Submitted by Roldo on Thu, 03/19/2009 - 10:02.

Never in my memory has there been such a scramble as the mauling going on over the $1 billion in public funds sitting out there for a Medical Mart.

There’s bruising battling going with Forest City’s Tower City, the choice of the Greater Cleveland Partnership - which means the town’s old establishment - but MMPI winning the backing of the County Commissioners, followed by desperate Scott Wolstein bringing up the rear and offering land he doesn’t own on the lakefront as the best choice.
I mean have you ever seen such a three-ring circus?
Why is this so?
Well, obviously because there is so much money involved and so little risk for the developer. It’s like money just awaiting someone with the right pickup bag.
Further, the economy here (and elsewhere) so stinks that any kind of development, particularly one so enriched by our politicians that the tax money acts as candy to children.
We see the entire country go rightly absolutely crazy over a few hundred million dollars stolen away in bonuses at AIG. You would think that somebody in Cleveland might get upset by $1 billion (and a lot more when the garages, infrastructure and hotel subsides to come are added) going as a prize for an unnecessary building.
The difference is that the AIG debacle is nourished by strong media coverage that stokes citizen outrage.
You don’t get that in the news media here.
With all the columnists in the Plain Dealer, I don’t believe I read one piece that highlights to discrepancies of this project. The high cost. The privatization by taxpayers paying for the project but a private owner. The passage of the tax without public input.  
You’d think that some columnist might see fodder in this fandango of developer greed.
Yes, it takes a match to start a fire.
But there are no flamethrowers in Cleveland media.
There has not been a voice in the conventional news media – newspaper or television – that has provided sizzle, never mind perspective, on this community issue.
You’d think the PD political columnists – Brent Larkin and Mark Naymik – could have a party with the business and political characters involved in this one – Sam Miller, Wolstein, a Kennedy, the arrogant Hagan and the “no comment” Jimmy Dimora.
Yet nary can a sharp word be read.
Same with Phillip Morris, Connie Schultz, and Regina Brett. Don’t they find anything despicable about this?
Our politicians and business leaders are treated as the Pope is in the Vatican newspaper. Much too much tolerance.
Television is the same. Nothing from Dick Feagler to Tom Beres that tests the public’s nerve. Don’t they have any strong feelings about $1 billion?
So what do we have? A billion dollars plus, a political fight between the town’s heavy-weights and the usurper from Chicago. But seemingly it doesn’t hit a nerve hit among what should be the town’s representatives of the People.
I did like today’s Plain Dealer front page headline, “Developer to Forest City: Get out of the way.”
Does that tell you how down-and-dirty this fight has gotten?
It does me. However, there isn’t a nasty word by any of those who should be setting the tone of public discourse.
Maybe that’s why the Plain Dealer and other newspapers can’t make it with the public anymore. There’s no oomph when it’s needed.
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All planning careers in corporate Public Relations

With old news media on the way out of business, the only career path for all the old media folks is to follow Chris Thompson into PR... political consulting.. crap like that... how big an office is there at Advance Northeast Ohio? 

Who is hiring press release writers? How about waiters?

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