thanks to Roldo

Submitted by Susan Miller on Wed, 08/08/2007 - 09:00.

Thank god we have Roldo Bartimole in our region writing about the inequity and the corruption here. If not for Roldo, we might never know such tantalizing tidbits as we learn here in his CoolCleveland article this week: Should Hagan Have Recused Himself from Vote? (I link it here because I know that unlike the PD articles that disappear after a couple of weeks, this CC article will remain online in perpetuity.)

For example, did you know, we pay sales taxes on the sin taxes? "

Many don’t know this but the county sales tax is charged on the “sin” taxes, adding another $16 million to the $238 million." When does that tax end?

I hope someone in Columbus or in the federal government is reading this -- oh, yeah, we have a corrupt judicial system, too.

Oh and there's this, "Among the gift-givers was Robert DiGeronimo of Independence Excavating. Precision Environmental Co., which won a contract last week to demolish the Breuer Building with a bid $915,000 above the low bid, is part of the DiGeronimo/Independence Excavating Co. family."

Does that mean that Madden's "eye on Carbone" saw that he may indeed be convicted in the Lorain trial and decided to let him go from the job? According to the docket in Lorain County Court, Carbone has relinquished his right to a speedy trial since one of his attorneys is in a federal murder trial, so the new court date is set for 8/20/07.

Government in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County is indeed a sucking swirling eddy of despair, corruption and backdoor dealing. Should Hagan have recused himself? Absolutely! Does he have an ethical bone in his body? Apparently not. Will voters stand by and let this continue? Hopefully not. Here's another example of Hagan's doublespeak: "

Such beliefs are widely held in the large Hagan family, says his brother, Chris. "Our dad always said, `Afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted,'" he explains.

It's advice Mr. Hagan takes to heart. When he isn't talking about how to help the needy, he is railing against greedy corporations and politicians. He says he is driven to become governor in part by his anger toward a political system corrupted by money."

Uh, what happened Tim? Did you forget your family entrenched ethical, moral code? This imposed tax (corporate welfare) is just the sort of thing you purport to eschew...

Roldo links to an important stop gap measure in his opening: "Give Democracy in Cuyahoga County a boost. Go to to volunteer to help put the sales tax increase on the ballot. August is a bad month for such an effort and it needs all the help it can get."

This is a big weekend to gather signatures. I urge you to volunteer, sign a petition and learn more about this issue. Roldo is a great place to begin.

Don't rely on the Plain Dealer -- their dealing is in plain view this morning in an editorial (advertisement) for the medconcenter (copied here since it will disappear):

A deal in New York City for a Medical Mart validates Cleveland's plan - an editorial

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Cleveland's plan for a Medical Mart received validation - in the form of threatened competition - last week from New York.

The Manhattan deal outlines a million- square-foot building that would display medical devices and products so doctors can see, test and buy them in one place.

If this sounds like what Chicago-based Merchandise Mart Properties Inc.'s Christopher Kennedy wants to do in Cleveland, that's because it is like it. And with good reason: It's a great idea.

The market for medical devices is $250 billion and climbing. And the market for medical-related trade shows is growing at twice the rate as the rest of the trade show industry, figures released last week reveal.

Some here doubt the New York deal's credibility.

Many more here are likely to wring their hands, convinced that New York will steal our shot at the next big thing. It'll be Rock Hall deja vu, they'll grumble; we'll get the building and New York will get the business.


A Medical Mart could open in Cleveland near a new convention center in 2010, which is two years before the New York building could be completed.

And Cleveland's partner is the pioneer of such marts, with 75 years in the trade show business. MMPI already runs a merchandise mart in New York City for kitchen and bath fixtures and another for gifts and home décor. After researching the best places to build one for medical devices and equipment, the company selected Cleveland.

What's more, because more than 550 medical trade shows rotate among cities from year to year, no one place - not even New York City - could handle all of the business. So, competitors will inevitably pop up, but being in on the ground floor would be an advantage for Cleveland. In addition, exhibitors probably would pay five times more for space in Manhattan than they would here.

A quarter-cent sales tax increase for a new convention center is to take effect Oct. 1, and a deal with MMPI could be sewn up by year's end.

Greater Clevelanders should greet news of a competitor with neither indifference nor resignation, but with resolve to support the plan in play based on the region's unique and vast medical assets.


The Plain Dealer -- mouthpiece for local politicos bought and paid for with our tax dollars!


( categories: )

NEO bloggers on medmart/referendum

Bill Callahan/Callahan's Cleveland Diary and Jill Miller Zimon/Writes Like She Talks weigh in, too. Gloria Ferris is busy organizing the referendum, but here's some blog from her on the issue in case you're wondering what she thinks. Marc Lefkowitz at GCBL has questions, too.

Chas Rich/NEOBabble comments on the NYC threat, " There's been no serious reporting, digging or writing about the convention center and med mart. The PD editorial board says that questions need to be answered but they haven't actually asked any -- vague topics of site, cost and the deal are not questions."

And at Brewed Fresh Daily... and Ed Morrison's older post here at realneo.

Thanks to everyone for lending a hand for the next couple weeks while we get the word out at

Please note other news and commentary here so we can stay on top of this thing for the immediate future.

What's the score?

  I do think that the petition drive is scaring some people.  We are not a bunch of sheep, afterall.  I work with the public and I feel the anger.  Can we keep a running score here and a posting of places where people can join the petition drive??  46,000 signatures are needed before August 26th!!!

August 22nd is closer to what's actually needed

Laura, and everybody else, we need to have the petition-gathering done by August 22nd to make it to the auditor's office by August 24th. We are really on a short fuse, and need to be acutely aware of that. Today gave us 10 days. We had a great wrap-up at the County Fair, too.

the issue of the running score

In a wartime situation, it is best not to give the enemy too much intelligence and perhaps it's even desirable to give it/them disinformation. The running score is such intelligence that's kept on close hold.

Interestingly enough, our posting on of things like the ballgame and the Burning River Fest as collection points allowed them to be ready for us, with their security guards fully briefed and their attorneys already consulted.

We need to be good guerrrillas and work around these sorts of things. Stay tuned.

Specifically a convention

Specifically a convention center is just that, it brings in events that bring in commerce.  If they are well managed and marketed correctly, they can offer commerce. They have calendars that need to be booked, having a niche market and a focus can add to that, it cannot hurt it.  In our area, we already have a huge exhibit space the IX and it will compete with the convention center.  That really is a big issue, because certain events are bread and butter for a convention center.  How would that work out?   Obviously, it would affect the ability to book events of both, also notice that the IX is not currently booking any large medical trade show.  


The med-mart would also or should be part of the facility, as a tenant, they would have to pay for the space and then sublet the space to vendors.  They would have their own management staff and work with the general management of the convention facility.  The object would be for all of them to work together booking as many events as possible.  The med mart focusing on national trade shows and running a perpetual med mart, that is not a bad business model but the county runs the risk of it failing and the med mart runs the risk of not being able to sustain enough interest to cover it costs to lease the space.       


Since there is already, national and international trade shows for medical equipment it is likely to succeed and grow if managed correctly, it could carry the facility until the IX is removed from the market, then the facility would be guaranteed the bread and butter shows that as of now it would compete with the IX for.  In a head to head, battle the old convention center lost to the IX easily.  Space ease of use and price, and hate to say it bureaucratic and unionized bullshit existed in the city’s convention center.    The convention centers in other cities compete across, not locally.  That is a good test of efficiency if the new convention center can beat out the IX then it could demonstrate an ability to beat out other facilities in other cities.  Customer service and price, ease of use, these are all real world criteria. 


Who should pay for the convention center, the taxpayers who else, they are designed to attract tourism and sales taxes.  That means the county gets more the state gets more and then spends more, it is a living breathing entity. 


The med mart is not an expensive add on and the connection to wealthy people in other places can be seen a lot of ways personally I think that is a positive connection.  


I also think since the tax is on consumption, not your home or your food, all the other things except a car.  It is so fair a general sales tax is not regressive. 


I would not mind the people from Boston running the whole convention center seriously.   Not locals I have had enough of locals.  


Good god, we have local politician well connected with the Kennedy family and it a bad thing?   Oh my god again, his wife has connections in Hollywood, quick run them out of town.  


The FBI looks at reviewing government contracts and large capital spending, the PD covers that.   If you feel the judges are soured then send a letter to them monitor the case, invite some attorneys or law students to attend I am all for that.  However, try not to take people apart with this rhetoric it s simply gross.  You cannot buy the FBI, but if you fill the air with rhetoric, you actually belittle something that could be very serious.  Over stating belittles arguments.     

  You answered my question--and virally--I hope other people pick up the information :)  Get out there.  Sign the petition.  Prove that we still have a democratic society.

continuing continuing

Remember this?

"Meanwhile, Vincent Carbone, president of R.P. Carbone Construction, the construction manager for the project, was recently indicted for bribing former Lorain County Commissioner Michael Ross.

But that didn't affect Carbone's contract. "We'll keep an eye on it," says County Administrator Dennis Madden.

The whole thing sounds so much like a boondoggle that not even Jimmy's closest friends can explain it.

"I was a little shocked they were going to pay that kind of money and then tear the building down," says Cleveland City Councilman Mike Polensek. "But then again, I'm not on the inside."" Cleveland Scene January 31, 2007

In case you all want to follow along... in Carbone case  06CR072430



new term to learn: "fiduciary"

I'd say it's about time for the government employees, elected, appointed, and hired, to begin to treat the public's money and welfare according to the highest standards. If they were acting even in a quasi-fiduciary capacity, then their exercise of "due diligence" with regard to contracts and contractors might preclude doing any further business with Carbone until the cloud on his clears.


We must ask, "what is your policy here"? Obviously, there are not laws, at first blush. (of course, the shameless don't blush).

We must also ask, "Do you have a conflict-of-interest policy, and does it apply here, and if so, how?"

in and out of jail

So in the Ameritrust article today in the PD we learn that Vincent Carbone who plead guilty to charges  in Lorain County Justice Center deal was released from his incarceration in May. In May!?! OK so I looked again. He was sentenced in October and by February, he began a two day a week work release deal. In and out of jail... a sort of skimpy punishment, eh? Was he incarcerated with the drug dealers, mother rapers and father rapers or does Ohio have those swanky white collar prisons for these swindlers? I lived near one in Florida while growing up there. The thing had a fence, but also tennis courts and an outdoor swimming pool fer chrissakes. I hope the FBI is looking also at the Futey, Voinovich, Carbone deals with the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission, too.

Faulty work plagues some new Ohio schools
no kidding cause according to this, Carbone's schoolwork goes back a ways, (this from a dispatch article published in 2002)

"Voinovich's former executive assistant, Andrew J. Futey, openly markets his connections, emphasizing the importance of his experience in the governor's office and knowledge of "what's happening in Columbus.''

Futey represents RP Carbone, a construction-management company that has received $7.6 million in unbid school work since 1999."

Real criminals

  These are the real criminals, Susan--and they should be made to serve real time with the murderers, burglars, and rapists, because they have destroyed the community safety net that would have prevented these adolescents from making the bad decisions that got them incarcerated. 

The joke is on us-as these folks spend their minimal jail time in "Club Fed" facilities, where they are allowed to rest, relax, lose weight and "find themselves," while the millions they stole are sheltered for them until they get out.   I would like to know why the PD hasn't pursued the corruption at Cleveland Metropolitan School District?  This has to follow with the wasteful spending and construction contracts there.  I personally would like to see Dan Burns put away in one of Ohio's finest maximum security prisons.  How is it he is allowed to walk away from the financial mess there?