Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Casino Deal, and the pointless drama surrounding it...

In a nutshell, Tarbell and Ghiz spearheaded the casino deal through Council. Coincidentally, the Chavez family (long time Cranley supporters) donated money to him recently. Coincidentally, Beck donated money to him too. This whole issue is not suspicious and no wrongdoing occurred. Cranley was in no place to be “rewarded” or “wooed” to do anything, therefore any contribution to him around the date of the vote should raise no eyebrows.

The Enquirer must be hard up for a story these days…

Here’s a recap of the pointless issue:

On May 10, the Enquirer reported that:

John Cranley successfully pushed the Broadway Commons casino deal through the City's Finance Committee on Monday after receiving $26,700 from the owners and potential developers of the property.

On May 10, the HC GOP blog reported that:

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported today that it was John Cranley who brokered the deal for the specific Broadway Commons site to be included in the proposal.

The next day, the Enquirer reported a correction:
INFORMATION MISATTRIBUTED: City of Cincinnati lobbyist Neil Clark told Cincinnati council member Leslie Ghiz [not Cranley] that banker Louis Beck had an option to buy Broadway Commons as a potential site for a slot machines parlor. An article in Tuesday's Enquirer incorrectly said council member John Cranley told Ghiz about Beck.

Okay, so it wasn’t Cranley who brokered the deal, it was Ghiz and Tarbell!

On May 29, the Enquirer reported that:

In the weeks leading up to Cincinnati City Council's backing this month of slot machines at Broadway Commons, the chairman of the council's finance committee received $14,300 in campaign contributions from the project's developers... Cranley was just one of the backers on council for gambling; a resolution urging slots for Cincinnati passed city council, 7 to 2, this month… Nor has Cranley been the most outspoken advocate for the project on City Council - that has been Republican Leslie Ghiz and Charterite Jim Tarbell. Both received much smaller campaign contributions from Chavez family members in prior years - $500 and $1,200, respectively.

In that same article, the Enquirer also reported that the Chavez family have been supporting Cranley ever since he got involved in politics. The Chavez family has donated thousands of dollars to Cranley from 2001 to 2006. Beck has donated money to candidates of both parties and both parties directly for years, including Bush/Cheney in 2003.

So both Beck and the Chavez family have been consistent supporters of various candidates throughout Ohio and the country.

The GOP is arguing that since Beck and Chavez gave money to Cranley before the slot machines/Broadway Commons deal, that it should raise suspicion about the purpose of those contributions.

If you sift through all of the evidence, you will see no suspicious activity. Here’s why: Cranley didn’t spearhead the project, so he wasn’t being “rewarded”. He wasn’t the deciding vote, so he wasn’t being “wooed”. It wasn’t even a close vote (7-2). So why would anyone involved in the deal want to contribute to Cranley (of all people) to reward him for something? They weren’t. Instead, the Chavez family has been a consistent contributor to Cranley, so that donation was a coincidence. Beck has been a contributor to people on both sides of the aisle, and since Cranley was NOT one of the Councilmembers spearheading this nor was a swing vote, there is no suspicion behind Beck’s donation to him. Just like most contributors, I am sure Beck is personally in favor the campaign of Cranley – a moderate – and not Chabot, a radical.

End of this pointless story.


At 11:16 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Touchy, touchy...You protest a bit too much. That’s what happens when your boy Johnny gets called out for being the corrupt politician he really is.

At 7:41 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you forgot to mention that both people talking as "opponents" have salaries paid for by chabot.

At 5:21 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cranley is not corrupt -- Corruption in politics is taking over $60k from the oil compainies and giving them over $14 billion in tax breaks, which is what Chabot and the Republican Congress did. Thats typical Republican politics-- representing lobbyists and not constituents.


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