If you're a registered Republican in Hamilton County, you may have received a call last week from Joe Deters. Sadly, Ohio's treasurer wasn't calling to tell you a fat state check is headed your way.
No, Deters and Cincinnati Police Officer Keith Fangman, vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police, unleashed dueling recorded phone calls seeking to sway thousands of Republicans in the Dowlin-DeWine race for county commissioner.
Fangman's call - similar to ones he made just before Pat DeWine's November re-election to Cincinnati City Council - came first. It warns that "Patrick DeWine is no friend of law enforcement," noting that the councilman supports the outside hiring of top police officials.
The DeWine campaign quickly whipped out a retaliatory call from Deters. Identifying himself as former county prosecutor, Deters declares: "No one in this race will fight harder to protect Hamilton County citizens than Pat DeWine."
With 20 days still remaining before the GOP primary between DeWine and incumbent John Dowlin, last week's call probably isn't Fangman's last word.
CAMPAIGN CAMEOS: Dowlin is getting behind-the-scenes advice from former colleague Bob Bedinghaus, Bedinghaus confirms. He has kept a low profile since Democrat Todd Portune unseated him in 2000 and he began working for the Bengals.
The Museum Center is also getting some high-profile help in its quest for a levy March 2. Look for UC basketball great Oscar Robertson to pitch the levy in TV commercials to air during Bearcats games. Robertson, a 1960 graduate of the UC College of Business, is an entrepreneur and community activist.
PARTY POOPERS: The unprecedented number of challenges (103) to Butler County Republican Party Central Committee members on the March 2 ballot is not strictly a ploy by Commissioner Michael A. Fox and his supporters to control the party.
There also is "a serious backlash" from longtime Republicans over "the party's propensity for endorsing former Democrats," Fox says.
Commissioner Greg Jolivette, Prosecutor Robin Piper, Juvenile Court Judge Ronald Craft and former party Executive Director Joe Statzer all once were Democrats.
"This fight is far from over. This has set the tone potentially for many bitter battles in the years ahead," says Donald E. Carpenter Jr., a West Chester Township insurance agent challenging longtime precinct representative Dorothy Roth.
NO KIDDING: We'll have to believe that George Lang is telling us the truth on this one.
The West Chester Township trustee recently attended an Ohio Township Association workshop in Columbus for newly elected officials that offered tips for dealing with the media.
The best advice? "They said to never lie to the press, even if the other trustees do," Lang reports.
Dowlin, DeWine debate issues
How the candidates stand on the issues
Minister wins appeal of ouster
Public help may crack case
After stars leave town, some of their pay stays
Auction to offer history in a box
IN THE TRISTATE
'Missing' student found on bus
College Hill's corners come alive in concept
Zoning board surprises Wal-Mart
State science curriculum includes evolution debate
Sheriff's department buys emergency suits
Levy failure means cuts
Mason schools get food labels
Sayler Park seeks help on preservation
In the schools
Woman sentenced for stealing checks
From the state capitals
Vision plan needs revision
In the Tristate
Korte: Privatization is not totally over, it seems
Deters, Fangman duel in phone messages on DeWine
Good Things Happening
Sister Anna Gertrude Delaney helped serve poor
Zoning OK'd for 'lifestyle' center
Lawyer: Pastor took no money
Gutted roads imperil locals
One-way proposal placed on hold
Expanded, renovated YMCA scores
Student charged in sexual incident