Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Politics headlines: McFaul, Fudge, Harris and Coats

Behind that King James front page, today's Plain Dealer has lots of good politics stories:

Gerald McFaul faces down Mark Puente for the first time since the reporter's many exposés knocked McFaul out of the sheriff's office. "I have nothing to say," McFaul said to Puente. "You got it all wrong." McFaul also had nothing to say yesterday in testimony in a lawsuit filed by two deputies. He repeatedly took the Fifth.

U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge got together with Mayor Frank Jackson, Dennis Kucinich, and about 20 local elected officials to say that would-be county reformers need to create their reform plans in public instead of closed-door meetings. The subtext of her speech: the reformers all talk about the need to reach out to black political leaders to make reform happen -- but they haven't actually done that.

Mark Naymik rips Fudge for not working harder for Clayton Harris in the sheriff's race. Naymik noticed what I noticed about the Democrats' Saturday vote to name a new sheriff: it went mostly along racial lines. Naymik, taking the power of racial solidarity in Cleveland politics for granted, focuses on the low turnout at the Democratic party's vote and asks why Fudge and other black politicians didn't have a better get-out-the-vote effort for Harris. "The county's black leaders proved to be the real losers," Naymik wrote. (Update: Cleveland.com took a while to post Naymik's column, but it's up now.)

Phillip Morris gives Roosevelt Coats the boot in his column today. He seconds the motion of Powell Caesar, editorial writer for Don King's Call and Post, that the ex-city councilman not be allowed to switch seats with Eugene Miller and go to the state legislature. "Councilman Coats needs to go quietly into the good night," read the Call & Post headline. (The editorial isn't online. Too bad!) "Clean, ineffectual incompetence can only take you so far," says Morris. This can't be what Coats had in mind when he asked in his farewell statement, "How do you measure the work of 21 years?" Henry Gomez, who covers Coats' departure on his City Hall blog, is also not overwhelmed.

And of course, the PD covers Tim Hagan and Frank Jackson's announcement of the convention center deal. Hagan told the press conference that Positively Cleveland, the convention and visitor's bureau, will survive and remain "positively important." However, he didn't guarantee its budget would remain intact. There's been some talk that some of its taxpayer funding would be used as a second stream of revenue for the Medical Mart.


Henry Gomez said...

I wasn't trying to disparage Roosevelt Coats, who seemed to be a genuinely friendly and decent guy. His own colleagues, though not on the record, would tell you some of the same things I mentioned, which to be fair, are minor when you consider the behavior of others past and present.

It could be worse. Remember how and why Councilman Bobby White left suddenly. Roosevelt Coats apparently just wants to spend more time with his family. Or go the Ohio House of Representatives.

Kevin said...

Naymik's column was posted this afternoon.