Sunday, June 30, 2013

We shall never surrender -- Winston Churchill

In times like these, we are reminded of Winston Churchill's "We shall fight on the beaches" speech.

This link provides the whole speech and some context.  Here's the famous excerpt: 
We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
The audio of the speech is here.

Yes, we shall never surrender.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

NRCC: Eight unbelievable things Nancy Pelosi has said

House Minority Leader (and we hopes she stays int he minority) Nancy Pelosi has said some really outrageous things over the years.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, the Committee specifically charged with keeping her in the minority) has compiled a video log of her eight most incredible statements.

Watch them and read about them here.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

COAST helping with Workplace Freedom petitions

Ohioans for Workplace Freedom is moving forward with petitions to place an Ohio Constitutional Amendment on the ballot for Workplace Freedom (right to work).

If you want a petition to circulate, please contact Tom Brinkman, Jr. at 513-237-4054 or Chris Littleton at 937-499-3594.

They need lots of help, as it is a statewide petition.

Municipal officials and red light camera operators: Don't mess with Judge Ruehlmann

Despite the blaring headlines and strong orders from the Common Pleas Court enjoining the conduct, the City fathers of the village of Elmwood Place and the greedy Red Light Camera company that ensnared more than  6,000 claimed speeders in a single month of operation, they kept monitoring motorists behavior with the cameras.

Pam Thomas Pulls a Seelbach!

In the vote on an additional $17.4 Million (by no means the last "additional" funding this project will require), Cincinnati's newest Councilmember, Pamula Thomas voted "no" on the ordinance and "Yes" on the emergency.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Red Light Camera ban advances thanks to Reps. Mallory and Maag

Democrat Representative Dale Mallory and Republican Representative Ron Maag have teamed up to rid all of Ohio of the pernicious Red Light Cameras, and today the bill passed the Ohio House by a margin of 61-32.

COASTers Brian Shrive, Gene Utz and Stephan Louis provided testimony in support of the legislation.

Read more here.  

The Enquirer speaks lucidly, again

For the third or fourth time now, the Enquirer has spoken with remarkable consistency against the Streetcar boondoggle.

Notwithstanding this moment of lucid thoughts, we fully expect them to endorse the return of most if not all of these lunatics to City Council this fall.

Read it here.

The Streetcar blank check

The news media report that City Council, led by Finance Chairman Roxanne Qualls, voted today to provide an additional $17.4 million for the Cincinnati Streetcar.  And as an immediate matter, they are correct.  But in the bigger picture, the Council did far more than that.
  • They gave the administration the go-ahead for a project for which no one knows the cost.  This is so because there are a multitude of variables in the construction that are unknown, and the very bid off of which the overruns were originally based was from Messer Construction, and that bid has expired.

There must be 50 ways to...waste money

The Cincinnati Enquirer did a decent job this week highlighting the wasteful uses of the $750,000 that Duke Energy gave Cincinnati to "buy" their assent to the Convergys/Duke Energy merger, and the move of the company's HQ to Charlotte.

It was yet another opportunity squandered by Mayor Mark Mallory and Vicce Mayor Roxanne Qualls.

Read it here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

State Auditor Yost demolishes City Council on pension woes

Christopher Smitherman has warned the City for years and years about its irresponsible policies on the City pension.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Qualls gives "blank check" to City Manager for Streetcar

After major pronouncements in February that Council had not given a "blank check" to the City Manager to build the Cincinnati Streetcar, City Council -- led by Roxanne Qualls' Finance Committee -- today voted to do just that.

Watch the $17.4 Million Vote here

CIty Council's Budget Committee will be voting on an additional $17.4 Million for the Streetcar Boondoggle Project this afternoon. Beginning at 1 pm you can watch the kabuki theatre committee meeting and the vote below.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Is the City of Cincinnati simply hopeless?

Is it a basket case like Detroit, where its non-felonious, productive citizens flee to the suburbs or other urbs entirely, and we should just forget about its future, or should we stay and continue to fight?

Detroit insolvency is undermining Michigan and national bond markets

"Too big to fail?"  Here we go again.

The first major domino to fall in municipal bond markets -- the City of Detroit -- is causing ripple effects and higher interest rates on bond markets in Michigan and nationwide.

Senator Sessions calculates cost of each dependent household: $168 per day

The office of United States Senator Jeff Sessions has taken the time to calculate that working families make $137 per day, on average. Households dependent on government largess: $168 per day.  You come out $29 per day ahead by sitting around!

US Department of Transportation "gives" $5M More for Streetcar; hectors Cincinnati for lack of progress

In a stern warning of Cincinnati, the US Department of Transportation has offered yet another $5 million for the Cincinnati Streetcar if only we would commit the extra $17.4 million in local funding, and get on with it already.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Three Conservative Heroes!

The Tristate is proud today of its Congressional Delegation. Ohio Congressmen Chabot and Wenstrup were joined by Kentucky's Thomas Massie in voting to defeat the bloated, wasteful Farm Bill.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

COAST asks Hamilton County Commissioners to ferret tens of ObamaCare millions in savings from County levies

ObamaCare is cataclysmically bad fiscal policy, and bad healthcare policy.  COAST wants nothing more than its wholesale repeal.

Franklin Schools Superintendent Retires

COAST Claims Another Scalp!

Arnol Elam, known to COASTers as the man who conscripted the students of Franklin City Schools into indentured political servitude when he sent a note home to parents attacking Governor Kasich. The letter was written by a Franklin School's paid flak (Elam later agreed to make restitution for that amount).

And the Winner(?) Is...

All of Cincinnati waits with bated breath as the votes were counted. And now we know that the most despicable of the Parking Plotters is...


Let's remember that it was Chris Seelbach's treachery that got us into this situation in the first place. For weeks he claimed he would oppose the Parking Plot, but then in a last minute switch, he voted for the emergency ordinance to disenfranchise the voters of Cincinnati.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The approaching abyss of fiscal disaster

Regardless of how you view the Parking Plot, yesterday was an important day.  Cincinnati essentially sold some of its most valuable assets (for 30 years), and at the same time conveyed some of its sovereignty (over law enforcement functions and setting parking policy) to private companies from New York City, Guggenheim and Xerox.

Smitherman today hosts tour of our last major boondoggle -- Riverfront Transit Center

As if he is not tackling enough wasteful spending by the City, today Council member Christopher Smitherman hosts a free tour of the vacant and unused $42 million Riverfront Transit Center.  It is a massive, cavernous, gold-plated boondoggle planned by the same engineers that are soaking the City for Streetcar planning -- Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Judge Winkler signs order lifting Parking Plot injunction

Late yesterday, Judge Bob Winkler followed the mandate issued by the Court of Appeals and lifted the injunction he bravely placed against the Parking Plot.

COAST will forever be grateful for his intellectual precision and strength of character in standing with petitioners to allow a vote on the Parking Plot.  It has been an amazing chapter in City and legal history what will not soon be forgotten.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Can you hear the people sing?

Following the drama at City Hall on Jane Prendergast's tweets

From the tweets from City Hall this morning, we obtain some insights on the wrangling about the Parking Plot:

We obviously are making Mayor Mallory and the majority democrats squirm at City Hall today:

High drama -- Stay denied

There is high drama at City Hall today.  As reported below, Pamula Thomas has signed on as the sixth Council member to favor repeal of the Parking Plot ordinance.

There are now six Council votes against the Parking Plot

OK, this is a big development.

There are now six votes on Council against the Parking Plot.  Whether they have the guts to use their super-majority to repeal the Parking Plot Ordinance is entirely another matter, because as a matter of custom, this Council has slavishly deferred to Mayor Mallory in setting the Council agenda and City priorities.

A hearty thanks to those who believed we could make a difference

The events of March of this year were truly momentous, with a temporary restraining order, a trial, a permanent injunction, and a shock and awe petition drive that resulted in 19,803 signatures on Parking Plot referendum petitions.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Wait, wait, now we are hearing something different from City Hall

Now it's only a rumor, a faint hope that sanity has gripped the place if even for a moment.

Where do we go from here?

Cincinnati taxpayers need to brace themselves for a double gut punch.  With last week's Court of Appeals decision on the Parking Plot, and this coming week's vote to spend an additional $17.4 million on and to proceed with the Streetcar, the lunatics certainly seem in charge of the asylum.

Who is Holly Paz?

Holly Paz, the first IRS employee 
fired over Tea Party scandal

Holly Paz is the recently stealth-fired IRS employee at the center of the IRS scandal over Tea Party targeting.  Curiously, her involvement in the scandal seems central to everything that has been transpiring from the inception of the illegal conduct to the investigation that is currently underway.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Who is the Most Despicable Parking Plotter?

Many have asked COAST who we think is the most despicable member of the criminal enterprise city administration involved in pushing through the Parking Plot. Now, we'd like to hear from you.

Voting is now closed. Results available here.

John Curp with the Quote of the Day!

Proving either just how stupid John Curp is or how stupid he thinks the rest of the city is. Our esteemed City Solicitor had this to say after the Court of Appeals ruling on the Parking Plot:
"Thank God, on the eve of a big windstorm the appellate court reversed the lower court's ban on emergency clauses"

City Voters File Motion to Stay Parking Plot Ruling

Citing, among other things, Mayor Mallory's bluffs and lies in the press and to the Court regarding police and fire layoffs (in essence proving the lie of the City's claim of "emergency"), the Cincinnati Voters who initiated the litigation and hence the Parking Plot Referendum have asked the Court of Appeals to stay their ruling until the Ohio Supreme Court can rule on an appeal.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Quinlivan and Seelbach Absolutely Shameless

In the wake of this morning's Court of Appeals ruling, Councilmembers Laure Quinlivan and Chris Seelbach are playing an absolutely shameless game attempting to disguise their support for the Parking Plot.

Referendum cancelled; Court of Appeals decision is below

In a heartbreaking decision this morning, the Hamilton County Court of Appeals, in what was certainly a thoughtful decision with concurrences and dissents, overturned Judge Bob Winkler's inspired decision allowing a referendum on the Parking Plot.

BREAKING / URGENT: Court of Appeals announces on its web site that Parking Plot decision is coming this morning. Stay tuned!

WVXU radio has announced that the Court of Appeals decision on the Parking Plot will be released this morning.  In that decision, the Court will decide whether to uphold Judge Bob Winkler's inspired decision that allows the Parking Plot to be subjected to a vote of the people -- a referendum -- this November.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

All sorts of Development going on without Parking Plot or Emergency Ordinances

As if we needed any more proof that City Manager Dohoney, Mayor Mallory and their Gang of Six (Qualls, Quinlivan, Seelbach, Simpson, Thomas and Young) were bluffing, a quick rundown of some of the developments happening in Cincinnati without either the Parking Plot money or Emergency Ordinances.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Rand Paul: Is 1984 Now?

Learn more about Rand Paul here.

Ohio Senate suppresses open government

Contact your State Representatives and urge them to reject this amendment

Imagine another sweetheart deal for Mahogany's, the Empire Theatre, DiStasi's, or anything that involves spending large amounts of taxpayer money to subsidize the private business of a politically-connected individual.  Now imagine that you, the taxpayer, will not even know about it until after the final decision has been made.

Debt, debt and more debt

It's really kind of funny thinking of the City of Cincinnati building what we now estimate to be a $180 Million streetcar system that extends eighteen blocks (the Banks to Findlay Market). After all, the City tells us it is swimming in operating fund red ink, its pension fund is $870 million in the hole, and its  bond rating is tanking.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Rob Richardson-University of Cincinnati connection

As Rob Richardson leads the drive to increase costs of the Metropolitan Sewer District by forcing Council to adopt the "Responsible Bidder" ordinance, consider his role as Board member of the University of Cincinnati.

Not sure what to say...two great Enquirer articles in one day

As we rail agains the lack of accountability in the Cincinnati media, in one day we are shocked with not one but two articles hammering Cincinnati City Council on their fiscal problems.  Now this is the kind of accountability that can establish the Enquirer as a journalistic presence in Cincinnati and maybe sell some papers in the process!

Finally, the Enquirer calls Council majority, Mayor liars on Parking Plot

The way it's supposed to work is that our system of government is a series of checks and balances.  And in that system, everyone has a job to do.  The executive, the judicial, the legislative, the business community, the labor unions, the religious and non-profit community, the good government advocates and the media.  The yin and yang, the tug and pull, the inherent adversarial nature of the system is supposed to act as a check on any one of the elements of the system getting too abusive of their powers.

That's the way it's supposed to work.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Chris Seelbach-Rob Richardson connection

The "Responsible Bidder" ordinance rammed through Council last month is so phenomenally one-sided that it raises questions of: Who drafted this? Who requested this? At whose behest was this passed in such a hurried fashion?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Now, African American Chamber of Commerce comes out against Chris Seelbach's "Responsible Bidder" Ordinance

Read the letter from the African American Chamber of Commerce below.  The chorus of groups, left and right, against this reckless legislation is growing.

Seelbach's "Responsible Bidder" Ordinance to cost ratepayers tens of millions

In one of the most irresponsible actions a Council member has ever taken (which is hard with this bunch), Council member Chris Seelbach has spawned increased costs for ratepayers, a stalemate with the Hamilton County Commission, a violation of MSD's consent decree with the US EPA, and pending court battles on all sides.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Chamber finally weighs in on Responsible Bidder Ordinance

You can't find it on their web site, but the Chamber of Commerce last week finally wrote to members of Cincinnati City Council in opposition to the entirely irresponsible Responsible Bidder Ordinance that will cause MSD contracting costs to skyrocket.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Another IRS video that you paid for!

We do get some perverse pleasure of these folks making fools of themselves!

Adverse racial consequences of "Responsible Bidder"

In a remarkable twist, COAST and the African American Chamber of Commerce are in agreement in opposing the City's "Responsible Bidder" ordinance that has draconian apprenticeship and other requirements on contractors.  The net effect of the "Responsible Bidder" ordinance is to discourage smaller and newer African American contractors from being able to bid projects, and discourage contractors from hiring African American laborers.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

All you need to understand how screwed up D.C is to watch the video the IRS paid $60,000 to produce

It is here.  We, as a nation, should be embarrassed.

Where is the business community?

We don't complaint about it too openly or too frequently, but in almost every battle COAST fights, the business community (the Chamber of Commerce and the Cincinnati Business Committee) is either AWOL or openly hostile to the limited government position.  It's a predictable as sunshine.

'Responsible bidder' law must be repealed

Self-destructive seems to be the most apt moniker to apply tho Cincinnati City Council, but at least they were wise enough not to apply their horrible "responsible bidder" law onto City operations, only onto the $3.2 billion in capital upgrades that MSD is undertaking over the coming few years.

Ohio Elections Commission tramples First Amendment; Judiciary refuses to do its job

We regret to inform our loyal COAST blog readers that Ohio is under a tyrannical regime of laws enacted by the legislature and enforced by the Ohio Elections Commission that severely impairs our First Amendment rights. Further, state and federal courts refuse to rein them in, leaving the tyrants on the Ohio Elections Commission completely unchecked in trampling First Amendment protections of Ohio political activists of all colors.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Seventeen questions Roxanne Qualls really does not want to answer

One of the fortunate developments emerging out of the great 2013 City Hall budget debate has been the loss of credibility of Mayor Mark Mallory and Finance Committee Chairman Roxanne Qualls, who is running to succeed the term-limited and failed mayor.

One thought before you vote on that additional $17 Million for the Streetcar...

As the Enquirer pointed out the other day (here), Cincinnati has no real analysis of what to expect the streetcar to cost to operate and how much fares will generate toward that cost.