Morning News: FOP might sue Motorola over police radio glitches; Cincy rents among fastest-rising in country; the great Trump implosion

Those jumping off the Trump train include U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, who is running for re-election. Other local and Ohio GOP pols, however, including state chairman Matt Borges, are still on the fence, wondering what to do in the fallout.

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click to enlarge U.S. Sen Rob Portman, who stood behind GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, announced he was no longer supporting the candidate this weekend after tapes revealing Trump boasting about sexual assault were published. - Gage Skidmore
Gage Skidmore
U.S. Sen Rob Portman, who stood behind GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, announced he was no longer supporting the candidate this weekend after tapes revealing Trump boasting about sexual assault were published.

Hello all. Well, things have escalated quickly in the presidential race in the past 72 hours, haven’t they? We’ll get back to that in a second. Shake off your post-debate blues and let’s talk news for a bit.

Problems with the Cincinnati Police Department’s new radio systems could spark a lawsuit against manufacturer Motorola, Cincinnati’s Fraternal Order of Police President Dan Hils said yesterday. Hils says malfunctions with the radios, which the department paid $5 million to upgrade this summer, have plagued officers and might be putting them in danger. CPD officers say some of the radios don’t always transmit or are incomprehensible during transmission, which leaves responding officers without key details about recent dangerous situations like a suicide attempt at the Western Hills Viaduct and a shooting at The Banks. The department had to upgrade its radios when Motorola notified CPD that it would no longer service its old ones; Hils says the new ones have needed constant repair since then.

• Cincinnati native and boxing legend Aaron Pryor died yesterday after a long battle with heart disease. Pryor, 60, won his first world championship bout against Antonio Cervantes here at Riverfront Stadium in 1980 and was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996. He was the greatest welterweight boxer of the 20th Century, according to the Associated Press. Pryor, who was coached by local businessman Buddy LaRosa, later overcame struggles with addiction to become a boxing coach himself.

• Greater Cincinnati’s residential rental rates are growing faster than nearly any other city in the country, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The Cincinnati area has the nation’s fourth-fastest rising rents, placing it in heady company with tech hubs like Seattle, Wash. and Portland, Ore. and white-hot Denver, Colo. Our rents are even rising faster than San Francisco and Los Angeles — though Cincinnati’s very low starting rents are probably playing into that dynamic, while West Coast cities’ already sky-high rates can’t increase quite as quickly. Still, the ranking is an illustration of the continued importance of affordable housing as low- and moderate-income renters continue to a feel a crunch as rental rates go up. Cincinnati’s rents are projected to increase by more than 5 percent next year.

• A student at the University of Cincinnati has filed a federal lawsuit against the school, claiming it violated his due process and Title IX rights as it pursued allegations of sexual misconduct against him. The latter federal provision, passed in 1972, protects individuals from sex-based discrimination in education. The plaintiff in the lawsuit, whose name is not disclosed, faces a one-year suspension from UC for allegations he sexually assaulted a female student last year. That student reported that she was assaulted in December 2015, but the lawsuit plaintiff claims they had consensual sex after meeting on Tinder. He was found guilty in a university hearing in June and was suspended but contests the fairness of those proceedings and says he was not given the opportunity to defend himself adequately against the charges.

• What a stretch of days it’s been in national politics. Friday, The Washington Post published a story about previously unreleased tapes recorded before Donald Trump had a cameo on a soap opera in 2005. On those tapes, Trump tells TV host Billy Bush (yes, he’s related to those Bushes) some pretty stomach-turning things about his treatment of women. Among his comments: that he tried multiple times to seduce a married woman while his wife Melania was pregnant with their child and that he can get away with all kinds of behavior toward women he finds attractive, including “grabbing them by the pussy,” because he’s a “star.”

Needless to say, this caused a stir. Critics of the GOP presidential nominee called for him to leave the race and even many members of his own party denounced him, pulled endorsements and asked him to step aside for his running mate, VP candidate and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. The Republican National Committee pulled funding for pro-Trump efforts, and for two days it seemed like Trump’s campaign was imploding. Those jumping off the Trump train included U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, who is running for re-election against Democratic former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. Other local and Ohio GOP pols, however, including state chairman Matt Borges, are still on the fence, wondering what to do in the fallout.

• Let’s talk about that Borges story for just a second and the depths that partisan politics have taken us to. In an eye-opening interview that took place while Borges was watching last night’s debate, he and his wife basically admitted Trump isn’t fit to be president and that they were disgusted by his comments. However, they also said they want his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, to lose so badly that they might still vote for him. Let that sink in. Meanwhile, GOP voters who are pro-Trump show no sign of backing down, with polls showing The Donald has lost little support from his base.

• All of this set the stage for what had to be one of the most unusual and intense presidential debates in history last night, with Trump launching into an early offense to try and bat away questions about the tapes. He struck preemptively before the debate started, convening a news conference with a panel of three women who have accused Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, of sexual assault. Trump tried to tie Hillary to those allegations, saying she threatened the women.

The debate itself was something of a mess, with both candidates at times dodging questions, giving long, rambling answers and attacking each other. Clinton, whose answers seemed somewhat sharper and which, at times, at least attempted to answer the questions posed by the audience and moderators in the town hall-style format, gained the edge in most post-debate polls, making Trump’s prospects seem even grimmer.

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