Friday, November 18, 2005

"Lord, Help Us!"

Timothy Loper

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.

Flagrante Delicto

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")

Night in Hell
Flagrante Delicto, a sucker-punch photo by Harold Daub

Speaking of painting, Loper’s brushes with the law have been alcohol related and nowhere near as serious as the crimes committed by his relatives, including Zane Douglas Loper, the subject of my previous blog, who is serving 18+ years for sexually molesting children, and Zane’s father Carl who served some 20 years for wounding his estranged wife and killing his father-in-law with a shotgun. Zane Loper was working as a part-time policeman in Adams county at the time of his arrest for molestation and his father Carl at the time of his arrest for murder was on the Portsmouth police force. If this is what local police are capable of, what are we to expect from criminals? Let us all hope, and let the religious among us pray, that Timothy Loper, now on the Portsmouth City Council, is never accused of anything worse than being a tool of the over-privileged and a sucker-puncher. But I have been warned a number times, as probably Daub and other vocal critics have, that the over-privileged and the criminally inclined, whom they cover up for once in public office, constitute an unholy alliance that is capable of anything.

Blue Cloud

Portsmouth’s one attempt at a public display of semi-abstract art was the misbegotten metal sculpture Blue Cloud, which was installed on the Roy Rogers Esplanade in downtown Portsmouth about a quarter century ago. According to one rumor, “Blue Cloud” was later removed from the Esplanade after somebody tripped over the base of it and sued the city.

Instead of being in the Scioto Museum of Art, a few doors down from the Roy Rogers Esplanade, the Blue Cloud now rusts in an outdoor city storage facility, shown above, and is a sad reminder of an era in Portsmouth’s history when the public was convinced by the over-privileged and the Prostitute Daily Times that downtown Portsmouth was about to experience a miraculous rebirth just as soon as three wicked councilmen who were standing in the way of a new mall could be recalled. Harold Daub was one of the wicked councilmen who was recalled, but the mall was never built and the miracle did not materialize. But the times have changed, even if the Daily Times and the over-privileged of Portsmouth have not, and the Marting building is now being hawked as the miracle that will save downtown, and James Kalb, not Andrew Clausing, is mayor, and Timothy Loper, not Harold Daub, is a member of the city council.

As the adulterous praying-on-the steps-of-the-Municipal-building councilman of Ward 2 might say, "Lord, help us!"