Saturday, October 31, 2009

CPS Board of Education

In last Sunday's Forum section of the Enquire, the paper called for substantial change in the contract with the teachers' union. Despite this call for needed change, the Enquire ignored conservative pro-business candidates who will facilitated the change we need and instead endorsed a slate of three incumbents, whom the Enquirer is currently suing for holding improper closed door meetings, plus a pro-union candidate, Vanessa White. White, who pretends to be pro-business when talking with business leaders, had to be asked several times by Enquirer reporter Ben Fischer what her stance was on prevailing wage before she reluctantly confessed that she favors the current CPS pro-union policy of paying prevailing wage on building contracts. The Enquirer's endorsement of 16 year incumbent Catherine Ingram is also troubling as she is endorsed by the same teacher's union that the Enquirer wants the Board to take a tough stance with. When will the Enquirer learn that if we are to have true change, we must vote for change. The Republican Party has endorsed a pro-kids, pro-business, candidate in Christopher McDowell. When elected to the Board next Tuesday, McDowell will put the interests of children and taxpayers ahead of special interest groups. This is why the Republican Party strongly endorses Christopher McDowell.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Guest Blog Posting by Mark Miller

Mayor Mallory has been obsessed with population numbers. Midway through his term the Census Bureau estimated that Cincinnati was losing population faster than any other US city. The Enquirer profiled thousands of people leaving for the suburbs, and all the reasons Cincinnati wasn't cutting it for them. Mallory's answer? Challenge the estimates.

He hired a consultant to do a "
drilldown study" which substitutes convoluted statistical analyses for actual counting. The study miraculously "found" another 69,000 people, erasing the decline to put Cincinnati back on the list of growing cities.

Problem is that monkeying with estimates eventually catches up with you. Every 10 years the Census Bureau does an actual count of each and every person which is both exhaustive and final. So what will the 2010 census show? Was Mallory's paper exercise real or illusory?

Population counters start with addresses and determine how many people live at each address. So has the number of addresses gone up or down in four years? The number of dwelling units built has lagged those demolished for Mallory's entire term. And the city continues to
wreck residences with reckless abandon.

How about dwellers within dwelling units, is it up or down? In Over-the-Rhine alone, 3CDC has systematically vacated and barricaded over 100 multi-family residential buildings. Building vacancies have seen a dramatic rise in every other neighborhood as well.

Even the number of restaurants and other
food-service places licensed by the city declined from 2,525 in 2005 to 2,509 in 2008. As of September, that number is down to 2,429. Cincinnati Public Schools has seen a decline in enrollment which resulted in permanent closure and consolidation of several school buildings.

When you get right down to it, the only thing suggesting any growth in Cincinnati is Mallory's questionable "study". Everything else indicates he shrunk the city.

But Mallory hasn't completed his con job. With a record budget deficit, and the entire city under a hiring freeze, he insisted on hiring a "Census Coordinator" to put his spin on the upcoming federal count.

Do we really want another four years of this? Let's end this fiasco now, and elect a real mayor.

*This guest blog posting was submitted by COAST member Mark Miller.

Inevitable Democratic Tax Increase, Etc.

Democratic city councilwoman Laketa Cole has returned to Cincinnati after a her world travels and now is leading the charge to raise your taxes. That's rich. Ms. Cole took two weeks away during the election season to travel to Hawaii and then to Asia. We've blogged about that before. The process of raising your taxes is a little complicated to understand making it easier on Ms. Cole and the "Furlough Five" to do it without being caught. Let me explain. Every year since 2000, the Cincinnati City Council sets the millage rate to collect taxes at a level that will result in $28.9 million of taxpayer money coming into the city's coffers. Because of changing property values and other such variables, that millage rate is adjusted every year so that taxpayers are not taxed for more than the $28.9 million. This year, Ms. Cole is proposing to set the millage rate at a place where it will cost taxpayers more than the $28.9 million. That, folks, is a tax increase no matter how you explain it! Of course, they want to delay the vote until after the election so as not to have to explain to the voters why they are raising your taxes. Just Democrats being Democrats.


Brad Wenstrup said this to me last week: "We're going to steal home." I believe him. His campaign has been a thing of beauty and his gentlemanly approach to leadership will carry the day. The GOP is not "in the wilderness" in this city and Brad's strong campaign is proof that we will fight everywhere to bring our ideas to government.


Our west side fundraiser is set for tomorrow at the Western Hills Country Club at 5:30 p.m. It is not too late to participate and we hope to have you there. For more information, call Maggie at 513-381-5454 or e-mail her at


I've been around the court system and in trial work long enough to spot a lie. The two pilots who overshot their destination city by 150 miles and who went silent on the radios for over an hour are lying about what was happening in that cockpit. The cover-up is always worse than the crime. Admit the wrongdoing and mitigate the damage. When will people learn?


I went lit-dropping with Charlie Winburn over the weekend. Charlie's campaign is very organized, targeted, and scientific. Charlie has a political machine that is highly impressive. Charlie's team worked me--hard! It was great to be out on a crisp fall day going door-to-door. We were in a targeted precinct in Madisonville. Charlie is a super-high-energy campaigner and he left me in the dust. It was great to be out with our candidates and I intend to do it again.


My response to the Enquirer editorial endorsement of the current Mayor was met with great support. Thanks to the many people who called, e-mailed, or otherwise got word to me with your positive thoughts.


I voted yesterday. Betting my votes are not hard to guess. You can vote, too, at the Board of Elections right now.


As much as I would like to think that next Tuesday, November 3, is the end of the campaign season--I know better. Most politicos know that Tuesday really marks the beginning of the 2010 campaign. We feel it every day. By the end of 2009, every major candidate for 2010 will have been to Cincinnati for a fundraiser and other events. Of course, Josh Mandel practically lives here!


Cincinnati has two good football teams.


Have a great Wednesday.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Vote 5 + Wenstrup

Election Day is only 8 days away. For those Republicans in the city of Cincinnati who wish to bring some sanity back to city government, we want to urge you to NOT dilute your vote by voting for non-Republicans.

How does this work? Every vote you cast for a non-Republican HURTS our Republican candidates in a field race by helping the non-Republicans finish as one of the top nine candidates. That's right, your vote for some of the non-Republicans (who sometimes sound like Republicans--but not often enough to receive our endorsement) dilutes your vote for Republicans and actually hurts our candidates. Every vote for a non-Republican is one more vote they get to finish in the top 9 and these candidates are all competing with our candidates for those top 9 spots. Don't dilute our limited Republican vote in the city.

Mayor -- Brad Wenstrup

Five Council Candidates:
Leslie Ghiz
Chris Monzel
Amy Murray
Charlie Winburn
George Zamary

So, we are urging every Republican in the city to:

Vote Wenstrup, then VOTE 5 AND STOP!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Enquirer Endorsements

The Cincinnati Enquirer published its endorsements yesterday. Congratulations to Amy Murray, Leslie Ghiz, and Charlie Winburn for receiving that recognition.

The Enquirer chose to endorse our current Mayor for a second term. That decision has drawn a response from the Hamilton County Republican Party. The letter I submitted via e-mail this morning is printed below.

Enquirer Made Wrong Choice in Mayoral Endorsement

The Cincinnati Enquirer did our community a disservice on Sunday with its endorsement in the Mayor’s race. As the GOP leader in this city, I am disappointed in the decision for obvious reasons. But the editorial board's basing its decision on criticism of the Republican candidate for his “gentlemanly” attitude does a disservice to the public and to our community for three reasons. First, it apparently advocates for a negative campaign from Dr. Wenstrup aimed at the Mayor. Second, it will certainly have a chilling effect on any person who wants to enter public service without what the Enquirer deems the requisite amount of “political” experience. Third, it demeans the public service of a Major in the United States Army who received commendations for his courageous and meritorious service.

Time and again, pundits and critics of politics take issue with the negative tone of political campaigns. When Dr. Wenstrup, a man of core decency, intellect, and integrity, decides to manage his campaign in a manner consistent with his professionalism--the Enquirer criticizes him for an “inability or unwillingness to sharply attack.” If politics is to ever change from “sharp attacks” and focus on the key issues, the Enquirer’s criticism of Dr. Wenstrup is nothing short of irresponsible.

Second, many fine people in the private sector look at politics and cringe at what they see. These successful, bright, and committed citizens see a political culture where “sharp attacks” and a failure to truly lead is rewarded. The criticism of Dr. Wenstrup for being “gentlemanly” will discourage any talented person who wishes to enter public life and do it professionally and respectfully.

Third, and bordering on being offensive, is the Enquirer’s assertion that Major Wenstrup may not be prepared for the “bare knuckles politics of City Hall.” On this point, one is left laughing. Dr. Brad Wenstrup won the Bronze Star Medal given to members of the armed services for bravery, acts of merit, and meritorious service in a war zone. He also was awarded the Combat Action Badge for his service in an area where there is hostile fire. Dr. Wenstrup served in an area where mortar fire would occasionally cause him to hit-the-deck and he routinely wore full body armor for protection. Yet, the Enquirer asks, “What could happen to him in the bare knuckles environment of city hall politics?” Is the Enquirer serious? Perhaps Brad will receive a paper cut from a sharply worded memo from a political foe. I think he’s up to the challenge.

What will Brad Wenstrup do when the “bare knuckles” of the childish backbiting begins at City Hall? He will draw on his real-life experience of persevering through much greater challenges to lead and to get the job done.

The current Mayor’s “get out of the way” style of leadership is recognized by many, but praised by none. Nevertheless, the Enquirer sees fit to offer him a second term at a time where our city faces enormous deficits and real challenges, and a vacuum of true leadership. The fact that it chose to do so while criticizing a man of valor, integrity and character for being a “neophyte” and a gentleman is regrettable.

The Enquirer missed a chance to encourage people to enter politics based on skills they bring from the private sector. I am concerned about the long term impact of getting good people into government as a result.

Alex M. Triantafilou
Hamilton County Republican Party

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Hawaii, etc.

Cincinnati City Council member Laketa Cole will spend the next couple of weeks in Hawaii and then South Korea and Vietnam. The Enquirer reports that here. Some people just make my job fun. Ms. Cole just did. First, let's be fair. This junket is not paid for by taxpayers. Surprisingly. Nevertheless, it is irresponsible and a little arrogant. It is irresponsible to be making a two-week journey halfway around the world when our city faces a growing deficit and looming job layoffs. Especially when you have been appointed to the most powerful chairmanship on the city council--the Finance Committee chairmanship. The trip is a little arrogant because this is the election season. Is Ms. Cole so comfortable in her position on the council that she doesn't feel the need to connect with the voters for two weeks during the final stretch of the campaign season? I'll concede that Ms. Cole is well positioned to win re-election. But, campaigns are important to the function of our democracy because they make our elected leaders go into the community and hear from the voters. My friends in this campaign tell me that the voters are deeply concerned about public safety and the financial state of the city. Ms. Cole should have stayed in the United States and listened to the voters. She's not consulting me on her travel schedule these days. Had she done that, I would've told her to go to Greece!


Rob Portman had a great event at the Western Hills Country Club. The west side showed up big for Rob and that was great to see.


Several GOP candidates received the ever-important Fraternal Order of Police imprimatur yesterday. Brad Wenstrup, Leslie Ghiz, Chris Monzel, Charlie Winburn, and Amy Murray all were recommended by the FOP for election to the council. Good work!


The Hamilton County GOP is hosting two critical fundraisers in the coming weeks. Save these dates:

October 20, 2009 -- 5:00p - 7:00p -- Embers Restaurant
October 29, 2009 -- 5:00p - 7:00p -- Western Hills Country Club

We are having an Eastside-Westside challenge to see which part of Hamilton County can support the GOP the best. More information will follow on this blog. For more information on how to get in on the fun, contact Maggie Wuellner at or 513-381-5454.


President Obama is a rookie. Politically, we've seen it time and again. He's too smart to be this bad for long. The GOP needs to offer great ideas and great candidates. Counting on his continued stumbles is not an agenda for the future. We have these candidates and these ideas and I'm excited to see them emerge.


Chris McDowell is running a great campaign for the Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education. He's a great man and a great candidate. The kids who attend city schools would be well-served by Chris McDowell on that board.


We are actively seeking a speaker for our Lincoln-Reagan dinner for February. Finding a great speaker is always a challenge. We try to reach every major contender for President. We also try and get other GOP "celebrities." That process is ongoing.


The Bengals are 3-1. A team can play well and lose. A team can play poorly and win. I'll take the latter.


I'm proud of our candidates and our campaigns all across the county. We have great people running in places like Delhi, Springfield Township, Green, Colerain, Anderson, Symmes, Sycamore, Blue Ash, Sharonville and all over. People who care about their communities subject themselves to the rigors of a campaign and there is something noble about that. Many of these jobs are not glamorous, but they make up the fabric of our democracy and I'm always happy to see people willing to serve.


Have a great Tuesday.