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WVXU has been covering the stories of politics and corruption at Cincinnati's City Hall since early 2020. We have now launched an initiative to more closely examine Cincinnati politics and the individuals who have shaped it, along with the current allegations of corruption. We'll also explore proposals for change, and seek feedback from local leaders and community members on what can be done to restore trust in City Hall.Trust in Local Government, WVXU's Public Integrity Project will analyze our council-manager form of government and the charter amendments designed to reinforce ethical standards at City Hall; take a historical look at corruption in Cincinnati government; talk with the candidates for Cincinnati mayor and continue with an ongoing series of features, interviews and candidate profiles.

What Lessons Can Cincinnati Learn From The Boss Cox Era?

george boss cox
Wikimedia Commons
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George "Boss" Cox

A century ago, reformers significantly changed the way Cincinnati's city government works. 

Those reforms didn't come out of the blue. They were in response to a corrupt political machine that had run the city for decades, mostly under the direction of George "Boss" Cox, a bar owner and powerful behind-the-scenes powerbroker. Cox traded favors for votes and government contracts, keeping his fellow Republicans in power through the late 19th and into the early 20th centuries. 

With corruption and government ethics front of mind for many Cincinnatians these days, what can we learn from the Boss Cox era and subsequent reforms?

Joining Cincinnati Edition to answer that question are University of Cincinnati Zane L. Miller Professor of Urban History David Stradling and WVXU Senior Political Analyst Howard Wilkinson.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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government week
Credit Jim Nolan / WVXU

Read more from WVXU's "Trust In Local Government" Series here