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Monday, February 12, 2007


Interview with Chris Bortz on the Crowley Anti-War Resolution

Posted by The Dean of Cincinnati

Photo courtesy of here.

Recently, The Cincinnati Beacon was critical of those City Councilmembers who called David Crowley’s anti-war resolution an inappropriate use of Council’s time.  In this interview, Chris Bortz provides detailed explanations for his own disagreements.  This interview is not only noteworthy for the debate contained, but for the example of how details can dramatically change how an issue gets characterized.  Whatever your position, your interpretation of Chris Bortz may change when comparing this interview to his soundbites from The Enquirer.

For background on this interview, please read “Cities for Progress:  Anti-War Resolutions Come to Cincinnati?”  This article is a follow up to the original Enquirer piece, including details about a national network of cities that have passed anti-war resolutions.

The Dean: How is it polarizing to join a network of 250 cities that have passed similar resolutions?

Chris Bortz:  First, just because other cities do it, doesn’t mean Cincinnati should or must.  Given the number of municipalities in the United States, 250 represents a small minority.  Nevertheless, your argument seems to suggest that because 250 other cities have taken a position on a matter it would not be polarizing for Cincinnati to take a position as well.  What is polarizing in our community may not be polarizing in another.
The Dean: Does Cincinnati exist in a vacuum?

Chris Bortz:  Cincinnati does exist in a vacuum as it relates to city finances.  John Norquist, in his book The Wealth of Cities, made an excellent case against city reliance on federal dollars.  By allowing huge amounts of federal subsidies to enter the stream of commerce within urban centers, he says, cities lost their entrepreneurial edge, redesigned urban planning to make room for massive subsidized housing projects, concentrated poverty, eliminated public transit, cut massive highways through city centers, and allowed municipal budgets to grow without planning or control.  Essentially, cities must learn to live within their means and focus energy on maintaining density and diversity to sustain a healthy economy.
On the national and international stage, Cincinnatians are citizens of the United States and have every right to participate in debates on those levels.  If Cincinnatians wish to express their opinion about foreign affairs, we have mediums for doing so, and we are not on an island.  We can vote for President, House and Senate seats, contact congressional delegates, march on Washington, write the media, and the like.  City government is not the place for such debates, and a formal action by the legislative body should be as closely related to city business as possible.

The Dean:  Why not use your platform to bring about social change?  Isn’t that part of being a leader?

Chris Bortz:  It is not my job as a City Councilmember to bring about change in foreign affairs.  If that were my interest, I would have run for a different office.  The business of running a city is very different than running a country.  Our job in Cincinnati must be about paving streets, clearing snow, maintaining parks, policing the streets, and etc.  Being a leader is as much about focusing available resources and energy in the right direction as it is about bringing about social change.
The Dean: How is the business of operating the City of Cincinnati demonstrably distracted by the simple passage of a symbolic resolution?  Aren’t such suggestions unnecessarily polarizing?
Chris Bortz:This is an extremely biased question.
It isn’t just the simple passage of a symbolic resolution.  It is answering media inquiries (like this one), spending time and energy in committee discussing something about which we have little information.
Am I supposed to research the federal approach to the War in Iraq?  I know only what I have read in the paper and seen on TV.  That is not a good foundation for making a decision.  You know as well as I that the mainstream media doesn’t always get it right.  They don’t always show all the facts.  My opinion on the war may have no basis in reality.  I have not been privy to troop strategy discussions, I have not discussed the pros and cons with the State Department or the Pentagon, I have not discussed the implications of the war in Iraq on the broader war on terrorism.  It may be easy to say while out to dinner with friends that I oppose the Bush administration’s approach to the war, but that is most definitely an uninformed opinion.  I take my role as an elected official very seriously.  I do not have the time to research the war in Iraq adequately to cast an informed vote on the subject.
Your questions reveal your position on the subject.  I would hope you would give some thought to these questions:  Where does the line get drawn?  Should City Council, as a body in session, take a position on the candidates for President or for Congress based on the amount of money they want to send to cities? Should we take a formal position on financial aid to African nations, funding for NASA, Social Security, Federal Income Tax policy, spending programs in Alaska, farm subsidies, import tariffs, trade negotiations with Japan, Medicare, and etc…?  All of these things impact the federal budget, and therefore impact the availability of funds for cities.  Where does it end?


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  1. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    I like to see this punk dance. Anything but admit he supports the war and the Isreali and US actions to keep the middle east in a state of flux. This gives them license to do whatever they want while they blame the victims.

  2. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    I disagree with much of Mr. Bortz’s comments, but I also disagree with calling the resolution “anti-war.”  The resolution expresses support for the troops currently in Iraq and opposes only the additional 21,500 troop increase.  Basically, it is typical fence-sitting.  As long as the president doesn’t increase the level of troops, everything is just about hunky-dory according to the resolution.  It mirrors the resolutions that Congress is considering.

    Mr. Bortz does have an argument saying that council is trying to tell the president how to fight the war, getting into specific details as to how many troops are acceptable.  In that he is correct—that is no business of council’s.  But to say that council has no business expressing its concern over this war which many—including myself—believe is damaging multiple aspects of America, from the economy to social safety nets to the Constitution, is just refusing to take a stand on this very important but contentious issue.

    Myself, I would have voted against this resolution, but only because I think this one is worthless.  I would have introduced a true anti-Iraq (and Iran) war resolution.

  3. Buster Crablegs says:

    Dean - What about the “Character Cities” resolution that Phil Heimlich brought to council?

    Now that the “Character Cities” organization has been revealed to be a front for the Bill Gothard cult, how about you asking Bortz to repeal the resolution? They got their fingers into city business, training police and fire departments, and who knows what else.

    That sounds like an easy call based on Councilman Bortz’s criteria. This isn’t about religion. It’s about Heimlich deceiving council into allowing a $65 million/year evangelical corporation to infiltrate the public sector. Heimlich also be making commissions on the deal.

    Please ask Councilman Bortz about repealing the resolution, would you? Let him know it could turn into a nice news story, too: “Cincinnati City Council Says Goodbye to ‘Cult of Character.’”

    By the way, a big shout-out to Mr. Bortz for regularly sharing his time and thoughts here at the Beacon.

  4. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    Mr Bortz is right on the money when he advocates that Cincinnati City Council, stick to action that pertains to the business of running and improving this city.  If Mr Crowley has a problem with how the war is being waged then he should send a telegram to the folks in charge of running the war.

  5. Alyssa B says:

    “I know only what I have read in the paper and seen on TV.  That is not a good foundation for making a decision.  You know as well as I that the mainstream media doesn’t always get it right.  They don’t always show all the facts.”

    Mr. Bortz, I strongly agree with you about the media. Do you suggest alternative sources? How do we get all the facts?

    Thanks!

  6. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    MEP,

    Great catch.  I see now that the original Enquirer article mentioned the resolution was against the escalation, but the reference to the network of 250 cities threw me off—as that site’s stated mission is in ending the war and bringing the troops back home.

    I just read the actual language of Crowley’s resolution (find it online here), and I feel like it is a pointless resolution for the same reasons you find.

  7. Chris Bortz says:

    Alsyssa B:
    “Do you suggest alternative sources? How do we get all the facts?”

    I’m at a loss.  I had the pleasure of discussing the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq with a high ranking Army Ranger, and he proved to be the best source I have encountered by virtue of his being actually on the ground in a command role.  We spoke only briefly, but the conversation dramatically altered my perspective.

    If you don’t happen to come into contact with military personnel, I suggest a call or letter to Congresswoman Schmidt, Congressman Chabot, or one of our Senators would help steer you in the right direction (they are generally good at returning emails as well - or I guess staff is good at responding on their behalf). 

    http://www.house.gov/chabot/
    http://www.house.gov/schmidt/
    http://brown.senate.gov/
    http://voinovich.senate.gov/

    Internet searches can also help you find reams of information, but verification is a challenge. 

    I’m sure you can find a lot of good information, but it will most certainly take a great deal of time.

    For my part, I research candidates for federal office very carefully, cast my vote, hope my choice wins, and then rely on their judgement.  When my choice doesn’t win, or if I think they are on the wrong track, and if the issue is important to me, I contact my representatives and hope my voice makes a difference.  I guess that is the key challenege of our Republic.  We generally have to wait for the majority to make the changes we seek. 

    Let me know if you come across anything useful. 

    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    -Chris Bortz

  8. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    When my choice doesn’t win, or if I think they are on the wrong track, and if the issue is important to me, I contact my representatives and hope my voice makes a difference.  I guess that is the key challenege of our Republic. 

    I know you speak here of voices in regard to contacting the representatives above, but isn’t the idea of having voices heard precisely behind the spirit of Crowley’s resolution?  (Even though I agree with MEP that the resolution was too weak.) 

    We generally have to wait for the majority to make the changes we seek.

    I was under the impression that a majority of Americans do not support the war…

    I also must wonder if a military commander is an unbiased perspective…  It is interesting that you did not tell us how his information changed your perspective, and to what exactly your perspective was changed.

  9. Chris Bortz says:

    Dean,

    Voices have been heard.  The face of Congress was changed in the last election.  I’m sure that will have an impact on foriegn policy (it already has had).

    As for my position on the troop surge, I would be happy to discuss with you personally.  I am reluctant to engage publicly on the issue while a member of City Council because I feel ill-equipped to formulate an informed position. 

    As for the war generally, I think it has been mismanaged from the end of the primary assault. 

    As for the exit strategy, I just don’t know.

  10. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    From this point, I suppose we could talk about international policy—but I take your point that our discussions on such a front would have no real impact on the City of Cincinnati:  at least from the perspective that neither of us is an international policy-maker.

    However, the more general question here is still worth investigating, I think; namely, the degree to which bodies like City governments can use their platform to lend a voice to an issue.

    You asked the following:

    Should we take a formal position on financial aid to African nations, funding for NASA, Social Security, Federal Income Tax policy, spending programs in Alaska, farm subsidies, import tariffs, trade negotiations with Japan, Medicare, and etc…?  All of these things impact the federal budget, and therefore impact the availability of funds for cities.  Where does it end?

    Wouldn’t it make more sense for you to pass resolutions on those kinds of issues, as opposed to saying you express condolences to the family of Coretta Scott King? 

    Or is this really about the time you may spend engaging such questions with the media/blogs/public?  I understand you probably got no questions about resolutions expressing condolences for notable dead people, but isn’t the tax to your time par for the course of being a public leader?

  11. Alyssa B says:

    Mr. Bortz, thank you so much for your response. I’m afraid I didn’t ask the question properly.

    Given how we both feel about the media. How do the citizens of this city get all the facts about city government? I assume that the problem with media you described isn’t just national.

    I honestly don’t think Jean Schmidt and Steve Chabot are very good places to get good information. They seem to merely be rubber stamps for the Bush administration.

    I’ve done the research on Iraq and it is clear to me that we need a full military and corporate withdrawal. We need to use diplomacy and internationalize peace keeping efforts. You must have people that understand the language and culture more involved. We have a responsibility to pay reperations.

    The US and the British will never be seen as liberators given our history in Iraq (especially the UKs) and the middle east. We are currently building 14 permanent military bases. Even James Baker’s Iraq study group thinks Bush is screwing up.

    Anyway, my point is that it’s easier to get information about national policies and the war, but much more difficult to keep up with who’s voting which way on council. Is there anything that council can do to make it easier for us to keep track of your voting records?

    Thanks in advance?

  12. Chuck says:

    “Cincinnati does exist in a vacuum as it relates to city finances.  John Norquist, in his book The Wealth of Cities, made an excellent case against city reliance on federal dollars.” 

    Mr. Bortz, do you believe that we shouldn’t look for federal dollars for the city?

    “By allowing huge amounts of federal subsidies to enter the stream of commerce within urban centers, he says, cities lost their entrepreneurial edge, redesigned urban planning to make room for massive subsidized housing projects, concentrated poverty, eliminated public transit, cut massive highways through city centers, and allowed municipal budgets to grow without planning or control.  Essentially, cities must learn to live within their means and focus energy on maintaining density and diversity to sustain a healthy economy.”

    Weren’t those simply problems of mismangement? Does living within our means include corporate welfare and tax abatements for the rich?

  13. Green Machine says:

    MEP, the local Democrats are working to pass a meaningless resolution just like Democrats in Congress are. Why bother with a non-binding resolution when President AWOL has already said they can’t stop him unless they cut the funding.

    Impeachment!

  14. anon says:

    jUST A COUPLE COMMENTS:

    1)  It is the duty ofevery citizen , particularly the voting citizen, to be self-informed and well-informed.  If Bortz and other council members are claiming ignorance on the topic, I think we have a huge problem.  If they are so un-informed on national issues - I suggest that they don’t vote in the federal elections because their ignorance on issues may sway the informed vote of people who care enough to read about what it going on and form an educated opinion about who best can address the issues identified.

    Furthermore, when people elect these representatives - even down to the township trustee level - I, they, presume that those running for office are not living in a political bubble and that they have both the knowledge of the major events in our national political arena but also that they will act inthe interest of their local jurisdictions in response to those issues.

    I totally stand behind Crowley and the the resolution to take a stand, as representatives of this community, regarding the biggest issue affecting us—- whether anyone sees the connection or not.

    2)  The Connection.  Anyone who thinks that the War in Iraq and a troop surge doesn’t affect Cincinnati, has blinders on.  The crisis in local budgets is a direct result of the funding of the war and our current and future tax rates. 
    Our federal taxes and the debt service are being relegated to this war instead of going to social service programs, policing, fire, education, road repairs, infrastructure improvement.

    We have a “trickle down” economy and when the federal budget is snowed under by futile war debt then every other program and service is affected.  The federal funding to the states is reduced or stagnate and therefore the state connot adequately fund the counties and cities, etc.
      Forexample, Hamilton COunty just boosted the budget for the Veterans Service Commisssion by, I think, $50K, why/  Because we have local citizens, city and county, coming home from war who need help.  Thisinflux of the needy GI will be tapping city resources to offset the perils, fianncial and social, that were imparted on them due to the war.
    3)  Personal connection.  How many residents from Cincinnati have been buried?  How many have come home without their limbs?  How many more have come home with defects of the mind due to their experiences in Iraq?  Does nayone really thinnk that these families are not going to be using any services of the city, county and state due tothe injuries and harm of this ill-gotten war?

    Wake up—this isn’t JUST a philosophical postion of support for ending the war - it is the human costs to our citizens, it is the financial costs we will incur and it is the lack of funding we have been dealing with that causing us to have to grapple with eliminating normaly financed budget items inthe city budget.

    And, from my soap box - don’t the people of CIncinnati deserve to know which elected officials will support at their national meeting of “city managers”  “City Mayors”  “Councilmembers Associations” etc, (not to mention at their political caucus meetings of all levels of politicians - who is supporting the war in Iraq and and who is supporting the views of their own constitutients.

    Sorry….

  15. Patriot says:

    Dean, you might want to change the title to anti-surge. As MEP pointed out, it isn’t really anti-war. I agree with him that it should include something about not attacking Iran. I also think escalation is more accurate than surge.

  16. Another voter says:

    On election day ‘05, I shook Mr. Bortz’s hand outside the polling place in Mt Adams before I went in to vote.  While he didn’t earn my vote then, if he keeps distinguishing himself from the other “incumbents” (with RATIONAL thinking), he’ll get my vote in ‘07.

    Now, Mr. Bortz, lets get something done in CINCINNATI!

  17. Bearman says:

    Agree with him or not, I appreciate the fact that Bortz has not yet backed down from a discussion that comes up in the blog world.  He and Portune are the only local officials that I see personally responding to questions consistently

    ...whether it be his views on this or his genitalia check

    http://blackcincinnati.blogspot.com/2007/02/chris-bortz-needs-to-grow-some-balls.html

    ...he tends to respond with openness and even a touch of humor.  That being said, I think we’ll keep you to your word as to whether you will come to the defense of your fellow council members the next time Ghiz goes on the attack.

  18. Anon says:

    Oust the incumbents in 2007!

    If we keep doing what we are doing, we’ll keep getting what we are getting.

    That is not good enough. We have corporate leadership on Plum Street and the people are getting screwed. Our leaders are elected to represent the people. They only use people during campaigns that are funded by the wealthy that have an interest in getting their horse elected so they get handsome profit through quid pro quo government reward systems.($458 Million - Bengals, $350 Million - Reds, $100+ Million - 3CDC for FSQ, $800 Million - Banks)

    Where would Cincinnati be if the Billions were spent on developing our citizens and creating small business enterprizes? How much has big business done for America? If we don’t count outsourcing, pollution, corruption and global warming…NOTHING.

    I ask how is it possible to have corporations do things cheaper than government when “profit” is a line item that doesn’t exist in government?

  19. Sean Holbrook says:

    This is actually a really awesome article on The Beacon.

    First off, it is easy to understand the line between city matters and national matters, and I can understand on one side why council members wouldn’t want to spend time on a national issue that they think doesn’t impact the city directly.

    But I believe this is a special case, Mr. Bortz, it is pretty simple, no matter how much you “research” this war. You are going to come to the same conclusion that it is a major fiasco. Don’t tell me for one second this isn’t impacting Cincinnati citizens, when city residents pay taxes that fund this war. Are city residents not serving in Iraq or have they returned from Iraq.

    Contacting Schmidt or Chabot, C’mon. With all respect Mr. Bortz, pull your head out of your ass and look around, why don’t you give me Dick Cheney’s email while you are at it. Do what’s good for the people dying both Iraqi’s and American’s, not whats good for your career.

    This issue may not be a city issue, but it is needed. The arrogance in Washington needs a message, and you have the ability to send this message, use it.

    If my words mean nothing to you, maybe an image will. Look at this guy, and think for a second how his life was changed. Then ask what was it change for. After that, ask yourself. Do I want anyone else to suffer that same fate?
    Use your voice Mr. Bortz, it may fall on deaf ears, but at least try.

    http://archive.reduxpictures.com/Production/PhotoGroupView.aspx?pbid=4&msa=1&pgid=6415897

  20. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    According to the White House, the war in Iraq is being fought to help keep us safe from terrorists.  Surely city council has the right to say that the way Washington is doing it is not keeping us safer.  After all, terrorism is a concern of the Cincinnati Police Department, which issued this letter along with the Sheriff’s Department.  Apparently we even have a “Terrorism Early Warning Group,” as seen at the bottom of the letter.  So fighting terrorism is indeed a concern of Cincinnati City Council, and as such Mr. Bortz should pitch in.  (The initial rationale for the war—to rid Iraq of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons—is indeed arguably not council’s business.  But we have known for some time now that Iraq did not have such weapons at the time of the invasion and this is no longer given as a reason for our continued occupation.)

    I just wish the resolution were clearly anti-Iraqi War.  I heard Mr. Crowley on WLW today (Tuesday, a little after 2:00) and he spoke clearly against the war in Iraq, not just the “surge” or the “escalation.”  But his resolution is fatally flawed in that it ignores the problems created by our continued occupation of Iraq and is only against our adding more troops to the mess.

  21. Anonypoo says:

    Michael Earl Patton, if you keep talking you’re going to make Chris Bortz look like he’s either ignorant or a coward. Maybe both.

  22. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    While I see the point Mr. Bortz is trying to make, I think it is short sighted. Mr. Bortz is trying to compartmentize the interests of the public and in this case Cincinnatians. I suppose that he would like to see Cincinnatians to be an informed electorate when it comes to city issues but intelligent people who want to be informed do not retrict their interest to only one area, like say Cincinnati. Informed people have a life and they generally want to be informed about much more than Cincinnati. It should be a goal to present a complete environment for thought and discussion including foreign affairs,  etc. After all, like it or not, foreign affairs affect Cincinnatians too.

    For instance, the policy of the Bush administration over the incarceration of men at Gitmo is embarassing to many Americans and it flies in the face of the principles that we used to hold dear. If Gitmo affects the pride some have in this country, the effect bleeds through to us in Cincinnati and affect our feeling about government in general.

    I don’t think that Bortz is incorrect in not wanting to discuss these national issues at length at a city council meeting but using the platform of city hall to reflect the citizens of Cincinnati wishes should be available for championing the evacuation of troops, if it can be ascertained that the majority of Cincinnatians feel that way. That is a big if because our system of elctions make that determination difficult. If, perhaps, we had all-district elections it would be easier to be able to read the citizen’s views. Mr. Bortz sat on that ill-fated commitee that failed to do anything about changing the non-tranparent system we use today.

    If we had good leadership, the platform of city council could have been used to further ideas that would have helped the citizens of Cincinnati, but I am afraid that train has left.

    I might remind you all that many citys had had resolutions against the Vietnahm war and this helped to bring that tragedy to an end.

  23. cincysue says:

    Mr. Bortz, you suggest, oddly enough, contacting Schmidt or Chabot (2 pro-war politicians) to have contact with military personnel. I suggest there are much better sources to get the real story that the troops would like to have heard. To start with, these 2 sites. Veterans affiliated with these organizations would gladly speak to you or anyone else at any time about the horrors—not the romance—of war. 
    Iraq Veterans Against the War - http://www.ivaw.org
    Vietnam Veterans Against the War - http://www.vvaw.org

    And there are many more. I would suggest also that, since all you know is what you see on tv (to paraphrase) that you spend some time on vote-smart.org examining voting records and interest group ratings. You may or may not be surprised to find that the most hawkish of our elected officials, those that pull from the bottom of the deck the “support the troops” card most often like John McCain have the lowest ratings by the Iraq and Afganistan Veterans as well as Disabled Veterans of America (non-partisan, non-political veteran’s advocacy groups). In short, they seldom vote in favor of anything that actually benefits the troops. McCain has one of the most shameful records, voting only 20% of the time in favor of veteran’s interests and receiving a “D” letter grade from Iraq and Afghanistan Vets, while Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and John Murtha have 80%+ and “A” ratings. Chabot’s ratings range from 0-50% by Disabled Veterans and “C” by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans. Hardly a resounding endorsement.
    Maybe your view is that national issues have no effect on Cincinnati. That’s an odd viewpoint. Our taxes are certainly being drained by this war. Cincinnati citizens pay federal taxes. The missing $8 billion siphoned off by contractors is our hard earned money.

    There’s an old coal miner’s union organizing song that says, “Which side are you on, boy, which side are you on.” Whether the vote has any effect or not makes no difference. Taking a side and knowing what side you, and those politicians entrusted with our vote and our democracy, are on is at issue.

  24. Anon says:

    This is almost too good to be true. He obviously spends too much time in the rarified atmosphere in the high rise office buildings downtown and not enough time on the streets with the people. His reluctance to support this effort shows how out of touch he is and the first reason he gave was fear of polarizing the city. Does he live on Mars or are his opinions formed from his financial base?

    ABB2007 (Anybody Butt Bortz)

  25. Anon says:

    Chris Bortz: It is not my job as a City Councilmember to bring about change in foreign affairs.  If that were my interest, I would have run for a different office.  The business of running a city is very different than running a country.  Our job in Cincinnati must be about paving streets, clearing snow, maintaining parks, policing the streets, and etc.  Being a leader is as much about focusing available resources and energy in the right direction as it is about bringing about social change.

    You are an arrogent little prick who doesn’t know what his job is so I shall tell you. Your position was created to serve the citizens that have placed you in a position of trust. The oath you took is more than a formality, it is a sacred bond and you swore to defend and uphold the Constitution and it’s protections for the people. You are a failure as a councilperson because you serve to please your family and friends at public expense.

    Your job is about people and that is the basis of our existence. In the founding documents of our nation it is stated that All Men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. These Rights were and are not granted by government but by The Creator. Government was created to serve people by looking out for the common good. It is shameful the way you funnel our resources to the corporate cronies that pay for your election while our citizens are left to fend for themselves. They aren’t looking for a handout, they are looking for help. Help from honest men that will represent them and you are a traitor to those people. Your backroom dealings and the hurry up offense may have served you in the past but you are done.

    Instead of stealing our resources why not use the public’s money to bring about social change.

  26. No New Jail says:

    “They aren’t looking for a handout, they are looking for help.”

    There’s no need for charity in a just society. Bread not Bombs! College not Jails! Patton not Bortz!

    Michael Earl Patton 2007!

  27. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    The anonomous post #25 not only has some anger management issues but also seems to have some undeserved arrogance of their own.  It’s pretty easy to throw around unsubstantiated charges of corruption against a public official, but unless you have some meat to back it up, why bother us with that drivel. 
    Oh yeah, and let’s not forget that it’s the Presidents job to defend and uphold the Constitution; I think Council only has to defend and uphold the City Charter.  This goes back to my earlier point, that local government should pay attention to local issues they have some control over, and leave the national issues to the representitives who control them.  All of the time that was spent talking about a useless resolution, could have been spent looking for our invisible Mayor.

  28. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    Chris Bortz is right: City Council should stick to issues they have a direct impact on.

  29. anon says:

    I TOTALLY disagree with Bortz and I’m not buying his rationale for not supporting the resolution. As a City Council member, he fully understands that this war and other international and national efforts affects local government, either directly or indirectly. He is merely dodging the ball and riding the fence on this issue (I wonder if his recent endorsement of the GOP has anything to do with it.)

  30. Quim says:

    Mr Holbrook starts to make a good point.
    Dead & disabled soldiers don’t return to the local job base.
    The disabled put a drain on the local social servuces.
    While these parents are away, their children are raised in the “single parent household” that can lead to juvenile delinquency.
    If there should be a draft, it could wreak havoc on the local job market.
    Federal actions have an effect on the city. (Look at the drug problems) The city should speak up.

  31. cincysue says:

    So Bortz is spending all his time and focus on local problems and his supporters approve of that. No time for the world. Hope he’s not networking with “outsiders” to bring conventions, events to the area. Or trying to deal with the issues of local jobs going overseas. That might smack of non-cincy-centric. Has this intense concentration, devoid of diversions from the “world” as the Amish say, i.e., the United States, brought any miraculous solutions? Who, in the 21st century doesn’t understand that we’re all linked, issues are interwoven, we live in a global economy (for better or worse—mostly worse for us). To deem the most important issue of the day—war—as irrelevant to any citizen, in any corner of the U.S. makes one wonder, why that person would pick the field of politics as a vocation.

  32. Anon says:

    jfd,

    This is anon #25 and I think you are mistaken. Every elected official in the country swears or affirms an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution as a prerequisite to office. This includes most, if not all federal employees. As far as anger management I already took the course or I’d really attack these crooks because it really pisses me off when the leaders are liars and the citizens they serve are neglected. Judging from the time of your post the bars must have just closed. In the future any attempt to correct me should be based on fact, not what you think, because you clearly don’t.

    TTFNJFD

  33. cincysue says:

    My last word on this I promise.

    Bortz suggests talking to currently serving military personnel implying that they would not be in support of resistance to this war. More than 1,000 active-duty soldiers have now signed the Appeal for Redress, asking for an end to the Iraq War. The Appeal for Redress stands in solidarity with all those who resist the current occupation of Iraq, the mass murder of the Iraqi people, the harm and destruction done to American service members and their families, and the ill use of American tax dollars.

    Here is a quote by Lieut. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer prosecuted for refusing to go to Iraq. 
    “To stop an illegal and unjust war, the soldiers can choose to stop fighting it…. If soldiers realized this war is contrary to what the Constitution extols-if they stood up and threw their weapons down-no President could ever initiate a war of choice again,” he said.
    But the young officer’s appeal is not only to people in the military. “Should citizens choose to remain silent through self-imposed ignorance or choice, it makes them as culpable as the soldiers in these crimes.”  He added, “No longer can any American citizen or organization simply sit on the fence and say, Well, we don’t take a position on the war. Because the war in itself is unconstitutional in many forms, we as Americans have to step up and say either we agree with what’s going on or we disagree with what’s going on…. If you disagree ... then you are going to have to ask yourself what are you willing to sacrifice of yourself in order to correct the injustice and wrongs of this government in regard to the Iraq War.”
    “We all take part in it-if you pay your taxes, you’re taking part in this war. We all have a responsibility, as they determined after Nuremberg, whether you’re the lowest soldier or the highest ranking general, or just a regular civilian, we all have responsibility ... to resist and refuse enabling and condoning this criminal behavior,” he said.

    It is estimated that 60%+ of active duty military oppose the invasion of Iraq.  That is the majority. So the majority of active duty military and the majority of American citizens oppose this invasion. It�s hardly a radical position to support any resolution, rally, petition drive, or any other effort that expresses a message of peace. The Anti-Peace Movement, not the Anti-War Movement are the dangerous, fringe radicals.

  34. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    Do any of you 24-hour-a-day politics people understand federalism?  The federal gov’t does the national defense thing.  Cities don’t.  As Bortz says, next do you want Council to debate Social Security, Medicare,etc?  We have a vote in both federal and municipal so we can speak to the federal directly.  We don’t need the city as a go-between.  Its like asking the neighborhood convenience store owner if he would tell the neighborhood restauranteer that he screwed up your order because a poorly run business has a negative effect on the whole neighborhood.

  35. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    anon #25
    “Oh yeah, and let’s not forget that it’s the Presidents job to defend and uphold the Constitution; I think Council only has to defend and uphold the City Charter.”

    My apologies, in the future I will reserve the sarchasm, for when I respond to another adult.

  36. Anon says:

    Trey,

    Good analogy, just missed the point by about mile. People did express their dissatisfaction, as I recall, by a landslide victory in the election last November. We returned the democrats to power and it had no effect. Sorry, we currently have debate about a non-binding resolution. Or is it a debate about debating a non-binding resolution? In any event, most Americans oppose the actions of the current administration and are being ignored by both corporate parties.

    Its like asking the neighborhood convenience store owner if he would tell the neighborhood restauranteer that he screwed up your order because a poorly run business has a negative effect on the whole neighborhood.

    It is more like asking the store owner to ask the restaurant owner when they are both owned by the same person and only made to look independent.

  37. cincysue says:

    Oh. Gee. I guess if you explained “federalism” to those dying in Iraq that would make it all better. Who the hell needs to know about federalism? All we need to know is that we have invaded a sovereign country, for no reason, more than half a million people have died, not to mention the money wasted, blah, blah, blah. Who cares about federalism. We need to stop this “by any means necessary.” If a little resolution passed by a city council in a conservative state raises someone’s consciousness and at least keeps conversation going, it’s worth it.

    And yes I promised not to say another word. I lied. But nobody died.

  38. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    In any event, most Americans oppose the actions of the current administration and are being ignored by both corporate parties.

    Anon, whats the point of having city council discuss the issue, aren’t they ,according to your world view, owned by corporate interests too?  Or is it that when someone disagrees with your view on a subject, they are merely pawns of the corporate powers, and when someone agrees with you, they are courageous, independant voices of truth?

  39. Chris Bortz says:

    Sean Holbrook:

    “With all respect Mr. Bortz, pull your head out of your ass and look around…”

    Simply saying, “with all (due) respect” doesn’t mean you can say whatever you want without being disrespectful.  That only works for Ricky Bobby.

    -Chris Bortz

  40. Kim Perry says:

    With all due respect Mr. Bortz, you have been asked a lot of serious questions. As a public servant who has just entered campaign season, I think you have a responsibility to answer them.

    I respect the fact that you take the time to talk to the Beacon readers. I found it odd that you responded to none of these questions and instead responded to an inapropriate comment that I wouldn’t have dignified with a resposne.

    1. What about the “Character Cities” resolution that Phil Heimlich brought to council? Will you have it removed?

    2. Wouldn’t it make more sense for you to pass resolutions on those kinds of issues, as opposed to saying you express condolences to the family of Coretta Scott King? 

    3. Is this really about the time you may spend engaging such questions with the media/blogs/public? 

    4. I understand you probably got no questions about resolutions expressing condolences for notable dead people, but isn’t the tax to your time par for the course of being a public leader?

    5. How do the citizens of this city get all the facts about city government? (since the media doesn’t tell the whole truth)

    6.Mr. Bortz, do you believe that we shouldn’t look for federal dollars for the city?

    7.Does living within our means include corporate welfare and tax abatements for the rich?

    8. How many residents from Cincinnati have been buried? (because of the Iraq war) 

    9. How many have come home without their limbs? 

    10. How many more have come home with defects of the mind due to their experiences in Iraq? 

    11. Does anyone really thinnk that these families are not going to be using any services of the city, county and state due tothe injuries and harm of this ill-gotten war?

    12. Where would Cincinnati be if the Billions were spent on developing our citizens and creating small business enterprizes? 

    13. I ask how is it possible to have corporations do things cheaper than government when “profit” is a line item that doesn’t exist in government?

    14. How much has big business done for America?

    15. We know you’re a Charterite, but aren’t you really a Republican? Did you vote for Bush?

  41. Chris Bortz says:

    1. What about the “Character Cities” resolution that Phil Heimlich brought to council? Will you have it removed?

    Resolutions are non-binding statements of opinion and as such are not subject to repeal.  The only way to counter would be to propose another resolution taking the opposite position.  I see no need to spend too much time on it, but I’ll look into it. 


    2. Wouldn’t it make more sense for you to pass resolutions on those kinds of issues, as opposed to saying you express condolences to the family of Coretta Scott King? 

    Statements of resepect to the deceased are generally appropriate subjects for City Council resolutions. 

    3. Is this really about the time you may spend engaging such questions with the media/blogs/public? 

    Only in part.  I gave a number of reasons for my position on the subject. 

    4. I understand you probably got no questions about resolutions expressing condolences for notable dead people, but isn’t the tax to your time par for the course of being a public leader?

    Nope.  Par for the course would be time spent on city issues, not federal issues.  Time spent discussing Iraq is time not spent on zoning issues, youth employment, tax incentives for homebuyers, and etc. 

    5. How do the citizens of this city get all the facts about city government? (since the media doesn’t tell the whole truth)

    Contact councilmembers, come on down to City Hall and participate, subscribe to the City Council Journal, research the City’s web page, participate in any number of public processes in place from zoning issues to community councils.  Depends on the question. 

    6.Mr. Bortz, do you believe that we shouldn’t look for federal dollars for the city?

    No.

    7.Does living within our means include corporate welfare and tax abatements for the rich?

    No.

    8. How many residents from Cincinnati have been buried? (because of the Iraq war)

    As far as I can tell, nine men have died in Iarq or Afghanistan who identified Cincinnati as their hometown. 

    9. How many have come home without their limbs? 

    I have no idea.

    10. How many more have come home with defects of the mind due to their experiences in Iraq? 

    I have no idea.

    11. Does anyone really thinnk that these families are not going to be using any services of the city, county and state due tothe injuries and harm of this ill-gotten war?

    I don’t understand the question.

    12. Where would Cincinnati be if the Billions were spent on developing our citizens and creating small business enterprizes? 

    I have no idea. 

    13. I ask how is it possible to have corporations do things cheaper than government when “profit” is a line item that doesn’t exist in government?

    Sometimes private business is chepaer, better, and faster.  Sometimes government is.  Depends on the service, the government, and the business. 

    14. How much has big business done for America?

    That is an enormous question.  Big Business has done lots of good things and lots of bad things for America.

    15. We know you’re a Charterite, but aren’t you really a Republican? Did you vote for Bush?

    Being a Charterite does not prevent anyone from being a member of any other political party.  Charter is a committee, not a party.  It is made up of Republicans, Democrats, Greens, progressives, liberals, moderates, conservatives, and etc. 

    It is rude to ask someone about their vote.  I have no idea who you are and don’t feel like sharing that information with you.  I will say that I vote for person over party, voted for Democrats and Republicans in the last election, and generally tend to gravitate more towards Republican candidates, though recent years and recent candidates have pushed me further towards independence.  As far as my role with the city is concerned, I am a Charterite.

  42. Sean Holbrook says:

    “Sean Holbrook:

    “With all respect Mr. Bortz, pull your head out of your ass and look around…”

    Simply saying, “with all (due) respect” doesn’t mean you can say whatever you want without being disrespectful.  That only works for Ricky Bobby.

    -Chris Bortz”

    Is Ricky Bobby an issue directly related to the City Charter? If not, then how do you know about him?
    Did you learn about him when Ghiz suggested we put snow plows on the front ends of race cars to speed up plowing the snow?
    Are you sure you have done enough research to say anything about related to Ricky Bobby?

    Well, at least you didn’t give me a joke reply when I asked you to look at a picture of a badly wounded and deformed soldier. Oh, nevermind you did.
    I guess you were just going with the old saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.”
    Listen carefully Mr. Bortz, we can almost hear his skin growing back after that witty comment.

  43. cincysue says:

    Who the hell is Ricky Bobby? Is rhat a joke? Is war funny?

    As I listen to the endless debates on whether or not to SEND MORE TROOPS. I see that, once again, the devious, deceitful, manipulative Republican think tanks and their media whore minions have managed to divert attention from ENDING THE WAR, i.e., bringing home the troops, all troops now, which was the discussion just a month or so ago. The focus is now whether or not to INCREASE the troops instead. Noam Chomsky has written extensively about social engineering and the citizens of the United States of America are certainly the guinea pigs that have proven his theories. Simply that people will believe what they’re told if they’re told it enough and by people “in authority” even if the truth, that proves the opposite, is before their very eyes.  Examples, Rodney King wasn’t beaten, Donald Trump is a fine role model, Republicans support the troops, Iraq actually invaded us, the economy is doing swell, and there is no poverty in America.

    Bortz, did you catch the picture on most of the news sites of the 9 year old girl walking being her MOTHER’S flag draped coffin. Her mom got blown up in Iraq. These chickenhawk men and female collaborators, so low, that they not only send someone else’s sons but someone else’s daughters to die while their own lounge at home in safey and luxury. They make the worst villains in history look like boyscouts.

    And a charterite is just a Republican that wants the benefits but not the stigma of being a Republican.

    BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

  44. anonymous says:

    As to Mr. Crazy Anonymous (comment No. 25)

    You are the one mistaken about the law regarding loyalty oaths, before you quote the law, please know the law.

    Anon 25, you stated this:
    “This is anon #25 and I think you are mistaken. Every elected official in the country swears or affirms an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution as a prerequisite to office. This includes most, if not all federal employees.”


    There are two types of loyalty oaths that have been upheld- 1) to support the constitution, and
    2) to oppose the overthrow of the government.
    Connell v. Higgenbotham, 403 U.S. 207 (1971), Cole v. Richardson, 405 U.S. 676 (1972).

    Notice how “defend” is not mentioned?

    Enroll in law school after you take another course in anger management.

  45. Mr. Crazy Anonymous says:

    I stand corrected, this is what the Ohio Constitution says:

    Every person chosen or appointed to any office under this state, before entering upon the discharge of its duties, shall take an oath or affirmation, to supportz the Constitution of the United States, and of this state, and also an oath of office.

    Which oath did you take?

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