Wednesday, April 30, 2014

5 reasons why Mayor John Cranley and Councilman Christopher Smitherman aren't ready for Prime Time

While me and my fellow citizens – ‘the local vocal Active-Advocates’ -  continue to strategize ways to have Councilman Smitherman turn his moral outrage over crime  into solutions that address institutional racism, here are a few reasons that Mayor John Cranley and Councilman Christopher Smitherman may not be able to further their careers beyond local politics. They aren’t ready for prime time.
Cranley can’t control his staff and Christopher can’t control his mouth
On Friday April 25 Mayor Cranley did a pointless drive-by interview on Lincoln Ware’s radio show (1230 WDBZ the Buzz) as a follow-up to ‘Local Vocals – Active Advocates’ who attended a April 23 City Hall council meeting requesting that Mayor John Cranley remove Councilman Christopher Smitherman as the chair of The Law and Public Safety Committee, because of his recent divisive comments regarding the African American community’s response to crime. Mayor Cranley repeated on the radio what he told the local paper and that is: Smitherman’s job is safe. He further went on to say that he couldn’t control what his committee chairs say. Said Cranley, “I can’t control what he says, if I had to remove a chair every time that they said something that I disagreed with I’d have no committee chairs.”
Can you imagine a national politician admitting that he can’t control one of his staff members who was speaking disparagingly about the gay or Jewish community?
Councilman Smitherman can’t control his mouth and has become infamous over the past few years for his negative rants about the African American community -on conservative talk (mostly white radio) and at City Council.
Many years before that Smitherman was infamous for his rants against the white and Jewish community on a predominantly African American radio station.
Politicians that can’t control their staff’s behavior or those that can’t control their divisive tongue, don’t go very far.  
Neither Mayor Cranley nor Smitherman seem to learn from political mistakes
During the April 9, 2001 Cincinnati riots uprising both Cranley and Smitherman were on City Council. During that administration Cranley was the chair of the Law & Public Safety Committee when the uprising started,  in which he admitted in several media stories that he lost control (Google it).  Instead of listening to the citizens who packed City Hall to express concerns over police brutality, Cranley blew the citizens off and the citizens blew up.
Smitherman, at the time posing as a militant black man, told then Police Chief Streicher, “I’m your boss”  (Google it).  Back then, like now, his words were divisive directed towards, whites and caused a lot of backlash and hurt feelings from police officers. Prosecutor Joe Deters subsequently led the charge to make sure Smitherman was not reelected during the next council term.
Back to April 23, 2014 when a couple of dozen concerned citizens attended a City Council meeting to express concerns and requested a May 10 response to the request that Councilman Smitherman be removed as the chair of The Law and Public Safety Committee.
Mayor Cranley responded to the request immediately but not directly to those who made the request.  Here’s what he told the local paper; Smitherman’s job is safe: "I'm not removing him. Under Smitherman's leadership, we have added cops, rejuvenated CIRV, put a renewed focus on the community monitors, restarted the call-ins, and added police overtime. The entire community has embraced these action steps."
The problem with his response is two-fold.  He is once again blowing the citizens off. It was incredibly disrespectful for him not to respond directly to those who took a day off work, rearranged their schedules to engage Council and let their voices be heard.  It is also a damn lie that the entire community has embraced what he calls “action steps” when the majority of the community knows little about 4 of the 5 steps that he named.
Perhaps Cranley should have started his interview to the paper in this way, Fuck those activists I appreciate the engagement and the concerns of the citizens’ who spoke, however Smitherman’s job is safe…” Sounds like Cranley needs Judy Smith the real life, Olivia Pope to do his public relations.
Mayor Cranley’s lack of action and Smitherman’s reckless divisive rants proves that neither is in control or ready for the big political stage.
(correction: Smitherman was elected in 2003 - still he made the reckless and divisive comments to Streicher while Cincinnati was in turmoil)
Both continue to blast the last administration
It appears that anytime there is a problem at City Hall or in the City of Cincinnati, both the mayor and the council member have one response and that is to blame it on the last administration of Mayor Mallory and City manager Milton Dohoney.

At what point will the mayor and the councilman start to work for solutions and address institutional racism, because they are now the driver’s seat?
Did the old political Bait and Switch
Cranley baited because when he was running for mayor he was very visible in the African American community, even going so far as to show up at a nightclub in the hood in mom jeans. He made so many promises to the community, including that he would always be accessible.  To date, he has been anything but.
And then we have Smitherman, who  switched to the side of those who bankrollnearly every economic and social injustice against the African Americancommunity
Crime is up
Mayor Cranley’s interview in the paper made it appear that crime was being managed.  It is not. Heroin and crack addicts still roam the streets and Cincinnatians find out what they did the next day on the morning news. Black men are still getting murdered and white men and women are still leaving their babies to go commit crimes for their hourly heroin fix.
Politicians who fail to protect tax payers from crime limited political careers.
Do your damn job John and Christopher!


FBK is an unapologetic black writer who is not afraid to write about the ‘R’ word. She is a member of Cincinnati’s Local Vocal Active-Activists who often keeps it real.  She blogs, she writes eBooks and she is currently juicing- on and off -  so don’t mess with her.

                         FBK is a combo of 3 writers - you figure it out....we're not telling.