BUTCH JONES: The University of Cincinnati’s new football coach will get a contract valued at $1 million this year and will receive guaranteed increases of $50,000 annually through his new five-year pact. He also gets other perks like a car, a country club membership and a $700,000 interest-free loan. Good for Jones, maybe he’s worth it. Still, it’s unseemly that such an excessive deal is being approved by UC’s Board of Trustees at the same meeting where it will increase tuition rates for students by 7 percent. Maybe it’s time for a holistic review of our culture’s misplaced priorities. While it might be fun to root for the home team, it’s decidedly less so if you’re doing it while you’re unemployed or under-employed due to a lack of education. (Yeah, I know: I’m a party pooper.)
THE POOR & DISENFRANCHISED: Once upon a time, only white, male property owners could vote in U.S. elections. We suspect that the Republican Party secretly wishes that were still the law of the land. The GOP’s long campaign trying to allege ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) was somehow involved in massive voter fraud simply because it tried to register poor people to vote has taken its toll. Even though criminal investigations never found evidence of wrongdoing, ACORN has agreed to relinquish its business license and curtail many activities in Ohio as part of a lawsuit settlement. Now let’s see if the same groups who targeted ACORN will go after people like Tom Brinkman Jr., who also have trouble submitting referendum forms with correct information.
SANITY: There’s good crazy (“you so crazy, i think i want to have your baby”) and bad crazy (“The voices in my head say Dick Cheney would be a good president”), so we’re not sure what to make of the latest list that ranks U.S. cities using arbitrary criteria. This time, it’s the Daily Beast Web site — begun by former Vanity Fair editor Tina brown — and “America’s Craziest Cities.” Cincinnati topped the list of 57 major areas, followed by San Francisco and Providence, R.I. The ranking is based on things like psychiatrists per capita, drinking rates and stress levels. So what if we can handle our liquor better than you bi-coastal types? You’d drink a lot too if you had to deal with Phil Burress and Chris Finney.
POLITICAL PATRONAGE: Yes, the job Cincinnati City Councilwoman Laketa Cole got hired for at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio really existed, and she’s actually making $15,700 less than the white man who previously held the post. But no, the job opening wasn’t advertised publicly and Cole was the only applicant. There’s no doubt that Democratic state officials greased the skids for Cole to keep her out of a heated primary race with ex-Vice Mayor Alicia Reece for the Ohio House 33rd District seat. Even if Cole is qualified, the whole thing reeks and would be widely criticized by more people if Republicans were doing it. It’s still bad policy and furthers public cynicism about government.