In just under six weeks, Cincinnati voters will go to the polls and vote for the men and women they feel are best qualified to lead the city into the 21st century. Of course, that means we'll re-elect the same fearless, visionary, can-do band we did last time around. Because we citizens are just as fearless, visionary and can-do in our voting.
There's a hitch, however. Due to term limits, we can only re-elect seven of the current City Council members. Meaning two seats will go to newcomers. The question is, do you, the voter, know enough about the non-incumbent candidates to make an informed choice? If not, take a minute to get familiar with the leadership choices below.
Name: Sherman Kelp
Background: Retired president of Local Union 5194, Brotherhood of Pete Delkus Hair Stylists, Sprayers and Tenders
Slogan: "Yelp for Kelp"
Platform: Would make downtown more attractive by dressing the homeless in camouflage clothing so no one could see them; demands investigation into whether so-called "light rail" would have fewer calories or simply less fat than "regular rail;" promises to uphold the Cincinnati tradition of using office as stepping stone to a broadcasting career.
Name: Marianna Stubble
Education: Graduate, McDonald's Hamburger University with a double major (in Super-Sizing and Double Cheeseburger Theory)
Background: Founder of Rent-a-HyperKid, not-for-profit group that puts underprivileged, high strung kids to work, thereby allowing them to burn off some of their excess energy while simultaneously earning money to pay for their Ritalin prescriptions.
Slogan: "Hey, guys, under these clothes is a naked woman."
Platform: Would appoint a special prosecutor to find out what the current blond, glasses-less, well-togged Mayor did with Roxanne Qualls; wants to name more downtown streets after local sports heroes à la Pete Rose Way, including Aaron Pryor Street, Stanley Wilson Avenue, James Brooks Street and Dontonio Wingfield Parkway; has called for disinterment of huckster Mike Tangi to check DNA and determine if he really was both Kwik Brothers.
Name: Steve Skyline Chili
Education: Associate degree in Heavy Lifting from Cincinnati State
Background: Formerly Steve Mobius (generally assumed he's hoping locals can't resist voting for his familiar, beloved and newly adopted last name); currently operates a one-person freelance business specializing in lifting heavy things.
Slogan: "Everyone loves Skyline Chili"
Platform: Aspires to get close enough to Phil Heimlich so that he can beat the holy crap out of him.
Name: Daniel Zucker
Education: Law degree from Charvard ("the Jewish Harvard")
Background: Lead litigator for Toxic Pet Toys, Inc.
Slogan: "As long as I live here, I may as well run things."
Platform: Believes cameras in high-crime areas don't go far enough and proposes placing dwarves with cell phones in the closets and duct work of suspicious-looking people and that way, if something illegal happens or seems like it might happen, the little people will see it and then call police; opposes spending the estimated $7.4 million in public money it would take to make Michael Flannery entertaining.
Name: Derek Gaines
Education: Ph.D. in The White Man from Over-the-Rhine College of Injustice and Despair
Background: Held back, held down, beat up, lied to, harangued, harassed, hassled and written off.
Slogan: "Don't shoot, officer."
Platform: Demands Republican Councilman Charles Winburn be officially declared "white;" wants an investigation to see if Paul Booth's appointment to council was orchestrated by the "omni-municipal white power nexus" just to get a black man out of Amberley Village; claims loss of the aquarium project to Newport is part of overall city policy that denies opportunity to "fish of color;" believes it's too soon to tell if "the 'Nati" should or shouldn't be trashed.
Name: Charlie Luken
Background: Former unlicensed dental technician; former councilman; former congressman; former Moonie; former television newsreader (unconfirmed); former Norma Rashid boy toy; former quitter ("I'm giving up quitting," he claims)
Slogan: "Yeah, me again, suckers."
Platform: Pro-Dick Sargent "Darrin," anti-Dick York "Darrin;" conceived "Your Choice: Crack For Guns/Guns For Crack" exchange program; denies charges he once drank a cup of caffeinated coffee, causing him to express a passionate point of view; has volunteered to hold Steve Skyline Chili's shirt in the event Steve gets the opportunity to beat up Phil Heimlich.