Anyone who's ever watched a Cincinnati City Council meeting knows that the solons of 801 Plum St. like to talk. A lot.
And anyone who talks that much is bound to say something stupid every once in a while - especially when taken out of context. Here, then, is the annual list of the top five malapropisms, derailed trains of thought and statements of the obvious at City Hall so far this year:
We hadn't noticed: "I've been an African-American woman my whole life."
- Councilwoman Minette Cooper, Feb. 5, explaining the difference between ethnic intimidation and a hate crime law protecting homosexual behavior. She later voted for an ordinance extending the hate crime law to gays and lesbians.
Grandma's pearls: "Like my grandmother used to say, 'The proof of the pudding is in the taste.' Or something like that. What she meant to say was.... I don't know what she meant."
- Mayor Charlie Luken, March 12, speaking on the topic of ... we forget what he was speaking about.
You're welcome: "I'd like to thank the mayor, Mr. (David) Pepper and myself for coming to a press conference we had on Monday."
- Vice Mayor Alicia Reece, April 9, thanking herself for coming to her news conference on state budget cuts.
... And a Covington, and a Norwood, and a Blue Ash: "What we need in Cincinnati is a Newport."
- City Manager Valerie Lemmie, April 24, explaining the proposals of the Economic Development Task Force to the Enquirer editorial board. She meant to say "a new port authority."
Explain again why this is a good thing: "We're voting today to take money from retarded kids."
- Councilman John Cranley, July 25, explaining his support for City Council's vote to give $52.2 million in incentives to Convergys Corp. from future property tax revenues. Cranley reluctantly supported the plan, saying that when City Council takes money from taxes that go to mentally retarded children, it should be for a really, really good cause.
Back in commission: Luken will try to pick up the pieces of the proposed Electoral Reform Commission today, naming his appointments to the 13-member panel. The group will study whether council members should be elected by districts, by preference voting or by a hybrid system.
Don Mooney Jr. - a Democrat who's chairman of the Cincinnati Planning Commission - will chair the reform panel, Luken said. Beyond that, he declined to name the other three appointments Monday.
Luken had called a halt to the process in June after the three major political parties failed to nominate more than two African-American members among them.
"At this point, we do have to move forward," said Reece, a co-sponsor of the resolution to create the commission. "The alternative is a push by Republicans who wouldn't even put African-Americans or women on the commission. So why would we trust them to draw the lines?"
City Hall reporter Gregory Korte can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 768-8391.
Pulfer: Justin's case
Korte: Inside City Hall
Howard: Some good news
Ventura won - could Springer?
DeWine to see slaves' trail
Opinion sought on Web access
Truck driver dies on I-471 despite valiant rescue effort
Meet police, eat at crime 'going-away' parties
DNA evidence leads to arrest
Clermont to consider MRDD levy
Man found competent for trial in '74 death
Girls coach arrested on sex charges
Hamilton eatery hopes for revival
Votes today decide school, fire levies
Zoo's later summer nights hit with heat-weary visitors
Charges halt vote on gay bishop
Area leaders push unity in gay bishop debate
Bishop's letter to the diocese
Millions hanging up on landline phones
OSU arson suspect denied bail
Firefighter dies after pet viper bites him
Heavy rain, lightning riddle Ohio
Tristate A.M. Report
Teacher Bethany Kauffman helped children to read
Dad convicted; two children glad
Heavy rains flood Eastern Kentucky counties
Jim Beam warehouse incinerated
Petition calls for official's removal
West Nile found in Boone Co. mosquitoes
Fencing off 2 reservoirs worries some
Erlanger man dies in wreck