DeLayed Gratification

Letters published December 19, 2007.

"The King of Spin," December 5

For Kucinich, is inaction a measure of success? I usually enjoy reading your articles that discuss Cleveland politics. I must confess that I have always been puzzled by the overt hostility that Scene directs toward Congressman Dennis Kucinich. The recent article by Denise Grollmus was filled with factual errors, half-truths, and blatant cheap shots.

Like most critics, Grollmus takes aim at his tenure as mayor. He is criticized for being abrasive, while the leadership of the banking community (former Cleveland Trust President Brock Weir) and former City Council President George Forbes are given a free pass. Even Grollmus has to admit that several of Kucinich's most outspoken critics have acknowledged that the preservation of Muny Light turned out to be a positive development.

The article proceeds to attack Kucinich's tenure in Congress. Republicans controlled Congress from 1995 to 2007. Grollmus states that Kucinich has yet to introduce any legislation that has become law. The same misleading tactic was used unsuccessfully against Senator Sherrod Brown. Members of the minority party typically do not pass a great deal of legislation.

If Grollmus accepts the premise that the number of laws passed has a direct correlation with job performance, she must think Tom DeLay was an outstanding congressman. Kucinich has never wavered in his support for policies that benefit working people. He has opposed all efforts to dismantle our industrial base for short-term profit.

I strongly support John Edwards' candidacy and believe he represents our best hope of putting a progressive in the White House. In any event, I hope Kucinich continues to represent Ohio in Congress for many years to come.

Mike Parsons

If Glover throws a fit, you must acquit: If only there was an Ig-Nobel prize for irresponsible mudslinging, I am certain that Denise Grollmus would be the winner. If Kucinich was a virulent race-baiter, how is it that Ione Biggs — the doyen of the Cleveland civil-rights movement — was a firm and dedicated supporter of Dennis, and why was Congressman emeritus Louis Stokes a firm ally of Dennis? And why are leaders of the Black Congressional Caucus like Barbara Lee and John Conyers strong supporters of Dennis, as is the noted actor and humanitarian Danny Glover?

With respect to Muny Light, Grollmus quotes a bank executive, who states, "If Dennis had only been a decent person . . . the banks would have bent over backwards to help him." That sounds a bit like Jesse James stating that he wouldn't have been a robber if only those whom he robbed had been more willing to give him their assets. As for the merits of municipal power companies versus private ones, one need only recall the disastrous power outage here several years ago and the more recent outages in California, where the only electric systems that remained operating were the municipally owned systems.

Finally, what may be the most absurd part of Grollmus' article is her constant references to the PD's Brent Larkin, who has made a career out of being a lap dog for real-estate moguls and the Bush neocon administration in Washington.

Stewart M. Robinson
Cleveland Heights

We thought it was Elizabeth who had us bewitched: I don't frequently read Scene, and I haven't written a letter about an article in more than 20 years, but I have to write and say thank you for this outstanding article.

I was beginning to think I was the only person who was living and working in Cleveland during that horrible period of the late 1970s. Your article is the only one I have seen in recent years that recaptures that tragic episode in Cleveland's political history with any accuracy.

The facts of history speak for themselves. I am sure other politicians have been able to perform seemingly magical feats with their past record, but in Cleveland, where I was born and raised, this is the only case of such magnitude that I am aware of.

Elliot Maras
Orange Village

"Pragmatic Racism," November 28

Ivory Tower City
In Yellow Springs, someone smells a mall rat: Fairly courageous piece. I'm glad you stuck your neck out for it.

I don't live in Cleveland right now. I'm in Yellow Springs, finishing up at Antioch College, but I heard about the ban on kids earlier in the year and thought it was thinly veiled racism. It's nice to see Scene step up and publish something with the potential to point out some symptoms of Cleveland's pervasive institutional problem.

Billy Joyce
Yellow Springs

"Contract Killing," November 14

The Buck Stops Here
Real hunters refuse shooting-gallery kills: I have been a hunter for 33 years, and this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Sitting in a chair, looking at deer through binoculars in a fenced facility while picking out the buck one wants to shoot, and the bigger the rack, the more it costs? This is not hunting.

Hunting is when you wake up at 4 a.m. You eat your breakfast and meet up with your friends and family, and head into the woods looking for signs, climbing ridges, finding that special place to hunt.

There's no challenge to riding up to a buck whenever you wish, just to slaughter the animal. You jerks that go to these places should try going in the woods, climbing in the mountains, matching wits with a buck, and using all the knowledge you have. How is it to take a buck and tell friends and family that all you did is pick it, shoot it, and pay? When you show pictures of your buck, do you tell people how you really slaughtered it, or do you lie and tell them a hunting story?

I sure do hope that you live in shame every time you look at that mount.

Darryl Caldwell
Covington, Virginia