Words Dispatches from the Front

The Columbus Cabal

We should rename the Columbus City Council to the Columbus Cabal. Webster’s defines "cabal" as "the contrived schemes of a group of persons secretly united in a plot. A secret clique or faction." The Columbus Cabal would be closer to truth in advertising: think about the tax abatements for the rich, a free new stadium for a second-rate soccer team and an appointment system that reeks of cronyism and toadism.

Not a REAL Civilian Police Review Board

The Acting Chief Cop Tom Quinlan let it be known at his audition at East High last week that he favors installing a Civilian Police Review Board. As a matter of fact, he said he contacted City Hall people to come up with names of people who could serve. Its laughable that he wants more toadies foisted upon the public from the City Cabal and the Mayor's Office. Nothing surprising here as it has been the MO of City Hall to usurp a public idea and rig it so they don't lose control over it. By the way, the D behind the names of the incumbents running last month stands for "Developer-owned and operated."

Citizen’s Initiative to Eliminate At-Large Columbus City Council Seats

Shout out to Everyday People for Positive Change (Part II). Thanks to the efforts of Jonathan Beard and David Harewood for remounting a campaign to put together a citizen's voting initiative, which calls for the elimination of at-large council seats and replacing it with a 9 member council who will be selected out of the districts in which they live This has City Hall already huffing and hissing because it challenges their monopoly of power and will disturb the fiefdom of downtown developers who owns City Hall. Go to Everyday People web page and see how you can help.

Here's the Freep’s holiday “candies” or “coals” this year:

  • Coals to Mayor Andy Gintner for running away from reporters and citizens who asks questions of him.
  • Candies to Kent Biedel, the Director of the Open Shelter for still caring about Columbus' dispossessed and homeless. God's blessings. 
  • Coals to Council President Shannon Hardin for having the nerve to introduce Senator Elizabeth Warren at a spring rally. Two minutes into her speech she was railing against corporations' stranglehold on us and their always wanting special attention and status. Hardin, were you listening?
  • Candies to all city shelters and transitional housing who try valiantly to keep people out of the cold and certain death in the winter.
  • Coal for Senator Rob Portman for continuing to enable Trump in his addiction to lies and more power. Hope you get a spine for Christmas.
  • Candies for Morgan Harper who is already making Rep. Joyce Beatty lean more to the left. Keep pushing ‘til she falls over.
  • Coals to Michael S. Brown, chief sniper and enforcer for City Hall who has yet to see a progressive idea he can't bemoan and detest. Hope you swallow some of that bile.
  • Candies to all Free Press readers and supporters. Remember us when you do your year end charity contributions. Thank you.

Nuke Bailout Bill Update

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose issued legal filings demanding that the Ohio Supreme Court refuse to offer U.S. District Judge Sargas an opinion on the 90-day referendum controversy. LaRose and his Republican co-hort Attorney General David Yost are busy cheating the anti-House Bill 6 opponents out of 38 days to gather signatures to overturn the billion-dollar nuke bailout bill. Even the Columbus Dispatch believes the Court should at least offer an opinion. The plain language of the Constitution is clear – the referendum is to be given 90 days to petition.

Trolley Barn Folly

The City of Columbus wants to give a tax break to wealthy developers seeking to re-develop the old Trolley Barn site near Franklin Park. Former Mayor Michael Coleman personally pitched the scheme to the Columbus School Board, calling a $9 million tax abatement into what he termed “a re-investment.” The Columbus Educational Association, the city’s teachers’ union, was not fooled. They know the students will be cheated out of $9 million that would have come in from property taxes.

Get ICE out of Morrow County

On Saturday, November 16, nearly 60 of Ohio college students, activists and immigrant advocates demonstrated at the Morrow County Jail in Mt. Gilead, Ohio, to protest the county’s contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). At the demonstration, those personally affected by ICE actions gave testimonials. Protestors included students from Kenyon and Oberlin, as well as some Columbus DSAs, a legal observer, and a solitary MAGA counter-protester. They sang protest songs, waved banners, and chanted for several hours. The organizers hope that this will not be the end of this type of action and want to engage in a sustained grassroots student campaign to get ICE out of Morrow County. The protest happened just days after Supreme Court justices expressed a willingness to allow the Trump administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which protects 700,000 young undocumented immigrant “Dreamers.” Last week, sixteen Kenyon College students traveled to New York City to attend the asylum hearing of a Kenyon alum and immigration rights activist, Marco Saavedra. Saavedra has been in the United States since he was three-years-old, and he fears that if he is deported to Mexico, he will be persecuted for his activist status. The trial will conclude in January, giving both sides time to gather more evidence. A student who attended the trial commented on the importance of ongoing action. “We shouldn’t just be doing this for him because he is a revolutionary activist and a member of the Kenyon community,” she said. “We need to extend that same empathy for people who aren’t in that situation.”

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