Sunday, October 19, 2003

Inside City Hall

Spencer's anatomical attacks irk Cranley

The conventional wisdom in Cincinnati politics is that it makes little sense to "go negative." With 25 rivals in a field race for City Council, a candidate who gets in a fight with one of them still has 24 comers.

Some candidates don't buy the conventional wisdom. The 2003 campaign has seen Pete Witte versus Damon Lynch III, Nick Spencer versus John Cranley and Brian Garry versus everybody.

Spencer's crusade against Cranley (and, to a lesser extent, Democrat David Pepper) has taken on a missionary zeal. At a forum in Oakley last week, the 25-year-old Charterite approached Cranley and said, "Stick around," offering to create a new orifice on Cranley's body.

Spencer attacked Cranley on his plan for Main Street and for taking campaign contributions from Rob Smyjunas, developer of the "big-box" retail complex off Ridge Road.

"John says it's great economic development to bag groceries at Target," Spencer said.

Later, with Cranley standing nearby, Spencer re-enacted the incident to a new audience, speaking in graphic terms about parts of Cranley's anatomy that he had surgically altered.

Democrat Cranley, obviously peeved, said only: "I thought Charter was supposed to be the party of civility. I wonder what Murray Seasongood and Bobbie Sterne would think about what he's doing."

Monzel the family man

"You may know him as Councilman Chris Monzel, but he's also known as something much more important: Dad."

Political consultants call them "warm and fuzzies" - those biographical television ads showing down-home candidates acting like regular guys. And in Cincinnati, no one does those ads better than Monzel.

As the announcer reads the script, the video shows Monzel pushing his kids (Mary Grace, 6, and Jacob, 3) on the swing set, playing in the garden, blowing bubbles, throwing a baseball and riding bikes.

Piles of Rumpke money

Thomas B. Rumpke of Green Township and William J. Rumpke of Colerain Township have given at least $5,500 to City Council candidates this year, according to the latest reports. In 2001, their political contributions totaled $6,250.

Speaking in Avondale last week, Charterite Christopher Smitherman said Rumpke is trying to get its hands on the city's trash collection business.

Those receiving Rumpke contributions include Laketa Cole, Cranley, Pat DeWine, Monzel, and Barbara W. Trauth.

Old-time new urbanist

Former Mayor Arn Bortz moderated a New Urbanists candidate forum last week at the Barrelhouse Brewery.

One candidate not clamoring for the microphone was Charterite Jim Tarbell, who has been talking about new urbanism since it before it was called "new urbanism." He stood by the bar all night decked out in full Tall Stacks attire.

New sheriff in town

The 30-foot inflatable King Kong on Reading Road at I-71 belongs to Republican Tom Jones, who spent $2,200 on it. Jones says it represents his "tough on crime" stance.


Ten things to do before riverboats leave
Today's schedule | Getting there and parking
Volunteers in the heart of the action
Partiers enjoy the gloat from the boat
Tall ones liven up harbor
Tall Stacks Notebook

'Little hero' saves neighbors from fire
New homeowners bought lots of trouble
Ryland buys back homes, pays for cleanup
Safe disposal of chemicals is new trend

BRONSON: Cincinnati was made for riverboat life
HOWARD: Good Things Happening
KORTE: Inside City Hall
PULFER: School is a battlefield, and casualties are increasing

Zoo levy scaled back to lessen dependency
How to cast absentee ballot
Voting information on the Web
Updated information on local races

Golden Galaxy achievers stand out
Ruling on refusing grants awaited
Lakota fans cheer big game

Ohio Moments: Codebreaker saved lives
Ohio Bicentennial Notebook
Hearing deficiencies found earlier now
Police, fire pension trustees put limits on travel expenses
Students, retirees share home

Computer gives teachers student alerts