August 17th, 2017

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What’s wrong with the Plain Dealer?

The city’s leading media voice has failed to even comment once editorially on the Ohio Supreme Court decision on the signatures of more than 20,000 voters. The Court validated the necessity for the City of Cleveland to examine the signatures for a vote on the Quicken Arena deal.

You would think that the number twenty thousand might wake someone up.

Not when they’re uninterested. And the PD management is surely unconcerned. Democracy is low on its list.

The city’s refusal to count submitted votes was clearly corrupt. Only about one-third of signatures would have to be validated for an election on the massive public subsidy of the arena.

It was clearly an obligation of City Hall.

To fail to comment editorially, the PD shows a serious lack of responsibility and bad journalistic judgment.

The newspaper willingly let the guilty go free of even criticism.

Why is the newspaper unable to comment critically on business and the corporate agenda? Where is its independence?

For months the newspaper used the fat face and body of Jimmy Dimora, former County Commissioner, as an easy target. Front pages splashed as if the paper uncovered corruption, not the FBI. Easy toughness.

It wanted to show its relevance, its power. But now?

It ignores the legal corruption that rots our civic life.

Voting in a democracy supposedly is a basic right.

But not on some touchy issues, says the PD by omission. Why?

Elizabeth Sullivan, editorial editor, George Rodrigue, PD editor, and Chris Quinn are collaborators in this injustice. By silence, they gag the people.

They gave the finger to more than 20,000 Cleveland voters.

They continue to diss them by playing games with the politicians and business leaders to impede a timely vote.

Instead, Quinn gives us the Plain Dealer as concerned about young blacks with a social service form of journalism that doesn’t quite go far enough.

They are instead testing new internet toys rather than really attacking poverty. They have the nerve to label this project “A Greater Cleveland,” aiming “to lift up kids in poverty.”

The social worker journalism doesn’t deal with real major issues and causes that now wrack the nation—racism and poverty.

Reporters should be unleashed to examine inequality run rampant here. That would mean confronting people and institutions. Not on the agenda.

When you ignore where assets of the city and county are going this internet attention to children is just static in the debate of how and for whom public decisions are being made.

One touching story told is about a family buying a table so that all the children and mom can eat together. However, what didn’t get attention was the cost of the payment for the table on credit. That’s a typical cost of poverty for struggling families.

Nor did the issue of obvious racial segregation get attention, a major cost of poverty related to education, jobs and other living conditions.

Let’s be clear.

The PD, along with Mayor Jackson, Council President Kevin Kelley and his aide Pat Britt, former councilwoman, all conspired to delay as long as they could the counting of the 20,000 plus petitions.

Delay was a clear strategy. The PD made believe it never noticed.

The Ohio Supreme Court too delayed its decision. It waited until time was running out for getting the matter to voters this year. It had to know what it was doing.

Now, these same forces have made it likely impossible – without some unseen event—to have any vote on the massive subsidy of owner Dan Gilbert—until AFTER the mayor election.

They have succeeded.

They also want to blame the people who collected the signatures as responsible for the $750,000 possible cost of a separate election.

This has been the purpose all along. To allow Jackson to run without voters executing their democratic right to voice decide on tens of millions of subsidies to the Cavs’ owner.

Delay of justice is always considered denial of justice.

The newspaper obviously has chosen Jackson for re-election. Thus this sickening assistance.

So, the Jackson administration—guilty.

City Council & its leader Kevin Kelley—guilty.

Ohio Supreme Court—guilty.

Elizabeth Sullivan—guilty.

George Rodrigue—guilty.

Chris Quinn—guilty.

All guilty. The only way to save this fiasco is for voters in September to dump Mayor Jackson and vote a two-way general election runoff between Jeff Johnson and Zach Reed.

And then, the winner must tell County Executive Armond Budish—no Q deal.

Build it yourself Gilbert.

And to the County—forget about issuing the $140-million in three sets of bonds for this dirty deal.

And the new mayor should start day one with first on its agenda: New leases with all three major league teams that start with all of them paying full 100 percent property taxes.

That would be the best social program to help the Cleveland schools and all those young children who need to be cared about and for.

By Roldo Bartimole…

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