On Friday former Councilman Christopher Smitherman who is presently running for Cincinnati City Council in the November 2011 election, wrote this on his facebook page.
“Councilmember Chris Bortz lost his cool AGAIN last night at the Cincinnati NAACP candidates night. I was sitting next to Kathy Harrell(FOP President) and my son. Councilmember Chris Bortz’s walks up to me and points his finger in my face and implies I am the reason the Cincinnati NAACP members did not extend a warm welcome to him. BORTZ says this in an aggressive way with the highest level of disrepect. He then walks out of INTEGRITY HALL and pushes the main door open like he wanted to kick the door open. I did NOT say one word.”
It is unclear why Councilman Chris Bortz believes NAACP members did not extend a warm welcome to him. Several witnesses in the packed audience stated that when Bortz gave his two minute introduction speech, the audience applauded him and even laughed at a few of his jokes.
Nicole T, an NAACP Executive member, wearing a Smitherman for Council t-shirt, stated that she tried to give Councilman Chris Bortz an invitation to a voter Pre-Rally that will be held in the fall and he refused it.
“One of the organizers of the Pre-Rally asked me to help handout invites to all the Council candidates. It was a packed house and candidates were leaving early, I assume to get to other events. I spotted Bortz walking out the door and politely tapped him on the shoulder and tried to hand him the envelope. He frowned and kept walking.”
Some speculate that Bortz came to the meeting angry and expecting NAACP members to be upset with him because earlier this year he was accused of using the “N” word at two sanitation workers.
“Black people are some of the most fair and forgiving people on this planet. But if Bortz used the “N” word, that’s unforgiveable. If he didn’t use the “N” word then why won’t he take a lie detector test? said Selma V. a local activist.
The alleged use of the “N” word and Bortz’s support of the streetcar, are two reasons why Bortz probably won’t get many black votes.
Still, Bortz is an endorsed Charterite with a few loyal supporters. Despite the controversy he may win a return seat on Council.
The Pre-Rally to “Energize and Educate Voters” that Bortz rejected an invite to will be held on Friday October 14th at 7:30 pm.
The location is the Cincinnati Community Action Agency (CAA) 1740 Langdon Farm Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45227 (Lower Level) For details 513.965.9308
The community and Cincinnati Council Candidates are invited.