East CLE and the great land grab

Submitted by lmcshane on Mon, 02/17/2014 - 14:09.

 I suggest that everyone in Northeast Ohio - join Facebook and friend Eric Jonathon Brewer for an understanding of the land grab machine- and how Gary Norton played into their game: 

 

I got council in 2009 to pass the toughest "Vacant Property Registration Ordinance" in the nation. It's still on the books but the idiot didn't enforce it. We expected to knock off $250,000 the first year and the money was starting to roll in before I left. Gary, in his second council meeting in 2010, said he wasn't enforcing it. The second year we expected to reach $500,000 and $1 million by year three. 



The law basically requires vacant property owners to register their vacant property in their names, and if a corporation, the personal addresses of the officers. It includes banks, third party tax lien buyers, HUD and individual investors. None of this buy and hold shit. You either buy and get it ready to rent or sale or pay annual fees that start at $250 the first year, $500 the second year, $1000 the third year and so forth. That's an example of city government dealing with a blight problem and making cash at the same time. The ordinance has been in effect since 2009. It's a first degree misdemeanor. If there's a vacant and unattended property in East Cleveland in 2014 the city has a right to prosecute the property owner. That's fucking money in the bank, but letting Gary spend it would be EXTREMELY stupid.-

The above information is excerpted from a longer post - but NOTE -it provides a Vacant Property Solution that actually makes money rather than taking from taxpayers. Whole post reprinted below:

 

I'm adjusting my estimate about the city of East Cleveland's date with missing a payroll. I've not yet confirmed but my inside sources told me that the finance director was barely able to scrape up enough cash to meet the most recent payroll. I've been predicting a missed payroll around May or June 2014. Insiders are predicting the day may come sooner. Mayor Gary Norton has no money in the bank to pay any of the city's other bills.



I'll share some insights about municipal finances. I'm going off my recollection and will give you a general sketch. 

The number one source of a city's revenue is in the municipal income tax. East Cleveland's is 2.5 percent. Many Ohio cities are around 1 to 2 percent. The Cuyahoga County cities with the highest municipal income tax rate are Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Moreland Hills, Solon, East Cleveland ... y'all get the picture? 

Around, and I'm estimating, 60 percent of a city's annual budget comes from the municipal income tax. It's the same in East Cleveland, Cleveland everywhere else. With a municipal income tax rate that's the equivalent of the wealthier cities I identified, East Cleveland residents and the employees who work in the city are taxed enough to take care of all its needs. That is if they pay. 

East Cleveland's unemployment rate is around 25 percent and the poverty rate is about 40 percent. Unlike the other cities, the amount of revenue East Cleveland city hall can generate in tax dollars is determined by the size of the annual salaries of its residents. More higher income residents, more dollars. More lower income residents, fewer dollars. That's how it works.

Another 15 percent or so of the city's budget comes from property taxes, and again I'm estimating. School districts get the bulk of the property tax money at around 65 percent. The county also gets about 15 percent of property tax money. Cities get a piece of the state sales tax, county sales tax, local sales tax, gasoline tax, hotel tax, restaurant tax, alcohol tax, tobacco tax and then they get a state income tax kickback in the form of a "local government revenue fund." When I was mayor I believe the amount was around $3.5 million. So again, higher property values more money to the city, and more services to the residents. Higher incomes residents don't cost as much in police and fire manpower. You don't have to keep sending cops to deal with the same bad-assed people over and over again. Higher income residents don't call EMS instead of going to the emergency room. They don't have as many fires. So mayors in those towns get to build some nice shit, like water parks and amphitheaters. That's how it works.

I'm going to also share a little about the city's sales tax rate, which I don't remember. Here's what those dumb asses Gary Norton led when he was president of council didn't understand that I was trying to get them to understand. Do you know how many people travel through East Cleveland daily? For a residential community? Millions! Why do you think Happy's chose East Cleveland? 80 bus lines go through East Cleveland. That's one third of RTA's entire system. The two largest lines are in East Cleveland with about 265,000 and around 450,000 daily travelers. Look at all the folk who live in all the suburbs and neighborhoods who have to come here and buy gasoline. Add something to the gasoline tax. Add a one fucking percent local sales tax on every purchase and the city's coffers will fill up in less than five years! 

Auditor of State David Yost, Sharon Hanrahan who chairs the financial planning and supervision commission understand it. It's basic business. All the so-called bureaucratic brainpower that consists of Gary's management team, some with as many as 20 years in public service, still don't understand THIS conversation! Here's what I heard from them niggas on council. "OH. But poor people ain't got no money. They'll have to pay too." 

Cities like East Cleveland, Cleveland and others have what is called "enterprise funds." Enterprise funds are the dollars the city picks up by selling water, sewer and electricity services to residents. There are other enterprise funds. Building permit fees. Occupancy permit fees. Sign fees. Fees for park usage. Fees for using the Helen S. Brown Center or the Martin Luther King Civic Center. The city can create enterprise funds. The primary duty of any city council, and it's in the goddamned charter, is to "prepare the city for prosperity."

Grant funds are available from the state and federal government for additional services. East Cleveland and other urban cities, particularly those with a poverty core, receive federal grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). East Cleveland's annual block grant allocation was about $2.5 million. By the time I arrived, and when I met with Secretary of HUD Alphonso Jackson and 16 of his top directors in D.C., block grant problems dated back to 1972. Contact Community Planning & Development Field Office Director Joregelle Lawson at the Columbus HUD office and make a Freedom of Information Request for all of the city's audits, monitoring reports, findings for recovery, etc. (614) 469-5737 ext. 8240 is her number. Her E-mail: Jorgelle [dot] Lawson [at] hud [dot] gov She doesn't play games and is good people. She's done her best to help the city through its CDBG struggles.

When I arrived in city hall, and I don't have my budgets in front of me, I think I was managing about $24 to $27 million a year for the first two years. The number dropped by a few million dollars after Mayor Frank Jackson and I were authorized by our two city councils to let the bigger city run our water department. I'm thinking, and I'm going off recollection, I might have handled around $21 million after the water department was gone. This year's budget is down to $11 million and Auditor of State David Yost says that's too high. Gary is still spending like I was spending but he doesn't have the money. He also wasn't going after the money like I was. That's one of the reasons the city is fucked up.

The biggest problem is that Gary isn't a business person and voters have not elected business minded people on council. He's never been an entrepreneur. His entire career has been as a very low level bureaucrat with no direct or indirect management authority. No one in his entire career ever trusted him enough to manage anything. Compare what I've shared above to his background. Letter writer for Cleveland Scholarship Foundation. Letter writer for Barbara Byrd Bennett. Administrative assistant for Peter Lawson Jones for 8 years. Peter demoted him to the county's community development department where he was given the task to get 12 houses rehabbed. 

City hall is a business and it has to be run like a business. Gary treated it only as his personal piggybank.

Now here's where people get this mayor / council shit confused. When you read news clips you've got reporters talking about "powerful" mayors and all that kind of shit. Great adjectives, but the mayor's main duty is to manage the daily administrative affairs of the city in the manner specified in the charter, ordinances, administrative code, Ohio Revised Code, the United States Code, the Ohio Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. Anyone who tells you any goddamned differently doesn't know what the fuck they're talking about. Mayors don't have power only "duties." No politician is powerful. They all can be brought down.

Section 113(A) of East Cleveland's charter, and I have this ingrained in my brain, reads, "The mayor shall enforce the duly passed resolutions and ordinances of the council."

So when the council says collect for building fees, rubbish fees, occupancy permit fees, demolition fees, etc, the mayor has no choice but to collect the money. The mayor never has the authority not to do what council says when the majority include the word "shall" in legislation. It's a mandatory duty. The only permissive duty a mayor has is when council uses the word "may." Council also - through its ordinances and resolutions - puts a process in place to handle folk who don't pay. 

So what did Gary and his management team of dummies do for 4 years to get the city fucked up? None of the above. In his capacity as mayor, pursuant to Section 113(A), Gary did not "enforce the duly passed ordinances and resolutions of council." It's in the city's public records. Contact William Ellington, the clerk of the council, at 216-681-2310. Ask for all the minutes of council's meetings since January 1, 2010. His email address is wellington [at] eastcleveland [dot] org if Gary's paid the internet bill.

Here's what Gary did. He waived building permit fees for all the new construction that's taken place in East Cleveland. That means those folk still owe the city money. He doesn't have the authority to waive fees and if this council was smart they'd get an accounting of how much new construction has taken place, and how much that idiot illegally waived, and pass a resolution ordering his stupid ass to send notices to every business with a demand to pay up. This is where the conflicts come in. Tom Wheeler's now on council but he's got a trail of problems like the one's I'm about to describe below when he ran the building department for Gary.

Gary hasn't collected business occupancy permit fees or residential occupancy permit fees for the 75 percent of the city's population that is rental based. Gary let businesses put up signs without first obtaining permits and paying fees, which means those signs have to come down, the business owner has to apply, pay a fee, get the design approval of the architectural review board and then put up the sign. No lease agreement with any landlord supersedes an ordinance of council or an Ohio law. Doing that gives your city's business look a uniform feel. You don't have them "Mammy-made" signs making the city look trashy.

I got council in 2009 to pass the toughest "Vacant Property Registration Ordinance" in the nation. It's still on the books but the idiot didn't enforce it. We expected to knock off $250,000 the first year and the money was starting to roll in before I left. Gary, in his second council meeting in 2010, said he wasn't enforcing it. The second year we expected to reach $500,000 and $1 million by year three. 

The law basically requires vacant property owners to register their vacant property in their names, and if a corporation, the personal addresses of the officers. It includes banks, third party tax lien buyers, HUD and individual investors. None of this buy and hold shit. You either buy and get it ready to rent or sale or pay annual fees that start at $250 the first year, $500 the second year, $1000 the third year and so forth. That's an example of city government dealing with a blight problem and making cash at the same time. The ordinance has been in effect since 2009. It's a first degree misdemeanor. If there's a vacant and unattended property in East Cleveland in 2014 the city has a right to prosecute the property owner. That's fucking money in the bank, but letting Gary spend it would be EXTREMELY stupid.

There are other ways a city can generate revenue by leasing to cell phone tower companies and selling its "air space." What is "air space?" In developer terms ... high rises. Most of Euclid Avenue is zoned for less than three and four story buildings. Council can change zoning ordinances to allow developers to build "up." As an example, let's say we put four, 20 story hi-rise buildings between Euclid & E. 125th Street at the East Cleveland - Cleveland border. We then fill each building with 500 residents who's average annual wage is $50,000. That's 2000 new residents and $100 million in taxable income at 2.5 percent. For city hall that means $2.5 million in "additional" income tax revenue.

Now since you've got every business looking good because you got rid of those "Mammy made" signs, and they're all paying their fair share of taxes and fees, and providing services to those residents, the city picks up additional millions from just them living in its borders and spending a portion of their wages at local businesses.

All of East Cleveland's fees need to increase. Businesses, as I recall, paid an annual occupancy permit fee of $100. I don't think it's gone up since the 50's or 60's, maybe even sooner. That amount needs to easily be $350. Landlords are supposed to pay $10 per unit per year. That amount needs to be doubled or even tripled.

The problem, however, is that you can't charge folk if you don't manage the money and provide them with services. Gary is a complete fucking idiot and so are the idiots he hired and appointed. Mike Smedley and Collette Clinkscale are running around city hall and both are saying, "I'm the chief of staff." Chaos and confusion.

I tried to explain this shit to Gary when he was council president. I tried to explain it to Joy Jordan, Nathaniel Martin, Barbara Thomas, Mildred Brewer. They were my council. When you have people with a "poverty consciousness" leading a city council you are not going to have folk who understand how to plan for a town's prosperity. I tried to explain it to the residents. I'm not going to keep saying the same thing over and over again. I'm about to move on to another phase in my life, and the information I've been sharing with East Cleveland about East Cleveland is about to come to an end. Either you fucking get it or you don't. 

Barbara Thomas is a retired Metrohealth telephone operator. Nate Martin just got fired from a county job where he was basically a mail room guy for the Jane Edna Hunter Center. Brandon King and Thomas Wheeler could probably understand this shit if they put their attention to it and their ethics were right; but Brandon lied about living in East Cleveland to get on council, that shit is illegal. He's also a city contractor. In both of them I see just a continuation of the same old BS that's kept EC down. I think Mansell Baker is a college degreed security guard.

City hall is a business. Gary doesn't know how to run it like a business and council doesn't understand business. You get better people you get better results and right now EC is fucked.

And the last thing, and this bothers me to no end. Tom Paige Catering has been providing food to the city's detained citizens for at least 20 years. Those are black people you're feeding and taking care of in the city's jail, Gary, Judge Will Dawson, and they shouldn't have to eat and be treated like animals. The cycle breaking begins right where you have control and supervision. Do right by your people.

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Reprinted with permission- Jackson's cop problem

  Even the Plain Dealer won't give Jackson a pass on his recent cop shuffle - here's Eric Jonathon Brewer's take:

Okay. So now, "WE" got a new black police chief. Bust out the champagne and celebrate, because now black folk don't have to worry about being shot and killed by Cleveland cops anymore. All the police violations of civil rights are coming to an end. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Now the "new" black police chief is going to really, really deal with the 13 cops who shot and killed Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams behind Heritage Middle School in East Cleveland. I know y'all don't believe that shit.

Some of you may remember the stories I wrote about Zack Reed's OVI arrest and the cops who handled it last year. Contained in that story was a reference to a Euclid resident by the name of Jonathan Sledge, a black guy whose "lost" driver's license was used by Third District cops under Mayor Frank Jackson's new chief Calvin Williams' supervision to rent cars by vice cops investigating drug dealers. The cops Williams was supervising didn't just stop at stealing Sledge's identity. Brandon Bryson and Paul Reynolds had their identities stolen by cops Williams oversaw as well. 

Williams was the Third District's commander when the cops he supervised committed the identity fraud crimes against Sledge, Bryson and Reynolds. One of the guy's under his command was a Lt. Jerome Barrow. He's another black cop Mayor Frank Jackson promoted after a controversial career that consisted of excessive force accusations, assault and a robbery indictment.

I've read the entire 138 page internal affairs investigation of the controversy and have included a link for you to review it. It's sickening.

http://media.cleveland.com/metro/other/Barrow_IA-invest_2010.pdf

Cleveland cops George Redding, Anthony Spencer and John Foster were in the Third District's vice unit under Barrow's direct supervision. Williams was Barrow's boss. 

To carryout their investigative duties, the cops decided to rent cars to engage in surveillance activities. Instead of following the police department's procedures for renting cars, those under Williams oversight went to the lost driver's license bin. In that bin they found the drivers licenses of Sledge, Bryson and Reynolds and began renting cars in their names. Redding gave a statement that he thought he could break laws as a cop as long as it was for "law enforcement purposes." This dude is still on the job.

Sledge learned in 2010 after his car was impounded that he had a $122 red light camera ticket that came from a car he was supposed to have rented. He didn't rent the car and knew it, so he complained. That's when the bullshit the cops Williams was supervising unraveled.

The internal affairs investigators called it outright "identity fraud." No doubt about it. Read the law. ORC 2913.49 is a 5th degree felony. They should have been prosecuted.

"Identity fraud. (A) As used in this section, "personal identifying information" includes, but is not limited to, the following: the name, address, telephone number, driver's license, driver's license number, commercial driver's license, commercial driver's license number, state identification card, state identification card number, social security card, social security number, birth certificate, place of employment, employee identification number, mother's maiden name, demand deposit account number, savings account number, money market account number, mutual fund account number, other financial account number, personal identification number, password, or credit card number of a living or dead individual. (B) No person, without the express or implied consent of the other person, shall use, obtain, or possess any personal identifying information of another person with intent to do either of the following: (1) Hold the person out to be the other person; (2) Represent the other person's personal identifying information as the person's own personal identifying information."

Now if you can see that cops under Williams supervision committed "identity fraud," how the fuck did police chief Mike McGrath see it as "inappropriate conduct?"

Read the duties Ohio's lawmakers placed on cops under ORC 737.11.

"737.11 General duties of police and fire departments. The police force of a municipal corporation shall preserve the peace, protect persons and property, and obey and enforce all ordinances of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation, all criminal laws of the state and the United States..."

Cops must obey laws "before" they attempt to enforce them. Read it. It's in the goddamned Ohio Revised Code. There is no law anywhere in the USA that has been approved by congress or any general assembly that gives police officers immunity from being prosecuted for breaking laws they're first to obey.

Redding's statement claimed that vice cops under Williams and Barrow's supervision had a history of engaging in identity fraud to rent cars. 

Williams' wasn't interviewed by internal affairs, only the offending cops. But as the Third District's commander, it was his duty to ensure that police officers under his direct oversight were obeying laws and the police department's policies. 

From the perspective of the U.S. Department of Justice, under United States Code sections Title 18, 241 and 242, Williams should have had all four cops arrested. Criminal charges should have been filed against all four of them. Charges were only filed against one and forwarded to Frank's prosecutor, Victor Perez. not a goddamned thing happened to them. Frank's prosecutor concluded that the evidence against them was insufficient. Read the report in the link I shared above. Tell me if you think the evidence was insufficient.

In the end nothing happened to the lawbreaking cops Williams supervised. McGrath's punishment was for them to be "instructed and counseled." What the fuck is that shit?

I know Rev. E. T. Caviness is happy. The black guys on council who thought Frank's police command structure was too white are happy. For those black residents who think Williams' promotion is symbolic of "racial achievement," I'm sure they're happy too. 

The reality is that Williams is connected to a "system" of tolerance for police lawbreaking that he's obviously participated in supporting. Frank promoted former safety director Martin Flask to "executive assistant." In Cleveland's bureaucracy, since I worked for the city under Mike White, "executive assistants" oversee those who oversee departments. Frank bumped McGrath up to safety director. In reality, he really didn't do shit to "reform" the police department. He only rewarded incompetence. The only thing we know for certain in the police department, under Frank, is that it's business as usual. These executive changes have nothing to do with reform. 

I don't know that Frank gains any political points by appointing Williams as chief. He's claimed he's not running again for mayor and I highly doubt he has an interest in higher office. Perhaps this is a "legacy" move; one designed to give black cops a toehold in the power positions inside the police department so they can help improve the department's diversity. 

In reality, I see the change as a move Frank made to get black folk off his back. I think he really is sensitive about being half white and viewed as less black. I still remember the Cleveland employee who showed up at my 2005 victory celebration and told one of my supporters that Cleveland and East Cleveland had "non-black" looking mayors running black cities.

As I've said before, as someone who's fired a black police chief and appointed another, I've seen black cops do black people worse than any racist. 

Sledge is black, Barrows is black and Williams is black. Sledge obviously couldn't count on that black police leadership team, under a black mayor and black city council safety committee chairman, to protect him from having his identity stolen by cops the new black police chief supervised. 

I'm going to say again that Council, through its safety committee, has the power to investigate these police atrocities and enact legislation to punish them. Council has the power to reform the police department through legislation these guys are too lazy to investigate and enact.

Congratulations to "brother" Calvin Williams. He's damn near guaranteed a $100,000 a year taxpayer supported pension when he retires thanks to Frank.

Some of you may remember the stories I wrote about Zack Reed's OVI arrest and the cops who handled it last year. Contained in that story was a reference to a Euclid resident by the name of Jonathan Sledge, a black guy whose "lost" driver's license was used by Third District cops under Mayor Frank Jackson's new chief Calvin Williams' supervision to rent cars by vice cops investigating drug dealers. The cops Williams was supervising didn't just stop at stealing Sledge's identity. Brandon Bryson and Paul Reynolds had their identities stolen by cops Williams oversaw as well.
Williams was the Third District's commander when the cops he supervised committed the identity fraud crimes against Sledge, Bryson and Reynolds. One of the guy's under his command was a Lt. Jerome Barrow. He's another black cop Mayor Frank Jackson promoted after a controversial career that consisted of excessive force accusations, assault and a robbery indictment.
I've read the entire 138 page internal affairs investigation of the controversy and have included a link for you to review it. It's sickening.
http://media.cleveland.com/metro/other/Barrow_IA-invest_2010.pdf
Cleveland cops George Redding, Anthony Spencer and John Foster were in the Third District's vice unit under Barrow's direct supervision. Williams was Barrow's boss.
To carryout their investigative duties, the cops decided to rent cars to engage in surveillance activities. Instead of following the police department's procedures for renting cars, those under Williams oversight went to the lost driver's license bin. In that bin they found the drivers licenses of Sledge, Bryson and Reynolds and began renting cars in their names. Redding gave a statement that he thought he could break laws as a cop as long as it was for "law enforcement purposes." This dude is still on the job.
Sledge learned in 2010 after his car was impounded that he had a $122 red light camera ticket that came from a car he was supposed to have rented. He didn't rent the car and knew it, so he complained. That's when the bullshit the cops Williams was supervising unraveled.
The internal affairs investigators called it outright "identity fraud." No doubt about it. Read the law. ORC 2913.49 is a 5th degree felony. They should have been prosecuted.
"Identity fraud. (A) As used in this section, "personal identifying information" includes, but is not limited to, the following: the name, address, telephone number, driver's license, driver's license number, commercial driver's license, commercial driver's license number, state identification card, state identification card number, social security card, social security number, birth certificate, place of employment, employee identification number, mother's maiden name, demand deposit account number, savings account number, money market account number, mutual fund account number, other financial account number, personal identification number, password, or credit card number of a living or dead individual. (B) No person, without the express or implied consent of the other person, shall use, obtain, or possess any personal identifying information of another person with intent to do either of the following: (1) Hold the person out to be the other person; (2) Represent the other person's personal identifying information as the person's own personal identifying information."
Now if you can see that cops under Williams supervision committed "identity fraud," how the fuck did police chief Mike McGrath see it as "inappropriate conduct?"
Read the duties Ohio's lawmakers placed on cops under ORC 737.11.
"737.11 General duties of police and fire departments. The police force of a municipal corporation shall preserve the peace, protect persons and property, and obey and enforce all ordinances of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation, all criminal laws of the state and the United States..."
Cops must obey laws "before" they attempt to enforce them. Read it. It's in the goddamned Ohio Revised Code. There is no law anywhere in the USA that has been approved by congress or any general assembly that gives police officers immunity from being prosecuted for breaking laws they're first to obey.
Redding's statement claimed that vice cops under Williams and Barrow's supervision had a history of engaging in identity fraud to rent cars.
Williams' wasn't interviewed by internal affairs, only the offending cops. But as the Third District's commander, it was his duty to ensure that police officers under his direct oversight were obeying laws and the police department's policies.
From the perspective of the U.S. Department of Justice, under United States Code sections Title 18, 241 and 242, Williams should have had all four cops arrested. Criminal charges should have been filed against all four of them. Charges were only filed against one and forwarded to Frank's prosecutor, Victor Perez. not a goddamned thing happened to them. Frank's prosecutor concluded that the evidence against them was insufficient. Read the report in the link I shared above. Tell me if you think the evidence was insufficient.
In the end nothing happened to the lawbreaking cops Williams supervised. McGrath's punishment was for them to be "instructed and counseled." What the fuck is that shit?
I know Rev. E. T. Caviness is happy. The black guys on council who thought Frank's police command structure was too white are happy. For those black residents who think Williams' promotion is symbolic of "racial achievement," I'm sure they're happy too.
The reality is that Williams is connected to a "system" of tolerance for police lawbreaking that he's obviously participated in supporting. Frank promoted former safety director Martin Flask to "executive assistant." In Cleveland's bureaucracy, since I worked for the city under Mike White, "executive assistants" oversee those who oversee departments. Frank bumped McGrath up to safety director. In reality, he really didn't do shit to "reform" the police department. He only rewarded incompetence. The only thing we know for certain in the police department, under Frank, is that it's business as usual. These executive changes have nothing to do with reform.
I don't know that Frank gains any political points by appointing Williams as chief. He's claimed he's not running again for mayor and I highly doubt he has an interest in higher office. Perhaps this is a "legacy" move; one designed to give black cops a toehold in the power positions inside the police department so they can help improve the department's diversity.
In reality, I see the change as a move Frank made to get black folk off his back. I think he really is sensitive about being half white and viewed as less black. I still remember the Cleveland employee who showed up at my 2005 victory celebration and told one of my supporters that Cleveland and East Cleveland had "non-black" looking mayors running black cities.
As I've said before, as someone who's fired a black police chief and appointed another, I've seen black cops do black people worse than any racist.
Sledge is black, Barrows is black and Williams is black. Sledge obviously couldn't count on that black police leadership team, under a black mayor and black city council safety committee chairman, to protect him from having his identity stolen by cops the new black police chief supervised.
I'm going to say again that Council, through its safety committee, has the power to investigate these police atrocities and enact legislation to punish them. Council has the power to reform the police department through legislation these guys are too lazy to investigate and enact.
Congratulations to "brother" Calvin Williams. He's damn near guaranteed a $100,000 a year taxpayer supported pension when he retires thanks to Frank." div="" />

EJB on Rokakis and Third Party Tax Lien Sales in EC

 

From his Facebook post- Eric Jonathon Brewer tells it like it is: 

James Rokakis was Cuyahoga County's treasurer in 1998 when he encouraged the general assembly to enact a state law that allowed Ohio counties with over 1 million residents to sell a property owner's delinquent tax bill to a 3rd party investor. And yes, he's one of the fucking Democrats you love to blindly support.



Rokakis sold this bullshit scheme on the premise that school districts which live off property tax dollars would be paid a delinquent property owner's back due tax bill by a 3rd party investor. The 3rd party investor (back then it was GLS Capital, Inc., later Plymouth Park Investments, and so forth) would collect the money from the property owner even if it meant foreclosing on their property to collect. According to Rokakis, this was supposed to be good for cash starved school districts. What he didn't give a shit about was the fact that school districts can't collect on empty houses.

I was chief of staff to a former East Cleveland mayor when Rokakis' scheme was rolled out in 1998. I thought that just like Lee Fisher's drug house board-up scheme when he was Ohio's attorney general, Rokakis' scheme would destroy urban neighborhoods. I'd written a letter of opposition to his scheme for the ex-mayor after I explained my thoughts to him about its impact on East Cleveland, but we fell out and the letter was never delivered to the county's mayors and members of the general assembly as I had planned.

Rokakis got his law. GLS Property, Inc. got its contract. East Cleveland and Cleveland got fucked with blocks of abandoned homes long before the foreclosure crisis wiped out the remaining homes that Rokakis' scheme hadn't touched. Any politician who was walking door-to-door before 1998 and after 1998 knows I'm telling the truth. When I was mayor, about 22,000 homes had been foreclosed on in Cuyahoga County before Rokakis stopped adding the statistics to the county treasurer's website.

I was already done with Rokakis after I'd watched his ABC Nightline interview with Sam Donaldson and Diane Sawyer when he was a Cleveland councilman. George Voinovich was mayor and his police chief, Howard Rudolph, had authorized Cleveland cops to let two crack dealers, Arthur Feckner and Leonard Brooks, deal to residents at Woodhill Estates so they could raise money for a Florida sting they were trying to pull off. Keep in mind I said "Florida sting." The Cleveland cops wanted bragging rights at a police convention. Retired U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes had called for a federal investigation of the cops. Rokakis blasted Stokes for demanding a federal investigation of the poor cops because he was concerned for their reputations and marriages. Even Diane Sawyer had to ask this idiot if he was concerned about the residents whose lives had been devastated by crack. He responded that one of the poor cops had suffered a divorce. Awwww! 

I'd been CMHA's chief of communications and remember conversation's I'd had with Darlice Ogletree when he was the agency's police chief. He'd told me of an incident involving a CMHA crack addict who had sold her 5-year-old son to one of their dealers in exchange for crack. Rokakis' support for what the cops had done, and his total disregard for the effect of their actions on the lives of poor black CMHA residents, convinced me he didn't care about people. I've been even more convinced of that since he helped shove the third party tax lien law down Ohio's throats.

The third party tax lien law has been a disaster for cities like Cleveland and East Cleveland. Yes folk. Blacks have been more harmed by the 3rd party tax lien sales scheme that "Democrat" Rokakis pushed, just like they've been harmed by the foreclosure crisis. He's out of the treasurer's office and consulting with contractors on how to get demolition contracts with the land banks he's setting up around NE Ohio. It's all about the scheme and pocket lining, not people with this guy, in my opinion.

I hosted a radio show on WERE sometime around 2001 and remember spending a couple of days blasting Rokakis' third party scheme. This asshole contacted management and complained about me mentioning his name on the air. My producer told me he was instructed by management to bleep out Rokakis' name and the title "county treasurer" if I mentioned it. Seriously. I talked about him like a fucking dog and knew my producer couldn't bleep faster than I could talk. I forget which one of his employees called in to set me straight, and who got his ass handed to him.

When I was East Cleveland's mayor I wrote a letter telling him not to sell anymore of the city's properties to 3rd party investors because that bullshit was helping to destroy the town and its tax base.

Rokakis is out of office and why he wasn't investigated by the FBI for corruption is no mystery to me since his brother, Alex Rokakis, is a federal prosecutor operating out of the U.S. Attorney's office for the Northern District of Ohio. Laura McShane has a ton of information about his "partner," Gus Frangoes' landbank deals.

I know the board of revision Rokakis served on through a surrogate gave one of his legal clients a huge property tax break on just his client's word until the Cleveland school board's lawyers challenged it. Even the judge thought the tax break was strange.

So, of course, Rokakis is now this recognized "expert" on all this land shit, if we're to believe the Plain Dealer's Brent Larkin; and he's got more solutions for the shit he helped fuck up. One is called the "Thriving Communities Institute" and the other is "Western Reserve Land Conservancy." As far as I'm concerned, they're just more schemes to help Rokakis line his pockets while he fucks people. The boards aren't public and the money Rokakis is raking in isn't being disclosed. He's pushing his land bank garbage in Summit, Mahoning and Lorain counties and you folk in those towns need to keep an eye on him and his cronies. If you were smart you'd keep him out.

Today I'm on Facebook, not WERE, and not only have I mentioned Rokakis by name, I've shown you his picture and shared some background information about this guy, a Democrat, you should never trust. Now bleep this ... dude!

And since this year is an election year, do not, and I mean, DO NOT, vote for any candidate for county executive or county council who doesn't commit to putting an end to 3rd party tax lien sales in Cuyahoga County. Forget the "black plans" the preachers have come up with in exchange for their support of Armond Budish. Whether it's Budish or Jack Schron for county executive, you - as a voter - need to know that 3rd party tax liens in Cuyahoga County are bad for neighborhoods, discriminatory against blacks and struggling property owners, and devastating to school districts.

I can't say enough that blind party loyalty is just plain stupid.

It's not blind party loyalty.....

The players are cognitively aware of their choice to "support" corruption....

The players have transformed their mentalities to accept the "PAY TO PLAY" game of life in Cuyahoga.... 

The people see very clearly how "THEY" benefit from the wisdom of a corrupt individual who has worked tirelessly to manipulate the system, to use quotas, and to perpetuate democratic policies that are codependent on countless systematic failures which are abusive to the public at large...

 

THEY KNOW that if they have more poor, more needy, more disabled, more felons, more this and that---that they will have BIG GOVERNMENTAL BUSINESS that increases their paychecks and bonuses....from a list of trickle down FEDERAL GRANTS.....SMH... 

 

 

Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"

It only took less than 72 hours to get retaliated upon for this

SMH....................................................

 

I shall be affectionately targeted...maliciously....to pay for my crime of speaking the truth........the war continues in Cleveland...

 

Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"

Eric J. Brewer's personal message to Rev. Hilton Smith

Reprinted from FB with permission:

 

This is a personal message to Rev. Hilton Smith and I truly mean this brother no disrespect. His decision to seek re-election to the Cleveland NAACP chapter presidency is weighing heavily on my mind.



Hilton. Brother to brother. Why are you seeking to be re-elected to lead a "civil rights" organization with a history of legal militancy? It doesn't make sense. Are you even aware of the monumental civil rights violations that are taking place in greater Cleveland.

#1 - The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Steve Dettelbach, has refused to launch a criminal investigation of any NE Ohio police department under his jurisdiction despite the reality that law enforcement officers in Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Warren, Canton, Lorain and other municipalities routinely violate the civil rights of this area's citizens. The Obama administration, under Dettelbach's outgoing boss, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, has conducted an unprecedented number of criminal investigations of police departments in cities across the nation. In Chicago a police captain was prosecuted and convicted for forcing confessions out of more than 200 citizens in 20 years, with the help of prosecutors and judges who validated his lawbreaking. In East Haven, Connecticut 4 cops were convicted after one beat a handcuffed Mexican immigrant and his supervisors manipulated records to conceal his lawbreaking, instead of arresting him. That's the standard the Obama administration has established for law enforcement across the nation, but it hasn't been established in NE Ohio where cop crimes are punished with time off and written reprimands, and valid internal affairs investigations are non-existent. The NAACP could have held public hearings on the topic of police misconduct, and delivered information to the the local U.S. Attorney but it hasn't under your leadership. The type of civil rights violation that took Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams lives led to a current "civil" review of the Cleveland police department. Federal investigators want the community's input. What have you done in your capacity as NAACP president to facilitate that type of community discussion?

#2 - Third Party Tax Lien Sales have terrorized the black middle class in Cuyahoga County because of politicians like Jim Rokakis. 24,000 foreclosures a year in this county alone. Rokakis posted over 27,000 foreclosures due to his 3rd party tax lien sales before he stopped sharing the information on the county treasurer's website while he was in office. He worked hard to get 3rd party tax lien sales in Ohio that lets investors buy a property owner's delinquent tax bill, and then allows them to foreclose on the property owner to collect. This law was ruled unconstitutional in Pennsylvania, but in Ohio the civil rights leadership has been silent about its unconstitutionality. Rokakis' 3rd party law has killed the area's school districts with its one time funding, and don't tell me that the NAACP doesn't believe a high quality education guarantee isn't a civil right. Allowing so many homes to lose property values in Cuyahoga County has ripped budgetary holes in local school districts. Are you even aware of this issue? Have you held any public hearings on this topic? Did you even bother to look at the impact of the variable interest rate mortgage loans, like those Charter One Bank was pushing, that created serious vacancies on streets in Cleveland, East Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Euclid, South Euclid, Shaker and other communities throughout the region?

#3 - I remember when the Cleveland NAACP reviewed local government hiring practices, and when Lora Thompson presided over a committee that investigated local media hiring practices. Her report revealed hiring inadequacies that resulted in the Plain Dealer at one point having an 18 percent black workforce, the highest percentage in the nation of any daily newspaper under William Woestendiek as editor. What have you done as far as the "advancement" part of the NAACP's acronym? Have you visited the various county offices under Ed Fitzgerald? You've never been a politician so you've never really spent time at the board of elections. You'd never think anywhere in county government, or in the workforces of cities like Richmond Heights, Maple Heights, Garfield Heights, Euclid, University Heights, Beachwood and others, that "colored" folk live in those towns or this county. Look at the low levels of diversity in this county's police and fire departments, and city halls. If anyone can point to any public statement, report or hearing you've led the community to discuss and initiate a plan to address on how to diversify local government workforces please share it. 

Hilton I've only touched on 3 topics. I'm sure there are unnoticed civil rights issues that concern many greater Clevelanders which I've not shared, and that have an audience of people who'd like to meet and plan strategies to address behind the banner of a legitimate civil rights organization. 

But that's not the Cleveland NAACP chapter they've found under your leadership. It's not the Cleveland NAACP chapter they can expect if you're elected for another two years. So, Hilton, don't run.

Kent Whitley wants it. Let him have it. Let the organization rally around him. Better yet, you step down and endorse him. Doing so, in my humble opinion, shows the wisdom and maturity I know you've acquired over the years. It shows a certain elegance, and a commitment to the cause, and not ego or personal aggrandizement.

A month-long campaign will result in an open examination of your performance over the past two years. You've lived with a certain image as a black professional who we all have respected for your corporate success. You've got a good legacy. My only public review of your career has been in your capacity as Cleveland's NAACP chapter president. Please also understand that I'm not criticizing you, personally. I'm sharing my thoughts about the performance of the Cleveland NAACP's president. I know I have been sarcastic, but 80 cop killings in Cleveland over 12 years, and fear for my "colored" son's safety, creates a sense of urgency in me, and in other parents and grandparents, that something must be done to stop the rampant civil rights violations.

Public opinion of the Cleveland NAACP president's performance is not on your side, and the internal and external discussion is only going to become more animated the closer it gets to the election. Your previous election wasn't publicly-examined. There's interest in the NAACP that's been generated among my few FB friends, so they'll want to witness the discussion between you and Kent Whitley, and to examine words and deeds. It''s my gut feeling that the organization's stable members are embarrassed at the NAACP president's performance. Some have shared with me that they expected more from your corporate connections and success.

So I'm simply saying walk away, Hilton. You've always been a class act. The job was a lot more than you expected. You have to want it. It's like when I was organizing the Guardian Angels in Ohio. We succeeded because once I got in, I was all in. I was all in as mayor, and I'm all in when I write. 

We all understand how difficult it is to merge from one role to the next, and the stress of personal and professional conflicts. Not all people fit all roles. Being the president of a civil rights organization with a history of legal militancy wasn't a good fit for you, and you feel it. You've been "all in" at Turner Construction, which is why your professional career guarantees your place of prominence in black corporate Cleveland history.

So I'm very respectfully saying, "let it go." Cleveland's NAACP needs a voice.

Calviness, McCoy and the "cut" -EJBrewer on FB

 

How's Rev. E.T. Caviness "black plan working? The esteemed civil rights guru told y'all last year to turn your backs on State Senator Shirley Smith because he'd cut a deal with State Representative Armond Budish to let him select "blacks" for county jobs, board appointments and contracts. Budish cut a "gentile plan" deal with white politicians, not preachers, that gave them the bigger end of the county's $778 million annual budget.
 
So tell me, is life any better in Cuyahoga County for any of you loyal black Democrats who Caviness convinced to vote for Budish who "DID NOT" go through to him to get selected for county jobs, board appointments and contracts? Fuck no. He couldn't even keep his girl, Marcia McCoy, in a $103,000 job, so how much "power" did Budish really place in Caviness' hands? None. Just like I told you.
 
So what McCoy lied on a job application about her credentials? Politicians like Budish and the guy he replaced tell all kind of lies. They could have called that shit a typo and given her a do-over, taken the hit from the Plain Dealer and moved on if Caviness had any real juice. LOL. What's the worse reporters are going to do? Write bad stories about McCoy still working for the next 4 years? Yeah right.
 
Caviness could have attacked the Plain Dealer as racist for only targeting McCoy and Budish for firing her, but he can't because of his own dependence on kissing political asses to survive. What? Budish hasn't hired anybody white or Jewish who lied on a job application? I'll soon have the answer.
 
Hopefully by now some of you see the bullshit games that are being played on black people by so-called "black leaders" who've been pimping "black plans" ever since Americans with ethnic ties to Africa have been freely voting. It's why there's been "zero" progress made in this town and others across America on matters of police violence, substandard education, poor housing conditions, limited access to government employment and contracts. You've been hoodwinked and bamboozled.
 
It's why assholes like Jim Rokakis can push 3rd party tax lien sales that wiped out blocks of black owned homes in East Cleveland, Cleveland and Cleveland Heights long before the foreclosure crisis wiped out even more. You're being divided and conquered by the children of the confederates who moved north in segregated railroad cars during the 20's, 30's, 40's and 50's.
 
Again, back to the math. Cuyahoga County has slightly more than one million residents. Close to 400,000 are Americans with some ethnic African DNA. These Americans are the county's "largest" ethnic group. The second largest is German Americans at 250,000. Irish Americans are around 165,000. Italian Americans are around 115,000 and the numbers shrink dramatically for the rest of the smaller "ethnic groups" after them.
 
This means Caviness' "black plan" wasn't needed. His style of politics has black people begging politicians from smaller ethnic groups like Budish for handouts instead of operating like political gangsters and taking shit. Cuyahoga County is damn near as black as Cleveland.
 
400,000 is a potential army of voters who could "take" any office they chose in this county with 'very highly qualified" candidates, including the county prosecutor's office and a majority of the county judgeships. That's how the other "ethnics" have gained and kept political power. Ralph Perk, Jr. told me his dad, to win the mayor's job after Carl Stokes, created an ethnic coalition of eastern Europeans to beat the late Arnold Pinkney. Black preachers like Caviness weaken black ethnic voting strength by thinking only of themselves and operating like crumb snatching political beggars. Regrettably, he thinks like a "minority," a word I choose to reject. Caviness, however, was one of the blacks who rode north in segregated "colored only" cars, so I understand his "oh massa please" way of thinking.
 
Beyond "jobs, contracts and board appointments" are other realities that Caviness neglected to include in his "black plan."
 
Shirley Smith wanted to end the 3rd party tax lien sales that lets outside investors buy your delinquent tax bill and foreclose on your home or property for a profit. This bullshit affects everybody, not just black folk. Budish still has that shit going. If Caviness were a real leader, let alone a real civil rights leader, he'd be placing demands on Budish to do what Shirley was proposing instead of trying to hook-up his girl, McCoy. He'd look like a hero not only to black people dealing with this garbage, but to whites and browns dealing with it too. Good ideas have no color.
 
Look at county government employment. I remember when you could visit a county office and see a strong presence of county residents with ethnic ties to Africa working or serving on boards and commissions. Today, you'd hardly think black folk even lived in the county, let alone being its largest ethnic group. Under Fitzgerald and Budish, blacks were and are treated as "minorities" by the real minorities. I've heard feedback that Budish's Jewish supporters were pissed at McCoy's hiring and blasted him for giving "too much" to blacks, which still amounts to nothing. They must be Netanyahu "the Arabs are voting" followers.
 
I know black county residents want access to county jobs, without a doubt. But they also want politicians to find ways to keep them in homes instead of selling off their delinquent tax bills to 3rd party investors that kills black neighborhoods. They want fair treatment from social workers when they're struggling to care for their families. They don't want to be abused by sheriff's deputies while in custody or militarized cops breaking down their doors at gunpoint just to serve a fucking warrant.
 
They want their children made whole instead of them ending up being more broken while in juvenile detention. They don't want their kids dying in foster care because the county drug tests parents and doesn't drug test foster parents. Trust me. I know two crackhead foster parents who used the county's money to buy drugs instead of spending it on their two foster sons. These aren't black issues, but universal issues.
 
Look. Lord knows black ain't better. All we need to do is look at Mayor Frank Jackson and police chief Calvin Williams to know this is true. A black president had to send a black attorney general to a predominantly black city to tell these two "black" officials that they were allowing violent white, black and brown cops to trample on the constitutional rights of black people.
 
I actually get disgusted at the lack of appreciation younger Americans with African DNA show for the struggles that got them in the positions they hold today. Rude. Ignorant. Arrogant. They've now even sub-divided black folk among their fucking fraternities and sororities. They get in and the only black folk they think of are their frat brothers and sorority sisters and say fuck everybody else. I hate this stupid assed shit.
 
But, the county's largest ethnic group shouldn't be treated like a political minority and sold out by political preachers like Caviness for deals that helps only him, them and their friends.
 
So, as we can see from the way the Plain Dealer attacked McCoy, and how Budish caved in, Caviness has no political juice and it's his own fault.
 
Caviness and Rev. Hilton Smith have destroyed the NAACP. He holds titles to 3 broke and dysfunctional civil rights organizations and doesn't do civil rights. The children of the confederates who moved north know this, and they're laughing their asses off. One of my Jewish associates said he thought Caviness and the black preachers who showed up to endorse Budish and sellout Smith were "rabbis" with their fur hats and coats. Why do black people sell out other blacks, he asked? I have no fucking clue. Why do black men sellout black women? No answer. Not even Uncle Tom did that shit.
 
I wouldn't say he's exclusively responsible for the economic and social conditions blacks are living under in Cleveland, but Caviness' style of politics has played a strong role in black voters being divided, conquered, used and manipulated.
 
The sad reality, Americans, is that if he'd lifted his sights higher and saw the bigger picture in Shirley's candidacy, he'd have more power today because black political voting strength would have been tested and respected.
 
Jesus didn't uplift the status quo. He challenged it. Today's preachers worry about making luxury car notes and spending $65 million for fancy jets. Seems like they said "fuck that civil rights shit" after Rev. Martin Luther King's assassination. They only want to talk about Jesus, not be like him. Better to be paid than dead.
 
It's time for Caviness to resign from playing any civil rights role in greater Cleveland. He's now become an obstacle to civil rights, educational and economic progress instead of a facilitator of it. I pray when I reach my 80's that I have the dignity to know that my time as a warrior is over, and that I share what I've learned with my son(s) and their generation to empower them to take this shit to the real "next level."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Let's look at the county. In the treasurer's office there's an appointed person who's investing county funds with private brokers earning a 7 percent commission. Frank Gaul brought that shit in-house when he was treasurer and made money. Fuck anyone who says he fucked up. The county lost $114 million when the Plain Dealer wrote a lie that caused investors to panic, and the commissioners at the time, Lee Weingart, Jim Petro and Mary Boyle liquidated the $1.4 billion investment pool in violation of the contracts. Who's watching this now?



Who's watching the 3rd party tax lien sales and who's looking into Budish's campaign finance reports to see which one of his donors were county vendors or those who've recently been awarded contracts?



Budish intended to hire Marcia McCoy. Okay. The job was political and had no clear public purpose. This meant you couldn't find a statute identified in the Ohio Revised Code that lined up with the duties she was beingi paid $103,000 to perform. Because of her affiliation with Caviness it's viewed as patronage. But Budish was supported by a bunch of people other than Caviness whose "people" quietly got jobs. Patronage is patronage and this bullshit was supposed to have ended under the "reformed" county government, according to Ed Fitzgerald, the Plain Dealer and Steve Dettelbach. 



Mary Taylor pointed all this shit out in a 2010 "performance" audit of the county under the former commissioners. She criticized Frank Russo for hiring people whose jobs weren't tied to a statute, just like what Budish attempted with McCoy, and I'm willing to bet he's done with others as well. Under Fitzgerald this dude fired 1000 employees and said the government was free of corruption. All he did was replace Italians and African Americans with Irish Catholics. Same patronage, different ethnic group. Jews weren't much of a presence in Fitzgerald's Irish Catholic controlled administration. They are in Budish's. 



Back to Fitzgerald. One of the employees the idiot reformer fired did the county auditor's annual reports, which was a statutory requirement under the ORC. There hadn't been one since that employee left the last time I looked in 2014. He didn't have the sense to examine the statutory role each employee played before he fired them. The lunacy behind the decision is that once the statutory employee left what they did left with them and Fitzgerald didn't know because he didn't mater the ORC relative to running a county. Budish hasn't either. You can tell that from his decision to hire Marcia. Our state is plagued with "statuorily clueless" elected official who are made to look good by statutorily clueless journalists.



Just like the mainstream media takes a pass on covering the "business" of running East Cleveland, they do it at the county, Cleveland, the school district, library board, RTA, the sewer district, Cleveland water, Jim Rokakis land agency's ... none of the reporters are covering these agencies to the extent that they function as true watchdogs. I actually don't think the editors and producers understand government as I occaisionally review a story online.

EC Annexation for WRLC friends of Land Bank foiled for now....

 From Eric J Brewer:

The petitions with all the forged signatures the Cuyahoga County Elections Board approved for Gary Norton and Michael Smedley's annexation committee were rejected by Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael Russo. He declared the board's support of the fraudulent petitions to be illegal because the signatures didn't include those from electors who voted in the 2013 election. I've attached a copy of the judge's journal entry.

Council wins. Norton loses. Not this council consisting of Thomas Wheeler and Brandon King as the president and vice president. The council that challenged the petitions as fraudulent was led by Barbara Thomas, Nathaniel Martin and Mansell Baker. Wheeler and King wanted Norton's fraudulent petitions to move forward.
I've been informed that the council Thomas led also forwarded a complaint to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty that called for Norton and Smedley's prosecution. There is no doubt that the signatures on the petitions bearing Norton's name as the circulator are forged. The same with some of those circulated by Smedley. One of the petitions Smedley circulated is attached.
 
This crooked duo thought they were slick when they asked voters to sign their names, but to leave the addresses and dates blank. On the petitions bearing Norton's signature as circulator his handwriting is obvious where addresses and dates are supposed to be written by the person who "signed" the petition.
Does this kill the annexation campaign? Yes. I've been told Norton has already started circulating another petition, but I'm not confident voters will support it. He's also circulating a flyer asking East Cleveland to support him for council if the two cities are annexed. It's funny but also pathetic because it proves that he mismanaged the city into ruin for his own self-interests.
 
Norton has no other way to earn a living but to steal from taxpayers and people stupid enough to give him a "campaign" to run. He's already figured corporate Cleveland is willing to put over $100,000 into a campaign to convince East Cleveland voters to support the annexation. He's also figured out how some of that money will flow through his pockets. The worse he manages the city the more he gets to pimp annexation as its salvation.
 
No matter what he does, I think an annexation campaign is already dead because of Norton. I advised George Forbes when we talked about it two years ago that Norton didn't have the credibility to sell it. He hasn't proved me wrong. The Plain Dealer doesn't have the editorial muscle to push it, and no amount of writing from Phillip Morris is going to convince folk otherwise. Morris quoting Jim Rokakis, who played a huge role in East Cleveland's demise with his 3rd party tax lien sales, is just plain foolish.
 
The public perception of Norton is that he's an incompetent liar and thief. His wife's conviction for stealing from Cleveland school principals doesn't help. Norton taking his wife and kids to D.C. during spring break in the city SUV doesn't help either. He's driven that thing so much for non-city business the transmission is fucked up.
 
The $10 million offer of financial support for the annexation from state auditor David Yost is a "drop in the bucket" joke. Yost says the money is for infrastructure. Let's put this bullshit in perspective. It cost $7 million to repave Euclid Avenue from one end of EC to the other in 2003. $10 million wouldn't cover Terrace, Superior and E. 133rd Street and fix all the broken traffic signals on Euclid Avenue. It's an offer that makes as much sense as Norton trying to smell his own farts in the wind.
 
So thanks to Judge Michael Russo the first annexation petition is dead. We'll soon know if it's true that Norton is circulating another. Oh. Did I say the judge's decision is hot off the presses? You got the news here first.

Eric Brewer on events in Dallas

There are "millions" of military trained black men and women in the USA. I'm one of them. After black men fought in the American Revolution and the Civil War, whites disarmed them. Thomas Jefferson was fearful that freed former black slaves would retaliate. White fears grew worse after Toussaint L'Overture in Haiti beat the shit out of Great Britain, Spain and France. L'Overture in 1791 told Napolean, a British and Spanish queen, "You ain't enslaving black folks and running Haiti no gotdamned more."
Micah Xavier Johnson served for six years in the U.S. Army Reserve and was deployed to Afghanistan to protect American interests. He came home and probably ended up being treated like a nigga all over again by the people who's interests he had protected. He may not have been beaten up and blinded by a racist Batesville, South Carolina police chief like Isaac Woodard was when he returned to the USA in uniform after battling the Germans to protect American interests in 1947. But witnessing Dallas police fuck all over black people, even with a black police chief, had to make Johnson angry. Same here in Cleveland where a black president had to send a black U.S. Attorney General to a predominantly black city led by a black mayor and police chief to tell them that racist white cops were terrorizing black people.
So Johnson took his military training and struck back. Cops described him and the other shooters as using military tactics to kill 5 Dallas cops and to wound 7 others. Sounds to me like he was a black Rambo.
There are 315 million or so people living in the USA. The largest ethnic group is German Americans at 50 million. African Americans are listed at 44 million, but the Census has historically undercounted black folk in this nation at around 11 percent a year. That takes the number of black folk to around 48 million and the nation's second largest ethnic group. Mexican Americans are third in ethnic strength at 30 million. The next group are your Irish at around 17 million.
Here's the deal behind the math. The black folk who existed when Jefferson supported disarming those who'd fought in the American Revolution don't exist anymore. Ain't nobody black I know giving up any guns and ammo. The black men and women our military turned into lethal killing machines aren't surrendering weapons when they return home. "We" even got black generals.
There aren't just armed and military trained black folk. There are armed and military trained Mexican Americans, Italian Americans, Jews, Catholics and others who were targeted by the Christian White Anglo Saxon Protestants who made up the KKK. There are armed and military trained Muslims in the USA who have no interest or allegiance to ISIS, but who also aren't going to allow white supremacy to remain the standard in this nation and will die to keep it from happening.
No fucking part of me supports Johnson and his team killing cops. It's not right. But I also understand the anger that led him to take his military training and act, and that's exactly what scared Thomas Jefferson about black men being armed during slavery. He knew black people might just get angry enough to retaliate. It's what scared Hitler and other white supremacists who saw that today the world's white population is only around 11 percent. Hitler wanted to prevent the "dark hordes" from rising up against the whites who'd colonized their nations in Africa, China, India and Indo-China.
The number of law enforcement officers in the USA is estimated at around 300,000. They patrol alone or in two person cars. No matter where they go, cops are outnumbered. In truth, they rely on the blind obedience people have towards the law to protect them. They may claim their "gang" is the biggest in town, but it's not. There are only approximately 1600 Cleveland cops out of 378,000 residents and that's spread out over three 24-hour shifts in 5 districts. They're outnumbered and that's about as simple as it gets. Anytime "the people" decide to put a smackdown on their unlawfulness, and cops will find themselves showing up in neighborhoods where everyone is armed who stands around to watch them make an arrest or issue a citation.
I deplore the violence against the police officers in Dallas as much as I deplore the violence police commit against this nation's citizens and visitors. But the police have created the anger that's growing in this nation against the profession. They've done it by making illegal stops, illegal searches, illegal arrests, engaging in excessive violence and then lying about it in incident reports. We've seen the videos of them planting weapons on people they've murdered and killing black men over a burnt out fucking tail light. We've seen them gunning down 12-year-old boys playing with toy guns in playgrounds for children and America is tired of their shit.
The county prosecutors and judges have encouraged the anger that's growing against police by refusing to hold them accountable to laws they know are being violated. The mayors have encouraged the anger, like Frank Jackson, by refusing to listen to the people. The people told Jackson to fire Martin Flask, Michael McGrath and Calvin Williams and he hasn't listened. He's even failed to stop that fucking idiot who leads the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, Steve Loomis, from running his mouth and acting like cops work for the union instead of the taxpayers.
So if you're looking for someone who's going to "stand with the police" I'm not the one. I don't condone Johnson and his team killing 5 cops, but I'm not going to ignore the lessons their acts should be teaching police across the USA.
Y'all need to stop fucking over the people in the communities whose tax dollars pay your salaries. The "bosses" are getting sick and tired of your bullshit and they're not going to take it.
Cops, alone, can end the violence that's being directed at them. The answer, in a nutshell, is simple. You were administered an oath of office to obey two constitutions, federal and state criminal laws, and to perform only the legal duties of police officers you haven't even fucking read. You haven't even been trained by the governors and mayors to know what you swore to obey. 619 hours of training, which is nearly 900 hours less than what's required to be a barber or cosmetologist, is inadequate and you should demand more.
When you obey ALL laws when dealing with citizens, and show citizens respect, the profession becomes trusted. You keep doing the shit you're doing and there's only going to be more dead cops. Don't worry about me or mine. We don't roll that way.
But there are others who do and you know it. They're just as lawless as you. They're not from any one particular ethnic group, they're just average Americans. They might even call themselves "patriots" and see your unjust acts as a way to redress their grievances against "the government.'
Reports are showing three times more cops being killed than before in recent history. The increase in violence against the police is directly attributable to the increase in violence police have directed at this nation's citizens.
Cops can save their own lives by putting an end to the dumb shit.
 
 

Eric Brewer has a healthy perspective

 Read Eric Brewer on situation between police and ethic folks here on Realneo.

Eric J Brewer on State of Ohio politics and East Cleveland

  
Reprinted with permission from EJB:
I'm using Cassandra McDonald's campaign for 8th House District state representative to show you folk how to evaluate candidates for state representative and state senator. The suited guy in the picture is Kent Smith, her opponent. He's the current state representative for East Cleveland, 6 precincts in Cleveland's Ward 10, Euclid, Richmond Heights, South Euclid and Woodmere.
State representatives and state senators are the only elected officials authorized to add or amend sections of the Ohio Revised Code. They're lawmakers who control the state's general laws. So for those of us concerned about police misconduct, these are the men and women who can increase the number of hours cops are trained from 619 to over 2000. These are the elected officials who can require cops to get 500 hours of training on the constitution, the state's general laws, and on understanding the local ordinances they'll have to enforce.
State representatives and state senators can write or amend laws that tell cops the smell of marijuana is not probable cause. They can make it very clear to cops that under no circumstances are they authorized to access the NCIC / LEADS databases to conduct suspicionless searches. They can instruct them to quit asking people in a 2nd Amendment nation if they're carrying any gotdamned guns.
They can write and pass anti-racial profiling laws and laws that spell out how complaints against police will be handled by county and city prosecutors and judges. Texas lawmakers already passed both those laws. They can write laws instructing mayors not to authorize police departments to purchase military equipment. They can even write laws requiring cops to wear bodycams and record every encounter with a citizen from beginning to end. They can make it a criminal offense if a cop doesn't turn on a body or dash cam.
That's the power of state representatives and state senators, and I've shown how issues we discuss frequently on my page can be resolved by them.
You've reviewed the district Smith serves. Below is what he promised the residents of the 8th House District in 2014.
“I will work to expand economic opportunities for all Ohioans while fighting to protect voters' rights, women’s rights and workers' rights.”
So in 2014, the year Tamir Rice was murdered by a Cleveland cop, and two years after Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were murdered in East Cleveland by Cleveland cops, Smith didn't promise the residents of the 8th House District that he'd do anything to address violent cops who commit crimes to violate our civil rights. In fact, he promised to protect the rights of three groups of Ohioans, but not those Ohioans who wanted him to fight for their “civil rights.”
This is important because Smith represents East Cleveland where Cleveland cops murdered Russell and Williams.
East Cleveland is also the city where cops under the mayor's supervision are routinely violating the civil rights of residents and visitors. They're conducting illegal suspicionless license plate searches. The cop I fired and the current mayor rehired, Todd Carroscia, just used NCIC / LEADS illegally to conduct a suspicionless license plate search and decided to stop a man who lived on the west side of Cleveland. He asked him to search his car. Of course the man was racially profiled. This stupid assed mutha fucka said people from the west side visiting East Cleveland could be involved drug activity. I've encouraged the man to file a criminal complaint against Carroscia with the FBI and offered to help him for free.
East Cleveland cops got search warrants from Judge Will Dawson to search drug dealer homes so they could steal their drugs and cash. They've been caught speeding and killing people, beating and throwing them down hills, beating them while handcuffed and editing their acts out of desk cams. In Euclid racial profiling among that cities cops is at an epidemic. The same in South Euclid and Richmond Heights.
So while “civil rights” is an important issue that a state representative can fight for, Smith ain't. The bills he's introduced worry about microbeads in anal and vaginal lubes. He doesn't want pregnant kids to let their parents know they're pregnant and aborting a baby. One law he's sponsored creates mandatory sentences for men and women who solicit sex with a child under 13 whether the child is lying about their age or not, and are already fucking. He wants to name the Opportunity Corridor after the late U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes. He wants workers to complain anonymously against employers engaging in wage discrimination. He wants an audit of Jobs Ohio. He wants the state to give extra money to the mayors and councils who fucked up their city's finances so badly they're now in fiscal caution, fiscal watch and fiscal emergency.
Those are some of the bills he's sponsored. None relate to civil rights. He didn't even co-sponsor State Rep. Kevin Boyce's House Bill 587 to require cops in this state to wear body cams, and to keep body and dash cams on whenever they interact with a citizen. Boyce even proposed that the state pay for it. The bill has “zero” co-sponsors. Boyce is one of Smith's fellow Democrats who represents the 25th house district out of Columbus.
So all the issues I've addressed about the police are issues I've been communicating with Cassandra McDonald over for the past year or so. I know she's interested in introducing legislation to address the issues I've described, but that's not what Smith is working on in Columbus. He's complaining about corporations having too much influence over our democracy. Are any of you concerned about ass and vaginal lubes containing microbeads? Doesn't that shit make insertion easier?
So the links to the state representatives and state senators is what you'll need to evaluate your reps the way I evaluated Smith. You can review the bills each has sponsored and co-sponsored. You can review their news releases and public statements. You can review where bills are in committee. You can view how they voted on each bill.
I don't know Smith. I never heard of him until I returned and he ran for the 8th House District in 2014. I called him once to ask about his position on Mayor Georgine Welo's attack on South Euclid Municipal Court Judge Gayle Williams-Byers and he hasn't returned my call. I'm not calling him again.
I've heard he's been asked by Welo and councilman Dennis Fiorilli to enact legislation to get rid of the court and that he's considering it. I've been informed he told former State Senator Shirley Smith he knew Welo's attack on the city's first black judge was racially-motivated. The idea that he'd move forward because the judge isn't using the court to rob citizens who Welo wants to extort money from in fees and fines concerns me that he's not sensitive to President Barack Obama's efforts to eliminate profit driven justice.
Welo wants courts to be profit driven and this president's last attorney general, Eric Holder, instructed the nation's judges that what they were doing was both unlawful and unconstitutional. Smith's support for Welo tells me he's okay with taxpayers being jailed for not paying fees and fines. Supporting Welo also flies in the face of what Supreme Court of Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor informed the state's 722 judges again of just last week. Do not turn this state's courts into ATM's.
All the marching and protesting won't change any of the laws we want changed. You have to either elect the “right” state representatives and state senators, and give them clear instructions on what you want in exchange for your vote, or you have to run for the jobs they hold and do it yourself.
Cassandra McDonald is one of the Ohioans who's decided to challenge a guy like Smith so she can replace him and force Columbus lawmakers to start addressing the civil rights issues on our minds.
You, as a voter, should have no loyalty to any party or person when it comes to your issues. Don't let “them” lump you into a party, gender, age, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Gay rights is a civil rights issue just like police violence is a civil rights issue. Age and gender discrimination are civil rights issues.
Much of what we communicate about on my page are issues that affect civil rights, which affects us all. It's also not the issue our state lawmakers are addressing as we can see from at least one who represents a house district whose residents are demanding civil rights protections from police misconduct.
And it's not just the cops violating our civil rights. It's educators disproportionately punishing black boys with suspensions and classroom removals. It's teachers using the children we entrust to them for sex toys.
It's the mayors, council members, county officials and bureaucrats refusing to obey laws connected with their duties, and misusing those laws to take our money to pay for their crimes. Mayor Frank Jackson wouldn't need a tax increase if state lawmakers enacted laws that stopped public employee unions from negotiating wages and benefits, and only allowed them to negotiate working conditinons.
Use the links I've identified above to investigate your state lawmakers and the bills they've sponsored and co-sponsored. See if what they're doing is what you want, and if it's not, vote their asses out of office and tell the candidate who replaces them that they're next if this state's civil rights laws don't get strengthened.