Thursday, March 20, 2014

What Actions During the Campaign Got Osborne Hired by Cranley?

If you want the number one news article Kevin Osborne wrote during the campaign that would have clinched any alleged quid-pro-quo it would be this false story that was disproved rather easily by Osborne's old new outlet, CityBeat.

The second action Osborne gave Cranley was this follow-up story where he continued the Cranley attack on Qualls, disguised as allowing Qualls to respond. It is hardly balanced when a reporter expands on the attack in a story billed as a response to said attack.

The inaction Osborne provided his prospective employer during the campaign was keeping silent on why Cranley resigned from council.  I missed any reporting from Osborne on why Cranley waited nearly six months after he got the Ohio Ethics commission letter, telling him he had a conflict of interest, before he resigned from City Council.  One might figure Osborne, who was working for CityBeat at the time, would have reported on that and investigated it.  I guess he was too busy investigating how he would spin the 'exclusives' the Cranley Campaign was feeding him.

This hiring is beyond laughable, it is just pathetic.  Local media are reporting on it, but are not allowing their reporters to hit, at least not yet.  Any journalist who considers this ethical may need to revisit a few journalism basics.  Since there is evidence of Osborne throwing away any journalistic ethics he may have had out the window, no honorable journalist can hide behind any type of "blue line" code of protection for other journalists.  They also can not play the fear game, that Osborne can deny access.  Any threat Osborne, Kincaid, or even Cranley make to journalists is hollow.  More importantly, if they try to act on it, I think there are plenty of the nine members of Council that could easily nullify any attempt at Cranley retribution on a journalist.

What needs to happen most immediately is for the investigation into who leaked the Duke Memo to Kevin Osborne be restarted.  Osborne's connection to the Cranley Administration is more than clearly there. If WCPO knows the source of the moemo, they now have the ethical obligation to report it, if it came from anyone who would have had connection or influence over hiring Osborne for his new political job.

If anyone believes there is not smoke to the allegations of a quid-pro-quo to the Osborne hiring, they need to know something about the Cranley cabal, things like this don't happen in a vacuum.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

OTR Is Still Operating

There may be freezing rain and an impending 'White Death' on the way, but OTR carries on. Here's the draft list for the Eagle today.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cranley Makes Unsupported Claims About Police Response

In Sunday's article from the Enquirer "Is it time to change shift schedules for our cops?" the paper includes Cranley's unsupported claim about police response to 911 Calls:
“Code zeros” – the police code for instances when someone calls 911 for help but no officer is available to respond – are on the rise, Cranley has said
To the Paper's credit, they prove Cranley had no support for his claim:
The city, in fact, doesn’t track code zeros, said Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell, so there’s no proof they’re happening more often.
The paper then falls into the Cranley bullshit by stating there is anecdotal evidence, but no empirical evidence. We don't even get any actual anecdotes, just third-party hearsay.

Why isn't the Enquirer calling out the Mayor for making unsubstantiated claims as the basis for increasing the city budget? Instead of treating what ever comes out of his mouth as truth, why not be as analytical as the rest of the article attempts to do with the issue of police schedules? Why not question Cranley about the schedules? Why not ask him how the decision by the previous police chief affected police response? Most importantly, ask Cranley how the hell he knows what he says is true before it is repeated in the paper, even if given evidence he doesn't have actual support for what he says. Using his false claim as the lead for one's article does two things: it gives credibility to Cranley when he deserves none an it makes the Enquirer yet again look like a shill for Cranley.  I mean, look at the lead listed on this page view of the Enquirer website, it is like you are giving Cranley a pass:
Cranley's false claim is put out there as 'fact' and the portion of the article that refutes him is buried.  So I guess being a shill for Cranley is part of the job description for Enquirer.  Well, at least WCPO isn't alone in that.

Enquirer Creates Click-Bait Blog Post a-la Buzzfeed

I don't think this will surprise anyone but the 24 people who commented on the blog post, but the Enquirer's blogpost over the weekend with the title Is Greater Cincinnati really miserable? is click-bait bullshit. The title implies the survey in question ranked cites (or maybe metro areas). In reality it "rated" States.

One can question the lousy article's methods and we should. The article, by Time but based on a Wall Street review of a Gallop Study (convoluted mess!) lists Ohio 5th and all of the stats it lists as examples don't rank in the top 5 worst. So, subjectivity or other randomness in the study of a study isn't valued, let alone trying to compares states on such a general basis.

The Enquirer's ICYMI blog then plays the role of Buzzfeed troll, looking to get hits (more page views) and it worked. Journalistic ethics be damned, however! Trying to push the city pride buttons by fraudulently including Cincinnati as the basis for a study is worthy of scorn and mocking. Getting readers falsely ginned up about something that does not reflect how the headline sold it is shameful and cruel.  If those responsible think they have any journalistic ethics, then they are greatly mistaken.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Meet the New Parking Plan, Worse Than the Old Parking Plan

As if you could possibly expect anything different from John Cranley, we get his plan or plan with options to "fix" the parking problem. It is a plan that looks and sounds like the plan the previous administration put forth last year, but it doesn't do as much and costs the city more. What he puts forth a plan that does the following:
  1. Increase Debt by issuing bonds
  2. Raise parking prices everyone but Downtown and OTR (how's that knife in the back feel Mr. Witte?)
  3. Adds upgraded meters that WILL NOT interact online, meaning no payment via cell phone.
  4. Adds more city employees to enforce parking without detail on how he will fund their full expense.
What did John Cranley Not Do:
  1. Explain how issuing bonds creates annual revenue.  Is this a fancy way of saying they will just issue new bonds each year? Or is this an investment gimmick where he gets a big 'loan', invests it and calls the earnings on that investment revenue, while not talking about paying back the principle.
  2. Who will pay back the bonds?  This seems like a rather big point.  Trying to pay for upgrades to garages and meters, adding new staff to bring in new revenue, raising parking rates that Cranley and his supports said would hurt the business community, thus lowering tax revenue, how does he plan on paying for this?  Is is going to just buy some Twitter Stock and pray it doubles in value every year until he leaves office?
Once again Cranley is, shall we be blunt, full of shit. He puts forth a worse version of the plan set forth previously one that does far less and costs the City far more, and he thinks he's doing something better?  A large portion of the Media lets him off the hook and more importantly we get SILENCE from those who fought the parking plan, the conservatives.  That prior plan basically privatized parking in the city, and conservatives were against it.  This new plan would increase the size of government and we haven't heard a peep.  Council member Murray, have you lost the will to speak out on parking?  Have you abandoned Hyde Park Square business owners?

Also, more importantly, is Cranley going to offer this plan up to a vote to the citizens? He was so eager for that before, will he do it now? I don't see that as part of his plan, and instead he wants to ram it through council. Hope the people on Council don't chicken out and rubber stamp this turkey.  I'm look at you Mr. Mann, don't be a chicken or a turkey, push back on Cranley.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Why Were Snow Routes Not Fully Plowed Five Days Later?

Late on Tuesday night February 4th the Cincinnati City Manager issued a requirement that all cars parked on Snow Routes in Cincinnati had to be moved.
Based on the time of the Tweet above, the announcement was before 11 PM on the 4th. Just before 7 AM on the 5th, after the 6 AM period listed above, I saw the Cincinnati Police Department towing at least three cars in the 1200 block of Vine Street. That part of Vine is part of the City's publicly listed Snow Emergency Routes. It's also posted along the street:

It was unsettling to me that the City of Cincinnati felt that reasonable notice was considered to be a late night announcement followed by an early morning deadline.  Where was early focus to tow cars put? Over-the-Rhine, of course.  We are known for our vehicular travel.  We are better known for the number of people who park on the street over night.  I'd hate to think we were targeted, but I wish there was a easy way to determine how many cars were towed from which areas's on Wednesday morning.   That would be an interesting statistic.  The motivations for towing in OTR early are mixed, but none seem to be worth wile.  The cars must go, of course, because it is important to have the full street cleared.

Or is it important?

On Wednesday afternoon the City lifted the Snow Emergency, making parking on snow routes legal again. On Wednesday evening, as I was walking home from dinner a local OTR establishment, I noticed that street parking was in heavy use.  Vine street was semi-passable, for experienced drivers.  Calling it plowed was an overstatement, as the road was packed down with a mix of ice and snow and the parking lanes were a mess.  So that evening I had to help push someone out of one of the snow filled parking spots.

For the next several days I watched people either needing help to break free of the parking space snow trap, or having to rock their cars back-n-forth to break free of the icy snow's grip.

Flash forward to midday Sunday.  After nearly 5 days, the parking lanes were still not plowed:

So, people had their cars towed, had to pay to get the car sprung from lock up and likely got a ticket in the process.  All of that for no reason?  It would appear that someone needs to rethink the strategy on snow routes.  Today, driving down Central Parkway, things are clear, mostly right up tot he curb.  Central Parkway isn't a snow route and the days after the big snow, I saw cars parked on the street trapped behind a wall of snow.  Those cars are long since free.

Poor planning is where I would point most of the blame, but poor execution can't be overlooked either.  It seems to me that if you are going to tow cars someplace, you might want to fully clear those streets.  Otherwise, why bother?

The people plowing the streets are working hard, but they don't have the resources needed.  The need for those resources isn't constant, so management of the process is very difficult.  That management needs to be reviewed on both the large scale and on the ground.

Monday, February 03, 2014

How Will Cranley Pay for the 5 Million Dollars a Year?

The Enquirer buries the lead in their 'exclusive' press release from the Mayor's Office that calls for adding more cops to the tune of 5 Million dollars per year, including benefits. The one million dollars is additional up front money, but the long term cost is huge and the Mayor should not be trying to mislead the public with false numbers.

The first and last question that needs to be ask of Cranley by the rest of the media who are not in the bag for the Mayor (Enquirer), should be asking is HOW WILL CRANLEY PAY FOR THIS?

A simple question that will neither have an detailed nor sound answer. By sound, I mean one that that add up, not one based on Cranley math.

The other questions that could asked: Why can't the same programs be achieved with restructuring of the existing force? How many long term police officers are going to retire and put us back at the same level?  How much input did the FOP have on this?  Will the city seek changes to the FOP's contract to help assure that any police officer hired who fails at their job can be fired?

Is Republican Charlie Winburn Fishing in the 9th District Senate Race?

So, on Saturday I got an automated telephone poll from a 614 (Columbus) number asking for opinions on everyone reportedly running or thinking about running for the 9th Ohio Senate district, and Republican Charlie Winburn. All of the other people on the list are Democrats. This is a solid Democratic district.

The poll was quit lengthy and ended with questions that matched all of the candidates against Republican Charlie Winburn.  It was monotonous hearing Republican Charlie Winburn's name over and over again.  As if I didn't know who Republican Charlie Winburn is.

Here's the wrinkle.  Every time they stated Republican Charlie Winburn's name when matching up the candidate pairs, the poll called him "Independent Charlie Winburn."  Yeah, that was the point.  The poll was trying to create misinformation about Republican Charlie Winburn.

Call it a combination of testing the water for how he fairs on name recognition in the 9th and an effort to plant a seed in the public about Republican Charlie Winburn not being much of a republican. The poll is meant as test to see if he has any traction to run in that race and tests how he might try and spin it.  It won't fly.  Republican Charlie Winburn will not be able to run away from his Conservative view points.  Is is a Republican and people in the 9th district will not forget it.

Who funded this?  Was is Winburn himself or the Republicans?  The message sounds more like Republican Charlie Winburn, not the party.  If it was the party, then wow, someone had Machiavelli on their corn flakes the morning they came up with this idea.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Blogging Isn't Cool: Hamilton County GOP Power Grabs

Quimbob sums up the Hamilton County Republican last minute effort to move the Board of Elections out of Downtown with this quote:
"The HamCo GOP is so hellbent on rigging elections & attaining power, they will sabotage public safety without a second thought."
If the GOP cared about providing the best services over-all, they would not be rushing to move the BOE in an attempt to reduce the number of early votes from Democrats. Instead they would look at all County Departments and find the right fit for the Mt. Airy location.

Reducing the number of voters is not good public policy, but that will be the result if the BOE moves to the location Republicans want.

This effort is transparently a long term effort to both reduce the importance of Downtown and the Democratic vote. Is it worth $29 per early vote to keep the BOE right where it is?  Hell, yes.