CINCINNATI (TDB) -- GOP Chair Alex Triantafilou is defending a Republican judge who authorized a $1 million bond for a $27 theft offense, and says Democratic County Commissioner Todd Portune ought to keep his mouth shut. Portune suggested that bail bonds set by Cincinnati judges -- including the Dems on the bench -- should be monitored for abuses. Triantafilou says it is none of Portune's business. He's accused Portune, a lawyer by trade, of trying to make "pure political gain" from the incident. Imagine that. He also took a swipe at MSNBC's Keith Olbermann -- low viewership ratings or something.
The GOP chair contends the seven-figure bond was meant to keep a potentially suicidal suspect in jail. In other words, Triantafilou's spin is that it was all about well-intentioned judicial activism and a mission of mercy. Nothing mean spirited to it. Deputies and jail personnel could monitor the man, whose $1 million bond would keep him locked up and safe. Triantafilou, for some reason, doesn't mention that a healthcare or mental health facility might be a more appropriate setting than a jail. Reasonable people could probably debate the point: Are jails proper places for folks whose sensibilities are not seeming to function properly, who may be suffering a bout of illness?
The $1 million bond made news last month. Triantafilou, a former Hamilton County Common Pleas judge who quit to take over as party chair, accused Democrat Portune of mishandling campaigns seeking tax increases for a new jail in Cincinnati. He doesn't mention that his own GOP supported the tax increases and endorsed the jail expansion efforts:
"The Commissioners should focus on their own responsibilities, Twice in his tenure, Commissioner Portune has failed to convince the taxpayers to support a much needed new jails because his proposals have been bloated with large government programs that had little to do with more jail space. For pure political gain, Commissioner Portune reacted to the ridiculous reporting of guys like Keith Olberman (sic) to get his name in the paper."
Two points to take issue with: It is Olbermann with a double n. And the jail tax "bloated with large government programs" was backed by Triantafilou's own party, something that is made clear here. Portune and the Dems are not likely to lay down and take the attack.