By now anyone who's interested in Cincinnati politics probably has heard about the insensitive and over-the-top comment posted Sept. 11 on Twitter by a leader of an anti-streetcar group.
Mark Miller, treasurer for the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST), posted the following:
3% of FDNY died 10 yrs ago by terrorism. Today Cincinnati lost 17.5% of fire companies by brownout to pay for a streetcar. Which is worse?—-
Leaving aside Miller's factual inaccuracies (no brownouts were caused by diverting funds to pay for the proposed streetcar system), any reasonable person can definitively tell Miller which is worse: The large, horrible loss of life on Sept. 11, 2001 — not the political battle brewing in Cincinnati.
“Invoking 9/11 was a mistake. It was stupid. That was insensitive. And I apologize,” Miller told The Enquirer today.
Chris Seelbach, a Democrat who is a first-time candidate for Cincinnati City Council, said the apology is insufficient and Miller should resign from his post.
“This language is exactly what’s wrong with politics today,” Seelbach said. “I will not stand idly by and let others denigrate the memories of courageous firefighters who died on 9/11.”
Seelbach noted that he's pledged to bring back the civility shown by his former boss, the late Vice Mayor David Crowley, who was an ardent opponent of extreme and hateful speech.
“In the spirit of my former boss, mentor and friend, former Vice Mayor David Crowley, it’s time for Mark Miller to step down and for COAST to end this kind of distasteful and divisive rhetoric,” he added.