P.G. Sittenfeld

Former Ohio Democratic governor Ted Strickland made it official Wednesday morning – he will run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Rob Portman.

Strickland, who lost his race for re-election as governor in 2010, made the announcement official in an e-mail Wednesday morning, ending months of speculation about whether he would jump into the race.

“I’m running for the United States Senate in 2016 because I am determined to restore the American dream for working people in this country,’’ Strickland said in a press release.

It is not hard to understand why most folks in these parts might have been distracted this week from following the daily comings and goings of the nascent campaign for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat.

The election which, for the record, is still a little over 20 months away.

First there was the distraction of the record-breaking cold and its running mate, record-breaking snow.

A spokesman for former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland says the Democrat has started raising money for a U.S. Senate candidacy, but has yet to decide if he will run.

Michael E. Keating

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the prospects of former Ohio governor Ted Strickland running for the U.S. Senate; and how the Republican Party is reacting to that.

For someone who has not even announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, Ohio’s former Democratic governor, Ted Strickland, has been under heavy verbal artillery fire from the Republican establishment.

The GOP – in particularly, the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC)  and the Ohio Republican Party (ORP) – has been regularly blasting Strickland in press releases for even considering running for the seat now held by Republican Rob Portman, even going so far as to use the words of a well-known Ohio Democratic political consultant to get under Strickland’s skin.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld's bid for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination in 2016. Does Sittenfeld have a chance win the nomination and unseat GOP incumbent Rob Portman?

To almost no one’s surprise, Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld announced this week that he is running for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination, with the hopes of knocking off incumbent Republican Rob Portman in November 2016.

Sittenfeld is an ambitious young man; and, especially in politics, there is nothing wrong with that. He had been dropping hints that he was considering jumping into the Senate race for weeks; and people on both sides of the aisle were taking him seriously.

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld has launched his campaign for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat next year. 

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the beginning stages of the 2016 U.S. Senate race in Ohio, the huge war chest of incumbent Rob Portman, and the Democrats who may try to take him on.

Ohio’s junior senator, Republican Rob Portman, fired a shot across the bow last week – a warning shot for anyone thinking about running against him in 2016.

His campaign committee put out a long statement saying that, as of the end of 2014, Portman had $5.8 million in the bank for his re-election campaign – a pretty incredible amount for 23 months before the election.

And the unspoken message was that he can get plenty more where that came from.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with Maryanne Zeleznik about three Cincinnati Democrats who could play a role in re-building the Ohio Democratic Party.

Yes, the Nov. 4 election was a complete train wreck for the Ohio Democratic Party.

The gubernatorial candidate, Ed FitzGerald, was so abysmally weak that he took only 33 percent of the vote again incumbent Republican John Kasich – the worst drubbing of a Democratic candidate for governor since an unknown state senator named Rob Burch had 25 percent of the vote against popular GOP incumbent George Voinovich in 1994.

A Cincinnati council member and the city are launching an effort to get more employers to pay their workers higher wages.  

P.G. Sittenfeld introduced the Cincinnati Living Wage Initiative Thursday morning at a press conference.  It asks businesses to voluntarily pay their employees $10.10 an hour. That's the amount of the proposed  federal minimum wage increase that has stalled in Congress.  

Sittenfeld said it could make people in the city less vulnerable.


Jay Hanselman / WVXU

A Cincinnati Council Member wants to expand a pilot program that requires banks to register their foreclosed properties with the city.  Right now it's being used in East and West Price Hill, Westwood, College Hill and Madisonville.  

P.G. Sittenfeld said it has worked and the program is self-sustaining.  He said banks are taking better care of the properties they own and the fees are generating enough revenue to pay for it.

Michael Keating

This week WVXU's political reporter Howard Wilkinson talks about the latest controversy with JobsOhio and what it could mean to Governor Kasich's reelection chances.  He also looks at the Cincinnati Council race and how some potential candidates are back out gathering signatures.

At least two Cincinnati Council candidates have problems with the petitions they filed with the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

Board officials confirmed there were technical problems with petitions submitted by incumbent Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld.

Provided

John Cranley has a fundraising edge over Roxanne Qualls in the Cincinnati mayor’s race, according to campaign finance reports filed Wednesday.

Cranley, a former Cincinnati City Council member, had raised about $472,000 compared to $348,000 for Qualls, the city’s vice mayor.

According to the campaign finance reports, Cranley had about $264,000 in the bank as of June 30, the last day of the reporting period. Qualls had a cash-on-hand balance of about $192,000.

Michael Keating / WVXU

Cincinnati Council Members will have some extra time to campaign for re-election this fall.  The group voted Wednesday to cancel half of its scheduled meetings for the rest of the term which ends on December 1st.  

There will only be seven sessions in the next five months.  That compares to the 14 that would ordinarily be held.  

Council will meet as follows:  August 7th, September 11th, September 25th, October 9th, November 13th, November 20th and November 27th.

Member P.G. Sittenfeld was the only one voting “no” on the plan.

We learned something about Cincinnati City Council this week.

The mayor is not the absolute monarch inside city council chambers.

Except, that is, when he is.

Since December 2001, Cincinnati has had a directly-elected mayor who is not a voting member of council but chairs the meetings and controls the agenda. If a council member tries to raise an issue on the floor of council that the mayor doesn’t want to deal with, he or she can simply rule the council member out of order, proclaiming that it was a subject not on the council agenda and that was that.

Mayor Mark Mallory used some parliamentary wrangling at Wednesday's Cincinnati Council meeting to successfully knock down an attempt to repeal the city's controversial parking lease agreement.

Council member P.G. Sittenfeld, a Democrat, came into the council meeting believing he had five votes to scuttle the agreement, which city manager Milton Dohoney signed Monday.

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld and others will be on Fountain Square Wednesday at noon for "The Greater Cincinnati Day of Fasting."

Sittenfeld is asking residents to voluntarily forgo lunch in order to experience a small measure of hunger that's part of many people's daily lives in the city.

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld is continuing his push to fight blight in the city's neighborhoods.  

He held a press conference Tuesday morning to discuss his latest plan.

“The Restoring Our Communities Initiative is aimed entirely at combating blight, improving safety and bolstering property values in our neighborhoods,” Sittenfeld said.

Sittenfeld's facebook page

Cincinnati City Council member P.G. Sittenfeld - joined by elected officials from several of Ohio's major cities - has created a web site to drum up public support to restore all of the the nearly $3 billion in cuts to the Local Government  Fund made by Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio legislature two years ago.

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati Council could soon pass an ordinance requiring most city landlords to replace the smoke detectors in their rental units.  

Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls and Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld are holding a press conference Tuesday morning to discuss the proposed legislation.  

It would require all rental properties in the city to be equipped with photoelectric smoke detectors.  Sittenfeld said estimates show 90 percent of all households right now have an ionization detector.

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati will be speeding up the demolition of condemned buildings within 1,000 feet of schools or areas with a large number of families with children.  

Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld has been working with officials to make the change.  He said in the past the city has demolished about 40 to 60 structures a year.

Provided

Listening Thursday night to P.G. Sittenfeld, a Democratic Cincinnati city council member, and Mike Wilson, the founder of the Cincinnati Tea Party, sit onstage at  Hebrew Union College might, one would think, produce some partisan sparks.

It did no such thing.
 

Instead, the crowd of about 200 in Mayerson Hall, heard two young men talk about their backgrounds, their early family lives, about the influences that led them toward politics, and about the need to listen – really listen – to what people of opposing ideologies and political persuasions have to say.

A discussion with Democratic Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld and Cincinnati Tea Party founder Mike Wilson will be featured at the second of four events sponsored by Beyond Civility, an organization that promotes civil discourse between people on both ends of the political spectrum.

The "Side by Side" series with Sittenfeld and Wilson will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10 at Hebrew Union College's Mayerson Hall in University Heights.

Photo by Michael Keating

Cincinnati Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld is not going to run for Mayor next year.  Sittenfeld said this morning he'll seek another term on Council during the 2013 election.  

He said many friends and community leaders encouraged him to consider the Mayor's race.

"I enjoy the work on Council and I do feel good about the impact I'm having there," Sittenfeld said.  "And frankly I want to continue a lot of the priorities I've started."

From letsmove.gov website

Supporters say they hope an event Saturday morning on the city's riverfront will help promote a healthy, active lifestyle. 

Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld is partnering with city departments, businesses and non-profits for “Let’s Move, Cincinnati.”

It's part of First Lady Michelle Obama's national initiative designed to fight the growing problem of childhood obesity.

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