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Friday, July 31, 2009

Business Courier Boosts Cincinnatians for Progress Momentum

Douglas Bolton, Publisher of the Cincinnati Business Courier, today is the latest to publicly support Cincinnati’s openness to passenger rail transportation, and warn of the devastating effects of the Anti-Progress, Anti-Rail Charter Amendment in November. Read his article to see why he is another important Cincinnatian for Progress.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Public Transit Initiative goes beyond the streetcar

Click here to watch the clip from WCPO news showing the Mayor explain why it means so much to the city.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mayor Mallory speaks up for public transit

Mayor Mallory held a press conference yesterday calling the ballot measure on public transportation disastrous. Click here to read the article and watch a video of the conference.

With your continued support we will help Cincinnatians realize their vote should be one for progress!

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Check out these articles on some of the positive developments occurring in other cities due to passenger rail

Check out these articles on some of the positive developments occurring in other cities due to passenger rail. If the proposed anti-progress, anti-rail charter amendment passes it will create enormous obstacles to any passenger rail development in Cincinnati.

Click below to read the articles

Dallas Light Rail Economic Boost
http://www.pegasusnews.com/news/2009/jul/24/green-orange-and-blue-line-dart-rail-expansion-gen/

Charlotte Light Rail's new ridership
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/local/story/847693.html

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Economist: "Ballot initiatives, the crack cocaine of democracy..."

On July 9th, The Economist highlighted how dysfunctional government has led California to their current financial woes.

"No state has quite so many overlapping systems of accountability or such a gerrymandered legislature. Ballot initiatives, the crack cocaine of democracy, have left only around a quarter of its budget within the power of its representative politicians."


Click here for the full article

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

NAYSAYERS CONTINUE TO DECEIVE CINCINNATI VOTERS

Attacking Cincinnatians for Progress another attempt to conceal the truth

July 7, 2009
Media Release

Cincinnati, OH - The naysayers behind the Anti-Progress Charter Amendment that would change our City Charter to prevent the City from funding all passenger rail without first holding an election have been calling this dangerous proposal the "Streetcar Petition" or "Trolley Amendment" for some months now. Even though the language of the petition they are circulating clearly states that this charter amendment would affect all passenger rail, they continued to mislead Cincinnati voters by falsely arguing that this would only affect the proposed Streetcar.

Cincinnatians for Progress has been working to inform Cincinnati voters that this "Anti-Progress Charter Amendment," as we have been calling it, really does affect all passenger rail in the City, not just the Streetcar.

Now the proponents of the Anti-Progress Charter Amendment are employing new tactics in their campaign to deceive Cincinnati voters. COAST is now referring to this issue as the "Pro-Vote Charter Amendment," instead of the "Trolley Petition." If all they want is to allow voters to have more of say in the electoral process, why limit their Charter Amendment to passenger rail? What about roads and bridges, or even funding for the police or schools?

Chris Smitherman has stooped to even lower levels, claiming that Cincinnatians for Progress supports "Jim Crow" because of our work informing Cincinnati voters of the potential dangerous consequences if their proposal is adopted in November. This is just another unfortunate attempt to deceive Cincinnati voters from the truth about the Anti-Progress Charter Amendment.

"We will not let these baseless and inflammatory attacks distract us from our work informing Cincinnati voters of the truth behind this dangerous Charter Amendment," said Robert Richardson, Co-Chair of Cincinnatians for Progress. "We will not let their deceptive tactics go unanswered."

Cincinnatians for Progress remains committed to working to inform Cincinnati voters about the truth behind the Anti-Progress Charter Amendment.

1. More than the Streetcar: The language of the ballot amendment means this will affect ALL passenger rail projects, including President Obama's plan to connect Cincinnati to Cleveland and Chicago via high speed rail (3C Rail), the Eastern Corridor project or any other project (such as connecting CVG to downtown via rail).

2. Cincinnati needs jobs: This Anti-Progress Amendment will cost Cincinnati jobs and put the city at a competitive disadvantage by impeding the city's ability to develop our regional infrastructure.

3. We don't want California style government in Cincinnati: If the Anti-Progress Charter Amendment passes, elections in Cincinnati will resemble California, with an endless stream of referendums and initiatives.

4. Protect the city charter: The City Charter is Cincinnati's version of the Constitution. It shouldn't be used as a vehicle for binding referendums that handcuff the mayor and keep city government from moving forward.

For more information on Cincinnatians for Progress, please visit www.cincinnatiansforprogress.com.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

3C Rail First Project to be Affected by Anti-Progress Charter Amendment

The naysayers who are pushing the Anti-Progress Charter Amendment continue to work to deceive Cincinnati voters by saying that this dangerous proposal is intended to only affect the proposed Streetcar, even though the actual language of the charter amendment clearly states that funding for all passenger rail is jeopardized.

Some have responded by acknowledging this fact but stating that even if this is so, the Streetcar would be the first project that would be tested by the Anti-Progress Charter Amendment. Not true.

The Streetcar still has a long way to go. Mayor Mallory and City Manager Milton R. Dohoney, Jr. have both been very clear that this project needs federal funds to be completed. While the City is doing everything in its power to pursue federal funds, they are far from assured.

On the other hand, the 3C High Speed Rail line connecting Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland has already applied for a federal grant through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). According to the details of this grant, the rail line is scheduled to open in 2011. Construction on the projects, including tracks and stations, would likely begin next year if ODOT is awarded the grant.

So it looks like the streetcar would NOT be the first test of the Anti-Progress Charter Amendment.

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"Trolley Petition" now "Pro-Vote Charter Amendment?"

STOP THE PRESSES! The "Trolley Petition" is now the "Pro-Vote Charter Amendment!"

The folks behind the Anti-Progress Charter Amendment that would change our City Charter to prevent the City from funding all passenger rail without first holding an election have been calling this dangerous proposal the "Streetcar Petition" or "Trolley Amendment" for some months now. Even though the language of the petition they are circulating clearly states that this charter amendment would affect ALL passenger rail, they continued to mislead Cincinnati voters by falsely arguing that this would only affect the proposed Streetcar.

Cincinnatians for Progress has been working to inform Cincinnati voters that this "Anti-Progress Charter Amendment," as we have been calling it, really does affect all passenger in the City, not just the Streetcar.

Well, now it seems that the folks behind this aren't so much concerned with preventing passenger rail from being built in Cincinnati, but just want to see voters have more say in the decision-making process of the City. So why focus only on passenger rail, a minuscule percentage of the City's budget? What about giving voters a say on roads, social services or funding for police and fire? Which is it?

Maybe there was more to it when COAST Treasurer Mark Miller said, "This is about much more than a stupid streetcar."

The naysayers behind this dangerous proposal need to start being frank with Cincinnati voters. This Charter Amendment will affect all passenger rail and it will start to turn Cincinnati government into a California-style of government, with an endless stream of referendums that has resulted in a deficit of $27 Billion and huge tax increases.

But at least the folks behind this have stopped calling it the "Trolley Petition." We still believe a more accurate description is the "Anti-Progress Charter Amendment."

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Cincinnati I.O.U.'s?

Under the misguided veil of "more democracy," the naysayers who are pushing the Charter Amendment that would prevent the City from investing in any passenger rail without a public vote are working to turn Cincinnati into a California-style government by referendum.

The results are pretty clear - a budget gap of $27 billion, tax increases, crumbling schools and a state that has had to result in issuing I.O.U.'s because it can't pay its own bills.

This form of "direct democracy" has conversely spawned a cottage industry - professional canvassers who are paid by special interests to secure enough signatures to get measures on ballot. With no restrictions on funding for these issues, special interests are able to dominate the California electoral process.

I will let CFP Treasurer Don Mooney explain more:

• One thing particularly dangerous about a “referendum,” as opposed to a race for Mayor or City Council, is the amount and source of cash that can be spent to persuade the public to vote “yes” or “no.” Candidates for Council or Mayor have strict contribution limits, and can only accept money from individual contributors or duly registered political action committees. But if Cincinnatians vote on whether to joint the C-C-C high speed connection, corporate power brokers can write unlimited checks. Watch what happens this November when proponents and opponents of casino gambling start buying millions of dollars of television time. The “message” voters hear is not always what motivates these big donors. Casino “opponents” will warn about the potential harm of gambling to our community’s social fabric, in ads paid for by casino operators from across the Indiana border who just don’t want more competition. The same motives will drive any passenger rail referendum in Cincinnati. Would oil companies or car manufacturers write big checks to prevent Cincinnatians leave their cars at home and take a train to work, Columbus or Chicago? Would Delta want to keep people flying rather than taking a train to Chicago or Cleveland? You betcha.

• While campaign consultants and TV stations will profit from passenger rail election wars, the taxpayers will pay. If Council needs to move quickly to buy small chunks of land, or spend matching local dollars to make high speed rail happen in Cincinnati, a special election will be required every time new land or city spending is required. According to our Board of Elections, each special election in Cincinnati could cost around $475,000, which might be more than some of the right-of-way purchases will cost the City.

Is this the kind of government you want in Cincinnati?

Thanks to @noktulo for the NYT article.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Obama Says High Speed Rail Good for Ohio

While the naysayers behind the Anti-Progress Charter Amendment were celebrating that they have enough signatures to jeopardize the city from funding passenger rail, President Obama spoke to the Enquirer to restate his support for building a high speed rail line that would connect Cincinnati to Chicago and Cleveland.

The proponents of the dangerous Anti-Progress Charter Amendment keep lying to voters and telling us this is the "Streetcar Petition." False. Read the actual language of the amendment, which would prevent the City from funding ANY passenger rail without a vote of the electorate.

President Obama has plans to connect Cincinnati with other urban areas via rail. The naysayers want to stop this.

As President Obama said, "You could link a whole bunch of cities there. The same is true between states, linking Chicago to Detroit to Cleveland, going down to St. Louis, up to Milwaukee, Indianapolis."

But if this Anti-Progress Charter Amendment passes the rail will connect all these cities and Cincinnati will be stuck wondering why they are moving forward and we are stuck doing business as usual.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cincinnnati Chamber Opposes Anti-Progress Charter Amendment

CINCINNATI CHAMBER VOTES TO OPPOSE ANTI-PASSENGER RAIL AMENDMENT
"Would impede the City's ability to compete effectively"

Cincinnati, OH
- The Cincinnati USA Chamber of Commerce announced today that it opposes the Anti-Progress Charter Amendment that would jeopardize the construction or improvement to all passenger rail. The Chamber said that "the language of the charter amendment is extremely broad and would impede the city's ability to compete effectively."

"Passenger rail projects are not just movers of people and goods- they are economic development tools," said Rita McNeil, vice president of government affairs with the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. "The ballot initiative would prevent the City of Cincinnati from spending any money on any passenger rail project unless Cincinnati voters first approve the project. And, as such, it would significantly hamper positive growth in Cincinnati USA."

The Chamber joins the Cincinnatus Association and Charter Committee in opposing the Anti-Progress Charter Amendment. Mayor Mark Mallory, 8 of 9 City Council Members and 8 of 9 endorsed City Council candidates have also formally announced they oppose the Anti-Passenger Rail proposal.

"We are honored to have the Cincinnati Chamber as part of our growing coalition who are opposed to the Anti-Progress Amendment," said Joe Sprengard, Cincinnatians for Progress Co-Chair. "Now more than ever, we need to be fighting to add jobs in our city. This proposal will cost Cincinnati jobs and threaten our economic development opportunities."

For the press release from the Cincinnati Chamber, click here. For more information on Cincinnatians for Progress, please visit www.cincinnatiansforprogress.com.

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Channel 5's coverage of the Anti-Progress Charter Amendment



Channel 5's coverage of the Anti-Progress Charter Amendment accurately portrayed this issue as one that affects ALL passenger rail, not just the Streetcar. No matter what COAST or the NAACP says, the acutal language of the charter amendment states that "all passenger rail" is affected.

Check it our for yourself.

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We Did It!

Yesterday we challenged our supporters to help us raise $1,000 so we could report over $35,000 in our first financial report, which ended June 30th. The response was overwhelming - we raised nearly double our goal! Yesterday alone we raised $1,830.00! In one day!

Our campaign is built from the support of Cincinnatians from all walks of life across the city. 94% of our donors have given $100 or less. This kind of support and excitement, especially for a new organization, just hasn't happened in Cincinnati politics. To raise that kind of money in 3 months, and that much in 1 day is not how things usually work in Cincinnati.

Republicans, Democrats and Charterites are behind Cincinnatians for Progress because we all understand the grave consequences for our City if the Anti-Progress Charter Amendment passes.

Because of your overwhelming response yesterday, we will have more resources to dedicate to our campaign to inform Cincinnati voters of the dangerous implications of the Anti-Progress Charter Amendment. Our tremendous grassroots support will energize Cincinnati voters, and prove to the media and potential donors that our team is equipped to WIN in November.

Together we will keep Cincinnati moving forward.

Thank you for your commitment and dedication to Cincinnati.

Rob Richardson, Joe Sprengard and Bobby Maly
Co-Chairs, Cincinnatians for Progress

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Updated Statement from Cincinnatians for Progress

Below is the updated official statement from Cincinnatians for Progress Co-Chair Robert Richardson regarding the announcement that the NAACP and COAST are holding a press conference on July 1st to "announce results" of the Anti-Progress Charter Amendment:

"You can't call ground beef filet mignon and serve it at The Precinct. Similarly, calling the Anti-Progress Charter Amendment the "streetcar issue" doesn't make it only about the Streetcar. While the proponents of this Amendment continue to confuse voters by calling this the "Streetcar Petition," the truth is that the actual language of the Charter Amendment threatens all passenger rail, including President Obama's plan to connect Cincinnati to Chicago and Cleveland via high speed rail."

While other cities are preparing to move forward into the 21st century by building needed infrastructure and transportation improvements, this dangerous proposal would hold Cincinnati back by costing us jobs and causing our tax dollars to be spent elsewhere."

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