Sunday, October 07, 2001

Parody won't stop police rally

Westwood event honors officers

By Gregory Korte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Westwood residents will join together today in a show of support for the city's Police Division.

        The event is called “Hands Across District 3” — and not, as City Council candidate Nate Livingston would have you believe, “White Unity Rally.”

        Mr. Livingston, the former radio talk-show host, produced a parody of the event's fliers in which he said the route “would flow through as many white neighborhoods as possible” and “No blacks allowed.”

        Afraid that some might not recognize Mr. Livingston's work as parody, organizer John Eby came to council in tears last week.

        Council members responded by calling Mr. Livingston a “knucklehead” and a “racist.” Mr. Livingston refused to apologize.

        “Hands Across District 3” will take place from 12:30-1 p.m. The event starts at the corner of Harrison and Boudinot avenues.

        Always the bridesmaid: Scott Seidewitz, a candidate for council in 1999, has re-emerged this year— as a consultant.

        He's crafting the advertising campaigns for Democrats Jane Anderson, David Crowley and Lawra Baumann.

        Mr. Seidewitz, a former Procter & Gamble ad man, has done this before. As a media consultant, he has a 5-0 record oncouncil campaigns, helping Todd Portune (1997), Roxanne Qualls (1997), and Minette Cooper (1995, 1997, 1999) to victories.

        In fact, Mr. Seidewitz quipped, the only candidate he couldn't get elected was himself. Almost endorsed?: The Fraternal Order of Police decided not to endorse a candidate for mayor, saying publicly that it would take a “wait-and-see” attitude toward the candidates.

        But behind the scenes, the process might have turned out differently.

        The FOP has had a rocky relationship with Mayor Charlie Luken since the April riots, but Courtis Fuller has supported some issues the union vehemently opposes, including stronger powers for the Citizens Police Review Board and civil service reform.

        FOP members who spoke with Mr. Fuller said he did a “very good interview,”according to FOP President Keith Fangman. So Mr. Fangman went to meet with Mr. Fuller and told the former news anchor that he was still in the running.

        Mr. Fuller thanked him, but said he wasn't accepting endorsements, according to Mr. Fangman's account.

        Would Mr. Fuller have gotten the endorsement otherwise? Mr. Fangman won't say.

        Non-debate debate: The Woman's City Club of Greater Cincinnati will host a forum for the two mayoral candidates at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

        But don't expect to see a debate.

        Mr. Fuller's camp reports that the Charter candidate will attend, but only for a few minutes toward the end.

        Mr. Fuller has said he will only participate in two head-to-head debates — one radio and one television — before Election Day.

        The non-debate will be at the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati Auditorium, 3200 Burnet Ave. It is open to the public.

        Enquirer reporters Robert Anglen and Jane Prendergast contributed.


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