided by 9 minutes equals 1.11 cents per minute.
31-23=8; 25 cents divided by 8 minutes equals 3.12 cents per minute.

Qualls' parking plan doesn't add up either. Sign the parking petition today.

Send Mascots, Bands and Cheerleaders! - Email of the Day

The treasure trove of emails continues to showcase what can only be called a pathological abuse of public resources; abuses about which we all know school administrators ought to be hyper-aware. As a future email of the day will demonstrate, all of the emails turned over and posted for public consumption were written with the full knowledge of the COAST agreement by the senders and recipients; and that, by their actions using tax dollars for political campaigning, they were trampling all over state law and the COAST agreement.

Today we laugh to avoid crying. Warren Zevon used to sing: "Send Lawyers, Guns and Money." Tom Frank, CPS union organizer, does him one better: "Send Mascots, Bands and Cheerleaders." Or maybe Judy Collins' "Send in the Clowns."

Read here as Tom Frank emails CPS teachers (at their official CPS emails) to arrange to have High School cheerleaders and marching bands bused to a political rally in support of the school levy. (As we already told you, you can't make this stuff up!)

Notice also that the Walnut Hills music teacher replies in the middle of the school day (using his CPS email); and that he is apparently unable to spell "can't." Sursum ad summum indeed.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Tomorrow is legal showdown in Judge Bob Winkler's Courtroom

The eyes and ears of everyone in Cincinnati will be focused on developments in Judge Robert Winkler's Courtroom as he hears the preliminary and permanant injunction in the case of McQueen v. Dohoney, the "Parking Meter case."

What is at stake is the simple question of whether the people of Cincinnati should be able to referendum the 30-year lease of the parking meters in Cincinnati, an outcome the Council dreads.

Today we learned from our legal team that the Dinsmore law firm has entered the fray on behalf of the City, presumably to add some political heft to their position.  Former GOP Chairman George Vincent represents the City in the aciton and current GOP Chair Alex Triantafilou is also with the firm.

So, we pray for wisdom and courage in Judge Winkler who must be under tremendous pressure in this case.

A Simple Economics Lesson for the Gang of Six

National Review Online offers this simple lesson "Children of the Corn"

We'll cut to the punchline: 
And the worst-case scenario is borrowing corn to eat today to be paid back out of future harvests.
Mayor Mallory and the Gang of Six could learn a lot.

You never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression

The first contact many of our visitors have with the city of Cincinnati will be the machine they park next to. Will high parking prices, overzealous enforcement and rapacious ticketing make them feel welcome?


Don't bother cursing at Roxanne Qualls, Laure Quinlivan, Wendall Young, Cecil Thomas, or Chris "Judas Iscariot" Seelbach. They didn't bother listening to constituent concerns when hatching this scheme, and aren't likely to start now.

Sign the parking petition to send them a message they'll understand.

A Hyper-Aware Shakedown

As if the disclosures from Cincinnati Public Schools to date have not been sufficiently scandalous, COAST recently received another treasure trove of documents showing the outrageous top-to-bottom misuse of public resources for political campaigning. Over the next few days we will share with you even more of the "emails of the day"showing, sometimes so outrageously as to be humorous, the systemic abuse of tax dollars to pass the Cincinnati Public School levy this past November.

Today's installment is an outrageous and overt shakedown of school district vendors for contributions of $5,000 each. Read that letter below.

This letter, and many like it, was sent to CPS vendors. Perhaps a Hyper-Naive Enquirer Editorial writer would call this just another Hyper-Aware Shakedown??  Or maybe some good old fashioned, ho-hum Hyper-Aware Pay to Play??

Apropos of possibly nothing, read about how a former Detroit Mayor is going to Federal Prison for steering contracts in exchange for financial contributions here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Parking referendum petitions already in their 3rd printing

It is way to early to tell the results of the referendum petition to repeal Chris Seelbach's Parking Plot, but the early response we are hearing from the field is tremendously encouraging.

One sign of the drive's success is that petition committee organizers keep printing too few petition forms, and twice now have been forced to return to the printer for more forms.  Organizers are now on their third printing, and it's only four days into the drive.

The other piece of consumer research available to us is that petitioners who have worked on some or all of the seven petition drives conducted by the Cincinnati Chapter of the NAACP (jail tax, red light cameras, proportional representation, water works, streetcar I, Streetcar II, and trash tax [are we missing any?]) are reporting that signers are relatively well-informed about the issue and more enthusiastic than usual to sign the petition.

Now, this does not mean any circulator can rest easy, as we need everyone to dig deeply into their reservoir of volunteer energy to tackle this large task, but there are solid early signs that this drive will succeed.

Parking meters: creating crime

Privatized parking company places meters in illegal locations to entrap citizens with expensive tickets.

Don't become a victim of the rapacious parking plan contrived by Qualls', Quinlivan, Thomas, Young, and Chris "Judas" Seelbach.

Sign the parking petition today.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The unity is inspiring -- we can come together as a City

The lede of this Enquirer blog piece choked us up a bit:
The NAACP just announced that Graeter’s invited anyone who wants to collect signatures to put Cincinnati’s parking lease before the voters in November can collect in front of their ice cream stores.
In itself, it's a fairly insignificant development in the context of a brave, insurgent effort to reclaim the City from the nutcases that have held it under their control for the past 15 months, but in some sense it was remarkable in how unremarkable it seemed.

They all focus on who gets how much revenue

It's interesting, as in this WCPO profile on the sleazy, predatory Parking Lease approved by a majority of the Council and Chris Seelbach, that the bureaucrats, businessmen and media always focus on whether Cincinnati is going to get its fair share of the booty (it is not) and how much the venture capitalists are reap from the illicit harvest, but what they all seem to miss is that someone has to pay these monies to get the revenue into the system to begin with.

Petitions are Available

The Coalition fighting the Parking Plot is currently circulating petitions. Only residents of the City of Cincinnati can sign.

Petitions are available to sign:

in Hyde Park above Indigo's at 2637 Erie Avenue suite 201. Petitions are available through 5 pm.

in Price Hill at Baron Engraving 4131 Glenway Ave.

in Mt. Washington Salem Hardware 6401 Salem Road Cincinnati, OH 45230

More locations to follow.

Call Pete Witte for more information: 513-400-5621.

Can you trust a parking meter?

Apparently parking meters are programmed with the same timers used to limit public comments at council meetings.


Cheated by the very people elected to serve. Sort of like the voter suppression subterfuge that Qualls, Quinlivan, Young, Thomas, and Chris "Judas Iscariot" Seelbach used to prevent you from voting on Cincinnati's future.

Don't stand for it.  Sign the parking petition today.

Finally! Jean Schmidt Files Termination Report

Jean Schmidt finally filed her Ethics Committee Termination Report.

The report was received by the Ethics Committee on March 1 (it was due by February 3), and was posted online this morning.

Former Congresswoman Schmidt acknowledges between $515,000 and $1,050,000 in debts to attorneys for legal services that were illegally paid by the Turkish Coalition of America.

This is the same amount she reported in May of 2012. She also reports millions of dollars of personal wealth and that she has not used any of her personal wealth to pay these bills. Proving the lie that she always intended to pay and was merely waiting for the Ethics Committee guidance.

Chaos envelops Mayor Mallory's City

As the City comes to the close of the era of Mayor Mark Mallory, chaos envelops the City.  And it is so because, as with other politicians of the early decades of the new millennium, the modus operandi is to defer every hard decision, delay cutting spending and reforming government, borrow every penny possible, and spend like there's no tomorrow.

Thus, as Mayor Mallory leaves office, and Roxanne Qualls, his loyal lieutenant, seeks to succeed him, the City is mired in quagmire after crises:
  • The Streetcar boondoggle is already, admittedly, $25 million over budget, and has huge additional holes from the Duke Energy lawsuit and the Blue Ash Airport lawsuit.
  • The City's general fund is another $25 million out of balance, with the only hope being the sale of the City's parking revenues for 30 years to venture capitalists from New York City.  Community leaders are rising up against this plan.
  • The City's pension fund is some $700 million out of balance, and getting further in the hole each year as a result of under-funding.
  • City residents and businesses continue to flee the City at the rate of nearly 10 residents per day, each and every day, year in and year out.
So, Mayor Mallory will leave public service, and will leave the City in a state of unprecedented dysfunction with a fat retirement package.  And those City residents who remain will be left to pick up the pieces.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Pension fund fraud -- sounds like Cincinnati to us!

Finally the Securities and Exchange Commission has come down on a fraudulently-run pension system, in this case the Illinois state pension system, a Ponzi scheme on the magnitude of that run by Bernie Madoff.

But what about Cincinnati's system, more than $700 million in the hole, and annually under-funded.

The bills will come due, someday, ladies and gentlemen.  And we will get to pay them!  

Maag, Mallory Stepping Up Against Red Light Cameras

State Reps Ron Maag and Dale Mallory are leading the fight in Columbus against Red Light and Speed Cameras.

Today they hosted a press conference in Elmwood Place announcing their efforts to ban these tools of abuse and tyranny from the State of Ohio once and for all.

COAST has led the fight in municipalities across the state against Red Light Cameras and we cheer on Maag and Mallory for their principled stand.

Read more from the Enquirer here.

Brian Thomas covers NAACP and Parking Plot Petitions

This morning Brian Thomas spoke about the bogus Enquirer story about the NAACP and with Pete Witte about the Parking Plot Petitions.

Listen below starting at 9:00

Revisiting the Garbage Fee

It looks like the uber-hip, ultra-informed urbanistas living in the Peoples' Republic of Over the Rhine are coming to realize that the bill for all their grandiose schemes is coming due.

Over at Urban Ohio blog they are starting to rumble that their garbage collection is about to be cut off.

Parking meters rob citizens

Is this the image Cincinnati wants to project to the world?

Clean up our act. Sign the parking petition today.

Once again, a broad coalition is formed for progress in Cincinnati

Led by the NAACP and Christopher Smitherman, once again COAST has joined in a broad coalition for progress in Cincinnati.

This time, Community Councils like Northside Community Council, the Clifton Town Meeting, the Oakley Community Council, and the Price Hill Community Council have joined the NAACP and COAST in a broad coalition to repeal the disastrous parking plan foisted upon Cincinnati voters by Roxanne Qualls and the five sycophants, Seelbach, Quinlivan, Thomas, Simpson and Young.

Previous efforts led by COAST and the NAACP that have been successful have prevented the sale of Cincinnati's Water Works, banned a trash tax, stopped red light and speeding cameras, and slammed the brakes in the Super-Sized Jail Tax.  Now, that's what we call progress!

[By the way, media characterizations that this effort is led by COAST are an overstatement.  We are glad to help, but others like the NAACP and Pete Witte are leading this fight.]

Behold the power of left-right, black-white, east-west coalitions against the worst policies this Council can attempt to jam down our throats.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Crowds arrive at Oakley Square to launch parking petition campaign

The petition drive for a referendum on the calamitous parking plan of Cincinnati City Council is out of the gate with today's press conference and rally in Oakley Square.  Led by Pete Witte, Amy Murray and Christopher Smitherman, and leaders from Clifton, Oakley, Hyde Park, Price Hill, Mt. Lookout and elsewhere, the multi-racial, multi-partisan, campaign that also crosses economic lines has begun.

The Cincinnati Enquirer has a nice linked video here.

Call Pete Witte at 513-376-0673 to learn how to get involved.  We have 24 days to complete the task.

The People want the Petition

An Enquirer online poll shows Cincinnatians favor a vote on the Parking Plot by a nearly 2-1 margin. In politics, that is beyond overwhelming. Only the most tone deaf politicians would ignore the will of the people to such a degree.

Thanks to the hard work and diligence of leaders like Christopher Smitherman, Amy Murray and Pete Witte, Cincinnatians will have their chance to sign a petition to put the measure to the voters and rebuke the Parking lot Plotters - Qualls, Quinlivan, Seelbach, Simpson, Thomas and Young.

The Petition drive kicks off today at 2 pm at Oakley Square. Get yourself to Oakley and stop the Plotters!

City Council: Neighborly or miserly?

After the intro, skip ahead to 2:30.

Neighbors look out for each other. That's what being a member of a community is all about.


Do Roxanne Qualls, Laure Quinlivan, Cecil Thomas, Wendall Young, and Chris "Judas" Seelbach have the best interests of you and your business at heart? Or do you feel like just another pocket to be picked?

Cincinnati used to be known for warmth and graciousness in how we treat our visitors. The Democratic's rapacious parking plan makes our guests feel unwelcome.

Do a good deed for your neighbors.  Sign the parking petition today.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Parking Plot Petition Kickoff

The petition drive to stop the Parking Plot kicks off Sunday at 2 pm in Oakley Square. Join Christopher Smitherman, Pete Witte and many other community leaders as we exercise our First Amendment rights to Peaceably Assemble and Petition the Government.

Petitions will be available to sign and for you to take with you to circulate amongst your friends and neighbors in Cincinnati.

Suburbs to Subsidize Parking Privatization...

The Urban Progressors - Streetcar Sycophants, etc. - love to howl whenever a person from Anderson or Green Township speaks out against the latest Cincinnati Boondoggle; shouting "you don't live in the city you don't get to have an opinion..." But, when it comes time to pay for these horrible ideas, the bill never stops at the city limits.

Take, for instance, the privatization of the parking meters. We all understand that non-city residents will be hit with the additional cost of parking downtown and in the city's neighborhoods (we've actually met people who live in Kenwood that shop in Hyde Park for instance). Ultimately, the market will take care of itself on that. People will make private decisions about whether or not to live, shop and play within the borders of Cincinnati (to the detriment of Cincinnati businesses).

However, not every cost of the parking meter privatization will be paid at the meter. Hamilton County Auditor, Dusty Rhodes, has indicated that the parking meters, once in private hands, will have to be tested periodically by the County Auditor. The cost of these tests are not paid by the operator or owner of the meters, but are paid by the people of Hamilton County

Mayor Mallory, Roxanne Qualls and Chris Seelbach, not content with picking the pockets of those foolish enough to live, work or play within the city limits of Cincinnati, now reach out to the suburbs to cover they cost of their bad decisions.

Everybody loves parking police

Citizens of San Diego LOVE their rapacious parking enforcement [sarcasm].

Coming soon to Cincinnati, unless you stop it at the polls.

Parking plan referendum petitions now available

Now that the legal wrangling has wrapped up for the week, thanks to Judge Bob Winkler, the people of Cincinnati have been placed in control of their own destiny.  The outcome of the of the well-publicized lawsuit (so far) is that the right of referendum in the people of Cincinnati is preserved.

But that means the people must now seize that opportunity -- and  collect 7,500 good signatures in 25 days or less to secure a position on the November ballot.

Leading the petition drive will be Council member Christopher Smitherman, the Cincinnati NAACP and Price Hill activist Peter Witte.  (Witte was one of the Plaintiffs in the lawsuit before Judge Bob Winkler that has allowed this petition drive to proceed.)

For petitions,
  • Call Michelle Edwards at 659-0487 or pick them up at the NAACP offices at 4439 Reading Road.
  • Call Pete Witte at 513-376-0673 or pick them up at his business, Baron Engraving, 4131 Glenway Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio 45205.  
If your business wants to help distribute petitions or be a signature collection point, let us know (Treasurer@goCOAST.Org) and we will get you a supply of materials and announce the same here on the COAST blog. 

Time is of the essence.  We need these signatures in hand quickly.  Thank you for your help.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Picking your pocket by "privatizing" parking

Roxanne Qualls' rapacious parking plan has been tried before...with disastrous results.

Hamilton County Commissioners - Standing with Citizens

The people of Hamilton County are fortunate to have leaders like Chris Monzel and Greg Hartmann on the board of County Commissioners.

That is no more clear than in this letter opposing the Duke rate increase.

While you may have forgotten about the Duke Streetcar Tax, COAST hasn't.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Seelbach's Sell-Out Explained

For the past two days Chris Seelbach has been telling everyone who will listen that COAST is lying about his vote. Let us be perfectly clear. The Parking Plot was made up of multiple votes. The vote that mattered, the vote that COAST always said mattered, was the vote on the Emergency Clause. 

Seelbach claimed that he was going to oppose the Parking Plot. However, he voted to enshrine the parking plot into Cincinnati law and disenfranchise Cincinnatians by taking away our right to hold a referendum to stop the deal.

Seelbach is trying to pull a classic John Kerry "Voted Against it before I voted for It..." scam. Don't let him get away with it.

We knew he was going to do this. We told you he was going to do this. And now we are going to make sure the world knows that when it mattered, when the people of Cincinnati needed a champion, when Chris Seelbach had the opportunity to stand up and deliver for the people of Cincinnati, he fell in line behind Mayor Mallory and Roxanne Qualls. And now he is hiding behind the most blatantly shameless and disingenuous political pandering. Shame on Seelbach.  

Media Rundown on the Parking Lot Plot

The airwaves were burning up today with discussion of the Mallory/Qualls/Seelbach Parking Plot.

Seelbach backstabbed the people of Cincinnati by voting for the "Emergency Clause" - a naked attempt to disenfranchise the voters of Cincinnati.

Brian Thomas at 55KRC started the day off with Christopher Smitherman and John Cranley discussing the dastardly plot.

PG Sittenfeld got in the act with Scott Sloan.

Then Willie Cunningham brought Christopher Smitherman onto the airwaves of the Big One 

The next step -- a Referendum petition

Judge Bob Winkler's courageous issuance yesterday afternoon of a Temporary Restraining Order on the City's calamitous parking plan now sets the stage for a dramatic referendum -- a public vote -- on the Council's decision to sell our community's parking assets to venture capitalists from New York City.

The best part -- Lease signing party at Jeff Ruby's The Precinct -- CANCELLED!

After today's Cincinnati City Council meeting, New York bankers and lawyers, predators rubbing their hands together with glee and greed, gathered in the City Solicitor's office to quickly sign the 50-year lease of Cincinnati's parking assets immediately after the Council "emergency" vote and before Court action could prevent the firesale of City assets.  For, under the law, once the lease actually is signed -- the would be no act to enjoin.

But amazingly, less than 10 minutes after Council adjourned, COAST lawyer Curt Hartman had filed suit, argued the matter before Judge Bob Winkler, received a fully enforceable Temporary Restraining Order and served the same on City attorneys and the Mayor.

Thus, the lease signing was canceled, and the post-signing celebratory party at Jeff Ruby's Precinct by the plunderers from Xerox and Guggenheim preying on our citizenry was cancelled. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Citizens Obtain TRO Halting Parking Lease

While Judas Iscariot Seelbach was selling out the City, COAST's legal dream team was waiting at the Courthouse to file a request for a temporary restraining order blocking the lease from being completed.

Judge Robert Winkler granted the order and now Milton Dohoney is restrained from moving forward with selling out the City. It may be that Seelbach sold out the City for nothing. But at least we know exactly where he stands.

Read the TRO below:

  McQueen v Dohoney TRO by COAST  

Updates to follow.

Seelbach as Sellout

Despite his repeated claims that he would not betray the people of Cincinnati, Chris Seelbach today sold out the people of Cincinnati in support of the Mallory/Qualls Parking screwjob.

The people of Cincinnati must remember this in November and make him pay for his treachery.

The Gang of Six responsible for this outrageous plan are Qualls, Quinlivan, Seelbach, Simpson, Thomas and Young.

Remember those names and make sure that they never again receive your financial support or your vote.

Email City Hall and let them know you will make them pay:

Today's the day for Parking vote -- accountability is coming

As you watch the vote in Cincinnati Council this afternoon, watch for two things:

Did we happen to mention....

Today is the first anniversary of perhaps the greatest day in political history.

Yes, one year ago today, at approximately 10:56 PM, we learned that Lt. Col. Dr. Brad Wenstrup soundly defeated the disgraced, embarrassing, dishonest Congressman Jean Schmidt for the Republican nomination for Ohio's Second Congressional District, ending a seven-year battle by COASTers to assure her unceremonious removal from office.

Read about it one more time, here.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Jean Schmidt - Still Ignoring Ethics Rules...

Dee Shesgreen at the Enquirer links to a report by Legistorm that Jean Schmidt has failed to comply with House Ethics rules (and Federal Law) requiring former (God we love that word) members to file a Financial Disclosure no later than 30 days after leaving office.

Jean's final day was January 3.  Meaning the report was due by February 2. The law allows an additional 30 day grace period before penalties are assessed or prosecution. Which, by our calendar is today, March 4.

We look forward to seeing how the Ethics Committee whitewashes Jean's latest violation.

One update to the report, Steve Austria filed his financial disclosure on February 12.

Winburn to Announce Plan "C" - Avoid Parking Deal


For Immediate Release:    March 1, 2013
Contact:        Edith Thrower, Chief of Staff


              “It’s Irresponsible to lay off Police Officers and Fire Fighters when you don’t have to,” states Winburn.

Kathy Harrell, President of the FOP #69, and Matt Alter, President of the Cincinnati Fire Fighters Union Local #48, will be in attendance.

Cincinnati, OH---Cincinnati City Councilmember Charlie Winburn is conducting a press conference on Monday, March 4, 2013, at 10:30 A.M., at the Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police Headquarters located at 1900 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH, to unveil his Budget Plan “C” without eliminating 344 city jobs, raising taxes or privatizing city parking.

Winburn Press Conference
Monday, March 4, 2013
10:30 A.M.
Fraternal Order of Police Queen City Lodge #69
1900 Central Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45214

Sunday, March 3, 2013

$85 billion

$85 billion.  That's a lot of money.

That's the amount of the total sequester, once fully implemented (initially it is only half of that).

Financial terms of parking deal screw job come into focus

After months and weeks of hiding the financial terms of the sale of the City's parking assets, today's Enquirer now fully reports on the screw job of the taxpayers advanced by Roxanne Qualls and her Council lemmings.

[Note that it is interesting that Council members and Maggie Buchanan's editorial  page endorsed the proposal before the details were even known!  Hmmm.]

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Contact Chris Seelbach Today

The Enquirer reports that Wendell Young intends to Sell Out Cincinnati by voting in support of the plan to lease out city owned parking facilities.

Young joins the rogues' gallery of Roxanne Qualls, Cecil Thomas, Laure Quinlivan and Yvette Simpson. For these five it would seem that the city consists solely of the proposed route of the Streetcar Boondoggle.

Notice to prospective Cincinnati City Council candidates!

This is the year.

As with the GOP takeover of the Congress in 1994 and again in 2010, COAST is giving you advance notice that "this is the year" for moderates and conservatives to take over City Hall.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Plan to sell Cincinnati's parking appears beatable

According to the Enquirer, Chris Seelbach says he is a "no" vote on the parking plan.  We will see.  Until now, he has been a reliable 6th vote for the Mallory/Dohoney/Qualls agenda at City Hall.

The big picture -- Get America back to work

In this piece, we are going to say things that are common sense, but as we have seen in Washington, common sense ain't so common.  And we need some big-picture thinking, not the small thinking that our national leaders have been giving us.

Empower U Ohio Presents Fracknation

Get your popcorn and sodas ready because EmpowerU is bringing you the movie Fracknation this Monday March 5, at 7 pm Connections Church Madiera, OH.

In FrackNation journalist Phelim McAleer faces threats, cops and bogus lawsuits questioning green extremists for the truth about fracking. McAleer uncovers fracking facts suppressed by environmental activists, and he talks with rural Americans whose livelihoods are at risk if fracking is banned. Emotions run high but the truth runs deep.