Tuesday, July 11, 2006

With No Regrets, Mr. Ludeman...

"When something important is going on, silence is a lie." - Abe Rosenthal

Thanks to ToledoTalk for finding the above quote, which I offer in response to this anti-democratic suggestion from Toledo's Council President.

Spiro Agnew, in memoriam.

Monday, July 10, 2006

New Resources For Progressives

About two years ago some really analytical progressives put together a PowerPoint on how right wing think tanks, schools, corporations, various conservative interest groups, policy journals, GOP financiers, national, state and local Republican parties, conservative talk radio and cable, along with certain churches and philanthropic groups all began working together to shift Americans politics to the right and elect conservatives, particularly through the rigorous development of conservative intellectual resources. I remember seeing the presentation in a hotel ballroom in Washington back then, and it has stuck with me. It has prompted our side to respond in kind, from Air America Radio to some of these newest progressive resources:

From Bill Galston, Stan Greenberg and Ruy Teixeria comes The Democratic Strategist which, they write: For this first issue we asked a small group of the most thoughtful individuals in the Democratic community to look beyond 2006 and to think about strategies for the Democratic Party for the next decade. Sounds like required reading to me.

Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. And thanks to Lauren Goode for this link to The Hill which discusses this new journal.

From the DLC's Progressive Policy Institute comes Raising Our Game: A National Competition Strategy. This is the same think tank that brought us NAFTA & CAFTA, so its interesting to read about their stepped up interest in enforcement of the rights and relief for dislocated workers. I prefer the points on trade discussed here.

I read somewhere that DLC leader, Iowa Governor and presidential candidate Tom Vilsack has been meeting and talking with "New Democrats" and labor leaders to forge a new, more unified agenda. Here is a 56 minute video from a recent appearance on The Charlie Rose Show.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

An Idea for Future Gov. Strickland

Property owners in Lucas County are generous people. There's virtually not a problem for which we don't have a local tax levy, school financing is particularly unfair & unconstitutional, and by now you know special assessments will increase for Toledoans better than 10% next year. Why not redirect state & federal revenue to high tax cities and counties to replace large portions of the revenue collected via property taxes - lowering taxes places like Toledo across the state. It's wrong that the middle class and seniors have been saddled by the historic (and regressive) shifting of the tax burden at the federal, state and county levels.

Many of us have great hopes for the first Democratic Governor in 16 years, and we're glad we're in a position to help him win.

More on this as I develop my thoughts...any suggestions?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Not dragging feet?

Another brave defense of Mayor Carty Finkbeiner by my colleague Mark Sobczak in this morning's Blade. He suggests the city isn't "dragging its feet" with the city block-sized crater about a block down and caddy-corner to Fifth-Third Field. I asked the Administration to put up a plywood fence in late March. Perhaps Mark doesn't recall the agenda review when our colleagues agreed with me that something should be done, if not by Opening Day, absolutely by the All Star Week. I also brought it up as a referral at a council meeting at that point.

If the property owner won't put up the fence, the city has an obligation to protect public safety, and minimize the risk to taxpayers of a lawsuit. That floppy orange fencing is knocked down half the time.

The Mud Hens, Promedica, the Convention Bureau, and dozens of Toledo area businesses are shelling out millions to showcase our city, and in particular, the area surrounding the ballpark. This crater, on Monroe - the main ingress & egress to I-75 and the Anthony Wayne Trail - will be seen by literally tens of thousands of visitors, including national press, traveling between the Warehouse District and Highland Meadows for the LPGA.

At the meeting in March, a senior Finkbeiner official said they had at least two bids, from roughly $3,000 to $20,000 or so. The City has the ability to assess the negligent property owner for the cost of the fence. Why has the Mayor dragged his feet?

The tree lights, "keeping young people in" Toledo, as my colleague Mr. Ludeman suggested? That's ridiculous. In fact, there is a web development and public relations firm in the building right next to the crater on Ontario. Those workers have a 7 foot cliff bounding their parking lot, and a trash-hewn, abandoned city block-sized hole to look at every time they come to work, meet clients, and go home. How do you think that makes them feel about stickin'?