Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Marty Mohr Mugging for Moe

City Council meetings are turning into the Marty Mohr Show. Is this how Jerry Springer, former mayor of Cincinnati, got his start in show business? Mohr’s mugging for the camera when "Moe" Ferguson caught him red-handed at the illegal pre-meeting meeting in the city clerk’s office shows how much contempt and defiance Mohr has for a free press and the public it serves.

Mohr is Ward 6 councilman and owner of Automania, the car radio business. If nothing else, last night’s May 23rd meeting of the Portsmouth City Council showed that there are some citizens who are not going to take any Mohr crap sitting down. Objecting to his attempts to stifle free speech at the council meetings, the same citizens whom the crapulous (i.e., intemperate) Mohr at an earlier meeting had called “crap” dared to stand up at last night’s meeting and say they objected to his motion to eliminate free speech, which got them ejected from the meeting.

Probably infuriated by the rumors of his adultery circulating on local chat rooms, Mohr seems determined to deny citizens the right to say anything at council meetings. If citizens attending last night’s meeting so much as mentioned the name of a councilman in their remarks to council, in any context, Mohr called them out of order and instructed police to eject them from the Municipal Building. His response seems as irrational as it is ineffective, because his attempt to change council rules and eliminate the part of the meeting allowing citizens to speak on items not on the agenda failed by a vote of 4 to 2.

Judging by how he conducted himself in the rest of last night’s meeting, Mohr must have been incensed by the 4 to 2 vote. He had succeeded in instigating a disorder that he could then use to justify stifling free speech, but four other councilmen did not buy his argument. Councilman Malone wisely declined to be defended by the undemocratic duo of Baughman and Mohr, saying he was quite capable of defending himself, and he did not need to stifle free speech to do it.

While citizens speak during the non-item segment of city council meetings, Mohr, unlike other council members, avoids looking at them, in a studied show of disrespect. As a political ally, the smarmy Baughman has indulged Mohr’s dictatorial tendencies, and excused his crapulousness, but Baughman is clearly eager to move on to other business. Mohr is out of order. By turning meetings into the Marty Mohr Show, he is interfering with the council’s normal business of mulcting the public. How does he expect the fraudulent Marting’s deal to be completed if he continues to incite disorder?