Hillary must know you can lose a primary based on trade alone, right?

Today in her first campaign speech for the 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton used the word “bargain” in a very deliberate context. Hillary knows the decades of scholarship using the term “bargain” to describe the ideological compromise of the New Deal; the location of her speech is no cheap campaign prop.

New America Foundation president and CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter, whose appointment to the Obama administration Hillary herself announced, in 1993 used the ideological bargain terminology to describe the 1944 Bretton Woods System, a Roosevelt project, governing post war international monetary policy and trade.

Repeat. Trade.

According to Slaughter and most other eminent scholars, BWS was a complicated ideological compromise at the global level between American New Deal dynamics and free market, “light touch”, laissez faire neoliberal capitalism.[1] Nation state priorities expressed politically, such  as social welfare and full employment, would co-exist with the interests of money.  Specifically, with the interests of capitalism. BWS created rules, norms, and regimes designed to maximize the benefits of both capital and the state, and minimize the risk that neither state nor capital would repeat their worst known potential – war and collapse.

Hillary knows the New Deal was way more than an alphabet soup in a grainy newsreel, and BWS is arguably its crowning jewel. The BWS monetary order is credited by the same scholarship with creating what Americans uniformly imagine as its nostalgic nirvana – the post war baby boom years, 1945 until the early 1960′s.

The Pax Americana. The white picket fences. Opie. ’57 Chevys. Drive-in movies. Elvis.

You know, Happy Days.

The BWS monetary order created these trade debates based on voluntary participation by nations. BWS gave birth to GATT, which begat the WTO, set in motion the processes that led to NAFTA and PNTR. But Roosevelt’s intent for BWS was to place far more enforcement emphasis on capital controls than on liberalization of trade. Trade negotiations internationally were to be voluntary, based in liberalization and free markets. But capital controls were assumed. Limiting the ability of monetary movements across international borders was a primary lesson of the Greta Depression pre-war years.

That capital control bit is now gone. Nothing controls the movement of capital across international borders. A new compromise between state and capital is long overdue. Yet the zombie undead of trade agreements based on nothing but neoliberal ideological Adam Smith pure capitalist dogma march on. We see the results, which is why Hillary is being pushed leftward.

Hillary’s income inequality references today though seem like window dressing – she certainly understands what’s happening. Knows its theoretical source. Knows the history. Knows what happens when capitalism in its purest form is unleashed at the international level, with no regulation, no taxing powers, no limits on speed of light transfers of titanic amounts. Friday, that march was halted in the U.S., by Congress, incredibly, this Congress, for the first time since, arguably, the BWS compromise in 1944.

Voters are done with the con job of trade agreements. Left and right. White and black. Old, young, Tea Party, Occupy.

Fed.

Up.

Have been since at least 2002, when Ohio Congressman Tom Sawyer was defeated by insurgent primary challenger Tim Ryan based almost solely on Sawyer’s votes for GATT, PNTR, and NAFTA. That long promised lifting tide raising all boats? Voters see the results on their kitchen table.

No tide. No lifting boats. It’s a con. We bought it. We took it for a spin. This thing is a lemon. Woe unto those who try to sell us another one.

Hillary knows there are very deep, ideological and historical reasons for all this. She knows very well how important that TAA vote was on Friday. Without any meaningful control on capitalism, trade agreements based solely in the goal of freeing the Invisible Hand ever further, will merely suck wages ever downward, and income ever upward. All Hillary has to do is ask Mrs. Slaughter.

This is why Hillary’s silence on Friday’s TAA vote in Congress in her first campaign speech is so striking. Hillary surely knows this fight isn’t over, and never really is. The “bargain” Hillary refers to has long been in shreds. I assume Hillary also knows that an incumbent can lose to an unlikely challenger based on nothing else but trade.

I expect she’ll chime in soon.

[1] Burley, Anne-Marie, Regulating the World; Multilateralism, International Law, and the Projection of the New Deal Regulatory State, ed. Ruggie, J., Multilateralism Matters, Columbia University Press, 1993, p. 129.

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Why is Labour going in the opposite direction of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren?

EAST_IS_RED_BANNER

On the eve of the Cultural Revolution in China in 1965, Mao presented an epic “song and dance” number called The East Is Red, an over the top social realism extravaganza, the opening bell of what would become Mao’s final disastrous purge.

Watching the Labour Party after its 2015 defeat is like watching The East Is Red in ideological reverse. Bent over before capital in their summer long struggle session, Labour leadership candidates appear as Mitt Romney confessing his sins against Adam Smith Thought, bad mouthing unions, welfare mothers, immigrants. You know the drill, Fox News style. Like any good Maoist saying, one word will do for Labour this summer – “aspiration”. Let a hundred flowers aspire. The Great Leap of Aspiration.

The game is rigged. Voters know this to their bones, not just in the US, but all over the world. The term “the 1%” governs political debate, even in capital’s promised land, the US. Academics refer to this rigged game as the total triumph by neoliberal free market dogma over the New Deal compromise between labour and capital. Voters describe it with profanity. Collective bargaining has practically disappeared, states have lost the ability to tax their richest citizens, world GDP may now be dwarfed by a mountain of cash kicking its feet up in capital’s perfect nirvana, the untaxed, unseen, unregulated offshore centered in the City of London’s legal remnants of the British Empire. The world has never seen so much capital so free. The nation state is reduced to capital’s ATM.

How rigged? Two Americans responsible for Barack Obama’s presidency worked on opposite sides of the 2015 UK general election, David Axelrod for Labour, Jim Messina for the Tories. They will both cash in on Hillary Clinton. Emphasis on the word “cash”.

The Axlerod-Messina Labour-Tory Two-Step manifests in a growing body of literature proving that capital thus unleashed has eliminated the power of the state to regulate markets, ever further reducing citizen participation in democracy, based on voters’ reasonable conclusion that it does not matter who is elected, from any party, capital will get what it wants. Always.

Interestingly, while the west has shredded the compromise between labor and capital, China’s same compromise, while leaning a bit Stalinist, is taking us all to the cleaners. To western neoliberal high priests of capital, this does not compute. A Marxist state run economy appears immune to the “rules” of capitalism. How can this be? Leaving the market alone is supposed to be an unchallenged law of nature.

Capitalist ideology stands so totally victorious, a movement now exists among economics students to challenge their faculties’ blind, near religious exclusion of anything other than neoliberal free market dogma from their instruction. Perhaps the Chinese compromise between labor and capital works better than no compromise at all, but we can never be allowed to know.

Enter Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Knowing that Hillary Clinton has already benefitted from this rigged game to the point Wall Street has their arms wrapped around her, Democrats who refuse to give up on the New Deal compromise will spend the next year pushing, dragging, begging Hillary Clinton leftward. Sanders and Warren’s call to break up the banks, which even has Republican support, has an equivalent British position, which Labour once advocated as recently as Clement Attlee – abolish the Corporation of the City of London. Can anyone imagine any Labour leadership candidate uttering those words this summer? Not one leadership candidate utters a peep about the City, or Wall Street.

One cannot aspire to anything in a rigged game. Labour has been treating their membership, and through them the voters, like fools for far too long. No one believes a single thing Labour says anymore, on any matter, not in Scotland or the East Midlands. No voter joins a political party of the left to start wars based on lies, or help rig the game for capital. If a political party claiming to be socialist does both, it’s quite plainly nothing more than a vehicle for access to power.

At the grassroots, Labour isn’t fooled anymore. If Labour continues this total farce of a leadership process, the new leader at conference in Brighton in September will look upon an empty shell, precisely what the rigged rules of capital destine a political party conference to be. We Americans know this all too well. My hometown of Cleveland, Ohio will host the Republican Convention in 2016, which no one has mistaken for a political process in decades.

Labour once looked to Bill Clinton, which is how I ended up campaigning in pit villages for three general elections. We Democrats used to see working for Labour as an external validation of our leftiness. About face, comrades, and march back to your roots. Nothing is more aspirational than breaking this rigged game. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are onto something. Regain Labour’s authenticity. The voters, especially in Scotland, will notice. I bet Hillary Clinton notices, too.

Tim Russo is one of the first American Democratic Party consultants to work for New Labour in 1997. Now filled with the zeal of the recently converted, he is pursuing a masters in international relations at Cleveland State University, studying Labour’s approach to the City of London this spring.

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The end of New Labour’s rigged game

On the day Saddam Hussein’s statue came down in 2003, I was at the East Midlands Labour Party HQ in Barratt Lane near Nottingham standing next to then regional secretary, Roy Kennedy, watching it on Sky News. The concern on Roy’s face was evident. So I asked, “What do you think?” Roy said bluntly, in his London Cockney brogue, “They’d better find those weapons, mate.” Roy is now in the House of Lords. There were no WMDs.

I was one of the first Americans to go work for Tony Blair’s New Labour in the UK in 1997, after being Bill Clinton’s 1996 Ohio GOTV State Director. That’s why Labour hired me – for the GOTV expertise. David Axelrod, you’re welcome.

Thus, I was at the very center of the Blair era, for three general election victories, plus Labour’s inaugural campaign for London mayor in 2000, plus a few party conferences. I brought Labour staff to work with me in the former soviet republics training political parties, and brought even more to the US for the Al Gore campaign in 2000. I love and cherish all the friends I made in Tony Blair’s Labour. I even tried to do a documentary film on it all once at party conference in Brighton in 2001; they couldn’t get rid of me.

As the Republican Party (and Hillary Clinton) knows all too well, there has yet to be a fair account and reckoning politically for Iraq, and that includes Tony Blair and New Labour. That is one root of this month’s thrashing at the hands of British voters. That’s not all that Labour must reckon with before voters trust them again with the time of day.

The target of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, today’s rigged game, which has created the first American generation that expects to do worse than the generations before it, was built mostly by New Democrats, and New Labour.  We were the indispensable “progressive” window dressing on capital’s dismantling of the New Deal compromise.

Just look at what Blair’s ballot stuffing “reforms” left behind in the medieval City of London, a rogue state standing atop a mountain of systemic offshore financial risk, utterly uncommented upon by anyone in the Labour Party’s London collection of powerless elected officials, even as they select another candidate for London Mayor in 2016 who is just as silent on the matter, and who upon election will remain without jurisdiction over the Square Mile. I had never realized the role I played rigging that particular game in 2000 until I studied it this semester 15 years later as a student at Cleveland State. No zeal quite like that of the recently converted.

After Labour’s 2015 defeat, a campaign in which no Labour candidate would dare be seen in their presence, we now hear from Blair, Alan Johnson, Peter Mandelson, John Prescott, who, incredibly, argued after the election that Ed Miliband should have campaigned on the banking bailout. This predictable parade of Blairite lords and ladies, at this point indistinguishable from Mitt Romney, lectures us that Labour needs to stay “aspirational”, as if one can aspire to anything in a rigged game. Lord Mandelson is even pimping to be the new leader Chuka Umunna, a City of London “employment” lawyer (read: outsourcing and union busting) straight out of the City’s offshore petri dish. It’s become comical.

Is anyone awake in Britain? Does it not bother me old mates that Jim Messina, late of Barack Obama, now takes credit for electing Tories, and next shall cash in on Hillary Clinton? Are the lights on? There’s a reason Democrats want to push Hillary leftward for a solid two years. No one joins the Democratic Party, or the Labour Party, to start wars based on lies, or rig their country and the world for plutocrats and oligarchs, but turns out that’s exactly what we did. Some of us are in a mood to reverse that course.

Labour members know better. It isn’t 1997 anymore. The days when a Labour staffer could fool a Trot into missing a key policy vote at conference by offering them tea are well over. The blinders are off, voters know to their bones the game is rigged, quite aware of who rigged it, and to those voters, Labour in 2015 stands for nothing other than access to power. No matter how many vapidly facile “pledges” get carved into an Ed Stone, when a party loses trust this badly, voters do not wish to hear how aspirationally sincere a party’s rigged noncredible leadership claims to be.

Labour’s conference is again in Brighton this September. Before deciding on a new leader, Labour needs to hold a broad, inclusive, loud, air-clearing debate at party conference in Brighton, hold itself to account, rebuild credibility from the bottom up, and begin the long struggle of unrigging this game. A party called Labour ought to be counted on for at least that. Across the pond, we could use the help.

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The City of London vs. Bretton Woods

Worshipful Whatnots

Worshipful Whatnots

Completed for the International Political Economy class in the CSU MAGI program, Spring semester 2015. This paper includes some of my personal collection of campaign leaflets from my time working for Labour’s London mayoral candidate Frank Dobson in 2000.

ABSTRACT: Based on an analysis of Krasner’s four factors of sovereignty, the 1,000 year history of the Corporation of the City of London, and the inaugural election of the Greater London Authority in 2000, this paper will argue that the Corporation is a sovereign state which in 1955 breached the Bretton Woods framework by creating the Eurodollar market, embedding a systemic risk into the international monetary system through the sovereignty of the City’s offshore. 

Read the paper here - CityOfLondonVersusBrettonWoods

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Kant’s Trickster Quotient

So this paper disappeared from my website while I revised the paper at the end of last fall’s semester, and submitted it for publication to various academic journals. It’s still under review for publication, so in the meantime, I provide the paper at the link at the end of this post. There is almost no theoretical study in academia addressing the internet’s role in political risk; in fact, I’m pretty sure this paper is alone in applying settled international relations theory to political risk arising from the internet.

TITLE: Kant’s Trickster Quotient – A Non-State Actor Accesses International Relations Anarchy From The Internet

ABSTRACT: Kant’s 1795 essay Toward Perpetual Peace forms the basis for “democratic peace” theory in international relations. Kant posits a moral enforcement mechanism upon mankind, “nature” or “providence”, i.e. God, or a god, based in reason, which forces mankind to evolve toward perpetual peace. Functioning as a mythical trickster deity, the internet, via groups like Wikileaks & Anonymous, opened a channel during the Arab Spring through which Kant’s normative global consensus acts a “trickster” upon international relations as a nonstate actor with unprecedented power to threaten the survival of states incompatible with perpetual peace. This paper introduces “T”, a political risk index that can measure, observe, and potentially predict Kant’s trickster at work.

PSC501TermPaperTimRusso

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I’m a student again

Last year, summer 2013, I applied to my 1989 alma mater Cleveland State University for the Master of Arts in Global Interaction (MAGI). Some folks will recall that didn’t go so well. I was denied admission based on my 2002 criminal conviction. I appealed the denial directly to CSU president Ronald Berkman with a letter writing campaign from friends, family, and supporters, to no avail. After my run for County Executive in the May 6, 2014 Democratic primary, I decided to re-apply to the same MAGI program based on my performance in the election. The only additional information required for my new application was an updated personal statement, which follows.

In 2013, I applied for the MAGI program, and was denied admission based solely on my 2002 criminal conviction. A few months later, I decided to run in the 2014 May 6 Democratic Primary for County Executive. 
The reason I decided to place my name on the ballot for the second time (first in 2010 for County Council Disrict 7 where I earned 730 votes), is that the political process, and specifically the voters, are the only forum in which I can be judged as an entire person, not by one mistake. Voters decide who should lead them based on the entirety of a candidate’s record, biography, achievements, faults, mistakes…warts and all.
I earned 9,171 votes on May 6, placing third among six candidates, well ahead of both a former county sheriff, and a former mayor. Voters were given ample notice of my mistakes and faults, in fact, every single mention of my candidacy in Cleveland media pointed directly, and often only, to my past.  Still, I placed third.
I believe CSU, my alma mater, did me a great and very personal wrong in 2013. Thousands of voters in Cuyahoga County disagree with CSU’s admissions committee decision in 2013, with their votes. If someone like me cannot attend a public university, even after proving himself not just professionally & academically, but politically, then I believe I have proven CSU’s admissions policy as unjust and wrong as applied in my case, and that policy must change. 
CSU has an excellent opportunity to right that wrong, today, in 2014. It would be an honor to help CSU move forward beyond this mistake as a MAGI candidate. 
I learned this morning, August 9, 2014, my application was successful and I begin classes as a full time student in a couple of weeks. I would like to thank everyone who helped me along this journey – you know who you are – and I promise I won’t let any of you down.

 

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Insight into the inevitable, Loren Naji edition

Exploding_Plastic_Inevitable

playbill, 1966

Art, if it works, holds a mirror up to the observer where they see themselves, forcing them to question their assumptions about their world. In performance art, the observer ideally becomes part of the art piece in some way. Hence, The Exploding Russo Inevitable, i.e., my campaign for county executive in 2014. It was a group performance from Day One.

The origins of the piece’s title were foreign to almost everyone, even the finest artists in CLE – very few people “got it”. (isn’t CLE the birthplace of rock ‘n roll? Come on, people.) Getting it required that you at least had heard of The Exploding Plastic Inevitable, a performance art combination of pop art and rock n’ roll, performed by Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground & Nico across America in 1966. It’s music forms the entire “Banana Album”, the Velvets’ debut, widely understood as one of the most influential albums in the history of popular music. No one really “got it” either when the album was released in 1967 (the year I was born). It never sold. The Brian Eno saying goes that everyone who did buy the album started a rock n’ roll band.

The “art” of the Exploding Russo Inevitable, the work product, wasn’t done by me – it was done by others via their reactions to it. From all manner of social media silliness all the way to the banal of hand shaking at bingo games, speeches, debates – I may have held the paint brushes. Everyone else was the paint.

My favorite example was, of course, the media reaction to my candidacy. Very reliable materials. No paint on a palette behaves as predictably as our local media behaved in response to me running for office. Almost unanimously, they hit the canvass in one of two ways – invisibly with their silence, or spectacularly with their despise. When I got lazy, or depressed, or tired, like any artist, they were my go-to can of Pollock splatters. They were too easy.

Good art, of course, doesn’t rely on two colors used predictably. Like in a Rothko, or a Turner, the interesting bits are where the better colors bleed into each other, “react” with one another. That began happening as observers saw themselves in the mirror, and did something. Today, social media allows you to often watch that reaction in real time. See whose reflection in the mirror affects them most, or least. I ended up with just over 9,000 votes. Each one, a splash of paint, a carve on a marble, or a note of music.

But those were just the votes.  Mixing art and politics in a performance piece goes well beyond the artificial “deadline” of an election and its crossed T’s or dotted I’s. Henry Senyak was a late arrival in the paint box – his raid on Loren Naji the Friday before the election should have been something I ignored – if I was a typical candidate. For the Exploding Russo Inevitable? It was an opportunity.

Seeing how people reacted to learning, from me, two days before the election, how Senyak became Joe Cimperman’s Senyak, how this one sorry buzz killer had accrued enough power to send 7 cars of tactical geared jackboots to an art gallery opening – the first brush strokes have been very revealing. Lots of people seeing lots of things in the mirror. Drops of paint are still hitting the canvass, behaving very interestingly.

Pay attention to them.

They’re inevitable.

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Senyak vs. Cimperman – Pass the popcorn!

BuzzkillHenry

Ah, the sweet sound of rats fucking each other in spring. Joe Cimperman has been adamant to anyone who will ask that he knew nothing about the raid on Loren Naji’s gallery Friday night, nor anything about any complaints or investigations by Liquor Control of Loren’s gallery openings. As in this email which was posted on Facebook by someone who contacted Cimperman to protest..

CimpermanNajiRaidEmail

Good thing Joe gave us all permission to “share this with anyone!” Because Henry Senyak doesn’t like being thrown under that bus. Senyak yesterday, right before a late night flurry of self aggrandizing links documenting his Hero of Tremont status (bestowed upon him by Cimperman of course), posted this yesterday, claiming Cimperman knew all about the raid, was contacting the city & police morning of, and that Senyak has documentation that Cimperman knew.

SenyakCimpermanRaidStatus050714In addition, Cimperman is now telling anyone within earshot (except Henry of course) that Henry Senyak is insane, that he has no control over Senyak because Senyak is insane, that Henry and Cimperman have nothing to do with each other anymore, that Cimperman washed his hands of Senyak oh so long ago, because of said insanity. I’m gonna need more popcorn.

Before either Joe Cimperman or Eric Wobser of Ohio City Inc. met with Loren after the raid (on Tuesday), they met with each other (on Monday). Wobser won’t tell me why, but Wobser flat out denies to me that he and Cimperman have designs on Loren’s property other than Loren owning it. Now that everyone is lying through their teeth tossing each other under buses, I have a real hard time believing Wobser.

Ari Maron, everyone’s favorite Issue 7 sin tax “Daddy Bought Me A Bar On E. 4th St.” pimp, owns the properties contiguous to Loren’s gallery. One of those buildings used to house a bar called Envy, which may have been the only black gay bar in the entire city. Senyak is quite proud he was the heavy in going after Envy and getting them shut down. Shortly after Envy was shut down, Maron had the building torn down. As a result, Loren got a big empty wall where Maron’s building used to be, and of course, made art out of it. Because awesome.

There are rumors galore from multiple sources that Ohio City Inc. would like to put a brewery on that block. I can understand these denials from Cimperman & Wobser, because if OCI and Cimperman are in fact using Henry Senyak’s special talent for assholery in order to intimidate a land owner on the down low in favor of another development, that would likely be a federal crime. See Chris Christie. So if I were Henry Senyak, I’d find myself a lawyer toute suite.

And I’m gonna need to have Orville Reddenbacher deliver wholesale.

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A change gonna come

Yesterday, I came in third place, crushing both a former county sheriff, and a former mayor, raising nor spending not one nickel on my campaign.

I never got one phone call from a TV station about this election.  The last time any TV news covered the county executive race, about any candidate, was in January, to announce Armond Budish’s Democratic Party endorsement, and that was on WKYC, which has been on Budish’s payroll for the last 15 years. Every other mention of my name in any other media, print, internet, or radio, obsessed over one thing about me – my ancient criminal conviction, nearly always mentioned with gratuitous bullying glee, as if it was news the 20th time they said it.

Still came in third.

Birthed from the grotesque chaos of a Democratic, a Democratic council, voting unanimously to take money from the poor and give it to the rich, the only election Cleveland TV covered was a campaign by 3 billionaires to fund themselves, which every TV station endorsed, some explicitly, to the point that watching an Indians game felt like subjecting oneself to a pitch from Tammy Faye Baker for 3 hours.

But this too was a blessing.

Because it united the widest political divide in America in my lifetime. Me and Cleveland Tea Party founder Ralph King were at each other’s throats online for years in the most vicious ways imaginable. Over the last month, Ralph and I became thick as thieves, talking on the phone almost every day, right after, or before, talking to Erin McCardle about the same campaign we all worked on. Did so today.

Erin’s 2011 Occupy Cleveland arrest awaits an Ohio Supreme Court ruling.

Ralph has spoken at every Tea Party rally in Cleveland since 2009.

The clock is ticking on this rigged game, which sends tactical geared dick wagging tools to seize beer from an artist giving it away for free on his own property while, at the very same moment, shoveling nickels and dimes by the hundreds of millions from people in poverty to out of town billionaires on the public teat.

Post soviet dictators buy the TV stations and newspapers first. After that, it’s all academic. The politicians come very cheap. The laws write themselves. The ballot box rolls right over. Money flows in predictable ways, scientifically. Power concentrates until its density is so great almost no one has access to it, no voice is heard other than that of cash.

The light bulb is going on. Our plutocrat oligarchs’ days are numbered.

They have a choice.

They can unrig this game themselves, or it will soon be unrigged whether they like it or not, with not a care in the world as to who gets run over, how they get run over, or what’s left by the side of the road. History is littered with their remains in every corner of the globe. They think it can’t happen in America? How un-American.

We’ve been taking notes. The 1% is laughably inaccurate anymore, it’s too big a number. Fewer than the number of lords and assorted royalty who owned medieval Europe’s serfs. We know who they are, we know how few of them there are, we know who their whores are, and we know precisely how they have divided us for so long to keep their pockets bursting at the seems with our money, our futures, our lives.

I feel great today. It may take twenty years. Or, a spark may be lit in an unpredictable moment tomorrow. Tonight. Or this afternoon. Maybe next week.

But a change gonna come.

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A two headed snake targets Ohio City next

SenyakFishes

I of course had no intention of spending the last weekend of the campaign defending my friend Loren Naji from known Tremont bully Henry Senyak, who had Loren’s gallery on W. 25th in Ohio City raided on Friday night for having beer at a gallery opening. But I’ve known Loren for a long time – Loren has been a good friend to me – when I ran for council in 2010, he covered the gallery’s front with Russo signs. Practically every video of Loren’s art that’s online, I shot, edited, produced, and directed, since 2008. (here’s my fave) So when the petty piss ant politics of this town jacks up my friend in the court system, I have no choice.

Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman and Henry Senyak have a little shtick, birthed out of the corrupt cess pit of Tremont development scams. I learned about it almost the minute I moved into Tremont in 2004. First, Senyak starts a jihad against a business owner on email. Senyak has a few online minions who make a bigger stink for him. It lasts for months, often years. It gets vicious, personal, and entangles the target in endless harassment. They targeted me a few times.

Cimperman and his cast of landed gentry apologists pretend they are oh so outraged by Senyak, pretend to get Senyak to stop, which never happens of course. Then Cimperman showers Senyak with awards and plaudits and positions on boards, pictures with VIPs from the city, the police department, etc. Then Senyak’s target is on their own, either going out of business like the Starkweather Bar eventually did across the street from Senyak’s home (which is now the Tap House), or ends up in court, or a zoning morass of Senyak’s choosing, sucked dry. Cimperman then has people begging him for help. He loves it.

Cimperman and Senyak then lather rinse repeat. For at least a decade. Maybe longer. Tremont West Development Corporation, which actually elected this shit stain Senyak to its board (with Cimperman’s support), has not just enabled Senyak, but empowered him, with the total support of Joe Cimperman, every step of the way. When I moved out of Tremont in 2010, one of the great pleasures was thinking I’d never have to deal with this nonsense ever again. But then the Senyak-Cimperman two step visited my friend Loren.

Lo and behold, turns out these two frauds picked the wrong target this time. Support for Loren is broad, wide, deep, and unanimous. So unanimous, Senyak and Cimperman have been throwing each other under the bus to blame the other, both lying about who knew what about the raid. Cimperman claimed initially he had no idea anyone had any problem with Loren Naji’s gallery on W. 25th, then Senyak posted an email from 15 months ago from CPD’s Keith Sulzer showing Cimperman knew as far back as March 2013. (along with all the plaques Cimperman handed him declaring Senyak’s awesomeness.) Now Senyak is claiming Eric Wobser of the Ohio City CDC has some other plan for Loren’s property, so Cimperman sent in the raid. I can’t wait to hear what Cimperman’s next lie is. He’s skilled at it. Senyak is doing his predictably bizarre victory lap.

The response online among Loren’s supporters is wonderful, but it needs a little bite. Namely, this is not some out of the blue random state power abuse. It is a known pattern. Knock on any business door in Tremont, and they will tell you their own horror story about Senyak and his pathetic online minions descending upon them with a flurry of insanity. Then they’ll tell you just how pointless Cimperman was in response. It’s not new. Senyak and Cimperman’s sick game is as predictable as the sun rising in the east tomorrow.

Now, how does this matter to a guy running for county executive on the ballot Tuesday? Not much. I could make some big pivot to my message here, but there isn’t one really. Cimperman endorsed Armond Budish. And Issue 7. Of course. But no, this has nothing to do with me.  If my friend is in trouble with the law from a low rent protection racket that I’ve seen play out many times myself, I am done playing nice with liars and bullies, and I need to chime in, no matter what else may be going on in my life. I may lose a few votes in the Cimperman Sycophant crowd, but I never had those anyway, because they all like to play this rigged game just as it is.

You won’t hear any of this reported in the local media, either. Cimperman will make damned sure of that.   Cimperman this minute is probably weaving together some flimsy tissue of lies to pretend this has NEVER EVER happened BEFORE, MY GOD HOW HORRIBLE. You’ve all heard that line from Joe, no?

I’ve spent the last day trying to warn folks in Ohio City they’re probably next, and assure Loren that this ain’t over by a long shot. Senyak and his minions most certainly already have a list of businesses up and down W. 25th St. who he’s stalked, like a self-appointed vigilante in the night complete with infrared binoculars or some other bullshit, who have no idea they too are on Cimperman’s 15 month wait list for a raid. Maybe they’re listening, maybe not. They will be 15 months from now, I guarantee you that. But it’d be nice if for once, a group of local business owners in a high profile neighborhood like Ohio City stood up to a bully and his political sponsor. We’ll see.

Anyway, vote for me.

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