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0000017a-3b40-d913-abfe-bf44a4f90000Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU news team as the politics reporter and columnist in April 2012 , after 30 years of covering local, state and national politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. On this page, you will find his weekly column, Politically Speaking; the Monday morning political chats with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik and other news coverage by Wilkinson. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio gubernatorial race since 1974, as well as 16 presidential nominating conventions. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots, the Lucasville prison riot in 1993, the Air Canada plane crash at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983, and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. And, given his passion for baseball, you might even find some stories about the Cincinnati Reds here from time to time.

Quinlivan shrugs shoulders over AFL-CIO snub

Sarah Ramsey

The Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council has endorsed for re-election all the Democratic incumbents on Cincinnati City Council except one - Laure Quinlivan.

Quinlivan is convinced it is because she ran afoul of Firefighters Union Local 48 in the recent debate over the city budget, where she argued that police and fire services should be subject to the same kind of budget-cutting as other city services; and suggested that police and firefighters should be paying more for their health insurance coverage.

"I am not beholden to anybody,'' Quinlivan said. "I am going to continue to speak out and work on fixing the budget problems this city has."

The police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, is not affiliated with the AFL-CIO, but Local 48 is; and has a representative on the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council's executive board, which issues the endorsements.

Eight candidates, all Democrats, were endorsed for the nine council seats up for election this fall - incumbents Wendell Young, Pam Thomas, P.G. Sittenfeld, Chris Seelbach and Yvette Simpson, along with Democratic challengers David Mann, Greg Landsman and Michelle Dillingham.

Doug Sizemore, the executive secretary/treasurer of the Cincinnati AFL-CIO, would not comment on why Quinlivan was excluded.

"I don't want to go into it,'' Sizemore told WVXU. "We just didn't have a consensus on that final spot."

Quinlivan was not endorsed by the AFL-CIO two years ago. She told WVXU that she expects several other individual unions will endorse her campaign for re-election.

The Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council is made up of 128 union locals representing about 100,000 workers in southwest Ohio.

Howard Wilkinson is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.