Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My Racially Divided Local Election Recap

Well folks, just in case you hadn't noticed, the Greater Cincinnati Area is deeply divided along racial lines. Oh, things seem all smooth on the surface. Black folks say there's a problem. Rich white folks continue to say, "There's no problem. We treat our darkies just fine and they love us too."

Nothing highlights this more clearly than the results of the jail tax issue (fondly known as Issue 27).
Issue 27: Hamilton Co. Public Safety Sales Tax
880 of 880 precincts reporting

Votes Percent
No 107,276 56.1%
Yes 84,115 43.9%

It passed in only five jurisdictions: Terrace Park, Wyoming, Indian Hill, North Bend and Green Township.
That means anywhere that is decently integrated voted it down. Black folks voted no and white folks who would have to look their black neighbors in the eye and know that they would have voted to lock up their neighbors, who just maybe aren't so bad after all, voted no.

Only the outer bastions of rich whiteness voted to lock up more black and poor people instead of finding other ways to "help" them.

Then there's the council split. Three very viable black candidates, missed the field of nine by inches.

Here's how the vote went (African American candidates are listed in bold)

1. 32,663 7.80% John Cranley
2. 32,648 7.80% Roxanne Qualls
3. 30,112 7.20% David C. Crowley
4. 26,206 6.30% Cecil Thomas
5. 25,677 6.20% Chris Bortz
6. 24,163 5.80% Leslie Ghiz
7. 23,853 5.70% Laketa Cole
8. 22,906 5.50% Jeff Berding
9. 22,712 5.50% Chris Monzel
10. 21,267 5.10% Charlie Winburn
11. 18,141 4.40% Minette Cooper
12. 16,767 4.00% Sam Malone

The difference between the top white vote getters and black vote getters was only 65,000 votes. Not to mention the field of runoff candidates - there are simply more white voters than black ones and the vote was obviously very divided among black people which makes sense. The name recognition and probably even personal relationships among the voters in the field of black candidates is probably very high. The black vote was split enough to make sure that, yet again, only two black people ended up on council.

And although white folks have many myriad reasons for not voting for the jail, they also voted to keep our children stupid and the schools broke by defeating the CPS levy. It's ok if rich schools have swimming pools as long as poor kids don't have text books. Only in Cincinnati does this make sense. Hell, most whites these parts send their kids to private or Catholic school anyhow. What is to them that public schools are failing?

One thing is for certain - no matter how divided we are on every other issue, we all agree on one thing - liquor. That it should be plentiful and on every street corner, and in every grocery store and Olive Garden. Skimming the list of liquor license issues, I only saw one liquor license denied. When voters in Colerain were asked if the Olive Garden on Colerain should be able to keep it's liquor license the result was an overwhelming 76% yes to a paltry 26% no. I suppose the other 8% decided that even if they couldn't, in good conscience, vote for the liquor, they would not deny others by voting against.

And it is my own personal satisfaction that Mitch Painter got nowhere near enough votes to be considered for council. It's only my regret that Bortz, Ghiz and Berding didn't do as poorly. Why do only divisive, destructive candidates make council. Michael Earl Patton and Justin Jeffre could do a lot for this city if given a chance, but that's just too much like right.

In the wider field of issues, it's nice to know that my vote on Ohio Senate Bill 16 didn't even count. Hell I wasn't even aware of Ohio Senate Bill 16 until I got my ballot. I was determined to read my ballot carefully but even so the words 'sexually oriented entertainment' and 'nude' (pdf) were bound to get my attention, especially on a piece of paper as official as a ballot.

According to this article it was all a false alarm. Strippers will still be allowed to touch people in nudie bars and the bars will still be able to operate from 12 midnight - 6 am, despite the fact that the vote didn't count - Yes, I voted NO on the restrictions which was a yes for the rights of people to go to titty bars if they so choose.

From the Article:
Jennifer Brunner, Ohio Secretary of State, notified the state’s local election boards Thursday that the group pushing to let voters decide on restrictions at sexually oriented businesses failed to get enough signatures to let the issue remain on the ballot.

Brunner’s letter instructs election workers to post notices at polling locations saying votes won’t be counted and to hand out notices with absent voter ballots.

The final blow [<- side comment from me: I suppose this is no pun intended] to referendum supporters came from the Ohio Supreme Court, which supported Brunner’s interpretation of election law, court documents said.

Since the referendum failed, Gallaway said the law restricting hours and activities at sexually oriented businesses is effective.

If you've actually read up to this point or just skipped ahead for the point of all this, the final count was:

Liquor and titty bars - 1
Jails and schools - 0

God bless America.


  1. I am very dissapointed in both the school levy and the school board. I mean there were only 4 people running for 3 seats! The results will make it even harder for the Board to find a qualified superintendent.

  2. well said...nothing changes in Cincinnati...just the year in which the election is held...


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