Submitted by Roldo on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 18:51.

Maybe RTA should be a private business. It might get treated better by Democrats.

Squire & Sanders’ Fred Nance asked today for another public subsidy of $50 million for the Medical Mart. He wants an added 2 percent bed tax to go for the deal. He said Tim Hagan, Jimmy Dimora and Peter Lawson Jones could do that without a vote of taxpayers. Isn’t that convenient.

Would the Three Blind Commissioners again thumb their noses at Cuyahoga County voters by giving another tax gift (already near $1 billion in taxes) to help Forest City but not RTA?

It’s become Democratic tradition, giving to our wealthiest.

The State of Ohio, Gov. Ted Strickland and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher should be handing RTA millions of dollars in its time of need. Instead, they line up free money for private businesses, too.

That’s what they’re doing for numerous private businesses.

You may have noticed a lot about Norwalk Furniture recently in the news. Fisher, according to the Plain Dealer, has rushed the company a $2 million state loan. No telling what other goodies are in store for the company and many other private businesses in line.

I haven’t seen Strickland & Fisher running to Cleveland with loans for RTA.

Bridgestone Firestone in Akron can count on $18 million in state tax credits, meaning we pick up the cost in Ohio taxes.
Haven’t heard a peep from Strickland or Fisher about RTA’s troubles.
Another PD headline reads:  “Cleveland-Cliffs lands tax break.” Well, naturally.
The Ohio Tax Credit Authority gave Cleveland-Cliffs $1 million in “tax breaks,” said the PD. It said it was for a $2.2 million expansion.

So, in other words, we are paying for about half of its expansion costs? That is if you can trust the figures.

I guess Strickland and Fisher only read the business pages and missed RTA’s dilemma.

Then the headline: “State throws a lifeline to Lordstown.” This one’s a whopper - $82 million in tax credits and a “guarantee for the future.” How would you like your future to be guaranteed by the state government?

These sweet deals are just in the last couple of weeks. However, this is standard business of government these days. Or should we say bribery by legal means.

None of the state’s leading Democrats down in Columbus, put into office by the votes of Cuyahoga County residents, seem to be rushing here to help the people who need it most – working stiffs that have to get to work daily.

Guess they’ve forgotten the elderly and the disabled who helped put them into office, too.

Instead, they’re paying attention to Republican business people who vote and contribute to their defeat.

I know, I know, there are jobs involved in those businesses drenched with free state gifts.

But there are jobs involved at RTA, too. Both in its operation and for the people they transport to work.

What we have become for private business is the Bribe Society.
Business leaders tell politicians, “Jump.” And the answer is always, “How high?”
Bribe me and I might keep some of your jobs in Ohio.

It’s time to help those who need help in this society. Something we’ve forgotten how to do.

( categories: )

In a predatory economy...

Strickland and Fisher are disappointing leaders in every way I've observed, and Ohio seems to have strayed further from reality since they took office. Can you say Keno-hos

But, for the bigger reality, read this article on the Predator State, in which we all live... one highlight...

Today, the signature of modern American capitalism is neither benign competition, nor class struggle, nor an inclusive middle-class utopia. Instead, predation has become the dominant feature—a system wherein the rich have come to feast on decaying systems built for the middle class. The predatory class is not the whole of the wealthy; it may be opposed by many others of similar wealth. But it is the defining feature, the leading force. And its agents are in full control of the government under which we live.

Disrupt IT

Food Chain

  I would call it the Parasite Model of State Government, not Predator.  These shameless people are living off the disadvantaged, but they delude themselves into thinking they are the genetically fit elite.

"MMPI will award that work privately"...

I wonder if our relatively-newbie out-of-towner PD Editor and Publisher are freaked out by the obvious small town Mafioso corruption rampant through all levels of business and government here in NEO, yet... or perhaps they just find it all amusing. Today's article about the "guesstimate" numbers surrounding the MedCon is still writen in the strong advocate mode - preempting debate rather than investigating shoddy performance in the early stages of a defining moment in regional history. Miller, Ratner, Madden and Hagan are front and center in an unprecedented fleecing of the public, which has been structured so strategically that there will be no public oversight or recourse over construction or operation of the publicly funded facility, among many other concerns. From the PD article "Medical mart's cost jumps $136 million, tax revenue estimate rises $90 million"..."Hagan said commissioners won't approve construction contracts in the medical mart/convention center deal. MMPI will award that work privately, based on an agreement reached with the county in March." How convenient... and then Chief County Administrator Madden, who orchestrated that deal while working for the public, is now working for the MedCon, controlling the checkbook of public funds from the private side of things. I assume the FBI will get around to this sooner than later... before bonds are floated... the taxes are flowing...

Disrupt IT

interesting juxtaposition of stories

This story runs today in the PD - Moreland Courts' posh living spaces are timeless by Evelyn Theiss. In the story, she mentions the exclusive nature of the Courts,


"If you lived at Moreland Courts in the 1930s, '40s or '50s, you didn't have to mix it up with the hoi polloi at a gas station: A valet would fill your tank from the Sohio pump in the basement garage. You'd never run into your live-in servants on the passenger elevators, because they'd take the service elevators. You wouldn't even have to go outdoors to dine at the Shaker Tavern at the Square -- a long hallway and a special key would get you in.
That's the signature experience Moreland Courts, which arose in the late 1920s, offered. By design, the luxurious apartment complex emanated a mystique. If you were welcome to live at Moreland Courts in the 1930s, you'd know about it. Otherwise, there wasn't so much as an exterior sign naming the edifice you were gazing upon."


You so didn't have to mix it up with the hoi polloi - you didn’t even have to see a Jew. According to this story about Nina Gibans (Art is life for advocate and author Nina Gibans by Marilyn H. Karfeld) in the Cleveland Jewish News, Jews and Catholics were not allowed to live there.
"Her mid-century condominium building, she notes, was reportedly built for those banned from The Moreland Courts apartments across the street on Shaker Boulevard. Restrictive covenants in Shaker Heights, dating to the Van Sweringen brothers, who founded the suburb, prohibited owners from selling or renting to Jews or Catholics."


Also in the press this weekend is a story about the closed off nature of the MedCon to be built at Tower City. The medical equipment purchasers who will flock to Northeast Ohio will not have to mix it up with the hoi polloi either. They will have "gerbil tubes" to move from one sanitized building in Cleveland to the next. Like the rich folks who support the shows at Playhouse Square, their experience can avoid city streets and sidewalks altogether.

Convention center and medical mart at Tower City is no cause for rejoicing -- Steven Litt commentary

“The report released yesterday by civic leaders who recommended the Tower City location said that an efficient system of walkways "would be the only one in the country that could allow the business traveler from the airport to come directly to the new convention/medical mart complex and related amenities without confronting a challenging climate at any time during the year."

"Hotels, restaurants, museums, office buildings and other amenities" would be connected, the report said. The links would include a pedestrian connector from Tower City to East Fourth Street, cutting over Euclid Avenue and smacking into the facade of the historic Arcade building, recently renovated as a Hyatt Hotel.

That's a nightmarish thought. Take one of the city's most beautiful buildings and poke a gerbil tube into its facade.

Other connectors would link Tower City to the Warehouse District. The report doesn't say so, but such a link would have to cut over or under Superior Avenue. Why that would be better than simply walking across the street is a mystery.

The report says that the objective of the connector system is to ensure that new visitors can "move to and fro among a series of buildings and amenities in downtown without needing to traverse long distances out of doors."

In other words, you'll never have to set foot on a city street.

That's a prescription for a socially stratified downtown where visitors are separated from locals and where street-level retailers are starved of traffic. 

"You won't have to deal with (black people) or poor people," said Hunter Morrison, who served as the city's planning director in the 1980s and '90s. "It's a well-known fact that these overhead or underground walkways provide for economic segregation and take street life off the street."

Morrison said such proposals were rejected in the 1980s by an earlier generation of civic leaders. But the dream of a sanitized city connected by indoor walkways is back."


We have funded the “Health Line” effectively killing most businesses on Euclid Avenue through a construction schedule that has ground on at a glacial pace. The RTA project has “scoured the street” like a big rainfall unimpeded scours a brook taking all life with it. Now we will devise appropriate experiences for visitors. We have scoured the Public Square (no feeding the homeless there). We have removed children from Tower City and have posted “Family Friendly” shopping hours.  What’s the next advent in this discriminatory design, eh? Will one have to travel to Beachwood to set eyes on a Jew? Will overhead and tunnel walkways be filled with people of one color? Does downtown now aspire to be similar to the sprawling Cleveland Clinic campus with the inside-outsideness feel one experiences while passing through on Carnegie Avenue? As one drives or walks or cycles through the Clinic Campus there is a pervasive knowledge that here is a place of disaffection (as Eliot puts it so succinctly in Burnt Norton III).


So I ask again, who are we designing for? And further, if businesses run by blacks, Jews and Catholics, Armenians, Iranians, Indians, Pakistanis (you get the picture) are not to be visited by the expected influx of travelers, why should these folks pay tax to support this very private enterprise? A public private partnership indeed! The private sector benefits in their castles surrounded by moats while the public sector steps and fetches the supper, draws the bath and shines their shoes.  Shall we bend over farther? When do we get to stop with all the bowing and scraping? Clearly the “if you build it, they will come” remains to be seen, but in the meantime the question persists in my mind, “who are we designing for?” Who will serve and who will eat?