Independent Voters Alliance (IVA)
A Minor Change in Political Concept, But Profound in the Positive Ways Our Lives Will Be Affected
A Historic Trend for Cincinnati?
New Council Members, not Incumbents
By Rich Stevenson ©November 16, 2003
Interim Acting Chair of the Hamilton County OHIVA
The voters of Cincinnati are to be congratulated for putting new faces on Cincinnati City Council. There is hope after the November 2003 elections that the trend toward greater representation will continue in 2005.
Your vote for populist nonpartisan, minor party, and Charterite candidates can be more POWERFUL if you do not waste your vote on a favorite Council person or persons. A VOTE FOR NEW COUNCIL MEMBERS, NOT INCUMBENTS is the most effective way to use your vote to solve Cincinnati's problems. We can elect more new council members and a new mayor in 2005. Register to vote and vote. Good government is possible.
To borrow a phrase from the campaign of Damon Lynch III, we can build a city of hope for everyone. The 2003 election was proof that Cincinnati voters can make needed changes to Cincinnati City Council. More can be done with increased voter registration and participation. However, we need to have good independent non-incumbent candidates on the ballot in every election.
For 2005, the IVA web site will show new candidates who will be on the Cincinnati City Council Ballot, as they become known. You can help your candidate or candidates with his/her petition and his/her campaign.
We Can: The page cs2pr.us/hamco/03Non-Partisan.html has the IVA list of 2003 populist nonpartisan Cincinnati city council candidates. Results are shown. Winning vote totals for 2003 ranged from 34,405 to 22,713 votes. We can have that number of new populist nonpartisan voters register to vote in 2005. We can change the political face of Cincinnati. Small numbers are all that are needed to win. Many new faces on Council are possible.
The Change on Cincinnati City Council: Many more people used a voting strategy. If you want our Cincinnati City Council to change public policy to favor voters, not special interests, you may need to use the same strategy. Do not vote for any Incumbent council member. The re-election of incumbents had been just about 100% for over twenty years because everyone used all nine council votes when they voted. Now we know to vote for just the new faces we want to see on council. Do not vote for incumbents. Your favorite incumbents will probably be re-elected without your vote. Don't waste your vote on incumbents.
In 2003 two non-incumbents were elected to replace an incumbent. Christopher Smitherman is a new Charterite face on council. Independent Damon Lynch nearly made it three new non-incumbents on Council by coming in 10th, less than a thousand votes behind David Crowley, a one term Democratic incumbent Councilperson. Sam Malone merely replaced a Republican with a Republican. That may not be much actual change. 2003 was the biggest change in Council in 20 years or longer. Democrat Paul Booth was out due to term limits. Booth served four terms. You could just as easily suggest that a Republican, Sam Malone, replaced a Democrat, Booth.
Historic Incumbent Loser: Republican Chris Monzel did not receive enough votes to be re-elected. Monzel was the history making incumbent loser. The pretty TV ad “family portrait” unsupported by any compelling campaign message related to solving Cincinnati's economic development problems probably cost Monzel the election.
Again, the voters of Cincinnati are to be congratulated for putting new faces on Cincinnati City Council. There is hope now that the trend toward greater representation will continue in 2005. The change has begun. Winning vote totals for 2003 ranged from 34,405 to 22,713 votes. We can have that many new populist nonpartisan voters register to vote in 2005. We can change the political face of Cincinnati.
We all owe thanks for the voices of Damon Lynch and Brian Garry in their campaigns, which gave new independent voices to the voters of Cincinnati. The Charter party offered us three candidates to continue their reform tradition, which now includes the slogan, “Political Independents for a better Cincinnati.” Charterites have been a positive political voice in Cincinnati since the 1920s. If 2003 is any indication, the future of Cincinnati politics is crawling toward renewed independence. The new “boss politics,” the two-party monopoly, of our allegedly “nonpartisan” election can be on the way out, in the same way the political bosses were put out of power by the Charter Committee in the 1920s. Increased populist nonpartisan voter participation will make all the difference. The larger the voter turnout becomes, the more new faces we will see in Cincinnati government.
We could amend the Cincinnati City Charter to make City Council elections actually nonpartisan. At present all Democratic and Republican incumbents get a minimum $10,000 contribution limit from their bipartisan political party “bosses,” and each is likely to receive the $25,000 endorsement of Carl Lindner, the owner-in-chief of Hamilton County. Even non-incumbent bipartisan Democratic and Republican candidates are eligible to receive the lavish $10,000 donation from their party. Other non-incumbents, populist nonpartisans, and minor party candidates, usually have much less than $35,000 to spend on their campaigns. Bipartisan incumbent candidates raise much more, in 100s of thousands of dollars.
Cincinnati City Council elections are bipartisan elections. All you have to do is answer the question, “Where is the money?”
Until we change the city charter we should call city council elections bipartisan, just like they are. Laketa Cole nearly won a council seat in 2001 as a populist nonpartisan. She was closer than Damon Lynch was this year. The IVA would love to endorse Laketa Cole as a nonpartisan independent for her third term in the 2005 city council election. We cannot endorse her as a partisan Democratic candidate in any election. Laketa, we need good populist nonpartisan candidates. Laketa and Damon Lynch could be two of those populist nonpartisan candidates in 2005.
A brighter day is on the political horizon in Cincinnati. Vote for populist nonpartisans. You win.
Welcome to the populist nonpartisan ballot access movement. Read the national IVA web pages at cs2pr.us/hamco/usaiva. Participate.
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edit: 11-14-05, 07-24-06, 10-03-06, 12-25-06, 09-25-08, 03-23-09, 07-04-09,
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