Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Luken finds Dennis Miller a stand-up guy


Around city hall

Greg Korte

Comedian Dennis Miller, who has a new show on CNBC, told the Associated Press last week that he would give President Bush a free ride.

"I like him," Miller told the AP's television writer. "I'm going to give him a pass. I take care of my friends."

That's no surprise to Mayor Charlie Luken, who sat next to Miller in the front row of the House gallery last week during the State of the Union Address.

Luken, a Democrat, was in town for the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting and scored a ticket through U.S. Rep. Rob Portman of Terrace Park, a Bush confidant.

Miller was all wisecracks before the speech started, Luken said. As senators ceremoniously entered the chamber, Miller said, "I'm not standing up for anyone less than a Supreme Court justice."

But when the speech started, Miller cheered like a blogger at a Howard Dean rally. "He must have stood up 70 or 80 times," said Luken, who said he himself only stood up half as often.

Luken may be a Democrat, but he's no Ted Kennedy.

AND THE WINNER IS ... BLUE ASH: While in Washington, the mayors conference asked Luken to present the 2004 Partner America Small Business Achievement Award to a local company, Metalex Manufacturing.

"In Cincinnati, we recognize the importance of small business and have worked to create an environment where business can flourish," Luken said in handing out the award.

That may be true, but it has little to do with Metalex. The company is located in Blue Ash.

EXCEPTION TO THE RULE: In seven weeks on the job, Christopher Smitherman has literally redefined the rules at City Council.

"Let me first explain what a 'by leave' is," Smitherman said at the end of last week's meeting. "This is our six minutes to share our thoughts."

Wrong. Rule 7.6, "Emergency By Leaves," allows a council member to "speak for up to three minutes to preview signed communications or petitions, motions, orders, ordinances, resolutions or any other matters not on the calendar."

Smitherman used six minutes last week to condemn Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen for calling him a "smart-mouthed little punk," give thoughts on racial reconciliation, oppose a district system of electing City Council, and express outrage at the videotape in which police Lt. Jeff Butler is alleged to have used a racial slur.

CONNECTIONS: Smitherman still won't say why he's investigating which Cincinnati police officers went to which high school.

But interestingly, the No. 2 school on the list was Western Hills, with 69 grads on the force. The principal there is Herbert Smitherman, his father.

Six officers went to Christopher's alma mater, the School for Creative and Performing Arts.

E-mail gkorte@enquirer.com




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