Timothy Loper ran unopposed in Ward 1 in the recent election and naturally won. Loper had previously won a recall election, in 2004, having run as a reform candidate who was opposed to the over-privileged of Portsmouth and to the city’s purchase of the Marting building in particular. In a taped interview with me before the 2004 recall election, which I did for a documentary Recall of Mayor Bauer, Loper said he had been unable to find steady work in Portsmouth and he blamed those in power with failing to revive the city’s depressed economy.
He convinced me he was a sincere reformer, and, as a resident of Ward 1, I voted for him, even though a person who knew him better than I warned me at the time that he was “worthless.” Once elected Loper quickly changed his tune and became part of the corrupt council majority that voted for Marting’s and is otherwise in the pocket of the over-privileged of Portsmouth. In one council meeting, he appeared to suffer pangs of conscience and said he had been “played for a dummy long enough,” but in subsequent meetings he went back to being played for a dummy.
In addition to having trouble holding down a steady job, Loper also had trouble holding on to his Madison St. house, which was sold at sheriff’s auction. When complaints were made that he had moved out of Ward 1 following the sale of his house, and that he therefore could no longer legally be Ward 1 councilman, Loper claimed he was still living in Ward 1, at 519 1/2 Third St. in what I've been told is a former small shoe repair shop. As proof of his place of residence, his name was pasted conspicuously in gold letters on the mail box. Unpersuaded by the mail box, and the makeshift digs on Third St., Harold Daub wrote a letter to the city solicitor asking for an investigation into the issue of Loper’s residence.
Spud's Live Bait Shop
Coincidentally, or perhaps it was preordained, Daub and Loper were both at the scene of a fire one night at a boarded-up bait shop in Ward 1, where Daub was taking photographs of the conflagration. Loper approached Daub and complained about the letter he sent to the city solicitor asking for an investigation of Loper's residential status. Later, according to Daub, as he was about to take a photo, Loper “sucker-punched” him. In his instructional video, “Science of the Sucker Punch,” judo expert Tony Blauer defines such a punch as “any kind of surprise attack or ambush which is unannounced and comes without warning.” At first Loper admitted punching Daub, but he claimed Daub had swung first. Then Loper completely changed his story, saying he hadn't punched Daub, that Daub had fallen after tripping over a fire hose.
Daub in hospital
Daub ended up in a hospital bed, and filed charges against Loper, but he does not expect any action to be taken against Loper. Daub has been a thorn in the side of the over-privileged ever since he was recalled from city council in 1980. Loper is a city councilman who has seen the light of the SOGP shining on his troubled life – so that may explain why the matter will be dropped.
Daub was slugged at the moment he was taking a photograph of the burning building. I would like to see Daub’s blurred photo enlarged and hung on a wall of the Scioto Museum of Art, and perhaps copies could be put on sale at the new Welcome Center as a surrealistic expression of Portsmouth’s hellish political atmosphere. I can even suggest a name for Daub’s sucker-punch masterpiece: Flagrante Delicto ("while the crime is blazing")
Flagrante Delicto, a sucker-punch photo by Harold Daub