Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Week Ahead, etc.

Campaign season is in overdrive already with a critical week ahead. Let me give my two loyal readers a snapshot of the week ahead:
  • Monday, 8/31 -- Winburn fundraiser featuring Rob Portman at home of Joe and Barb Trauth.
  • Wednesday, 9/2 -- Dennis Deters fundraiser and Brad Wenstrup fundraiser

  • Thursday, 9/3 -- Jeff Ritter Fundraiser
For specific information on helping any of these candidates, check out our website calendar at


I have blogged many times about our statewide ticket for 2010. We have a fantastic ticket. One of my favorite candidates is State Auditor Mary Taylor. Mary does a fantastic job for Ohio and is a star in the Republican Party. I was pleased to see Mary in Cincinnati last week and she is putting together a great campaign.


After watching the media cover Sen. Kennedy's death, it is hard not to feel some level of respect for the Senator especially when so many Republicans spoke so glowingly of him. However, there is another version. Check out this story. Just being fair and balanced.


George Will is a brilliant conservative commentator. His latest column on what has happened in California is classic George Will. Check it out here. The liberal experiment in government has failed miserably in the great state of California and one can only hope that the voters will begin to see it and begin electing conservative Republicans who can return the state to some level of fiscal sanity.


The county budget crisis continues to worsen with the county commission unable to fund the basic operations of government. Public safety must be a priority. We'll see.


There are times I wish Vice President Cheney wouldn't be our top spokesman. Not today. The Vice President couldn't be more right than he was today in his criticism of liberal Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to investigate the CIA. This is not the way to run a railroad. The agents of the CIA took advice from career lawyers in the justice department and acted on that legal advice. Sometimes, lawyers see the law differently (hence the many 5-4 Supreme Court decisions routinely handed down from 9 of the brightest lawyers in the world). Now, these kinds of differences in legal interpretation may lead to the politically motivated prosecution of career CIA officials. It is reprehensible and offensive to anyone who cares about the integrity of government.


Congratulations to State Rep. Bob Mecklenborg for his recent appointment to the Ohio Arts Council. Bob is the perfect choice to replace Josh Mandel (our candidate for State Treasurer) on the council and I am pleased to see a fellow west-sider appointed to this prestigious board.


Rep. Driehaus met with Green Township Democrats last week at the meeting originally slated to be open to the public but then made a private affair. Some media erroneously termed it a "health care forum." It was not. It was a pep rally. This week, I expect to deliver a letter to Rep. Driehaus with 5 available dates where we will host a totally open, un-ticketed, un-restricted Town Hall meeting so that every citizen can have a chance to address him. I'll keep readers posted on this blog.


It seems that Democrat David Pepper and Democrat O'Dell Owens are not seeing eye-to-eye these days. The issue is travel. Check it out here. Interesting that the story about Pepper and Owens doesn't mention this is an intra-party feud. We've had some of those on our side and I recall that the stories typically mentioned that fact. Maybe just an oversight, but I'm happy to set the record straight here. Pepper and Owens are Democrats.


I am so ready for the NFL. There isn't anything quite like the NFL in the fall. My predictions have never gone well on this blog, so I'll stay away from predicting anything about my beloved (although beleaguered) Cincinnati Bengals.


I am proud of Leslie Ghiz and Chris Monzel and their recent proposal to protect police officers from layoffs. Responsible public servants should put safety above all else and the council majority that refuses to do so should suffer at the polls in November. If our city isn't safe, the rest of our hopes for the city cannot come to fruition. I wish council would stop battling with the FOP and make public safety a priority.


Speaking of sensible government, how about Leslie Ghiz and Chris Monzel's proposal that city council cut their salary in half? What a great idea. Will they find any support on the council?


Have a great week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy, etc.

The passing of Ted Kennedy has made for an interesting day for me and other Republicans. We should be nice. Sen. Kennedy served in the Senate for 46 years and in some instances, he worked across the aisle. He was largely a committed liberal who supported policies that conservatives believe hurt the country. We can say that even on the day of his passing. Nevertheless, we ought to be respectful of his service and honor his memory.


I wonder if the Bush family will receive similar treatment from the media over the decades and years to come. The Bush family produced two U.S. Presidents. Prescott Bush was a United States Senator. Jeb Bush was a highly successful governor.


I'm using a Mac computer tonight for the first time. So far, so good. How tired are you of crashes, lockups, spyware, etc? It seems this is a superior product.


Fall is fast approaching and so is the fall campaign. Find a campaign and volunteer. We have great candidates running all over the county and they can all use your help.


Rep. Driehaus had his Green Township Democrats-only forum tonight. Some media called it a "town hall." That is simply false. This was an appearance before the Democratic club of Green Township and Driehaus restricted access by requiring tickets. We are in the process of trying to arrange a real Town Hall meeting and we'll keep readers posted.


The County budget crisis continues. I am proud of those Republicans who have stood tall and gotten by with less. They are tough times and these times call for real leadership. Commissioner Portune's photo-op with Joe Deters and Simon Leis is not what I mean.


Joe Deters won an award over this past weekend from the Parents of Murdered Children. That should come as no surprise to all of us who have watched Joe consistently perform at a high level in his role as our county prosecutor.


As Chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Elections, I am pleased that we worked in a bi-partisan basis to save taxpayer dollars by consolidating precincts. Our Deputy Director, Amy Searcy, is doing fantastic work at the Board.


Maggie Wuellner. Let us all get used to that.


I heard an interesting word tonight: stemwinder. One of the pundits described a Kennedy speech as a "stemwinder." What does it mean? According to, it means: "a rousing speech, especially a stirring political address." I like it. I'm thinking Sen. Seitz is most likely to deliver a stemwinder in Hamilton County.


Dr. Wenstrup had a GREAT fundraiser on the rooftop of a great downtown building on Monday night. Special thanks to Tony Rosiello, Tina Glass, Greg Schroeder and all of the other people who made that event a great success.


Have a great finish to the week.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Driehaus Finally Agrees to Address Citizen Concerns

I am pleased that Rep. Driehaus has finally agreed to address citizens on the west side of Cincinnati regarding health care reform at a non-ticketed event open to the public. It took a challenge from us to get him to relent, but we're pleased he will now answer real questions from real citizens.

For anyone watching this story, it is obvious that Mr. Driehaus was ducking non-supporters on this critical issue. As the Enquirer reported this morning, "It was clear that the Green Township Democratic forum on health care reform was made a ticket-only event because of fears that the lodge would be packed with vocal opponents of government-run health care..."
See the entire story here.

It was clear to us, too, so we invited Mr. Driehaus to speak to our GOP group and we will not restrict access for anyone to attend. After all, shouldn't a Congressman hear from vocal opponents of a plan of this importance to our nation?

To Mr. Driehaus, we say this: We're prepared to welcome you to an open and honest dialogue on this issue. We will work to assure a respectful and civil environment where you can explain your reasons for some of the recent decisions you have made. We look forward to hearing from you with available dates.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Late Night with the HamCo GOP, etc.

We've ignored the blog lately only because our days (and nights) have been full. I'm blogging tonight--late.


President Obama is demonstrating his inexperience at the Washington game. Set aside what we Republicans know (namely that a public big-government bureaucracy to "fix" health care is a disaster) and consider the debate from a purely political standpoint. President Obama COULD get health care exactly as he likely wants it if he used his political clout and whatever political capital he has left. He has failed to lead. Instead of proposing a bill to the Congress, he outlined a few basic guidelines and left the debate to a divided Democratic party on the Hill. Exactly wrong. The President should have used his bully pulpit and his strong Democrat majorities to push for and pass a plan exactly as he wants it. That is what presidential leadership is all about. Would that be unpopular? Sure. Would it cost him a few points in the polls? Absolutely. But, that's leadership. Dare I say it? President Bush lead the country and spent his political capital on what he thought was right. The muddle you see now on health care is a product of President Obama's inexperience. That is good for the GOP and good for the country because a massive new federal entitlement that our grandchildren will never be able to afford is exactly the wrong medicine this economy needs.


Congrats to Maggie on her recent marriage to Mark. The wedding was fantastic. Hoping she can work on our AV program and the pink samples on the honeymoon. Not really.


One of our endorsed candidates for Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education had to suddenly withdraw from this race for personal and family reasons. Todd McIntosh is a great guy and we're sorry that he will not be running. We wish him well. We still have a chance to make real change happen on the school board by electing Chris McDowell and John Banner.


One of my two loyal readers was disappointed I haven't blogged in awhile. I'll try to do a better job of keeping up.


Even though we are in the heat of the 2009 campaign, so much thought and energy is going into the 2010 races already. That is the nature of politics. The Hamilton County GOP is actively looking for candidates to run for an opening on the county commission. Interested? Let us know soon.


Steve Driehaus is shaping up to be my favorite one-term congressman. How bad has he been? The worst. Westsiders can't be pleased and I have good reason to believe he's in for a nice reminder next year about west side values. Nancy Pelosi doesn't sell in the 1st Congressional District and Driehaus has been her "sock puppet" (I stole that one!).


Have you seen the anger from the far left liberals against Obama? Rachel Maddow is leading the charge. Surprised they are turning on him so soon. The President is one of their own and his failure to lead is angering them.


Sam Wyche is contemplating a run for Congress as a Republican. See the Enquirer story here. I hope he does it. I had occasion to talk to Coach Wyche last fall when he did a bus tour of the area for Sen. McCain's campaign. He was engaging, smart, and funny. He would be a great congressman. He will have help from Cincinnati.


Sen. Sherrod Brown is part of the far left in Washington and he is insisting that any health care reform include a huge, costly "public option." Tax and spend.


A "kudos" to Greg Hartmann for his work on the county commission. He provided leadership during a difficult levy request process and worked effectively across the aisle to get things done. Greg's quiet leadership and conservative principles serve him very well--even in the minority on the county commission. We are lucky to have Greg there.


I try and keep up with Columbus politics by clicking here.


I'll admit to venturing away from Fox News more than I should. It is nice to see what the other side is saying. But, I never miss O'Reilly. Any fan of his knows that he is not a committed Republican. He is certainly conservative, but with an almost libertarian bent. He is "traditional" and just plain sensible. Despite his sometimes bombastic personality, the show is highly entertaining and informative. I DVR it and it is must-see TV for me. Along with Three's Company re-runs from TV Land.


Congratulations to Judge William Mallory for his appointment to the First District Court of Appeals. No partisan popping-off by me on this one--yet. There is time for that later. Tonight, I offer a heartfelt congratulations to my old colleague.


Have a great week.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Wenstrup Calls for Accountability


CINCINNATI, OH - Mayoral candidate Brad Wenstrup today filed a series of public information requests related to the recent news that Mayor Mark Mallory and a majority of Cincinnati City Council Members had "scripted" questions - and in some instances, responses - for the Special Session of Council held last Thursday, August 6.

The requests were delivered to Cincinnati City Hall this morning and were directed to Mayor Mallory, City Manager Milton Dohoney, Vice Mayor David Crowley and Council Members Laketa Cole, Greg Harris, Roxanne Qualls and Cecil Thomas.

"This 'script' calls into question whether or not the Mayor or other members of Council had ever intended to consider any option other than the decimation of our police force," said Wenstrup. "It also makes one wonder if other Council meetings have been choreographed. Let's hope not."

"A basic premise of democracy is that public meetings will be held openly and fairly," Wenstrup continued. "The citizens of this city have the right to expect elected officials to conduct themselves with integrity and in good faith. Without this, we may still be governed; but we are no longer represented."

"It is important to let the citizens of Cincinnati know whether or not any rules have been broken. Transparency in government is the key to maintaining public trust."

Saturday, August 08, 2009

City Hall

The mess and confusion of city government has never been more apparent than it is today, August 8, 2009. Our citizens have a chance to make a real change and have real leadership in this city.

The most recent count in the indictment against city Democratic leadership is the "script" used by city council Democrats to try to bust the unions and to manipulate public opinion. The citizens of this town deserve far better.

We are offering far better:

Brad Wenstrup --

Leslie Ghiz --
Chris Monzel --
Amy Murray --
Charlie Winbrun --
George Zamary --

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Hal McCoy

Yeah, this is the "official blog" of the Hamilton County GOP and 99% of what we put up here is political. But, tonight, I get to blog about something that has nothing to do with politics. After all, it does say "Chairman's Blog" to your right on this screen, right?

My topic tonight? Baseball Hall of Fame writer Hal McCoy. Hal McCoy has covered the Reds for 37 years--the longest tenure of any active baseball writer covering the same team. He was told today that his career will end at the conclusion of this baseball season. It is a sad day for newspapers, for the Reds, and for the many followers of this hall of famer.

Here is his bio from the Dayton Daily News:

"Hall of Fame baseball writer Hal McCoy is in his 37th year of covering the Cincinnati Reds, the longest tenure for any active writer covering one team. Counting spring training and postseason games, McCoy has covered more than 7,000 major-league baseball games, written close to 18,000 baseball stories and eaten enough hot dogs to give Babe Ruth indigestion."

No offense to any of the other great writers who have covered the Reds through the years, but Hal McCoy is the best Reds reporter...anywhere...period. His coverage was accurate, insightful, and always fair. His blog was oftentimes critical, but he did it fairly and with some wit and always in good humor. I still read his blog nearly every day. Check it out, here.

Tonight's blog from Mr. McCoy is sad. Forget about baseball, his blog posting today was more about mortality and how hard it can be to say goodbye to something you love so much. It is classic Hal McCoy.

Hal McCoy might not have a single Republican cell in his body. I have no idea--really. I don't care. This die-hard Reds fan got his daily fix as often as possible from Hal McCoy and he will be missed.

If you're still reading this blog, thanks for reading. Go to Hal McCoy's blog and offer a nice comment. The man is a legend.

Allow The Debate!

Where is the public and media outrage?

The Mayor of Cincinnati cut off any ability for city council to discuss police layoffs yesterday at the Cincinnati City Council meeting. Because of his actions, members of Cincinnati City Council had to call a special session of council (at taxpayer expense) to do what could have EASILY been done yesterday!

Fair, open, and honest debate on public policy is the backbone of our American democracy. The Mayor controls the agenda at city council meetings according to the city charter. He has abused that authority by stifling fair discussion about this critical city issue.

A Message from the Wenstrup Campaign

Fellow Wenstrup Supporters:

I am usually the fun guy in the campaign. I write to you about festivals, fundraisers, neighborhood parties, and the like. I get you t-shirts, little American flags, and candy to hand out at parades. I try to take your picture when you're making a goofy face, or when you have food in your mouth, or when your eyes are closed.

But now I am writing to you on a matter of grave importance. As you are no doubt aware, the City Manager has just announced the decimation of the Cincinnati Police Department--138 officers laid off. When this announcement was made, the Mayor refused to let council members ask any questions or make any comments. As the Enquirer noted, "Mayor Mark Mallory shut them down, saying the matter was not on council's agenda. The mayor controls the agenda... Mallory declined to talk to reporters after the meeting."City Council has scheduled a special meeting to discuss the layoffs. That meeting is TODAY, August 6th, at 6:00 P.M. at the Duke Energy Center (the Cincinnati Convention Center) downtown.

This is where you come in. Brad will be there and he will be speaking. But we need your support. We need to show the Mayor and his City Manager that these layoffs are unacceptable. If there is any way that you can be there, you are needed. You don't have to speak; your presence will speak volumes. If you have a campaign shirt, wear it. A sea of Wenstrup shirts will demonstrate to council that you oppose this course of action.This really is not a political issue. The Mayor and his City Manager are charting a dangerous course. If these layoffs occur, I personally believe that lives will be lost. If you only come to one event during this campaign, this is the one.

I hope to see you there. And please keep the families of the police officers, and all those slated for layoff, in your prayers. I am sure they are going through a very difficult time right now.

With great respect,

Brian Lee
Volunteer Coordinator
Citizens for Wenstrup

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Democrat(ic) Money Burn: Trash the Recycling Bins

***Media Release***

"Council Democratic Majority
Should Stop Trashing
Your Money With Hi-Tech Recycling Program"

A majority of Democrats on the Cincinnati city council voted to spend $3.5 million on new hi-tech recycling bins for city residents. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that these hi-tech bins will have an ID tag that emits a radio frequency to city garbage collectors. Democratic council members Greg Harris, Laketa Cole, David Crowley, Roxanne Qualls, and Cecil Thomas voted this proposal out of the Finance Committee. It is expected to make it to the full council next week with Greg Harris possibly preparing to flip-flop on the issue after he supported it in the Finance Committee. This proposal to spend $3.5 million comes at a time where the citizens of the city are suffering severely in this economy and while the city prepares to layoff employees and is discussing "brown-outs" at city fire stations. Republican council members Leslie Ghiz and Chris Monzel strongly oppose this wasteful expenditure.

"The Democrats on the Cincinnati city council are clearly out-of-touch with what is happening in our great city. While everyone supports recycling, this decision to spend $3.5 million on hi-tech recycling bins at this point in our city's history is outrageous and every Cincinnatian regardless of political party should reject it. As the Mayor travels the world and his city manager prepares to possibly layoff firefighters and police officers, the Democratic majority on the city council acted "stupidly." Appointed member Greg Harris continues to disappoint citizens with his inability to stand for anything. We urge citizens to call City Hall and stop this ridiculous expenditure for hi-tech recycling bins."

For further information or a further statement, call Chairman Triantafilou at 513-381-5454.