The Whaley tax on rich people- campaign finance report

The pre-election campaign finance reports were due today. I’m happy to say I turned mine in on time. A mere 9 pages. Compare that to the 43-page book turned in by the Whaley campaign and you’ll start to understand.

Nan Whaley with Sherrod Brown in a FB ad

I’m losing respect for Sherrod Brown too. As if she is facing a real threat to democracy in AJ? C’mon.

I’m $200 away from reaching my goal of $10,000. She got more $10K checks from unions- and lots of $1.000.00+ checks from the, well, the people with the money- and the people who do business in the area. She also got money in big chunks from people who live far away from here. I’ve OCR’d her report- straightened the pages- and made it easy for you to review. I don’t even care to really comment. Nan Whaley PreGeneral 2013 report PDF

If you’d like to end my fundraising: donate: www.electesrati.com/donate

Williams, Mims- both raised more money than I did. They also spent more than I did. Somehow, buying food, wine, a lot of ads in programs, donating to other campaigns, donating to churches- is expensive. They didn’t hang any basketball nets, or clear any basketball courts. They didn’t hang three new rims at Princeton Rec- and really- they didn’t say a whole lot on the campaign trail.

If you want to see everyone’s campaign reports- they are here: http://www.mcohio.org/boe/candidate_tools/CF_Reports/cf_reports.cfm

Here is mine: David Esrati PreGeneral Report 2013 PDF

My biggest individual donations were $500. My average donation was $66.22

I had 3 fundraisers. I spent almost all my money locally. I did my own design, a lot of my own web work, didn’t pay any staff. Didn’t buy anybody lunch. I knocked on a lot of doors myself. I videotaped all the events- and posted them online. I helped David Greer, Gary Leitzell, Hazel Rountree with campaign materials and with websites.

I started up the www.hoopsdayton.org site that I hope to grow into a place to run basketball leagues and coordinate tournaments in the future. For now- it’s working as a great website for a lot of independent Dayton Businesses- barber shops, who didn’t have websites- but, are now being found in Google. I had 2 DPS kids as interns this summer- and they made an amazing video about the hoops initiative. If I lose, I think our city still won. If I win- I know it’s because I did the right thing and never sold out.

Tonight I was at one of the most interesting and informative candidates’ events ever- run by Preservation Dayton. I’ll have video up on Saturday if all goes well.

I’m incredibly tired, and still need help with distributing literature and working the polls. I’d like to thank all those who donated- and those who’ve helped. But- the biggest thanks is to those who’ve hollered out of cars- “thanks for putting up nets, we’re voting for you” or to the kids who’ve thanked me on the courts. Your thanks meant the world to me. I’ve run a bunch of times over the last 20 years- and never have I been thanked so many times.

I’ve been asking friends, supporters and people who know me to do testimonials. Here’s one from UD Women’s basketball coach, Jim Jabir- it’s short. It’s not your normal endorsement- but, I think people stopped expecting normal from me long ago.

Cheers

[update] I’ve taken the cover pages of all Whaley’s reports- 2012 annual to present. Despite having a huge war chest on hand- it shows she’s raised in cash $389,119 and spent $276,106.32 which if you subtract one from the other leaves $113,013 – That’s a lot to spend in 10 days. Here is the file: Whaley total pre gen PDF [/update]

Video for the people: Esrati and his camera at candidates forums

For the last 4 years- or 4 political races- if you’re counting, I’ve been videotaping candidates nights and posting them on YouTube. I believe more people should have access to these events, which are not widely publicized or well attended.

This week, we had two that had larger crowds- Monday night at the NAACP event, and Tuesday a lunch held by the Dayton chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Two very different experiences to say the least.

The NAACP event hurt itself by inviting way too many candidates. They had all the Dayton mayoral and commission candidates, three school board candidates plus the write in, Trotwood council, and Jefferson and Harrison township trustees. Long event, to hear very little from anyone. Note, these are never debates- these are forums- with candidates being timed and asked questions that are often not well constructed. I was chastised publicly at the beginning of the event by NAACP chief Derrick Foward for not having yet delivered a personal DVD to him of the Northern Hills candidates night. He questioned me at the end as well- as to when I would provide him with a DVD of this event. Of course, the Whaley campaign wasn’t asked for a personal DVD- yet they had a camera there. He made an issue of it again at the end- to which I responded that he should stop bullying me- and there is Nan’s camera- unfortunately, my camera didn’t catch the end of the meeting- either because someone turned it off- or there was a malfunction (I don’t bring an entourage to run my camera). The biggest issue of the evening was the discussion of traffic speed and red light cameras. Other than that- there wasn’t much real info to be had. Some of the candidates from other jurisdictions seemed unable to speak with a microphone- which made it even more difficult to sit through.

Tuesday, the mayoral and commission candidates were invited to speak to the AIA as well as the Home Builders Association and the Associated General Contractors of Dayton. They had Dan Edwards from WDTN channel 2 as a moderator. The questions were written in advance and there was a set schedule. The questions had more meat- and required deeper responses. If you are going to watch any one of these candidates events- this would be the one.

I attended a mayoral forum at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church this morning- just to tape the mayoral candidates to make sure people had access. I didn’t attend the one run by the Dayton Black Journalists/Cox event- or tape it because I figured that “journalists” would manage to get their event online on their own. To date- I’ve not seen it.

Since all the commission candidates had shown up (Commissioner Williams had originally told me this was a full commission forum) they told us that the commission candidates would have time at the end to say something. That video won’t be up for another few days- but, when I started to get the crowd going- it was time for me to stop (as the people in the back were wildly gesturing the Time Out and your time is over). That’s what happens when you speak the truth in Dayton- you get shut down. Although the event was billed to start at 10 a.m.- they didn’t start serving food until 10:15 and it was 10:45 before the introduction of the mayoral candidates. There was more time given to prayer and thanking all of the people involved than what I was given with the microphone. But, you can watch that all for yourself when I get it online.

I really like the vibe I got at Macedonia. They seem to be an activist church working to heal their neighborhood. They have a non-profit housing rehab group, they have fitness classes, and a charismatic young new pastor from Texas. What I find funny is that it’s so important for politicians to be born here- but, that a pastor who was introduced as the “best pastor this side of Heaven” can be accepted so easily from Texas.

There are things that can be done to all candidates events to make them better- the most important one be to have a set schedule for each set of candidates- so that we don’t have to sit through everyone. The NAACP event should have been Dayton Commission from 7-8, school board from 8-8-30, etc. Another is to make sure your microphones work. That was an issue at Macedonia. And although wireless mics are nice, it’s a lot smarter to have a central podium with a wired mic- both from a standpoint of it working- and from the standpoint of videotaping an event- a camera only has to focus on one spot. If you are smart- have a banner or backdrop behind the speaker to promote your organization. And, please- start and stop on time. Not just for the candidates- but for the voters. We need more of them to be at these events. Usually I can count on at least 20% of any audience being “entourage” and the rest are die hard political operatives. These aren’t reaching the broad community the way they should.

And- if you really want to shake things up- why aren’t the candidates ever asked to ask questions of each other? What are we afraid of? I try to keep a list of upcoming events current on my campaign site: www.electesrati.com/events I hope to see you at one of the upcoming forums. Feel free to check any other candidates site to see if they do as much to keep you informed.

 

Sunday morning pancakes. 9am to 1pm

Buttermilk pancakes from scratch!

Buttermilk pancakes from scratch!

It’s pancake breakfast time! I still need to raise about $1900 to reach my goal of $10,000. So it’s time to put on the chefs hat and sell my pancakes. From scratch buttermilk pancakes- made with ingredients from the 2nd Street public market.

The eggs come from Jean at KJB Farms, the cake flour, baking powder and baking soda from the Spice Rack, as well as the sweet cream Amish butter.

100% pure Grade A maple syrup from Dohner’s Maple Camp- coffee from Ghostlight. I even got non-homogenized milk from Star Dancer creamery – and will try to pour off the cream from the top for the coffee drinkers.

I have also have OJ. Suggested minimum donation is $5 – and it’s all you can eat.

Come to my house, from 9am to 1pm at 113 Bonner Street Dayton 45410 on Sept 29th and help my campaign out and eat an amazing breakfast.

Hope to see you here tomorrow.

Thanks!

 

Candidates’ night season begins

Candidates’ nights kick off tonight at Belle Haven School on Free Pike, just West of Gettysburg. Hosted by the Northern Hills Neighborhood association it begins at 7 p.m. I’ve been posting all the events at http://electesrati.com/?cat=61 but it’s not as user friendly as I’d like.

Tomorrow night, I’ve been invited to speak at the Riverdale neighborhood association meeting at 6:30 pm. They’ve been inviting candidates one at a time. It’s my intention to be there- although much will depend on my outpatient surgery tomorrow to have my parathyroid removed.

Candidates’ nights, for those of you who’ve not been to one, are a mixed bag. Depending on the rules and how they are enforced, as well as the format- can really dictate the value to a voter. Typically, each candidate gets between 2 and 5 minutes to present their introduction. There may be questions from either the audience- directed to either specific candidates or all, and there is usually a closing statement. In all, most candidates speak for under 10 minutes- but are expected to stay for an hour or more. They aren’t the best use of a candidate’s time (door knocking is the most effective tool- since most of the people who attend candidates’ events are the best informed voters who mostly have their minds made up before hand- or already know more about the candidates than most voters). And, after a while, most candidates can regurgitate other candidates’ stump speech.For me, the most painful candidate to listen to was Sharon Neuhardt who repeated herself so much and said so little- it led to this spoof:

Her campaign manager is now working for Nan Whaley- I pray he hasn’t coached Nan to do the same for all of our sake.

I try to videotape every one of these events and post them for people to review from home. If we had fiber available in South Park – it would make it a lot easier. It takes as long as 24 hours to upload an hour of video over DSL.

As it gets darker earlier and earlier, door knocking is curtailed by the fall of the sun. Ideally, these events could be moved to after 8 p.m. and keep candidates on the streets longer. Another option is to just schedule in each candidate in a ten-minute window and let them come and go (unfortunately, for me, this wouldn’t save me time- since I provide the video).

I thought I’d written a tip sheet on holding an effective candidates’ forum in the past- but can’t find it. Some keys:

  • Have a microphone and a podium- and always as the candidate to speak from the same spot- for ease of video, and for the audience to have a place to focus.
  • Have an effective time keeper. Enforce time limits strictly.
  • Make sure all candidates get a chance to address every question so candidates’ plants can’t ask their candidates questions to monopolize time. Limit all answers to the same amount of time.
  • Provide a place to deposit literature- instead of having candidates or surrogates handing it out.
  • Start on time. Don’t make the candidates sit through other business. They can do that at other meetings.
  • Don’t use alphabetical order- let the candidates draw numbers.
  • Don’t make candidates for City Commission sit through school board candidates’ times and vice versa.
  • Provide your members with a list of candidates and links to candidates’ websites, hopefully before the forum.

I’m sure I left a few things out.

I’m hoping we can get the candidates to work together to do something different this election season- have a Pecha Kucha candidates night – with each candidate giving 20 slides, 20 seconds each on any subject they want to explain their campaign. I hope we can pull it off- just because it will make things more interesting.

I hope to see you at one of these events. Or, if you like the fact that one campaign tries to keep everyone informed by posting video- I hope you consider a donation: www.electesrati.com/donate-2

Thanks.

 

 

 

 

The 3-point challenge

Whenever I’m out hanging nets, and there are ballers on the court, I offer up my three-point challenge. Shoot three treys in a row- and get a t-shirt. I let the little dunkers shoot from the foul line. Usually, the result is near pandemonium, with very little order, and someone inevitably trying to go twice, or wanting to change the rules to it doesn’t start counting till you make one.

When I was out with Rob D. hanging rims, he wanted to make it easy- and give away as many shirts as possible. I believe that skills and hard work should be rewarded, and on some courts- I end up giving away multiple shirts- as 9 points go in like clockwork. I believe that rewards need to be earned, that there shouldn’t be shortcuts along the way. I stick to my rules- and tell the kids that they should work on their long shot, and show me their skills next time. And, sometimes the first thing I hear after “The net man is here”- is “let me show you my three pointer.”

Going door-to-door, I get one of two reactions when I talk about giving every Dayton Public Schools student an iPad or netbook. The first is complete understanding and a realization that without 1-1 computer to student, we can’t possibly be preparing our students for the workforce- and the other, which is much rarer- is “what do you mean give them an iPad? To take home? They’ll sell (or steal) it?” It’s that second reaction that always takes me aback.

Forget about the fact that textbooks cost as much as an iPad and do a lot less for our students, and no one would argue against textbooks, it’s the idea that our kids either don’t deserve the best, haven’t earned the right, or can’t be trusted. This is our future- and we don’t seem to place a very high level of trust in our kids today. That’s too bad, because I think if kids were voting, we’d be having a better political conversation than we have now. They see what’s going on around them- and for the most part, they’ve given up on Dayton too.

When you come to a park that has a dead raccoon sitting in the parking lot, broken glass on the court that’s bisected by weed fault lines- and look up at a raggedy backboard with a rusted rim and the only thing that’s clean and glowing is a basketball net, with a florescent green bottom, that’s the beacon of hope. A $2 weave of string. It sends a message. I enjoy talking to our kids more than voters. When they ask what I am going to do for our city, they haven’t become jaded yet by the lies of those who’ve come before me. They believe. All I hope is that I can get two other people on the commission to agree with a vision of Dayton that doesn’t include tax breaks for General Electric, while we’re charging admission to our rec center to families that can barely afford to keep shoes on their kids’ feet.

That’s why one of the first things I hope to do is reward the kids who work hard at becoming our future leaders. As soon as I take my oath of office, I plan to make our rec centers free for any kid with a B average or better.

The iPads, will go home with our graduating seniors who have at least a B average and a 20 or better on the ACT. We will reward our kids for doing the work.

And, if you don’t have the grades, but want to get into the rec center, we’ll have opportunities for kids to go to tutoring centers after school- and be rewarded with passes for completing additional work.

And while I’ve also been told that by putting nets up, I’m encouraging NBA dreams instead of school work, I want to make it clear to our kids, that shooting threes can change a game, but, in the end, it’s all about making smart decisions- on the court and in life. I want to work to make our kids realize that “Smart is the new cool”- and that everything we focus on is to make smart decisions in our community to help us rise above it.

I started with the basketball nets because I believe that our parks and how we treat our citizens are indicative of what we think of them. I plan on taking this small change and building into a whole cultural shift, that Daytonians are proud, smart and ready to take on any challenge, from getting elected for under $10,000 (something some say can’t be done) to eliminating tax breaks for companies as bait to come here, because we need our taxes to create a community worth moving your business to, and that paying taxes is an investment in a great city.

November 5th, we’ll find out if enough people believe that actions speak louder than words, and if hard work pays off. If every person I talk to, tells just a part of my story to their friends, we’re on the verge of changing the game in Dayton. Thank you.

Just remember, it takes three votes on the commission to win a change. Others have had three votes and squandered their opportunities. Three new faces, three new votes, that’s the three point challenge for Dayton.

What brings people to esrati.com?

One of the advantages of having a website with a ton of content about Dayton, going back to 2005 is you can sense what’s going on by seeing what people are searching for- and bringing them to the site. I check my stats almost daily, and if I see a lot of searches for someone, or something, usually it means something’s up.

Google does the same thing on a macro scale with their zeitgeist. One of the best definitions of Google is that it’s the “database of human intentions.” We google about things we’re about to do- see a movie, invest in a car, vote for someone etc. This is all part of what I teach in my monthly seminar, Websitetology.

My stats have told me when various people were interviewing for a new job (people thinking of hiring a school superintendent, city manager, police chief etc) or when someone changes jobs- like Commissioner Williams leaving Chase Bank, or when there is something about to happen with a local company.

Almost always- my post about the cost of three stitches at the ER comes up- it’s been one of the most popular posts for years.

But today’s seemed pretty diverse- and I thought I’d share:

watch planes take off in Dayton
what money could you get for a broken finger and three stitches
jesse huff vet
er stitches cost
midmark bicycle
dayton daily news opinion garden station
how much do emergency clinics charge for stitches
ohio license plate stickers cost
ballad of the green berets “died in grenada”
bill nuti
states of america
floor plan for miami valley sports bar ohio
brian higgins dayton ohio
davion lyons
ohio liquor laws
trash can art
the foundry dayton ohio
architectural screw ups
stuart patterson recreation center
why wont congressman mike turner hold a town hall meeting
ohio laws for bars serving alcohol
francis mcgee cromartie
francis mcgee cromartie
richest people in dayton ohio
is open carry legal in Ohio
shery oakes
how much do they for stitches on finger
niggers ruin salem mall
yamaha 180 scooter fuel starvation
ohio open carry law

This is just one reason I feel I’m more connected to the community than other candidates- as I have a unique window to what people are thinking about and talking about in our area. No other candidate for office in Dayton has anything like this.

I’ve not seen a bunch of searches for Frances Mcgee Cromartie lately, so don’t assume since you see her name twice, that something is up. For years, “Bill Nuti, divorce” has been high on the search meter- but, since he’s taken NCR to Atlanta and helped devalue the company, I don’t follow up or care. Each of these links is answering a question for someone. Was it you?

Campaign update

In my bid to be Dayton’s next City Commissioner for under $10,000 in expenditures and $10K in in-kind donations, I reached a milestone yesterday when I went over $6,000 raised, from 92 donors. Which means I only have $4,000 more to raise and spend to stick to my $10,000 pledge. However, I’ve only received about $1,400 in in-kind donations, so I have some room there, since I am able to accept up to $10k in in-kind donations.

My second box of nets was bought by Scott Hewitt who owns Painless Windows. He’s a client, a friend and he even came out a few nights and helped me hang nets and clear courts of weeds, grass and glass. By midweek, I’m going to need a third box- if anyone wants to donate, stop down at Tuffy Brooks on Keowee and pick up a box, it’ll be $200 plus tax or about $217. Ask for Jim.

[update] See comments- case bought 10 am Monday[/update]

The video probably has a lot more views than what YouTube records since many of the views are from embeds from Facebook and don’t make the counter rise. The original one right now has 508 views and 14 likes. The new version with improved audio and more people in the credits- has 61 views 5 likes and 1 dislike. There are 2 comments on the first, one comment on the second. I’d like to get the second version to be seen by more people and have more likes and comments. I’m hoping to convince some major philanthropists to step forward and help me get some new rims and backboards to fix the worst cases.

Next week I’m going to start to do a post about every court, with pictures of each backboard, front and back, court conditions, location, etc., with pictures- so we have an inventory of courts, needs and conditions. I’ll also be placing a sticker on the poles with my phone number for net replacement. The stencil’s numbers aren’t really readable.

After I’m elected, I hope to use the URL hoopsDayton.org to serve as an online community to start organizing neighborhood teams, and citywide street ball tournaments. I think our kids need positive things to do- and some organization to make it happen. I’ll be working with AAU people, the people at the Kroc center- and the schools to start coordinating a real recreational ball program- and not just for kids- we should have senior leagues, too.

Heading into the home stretch in September and October, I’ll need a lot of volunteers to go out and talk to voters and to distribute literature- although you can start now. If you’re interested in helping, please sign up here: http://electesrati.com/?page_id=584

I’m also going to try to coordinate a courts task force- to go out and weed and clean as many courts as possible in a day. I think it would be fun to load us all on a bus- and go to each court as a mass. If anyone has a bus and driver they could volunteer- let me know. I don’t know if I have the balls to ask for everyone to pay for the privilege of pulling weeds- but, I was thinking of doing a t-shirt for everyone who volunteers. Tell me what you think in comments please.

I’m going to have to do another fundraiser or two as well, unless some big donations start rolling in. I’ve got more literature that will need to be printed, and some other campaign expenses coming up. Early money is more valuable than late money- especially when you will cap the campaign at $10K. Note, donations over $10k will go into a fund to buy rims, backboards, etc.

Thanks everyone who has helped out- especially the barbers and beauticians who’ve supported this campaign as if they owned it. Spread the word- and keep telling the story about the candidate who puts up nets instead of yard signs.

One last note- when our kids are involved in organized activities in the community- there is no limit on their creativity and skills- watch this video of the Invincible Regulating Striders- from the drill team competition at yesterday’s block party at Westwood School. Simply amazing. They are on their way to a national competition in New Orleans to represent our city. Wow. Enjoy!

http://youtu.be/9bicdg3YdEc

We need more activities like this for our kids.

 

“are you going to turn the lights on?”

When I get elected, it will be time to turn the lights back on at night on the basketball courts. The difference being, is that there will be adults there, and recreational leagues playing. We’ll feel safe to go over to the parks and watch our kids play their hearts out.

Unfortunately, tonight, when I stopped by to check on one of the nicest courts in the city- the new one on W. Third at the Roosevelt commons recplex- or whatever they call it, there was a lot of broken glass at the North East end. Someone had shot out, or broken the light- that never gets turned on. These lights haven’t been turned on since they opened the place, sending a message to our residents that you shouldn’t feel safe and welcome if you want to play some ball after it cools down. Really, the lights are just a cruel joke on people who already live on streets that have fewer street lights, get swept less, get patrolled less, but, now, we won’t be able to turn it on thanks to someone being a jerk. As I was hanging the net with the green bottom, at the North side, I asked the kids there if they’d seen who did it.

I even asked if they wanted to help me, I had a broom in the back of the car- they asked if I had a dustpan too- and soon, one of the youngsters was helping me out. He also stood the other trash can up and put some of the trash in it.

If you send the message that you will make sure the courts will be taken care of, it sends a message that there is value in the community that we want to serve, protect and help prosper. It may seem like a small gesture- putting up nets, but it’s one small gesture our current leadership failed to make.

I only hung two nets tonight, but I checked on 3 others to see if they were ok. Remember, if you see a rim without a net, call me at 937-985-1312 and I’ll be out. As of today, the video has 450 views, 13 likes, and 2 positive comments. Keep spreading the word please. Hoops Dayton is coming.

One of Dayton’s “most influential tweeters,” according to Dayton Business Journal

scan of front page of Dayton Business Journal "Most influential tweeters" image from May 19 2013

Esrati named one of Dayton’s most influential tweeters

Dayton Business Journal lists are sort of like David Letterman’s top ten lists- they have one every week, sometimes two or three. You have to be kinda in the know to understand that they aren’t scientific or even very accurate, but, still- it’s nice for them to recognize me and a couple of people I know, respect and follow:

David Esrati @esrati 512 Twitter Followers. https://twitter.com/esrati – Esrati uses Twitter to promote his blog and his own campaign for City Commission, as well as to commentate on the mayoral election and controversial issues in the city of Dayton.

via Who to follow on Twitter in Dayton (Slideshow) – Dayton Business Journal.

I also tweet as @thenextwave about marketing and advertising, although not as often as on @esrati.

It’s the cover story of May 10,2013 issue.

Congrats to @MissMaha @DavidEBowman @DebbieLieberman client @JenKuhnPR @DaytonDining @PatriceHall @RichardJkaiser @RickCartwright @SeanCreighton @SharonAKA @ShelbyQ y’all keep it interesting.

 

What happened Tuesday, and why the public doesn’t understand, doesn’t care and doesn’t benefit

Note: this is a long post. It’s an important one. Please read it – and then discuss with your friends and neighbors. Elections are too important to be sold or manipulated unfairly.

“Better luck next time, Dave!” was what was yelled at me yesterday by a neighbor as his wife drove him past me with my handful of plumbing supplies. I’d just finished putting a new kitchen faucet in for my parents, a project that has been on hold for the last 3 months while I’ve been on this campaign adventure.

Now, the thing is, my neighbor and his wife are both politically astute people, one with a Ph.D. and the other with an MD. Not only that, they donated to my campaign.

When I called back that I’m on the ballot- they were confused. I’d done everything I needed to in the special election without spending a small fortune, and I’m ready to spend the next 6 months doing what it takes to convince about 20,000 voters that I’m a viable candidate and their best choice. That means I need every voter who voted for me to tell 10 others why, or I need to do it myself. In 6 months, that is possible. In two months, it’s not. And that’s what we just went through, for the first time in 20 years.

And that’s the thing, a majority of voters in Dayton doesn’t even know what happened Tuesday. This is a fundamental problem in our community, and despite our grand efforts at citizen participation via the vaunted “Priority Boards”- voters stayed home, or cost an arm and a leg to convince one who to vote for. Because I’m not like any of the other candidates, I’m going to quote a friend, who has a blog of sorts (you can’t comment on his), and post a link, even though his general opinion of my candidacy is that I’m unelectable and a poor candidate:

Plenty of people think that the amount of money involved in politics is obscene, and I won’t argue with them. That people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in a runoff election where fewer than 10,000 people vote is insane.

Or is it?

The candidates who pledged to spend less than $10,000 this year (incumbent mayor Gary Leitzell, perennial candidate David Esrati and community volunteer David Greer) and the candidate who couldn’t even raise $1,000 (Joe Lutz) all lost.

Leitzell and Lutz lost absolutely—they will not be on the ballot this November. (Leitzell is the first sitting mayor of Dayton in 50 years to lose before the general election.)

Greer and Esrati technically won the right to be on the November ballot, but I’ll go out on a limb here and predict that neither will win in the fall. Williams and Mims each got more votes than Whaley; Greer and Esrati each got fewer votes than Leitzell. I see absolutely nothing to make me believe that Greer and Esrati are going to do significantly better in the general election.

So the winning candidates know something about elections that the losing candidates do not—given the status quo, money matters in winning elections. Wish that it didn’t at your peril.

via David’s blog: David Esrati.

Now, while I’m supporting A.J. Wagner in November, because I think he’s not suffering from megalomania and doesn’t have a bevy of patronage-dependent people working on his campaign at taxpayer expense, I find Lauri’s criticism of A.J.’s website accurate, but entertaining, since A.J. has zero knowledge of how to use or craft a site. He’s made poor choices in developers (this is his third, the first was mocked on this site for being done in DC, the second was a temporary fix by a local ad agency that’s had multiple contracts with the city and the county and then this one). I thought I’d include a screen shot and an explanation of what Lauri’s talking about before it gets fixed. When you roll over a link, you should get an alt text tag explaining where the link goes- for visually impaired people. Try it on this site. If you are using Firefox as a browser, you can see the link that will be launched in the lower left corner.

Screen shot of AJ's issues coding gaffe

Roll over issues- to see the real issue “donations to the max” for AJ Wagner’s website

In A.J.’s case, as David Lauri points out, when you roll over “the issues”- you see the link is to http://www.ajwagnerformayor.com/donations-to-the-max/ – the link’s pretty url- one with words instead of /?=p123 for example, says “Donations to the max” and when you click on it- sadly, it comes to a blank issues page.

screenshot of AJ's blank issues page

And coming in second as Dayton’s candidate for Mayor is A.J. Wagner with no issues to speak of

So, spending close to $100,000, campaigning since April of last year, and coming in with half the votes, is a successful campaign for mayor- capturing the right to run against someone who spent twice that? While our sitting mayor is mocked for coming in 240 odd votes short while spending maybe $2,500.

Note also, that while David Lauri points out all the foibles and makes predictions- he didn’t bother to vote Tuesday.

Which is our MAJOR problem.

A few weeks ago a voter with a Whaley sign in her front yard got in a heated argument with me about what I was going to do if elected as part of the Independent Dayton team- to which my first answer was to change the charter to fix this mess. She scoffed at me. The saddest thing was that not only did she not understand the importance of this- she lives in the Oregon District where things are pretty good. I guess that’s how you feel when you can afford to buy your candidate too.

The charter change is overdue. And it’s not to put in a strong-mayor form of government, which I believe is the secret (and not so secret) desire of both candidates left in the mayor’s race. The issues that need immediate addressing are- and I’ve asked Mayor Leitzell to try to put these on the November ballot- to see if Joey Williams  and Nan Whaley will support them in a vote, are:

Change the requirement of percentage of registered voters’ signatures needed to put changes to the charter on the ballot and percentage of registered voters needed to recall a sitting member of the commission- to percentage of voters who voted in the last gubernatorial election. While is may not seem critical to many- currently both of these acts of citizen participation are impossible due to swollen voter rolls caused by changes in the voter registration laws. This would align with the standards statewide in the Ohio Revised Code.

Another minor change, would be to revise the commission petition form, which is forcing more candidates off the ballot than allowing on due to arcane and obtuse language, poor form design and archaic requirements. Read a lot more here: Dayton’s Flawed Petition Process. I’ve even done the redesign in a long ago post, which you can find if you read through them all. First to post the link in comments gets free admission to my next Pancake Breakfast.

The Nan voter thought I was crazy to make this a fundamental issue of my campaign. I believe that fair and honest elections are fundamental to living in a democracy. Excuse me.

If I had my way, our government would take campaign finance out of private parties’ hands, and roll it into the cost of government, because I think that right now it’s costing us a lot more by having politicians who are slaves to their donor/masters.

The mayor had people coming up to him too- “what do you mean you aren’t on the ballot, I thought the primary was to decide who ran against you in the fall.” Wow. More uneducated voters. But can you blame them, primaries/special elections are a rare occurrence in Dayton as I’ve said. Another Ph.D. that I talked to pre-primary/special election said he didn’t vote in them because he didn’t want to affiliate himself with a party. That’s why I posted this post a few weeks ago: “Election Questions That Need Answers” to provide answers to voters who don’t understand the process.

So what did we accomplish Tuesday? We eliminated choice from voters early in the process, without giving the candidates or the citizens time to fully explain their issues and get voters to know who they are and what they stand for. The taxpayers spent about $150,000 to support this, btw. We forced candidates to “win” over voters in a compressed time frame- shifting the power to those already elected or to those supported by special interests. And this was after a flawed petition process eliminated a bevy of other candidates: Who’s running in 2013

I’m not the only one lamenting the lack of knowledge shown by the American voter, Frank Bruni rails against it in the New York Times today:

That we Americans are out to lunch isn’t news. But every once in a while a fresh factoid like the Obamacare ignorance comes along to remind us that we’re out to breakfast and dinner as well. And it adds an important, infrequently acknowledged bit of perspective to all the commentary, from us journalists and from political strategists alike, about how voters behave and whom they reward. We purport to interpret an informed, rational universe, because we’d undercut our own insights if we purported anything else.

But only limited sense can be made of what is often nonsensical, and the truth is that a great big chunk of the electorate is tuned out, zonked out or combing Roswell for alien remains. Polls over the last few years have variously shown that about 30 percent of us couldn’t name the vice president, about 35 percent couldn’t assign the proper century to the American Revolution

via America the Clueless – NYTimes.com.

This is why I run for office. This is why I invest so much time keeping this blog going, talking about real issues, real reasons to make good voting decisions, and trying to be transparent. It’s why I believe that if the voters finally have a 6-month period of time to get to know me, they too will think my election is a good idea. But, it takes at least 6 months- not two or three. David Lauri thinks that I can’t do it on $10k or less. History showed us four years ago that Gary Leitzell could win despite 6-to-1 spending odds, so I don’t know why it’s so far fetched.

I’ve been told I’ve mellowed this time around. I think part of it comes with just starting all my campaign talks with “excuse my booming command voice, I was taught to use this voice in the Army so you can hear me clearly (since you didn’t provide a real PA system) and it doesn’t mean I’m angry, mad or yelling at you- it means I want you to be able to hear what I’m saying.” Old people thank me, now.

We’ve just seen a lot of money spent to get a very few people to the polls. If that’s what it takes to get elected, we’re in trouble, because the people in Dayton are still struggling. They can’t afford to buy their politicians, nor can they afford what their bought politicians give them in return. If you would like to help me do the impossible, for the right reasons, I urge you to go to www.electesrati.com and either fill out the volunteer form and take responsibility for informing voters, or donate to the cause.

I’ve spelled out my issues. There is no blank page on my site. I actually do my own campaign materials, videos, and websites. And for the first time, I have a real campaign window. Watch me work.

And for those of you who read the whole thing- thank you. I’m sorry it’s so long.