Monday, August 27, 2007

Jail Tax Blues

Rumors continue to run strong that Todd Portune and David Pepper will stab our courageous Sheriff Si Leis in the back by throwing in the towel on their plan to raise the Sales Tax. I don't think Si Leis will be happy about that, I wonder if he'd start yelling at them like he yells at DeWine?

This is the wrong approach. Portune and Pepper need to go all out for their plan. They should fight till the end. We need to raise taxes. We need this money for a new jail, $160 million in new social programs, and $600 million to redirect to the county general fund to be spent on other programs.

We especially need this money because the 3rd Sheriff's deputy in the last month was recently arrested. If we don't get a new jail soon, Sheriff Leis won't have anywhere to put his deputies when they get arrested again.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bill Seitz to the Senate

Just when you thought things were rough for Republicans who support higher taxes, with Chris Bortz being rejected for the GOP nomination, anti-tax enemies easily succeeding in placing the Si Leis Sales Tax hike on the ballot, and the strong possibility of Todd Portune and David Pepper surrendering by killing the Sales Tax hike rather than trying to defend it, we finally received some good news. Tax supporter Bill Seitz is heading to the State Senate.

Bill Seitz is one of the most effective tax supporters out there. Like a wolf in sheep's clothing, Seitz projects an image of being a hardline conservative out to limit the size of government and has most enemies of the treasury believing that about him. But the reality is Seitz is a great advocate for our cause. He supported the Bob Taft tax hikes that have made Ohio an economic powerhouse. Seitz endorsed the latest Cincinnati Public Schools tax levy, whose passage has helped turn them into one of the best school districts in the state. And when the lead enemies of the treasury at COAST tried to eliminate the property tax for the city of Cincinnati, Seitz went on the offensive and campaigned against this harmful tax cut.

We can accept his conservative rhetoric, because his record of raising taxes is one of the best in politics. We fully support Seitz for the State Senate.

We also strongly oppose Dick Hammersmith's bid to be Seitz's replacement. Over the years Hammersmith has been a strong and consistent supporter of tax enemies such as Steve Chabot, Chris Monzel, and Jim Raussen. These politicians have worked hard to limit the growth of government. Hammersmith has indicated he would take his belief in limited government to the State House and we can't have that.

We support the selection of Robert Mecklenborg as an alternative. If you look through his financial reports you'll see he has the support of former Commissioner Bob Bedinghaus and that's enough for us. Bedinghaus is one of the finest Commissioners we ever had. He lead the fight the raise the Sales Tax to build the two stadiums and The Banks, and supported virtually every other tax hike that was on the ballot during his 5 years as Commissioner. When you look at The Banks today, you see the results of Bob Bedinghaus' policies. Our best chance of continuing the Bob Bedinghaus/Bill Seitz policies of higher taxes and more government is to select Mecklenborg for the State House.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bortz denied GOP endorsement

Porkopolis and several insiders have reported that Chris Bortz has been denied the Republican Party's endorsement. We are very unhappy about this decision. This is a clear setback for our viewpoint, a majority viewpoint within the Republican Party.

In a show of protest, our executive committee has voted unanimously to stand behind our endorsement of Bortz. We feel his record of raising taxes, increasing spending, and desire to become a big government Republican merits our continued support.

As much as we love Bortz and his big government record, we acknowledge that Bortz shares a lot of blame for this setback. Bortz had to know that selecting Democrat Roxanne Qualls to fill Jim Tarbell's seat could jeopardize his ability to win the Republican endorsement. While few are more enthusiastic about raising taxes than Ms. Qualls, Bortz could have selected a Republican like John Eby or Pat Fischer who shares his goal of rapidly increasing the size of government. Bortz's incompetence was more than our blogging team could successfully defend and cost him our party's important endorsement.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Si Leis, Commissioners - stay strong!

A trusted source told me that our brave Commissioners Todd Portune and David Pepper are seriously thinking of withdrawing their excellent Comprehensive Safety Plan. We cannot let this happen! Don't they have enough confidence in their plan to debate it out in the open?

We need this Sales Tax increase. This plan provides for a big new jail, $160 million of extra social programs, and $600 million extra to expand the rest of county government. Our Sheriff Si Leis supports it, and when Si Leis endorses something you can take it to the bank. Si's word is gold in this county.

Call Commissioners Portune and Pepper and tell them to leave this plan on the ballot. Call Sheriff Si Leis and tell him to force the Commissioners to stand behind their plan. We deserve to have a chance to vote for this. What would it say about their leadership abilities if they allowed COAST and 39,000 voters to intimidate them? Our brave County Commissioners Portune and Pepper would look very stupid if they told us in May that they were so proud of their plan they were willing to pass it without a vote of the people, then withdrew their plan as soon as they had to defend it. That would be cowardly and we believe our Sheriff when he says they aren't cowards.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

George Vincent, please endorse Chris Bortz!

For weeks Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Bortz, a Charterite, has been quietly working to secure the endorsement of the Hamilton County Republican Party. Rumors are he's not polling well and looking for an additional boost to help him get re-elected. We Republicans who support higher taxes enthusiastically support Bortz's endorsement. We have a hard time thinking of anyone who has worked harder than him to raise our taxes and increase government spending. Please consider the Bortz record:

1. Bortz voted to raise Cincinnati's property taxes and has gone on the offensive explaining to tell us why it's important we continue to pay more in property taxes each year. He also went above and beyond the call of duty by criticizing Chris Monzel, an enemy of the treasury, for his harmful efforts to stop the annual property tax hike.

2. Bortz endorsed high tax supporter David Pepper for County Commissioner over another one of our enemies, Phil Heimlich. With Bortz's support, Pepper won this race and returned the County Commission to the taxing days we enjoyed under Bob Bedinghaus, Tommy Neyer, and John Dowlin. Bortz's efforts paid off immediately, as the new majority Pepper and Todd Portune wasted no time implementing a big Sales Tax hike to pay for a new jail, $160 million in new social programs, and $600 million to expand the size of County's government.

3. When Bortz legally had the sole authority to select a replacement for Jim Tarbell, Bortz didn't have to think twice before he chose tax champion Roxanne Qualls. As we detailed in a prior entry, Qualls can't wait to get to work raising taxes even higher than Pepper and Portune are trying to do.

4. Bortz thumbed his nose at our enemies at COAST by working extremely hard to get City Council to give $1 million to The Freedom Center. Along with Leslie Ghiz, Bortz tried hard to defeat the Tarbell plan which resulted in giving them only $800,000. Bortz understands that giving The Freedom Center $1 million every year going forward is one of the most important things City Council could do with its money.

We need you to call, email, or fax George Vincent, the Chairman of the Hamilton County Republican County Party and explain to him why its important the party endorse Chris Bortz. Please cite this article. Bortz represents the pro-tax policies we believe our party needs more of. With Bortz, Ghiz, and more like them, we could return this county and city to the glory days we had under Bob Bedinghaus and Roxanne Qualls.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Andre Harper enjoys playing the fool

The Cincinnati Enquirer's Politics Extra blog Politics Extra: Andre Harper: Candidate and Funny Man? reports that Andre Harper, a Republican candidate for Cincinnati City Council, will be performing in a comedy show on August 23rd in Over the Rhine. After reading Harper's editorial opposing the Si Leis-Todd Portune-David Pepper Sales Tax hike, we suspect he's used to making a fool of himself.

In his article Harper refers to his experience growing up in a tough neighborhood and living in Section 8 housing. Just because Harper grew up in Section 8 housing doesn't mean he knows anything about crime.

David Pepper has been robbed and kidnapped on the mean streets of Mt. Adams. With those kind of life experiences, who could know more than Pepper about how to solve crime? While on City Council, Pepper was Chairman of the Public Safety Committee. He did a wonderful job making Cincinnati a safer place to live. We hope Pepper can do for the county what he did for the city, and it starts by passing this Sales Tax hike.

Coalition Against Safety forces budget cuts

Hamilton County Commissioners just wasted the last 2 days looking for budget cuts to extend the Butler County jail contract and close the projected 2008 budget deficit. Background courtesy of The Enquirer Politics Extra blog: Politics Extra: Talking budget cuts in Hamilton County

Why should they cut the budget when all they have to do is raise taxes? These hearings were only necessary because that extremist group Coalition Against Safety put the comprehensive safety plan on the ballot to let all the voters make the decision instead of trust our politicians to do the right thing. As we highlighted before a few days ago, the Si Leis plan would have built a big new jail, paid for all the social programs, and added a ton of money to the general fund. But no, we have to let the voters get their two cents in.

According to The Enquirer they cut programs to extend the Butler County contract for the rest of the year. They also freed up 35 jail spaces per day by no longer housing federal prisoners. These steps wouldn't have been necessary if not for Pat DeWine and the Coalition Against Safety which represents nobody.

Morning Update: They did successfully find the cuts to extend the Butler County contract through the end of the year. Earlier 2 of the Commissioners didn't think they could find the money.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Chris Bortz hits a double by selecting Qualls

Chris Bortz gets mixed grades today. He is quietly seeking the Republican endorsement for his tough re-election campaign to Cincinnati City Council and had a golden chance today to cinch the deal. Had Chris selected one of the non-incumbent Republican candidates who shares his passion for raising taxes, Pat Fischer or John Eby, to fill the Tarbell vacancy, the local GOP would have been indebted to Bortz and probably felt obligated to reciprocate with an endorsement. We strongly support our fellow tax-hikers Fischer and Eby and wish Bortz would have swung with our home team and selected one of them.

In spite of our disappointment, we feel Bortz hit a solid double when he chose former Mayor Roxanne Qualls. The positions Qualls has already released on fiscal issues are similar to our's. In today's Enquirer Qualls has come out in favor of the Pepper/Portune/Leis Sales Tax hike!

She said she supports the increase in the sales tax that would pay for a new county jail and other safety features.

In addition, according to Porkopolis Qualls came out for a rail system. Funding such a large project would definitely require another big tax increase, likely another big Sales Tax hike.

Also, she wants to expand mass transit options to include streetcars and rail and continue improvements to the region’s stormwater management system.

In terms of policy this was an excellent choice by Bortz. Qualls is showing tremendous enthusiasm for higher taxes and bigger spending plans for years to come. On the political side we think Bortz could have done more for our cause by selecting a pro-tax Republican like Eby or Fischer. The incumbency would have helped them for November, added another big government Republican to the list of officeholders, and helped Bortz's own re-election by increasing his chances of getting the GOP endorsement.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

600 million hidden reasons to support the Sales Tax hike

The plan supported by our Sheriff Si Leis to raise the Sales Tax 1/2 cent for a new jail and a host of social programs is an excellent proposal and must be supported by all Republicans who want to expand the powers of government. The taxes raised pay for all of the programs. But this plan does much more.

According to a May 30th editorial (no longer available directly but try the cached link) written by Todd Portune and David Pepper:

Because of the efficiencies our plan creates in our corrections operations and the conservative financial model we are using, our plan saves taxpayers more than $600 million over the life of the program.

Follow the numbers here. All costs ($864 million) required for this safety plan are paid for by the tax increase. However, all the savings ($600 million) this plan is to create are not being tapped. These savings will land into the General Fund, allowing for a significant growth in the rest of county government!

They could have passed a much smaller tax increase to fund the entire safety and social programs they wanted. However, by insisting on a tax hike this large, we not only fully fund our safety and social programs we also get sizable growth in all other county government programs under the Commissioner's control! This plan is brilliant and deserves our support.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Support our allies

On Friday we received some terrible news when the Hamilton County Board of Elections announced that the We Demand a Vote coalition collected 38,961 valid signatures to give the voters a right to vote on the Sales Tax increase enacted by Todd Portune and David Pepper. Since this group collected over 10,000 more valid signatures than required we realistically have no chance at stopping this in the courts. We now need to work to pass this tax hike.

This Coalition Against Safety is an extremist group and does not represent the views of most Hamilton County residents. Fortunately for us a group has surfaced who will lead the way in making sure this important tax increase is passed. As We Demand a Solution states on their website, they represent the majority of residents.

Just look at the 109 signatures they've collected to support their claim. These 109 people show the diversity of support behind this plan. With their support and your's, we can raise our Sales Tax another 1/2 cent and give our Sheriff and Commissioners another $864 million to spend on our behalf.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Inaugural post

We are increasingly frustrated by the misconception that Republicans are supposed to be for limited government, less spending, and lower taxes. It's time to correct this mistaken belief. The reality is our government cannot carry out its programs unless it shares in our earnings. The government needs our money to do good things, and the more we are taxed the more good things the government can do for us.

We are the antithesis of COAST. They believe you should keep more of what you earn. We do not. The government needs this money more than you do. This blog will primarily focus on local issues of Greater Cincinnati and will also look at Ohio and Federal issues from time to time. You can just look around our area and see the fruits of wise policies that raise taxes and spending.

Former Governor Bob Taft, with the support of Congressman Jean Schmidt, greatly increased taxes and spending and those policies gave us the great economy we have in Ohio today. Former Commissioners Bob Bedinghaus, Tommy Neyer, and John Dowlin engineered the Sales Tax increase and lease agreement that gave us 2 world class stadiums and developed The Banks. Because of their foresight, downtown Cincinnati has been reborn and the fiscal and economic state of Hamilton County has never been stronger!

The purpose of this blog is three-fold:

1. Promote policies to raise taxes and increase government spending. In the near term, we will work hard to make sure voters know why they need to support the $800 million Sales Tax increase for a $198 million new jail and $160 million in new social programs.

2. Support Republicans who understand the need for higher taxes and more spending. Our most notable favorites would have to be Si Leis, Leslie Ghiz, Jean Schmidt, and George Voinovich, but there are many others who will receive their proper recognition.

3. Expose Republicans who want to limit government by letting you keep more of what you earn. Such enemies of the treasury include Steve Chabot, Tom Brinkman, Pat DeWine, and Chris Monzel. We will work overtime to raise awareness of their disruptive efforts to lower your taxes.