COAST vs Cincinnatians for Progess Streetcar Showdown

two days in row row with no pictures, this will never happen again, trust me.

OK, so here is the deal, the amendment we are voting on this fall is not a vote for or against the streetcar.
It is a vote to decide if we want to vote on the streetcar.

I want to keep this as neutral as possible, but it is my blog so you'll forgive me for if bias does creep in.
Or not, so here it is.
The DRC monthly meeting invited representatives from Cincinnatians for Progress and from Coast.
Here is the rundown, Coast is against government waste and unnecessary spending, and wants an amendment to the charter giving people a choice before the city spends money on a streetcar project.
Admirable goals.
Cincinnatians for Progress believe the the amendment is unnecessary bureaucracy and will add time and money to a project, enough so that bogging the project down in elections will effectively kill it as federal and state funds will disappear.
This too is true and COAST admitted as much.

So, what happened?
Nothing like what I expected. I expected Mark Miller to throw out some hot button issues, which he did. And then the room would erupt into chaos effectively making his case for him. I expected John Schneider to give a convoluted factual rebuttal and the message would get totally lost.
What happened?
John gave a couple short snappy bullet points on why Cincinnatians for Progess oppose the anti-rail amendment, then sat down.
Mark didn't deny any of it. When the room didn't erupt, he got nervous and started talking off script getting himself into serious trouble.
"rail has had a bad history in Cincinnati" he said.
"WHOA! what rail?" a lady asked?
"well the subway..." he almost got out before laughter erupted and he stopped.
No one wanted to ask poor John any questions for some reason.
When asked what he saw for the future of Cincinnati if the streetcar wasn't built he started rambling about the stadiums, I'm sorry Mark, I didn't get the point you were trying to make. That people did vote for those taxes, so thats why they should be able to vote for something that won't raise taxes? Not sure, sorry.
Mark also continually insisted taxes would go up, but couldn't explain how, except for, they always do.
John stood up and remarked that of all the COAST officers, Mark was the only one who lived in the city.
Not true says Mark. Oh yeah where do they live then?
Mark mumbled that he didn't know. That and a couple "because" answers and that sealed it. It was all over.
I hope they can do a televised version of this it would be freakin awesome.

I knew many of the people in attendance last night, so, if you were there, please leave a comment on your thoughts.
If you weren't there, hey, what the hell give me your thoughts too, don't get personal unless you sign your name, fair warning.
Also Jenny's call to bloggers.
[where: 45202]
cincinnati ohio downtown


  1. Bob- Good summary of the meeting. I was there & witnessed John Schnieder's poise & Mark Miller's (COAST) argument filled with lies, uneducated claims & total BS. Very typical of the organization he works for. I asked the Q of why COAST is so opposed to any form of rail in this region & the gentleman said "Because." This meeting really fired me up, the supporters of rail have had to listen to lies from this organization for way to long. I am tired of it. Thanks Bob, keep up the good work.

  2. I think the meeting went pretty well. I regularly attend DRC meetings, and the officers running the DRC do a good job at keeping things orderly at the meetings. I do have to give Mark Miller credit for his willingness to speak in front of a pro-transit crowd. However, he really does not know much about transit, and one of my favorite moments was when he stumbled over what NAACP means. I like how John wrote down the inaccuracies so that he would remember to refute them. Mark didn't even try to refute anything John said.

    The subway comment was ridiculous. No one in the room was even alive when the subway was being built, and there are several reasons why it was not completed.

  3. thanks for the rundown. i've been so upset about this whole thing for the past few weeks and this is the best news i've heard in a long time about the issue.

    does anyone know what cincinnatians for progress have planned? it feels as if coast is a bit more aggressive with getting their (mis)infomation out to the general public. cincinnatians for progress has been really inactive and doesn't seem interested in doing anything other than sending out emails, preaching to their choir.

  4. Drew, it sounds like they are gearing up for a huge pro campaign. I don't think they wanted to start too soon, but it sounds like there is going to be a lot of activity here in the near future.
    The best bet I think is the more COAST talks the better, they are really a one trick pony and if you don't fall for their bait and keep a level head, they are exposed quickly.

  5. Did anyone film this? Youtube is an invaluable tool in campaigns like this.

  6. Drew - If you sign up for Cincinnatians For Progress, you can help volunteer your time/talent/effort to make sure this amendment gets defeated.

  7. jenny k... i did sign up to volunteer about 2 months ago, but i have yet to hear from anyone.