Today's Enquirer begins the chronicle of this November's Cincinnati City Council race. For SWNID, it's already clear that (a) the Republicans lack the strength in the city to field a credible slate of candidates; (b) there's at least one Democratic incumbent who must be replaced by anyone or anything--Republican, Democrat, Charterite, Green, Reform, Libertarian, Natural Law, Mugwump or Know-Nothing.
The Republicans' weakness is on display in their announcement--earlier than usual--of their slate of endorsed candidates for council. They include the two GOP incumbents Leslie Ghiz (probably eyeing a run for mayor in '09) and Chris Monzel, and two retreads--Sam Malone, defeated and probably forever tagged after his domestic violence charge, and Charlie Winburn, about whom this blogger's jaundiced opinion has only been reinforced by daily trips past the church that he pastors with crassly undignified attention to his own person.
Down the Republican ticket are John Eby, a Price Hillite who managed a dismal 15th in '05, and two newcomers, Patrick Fischer, the president of the Cincinnati Bar Association, and Andre Harper, a former field representative for Sen. George Voinovich.
We think that Ghiz and Monzel are locks for reelection. Malone is doomed by his notoriety. Eby is not likely to do much better than in '05 unless he can make himself the symbol of West Siders' discontent. Fischer may have potential to raise a lot of cash from the legal community, which could give him the visibility to make it on a first run.
The candidate who intrigues us is Harper. We met the guy once--in September of 2004 while standing in a line for a campaign event featuring the Dark Lord Dick Cheney and his Mafia moll Lynn. Our conversation suggested that Harper is articulate, enthusiastic, energetic, personable and understands the nuances of conservative political philosophy. He struck us as possessing more than a meagre measure of charisma, the kind that can carry a politician beyond a city council election. We'll watch him closely.
The D who needs to go is, of course, the useless armchair radical David Crowley. Crowley, whose contributions to the improvement of life in the city on whose council he sits are listed in the parentheses at right (), is famous for previously having sponsored resolutions decrying the Iraq war and for having effusively welcomed to Cincinnati IRA/Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams--prior to Mr. Adams's renunciation of violence and pledge to disarm the IRA terrorist organization.
Siding with radical terrorists yet again in yet another utterly impotent symbolic move, Crowley has introduced in council yet another doomed and pointless resolution to denounce Bush's "surge."
Those of us who wonder whether Cincinnati City Council should attend to the problems of economic and social development would appreciate it if Mr. Crowley could devote his high consciousness for a few minutes to the prosaic matters closer to home.
Please, please Cincinnati: elect anyone except Crowley to council next November--even Charlie Winburn.