“PLEDGE TO AMERICA”: Same old, same old. That's what the Republican Party's supposedly new “Pledge to America” is, merely the repackaging of the same policies that caused the economy to crash and allowed big corporations to act recklessly. More importantly, though, it also includes flat-out lies. As the nonpartisan FactCheck.org noted, the pledge “
declares that 'the only parts of the economy expanding are government and our national debt.' Not true. So far this year government employment has declined slightly, while private sector employment has increased by 763,000 jobs.” So, if they blatantly lie during the campaign, what do you think they'll do when they actually hold power?
JOANNE KEMMERER: Whether she was a dupe of political manipulation or acted of her own accord, Kemmerer helped spread a lie far and wide about Congressman Steve Driehaus (D-Price Hill). Kemmerer, an anti-abortion activist from Norwood, helped broadly distribute an e-mail that claimed Driehaus filed a lawsuit in 2003 that resulted in a large statue of Jesus being removed from City Hall. There was never a statue and never a lawsuit, though. Conservative activist Brad Beckett sent the e-mail to a short list of people, including Kemmerer, allegedly in an attempt to poke fun at a bogus Wikipedia entry about the “lawsuit.” Only the lord knows the motivation in Beckett's heart, but we're left to wonder if Jesus would approve of this tactic.
GAMBLE HOUSE: Preservationists and neighborhood activists are upset about the Greenacres Foundation's plan to raze the historic Gamble Mansion in Westwood. As the foundation sues to obtain a demolition permit, some say the organization is busy gutting the interior to bolster its claims that it's dilapidated. As a result, Cincinnati City Councilman Charlie Winburn proposes that the city seize the property using eminent domain, so it can be preserved and restored by the Park Board. Winburn's idea merits serious consideration by his council colleagues, and should be pursued if the city's attorneys find it complies with the law. Generally, historic conservation has been found to be a legitimate public purpose, so buying the home shouldn't pose a problem.
UNKNOWN VANDALS: It didn't get much attention, but the Sentinel Police Association's offices on Central Parkway were vandalized sometime during the weekend of Sept. 18-20. Unknown persons threw paint on the Sentinels' building and sign, broke some windows and scrawled some unintelligible graffiti. The organization, which provides a forum for African-American officers in the Cincinnati Police Department, was clearly targeted as the offices of the Fraternal Order of Police just across the street were untouched. The incident happened about the same time as the police shootout with the Iron Horsemen, a white motorcycle club that's known to hold racist views. Whether the Horsemen are responsible or someone else, this type of attack can't be tolerated in a civilized society.