From yesterday’s Cinci Enquirer blog:

Two women convicted of falsifying election petitions to meet quotas for bonuses were put on probation and ordered to do 200 hours of community service, but a judge said they were minor players in a much larger ?mean-spirited campaign.?

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman reiterated Monday what he said last month when Lois Mingo and Precilla Ward pleaded guilty to charges of election falsification: that State Rep. Tom Brinkman, who headed up the petition drive for the unsuccessful effort last year to repeal the city?s gay rights ordinance, should be charged.

?To cheat on petitions in an election is to really rob people of freedom. It?s the foundation of democracy,? Ruehlman told the women. ?You have to pay for that.?

Ruehlman, a Republican, went on to say: ?I still think real culprit is Rep. Brinkman.?

?I know politics,? Ruehlman said. ?Somehow (Brinkman) falls between the cracks and is not prosecuted? the guy in power is the one who should have been indicted.?

Brinkman, R-Mount Lookout, was not in court Monday. When contacted by the Enquirer, Brinkman said ?no comment? and hung up.

It gets better. Anti-sex nut Phil Burress is involved. He is, unsurprisingly, against “teh gays” too.

The petitions were an effort by Equal Rights Not Special Rights to overturn a gay rights ordinance passed by Cincinnati City Council in spring 2006 that protected gays and lesbians from discrimination.

The group, chaired by anti-porn activist Phil Burress, collected two signatures more than the 7,654 signatures needed to get the referendum on the ballot.

Equal Rights Not Special Rights contracted with Brinkman to help collect signatures. Brinkman in turn used some workers from Labor Ready, a temporary job agency, to help collect the signatures.

Mingo, 48, of St. Bernard, and Ward, 33, of Winton Place, worked for Labor Ready. Each earned bonuses based on the number of signatures they collected. It?s not clear how much the bonus was.

So, to boil it down, Rep. Brinkman hired temps to collect signatures for “Equal Rights Not Special Rights”, and paid them bonuses if they got “x” number of signatures. Brinkman is responsible.

Burress just can’t stay out of trouble, can he? BTW, somebody should tell him what the word “equal” means.

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