Thursday, June 16, 2005

Win With Winburn?


Can the Republicans win with former City Council Member Charlie Winburn, especially considering that the Democrats don't have the discipline to get behind one candidate?

Why isn't there a move to get behind the best candidate in this race, like the Democrats just did in the 2nd Congressional District race when they endorsed Paul Hackett over Charles Sanders? Or like they did in last year's race for the Hamilton County Commission when they endorsed the young, dumb no-name guy over Kabaka Oba? I'll tell you why. Because the best-qualified candidate in the Mayoral race is Mark Mallory, who is an African American. One of his opponents is David Pepper who is white.

The Dems have shown that they will conspire to support white candidates for office, even if that means getting involved in a primary, but they won't do the same for African Americans. Tim Burke may not be a racist (then again maybe he is) but his refusal to tell white candidates, like Pepper, that they should get out of the race and let a more experienced, better qualified candidate, who has done more for the Party, and has a better chance of winning the election, like Mallory, says an awful lot about him and the Party. Even if Burke isn't a racist, the Party has become the party of racists like David and Greg Altman, Greg Harris, John Cranley, Jeff Berding, Wes Flinn, and Eric Streckfuss.

The Dems need one set of rules. Either we endorse candidates in contested primary elections or we don't. But we should never just be willing to stack the deck when the candidate we don't like happens to be a Black man.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nate,

An angry supporter just informed me that you called me a “racist,” yet again. My response to her was how the same response I gave supporters throughout last year’s campaign. I told them to ignore you. Some did; some didn’t.

But my instinct is not to ignore, but to engage, although I may come to regret this.

Since I don’t know you and you don’t know me, I can only assume that you accuse me of being a racist because the Democratic Party endorsed me instead of you last year, and because I don’t support the boycott.

I can’t speak to the Nominating Committee’s reasons for unanimously endorsing me, but I doubt committee members like Tyrone Yates were motivated by racism.

As for the boycott, I like that the boycott movement is based on non-violent but visible dissent. But the primary victims of the boycott are low wage workers (those who staff postions fed by tourism, etc.) and small business owners. Big companies (Chiquita, Western Southern, P & G, etc.) aren’t affected by the boycott of downtown. Furthermore, in the case of Cincinnati, I believe that the energies put into the boycott could be better utilized towards mobilizing voters. 44% of the city’s population is African-American. Why expend so many hours trying to get existing leadership to change its ways when, in fact, you have it in your power to take over the leadership? Entire communities in this city and in this country are ignored because elected leaders don’t fear you. So few politicians put it on the line for issues like universal healthcare, living wages, Head Start, etc., because the people who are served by such programs vote in disproportionately low numbers. This must change.

My campaign last year was built on principles of social and economic justice. Chris Smitherman not only endorsed me live on the Buzz, but read on air my comprehensive agenda for improving generational wealth creation among minority communities—an agenda that included fair lending for small business start ups, converting funds that subsidize rent into programs that support ownership, etc. Due to a history of slavery, segregation, and educational inequities, African Americans in this country have fallen way behind in the generational accumulation of wealth and capital. A genuine “ownership society” (not what Bush means by this term) would invest heavily in business ownership, home ownership, and equity in education for communities of color and communities—white or black—that endure long term economic disadvantage (such as the rural poor in Appalachia).

My campaign, which didn’t spend one dime on media, put all its efforts in the grassroots. Our field strategy was based primarily on base building; we hoped we’d appeal to enough new voters to offset Chabot’s base. We canvassed repeatedly, extensively and intensively in communities like Bond Hill, Evanston, and Forest Park. Our efforts were noticed by people, and I was gratified near the end of the campaign when I was invited to speak at predominantly black churches like Allen Temple, and when Bishop Brown publicly enlisted his family to support me. I suspect this grassroots outreach is part of the reason why I won 62% of the vote in the City of Cincinnati, and prevailed in diverse communities like Forest Park. I did not take these votes for granted; I devoted 80 hour weeks towards earning them.

I was also grateful to earn the enthusiastic endorsement of the Cincinnati Herald—a newspaper that by no means automatically endorses Democrats.

Finally, something that you and most people don’t know is that I often challenged the national Democratic Party on its methods for targeting races. I told Nancy Pelosi to her face at an event hosted by Dick Weiland (which he didn’t invite me to) that for the Party to base its targeting on voting trends instead of demographics is to ignore disenfranchisement. Ohio’s First Congressional District ranks near the top of congressional districts across country for minority voting-age population in a district represented by a Republican.

Hence, I’ve urged the corridors of power (to the extent I was able to navigate the chain of command) to stop putting all its money in a handful of races each year, but instead to invest in outreach and building grassroots infrastructure in order to make the Democratic Party relevant to people who don’t vote. The Democratic Party I believe in doesn’t shun the disenfranchised, but, rather, seeks to give voice to the voiceless and empowers those who currently feel they are irrelevant in the eyes of government.

Finally, I want to note that my work in the non-profit sector and public policy was largely devoted to youth development, poverty, and educational opportunity. For example, I worked extensively in partnership with the Amos Project and the Rev. Calvin Harper long before I ever ran for office.

I don’t expect this letter to change your mind. It may even trigger a hostile response. But I feel a need to be heard, and appreciate the forum.

Sincerely,

Greg Harris

Greg Harris said...

Nate,

An angry supporter just informed me that you called me a “racist,” yet again. My response to her was how the same response I gave supporters throughout last year’s campaign. I told them to ignore you. Some did; some didn’t.

But my instinct is not to ignore, but to engage, although I may come to regret this.

Since I don’t know you and you don’t know me, I can only assume that you accuse me of being a racist because the Democratic Party endorsed me instead of you last year, and because I don’t support the boycott.

I can’t speak to the Nominating Committee’s reasons for unanimously endorsing me, but I doubt committee members like Tyrone Yates were motivated by racism.

As for the boycott, I like that the boycott movement is based on non-violent but visible dissent. But the primary victims of the boycott are low wage workers (those who staff postions fed by tourism, etc.) and small business owners. Big companies (Chiquita, Western Southern, P & G, etc.) aren’t affected by the boycott of downtown. Furthermore, in the case of Cincinnati, I believe that the energies put into the boycott could be better utilized towards mobilizing voters. 44% of the city’s population is African-American. Why expend so many hours trying to get existing leadership to change its ways when, in fact, you have it in your power to take over the leadership? Entire communities in this city and in this country are ignored because elected leaders don’t fear you. So few politicians put it on the line for issues like universal healthcare, living wages, Head Start, etc., because the people who are served by such programs vote in disproportionately low numbers. This must change.

My campaign last year was built on principles of social and economic justice. Chris Smitherman not only endorsed me live on the Buzz, but read on air my comprehensive agenda for improving generational wealth creation among minority communities—an agenda that included fair lending for small business start ups, converting funds that subsidize rent into programs that support ownership, etc. Due to a history of slavery, segregation, and educational inequities, African Americans in this country have fallen way behind in the generational accumulation of wealth and capital. A genuine “ownership society” (not what Bush means by this term) would invest heavily in business ownership, home ownership, and equity in education for communities of color and communities—white or black—that endure long term economic disadvantage (such as the rural poor in Appalachia).

My campaign, which didn’t spend one dime on media, put all its efforts in the grassroots. Our field strategy was based primarily on base building; we hoped we’d appeal to enough new voters to offset Chabot’s base. We canvassed repeatedly, extensively and intensively in communities like Bond Hill, Evanston, and Forest Park. Our efforts were noticed by people, and I was gratified near the end of the campaign when I was invited to speak at predominantly black churches like Allen Temple, and when Bishop Brown publicly enlisted his family to support me. I suspect this grassroots outreach is part of the reason why I won 62% of the vote in the City of Cincinnati, and prevailed in diverse communities like Forest Park. I did not take these votes for granted; I devoted 80 hour weeks towards earning them.

I was also grateful to earn the enthusiastic endorsement of the Cincinnati Herald—a newspaper that by no means automatically endorses Democrats.

Finally, something that you and most people don’t know is that I often challenged the national Democratic Party on its methods for targeting races. I told Nancy Pelosi to her face at an event hosted by Dick Weiland (which he didn’t invite me to) that for the Party to base its targeting on voting trends instead of demographics is to ignore disenfranchisement. Ohio’s First Congressional District ranks near the top of congressional districts across country for minority voting-age population in a district represented by a Republican.

Hence, I’ve urged the corridors of power (to the extent I was able to navigate the chain of command) to stop putting all its money in a handful of races each year, but instead to invest in outreach and building grassroots infrastructure in order to make the Democratic Party relevant to people who don’t vote. The Democratic Party I believe in doesn’t shun the disenfranchised, but, rather, seeks to give voice to the voiceless and empowers those who currently feel they are irrelevant in the eyes of government.

Finally, I want to note that my work in the non-profit sector and public policy was largely devoted to youth development, poverty, and educational opportunity. For example, I worked extensively in partnership with the Amos Project and the Rev. Calvin Harper long before I ever ran for office.

I don’t expect this letter to change your mind. It may even trigger a hostile response. But I feel a need to be heard, and appreciate the forum.

Sincerely,

Greg Harris

Cherokee Chief said...

Nate.
It will be Winburn vs Reese come November. And while I think Winburn is one of thegood guys I would love to see Alicia win. Cincinnati deserves her. Also, like all democrats, Greg Harris, in his post, gives a lot of bullshit for solutions but doesn't tell how or where the money is going to come from to do the wonderous things he proposes.. Its great to say we are going to have home ownership by the poor an improvished people, start small businesses by them etc., but we never ever say how in the hell that is going to be accomplished. I can assure you fifteen years from now in the year 2020 Cincinnati be be relegated to the status of Sandusky, Ohio. If p&G ever goes, and they will some day, kiss your asses goodby. So much fro Harris's idea of you having all the votes.

Anonymous said...

Talk about "white flight" - wait until Reece wins the mayoral race and you'll see what the term means.

Anonymous said...

Vice-Mayor for Mayor

Anonymous said...

Cincinnati needs someone from outside council to be mayor. As far as the Democrats are concerned, Mark Mallory is the only candidate that makes sense. Pepper is incapable of commanding respect and Alicia Reece (when she isn't threatening CityBeat columnists) is only interested in how many inches of print she can get in the Enquirer. Mallory has demonstrated a pragmatic attitude and basic common sense towards civic development; something which continues to elude the majority of council.

Anonymous said...

yes, but Mallory also enlists the support of race-baiting divisive people like Nate Livingston, who has already heckled the other mayoral candidates while decked out in Mallory gear. Judging from the company he keeps, I'm suspicious of Mallory.

Anonymous said...

Hey "Cherokee Chief,"

How do the Republicans "afford" hundreds of billions in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? How do Repub's "afford" $100 billion on Iraq war?

The spending is going to happen either way. The issue is priorities.

I don't think Harrison wrote in to give details on all his proposals from a camapign that is now over. He wrote in to object to being called racist--a label Nate throws around carelessly.

Why do disagreements over politics need to become so hateful and personal?

Anonymous said...

anon: does it occur to you that when Nate publicly aligns himself with someone, in this case Mallory, while criticizing others it is to cast negative associations upon that person (Mallory) rather than represent him?

Think of whom you're describing: Mark Mallory wouldn't wipe his ass with Nate.

Nate: belated Happy Baby Daddy Day!

Cherokee Chief said...

Hey Anon. How do the republicans afford billions to the wealthy for tax cuts? Because they pay the taxes dum ass. How do you give a tax cut to someone who doesn't pay taxes? Also the middle class (the real tax payer) also got a cut in his taxes. If the government is going to pay for home ownership for the poor, we are all going to become poor. If they are going to put the poor into business, guess what. we are all going to become poor and nobody is going to go into business.

Anonymous said...

Alicia is too young, too enchanted with career and power identity. She's just too happy to be invited to the party. Not yet, baby: get your feet on the ground.

Mallory seems pragmatic, disciplined and a uniter, rather than a divider. Cincinnati's form of government creates chaos in the form of "little mayors" aka councilmen, with nobobdy having the final word/decision. I think Mallory could be a good manager of this type of governemnt.

Can't figure Pepper out so why vote for him. Typical politician with doublespeak, schooled with the other ivy league professional politicians.
Doesn't mean he's bad or that he would be a bad mayor, and maybe it's me being tired of politics as usual on the national front, to endorse a hometown version of same.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nate!

First, my name is Michael Altman. Very creative work getting my name wrong. Have you taken an aprenticeship under the Dean?

Second, how am I a racist? How are any of the people you named racist? You are walking a very thin line. You ought to really think about making unsubstanciated claims. In a column I once wrote about the whistleblower and, actually, race baiting, I offered that you may be a but touched in the head. These posts are further evidence that you are. I want an answer immediately.

Michael D. Altman

Anonymous said...

And what if Nate doesn't respond to you immediately? Are you going to run to your daddy and have him file another frivilous lawsuit?

You racist white liberals are so entertaining.

Anonymous said...

Any time you throw your weight behind a political party that controls two thirds of the government, and that party can’t keep the promises that it made to you during election time, and you’re dumb enough to walk around continuing to identify yourself with that political party, you are not only a chump but you are a traitor to your race.
Malcolm X at the Group on advanced leadership meeting, Detroit, April 12, 1964