Introducing the 2014-2018 Montgomery County Democratic Party Central Committee

You may not know what the party central committee does- or why it’s important. This is the lowest of low political positions- it takes five signatures of party members in your precinct to get on the ballot, most run unopposed- and of the 360 seats less than a third are filled via election. It’s not a paid job, the party meets at least 6x a year and for the most part, you never get asked to do anything if you are a precinct captain.

The most important things the central committee, as run here, does- is nominate people to open seats- like when a state rep dies or goes to prison- notable heirs to seats via the party are Rhine McLin who became a State Rep this way, Fred Strahorn who got back into the State House when Clayton Luckie went to the big house (stealing campaign money) and putting people on the board of elections- as they just put Rhine McLin and John Doll on after Denis Lieberman and Tom Ritchie went toe-to-toe with the Secretary of State on keeping the polls open and losing.

That’s not how it’s supposed to be- the precinct captains should be the front lines of organizing the party faithful and informing them of issues, candidates and rallying voter turnout, but in Montgomery County- it’s mostly about making sure the “Monarchy of Montgomery County” continues their hold on their fiefdom. It’s the friends and family plan for politics.

After I exposed that many of the seats were held by people in patronage jobs in the last elected body- we had even fewer candidates running this time. And even some of the write in candidates forgot to vote for themselves- 19 of you just had to vote and write your name in to win- and you failed to do that.

Now, the seats that are open are available for appointment- and if some of you ask nicely- the powers that be may allow you to be on the committee (just don’t tell them you read about it here – or like me).  At the reorganization meeting, there were 115 elected, yet only 78 showed up. I taped the whole meeting so those of you who wonder what a Reorganization meeting looks like- can watch. With our crew- the number one thing is to vote as quickly as possible, with no discussion, no debate- and no challengers to the party. Dictators would love this organization.

Watch the video: (something garbled the video in the render- re-rendering now- and will reupload tomorrow night)

Former Congressional Candidate Mack Van Allen tried to change the constitution so that we’d elect in 2 year cycles instead of 4- since we had such low participation. This is how it’s done in Cincinnati, where one precinct this year had 5 candidates (we were lucky to even have one in most precincts). After some debate, the call for the vote was quick and held incorrectly- you can’t have both votes be Aye- and say the Ayes have it. While another precinct captain wanted to be recognized to speak- to point out many of the typos, inconsistencies in the soon to be accepted constitution- it was claimed that we’d already had discussion and it was time to vote- and that I need to read “Robert’s rules of order.” Then after the quick votes- we were sent to our wards to elect a ward leader- who is then on the “Executive Committee”- the group that meets in private before the public meeting and discusses who gets what seat and a chance to run. There is also a “screening committee” that picks who we should “endorse” in primaries- sort of negating the whole concept of primaries.

In Ward 1- 5 of the 6 elected precinct captains were in attendance. Judge AJ Wagner, Martin Gehres (son of Judge Gehres) Joe Lacey, Russ Joseph (brother of Dayton City Commissioner Matt Joseph, and wanna be next Dayton Clerk of Courts) and me. Joe nominated me to Exec- AJ seconded and Russ had to ask me- who do I vote for- and of course I said me- and I’m now in the exec room. Of course, Russ- as Clerk of Courts and Party Chair Mark Owens right hand- was in exec anyway as an appointment.

If you are interested in an appointment to the party- look up your precinct here: http://www.voterfind.com/montgomeryoh/vtrlookup.aspx

And then see if your precinct is open:

Precinct
captain
Day 1-aAJ Wagner
Day 1-BJoe Lacey
Day 1-cMartin Gehres
Day 1-DDavid Esrati
Day 1-ETheresa Lea Whitley
Day 2-AYoussef Bahammi
Day 2-BVicki A Morris
Day 2-cMatthew R Cox
Day 3-FFrieda T Brigner
Day 3-H Mary Ellen Kuehne
Day 3-KDebra L Ownens
Day 4-ASamuel J Braun
Day 4-BSarah Jolie Zecchini
Day 5-ADavid K Greer
Day 5-BFred Strahorn
Day 5-cRichard C Green
Day 5-EBarara Jean Harris
Day 6-BStacey Benson-Taylor
Day 7-ARhine Lana McLin
Day 7-BStacy M Thompson
Day 8-AKarl L Keith
Day 8-cMitchell Dean Kearns
Day 8-DKeith J Belluardo
Day 9-cMatthew F Joseph
Day 12-ACatherine M Merkle
Day 13-ASusan R Martin
Day 13-B Jerome McCorry
Day 14-DWillis Blackshear Sr.
Day 15-BJohn R Smith
Day 16-ARichard Clay Dixon
Day 16-CSteven Samuel Brack
Day 16-DCreola Reese
Day 17-CLinda S McKenna
Day 18-ABetty Jane Owens
Day 18-BKimberly N Gaines
DAY 18-CHearther R Layne
Day 20-ANathan P Greaney
DAY 20-DThomas J Ritchie Sr
Day 20-CMarcia R Knox
Day 22-ASinthy Eugene Taylor
Day 22-bAnita L Andrews
Day 22-CAlvin Freeman
Day 23-ARussell M Joseph
BT-ADebra B. Armanini
BT-bKymberly Brush
BT-EWilliam N Davis II
VD-JSteve P Harsman
HAR-IChristine Kinter
HAR-JRoland Winburn
Har-LGuy Elsmire Jones
HUB 1-BLuicle J Dale
Hub 3-dGeorgia Hickey-Wolf
Hub 5-CDavid Lee Richards
Hub 6-BDavid P Fecke
Jef-BBrice C Sims
Jef-DLynn G Thomasson Sr.
KT 1-AKelly R Weinert
KT 1-ERonnie R Hall
KT 1-FKathy Lynn Williams
KT 1-GKevin G Crisler
KT 1-HNolan C Thomas
KT 2-BFredrick Schindler
KT3-ALawrence Kent
KT 3-BDavid B Dreety
Kt 3-FRoberta J Beyer
Kt 3-GRita D. Orlowski
KT 3-JMiriam K Maue
KT 4-ANancy K Enright
Kt 4-B Breanda C Wallen
Kt 4-CClaire D Mertzman
KT 4-DLousia S Dreety
KT 4-FNicolas D Gough
KT 4-HJohn J Murphy
KT 4-JJames T Ambrose
TR 1-AWanda M Adams (deceased)
TR 1-ENancy L Marino
TR 2-ASonya C Eggleton
TR 2-CSarah Vigina Clark
TR 2-DMartha Clark
TR 2-EDerrick E Turner Sr
TR 3-ABruce D Kettele
TR 4-BPatrick S Thomasson
RV-CWayne E Small
RV-DWilliam R Flaute
PMDavid C Owens
MIA-NLinda P Ford
MIA-OMark E Landers
WCR-GRenee Sheppard
MBG 2-BCharles F Bowling
Oak-ASteven C Byington
OAK-BNicholas G Gounaris
OAK EWard C Barrentine
OAK GCarol J Holm
P-NLB-ABetty L Bennington
CTN 1-BMat Heck Jr
CTN 1-CDennis A Leiberman
CTN 1-DSharon Lynn Hunter
CTN 3-AJames T Gorman
CTN 3-CGherly A Hart-Groff
UN-BRobin L Davis
WS-BKriss Gang
WS-HDouglas M Trout
WS-IBridget Oaks
WS-MStephen J Schlkers
WS-OPual S Robinson Jr
WS-RJohn R Doll
WS-SL Mack Van Allen
WS-VOlive A Kiley
WS-XBeverly A King
CV-CCharlotte M Vitali
CV-GStephen N Davis II
CV-HDavid Allen Saphire
CV-KMichael J Rice
CV-LLarry L Pierce
CV-OLee C Falke

Then ask the party chairman, Mark Owen, if you can fill the seat.

And, btw- this information has never been published on the party site- www.montgomerydems.org It’s one of my goals to improve the site.

And there is your short lesson in “democracy” – Montgomery County (Ohio) Democratic Party style.

 

Can’t we just have an election without political party interference in Dayton?

It came today. I’m not sure why. I almost didn’t want to write about it, to give it more credit than it’s due, but there it was- an unsigned glossy printed postcard smearing local attorney Richard Skelton for possibly running  as an REP against DEM Judge Frances McGee Cromartie. Note, the filing deadline isn’t until Feb 5- and neither candidate has filed. The email was upset that Skelton voted D in 3 out of the last 4 elections, and was running as an R so as not to tick off the local Dems. Please Dick- tick them off. And, you have my vote and support. (McGee is the daughter of former Mayor James H McGee).

But- that’s not stopping the Montgomery County Democratic Party from holding their endorsement meeting tomorrow night (Jan 23rd, 2014).  With the filing deadline now 90 days before a primary instead of 60, and this being a primary in May- where ostensibly the party at large is supposed to decide who is to advance, I’m not sure why the Dems think they need to screen and endorse, other than to scare people away from running.

According to the BOE candidates list- from people who have taken out petitions- there are only a few contested races:

10th Congresional District
U.S. Representative Lib David A. Harlow 2243 Keenan Ave. Dayton 45414
U.S. Representative Dem Robert P. Klepinger 2483 Division Ave. Dayton 45414
U.S. Representative Dem Thomas F. McMasters 6934 Sylmar Ct. Huber Heights 45424
U.S. Representative Rep Michael R. Turner (incumbent) 109 N. Main St. Dayton 45402

Note- you don’t see my name running, because I need to concentrate on my business and my plan to start a summer basketball program all over Dayton this summer. Tom McMasters was just elected mayor of Huber Heights, so I’m not sure what his intentions are other than making sure people don’t have to vote for Turner. He came in 4th behind me, Olivia Freeman and Sharen Neuhardt last time.

Harlow also ran 2 years ago- and was a train wreck on the campaign trail.

5th State Senate District
State Senator Dem Dolores A Gillis 546 Michael Pl. Tipp City 45371
State Senator Dem Joseph E. Lacey 207 E. 6th St. Apt. 305 Dayton 45402

Lacey was just elected to another term on the Dayton School Board in a virtually uncontested race (1 write in vs. 4 on the ballot for 4 seats).

39th State House District
State Representative Dem William James Pace 1325 Salem Ave. Dayton 45406
State Representative Dem Fred Strahorn (incumbent) 531 Belmonte Park North Apt. 1001 Dayton

Pace is a founding member of the Independent movement in Dayton- see www.independentdayton.com

Strahorn was appointed to finish the term of Clayton Luckie who is in prison for playing fast and loose with campaign money. He was then elected. He had served previously as State Senator in OH-5 losing to Bill Beagle in a very expensive race in 2010. Before that he had termed out of a house seat.

Montgomery County
Auditor Rep Harry Bossey 128 Edinburch Village Dr. Centerville 45458
Auditor Dem Karl L. Keith (Incumbent) 221 Watervliet Ave. Dayton 45420
Auditor Rep Scott A. Kramer 920 New England Ave. Kettering 45429

The complete 3-page document with people who have taken out petitions is here: Montgomery County BOE Candidate Report

If you’ve been following my latest exposé on the BOE and the Dem party central committee, you know all about how we’ve got the friends and family plan interfering with the democratic process and free, open and honest elections in Montgomery County. Please consider running to be a Dem precinct captain (it only takes 5-10 signatures) and help put a stop to this anti-democratic process. See this post for details: http://esrati.com/monarchy_of_montgomery_county_boe_central_committees/10740/

There is one candidate bucking the system in the next election- former Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell, who is running for County Commission as an independent. Instead of needing just 50 signatures to get on the ballot, he’s required to get over 1,800 (plus another 800 insurance signatures to be safe) to run. He doesn’t have to turn them in until much later- since he has no primary. Good luck to Gary.

 

 

 

There’s more sunshine in the county than in the city

Last week I made an identical request for public records from the county and the city. In Montgomery County you send your request to the Auditor’s office, run by Karl Keith, the elected Democrat who is also Vice-Chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Party. They have a very informative page with all the info you need to fill out a request here: http://www.mcohio.org/government/auditor/public_records_policy.html

I asked:

“I’d like a spreadsheet with the names of all county employees- title and department, home zip code and the street number of their home.
Thank you very much.”

I immediately got an automated reply saying they had received the request. A few days later I got another email clarifying the request:

After reviewing your public records request, further clarification is needed.  Please clarify that the information you are requesting is listed below…

  • Names of all county employees
  • Title and Department
  • Home Zip Code
  • Home street number

Please respond to this email to confirm or clarify if the above criterion is accurate or inaccurate.

Thank You

I said that was correct and thank you. The next day it showed up. Exactly what I asked for.

On the other hand, the request to the city generated this response from Tom Biedenharn, from the city’s office of public affairs. The city FOIA request page is here: http://www.cityofdayton.org/departments/pa/Pages/PublicInformationRequest.aspx

David,

We have completed your request to the extent that we can.  However, according to a previous Ohio Supreme Court ruling, State ex rel Dispatch Printing Company vs. Johnson, 2005 – 106 Ohio St. 3d, 160 (see attached), home addresses of public employees are not subject to Open Records Requests since they do not fall under the definition of a record that “documents the activities” of the organization.  Please find attached a document containing the other information you requested.

Thank you.

Tom Biedenharn
Office of Public Affairs

He included a 24 page PDF explaining why it was none of my business to get the home zip code and house number of city employees. I’m including a copy of it here: Case re public request for employee addresses

And while the response with the list of employees was almost instant- even with going back and forth, he stood his ground.

Please note, that if you are a registered voter in the state of Ohio- anyone, can go to the Secretary of State site and download the voter files, with your full name, address, birth year, gender, political party affiliation, and voting record (if you voted- not who you voted for). Yet, asking where the people we pay to work for us are is private?

Note, I was careful, not to ask for home addresses- just a zip code and a house number. I really don’t care where you live, but I was trying to corroborate something that I think is of major interest to the taxpayers of our county: Who is getting patronage jobs- and how they are controlling elections.

But, that’s the beauty of the Sunshine Laws- I don’t have to explain why I’m asking. The fact that the two government entities treat my request differently is an issue. But, what’s more important is what I found and posted in a previous post:

The “Monarchy of Montgomery County” starts in the BOE and the party central committees – See more at: “The “Monarchy of Montgomery County” starts in the BOE and party central committees”
What I found by cross referencing the two employee lists, with the voter database, with the list from the Board of Elections of who was elected in 2010 to the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee- was that of the 361 precincts, 175 are empty, 186 are filled. 84 are people I could identify as either: government workers, elected officials, union heads, former elected officials, relatives of employees, and I’m sure if I had some insiders helping out, we’d have even more. To me, this is a conflict of interest- an EPIC FAIL to running open and honest elections, because in Montgomery County, the parties endorse pre-primary. That’s right, the party central committees, made up of the friends and family of elected officials – the people who can hire and fire government workers, pick a secret subset of these people, to serve on the “Screening Committee” that picks the winners and losers- and oversees the elections.
If you wonder what a “Screening Committee” meeting sounds like- I recorded one and posted it (they were mad) – I just can’t find it right now. Here’s a post that has the written questions: http://esrati.com/answers-to-the-montgomery-county-democratic-party-screening-committee/521/
The one question that always gets asked- “If we don’t endorse you, will you drop out.” Let me ask you, when that’s the question- why have primaries at all?
Is this really how a democracy works?
Do you still have the full trust in your government now knowing that your home address isn’t protected and city employees addresses are? That the party central committees- which only require 5 signatures to run- get to decide who runs in elections, who gets endorsed and most importantly- picks who runs the election itself?
This is nothing short of organized crime.
Want to do something about it? Let’s fill the 175 empty seats- and a flip a few of the others- and stop this “friends and family program.”
Are you with me?

The “Monarchy of Montgomery County” starts in the BOE and the party central committees

[update] The first post of this had incorrect salaries for the BOE, they have been corrected. Other details from comments, and emails are being added. I’m also going through employment data from the county and the city to cross reference central committee members to public employees. It would seem that the party central committee is hardly representative of the general public- in that most are either;  elected, work for elected people or are related to government workers.[/update]

The Montgomery County Board of Elections is a cesspool of patronage positions that are totally controlled by the two political parties in the county.

Every position has 2 people to do it- one D, one R. The annual budget of the BOE is substantial, but they don’t really report to anyone. There is a lot of confusion because the Board of Elections is actually two parts: the actual board- of four members, 2 from each party, that usually meets twice a month and is paid about $20K a year, and the workers in the Board of Elections- who work year round to manage voter registration and coordinate elections. These positions are all filled by the parties and at least on the Democratic side, are expected to donate at least $100 a year for every $10,000 they make back to the party.

The current board is former GOP party chairs Greg Gantt and Kay Wick for the Republicans. For the Dems, it’s Rhine McLin. former Dayton mayor and state rep, and John Doll. They replaced Dennis Lieberman, long time Dem Party chair and husband of County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman and AFSCME leader, Tom Ritchie after a dispute with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted over early voting hours.

This is the organization that employs handwriting experts (graphologists) who ascertain the validity of petition signatures (graphology isn’t accepted in U.S. courts) and finds ways to keep as many candidates off ballots via technicalities as possible.

I’ve split the employees by party and listed alphabetically by last name. The information comes from at least 5 sources of former BOE workers from both parties. I’m sure my readers can help me fill in blanks- and refine this data. I am not a paid journalist, and I do my best to make sure information is correct- or at least correctable.

The wage data came from a public records request and was furnished by Director Jan Kelly.

Democrats:

Guy Aber, $42,016 election ops
Probably being groomed to take Steve Harsman’s place. His father, Russ Aber, works for Montgomery County Auditor and Dem Party vice chair Karl Keith in the data processing “division”. Was a friend of Tony Tipps. Guy is known by some former employees for having a temper.

April Alford, $35,817 registration
Friend of Beverly King. Known as a pretty hard worker and is about to complete her degree at WSU.

[update]? Blackshear- son of County Recorder Willis Blackshear- information missing on Public records request.[/update]

Tina Brown, $38,737 campaign finance
Daughter of Jefferson Township trustee, Brice Sims. Replaced Henderson Scott after he was asked to step down after a sexual harassment investigation. He worked for Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley when the suit was filed, and was transferred to the BOE so he could keep his job. Tina is dependent on Republican counterpart Denis Aslinger to do parts of her job, which is one of the more complex parts of the operation..

Robyn Fecke, $43,035 poll worker coordinator
Her father is Dave Fecke who is a union boss friendly with union boss and former BOE member Tom Ritchie.

Anna Fernandez, $33,820 registration
Common law wife/girlfriend of Steve Harsman Jr.

John Fletcher, $32,843 registration
Unknown connection.

Steve Harsman, deputy director $119,995
Longest running employee, and predates sources for how he got the job in the first place. was a friend of Karl Keith, working in Dem HQ with former Dem Party Chief Joe Shump who gave Harsman the job. Owens wanted to remove Harsman, but Keith supported him. In typical dog-eat-dog dem fashion, AJ Wagner appointed Karl Keith to the auditor position, when he became a judge- and then Keith supported Nan in the Mayors race. No loyalty.

Laura Jordan, $33,820 registration
Commissioner Judy Dodge’s daughter.

Beverly King, $64,043 registration supervisor
Unknown how she got the job, but is famous to readers of this site for getting her son brother hired without a job application. Turns out he was a convicted rapist and registered sex offender. He was quickly shown the door as the office women felt betrayed.

Cathie Merkel, $57,886 Finance
Deceased husband, Mike, used to be Montgomery County Dem Party chair Mark Owens’ right hand man at the Dayton Clerk of Courts. Well known by insiders as the sometime girlfriend of Steve Harsman.

John Murphy, $34,840 registration
Dem Party faithful and father of Gen Murphy, who is Nan Whaley’s errand girl and president of the Ohio Young Dems.

Priscilla Ritchie, $37,960 absentee
Daughter in law of Tom Ritchie

David Owens, $37,918, campaign finance
Brother of Dayton Clerk of Courts Mark Owens who is the Dem Party chair.

Republicans:

Denis Aslinger, $49,046 campaign finance
Brother is a judge in Darke County. Husband of Julie Aslinger, a former magistrate for probate court.  Former director, Betty Smith was a probate court supervisor before coming to the BOE. Julie now works for Job and Family Services.

Denis is one of the true professionals in the office, and has been a huge help to me at getting good information in a timely manner, except when Steve Harsman forbade Denis to talk to me, over the recording and posting of my call about William Pace being on the ballot.

To accommodate Dave Landon, he’s being transferred downstairs. Landon ostensibly came in as a voter registration clerk at a very high pay- and Jan Kelly had to take a pay cut to make room for his inflated pay, but now as campaign finance director his pay is fitting his position.

Linda Brewster, $52,000 finance
Board member Kay Wick’s best friend.

Carolyn Clark, $49,046 absentee
Her mother did investments with Tom Young a Republican qho has been part of the old guard GOP in Montgomery County, possibly a girlfriend of a previous County GOP Chairman.

Bill Hibner, $49,046 election ops
Arlene Setzer, former state rep put him in under Jeff Jacobson. Father is Bill Hibner Sr. of Vandalia, who works with Greater Dayton Construction. Not sure how this is politically relevant, other than GDC/Oberer development is a major donor to politicians.

[update]Francine ?- information missing from public information request.[/update]

Douglas Jones, $31,761 registration
Owns Studio Zumba and hired Jen Robertson as an instructor, and then she got him a job at the BOE.

[update]Suzanne Joo, $35,713 Registration
Lives in Greene County. No connections. Reportedly stood up and protested the addition of Dave Landon to the BOE staff, took a personal day because she was so angry.[/update]

Jan Kelly, director, $100,006
Very helpful, used to work for SOS Jon Husted and ran against Dan Foley for County Commission, coming close, despite wide funding gap. Previously ran Chuck Curran’s campaign for county commissioner when he was a Republican. An attorney by profession, but not admitted to Ohio Bar. Had to take a pay cut to hire former GOP chair Dave Landon in.

[update]Dave Landon, $69,992 finance
Long time GOP party old guard member. Disbarred as an attorney. Writes for Dayton City Paper. Fired from Ohio Auditor Mary Taylor’s district office for running his private auto sales business on state time. Despite only being there a few months, he’s already been in hot water for sending a robocall to endorse candidate Mike Nolan in a Miami Township political campaign which is a no-no for BOE employees. Also, reportedly attended a Dayton Daily News candidate interview for or with Nolan, during the time before an election when BOE employees aren’t allowed to leave the office. DDN supposedly looked into if he had taken personal time- and found no record of it. Reports from inside the BOE say he is still running his car business on BOE time- and takes extended lunches frequently.[/update]

Mark Mazer, $34,652 absentee
Good friend of Sandra Brassington who sometimes runs the local GOP and now works for Governor Kasich.

Karen O’Meara, $53,123 registration supervisor
Unknown connections.

Joshua Pettis $29,993 registration
Unknown connections.

Jennifer Robertson, $38,500 poll worker coordinator
She lives in Darke County but still serves as a precinct captain in Montgomery. When she was running for precinct captain, she put down the wrong address on her form. Greg Gantt, who was best friends with her brother growing up, possibly broke the law and allowed her to change the form after she had already turned it in.

Sarah Scott, $25,001 registration
Former GOP chair Rob Scott’s sister.

Former employees:

  • Alicia Scott Bey – retired. Was close to Jeff Jacobson. R
  • Tamar Gullate D
  • Anthony Harris- shuffled around the county building, must be related to someone. D
  • Joel Hart
  • Brittanee  Iles
  • Helen Jacobson -Former GOP party chair Jeff Jacobson’s mother R
  • Nancy Jenkins
  • Robin Lehman – left BOE for Domestic Relations Court. Is the Republican Party’s longtime treasurer. R
  • Marlene Kincer- Greg Brush’s mother in law- Kym Brush’s mom. D
  • Micah Leventhal
  • Kim Loy – Wife of former Vandalia Mayor Bill Loy D
  • Nancy Marino- runs Trotwood Dem Club D
  • Susan Martin- Tom Robert’s sister D
  • Brian Mead – now in State Auditor’s office- wife is lobbyist for CareSource R
  • Christine Michaels -former director of registration, Chris Conney’s mother. R
  • Andrew Morris R
  • Kelsey Rankin
  • Suzanne Robillard – Now Joo
  • Julie Russel- best friend Carolyn Clark
  • Henderson Scott – D out of Foley’s office
  • Betty Smith – former director, retired for health reasons. Knew her election law and was always helpful to me. Formerly a probate court supervisor R
  • Krystie Spirk – daughter of Mike Spirk – works for Karl Keith D
  • Dru Stewart – R
  • Bryan Suddith- R- Republican party activist.
  • Sinthy Taylor – D, Friend of McLin’s
  • Tony Tipps- Son of Ohio super lobbyist Paul Tipps. Was fired for ostensibly forging a signature on an absentee ballot for his daughter in front of Caroline Clark.
  • Robin Titus – D
  • Carol Varro – son worked for Jeff Jacobson.
  • Missy Mae Walters- Hired by Betty Smith, lobbyist and former girlfriend of former Republican Party Chair Rob Scott.
  • Shynae Whiteside
Screen shot Montgomery County Board of Elections (Ohio)  site on Jan 12, 2014 still showing 2013 dates

Screen shot MCBOE site on Jan 12, 2014 still showing 2013 dates

Despite all this amazing talent, the current website has upcoming election dates and registration deadlines in as of today, Jan. 12 2014. [update] since this post went up- they finally updated the dates [/update]

To see what a real county board of elections website should look like, visit Franklin County’s.

The real question is how the parties control these jobs and political offices. That’s determined by whom we elect to the party central committee. Dems have their elections with gubernatorial primaries- and Republicans do theirs with the presidential primaries.

Just in case you are interested, the deadlines to file your petition to run for Central Committee of the Montgomery County Democratic Party, the dates that aren’t on the BOE site are:

  • 2/5 – Central Committee Precinct Captain Petitions are due by 4 p.m. at the BOE
  • 2/24 – Central Committee Write-In Candidate Forms are due by 4 p.m. at the BOE

You need to get only 5 signatures of registered voters in your precinct to get on the ballot. Get at least double that so the “graphologists” don’t throw your petition out.

This is how Rob Scott took over the local Republican party from Greg Gantt, and how Dennis Lieberman ousted Joe Shump.

To find out what precinct you live in: http://www.mcohio.org/boe/voter_information/voter_reg_lookup.cfm

If you want to find out who your precinct captain is- good luck- the worthless site run by the local party has nothing. www.montgomerydems.org

(compare it to the excellent Franklin County site www.fcdp.org).

And- if you want the form- also- good luck, go to the Sec. of State site to download it. http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/elections/forms/2-L.pdf Make sure you print it on legal paper, have it signed in ink- and that they SIGN- not print their names. If you want to run as a write in, the form is: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/elections/forms/13.pdf

To read about how precinct captain takeover’s work: http://theprecinctproject.wordpress.com/

Below is the list of the current Dem party precinct captains- with a few titles filled in.
Note how many seats are empty? Also- note, how many people are either in office- or work for elected leaders. I don’t have time to cross-reference every name- but, if you can add in comments who works for whom- we can fill this out.

If you want to end the rule of the “Monarchy of Montgomery County” it will start with independent-minded people getting elected to the central committee. Please contact me if you need help with the process.

Montgomery County Dem Central Committee

WARD
PRECINCT
 
FIRST NAME
LAST NAME
EMPLOYER
DAY 1A
DAY 1BJessicaMichaiak
DAY 1CRonaldLeeDayton School Board
DAY 1DJoanWagnerWife of AJ Wagner, former Auditor, Judge and Dayton Mayoral Candidate
DAY 1EDavidEsrati
DAY 2A
DAY 2BAnthonyBallisPartner of Dayton School Board Member Joe Lacey, who works in the County Treasurers office
DAY 2CMatthewCoxAuditors office
DAY 2D
DAY 3A
DAY 3BRichardCox
DAY 3C
DAY 3D
DAY 3E
DAY 3FCJBartley
DAY 3G
DAY 3HMaryKuehne
DAY 3IMarkCunningham
DAY 3J
DAY 3KMarkOwensDem Party Chair, Dayton Clerk of Courts
DAY 3LAnnMurrayDayton Municipal Court
DAY 4ASamuelBraunMr. Nan Whaley, County Auditors office
DAY 4B
DAY 4CWalterDoty
DAY 4D
DAY 5AAprilAlfordBoard of Elections
DAY 5BFredStrahornState Representative
DAY 5CRichardGreenformer Counselor at MC Juvy Court System - 42 years
DAY 5DDonaldDomineckmember of Dayton's Black Panther Party
DAY 5EBarbaraHarris
DAY 6ATomRobertsFormer State Rep and Senate
DAY 6BStaceyBenson-TaylorAFLCIO Union Representative
DAY 6CDorothyBarnes
DAY 6DLawrenceFlowersDayton Clerk of Courts
DAY 7ARhineMcLinFormer State rep, senate, MCDP vice chair, Dayton Mayor and now on BOE
DAY 7BClaytonLuckieImprisoned State rep
DAY 8AKarlKeithCounty Auditor, Vice Chair MCDP
DAY 8B
DAY 8CMeghanCole - now ThomasDayton Clerk of Courts (moved)
DAY 8DGeorgeEstes
DAY 9AMaryMontgomeryProsecutors office
DAY 9BGenevieveMurphyPresident Ohio Young Dems, Auditors office
DAY 9CMatthewJosephDayton City Commissioner, Brother of Russ Joseph, Dayton Clerk of Courts
DAY 9DGuyAberBoard of Elections, his father Russel works in Auditors office
DAY 10A
DAY 10B
DAY 10CMaryPattersonCounty Treasurers office
DAY 10D
DAY 10E
DAY 11A
DAY 11B
DAY 11CRachellePaynter
DAY 11DJessicaAbernathyFormer Deputy MC Recorder, Admin Secretary at Family First Council
DAY 12ACatherineMerkleBoard of Elections
DAY 12B
DAY 12CChristopherConner
DAY 12D
DAY 13AShawnDayDayton Clerk of Courts
DAY 13BHayesShepard
DAY 14AGeraldMarshall
DAY 14BJohnBoston
DAY 14C
DAY 14DLakiaGray
DAY 15AReginaMarksCounty Environmental Services
DAY 15BJohnSmith
DAY 15C
DAY 15D
DAY 16AClayDixonFormer Mayor of Dayton
DAY 16B
DAY 16CIrvingJohnson
DAY 16DClaudiaMason
DAY 16E
DAY 17AMichaelNelson
DAY 17BJamieSimpson
DAY 17CLindaMcKenna
DAY 17DAudrennaWhitesideClerk of Courts
DAY 18AFredRalston
DAY 18B
DAY 18CGretchenMoore
DAY 18D
DAY 19AJamesAtchisonIT Manager at the City of Moraine
DAY 19BWillisBlackshearCounty Recorder
DAY 19C
DAY 19DKeithLanderFacility Services at MC
DAY 20ALelaEstesBoard Member at City of Dayton
DAY 20BRichardSeitz
DAY 20 C
DAY 20DThomasRitchieUnion Head, former BOE member
DAY 21AWillieMarshall
DAY 21B
DAY 21CMarciaKnoxUnion Chief
DAY 22ASinthyTaylorFormer BOE employee
DAY 22BJohnFletcherBoard of Elections
DAY 22CAlvinFreemanDayton Civil Service Board
DAY 23A
BTADebraArmaniniCounty Prosecutor
BTBKym BrushWife of Greg Brush County Clerk of Courts
BTCEmily JacksonNow Emily Bradford- works in County Commission office for Judy Dodge
BTDRichard Carnelobbyist
BTEWilliam Davis IIDayton Water dept.
BTF
BTGPatriciaKunk
VDA
VDB
VDC
VDDWilliamCrawfordDayton Street Maintenance
VDEMarkMacNealyVolunteer Physician at Reach out of Montgomery County
VDF
VDGJudy DodgeCounty commissioner
VDHElaineZimmers-JohnsonRetired-Director of Real Estate for the Auditor’s Office
VDILawrenceO'Donnell
VDJStevenHarsmanBoard of Elections
CLAA
CLAB
CLACRichardRenner5 Rivers Metro Parks
BRKA
BRKB
BRKC
BRKDAmy EddsCounty Auditors office
PHB
GERA
GER-B
GTNA
GTNB
GTNCJeffHastyEnvironmental Services
HARA
HARBWesleyWellsUnion Leader
HARC
HARDElizabethDyer
HARE
HARF
HARGJustin AllenStillwater
HARH
HARIChristineKinterDayton Clerk of Courts
HARJRolandWinburnState Rep
HARK
HARLTony Curington
HARMBrookeWrightDayton Municipal Court
HARN
HUB 1A
HUB 1BLuDale
HUB 1CIsacDaniel
HUB 1D
HUB 2APenniChafins
HUB 2B
HUB 2CJanVargoHuber Heights Council
HUB 2D
HUB 3ADonaldPayne
HUB 3B
HUB 3CEdwinPrimm
HUB 3DLinda Manning
HUB 4A
HUB 4B
HUB 4C
HUB 4D
HUB 5A
HUB 5B
HUB 5CDavidRichards
HUB 6ADanaClark
HUB 6BEdLyons
HUB 6CEllenWilkey
JAKAKarenCriswell
JAKB
FARM
JNLBAVickiGebhart
JNLBBDave Fecke
JEFAFredMeacham
JEFBBriceSimsJefferson Twp Trustee
JEFC
JEFDLynnThomassonCounty Clerk of Courts
KT 1AJasonStanton
KT 1BRobin Barker
KT 1C
KT 1D
KT 1EDennisMcCarthy
KT 1FKathy Williams
KT 1G
KT 1HLauraJordanBoard of Elections
KT 1I
KT 2A
KT 2BFredSchindlerMaintainance at WPAFB
KT 2C
KT 2DNancy SimpsonCommunity Economic Development
KT 2EMaryRobinson
KT 2F
KT 2GDavidWisemann
KT 2HPatBiddle
KT 2I
KT 3A
KT 3BJonathanHardin
KT 3CFrederickKrumholtzDayton Clerk of Courts
KT 3D
KT 3E
KT 3FRobertaBeyerDayton Recreation and Youth Services
KT 3G
KT 3HAncilWebb
KT 3I
KT 3JMiriamMaue
KT 3K
KT 4ANancyEnright
KT 4B
KT 4CLauraHawthornLogistics management at WPAFB
KT 4D
KT 4E
KT 4F
KT 4GJonathanKleinman
KT 4HJohnMurphyBoard of Elections
KT 4IWesleyBishop
KT 4J
KT 4KMichaelBockKettering School board
TR 1ATommyStewart
TR 1B
TR 1CMarjorieTownes
TR 1DEllaBollingCounty Treasurers Office
TR 1ENancyMarino
TR 1FDawnWojcikMCDP employee
TR 2ATiaCoxJob and Family Services
TR 2BKevinArnold
TR 2C
TR 2D
TR 2EDonnaGales
TR 3A
TR 3B
TR 3C
TR 4ADjunaBrownex-Auditor’s Office
TR 4BPatrickThomassonMarried to Tisha who works in Dayton Clerk of Courts
TR 4C
TR 4D
RVA
RVBGladysStump
RVC
RVDWilliamFlauteRiverside Mayor
RVEKennyNance
RVF
RVG
RVH
RVI
RVJ
RVK
RVLEdythMitchell
RVM
PM
MIAA
MIAB
MIAC
MIAD
MIAE
MIAF
MIAG
MIAHWilliamMelke
MIAI
MIAJ
MIAK
MIAL
MIAM
MIAN
MIAOMarkLandersVeterans Services
MIAP
MIAQP MichaelRobinetteFormer head of Conservancy District, MVRPC
MIAR
MIAS
MIATJohnnaShiaCounty Prosecutor
WCRA
WCRBBrendaWhiteDayton Clerk of Courts
WCRC
WCRDToddAhearnCounty Prosector
WCREChrisHolmAuditors office
WCRF
WCRGReneeSheppard
MBG 1A
MBG 1B
MBG 1C
MBG 2A
MBG 2BCharlesBowlingFormer BOE employee
MBG 2C
MBG 3A
MBG 3B
MBG 3C
MBG 4A
MBG 4BJulieBrunsCounty Prosecutor
MBG 4C
MBG 4D
MOR 1AJacquelineCole
MOR 2APatriciaCelesJob and Family Services
MOR 3A
MOR 4ALindaPauley
OAKAPeggyWellerJFS childrens services
OAKB
OAKC
OAKD
OAKETony TippsFormer BOE worker, son of Lobbyist Paul Tipps
OAKF
OAKGCarolHolm
PERA
PERB
PERC
PNLBABettyBenningtonDayton Clerk of Courts
CTN 1A
CTN 1BMattHeckProsecutor
CTN 1CDennisLiebermanFormer MCDP Chair, Former BOE, Husband of Debbie Lieberman
CTN 1DTinaBrownBoard of Elections
CTN 2A
CTN 2BJackeHorne
CTN 2CJoeLitvinFormer County engineer
CTN 3AJamesGorman
CTN 3BTedGudorf
CTN 3CCheryl Hart-GroffDayton Clerk of Courts
ENGA
ENGBJudyGerhard
ENGC
ENGD
ENGE
ENGF
ENGG
ENGHPearlieJohnson
ENGI
ENGJ
UNA
UNBRobinDavisDayton Clerk of Courts
UNC
UNDMikeSpirkCounty Auditor
WSAJamesVangrovCounty Commission office
WSBKrissGang
WSC
WSDMaryMiller Ellis
WSE
WSF
WSG
WSHSusanHesselgesser
WSI
WSJMichelleGrodnerProsecutor
WSK
WSLBarbaraShump
WSM
WSN
WSOPaulRobinsonCounty Treasurer
WSP
WSQ
WSRJohn Roll
WSSPatEdsall
WSTShirleyMarion
WSU
WSVLeigh AnnCapizziJuvenile Court, married to Tony Capizzi, former Dayton City Commissioner and now Judge
WSW
WSXBeverlyKingBoard of Elections
CVA
CVB
CVCCharlotteVitali
CVD
CVE
CVFCathyStartzmanCounty Commission office
CVGStephenDavis
CVHDavidSaphire
CVI
CVJ
CVKMichaelRiceHusband of County Treasure Carolyn Rice
CVLChristiannaRomerCounty Commission office
CVM
CVN
CVOLeeFalkeFormer County Prosecutor
CVP

 

 

Nan’s having a party, for her friends and family at the first four

Wow, it sure is great never having to have to work for a real business a day in your life if you’re Nan Whaley or Russ Joseph. Just take the taxpayers money, buy tickets to the first four games, and then distribute them to your political hack friends and family.

An internal Email from Russ Joseph and guest list made their way over to Esrati.com today. From Russ Joseph- who is Commissioner Matt Joseph, to Nan Whaley and CC’d to Kery Gray who has the title of “Executive Assistant to the City Commission” which is a $90k a year position created by former Mayor Rhine McLin before she left office. (before that, the City Commission only hired the City Manager, the head of the Human Relations Council and the Clerk of Commission- this position was set up as a perk for being a loyal servant, since Mr. Gray used to go to Rhine’s “house” to pick up campaign donations on city time- we know this because of the porcelain pig/bomb episode)

Russ asks “Kery if you can round up the VIPs I can take care of distributing to this motley crew” – which I take to mean, the VIP tickets that the city and the airport have acquired for the First Four.

This was in response to Nan writing Russ and probably Kery in an email on March 17, 2013, at 8:33 p.m.:

So look this over but if I am right I need 10 for every day and 2 bonus for Tuesday and
Wednesday. Kery we will need to round up the YIP’s tomorrow and distribute. How many did
the airport have? JP told me on Saturday that he had found 15 with the airport. but we will need
to do some running!
–All Days: Mark Owens & Tony Nolf
–All Days: Mike Rice & Guest
–All Days: Russ Joseph & Matt Cox (Wednesday it will be Katie Joseph & Charles Eamhart)
–All Days: Sam Braun & Steven Inlow
–Tuesday and Wednesday: Karl Keith & Guest
–Tuesday: Kery Gray & Guest
–Wednesday: Meg & Nolan Thomas
–Friday and Sunday: Matt Joseph & Guest
Also [need 4 more First Four tickets for both nights like we talked via text. 2 for Jason Miller
and 2 for the Gehres’ Brothers.
Thanks for your help in ticket hell.
Nan

We also have the list of tickets for Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

For those of you who don’t know the players:

  • JP- JP Nauseef, former CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition who was shown the door after it looked bad for giving a no-bid contract to Lori Turner (then wife of Congressman Mike Turner) to create the craptastic “Get Midwest” branding campaign. JP is now in charge of the “First Four” festival, working for UD and running a Myrian Capital that is backed by Clay Mathile.
  • Mark Owens is the Dayton Clerk of Courts, The Montgomery County Democratic Party Chair and Nan’s campaign Treasurer and also served as Rhine McLin’s Treasurer.
  • Tony Nolf: ? readers, can you fill us in?
  • Mike Rice is husband to Carolyn Rice who is our County Treasurer (you pay her your property taxes) and both are good Democratic party faithful.
  • Russ Joseph: Dayton City Commissioner Matt Joseph’s brother, dem party faithful on the screening committee and works for Mark Owens in the Clerk of Courts office
  • Matt Cox: ? readers, can you fill us in?
  • Katie Joseph: wife of Russ,  Charles Earnhart is her  brother.
  • Sam Braun: Works for Karl Keith, husband of Nan Whaley.
  • Steven Inlow: ? readers, can you fill us in? Nan’s cousin
  • Karl Keith & Guest: Karl is the vice chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Party and the Montgomery County Auditor.
  • Kery Gray & Guest: He’s the ticket flunky- who get’s paid $90k a year to do Nan and Russ’s dirty work.
  • Meg & Nolan Thomas: Meg works for Karl, and is a Montgomery County Dem Party insider who likes to hiss like a snake when I speak at the Dem party meeting and suggest they could also endorse AJ Wagner since 2 people will make it through the primary. I’m assuming Nolan is her husband.
  • Matt Joseph & Guest: The city commissioner who is the brother of Russ. Matt doesn’t put money in city parking meters, he parks for free.
  • Jason Miller: ? readers, can you fill us in?
  • Gehres’ Brothers: Son’s of party favorite, Judge Dan Gehres.  They do video work for Nan.

So, instead of using these tickets to reward city employees for taking pay cuts, doing great work, creating a surplus, or for use by the “economic development” department to woo and entertain prospective new employers, we have the hottest tickets in town being divvied up by the “Monarchy of Montgomery County” run by Prince Russ Joseph and Queen Nan.

I wasn’t aware that being elected or working for the government entitled you to free tickets to the hottest event in town. There are rules about accepting free tickets while in office, and I’m not seeing any mention of how much these tickets are going to cost each of these favored friends and family.

Does anyone have the balls to investigate Basketball-gate other than, well, me?

It’s time this “motley crew” started paying their own way to events, just like the rest of us.

[UPDATE: 10:26PM]

A reader sent me what they paid for tickets:

Tuesday night - 100 level at the arena $45 per ticket = $90
Wednesday night 100 level $45 per ticket = $90
Friday afternoon - 200 level at the arena $75 per ticket = $150
Friday night - 200 level at the arena $75 per ticket =$150
Sunday afternoon - 200 level at the arena $75 per ticket =$150

Parking for all events $40
Total: $670
Nan and Russ are dealing with 10/12 tickets for all events. Meaning they are receiving gifts of over $3,350 from the taxpayers.
Are you mad yet?

 

The Montgomery County Democratic party screening committee picks losers

Tonight I screen with the Montgomery County Democratic Party screening committee- the “inner circle” of the private club that believes it’s in their best interest to pick candidates in primaries. The Greene County party, refuses to endorse in primaries- understanding that a primary is exactly that: a chance for the party’s voters to make a choice. The Montgomery County Dems could easily endorse every candidate who screens in the Dayton City Commission race who is a Democrat, and hope that the primary knocks out Republican candidates, but, that wouldn’t be their style.

They like to pick people like Clayton Luckie (convicted yesterday of a host of felonies related to theft in office, as a sitting Ohio State representative) who are part of the “Monarchy of Montgomery County” that keeps the patronage/favoritism operation going in political offices across the county.

In my last race, the party endorsed Sharen Neuhardt to run against Mike Turner. They believed her “fundraising abilities” would give them a chance to take on Mike Turner. Of course, people who raise a lot of money then spend it hiring their friends to work on campaigns, and buy printing from “union shops” (a farce today in the printing industry) and still lose thanks to gerrymandering and a total incompetence of the local parties at real voter activation (the Obama campaign doesn’t use the local data or network of workers to run their campaign- which was successful).

Take a look at the numbers and weep:

Michael R. Turner (R) * Winner (60% of vote) 208,201 ($5.16 per vote)

  • Raised: $1,222,129
  • Spent: $1,073,860
  • Cash on Hand: $287,565

Last Report: November 26, 2012

Individual contributions

  • Small Contributions $32,139 (3%)
  • Large Contributions $748,160 (61%)
  • PAC contributions $441,115 (36%)
  • Candidate self-financing $0 (0%)
  • Other $715 (0%)

Sharen Neuhardt (D) (37% of vote) 131,097 ($4.36 per vote)

  • Raised: $571,531
  • Spent: $571,063
  • Cash on Hand: $4,058

Last Report: November 26, 2012

Individual contributions

  • Small Contributions $66,363 (12%)
  • Large Contributions $398,123 (70%)
  • PAC contributions $79,451 (14%)
  • Candidate self-financing $22,674 (4%)
  • Other $4,921 (1%)

via Congressional Elections: Ohio District 10 Race: 2012 Cycle | OpenSecrets.

For comparison, in the non-presidential year 2010, the very lame Democratic candidate, Joe Roberts, a 25-year-old Democratic party pogue, received 31% of the vote raising $7,322 and “spending” $6,170 ( I have spending in quotes because he skipped out of town on his campaign office rent- owing a single mother who owned the property several thousand dollars). For Sharen Neuhardt, who put almost 3x her own money in than Joe Roberts spent in total and still only getting 6% more of the vote in a much easier district to campaign in, is criminal. This wasn’t Sharen’s first rodeo, she had her inaugural 2008 debacle against Steve Austria where she was running for an open seat and spent $838,992 to get 42% (113,099 or $7.422 per vote) of the vote.

I’ll post my answers to the Screening Committee questions like I have in the past. But, at some point, it sure would be nice to:

  • run in a race that was measured by the quality of your ideas, instead of your ability to waste money on campaign trash.
  • have a political party that cares more about winning seats than seating friends and family
  • be elected by voters who are well informed, having resources to properly educate themselves on the issues and the candidates.

Until then- we’ll continue to have the best politicians money can buy.

And- as a side note, another one of campaign ads has won an ADDY award from the American Advertising Federation. Last year, my foreclosure spot won a silver and this year the panhandling campaign won (I won’t know what level Gold, Silver, Bronze till mid-February).


Post 2000. Lost another election. I won’t be on the BOE

It seems only fitting- my two thousandth post on esrati.com is to tell you that I lost yet another election.

Tonight, the “executive committee” of the Montgomery County Democratic party voted to submit two people to fill the unexpired terms of Dennis Lieberman and Tom Ritchie, who were voted off the Board of Elections island by our Secretary of State, Jon Husted.

Of course, all of this could be for naught, if the lawsuit filed against Husted today, in Judge Walter Rice’s court, orders Husted to put Lieberman and Ritchie back on the island, now that Husted has been publicly spanked by Eric Holder and the Democrats.

The whole story of why Ritchie and Lieberman were the first in Ohio history to be punted from a Board of Elections without doing something heinously illegal like selling Meth or hiring a convicted rapist because, well, he’s the brother of a person with a patronage job and was hired without filling out a job application- no, they were fired because they wanted to make it easier for people to vote.

The God that the Republicans pray to doesn’t like people to vote early in person- because, well, too many liberals do that.

There were five candidates. I was probably the one who got the least votes. The ballot was on paper, write two names- sign your name. Counted by Mat Heck and Lee Faulke, the first place finisher was Rhine McLin who now gets to fill the longer remaining term that Dennis held (I think it’s 3.5 years) and number two was John Doll who gets to sit in Tom Ritchie’s seat for a year and a half before reappointment. Of course, Jon Husted gets final say on who gets in (odd, because he also gets final say on who isn’t in- making him the effective king of both parties).

All the candidates, including me, promised to vacate the seat if the lawsuit forces Husted to rescind his action.

The good news for Dayton is that as long as Rhine is on the BOE collecting her $20K a year for 2 meetings a month- she can’t run for city commission to fill Nan’s spot while she runs for Mayor. The bad news is, if my family will permit me, I’ll be running for city commission again next year.

There was actually a roll call of the executive committee members tonight. I should have recorded it so I could post it here. I’m a member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party, and I don’t even know who makes up the executive committee. It was nearly a full house- only a handful of them were missing. 25 were needed for a quorum to vote and they had over that.

I’m also remiss, in not having full bios of everyone running. Joan Holmes (sp)? ran – and was totally unfamiliar to me, and the Mayor of Brookville, David E. Seagraves also had his name in the hat- with a letter of recommendation from County Commissioner Dan Foley (who wasn’t in attendance tonight or on the executive committee.

I had a few people come up after- and tell me they voted for me. In my intro speech it probably didn’t help that I pointed out the fact that a convicted rapist had been hired to the BOE without a job application- or that you still can’t find out basic info on voting on the BOE site- stuff that always comes up as referral searches near election time- on esrati.com.

This wasn’t a groundbreaking post. It isn’t even significant in the grand scheme of things. But, 2000 is a milestone- most blogs never see that many posts. Thanks for being a reader.

Here is what I handed out to the members of the Executive Committee:

Why should I serve on the Board of Elections?

As a “perennial candidate” I’ve had 20 years experience of frustration at finding the way onto the ballot and through the process.

It’s been my experience that the information that’s fundamental to running for office is missing from the BOE site, as are filing deadlines, sample forms, sample language and process and procedure.

As a member of the Board, I would work to make sure that the process is as open and transparent as possible.

Some things that I’d work on:

A complete listing of all elected offices and the election dates, office holders, election results and requirements for every office in Montgomery County.

Voter education: Every year at election time, my personal site gets a ton of traffic for “Do I have to declare a party” and “can felons register to vote.” These questions should be directed by Google to the SOS- but since our SOS is more interested in stopping people from voting, he’s not done the job.

I’ve also been a vocal critic of our BOE. We’ve had some hiring mishaps, as well as other negative press over the years. I don’t believe that the first reason to work at the BOE is because you are a friend of________________. Our election process is sacred- and we’ve taken our responsibilities pretty lightly in Montgomery County.

I fully support the actions of Tom and Dennis. I’ve never been prouder of two Democrats in my life. If they get their seats restored, I would step down so that they would be able to reclaim their seats. My appointment would also be a sign that our party isn’t all about good ‘old boy politics as usual.

More than likely, the SOS will reject my appointment, for any number of reasons. Most likely, because I’ve tripped up against the system too many times. This would be one more issue he’d have to deal with, on top of the pending litigation.

I would do everything possible to question why if he’s so set on “statewide standards” why our local BOEs use different systems and our databases are such a mess.

I take this position very seriously. If appointed, it would have to end my political aspirations and make me focus on improving our election process in Montgomery County- and hopefully- the State of Ohio.

If you don’t know my commitment to open, fair, honest elections by now, I don’t deserve this job. It’s been my goal to raise the political consciousness of our community via open, honest discussion since I started running for office 20 years ago.

My site, www.esrati.com has more information on it about elections, and the process, than any other site in Montgomery County.

I hope to help take the MCBOE to the next level.

Note: Building highly accessible, ADA compliant, useful websites is what my team in the professional world does. It would be my honor to help bring this knowledge and skills to the County.

Thank you,

Why you should be up in arms over early voting restrictions

Jon Husted is a tool. He lied about his residency when he was in the State House, and now, as Secretary of State he’s acting bizarrely. Being the chief elections officer in the state means making sure we get maximum voter turnout and the most accurate results possible.

So why would he order absentee ballot requests sent to every single registered voter, at a cost of millions, while making every attempt possible to stop people from early voting on weekends? It’s not about saving money- there is something deeper at root here.

Even though I have zero respect for our insane, partisan Board of Elections system, that places the important business of running our elections solely in the hands of the two major parties, and the jobs are all patronage rewards for the party faithful, the actions of Lieberman and Ritchie are a rare instance of bold leadership in a system that does everything to beat automatic conformity into us:

The two Democrats on the Montgomery County Board of Elections were suspended by Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted on Friday after they refused to back down in a standoff over extending in-person early voting hours for the upcoming election.

Dennis Lieberman and Tom Ritchie Sr. must appear at a hearing at 9 a.m. Monday in Columbus to decide whether they will be removed from office.“You leave me no choice but to begin the process necessary to remove you as members of the Montgomery County Board of Elections,” Husted’s letter to the pair said….

But Ritchie called it “a sad day,” saying weekend voting is important because residents should have more choice about how and when to vote. BOE officials said 10,829 Montgomery County residents voted on weekends during the 2008 presidential election, more than one-third of the 28,332 total in-office voters.

via Husted suspends Democrats on election board | www.daytondailynews.com.

That last part, that more than a third of the early in-person voting was on weekends, should make you wonder why our SOS is so against it as to suspend people who want to keep it. In-person voting means they use the same electronic voting machines used on election day, which are supposedly more secure. It also means we don’t have to trust the U.S. mail- and, most of all- it, unlike absentee balloting, requires a photo ID to be presented- all things that our SOS thinks are so important.

For those of you who can’t understand why Saturday voting is a good thing, our Board of Elections is in the basement of the County building, which has a very full parking garage on weekdays and costs at least $1 for a short visit. Weekends, it’s much easier to get in, and street parking is free.

I’ve written before about my problems with our single day of voting on a Tuesday. We all know that inclement weather on election day hurts turnout, we know that elections are generally decided by a majority of a minority in this country which already has one of the lowest voter turnouts of a “free country” with “democratic elections.”

This whole issue makes me wonder what the Secretary of State’s real goal is, or if we can truly trust the system we have. I’m ready to ask a third-world nation to send election monitors to Ohio to oversee our next election, because, frankly, this latest flap makes no sense.

There is a protest scheduled outside the Secretary of State’s office tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. in support of our local heroes. If you can take time away from work, this is important.

If we deny even a single person the right to vote, we’re failing the ideals that built our country,

The Democrats who chose Strahorn to run for Luckie’s seat

Sunday afternoon I was one of the Democratic Party Central committee tasked with picking a replacement for Clayton Luckie for the Ohio 39th House seat, in light of his current ethics investigation and voluntary withdrawal from the race.

The district is reportedly one of the most Democratic leaning in the State, meaning whomever we picked, they were almost guaranteed a win. The opponent they will face is Jeff Wellbaum (two l’s), a first time candidate for the Republicans. Fortunately or unfortunately, there are two Jeff’s with almost the same name- the other is Welbaum (one 1) is a Republican running for the second district court of appeals.

Even with confusion, Jeff Wellbaum, an Iraq war vet, won’t stand a chance. His Facebook page has all of 29 likes.

So, the decision on Sunday was really about who would be the next State representative, being decided in the main meeting room of Montgomery County Democratic HQ. Procedure was stumbled through, but Victor Harris had one central committee member nominate him, and I may have been the second. I believe in choice- always have.

Vic, a retired U.S. Army Lt. Col., had made waves with the party 4 years ago, running against their chosen one, Roland Winburn in the 39th and taking about 40% in the primary. Harris had flyers on all the chairs introducing himself with a brief bio and a list of what he’d work for.

If you need to hand members of the Montgomery County Democratic Party a bio, you can already forget it- they go with who they know. Harris told us the reason we should vote for him is so that Fred Strahorn could concentrate on winning the 5th Senate seat back that he lost 2 years ago. He also mentioned he was a cousin of Clayton Luckie (who has a reputation for having a family so big that just their votes are enough to get him elected).

Harris had already made a fool of himself to me by listing “Will fight to bring back the Wright Brother’s boy-hood (sic) and bike shop from the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan to where it belongs in the Wright-Dunbar neighborhood in Dayton.”

Wow, Vic, really? That’s more important than school funding reform and updating the laws put in place by the Northwest Ordinance of 1785?

After their 5 minute speeches, questions were allowed from the floor, I threw out three relative softies, while a few others made one minute speeches in support of Strahorn, including one from former rep and senator Tom Roberts who had picked Strahorn as his successor.

I believed we should hear what the candidates reasons were for running, what they were doing now and how much time they will be able to commit to the race and finally- a harder question on what they would do to address the real issues (stated above). Strahorn shined in his response. Harris didn’t.

There are about 69 precincts in the 39th, the party called me twice, mailed me once and dropped a flyer at my door. They made a solid effort to get the precinct chairs to the meeting. A quorum was 39, they had 41.

When it came time for the vote:

Fred Strahorn was selected as the Ohio House candidate for the 39th District after a vote of 41-1 at the Montgomery County Democratic headquarters on Sunday.

via Democrats choose Strahorn to run for Luckie’s seat | www.daytondailynews.com.

And no, I wasn’t the one person voting for Victor.

Not that these were ideal conditions, with the short time-frame to pick a replacement for the ballot, but all in all, the process was the most democratic thing I’ve seen in a while from the MCDP. The doors were open, the cameras were rolling, the only question is who are the people who are voting. There is no list on the Dem party site- and the tool they have (which is new) has my house in Precinct 1-D and my precinct Captain as Joan Wagner (wife of A.J. Wagner) but I’m the captain of 1-E (not). Maybe I wasn’t qualified to vote after all? Despite having a certificate of election.

From looking around the room, the decision of who to hand this seat over to was made by quite a few elected politicians, people with patronage jobs and retired folks. Not exactly a cross section of our community. I’m not suggesting that there is a better way, but, realistically, it’s a pretty tight knit group. I doubt that the party would have felt a need to rig the room, but, I’m not sure how anyone would check.

I’m sure that Fred Strahorn was the most qualified candidate they could field, and as someone who also knows Jeff Wellbaum, Fred is the right man for the job. Fred learned some humility after his defeat by Bill Beagle two years ago- it was Fred’s first real contested race. This time, he won’t take things for granted even though he has once again been given a hall pass to the halls of our state government.

Tony Tipps, former BOE worker, busted for meth

Last year, esrati.com broke the story about the firing of Tony Tipps from the Board of Elections. Now, Tipps, son of former Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Paul Tipps, and now a lobbyist, has been arrested for possession and trafficking in meth according to “Peak of Ohio” and the Bellfontaine Examiner.

Tony Tipps, son of Paul Tipps

Tony Tipps having a Mel Gibson moment

The Ohio Investigative Unit made three drug-related arrests early Saturday morning during a music festival at Zane Shawnee Caverns, 7092 State Route 540, Bellefontaine.

Robert Allton, 24, and James Davis, 29, both of Columbus, and Anthony Tipps (pictured right), 52, of Dayton, were each charged with felony counts of possession of drugs and drug trafficking in methamphetamine.

via Three arrested on drug charges at Zane Shawnee Caverns festival | Peak of Ohio.

Tipps is one of the subjects being investigated by the Montgomery County Sheriff for sending out the letter that accuses the directors of screwing up the provisional ballots in the 2006 election. That the BOE might have done something wrong is not the focus of the investigation, and undoubtedly, Tipps’ arrest will make it even easier for them to pass the buck.

Considering that the BOE also has hired an employee’s family member convicted of rape, and now this, someone would think that it’s time to clean house at the BOE and start fresh. These aren’t the kind of people we want running our elections- are they?

Tipps had his job at the BOE for at least ten years, thanks to his father’s powerful connections in the Democratic party. His father is called a close confidant of Senator John Glenn and he sits on the board of John Glenn School of Public Policy. Is this the only qualification needed to get a job at the BOE- connections?

Obviously, when left to fend for himself without daddy’s help- we get a different skill set.

It will be interesting to see if the three accused dealers get similar sentences, or if Tipps Sr. manages to use his connections to once again help his kid out.