Thursday, October 20, 2016

Campaign Watch Update: Strickland-Portman debate in Cleveland tonight; Candidate forum in Glenville

Third And Final Portman-Strickland Debate for Ohio U.S. Senate tonight
Debate to be broadcast on radio and television throughout the state
The third and final debate between U.S. Senate candidates Rob Portman and Ted Strickland takes place at 7pm tonight at the Idea Center at Playhouse Square. The debate is sponsored by The City Club of Cleveland.
Media partners are WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN ideastream in Cleveland, WEWS in Cleveland and WCPO in Cincinnati. Moderators are Karen Kasler of the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau and Danita Harris of WEWS. The debate will originate from ideastream studios at the Idea Center and be broadcast by television and radio stations across Ohio. Tickets to the event sold out within hours of its announcement. 
The debate will air live, without commercials, from 7 to 8 p.m. on these television and radio stations across Ohio:
         WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN ideastream (Cleveland) – Live stream at
         WEWS (Cleveland) – Live stream at
         WYTV (Youngstown)
         WNEO Fusion Channel (Alliance/Youngstown)
         89.7 WKSU (Kent)                                                                      
         C-SPAN (National) – Live stream at
In addition, the Ohio Channel will air the debate on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 10 p.m.
The audience will be made up of community members and supporters of both candidates. Some audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions. The candidates squared off in two earlier debates: Oct. 14 in Youngstown and Oct. 17 in Columbus.
The Cleveland debate is the only one carried live across multiple platforms throughout Ohio between these candidates.
“This is one of the races the entire nation is watching, and we feel privileged that the citizens of Ohio, the campaigns and our partners are entrusting us with this important responsibility,” said City Club CEO Dan Moulthrop. “We’re looking forward to an engaging and fair debate.”
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Local Candidates forum in Glenville tonight

County Councilwoman Yvonne M. Conwell and Cleveland Ward 9 Councilman Kevin Conwell are co-hosting a Candidates Forum tonight at True Vine Baptist Church, 711 East 105 Street. The public is invited.

The following candidates have confirmed their attendance:

Judge Steve Gall, Common Pleas Court; Judge Diane Palos and Judge Francine Goldberg of the Common Pleas Court, Domestic Relations Division; Kelly Ann Gallagher, Sherrie Miday, and Andrea Nelson Moore, each of whom is seeking election to Common Pleas Court; County Councilman Anthony Hairston; and Meryl Johnson, candidate for the State Board of Education.

Other candidates may appear as well.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT's DEBATE • Cleveland Heads to World Series

I was a 19-year-old college sophomore majoring in political science when I learned to recognize a certain kind of b.s. I wasn't a serious student at the time but I did habitually keep up on current affairs. I was an avid reader of the weekly newsmagazines — Newsweek, Time, US News & World Report — the New York Times and the local Philadelphia Bulletin. I was well armed to defend my opinions in the debates about the world that college students engage with gusto.

One of my roommates — the starting halfback on our mediocre football team — regularly throttled my arguments in our debates by his uncanny use of statistics. He could always take the wind out of my sails by referencing irrefutably numbers like 67% of this or 73% of that. My shoulders would shrink as my arguments bumped against the stony force of his numerical fortress.

Halfway through football season, it dawned on me that, unlike our more scholarly roommates — Doug and Wilbur — Toby seldom could be found with his nose in a book, much less any source of facts that could back his positions. When I began to challenge Toby to cite his sources he would feign loss of memory or retreat into ambiguity. Gaining the upper hand, I relentlessly pounded him to cite even one source.

Finally, one day Toby collapsed in paroxysms of sheepish laughter when forced to admit that his vaunted stats were all concocted. The four of us celebrated his tattered charade with some suds at the local pub.

Toby was a sweet and amiable guy, literally a Philadelphia Quaker, who is unbelievably close to becoming the next president of the United States. But I think of him whenever I listen to his characterological antithesis: the ignorant, immoral, unethical, unhinged, New York charlatan whose braggadocio would put even Art Modell to shame.

According to this celebrity telemarketer, everything President Obama or Hillary Clinton have done is a "disaster", an utter failure, and “the worst in history". Every country in the world is beating us in trade. Nobody respects us. Our generals suck. Crime is at historic highs. Our inner cities uniformly suck. Life has never been worse for African Americans. The Chinese and Mexicans outsmart us daily and will soon overrun the country. Unless radical foreign terrorists beat them to it.

Only the Great Telemarketer can save us! Want proof? He has built a Great Company! (Don't mention the multiple bankruptcies, failed casinos — how can you lose your shirt running a casino? — or ask to see his tax returns!) He knows more about ISIS than the generals. He will restore law and order. He will hire the best the people to run the government. (No other president has ever thought of that.) He will bring jobs, jobs, jobs to all of us who need them. And he's gonna build us a huge horizontal tower that somebody else will pay for.

And nobody respects women more than he does. Because he has a big brain.

This stuff is all so clear that the telemarketer doesn't need to cite a single statistic, much less offer a plan. His greatness is so evident, as attested to by Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, Don King, and Pastor Darrell Scott, that only the vastest of conspiracies — comprised of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and elected officials in thousands of jurisdictions — could deny him coronation as King, er, president of the United States.

Donald Trump's political career began with his leading the birther movement, a bogus and bigoted dog-whistle assault upon the legitimacy of Barack Obama's citizenship status. His biography claims graduation from a prep military academy (five military deferments for the star athlete) and the University of Pennsylvania. But I suspect his resume omits his true place of higher learning: the Barnum and Bailey School of Fake, Fear, and Fool from which he undoubtedly graduated summa cum sleazy.

• • •

The Cleveland Indians won the American League pennant in Toronto yesterday afternoon, defeating the Blue Jays behind a rookie pitcher's splendid effort, some timely hitting, and baseball's best bullpen.

I didn't want the accomplishment to go unmentioned here, notwithstanding our muted enthusiasm for the team due to its horrid racist mascot, which represents in our view a narrow-minded clinging to offensive traditionalism evocative of the Confederate flag symbolizes to the South.

Apart from that, we share delight in the team's success. For those of you who will be jumping on the bandwagon for the World Series ride, we thought we'd share what we said leading up to the playoffs about the reasons for the team's success to some of our foreign correspondents stationed in places like Maine, Florida, Washington DC, and Seattle, WA.

First and foremost, the Indians are where they are because of a guy who can no longer run, throw, hit or catch. Manager Tito Francona, besides having a deep understanding and love for the game, has uncommon leadership skills that makes all his players focus on team goals as opposed to individual ones. His players have all bought in, which means they stay focused and persevere no matter the obstacles. Guys stay ready and confident, and step up to perform when called upon.

Ups and downs are inevitable in a long season. Francona has kept his guys on an even keel and a steady march. He has a track record of success in this that commands respect. No current manager has a better post-season record, which includes a fabulous 8-0 World Series record.

Add to this the fact that is difficult to name the one indispensable player on the team. It's easy to say Andrew Miller, the mid-season acquisition who was named MVP of the American League Championship Series. But where would the team be without, in no particular order, Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis, Corey Kluber, Carlos Santana, Rajai Davis, Jose Ramirez, Mike Napoli, Coco Crisp, Cody Allen, Brian Shaw, Dan Otero, and on and on. Every one of these guys has had bad games, days, or mini-slumps. But their teammates have consistently picked them up. You never know who will be the hero on any given day. It's no longer a surprise when it turns out to be Tyler Naquin or Ryan Merritt.

Individually, the team has only one everyday superstar, the shortstop Lindor, and he is just budding. But collectively, they have the best infield in the League, with bat or glove, the best manager, the best bullpen, and the best base running, a bona fide ace in Kluber, and a lineup where any spot one through nine can deliver the clutch hit or the sacrifice bunt. They have a bunch of guys who believe in each other and their leader. And they have home field advantage backed by Cavaliers momentum. They may be underdogs to whoever emerges from the Dodgers-Cubs series, but they have the best chance to win a World Series since 1954. And Willie Mays has retired.

Go Cleveland!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Today in Cleveland: George Fraser; Michel Martin

The Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation is continuing its evolution as a vital contributor to Greater Cleveland’s civic space with the BPACF with its launch of the BPACF Leadership Speaker Series. The series debuted last month featuring a presentation by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson at Burke Lakefront Airport.

George Fraser
The series continues tonight with a talk by George Fraser, an expert on marketing and networking. George’s digital rolodex is likely second to none in the black community nationwide. [The President doesn’t need one.] Young professionals in particular should make an effort to attend tonight’s talk, also at Burke, on making connections that lead to enrichment, advancement & opportunity. The program starts at 6:00 PM. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased here.

Also scheduled as part of the series are Alexandria Johnson Boone (January 31, 2017); Dr. Charles Modlin (April 25, 2017); Carole F. Hoover (July 18, 2017); Randell McShepard (October 24, 2017); and Michael R. White (January 30, 2018).
• • •

NPR’s Michel Martin in town tonight for a conversation on Race, Trust, and ‘Going There’

Also tonight, Michel Martin, weekend host of All Things Considered on NPR, will lead an evening of conversation, storytelling and performance around the often taboo topic of race in America.

Michel Martin
The program is a collaborative effort of NPR and ideastream to engage Greater Clevelanders in a conversation that explores how race affects our lives today through the prism of specific issues in Northeast Ohio. Attendees will have the chance to address questions they've always wondered about, but have been afraid to ask or have not had the opportunity to ask.

The 90-minute program will be a news-driven storytelling live event, accented by a musical and/or theatrical performance. This event will not be radio playing out on stage. Rather it will be a dynamic, interactive live experience where the issue is analyzed through the narrative and dialogue of people who are living it.

The program is sold out but can be livestreamed on Facebook beginning at 7PM. More information about the program is available here.