Monday, July 13, 2009


In the last couple years we have had a spate of ballot initiatives, all modifying the city charter, that have come from 2 local organizations, COA T & the local chapter of the NAACP. When people complain about the deluge of ballot initiatives, the promoters claim the voters should have the right to decide these issues. Then, of course, they go about a campaign of misinformation & obsfucation to get the vote they want. This is obviously one of the things the opponents dislike. The fact that it's the same people, time after time, however has to lead one to wonder what their objective is. One must ask, "What's next ?".
While COA T claims to be a watchdog on taxation and government spending, most of the initiatives they have supported would result in greater spending. The Environmental Justice legislation the city council just enacted, that will result in greater city spending, cost local businesses more and generally heap more red tape into the mix with no real benefit to the community seems to have slipped right under their noses. And yet, they were opposed to using electronic traffic monitoring devices that would cut the cost of law enforcement.
The president of the local NAACP repeatedly cries that he is preventing the impending genocide of local African Americans. He is, from the looks of things, doing a good job. I certainly haven't noticed any mass graves of late.
It would appear that the major goal of these people is to be obstructionist. Their tactics are not much different than the revolutionary who maintains a steady stream of mischief & vandalism that occupies the local constabulary while the rebel forces gather just outside the town. A 5th column, if you will.
Where the obstructionism really shows up is in the effort to prevent the city from spinning off it's water works and forming a water district. The issue here is that the water works has more capacity than customers. Generally, COA T would refer to such a situation as a boondoggle and a case of government overspending. Again, they are inconsistent in their public reasoning. The state prevents the city from expanding it's service, but a separate water district could serve a greater customer base and expand the revenue stream of the city.
So, why not a state ballot initiative to lift the state's restrictions on the city ? Why the focus on obstructing the city ? COA T does consistently try to thwart the city from generating revenue. Why ?
The local NAACP president urged the city to break up contracts for city projects so smaller, African American owned contractors could bid on the jobs. The proposed street car plan would likely be one big project, but the chances for smaller businesses to refurbish and develop vacant properties along the route would be exactly the type of opportunity Mr Smitherman is asking for.
Cincinnati's African Americans tend to have lower than average incomes. They are more likely to walk or use mass transit. Having kids is expensive and seeing young African American mothers struggle with baby carriages on sidewalks and buses is a fairly common sight in Cincinnati. Why did the local NAACP oppose electronic traffic monitoring devices that would aid in the safety of these young women and their children trying to cross intersections ? Why do they oppose a mode of transportation that would improve these young mothers mobility ?
Over and over these groups are not acting consistently, logically nor in their publicly known constituents best interest.
Looking at the more public members of these organizations one could easily conclude that these people are merely unelectable, bitter and disgruntled wannabes. They seem to have an attitude similar to the street gangs that would prefer to keep their neighborhood in a state of squalor rather than let it be improved by someone who might diminish their authority. Is their goal to turn Cincinnati into a Port-au-Prince ? A Mogadishu ? Is their goal to destabilise the city so they can somehow take over ? Wasn't this Charles Manson's plan ?
While Smitherman's rants and COA T's garbled numbers can be comical, David Koresh or Jim Jones could have easily been laughed at one point in time, too.


Jason said...

Great commentary. I haven't been able to figure out what these people are really trying to do either. You completely right that none of their actions make any sense at all unless there is some sort of hidden financial incentives that they are not sharing with us. As far as the anti-rail charter amendment they are deceiving people into supporting, the only logical explanation I can think of is that they are some how being paid off by powerful people in the auto or oil industry. Alternatively, they could just be getting paid by certain people in the suburbs who don't want to see inner city residents having easier access to their perfect little white-washed neighborhoods via rail transit?
I just can't figure it out, but it sure is ridiculously frustrating. Its pretty much a nightmare to people like me who just want to see Cincinnati succeed in competing for new residents, businesses and job oppurtunities.

Col. Hannibal Smith said...

I've never heard of this Coa T. Is he related to Mr. T?

Living in Gin said...

"They seem to have an attitude similar to the street gangs that would prefer to keep their neighborhood in a state of squalor rather than let it be improved by someone who might diminish their authority."

This analogy hits the nail on the head. As long as Cincinnati continues limping along as a failing, dysfunctional city, COAST and Smitherman have a power base that they can exploit. If Cincinnati grows and flourishes, then these groups lose their reason to exist. They want the city to fail because they can then point at that failure and say "Ha! We told you so!".

They're like the abusive spouse who repeatedly tells you that you're nothing without them, while doing everything in their power to keep you trapped in that relationship. The sooner the city breaks free and kicks these manipulative power freaks to the curb, the sooner it can really flourish.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what apocalyptic conspiracy theories. How are ballot initiatives comparable to cults and vandals?

What makes you think people from the suburbs are funding them when the streetcar would only go as far as Clifton? Are Clifton residents behind this conspiracy to turn Cincinnati into a third world country?

Anonymous said...

Here’s your answer, at least part of it.

Rather than speculate, why not do some reporting? Contact COAST and ask them some questions their funding sources.

Anonymous said...

Great post. You should run for office.