Cincinnati Public Schools accused of voter bribery

Steve Johnson is a volunteer for republican candidate TomBrinkman working the sidewalk in front of the Hamilton County Boardof Elections.

He says on Oct. 13 three church vans pulled up and disgorgedseveral students from Hughes High School, along with a Democratcampaign worker.

"The organizer clearly was biased by her Democrat stickers onher vest...and they had Democrat sample ballots with them...walkingin to vote."

"It was clearly biased who they were to vote for."

Afterwards, Johnson contends, rather than returning the studentsto school, the van driver told him the students would be treated tofree Graeter's ice cream.

He told Brinkman about the incident.

He, along with the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending andTaxes, or COAST, filed a temporary restraining order, a permanentinjunction and a lawsuit against Cincinnati Public Schools.

COAST said these actions violate a 2002 agreement with CPS toremain politically neutral.

They also say in the complaint that the ice cream incident wasbribery.

After the lawsuit was filed, CPS lawyer Mark Stepaniak issued astatement saying:

"The lawsuit was filed less than seven hours ago and we are still investigating the allegations. CPS has long encouraged its students as part of its Government Course curricula to register to vote and to vote. CPS does not endorse candidates or political parties. Some years when the funds can be found CPS has arranged the transportation of students to the Board of Elections for early voting by finding sponsors for bus tokens for student transportation. This year, our bus token sponsor could not find any money in the budget. A group volunteered church vans to drive some students and we accepted the offer. No CPS personnel engaged in the promotion of candidates or any political party."



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