Sunday, September 09, 2001

Fuller's visit to shelter angers Luken

Campaign notebook

        Mayor Charlie Luken is reportedly livid at his former co-anchor and current opponent, Courtis Fuller, for a campaign event Wednesday.

        Mr. Fuller took CNN correspondent Brian Cabell and Yolanda Maggi of the Fox News Channel on a made-for-TV photo op passing out flowers to residents of the Tender Mercies homeless shelter in Over-the-Rhine.

        After packing campaign aides, shelter volunteers and two national news crews onto an elevator, Mr. Fuller got out on the third floor and knocked on the first door he saw. What happened next looked like a cross between a campaign stop and a Publisher's Clearinghouse commercial.

        When the center's staff found out about it, they kicked Mr. Fuller and the national media out of the building.

        The center's executive director had to chase Mr. Fuller down the block to make sure that footage would not be broadcast, violating the privacy and confidentiality of her clients.

        Why is Mr. Luken upset? The director is Marcia Spaeth, the mayor's ex-wife, something Mr. Fuller must have known after working with Mr. Luken for six years.


        Just shoot me: When Mr. Fuller failed to attend a debate on WLW-AM (700) last week, Mr. Luken was left to deal with host Bill Cunningham and debate two independent candidates.

        Mr. Luken spent 90 minutes in the small Mount Adams studio, sitting between Michael Riley (on the far left) and Bill Brodberger (on the far right). And for most of it, he looked straight ahead, wearing an agonized just-shoot-me-now look.

        During one commercial break, when Mr. Riley and Mr. Brodberger were vehemently debating which of them had been secretly investigating the other, WLW marketing director Holly Nesser walked in.

        “Anyone need anything?” she asked. “Water? coffee?”

        “An ejection button?” Mr. Luken deadpanned.


        Just getting along: Here's proof positive that candidates for Cincinnati City Council generally get along better before they are elected than after:

        Three challengers — Democrat David Pepper, Charterite Dawn Denno and Republican Sam Malone — have gotten together on a five-point plan they say will make for more effective leadership at City Council.

        The group of candidates wants challengers and incumbents to sign on to the plan, which includes creating a report card for council, creating neighborhood meetings, and improving relations with other local governments.


        Sign of the times: The Friends of Luken Committee bought 2,200 bottles of water for those attending the Harvest Home Festival in Cheviot. Used to be, Charlie's dad, Tom, would give away beer.

       Compiled by Howard Wilkinson and Gregory Korte

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