When politicians want a specific outcome in a tax-and-spending fight, they resort to two tactics: (i) they hide behind the vagaries of budgetary numbers and threaten the most visible, most popular programs with draconian cuts and (ii) they claim some legal basis preventing revenue from one pot being placed toward the expense that really needs the money.
And the lazy media, in entirely too symbiotic of a relationship with the administrators and politicians, never even think to question the assumptions underlying the the politicians' threats. Thus, the threats are published without so much of a thought, much less a question, and never any third party research: Perhaps they are lying to us?
Naaah, they just print the press releases of the incumbent politicians as true, and fail to consider the contrarian position.
Two of those lies were laid bare before the public today, both arising from the twin "pink slip" press conferences, the first on March 29 in a panic after Judge Winker's inspired ruling on the Parking Plot referendum (Mallory and Dohoney), and the second five days later, in which Mallory was joined by Roxanne Qualls, Laure Quinlivan, Yvette Simpson and Cecil Thomas.
As those two press events, they shamelessly spun two lies to the public in desperate hopes that the voters would reject the referendum petitions, and place their faith in the Mayor, the administration and the Council on the horrendous public policy decision that is the Parking Plot
(A) That without the revenue from the Parking Plot, the City would lay off at least 300 policemen and firefighters, and
(B) That it was illegal for the City to divert revenue from "parking assets" (such as parking meters) into the City's general fund.The public thunderously rejected that cynical appeal to their emotions with the Shock and Awe response to the Parking Petition -- 19,803 signatures gathered, more than 2.3 times the minimum number needed for ballot access.
But Cincinnati's news media continued to buy the City's dishonest spin on the news, scaring ordinary folks that they would lose valued police and fire protection, and the legal proposition that the City could not maximize its parking assets and spend the monies on police and fire protection themselves. COAST brilliantly exposed that second lie here, and the media completely ignored that dramatic prevarication of the Mayor and Council member Laure Quinlivan.
Today, the other lie -- the claimed layoffs of valued safety personnel -- was belied by Council's vote to balance the City budget without laying off a single one.
So, we will ask again: Do they want to sell newspapers? Do they want T.V. viewership? Do they want radio listeners? Do they want the hundreds of thousands of internet clicks like the COAST blog? If so, they ought to adopt the contrarian viewpoint, and stop printing those damn City Hall press releases.
Do we expect they will? Naaah.