by Bob Fitrakis
The train keeps a’rolling . . . the Clinton choo-choo . . . all aboard and park your principles in the excess baggage car. “You see, you got to vote for Clinton, ’cause of Newt Gingrich. If ya don’t, the Republicans will hurt workin’ people and people on welfare,” or so they explain on the train to Centristville.
Clinton’s visit to Columbus is like an episode of Twilight Zone. He’s created a bizarro world of gutless, soulless, and repentant baby boomers. The most vacuous and unprincipled Democratic president elected this century. President NAFTA, President GATT, destroyer of the New Deal.
Now, let me get this right. In 1992 I reluctantly supported Clinton, because if I didn’t, terrible things would happen. The Republicans would pass a free-trade agreement sending hundreds and thousands of U.S. jobs to sweatshops in the Third World and polluting the global environment. I voted for the Democrat so the Republicans wouldn’t create a police state with 100,000 police added to the streets causing the subsequent erosion of civil liberties based on hypocritical crime hysteria and stereotyping of the poor and minorities. I was supposed to vote for Clinton so the Republicans wouldn’t pass a vicious, mean-spirited Welfare Reform Act. So there would be universal health care, less poverty, etc.
Wait a minute. I voted for Clinton and I got Reagan and Bush’s GATT and NAFTA policies. I got Richard Nixon’s law-and-order agenda. I got Gingrich’s welfare reform act. I got 42 million Americans without health care in 1996 instead of 37 million in 1992. I got 15.1% of Americans living in poverty today instead of 14.2% four years ago. With Democrats like this, who needs Republicans?
Fear of Newt has neutered the Democratic Party. Today’s so-called Clintonesque “New Democrats” are still to the left of Mussolini, but are definitely to the right of the Eisenhower Republicans and, dare I say, Richard Nixon. The Democratic Party has turned itself into the pre-Ronald Reagan Republican Party and it now celebrates its hollow victory in Chicago.
“Oh my party’s bound and gagged and they’ve tied it to a chair. Won’t you please come to Chicago…”
Umberto’s inner-belt blues
Can Umberto Fedeli pick ’em, or what? Seems S.E. Johnson Company’s having a problem with its paving of Cleveland’s inner belt. According to Saturday’s Plain Dealer, Johnson’s resurfacing of part of Interstate 480 began “to crumble several months after completion.” Hope they’ve got insurance!
As previously noted, S.E. Johnson won $32 million in third-lane construction contracts from the Ohio Turnpike Commission earlier this year. In July, the company switched its liability insurance to the less-than-renowned Fedeli Group. The Fedeli Group is sort of like the Gang of Four, or the Mob of Three, or Horde of Two. The Group’s sole owner is Turnpike Commission Chair Umberto Fedeli.
Hopefully, everyone’s favorite minority front, Banks Carbone, didn’t use S.E. Johnson for the foundation work at the residence of Paul Mifsud, the governor’s former chief of staff. You can count on the fact that Banks didn’t actually do the work. He’s essentially subcontracts. Maybe T.G. can find an actual minority architect or builder to check the pavement and concrete work at Paul’s place.
A whiff of Y-Town
Something’s rotten in Y-town.
The Youngstown City Health Department received an Ohio Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative Grant from the Ohio Health Department. So far, so good, no smell.
But, the mayor of Y-town can’t document or provide proof of service contracts for $40,395 in grant funds. The money was spent and apparently no one was contracted to provide the required Save-the-Babies services. Starting to have a bit of an odd odor.
The Most Honorable Patrick J. Ungaro, mayor of Youngstown, was looking for a little favor from Georgie-boy-perhaps Y-town’s all-time favorite guv. Ungaro wanted the governor to look the other way over Youngstown’s inability to “provide executed personal service contracts for grant personnel,” as referenced in an August 9, 1996 letter to Ungaro from Ohio Department of Health Director Peter Somani. This is the grant equivalent of “no show” or “ghost” employees. Definitely a strong stench, particularly as, in a letter dated June 4, 1996, the guv had agreed that he would “would explore the state’s ability to waive recoupment of $40,395” of the missing funds. One wonders why our pro-life governor wouldn’t be more vigilant over such funds. But hey, Paul Mifsud-since resigned under a suspicious cloud-was running the show in the governor’s office then and I understand he’s got more than a few friends in Y-town.
Due to heightened scrutiny in the wake of Mifsud’s most untimely departure, the feds are looking very closely at the activities of the Voinovich administration. One federal source suggests that evidence points to the pockets of local Y-town politicals as the best possible recoupment site.
Now sources say a deal has been cut where Mayor Ungaro will look contrite and return the mysteriously missing money.
As the saying goes, “Y-town is mob…I mean, my town.”