Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Butler Co. Republicans' funds outstrip Democrats'

Around the suburbs

Why are so few Democrats ever on the ballot in Butler County? All you have to do is look at Republicans' campaign funds to see the Butler County Democratic Party is in woeful shape.

The Republican Party reported a balance of $105,999 to the Butler County Board of Elections recently - more than 13 times the Democrats' paltry $7,384.

In addition to the party fund, Republican Prosecutor Robin Piper has $116,707 in the bank - and no opponent for re-election in November.

Engineer Greg Wilkens, another Republican running uncontested, is sitting on $76,383 in campaign funds. State Rep. Courtney Combs, another Republican with no opposition, boasts a campaign balance of $28,575.

State Rep. Gary Cates, a West Chester Republican running for the Ohio 4th District Senate seat, has $39,432 left to spend - compared to $2,831 for Melvin Smith, his Democratic opponent.

The only Democrat outspending a Republican so far is sheriff candidate Dale Scott Richter. He has paid out $8,361, while Republican Rick Jones has gone through $6,556. But that will be just a footnote in the fall campaign because Jones, the chief deputy sheriff, reports a campaign balance of $57,878 - while Richter has only $2,116 left.

John Kiesewetter

STANDING BEHIND EDWARDS: Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, who has used a wheelchair since back surgery last year, took a stand for John Edwards last week in more ways than one.

First, the Westwood Democrat endorsed the senator from North Carolina. Then Portune, with a hand from supporters, stood up at the podium at an event for Edwards' wife Friday at the Vernon Manor Hotel.

"I take this opportunity to literally and figuratively rise to the occasion to introduce the next first lady, Elizabeth Edwards," he said.

Cindi Andrews

HE'S BACK: Just months after voters ousted him, former Deerfield Township Trustee Bill Morand is jumping back into public service.

This time, it's in a different capacity: Two of the trustees voted to appoint Morand and two others to the Deerfield Storm Water District Board. The board will identify and set priorities for solutions to flooding problems.

The lone "no" vote came from Trustee Lee Speidel, who beat Morand in November's election.

HEATED DEBATE: "Why do we need fire suppression systems in fire stations?" Trustee Stephen Grote asked at a recent Green Township trustees meeting. At issue was a proposal to seek bids for sprinklers in the fire station at West Fork Road and Audro Drive.

Grote said he'd vote for advertising the project, expected to cost around $75,000, only if fire officials ensure firefighters take all personal vehicles out of the fire station.

"Sounds like blackmail to me," Trustee Tony Upton said.

After the trustees discussed the issue, all three voted to advertise the bid.

Reid Forgrave

PRIMARY 2004 Special Election Section
Incumbent leads judicial battle
Mental health levy failing in Butler Co.
Green, Treon win bids in Clermont
62-vote difference means a recount in state Senate
DeWine defeats Dowlin decisively
8 school districts win issues
Blessing, Brinkman win GOP House votes
Income tax going up in 2 areas
Grossmann wins GOP race for commission
'New voice' win defies convention
Ohio gives Kerry his knockout punch
Voters pass museum levy
Lakota, Fairfield levies rejected
Democrats fought hard for Ohio
Conservatives leading in Warren County

Ruling revives activists' rights suit
Butler fiber-optic link OK comes too late
Student journalists plan forum
Kings explains cutbacks
Public safety briefs
Amelia High's Quiz Team wins conference crown
Springer move to Cincinnati expected soon

Korte: Alicia Reece may aspire to state office
Butler Co. Republicans' funds outstrip Democrats'
Good Things Happening

Austin D. Bewsey ran photo studio
Ruby Matthews, 79, always found a way

Fields' names considered
Park for Civil War possible
Maker's Mark salutes race
Ludlow schools ask for money
Parents enter kids' world