Hey Cincy. Here’s a quick rundown of the news today.
Former Mahogany’s owner Liz Rogers owes the city $108,000, a Hamilton County Common Pleas Court judge has ruled. Like some other restaurants, Rogers received a $300,000 loan and a $684,000 grant from the city to open her soul food restaurant at The Banks. But the restaurant eventually went bust after falling behind on its loan payments to the city as well as state tax payments. The move was an effort to increase diversity at the riverfront development. Rogers says a promised hotel never materialized at the development, limiting the amount of traffic the area received and keeping business down. In May, the city filed a breech of contract suit against Rogers to try and recoup some of its losses. Other loans the city gave out to businesses were much smaller, though some 27 of the 70 made also had past due balances.
• Do you remember our amazing stadium tax deals? Of course you do. They’ve been cited as among the worst in the nation for taxpayer (that’s us) at the county level. Well, a new study also suggests they’ve cost taxpayers (again, that’s us) staggering amounts at the federal level as well. The bonds used to finance Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium cost federal taxpayers more than $324 million, the study by the Brookings Institute says. Only New York’s stadiums were more expensive losses of tax revenue. The bonds Hamilton County issued in 1996 to finance the stadiums were tax-free for investors.
• Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine was in Cincinnati yesterday to meet with black faith leaders for a private roundtable discussion. Kaine highlighted his history advocating for civil rights and he and his running mate Hillary Clinton’s commitment to making change happen at the neighborhood level in black communities. The event took place at the New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Carthage. Kaine didn’t touch on the hot topic of the day — Clinton’s health — though the topic did come up at an earlier appearance in Dayton. Clinton left a Sept. 11 memorial event early Sunday, and staff had to help her into a waiting car. Clinton’s campaign says she contracted pneumonia and is expected to recovery shortly.
• Cincinnati City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee yesterday approved a motion aimed at ending institutional racism wound up in the way the city carries out its business. That move came after community members with the Black Agenda, an African-American advocacy group headed by leaders like former Cincinnati mayor Dwight Tillery and Bishop Bobby Hilton, asked city leaders to create a system to root out systemic racism in city policies and procedures. The Black Agenda would like to see every city practice thoroughly reviewed to assure it provides equal opportunity regardless of race. Some measures to this end are already underway. Last year, Mayor John Cranley and city administration oversaw the creation of the Office of Economic Inclusion and Minority Contracting and commissioned a so-called Croson study, which measures racial inclusion in city contracting.
• Finally, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin says some really intense stuff sometimes. Case in point: Last weekend, at the staunchly conservative Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., Bevin talked a lot about bloodshed after bringing up Hillary Clinton and her possible election as president.
“The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what?” Bevin asked, paraphrasing a famous Thomas Jefferson quote. “The blood. Of who? The tyrants, to be sure, but who else? The patriots. Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren. I have nine children. It breaks my heart to think that it might be their blood that is needed to redeem something, to reclaim something that we — through our apathy and our indifference — have given away.”
Wow man. That escalated quickly. Bevin’s office later issued a clarifying statement saying that the governor was speaking about the U.S.’s war on terror when he made the comments. Ah, gotcha. Makes much more sense now and isn’t terrifying at all. Bevin was at the Values Voter Summit to receive the group’s Distinguished Christian Statesman award. Bevin has made similar comments in the past, most recently to conservative website LifeZette.