The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on September 28, 1991 · Page 8
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September 28, 1991

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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 8

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Saturday, September 28, 1991
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A-8Comment THE CINCINNATI ENQl'IRF.R Saturday, September 28, 1991 THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER WILLIAM J, KEATING Chairman and Publisher GEORGE R. BLAKE Editor, Vice President THOMAS E. DUNNING Managing Editor THOMAS S. GEPHARDT Associate Editor DARRYL W. EVERETT Vice President, Advertising WILLIAM R. JOHNSTON Vice President, Circulation MARK S. MIKOLAJCZYK Vice President, Production JAMES A. SCHWARTZ Vice President, Finance GERALD T. SILVERS Vice President, Marketing Services I knrwj ttie Mideast peace conference Included entertainment!,.. A Gannett Newspaper Cincinnati schools Vocational education warrants a few improvements right away ' i Charter Party is here to stay should use these measurements for placing vocational students. Those who will not learn or observe the rules have no more place in vocational education than in an honors program. They have problems that must be solved before they are ready for any classroom. A core academic curriculum ought to be an absolute requirement. New federal regulations will require that vocational students take more academic subjects. But new regulations should not have been necessary. No graduate should be sent into the working world without the ability to read, write and do basic arithmetic. Prodded by Buenger Commission recommendations, CPS is studying its vocational program. The district is looking for ways to work closely with business and industry so that students are taught methods and processes that will serve them in the work place. But even while such details are being worked out, the schools can begin making improvements in core curriculum and the way vocational education is regarded. Vocational students are an important resource in an increasingly technical job market. The schools must begin to treat them as such. Vocational education has been named as an area of concern for the Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS). But this should not suggest that the schools ought to get out of vocational training. Rather, it means there is a genuine need for changes. The most disturbing charge that can be made against a voc-ed program has been brought against CPS specifically, that the program too often has been treated as an educational backwater. Elementary pupils who fail academic subjects, present disciplinary problems, or have high rates of absenteeism, tend to be directed into vocational programs. Also, there is evidence that vocational students do not receive an adequate foundation in the academic subjects that every high school graduate should have mastered. To correct these troubles, attitudes must change. For starters, voc-ed programs should not have second-class status in the schools. Somewhere along the line, the idea that every kid should have a chance to go to college became every kid should go to college. That's just not right. Nor should vocational programs become the last refuge for failing students and discipline problems. The schools are equipped to measure each student's interests and aptitudes and rule with minority representation. Charter stands for open and honest government. To help make that principle a reality, we hold open meetings every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. Our council members and candidates attend these meetings and talk with us about current issues facing the city. In addition, we occasionally have special guests to talk f ' -lei k ,. .- BY DENNIS L. HICKS Guest Columnist I read with amazement, humor and strong disagreement Robert Clerc's column of Sept. 3, which he asks, "Can Charter Survive Another Election?" As Mr. Clerc points out, this question "regularly comes up during city council campaigns." I am amazed and amused that Mr. Clerc and others continue to raise the same question year after year. How many times must they receive the same answer before they get the message? Like it or not, Charter is here to stay because it represents ideals which a large number of Cincinnatians support. It seems odd that Charter's mortality is questioned when it maintains nearly 25 of the seats on city council. This is particularly strange when one considers that the Democratic Party has been a mere facade in countywide elections for decades, yet its existence is never questioned. Blocking the way Those who question the need for an organization like Charter do so for one reason. Charter stands in the way of their Republican friends buying their way into control of city council just as they've done at the Hamilton County Courthouse. Charter is not anti-Republican. In fact, many of the best Charterites vote Republican in state and national elections. Neither is Charter anti-Democrat. Just as many Charterites vote as Democrats or Independents, too. Charter is, however, anti-one-party rule and anti-political-party control. The horrible mess in Hamilton County government is the direct result of years of one-party rule. It doesn't matter that it is the Republican Party in control of Hamilton County. The same result occurs in other parts of the country when the Democrats are in complete control. "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." The current situation in Hamilton County is strongly reminiscent of the situation in Cincinnati during the 1920s. Corruption, inefficiency and incompetence in the machine-ruled city government made the need for Charter undeniable. That need is just as great today as it was then. Politicians throughout the world and here at home haven't become Campaign spending Data for recent Ohio races show that costs are rising too rapidly It is inevitable, and not absolutely wrong, that the costs of political campaigning keep rising. What is unsettling is the recent rapid rate of increase. Something must be done by public officials and the major parties to draft reasonable restraints. The other day, Ohio Secretary of State Robert A. Taft II released campaign spending by candidates for five of the state's top offices, including governor, during the last three campaigns. The increase is staggering. In 1982 total campaign spending for the five offices was $11 million, with most Robert $7.9 million going in the gover- nor's race. Last year, with no incumbent running for governor, the numbers shot up to $28.7 million and $16 million respectively, more than double the 1982 amounts. Nor is the escalating spending limited to executive-branch offices. Mr. Taft reported significant increases in campaign spending for most state judicial and legislative offices, as well. The data show it takes takes huge sums to challenge an incumbent, let alone defeat him. The cost of a cam- LA about other topics of interest (i.e., the schools, the Metropolitan Sewer District, tax levies, etc.) These meetings are free and open to the public. People are turned off by the so-called "two-party system." Charter offers Cincinnatians a true alternative to the tired old "politics as usual" of the Democrats and Republicans. Why does the average citizen not participate in the body politic as before? Is it because no one cares whether hard-earned tax dollars are spent efficiently? Or is it because there is no concern fof the community in which our children are raised? Absolutely not! Rather, people believe politicians are more concerned with what political party bosses think than what the voters think. Charter is the hope of all those who feel government should be responsive to the needs of the citizens instead of the political parties. Oldest in country Charter is the oldest politically active reform movement in the country perhaps the world. International attention has been focused on Cincinnati as a result. Charter is independent of any national political party. Decisions which affect local issues are made by local citizens. Since our focus is strictly local, Charterites view city council as a place for public service and not a stepping stone in a political career. In answer to Mr. Clerc's question, I will paraphrase Mark Twain, "The news of our death is greatly exaggerated." Charter is a permanent force in Cincinnati due to its broad-based support. It's time Mr. Clerc and others face that fact and get on with helping Charter improve our government in Cincinnati. Dennis L. Hicks is executive director of the Charter Committee. was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Yes, FDR went on in 1934 to endorse a bank guarantee of $2,500. That wouldn't have led to the S&L scandals. But watch! Under Truman (1950), it was raised to $10,000. Under LBJ (1966), $15,000; under Nixon (1969), $20,000; under Ford (1974), $40,000; and under Carter (1980), $100,000. That is when the big money brokers moved in, and of course the S&Ls that offered the highest interest were those nearest to insolvency, but what did the money brokers have to lose? It was the joint responsibility of the Reagan administration and the Democratic Congress to do something about it. So they failed, and the biggest bankruptcy in the history of money was the result. Repeal in order But George McGovern doesn't know, nor did his adversary, why that $100,000 is still there. Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady, front and center: Why have you not recommended to President Bush that that atrocity be repealed? Though George McGovern is canny and shrewd, he is the genuine son of his Methodist parents, seeking to infuse the Beatitudes into public policy, and refusing to understand the great social negations incarnated in the collapse of the Berlin Wall. William F. Buckley Jr. is a New York-based author, editor and syndicated X Dennis L. Hicks ... a third political force needed any more honest or trustworthy in the last 70 years. The need for an independent watchdog is so great that if Charter did not exist, citizens would insist on creating it. Some are concerned that the presence of Charter as a third political force sometimes makes quick decisions difficult. To this charge, we happily plead guilty. Italy's brutal dictator, Benito Mussolini, made the trains run on time, but his was hardly a government any of us would choose for ourselves. A well-thought-out decision is often superior to a hastily made one. Democracy is sloppy at times. Charles P. Taft said, "The solution to the problems of democracy is more democracy." Just as there is diversity in the population of Cincinnati, there should be diversity in the make-up of city council. Not only diversity in terms of demographics, (race, age, gender, etc.), but diversity of political opinion, as weil. Charter is on the leading edge of promoting diversity on city council and fairness in the political process. Our long-standing support of proportional representation (PR) is an example of this. Under PR, constituencies will gain representation in proportion to their voting strength. Proportional representation promotes the fundamental principle of our representative democracy: majority William F. Buckley Jr. wishes he hadn't said that, just as he rather wishes he hadn't recommended in 1975 that we send the Marines to Cambodia to do something about the Khmer Rouge. George McGovern isn't running for public office, but he is not going to lose his portfolio as crown prince of American liberalism. One of the students rose to say that if he would change his mind about running, an army of young people would rise to carry him to the White House. But of course he had heard that song before. Oh, he is most unforgiving about the greed and executive neglect that have added the burden of the savings-and-loan (S&L) crisis to the nation's budget burden. It was laxity in the regulators under Ronald Reagan that caused it all that and, of course, the greed of big business. Which brings to mind something said in 1933: "As to guaranteeing bank deposits, the minute the government starts to do that ... the government runs into a probable loss. We do not wish to make the United States government liable for the mistakes and errors of individual banks, and put a premium on sound banking in the future." Who said that? I want $5 from each of you who experiences primordial joy on learning that it per McGovern lingers in the past paign for Cincinnati council has cracked the six-figure mark To some extent, this is to be expected. Political campaigning, while not exactly high-tech, uses modern communications technology to reach the greatest number of people. That kind of saturation coverage requires expert direction, and that costs money. But a candidate cannot be faulted for trying to get his message out. The time for concern begins when campaign costs mount so rapidly that many prospective candidates are Taft denied access to the process simply because they cannot raise the Kino: ot tunaing needed to mount a credible campaign. Even worse, candidates may be forced to seek contributions with special-interest strings attached, just to be competitive. Campaign spending is an integral part of our open political process. But Mr. Taft's data shows a clear need for even-handed reform. The major parties ought to cooperate in seeking answers. The matter is much to important to be sacrificed in a fight for political advantage. "The Game" itself will match two resurgent teams. Visiting Miami (2-1) is unbeaten in Mid-American Conference games and would be 3-0 except for a heartbreaking 23-20 loss to the favored University of Kentucky. UC will be looking for its first victory after opening losses to national pow ers Penn State and North Carolina and a tough near miss last week at Bowling Green. Anyway, records don't count for much in "The Game." Both coaches say it is as important as any game they will play this year. "The Game" is going to be good. It 'The Game' A great college gridiron rivalry returns to Clifton campus today At 68, George McGovern is spry, resourceful, endearing and unreformed. He will tell you that for those who have been nominated for the presidency and lost, political life is just a little lackluster, and the longing is hard to quell to try it one more time, which is why he very nearly did so, deciding only two months ago to forgo the race. When considering another go, McGovern had said publicly, "In my soul, I know my qualifications for the presidency wisdom, wit, historical perspective, toughness are better at 68 than at 48." Inviting his opponent to remark that nobody could disagree with that statement. How could it be otherwise? Reminder of mortality " A sickness, happily minor, affected his decision not to run, but that sickness, he told the students of the University of Florida, did remind him of his mortality. A demon brought to mind the comment made by the pious Spanish guide when asked 30 years ago how was life in Seville, now that Cardinal Segura had died? She answered that on dying, "Cardinal Segura and we passed on to a better world." The populist intellectual (George McGovern is a Ph.D. who went from a professorship to politics) is most fearfully aroused by the budget deficit, although he does not welcome being reminded that in 1983 when he saw the size of the deficit he called for "a cap on Medicare and Social Security payments, absolutely no rise for three or four years until we get the cap under control." One has the impression he rather They've called it "The Game" for a lot of years. That's a fitting name for the gridiron rivalry between the University of Cincinnati Bearcats and Miami Redskins. And today's game has the added significance of being the first played in the refurbished Nippert Stadium. Phase I of the $13.5 million renovation is finished. Work began in the summer of 1990 on a two-phase program to restore the 67-year-old stadium. The renovation was a good decision because it maintained a tradition by keeping football on campus. Going elsewhere for "home" games just would not be the same. ; 1 oughta be a sellout. i -I X X

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