The secret committee that decides elections in Dayton

At the last election there was going to be an empty seat on the Dayton City Commission if Nan won or lost. The party screened candidates, and selected incumbent Joey Williams and former State School Board and Dayton Board of Education member Jeffery Mims.

A local minister, Darryl Fairchild had already printed up a 2-color letterhead, “Fairchild 2013.” (Note, when running for office, never put the date on stuff you could reuse). When the endorsements were announced, Darryl wheeled to the front of the room and fell on his sword, sweeping the door open for Mr. Mims, thinking he was next in line. When the city had to modify the dais in the commission chambers for Dean Lovelace in a wheelchair, I even heard- “well, we’re going to have to do it for when Darryl gets on the commission” from someone. (For the record, Lovelace should have vacated the seat for his extended absences, and there should have been a special election).

On Tuesday, six candidates screened for the two seats coming up for re-election. Matt Joseph, the three-term incumbent who has yet to distinguish himself with any real legislative issues, and five others including yours truly. As previously reported, David Greer who ran last time, Hazel Rountree who just took a seat a year ago on the DPS board, Fairchild, and newcomer Chris Shaw who is “a fourth-generation business owner and active in the local NAACP” according to party chair Mark Owens (who is the Dayton Clerk of Courts and is up for re-election).

Thursday came and the announcement was made in the party executive committee that the screening committee had selected Joseph and Shaw. A few people were wondering how Fairchild had been thrown under the bus. A screening committee member said “well that would be running two white guys” since Fairchild and Joseph are both white, Shaw is black. I protested that the party could endorse 4 Dems (and still not endorse me) since the way this works is that if more than 4 people run, there is a runoff (not a primary- since the race is non-partisan) to select 4, and only the top 2 vote-getters win in November. Since there are obviously going to be more than 4 people in this race, wouldn’t it be smarter to have 4 Dems in the final? And let the people decide? I was booed, hissed, told to shut up- and got nasty looks. One other person asked why not Darryl? Wasn’t he promised this chance when he stepped aside so graciously for the good of the party? The answer was no- he wasn’t promised anything.

This is the way the Democratic party works- 4 years ago Nan and Rhine McLin were inseparable, with some even speculating that there was a sexual relationship between them. After Rhine lost to Gary Leitzell in the upset of the century- Rhine became a pariah. The people in power in the Dem party would eat their babies in order to protect their fiefdoms.

There were other endorsements as well. Judge Pickerel has “aged out” of being able to run, and his open seat was screened as well. Three candidates including the just deposed Frances McGee Cromartie who was their endorsed candidate in November to return to Common Pleas. She was passed over, despite being a McGee. Some loyalists challenged that decision- only to be told that the person they were endorsing had 20+ years experience in the municipal court and Frances didn’t. Never mind that Common Please handles much tougher cases than Muni. Nope, lose an election, and unless you raise a lot of money like Sharen Neuhardt, we put you out to pasture.

So the question is, who are these people on the “Screening committee” who try to take the democracy out of the ballot box and keep it behind closed doors in Dem Party HQ? As an elected member of the central committee and elected to the executive committee (thank you A.J. Wagner and Joe Lacey) I didn’t remember electing, selecting, discussing who was on this committee. I asked for the list- and was given it- surprisingly. The members are selected by the party chairman, Mark Owens. Mostly made up of elected officials, former elected officials, patronage job holders who are jockeying to be the anointed one when their benefactor decides to step down, and labor leaders. Here’s the list. I’m sorry I haven’t had time to fill in all the job positions, but I will gladly take your input to fill in the few blanks.

First nameLast namePosition
DebraArmaniniMat Heck's number 2
WillisBlackshearCounty Recorder
SamBraunMr. Whaley- works for Karl Keith
GregoryBrushCounty Clerk of Courts
CenaBuchannon
RickCarneFormer Tony Hall Chief of Staff- now a lobbyist
DanaClark
DaveFeckeVice Chair UAW
GregFlannaganPublic information officer for Mat Heck
DanFoleyCounty Commissioner
TimGormanHusband of Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Barbara Gorman
StevenHarsmanDeputy Chief of the Board of Elections
MatHeckCounty Prosecutor
DaleHerzogDayton Building and Construction
Trades Council
RobertJones
RussellJosephMark Owen's heir apparent
MattJosephCity Commissioner, brother of Russ
KarlKeithCounty Auditor
CarlKennebrewPresident IUE-CWA Local 755
BeverlyKingBoard of Elections worker who hires her rapist brother
MarciaKnoxRegional Director AFSCME Region 8
Dennis A.LiebermanFormer Party Chair, Clayton Trustee, husband of County Commissioner Debbie
NancyMarinoTrotwood Dem Club
JimMcCarthyHead of Miami Valley Fair Housing
JeffreyMimsCity Commissioner
CharlesMortonDayton-Miami Valley AFL-CIO Regional Labor Council
GenevieveMurphyState Young Dem President, Nan's shadow
JohnMurphyGen Murphy's Dad- BOE worker
LeonardOramHead Probation Officer for Vandalia municipal Court run by Mat Heck's wife, Cynthia
MarkOwensParty Chair, Dayton Clerk of Courts
VarneyRichmondFORMER President of Teamsters Local 957 as of Jan 10, 2015
TomRitchie, Sr.AFSCME, formerly on BOE
PaulRobinson, Jr.Chief Deputy Treasurer

DavidSaphire
BriceSimsJefferson TWP Trustee
TroySinger
CathyStartzmanLegislative Aide County Commission
FredStrahornState Rep
JohnTheoboldLegislative Aide County Commission
MeghanThomasWorks for Mark Owens in Clerk of Courts
NolanThomasAssistant. Prosecuting Attorney
LynnThomasson, Sr.County Clerk of Courts
WillieThorpeAsst to the President IUE-CWA
DawnWojcikParty exec.

These are the people who “endorse” after a ten-minute presentation. The questions, which I’ve published before are minimal (2012 answers)- but always include the “In your race, if the Democratic Party endorses someone other than you, will you run against the endorsed candidate? If yes, why?”

The question is, are you, one of the few remaining dedicated voters in Montgomery County willing to keep allowing this system to exist- to limit choice on the ballot?

Will you vote the “stupid voter slate card” blindly?

This is why judges are rarely opposed. This is why many people never run. This is how the Monarchy of Montgomery keeps the gravy train going and the friends and family fat and happy.

You shouldn’t be happy about this. I’m sure not.

Why Dayton politics are like a game of hockey with bad referees

Saturday night I went to see the Dayton Demonz play a game of hockey at Hara Arena. Very early in the game an obvious icing call was screwed up and the faceoff was held in neutral ice instead of back in the defensive zone (for those of you who don’t understand hockey- bear with me, but the reason for the icing call is to keep the game moving- stopping the defending team from tossing the puck all the way down the ice every time they feel pressured). My friend and I were bewildered- the fans who know the game were bewildered, how does someone referee a professional hockey game and not know the most basic call in hockey?

But it got worse. A period in hockey is 20 minutes long of stop time. The purpose of referees is to keep the game moving, only blowing the whistle when something happens that gives a team an unfair advantage or tries to slow the action. Typically, without a whole lot of penalties, a period takes, even with time outs, less than 45 minutes. This game- the first period took over 70- and I seem to remember only one penalty being called.

Typically referees only talk, and are officially only allowed to talk to players wearing either a C or an A on their sweater (hockey jersey for the unindoctrinated) – they don’t talk to the bench or the coaches, unless giving the coach a warning or a penalty. These refs seemed to have never learned that part- talking to both benches and each other way more than is customary. As the players became more and more frustrated with bad calls- and missed calls, things got chippy on the ice. Predictions for a brawl or two were being made as the game continued to get out of hand.

Kinsella got a little pissy!!! #demonz #goalieprobs

A major fight in the second period got the fans going- where a Demonz player beat the living crap out of a much bigger opponent. The Federal League was supposed to be making a real effort at cutting down on the brawling this season. Apparently the refs didn’t get the memo- nor did they try to break it up. By the third, they gave the Demonz captain a 10-minute misconduct. The missed calls had the players making bad decisions left and right- not knowing what was going to fly or not fly. With about 10 minutes left to go in regulation, the Demonz goalie got beat on a good goal, and turned around and flipped the net over. This is an automatic penalty for either “unsportsmanlike conduct” or “delay of game.” No call. Nothing.

By the end of the game it was tied- with both teams having guys in the box. Overtime is 4 on 4 and five minutes of sudden death play. It’s well after 11 pm at this point- a full hour, to hour and a half later than the game should have been over. The Demonz captain came back to sit in the box- since as soon as the first whistle after his ten minutes was up- he could re-enter the game. The moment he re-enters another fight starts up- despite the Demonz having a man advantage at the time. A quick goal by the visitor ends the game and as the teams are heading off the ice a brawl breaks out- with one of the refs getting hit and going to his knees. A total failure of controlling the game- and a poor example of what the game of hockey is all about.

WTF does this have to do with politics in Dayton you may rightly ask? Has Esrati lost it?

The beauty of hockey is that the rules are pretty simple, and everyone who plays the game understands them. While there are some nuances that it takes a while to learn, and some penalties are judgment calls- good referees and good players know that things usually have a way of balancing out, and that when the rules are followed- the game works.

In Dayton, our political players have bent the rules, ignored the rules and lied about the rules for so long, the game no longer resembles the game at all. It’s how we end up with a building owned by the people, being the leading tax scofflaw downtown. (The Port Authority is a public slush fund for building buildings for people who don’t like to pay their way- examples being the headquarters for MCSi- which is now the headquarters for Mead School Supplies, the parking garage for the former Relizon/WorkFlow One/Deloitte/CareSource building.

Our politicians are so confused at whon they report to, they run for office because they are told to, even though they have no real interest to continue, and money is thrown their way. Instead of spending our money on public safety and infrastructure- we funnel into pseudo-government organizations like CityWide Development, the Downtown Dayton Partnership and the Dayton Development Coalition where our money gets handed out like candy to congressmen’s wives’ firms on a no-bid contract.

We’ve forgotten what our objectives are, what the rules are and how to keep score properly. It’s a total farce at the game of government, just as was the “hockey game” on Saturday night.

Lucky for hockey fans, there are referees and league officials who will review that game and sort things out.

For dealing with Dayton’s clusterduck of a game, you only have me and my blog-  since the paper’s publisher is in bed with the Dayton Development Coalition and the owners of the media love the money from the auctions we call elections.

Good luck voting tomorrow. Even if you do the right thing, the refs in charge won’t get the score right.

 

Dayton Daily news steps to new lows: Candidate faced misdemeanor battery charge

Graphic for Esrati.com

Political Mudslinging reaches epic proportions in Dayton, Ohio.

The free part of this Dayton Daily news “article” reads:

Candidate faced misdemeanor battery charge

The Republican candidate for the Montgomery County commission was arrested in Florida in 1987 after he was accused of shoving his then-wife and breaking a window at their home while carrying a knife, according to a police report obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

Candidate Mike Nolan said the incident was out of character for him and driven by emotion.

This event happened in 1987- and while it’s clearly old news, nothing in the accessible part tells you that “the case was never prosecuted.” which is in the next paragraph.

Nor did they tell you how they “obtained” the police report- probably handed to them by one of the idiots in the Democratic party who thinks they are doing to Nolan what happened to Ed Fitzgerald, just weeks before the election. In case you’ve been living under a rock- it was first revealed Fitzgerald, the Dem candidate for Ohio governor was “caught” in a parking lot at 4:30 am with a “woman who was not his wife” and then it dribbled out that Mr. Former FBI didn’t bother to renew his driver’s license for 10 years- while in political office and driving.

Facebook recently changed its algorithm to stop allowing click baiting links to appear as often in ‘newsfeeds- because the practice was ruining the FB experience- while the Dayton Daily newsless has become less and less of a journalistic endeavor and more of a click mill. The public beatdown of their “blogger” Amelia Robinson just recently for writing about the demolition of the Taco Bell at Wyoming and Brown- even though the building had been gone for a week was  quite entertaining- I’m waiting another week for her to write about the Burger King remodeling on Brown or the demolition of the very expensive pharmacy at the corner of Warren and Oak that was built for the Medicine Shoppe but never opened because MVH had changed its mind at the last minute. But I’m heading on a tangent- back to Mike Nolan.

For the record- I really don’t know Mike Nolan from Adam. I do know the other two candidates in the race- Dan Foley, everyone but mine favorite darling “nice guy” and Gary Leitzell, our former mayor and the only independent in the region to have managed not only to get elected but also to make it onto the ballot every time despite the partisan Board of Elections’ best efforts to keep the two juntas in power.

My first experience with Dan Foley was when he was working for then congressman Tony Hall- when I first got to Dayton and had to ask my congressman for some help in sorting out some military pay issues. Foley was probably 19 and had the cushy paying job in the congressman’s office because his daddy was a judge. He had a roommate at the time who was interested in the girl I was dating- and Dan decided to share some things he shouldn’t have with his roommate so his roommate could get the girl.

When I reminded him about this years later- when I’d asked for his backing in a congressional primary, he threw back how I hadn’t backed Rhine McLin against Leitzell as a reason for not backing me. He claimed to have totally forgotten about his breach of my trust- despite him getting an ass chewing from Bear Monita who was then Tony Hall’s chief of staff. My opinion of “the nice guy” image has always been tainted by that experience, but my main complaint is that Foley is nothing but an empty suit driven to keep his lifetime of sucking at the public teat alive. He’s never had a job in the private sector, nor will he ever have a hard time finding one as one of our anointed leaders of the “Monarchy of Montgomery County.”

Leitzell entered the race over a year ago on rumors that Foley was thinking of not running. The rumor was that he was headed over to the Dayton Development Coalition for a job that paid twice what the commission job pays- but when they couldn’t figure out how to slush fund more tax dollars into the DDC- Foley had to run again, at least as a placeholder. Unlike the Dayton Commission- if a county commissioner resigns or dies midterm- his party gets to replace him with anyone it wants- leaving the question of what happens if an independent like Leitzell were in office and got hit by a bus? Does the “independent party” get to select a replacement? Are you starting to see the picture?

I know Gary Leitzell pretty well. I consider him a friend. Full disclosure,  my firm The Next Wave has helped him with webhosting and printing for his campaigns on a service provider level more than a strategic level. I find Gary’s political naiveté both entertaining and refreshing. I believe his public calls for giving heroin to the worst repeat criminal offenders who are trying to feed their habit the most original thought by a local politico in probably the last 30 years- totally going against what is considered both “safe” and/or “responsible” campaign playbooks would suggest. I believe that he would be the first county commissioner to have an original thought or initiative since I’ve been in Montgomery County (1983).

Back around to the Nolan slander piece in the “Newspaper”- I believe that the public has every right to know what is in the piece- and that it shouldn’t be behind a paywall, weeks before an election. Nolan has not only held public office in this county for years, he has also served as a law enforcement officer for years after this incident. Had it been cause of major concern, he never would have been a sheriff’s deputy. The paper is engaged in a smear campaign- nothing else at this point. For this to be on the front page of the local section is a disgrace to professional journalism- something the Dayton Daily news has less and less claim to everyday.

I am republishing the entire article as a public service. I have only done this in the past when their articles have featured me in them (mostly with a negative slant). I have in the past, been threatened with lawsuits by their digital department for using their “copyrighted content” in my blog, to which I have a counterclaim of questioning the frequent use of my blog to get their stories as long time readers of this site well know- without EVER giving credit.

I believe the Dayton Daily should remove the paywall on this article- and reveal who delivered the lead on the police report. If they aren’t willing to do that, I would challenge them to change the headline to read “27 year old dropped charges surface about candidate” and a sub-head or lead of “Politics has reached a new low in Montgomery County when mudslinging rises to new lows.”

Here you go – sans paywall. Please consider supporting my legal defense fund when the “newsPaper” attacks. Remember, you also heard it here first.

The Republican candidate for the Montgomery County commission was arrested in Florida in 1987 after he was accused of shoving his then-wife and breaking a window at their home while carrying a knife, according to a police report obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

Candidate Mike Nolan said the incident was out of character for him and driven by emotion. After their divorce, the couple worked together to raise their children, he said.

Nolan faced a misdemeanor battery charge, but the case was never prosecuted.

“It is disheartening that with all the problems in Montgomery County — drugs, crime, gangs and the lack of jobs — the Democrats and the Dayton Daily News have focused on an incident the occurred almost 30 years ago,” Nolan wrote in an e-mail. “I resent their questioning my more than 30 years in law enforcement and public service.”

On the night of the incident, Judith DiCosta, Nolan’s wife at the time, told police he first broke a window, then entered through the front door after a man who was inside left the home to find a phone and call police. DiCosta said her own phone wasn’t working.

Nolan had a knife in his possession, DiCosta told police, but he laid it down once he came inside, the report said.

DiCosta said Nolan pushed her around and then picked her up and told their two daughters — ages eight and six — to get in the car because they were leaving. The police report indicates she had a bruise above her left eye.

Reached last week, DiCosta said she considers the incident a private matter. Nolan was a great father and has proved to be a great public servant, she said.

“I am sure he will make a great county commissioner,” DiCosta said.

Nolan’s opponents in the commission race — Democratic incumbent Dan Foley and independent candidate Gary Leitzell — said the campaign is about issues and accomplishments in office.

“Everybody has the right to screw up,” Leitzell said. “That’s so long ago.”

Nolan, 63, began working for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office in 1988, and his career lasted until 2010, when he retired as chief deputy. Before that, Nolan worked for the Florida State Highway Patrol for more than four years, until the end of 1984.

He was promoted multiple times at the sheriff’s office and earned excellent marks on his work evaluations. Nolan also served as a Miami Twp. trustee for one term beginning in 2010.

Nolan said he has been married to his current wife, Bonnie Nolan, for 26 years. He and DiCosta were married in 1977.

Records show that in January 1987 DiCosta filed for divorce and custody of the two children in Lee County, Fla. In divorce papers seeking a restraining order, DiCosta claimed Nolan had harassed and physically abused her.

At 10:20 p.m. on June 28, 1987, Cape Coral police were dispatched to a disturbance at their home, according to a police report.

Police said as they approached the home, they encountered Nolan, who was exiting the front door while carrying his wife. He was arrested, but records show a misdemeanor battery charge was dropped in the Lee County courts two months later.

Nolan was 36 at the time and working as a driver for a shipping company, according to his resume. He and DiCosta were legally married, but he was not living at the home.

In a transcript of a hearing on the petition for divorce, DiCosta’s divorce attorney said she would make a “a good faith attempt” to have the misdemeanor charge against Nolan dropped as part of the divorce settlement.

Nolan said the experience helped him counsel his employees when they went through emotional times in their lives.

“Never, has this incident affected my ability to perform as chief deputy with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Miami Township trustee or county commissioner,” he said in a written statement.

Phil Plummer, chairman of the Montgomery County Republican party, said the incident only involved accusations.

“He was never convicted of a crime. He had a super career as a law enforcement professional. And he would have never been a police officer if he had any conviction,” Plummer said.

Past behavior has been thrust into the forefront in numerous political campaigns this year, including in the governor’s race, where Democrat Ed FitzGerald has struggled to explain why he went 10 years without a valid driver’s license. Other candidates have had to fight off attacks involving late tax payments from years ago.

In his 2012 race for the U.S. Senate, Republican Josh Mandel made a veiled reference to an accusation from a two-decade-old divorce involving Sen. Sherrod Brown to argue that Brown was a “hypocrite” on women’s issues.

The county commission funds a variety of programs and services related to domestic violence, including the Artemis Center, the YWCA emergency shelter and Erma’s House Family Visitation Center.

via Candidate faced misdemeanor battery charge | www.mydaytondailynews.com.

note to faithful readers- my posting frequency has dropped recently due to large amounts of work- and a few instance of life happening. First- the hit and run motorcycle accident, then there I  started South Park Social Soccer Sundays (more on that later) – and then a broken or badly bruised rib or two from a freak pre-season hockey injury which is still hurting and keeping me awake at night. I’ve tried to give you higher quality articles at a lower frequency to keep you happy. My apologies.

Five Rivers Metroparks. Now run by the politburo

This is illegal. On July 26th Five Rivers Metroparks started pushing a new policy to vendors at the 2nd Street Market- to take effect 8/1/2014. But before we even get to what the policy they are implementing is- we have to start with the e-mail signature of the person sending out the policy – it includes the following legalese:

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify the sender immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system. Please note that any views or opinions presented in this e-mail are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Five Rivers MetroParks. Five Rivers MetroParks accepts no liability for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.

It’s even styled to be hard to read- using gray type and small font style tags.

Please note, “Autumn Saenz Market Coordinator 2nd St Market Five Rivers MetroParks” you don’t work for a private law firm- but for a government entity- funded by our taxes. Everything you do is public information, covered by Ohio’s Sunshine laws, and available to the public through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Just the hint of some sort of secrecy- or that this isn’t public record, is a violation.

If any vendor wants to forward your communications, get used to it. Several vendors are my clients and talked to me about this new policy- and I concur, it’s absurd and illegal.

The new policy in question? “SOCIAL MEDIA RULES AND REGULATIONS” which prohibits talking smack about Five Rivers Metroparks, the Market, and or, anything about the market or any of the affiliates- up to and including the commissioners of the organization. So, in effect, we’re allowed to bully you into not being a “cyberbully” and if you talk about us, and our attempts to regulate free speech in public, we’ll terminate your lease.

The complete text of the new mandate:

Five Rivers MetroParks
2nd Street Market
Amendment to Rules and Regulations
Effective 8/1//14

SOCIAL MEDIA RULES AND REGULATIONS
2nd Street Market vendors and their employees or agents must be courteous and professional at all times. This includes vendors’ use of the Internet, e-mail and social media and digital networking tools.

Vendors and their employees or agents shall not make defamatory or derogatory remarks about Five Rivers MetroParks, the 2nd Street Market, or other related to Five Rivers MetroParks or the 2nd Street Market in their electronic communications, including on all social media platforms. They will not engage in gossip, spreading rumors, cyberbullying or similar behavior.

Vendors, their employees or agents may not use e-mail, the Internet or social media and digital networking tools in any manner that may impair the reputation or public standing of Five Rivers MetroParks, the 2nd Street Market or their employees, agents or Commissioners.

Fiver (sic) Rivers MetroParks and the 2nd Street Market reserve the right to report any such communication to the appropriate authorities and social media platforms as communication that violates appropriate standard of conduct. Repeated offenses of these rules and regulations may result in the termination of a vendor’s license agreement at conduct business at the 2nd Street Market.
———————————————————————————————————————
Cut/Tear along the dotted line and return to Jimmy or Autumn. Thank You

By signing here, the vendor agrees to participate in the 2nd Street Market in accordance with the Amendment to the Rules and Regulations described in this document. Effective 8/1/14.
Vendor Business
Vendor Name
Vendor Signature
Date

If you want an original PDF of the document in question: Social Media Amendment

Metroparks is funded by Montgomery County taxpayers. And just to make it clear- even if the vendors were direct employees of a private company- these policies and threats of lease termination would be illegal:

In January (2013), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a series of rulings and advisories that changed the rules for private businesses that want to punish workers who make these feelings public using social media.

The board’s rulings make it illegal for most private companies to enact broad policies that would punish workers who criticize their employers or work conditions if such venting could be considered part of an employee’s right to work toward improved working conditions.

via Do Governments Need Personal Social Media Policies?.

As our best example of regional cooperation, MetroParks should be the shining example of open government, and transparent practices. One of the oddities of this organization is that even though the public pays for this organization, we have no say in who runs it- the 3 “commissioners” are appointed by an unnamed “Montgomery County Probate Judge” and seem to be appointed for life (although start dates for each isn’t listed, Irv Bieser and Alan Pippenger have been on this board for a long time (but we’ll save that issue for another post).

As of this time, most vendors, afraid to raise their voices against this policy fearing the threat of lease termination- are signing it and keeping their mouths shut. Technically, the release of the e-mail and document, may be grounds for termination. When we can’t talk in public about the conduct of the people in charge of our tax dollars, we don’t have a democracy, we have a dictatorship. And in that vein, to the director of Metroparks- I challenge you, Becky Benná- tear down this policy.

 

Montgomery County Republican Party factions playing games with OH-42 seat

Last week, Esrati.com gave you the long list of potential candidates to fill OH-42 existing term, and the ballot position for Terry Blair’s seat. You may have read about it in the Dayton Daily news a few days later.

Today, the DDn ran a press release from the “Conservative Republican Leadership Committee”- read that the Tea Party People who are pretending to not be Tea Party People:

A Republican Party group plans a candidates’ forum tonight on the eve of local GOP leaders voting to replace the late Terry Blair on the ballot for a seat in the Ohio General Assembly.

The Conservative Republican Leadership Committee forum will include three of the four candidates vying to replace Blair, who died June 26 during the last months of his third term in the 42nd District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Niraj Antani of Miami Twp. and Washington Twp. residents Mark Crawford, Scott Paulson and Tom Young have expressed interest in replacing Blair. Republicans are set to vote Thursday on a candidate.

That person will face Democrat Leonard D. Johnson, 67, of West Carrollton in November in a district that also includes Germantown, German Twp., Miamisburg and Moraine. The winner will be elected to a two-year term with an annual salary of $60,584.

The forum, set for 7 p.m. at the Washington Twp. Recreation Center, will include all of the candidates but Young. Young said Tuesday that notice was too short for him to attend the event, which he became aware of late Friday.

The forum will include a question-and-answer session with the candidates followed by written questions from the audience, said Ohio House 36th District state Rep. Seth Morgan, the forum moderator.

“This is a great opportunity — and the only opportunity that we know of that is open to the public — for the public to ask questions,” he said.

Morgan said the forum will help voters assess the candidates in the “highly conservative district.” It tends to lean Republican, with 58 percent of the votes cast in the 2012 presidential election going to the GOP candidate, according to the Montgomery County Board of Elections. “We think this is a great opportunity for the public to engage in the conversation,” he said. “The party will do what the party will do.” District party precinct captains – which number between 65 and 70 – are set to meet at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Mandalay Banquet Center, said Dave Landon, vice chair of the county GOP Executive Committee.

Each candidate will have an opportunity to address the audience, he said, before the vote. Landon is among the party precinct captains in the district but declined to say how he will vote.

via Forum set for House seat.

What they don’t tell you is that Tom Young already had a meet and greet on Sunday afternoon at the Chop House hosted by Sheriff Phil Plummer and Sharon Lowry- the “chair and co-chair of the Montgomery County Republican Party” (even though they weren’t elected to the positions after former chair Rob Scott stepped down). I’m sure Tom Young made that meeting on short notice. Here is a link to a badly scanned leaked invite: Plummer invite to Young event

Having Seth Morgan as the moderator sets the tone for this to be a more radical Republican event, however, Young is unworthy of office in my book if he can’t make it to the only candidates’ forum being held. Insiders say only Paulson and Young have a shot- with Paulson being backed by the upstarts who flipped the party to lean Tea in the last legal party election- including potential future House Speaker Rep. Jim Butler, OH-41. Old school GOP folks on the friends and family plan, prefer Young.  Crawford who immediately sent out a two-page letter to all members of the central committee asking for consideration, spelling out his global experience and qualifications, unfortunately- I can’t find my copy of it, but I’m sure someone will supply another copy within a few hours of my posting it.

Niraj Antani is the young go-getter in the group- who is being ignored by almost everyone. He’s probably the only one who is social media aware- favoring my first tweet about the showdown, and quickly following me on Twitter. Crawford also seems to have some social media chops as well. As to Young and Paulson- not so much.

If the Republicans really cared, the party would have sponsored this event and made sure a video was up on YouTube before the vote tomorrow night. However, this isn’t an open and welcoming Republican party- it’s a nest of infighting children arguing over whose daddy has more money. For now, that would be the Sheriff.

Family Feud: the scramble for Terry Blair’s OH-42 seat

Terry Blair died in office last week. He was up for re-election in the fall. As usual, the Dayton Daily news doesn’t give you the basic information you need to understand what happens next.

Of course, since the political parties are involved- they aren’t exactly open and transparent either- and the questions about who is legitimately in charge of the local GOP haven’t been answered.

The standard policy in Ohio is what put Rhine McLin into politics (after her father died in office)- the party gets to pick the successor- as the Montgomery County Dems’ recently picked Fred Strahorn for the 39th House seat after Clayton Luckie went from the State House to the big house for campaign fund mishandling.

The laws are written in lawyer English:

(G) If a person nominated in a primary election or nominated by petition under section 3517.012 of the Revised Code as a party candidate for election at the next general election dies, the vacancy so created may be filled by the same committee in the same manner as provided in this section for the filling of similar vacancies created by withdrawals or disqualifications under section 3513.052 of the Revised Code, except that the certification, when filling a vacancy created by death, may not be filed with the secretary of state, or with a board of the most populous county of a district, or with the board of a county in which the major portion of the population of a subdivision is located, later than four p.m. of the tenth day before the day of such general election, or with any other board later than four p.m. of the fifth day before the day of such general election.

via Lawriter – ORC – 3513.31 Withdrawal, disqualification, or death of candidate prior to general election..

So- I’m not sure if I get this right- the State Central Committee picks who fills the unexpired term- but the county party picks who gets to take Blair’s spot on the ballot? The reality is, there are so few days left in the state legislative calendar- they may not bother putting someone in- mostly because there is a gaggle of GOPers who want the spot (in no particular order):

  • Tom Young who ran against Terry Blair- and lost.
  • Sandra Brassington- who works for Governor Kasich as a field rep, and used to be the political director of the Montgomery County GOP.
  • Sarah Clark- Miamisburg Council.
  • Mark Crawford- a policy wonk, who sent a 2 page letter to all GOP central committee members outlining why he should get the nod.
  • Niraj Antani – UD Law student who worked on Romney campaign.
  • Dave Westbrock- Dr. who ran against Turner multiple times.
  • Scott Paulson- Washington Township Trustee
  • Mike Nolan- former Miami Township Trustee
  • Deb Preston- former Miami Township Trustee

Whether or not the person gets to run as an incumbent or not, is really not that critical. The Dem’s have Leonard D. Johnson running against him. In the primary- Leonard got a whopping 1,603 votes, Blair had 5,222.

There is no site coming up for Mr. Johnson at this point- and the absolutely worthless site hosted by the Montgomery County Democratic Party doesn’t even have a list of upcoming candidates.

If you know of any other people seeking anointment to the ballot and Mr. Blair’s seat- please feel free to comment.

What is crazy about Ohio- is we’ll spend thousands of dollars to hold unopposed elections in Moraine as a special election, but, in the case of Mr. Blair’s seat, it’s all up to the party insiders.

From the DDn:

MORAINE — Two women appointed to Moraine City Council will run unopposed for separate ward seats in a special election that one official called a “waste of money.”

Teri Murphy and Shirley Ann Whitt, who were appointed in the spring after two council members moved out of the city, were the only two candidates to file petitions to be on the Sept. 9 ballot, according to the Montgomery County Board of Elections. The petitions of both were certified Friday.

Because of the timing of the resignations by Dana Bonfield and Kim Misner, Moraine’s city charter requires it to hold a special election. The election will cost the city about $3,000, according to Jan Kelly, director of the board of elections.

With both candidates unopposed, holding a special election is “a waste of money. It doesn’t make sense,” Kelly said.

She said board of elections officials asked the state legislature to consider abolishing all special elections, but no change has been made.

via Special election has no contests.

If you wonder why fewer people vote, and why many think their vote doesn’t matter- how we fill vacancies should be right up at the top of the list.

Any bets on who the GOP will pick for Blair’s spot? My money is on Nolan, which makes the Leitzell vs Foley race for County Commission a whole different animal.

  2:15 pm July 7 2014 An inside source tells me that it’s Paulson vs Young for the final showdown. Vote to be held July 17

 

Why having the sheriff as a political party chair is a bad idea in Montgomery County

When Robert Scott stepped down as chair of the Montgomery County Republican Party last October, the party machinery didn’t quite work the way it was supposed to. Typically, there is an order of ascendency, and the vice chairmen would become chairman. However, vice-chairman Nick Brusky stepped down too, and next on the pecking order was Dave Landon who should have been made party chair- but since he was already on the County Patronage Payroll at the Board of Elections and couldn’t be party chair and get paid, so he abdicated as well.

Apr 23 see comment below- Co-chair was Kate Burch, who stepped down, leaving Landon, who couldn’t and then second vice-chairman, Nick Brusky, who should, technically be leading the party

There should have been an election, with a quorum of the Precinct Captains voting. A quorum is 50 percent plus one of the central committee. That meeting/election never took place. For a very short period, Landon was representing himself as acting party chair. See this PDF of the filing with the Ohio Elections Commission case about the “endorsement” by the party of a candidate, even though the party wasn’t actually functioning at the time: Landon at Ohio Elections Commission

Screen shot of Ohio Republican Party site showing Phil Plummer as party chair

Here is a screen grab from the Ohio Republican Party Site showing Plummer as chair

Somewhere along the line, Landon realized he could lose his high-dollar job, and then Montgomery County Sheriff, Phil Plummer anointed himself  chair. Never mind the election wasn’t held, thereby breaking state law, but it is highly unlikely that Plummer would be able to get the votes, since Scott took over the party by getting a majority of the precinct captains elected who supported his brand of Republicanism. It was a message that the good-ole boy days were over, and yet, that’s exactly who is back in power now.

While the equally dysfunctional Democratic party in town can laugh about all this, there is one major problem with having the sheriff as the head of one political party in Ohio- he’s the guy you call when you have an election day problem. Yep, the person who is to enforce order on election day, the one you call if someone is within 100 feet of the polls doing electioneering, the one who oversees the safe transportation of the ballots- is the sheriff in Ohio.

You need to read this Memo from Secretary of State Jon Husted  of October 22, 2013, outlining the Special Powers and Responsibilities of Sheriffs on Election Day via http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/elections/memos/2013/2013-10-22.pdf

“Election officials are charged with preventing violence and disorder at the polls and may call upon the sheriff or other peace officers to aid them in enforcing the law, including the arrest of violators.
The sheriff has a statutory duty to respond immediately to such a request.

“At least one policeman shall be assigned to duty in each precinct on each day of an election, when requested by the board or the secretary of state. Such police officer shall have access at all times to the polling place, and he shall promptly place under arrest any person found violating any provisions of Title XXXV [35] of the Revised Code.”

Mixing politics with his elected duties is not only a very large potential conflict of interest, it also opens a big can of worms if something ends up in court. Plummer should resign as party chair, or as sheriff immediately.

Right now, Plummer has one of his officers, a “Detective of Special Investigations” J.M. Clymer, out doing the Ohio Democratic Party’s dirty work. Although the Board of Elections has already accepted the required number of signatures on petitions submitted for Larry Ealy, the long-shot Dem candidate for governor in the upcoming primary, Plummer’s pogue is out trying to harass Ealy’s circulators with the threat of felony charges for submitting questionable petitions. Considering that current Dayton City Commissioners have turned in petitions with as many as 40% failing signatures, why these circulators are being harassed is questionable, and the credibility of Plummer’s office in the case is nil. You can’t be a political party chair and the criminal investigator for election law at the same time.

The Dayton Daily news has written about this investigation twice- even trying to infer that one of the circulators had a previous case for election fraud- stemming from a questionably legal eminent domain case in Moraine and his attempt to vote once he was made homeless. Here is what they published on Feb 18:

Petitions to run for governor submitted by Trotwood resident Larry Ealy were forwarded to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted for investigation of possible fraudulent signatures, said Steve Harsman, deputy director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

Husted spokesman Matt McClellan said the office had not yet received the complaint, but would ask the local board to do the formal investigation in conjunction with the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s office. Harsman said election falsification is a fifth-degree felony. The maximum penalty for a fifth-degree felony in Ohio is 12 months in prison.

via Fraud probe launched in candidate’s run for governor | www.mydaytondailynews.com.

My only question is who is going to investigate Plummer- our illegitimate Republican Party Chair/Sheriff who has illegally elected himself? Shouldn’t that be a fifth-degree felony as well?

 

 

Bad agendas, hidden agendas, worthless agendas- are all the Party agenda

The Montgomery County Board of Elections is in the basement of the County Administration Building. Basements are notorious as places where it’s damp, dark and mold grows. Slimey mold.

So, despite the claims that the BOE always meets now at 11 a.m. (when they claimed I misrepresented the time of the proper William Pace denial on the ballot meeting)- they are meeting this Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.

And on the MC BOE 02.18.14 Agenda are these three innocuous items:

  • Motion to certify candidate petitions for the Primary Election
  • Motion on candidate’s petitions for the Primary Election that appear questionable
  • Motion on candidate’s petitions for the Primary Election that appear invalid

Notice how there is no list of who may be in trouble? What if the candidate wanted to know if he or she need to be there? To line up the people who signed the petition? Ah, screw you. Screw the sunshine laws. Let’s keep the public in the dark.

If you want a participatory democracy- you do it out in the open, with as much useful information as possible.

#FAIL Montgomery County Board of Elections.

Note, there should have been a document on the website the day petitions were closed, of every candidate who had filed. It didn’t show either. Here it is: MD BOE 2014 primary filed_1 Note- it was sent as a scan of a printout. I had to OCR it to make it accessible. Also missing is the list of Dems filing for Montgomery County Precinct Captains for the Democratic party.

update 4;45pm- the list of precinct captains. Only 5 contested precincts (including mine)  and a lot of empties. 2014 Democrat central committee all

Ah, if we were all mushrooms, we’d be worth millions- they like to keep us in the dark and feed us $h!t.

Database 101 for Board of Elections

In today’s Dayton Daily news, Mike Bock, publisher of www.DaytonOS.com, had a letter to the editor urging Dems to run for precinct captain seats. He also covered it in a few posts on his site:

I’m a precinct captain, elected to Dayton 1-D, but how do I know that? Well, funny you should ask.

I’m supposed to be able to go to this site and look up my voter status and polling location: http://www.mcohio.org/boe/voter_information/voter_reg_lookup.cfm

Unfortunately, the middle name field is required, and I can’t look myself up because I don’t have a middle name.

But, my parents who live across the street do have middle names. I can find my father, Stephen G, but when searching for my mother, Nina B, no such person.

What’s more interesting is according to the county site, they are in Dayton 1-E. I was elected to Dayton 1-D, and when calling the current director, Jan Kelly she confirmed those assignments.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. I have a database of all Dayton voters for my campaign- at www.electesrati.com and it has me in 1-D, but I also have a list of the entire county loaded at www.independentdayton.com and that list, downloaded from the Secretary of States site, http://www2.sos.state.oh.us/pls/voter/f?p=111:1 has me in Dayton 1-E and my parents in 1-F.

Stupid question, but isn’t that the core, most essential information maintained by election officials? Shouldn’t something as simple as what precinct you are in be correct?

Screen shot of Ohio Secretary of States voter data for David Esrati showing wrong precinct

The Secretary of State isn’t told the truth, how can you trust our elections officers?

You can look up my voter location by first searching my name at http://voterlookup.sos.state.oh.us/voterlookup.aspx however it’s a 2-step dance, then having to click on my name to see the polling location: which comes up with Dayton 1-E (see screen shot)

I’d show you mine from the county site, but, alas, I can’t see my registration there because I don’t have a middle name.

When I told Director Kelly about the problem with middle names, she said they’d work on it “if they got more complaints.”

Quite frankly, this Board of Elections can’t be trusted to maintain their own website in the first place. When I wrote the first post in this series, they still had election dates for 2013 posted and that was on Jan 12, 2014 (since updated).

Note, there are no tools for candidates to download the “correct” voter data file from Montgomery County on the county site. With a turn-in deadline of Tuesday for petitions, any questions of voting precinct should be ruled null and void at this point, since the data isn’t verifiable or accurate.

An investigation should also be started since this is probably typical of most county board of elections in the State of Ohio- which are run by un-elected political pogues in patronage positions instead of by qualified election professionals. Never mind the fact that in Montgomery County, they are handpicked by the parties- who engage in what amounts to racketeering- filling the lowly precinct captain positions with people who get paid by the politicians they select and elect through illegal closed door “screening committee” meetings.

The integrity of election data is, and should be, one of the most sacred duties of any public servant. Unfortunately, in Montgomery County, and by extension now the State of Ohio, we look like our elections are being run by amateurs.

There are five different “approved” voter database vendors in the State of Ohio. The question is why? The fact that there are discrepancies between the databases in this instance make one question the integrity of all. There are also difference in field naming, data contained within the fields, lacks of easily sourced data keys (for non-party people trying to utilize this data) and different data maintained by state and local boards. Examples including how election dates are maintained (Montgomery county uses a letter P, S, G and a date 140506 while the State uses the much less cryptic format 05/06/14). The County uses the most arcane, and technically inept way of indicating if someone voted early, absentee or at the polls- using a lower case or capital letter in the election field- something most databases can’t sort on (capitalization) instead of a separate searchable field.

I could go on to point out that I still have a real question of how when sending out postcards to people who requested an absentee ballot via mail, or voted early (can’t tell the difference thanks to their data format) I get returns of first class mail to those voters- saying “undeliverable” – yet they vote.

My confidence in the entire voter registration, Montgomery County Board of Elections, Ohio Secretary of state’s office is nil. I’m currently awaiting a call back from the SOS office, about my latest findings. If you need a visual, here it is:

 

Screenshots of same voter, from two different precints.

My father votes in the same place, but the precinct name changes

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.