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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Joshua Pettis $29,993 registration
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.
- 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
Despite all this amazing talent, the current website has upcoming election dates and registration deadlines in as of today, Jan. 12 2014.
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 1||C||Ronald||Lee||Dayton School Board|
|DAY 1||D||Joan||Wagner||Wife of AJ Wagner, former Auditor, Judge and Dayton Mayoral Candidate|
|DAY 2||B||Anthony||Ballis||Partner of Dayton School Board Member Joe Lacey, who works in the County Treasurers office|
|DAY 2||C||Matthew||Cox||Auditors office|
|DAY 3||K||Mark||Owens||Dem Party Chair, Dayton Clerk of Courts|
|DAY 3||L||Ann||Murray||Dayton Municipal Court|
|DAY 4||A||Samuel||Braun||Mr. Nan Whaley, County Auditors office|
|DAY 5||A||April||Alford||Board of Elections|
|DAY 5||B||Fred||Strahorn||State Representative|
|DAY 5||C||Richard||Green||former Counselor at MC Juvy Court System - 42 years|
|DAY 5||D||Donald||Domineck||member of Dayton's Black Panther Party|
|DAY 6||A||Tom||Roberts||Former State Rep and Senate|
|DAY 6||B||Stacey||Benson-Taylor||AFLCIO Union Representative|
|DAY 6||D||Lawrence||Flowers||Dayton Clerk of Courts|
|DAY 7||A||Rhine||McLin||Former State rep, senate, MCDP vice chair, Dayton Mayor and now on BOE|
|DAY 7||B||Clayton||Luckie||Imprisoned State rep|
|DAY 8||A||Karl||Keith||County Auditor, Vice Chair MCDP|
|DAY 8||C||Meghan||Cole - now Thomas||Dayton Clerk of Courts (moved)|
|DAY 9||A||Mary||Montgomery||Prosecutors office|
|DAY 9||B||Genevieve||Murphy||President Ohio Young Dems, Auditors office|
|DAY 9||C||Matthew||Joseph||Dayton City Commissioner, Brother of Russ Joseph, Dayton Clerk of Courts|
|DAY 9||D||Guy||Aber||Board of Elections, his father Russel works in Auditors office|
|DAY 10||C||Mary||Patterson||County Treasurers office|
|DAY 11||D||Jessica||Abernathy||Former Deputy MC Recorder, Admin Secretary at Family First Council|
|DAY 12||A||Catherine||Merkle||Board of Elections|
|DAY 13||A||Shawn||Day||Dayton Clerk of Courts|
|DAY 15||A||Regina||Marks||County Environmental Services|
|DAY 16||A||Clay||Dixon||Former Mayor of Dayton|
|DAY 17||D||Audrenna||Whiteside||Clerk of Courts|
|DAY 19||A||James||Atchison||IT Manager at the City of Moraine|
|DAY 19||B||Willis||Blackshear||County Recorder|
|DAY 19||D||Keith||Lander||Facility Services at MC|
|DAY 20||A||Lela||Estes||Board Member at City of Dayton|
|DAY 20||D||Thomas||Ritchie||Union Head, former BOE member|
|DAY 21||C||Marcia||Knox||Union Chief|
|DAY 22||A||Sinthy||Taylor||Former BOE employee|
|DAY 22||B||John||Fletcher||Board of Elections|
|DAY 22||C||Alvin||Freeman||Dayton Civil Service Board|
|BT||B||Kym||Brush||Wife of Greg Brush County Clerk of Courts|
|BT||C||Emily||Jackson||Now Emily Bradford- works in County Commission office for Judy Dodge|
|BT||E||William||Davis II||Dayton Water dept.|
|VD||D||William||Crawford||Dayton Street Maintenance|
|VD||E||Mark||MacNealy||Volunteer Physician at Reach out of Montgomery County|
|VD||H||Elaine||Zimmers-Johnson||Retired-Director of Real Estate for the Auditor’s Office|
|VD||J||Steven||Harsman||Board of Elections|
|CLA||C||Richard||Renner||5 Rivers Metro Parks|
|BRK||D||Amy||Edds||County Auditors office|
|HAR||I||Christine||Kinter||Dayton Clerk of Courts|
|HAR||M||Brooke||Wright||Dayton Municipal Court|
|HUB 2||C||Jan||Vargo||Huber Heights Council|
|JEF||B||Brice||Sims||Jefferson Twp Trustee|
|JEF||D||Lynn||Thomasson||County Clerk of Courts|
|KT 1||H||Laura||Jordan||Board of Elections|
|KT 2||B||Fred||Schindler||Maintainance at WPAFB|
|KT 2||D||Nancy||Simpson||Community Economic Development|
|KT 3||C||Frederick||Krumholtz||Dayton Clerk of Courts|
|KT 3||F||Roberta||Beyer||Dayton Recreation and Youth Services|
|KT 4||C||Laura||Hawthorn||Logistics management at WPAFB|
|KT 4||H||John||Murphy||Board of Elections|
|KT 4||K||Michael||Bock||Kettering School board|
|TR 1||D||Ella||Bolling||County Treasurers Office|
|TR 1||F||Dawn||Wojcik||MCDP employee|
|TR 2||A||Tia||Cox||Job and Family Services|
|TR 4||A||Djuna||Brown||ex-Auditor’s Office|
|TR 4||B||Patrick||Thomasson||Married to Tisha who works in Dayton Clerk of Courts|
|MIA||Q||P Michael||Robinette||Former head of Conservancy District, MVRPC|
|WCR||B||Brenda||White||Dayton Clerk of Courts|
|MBG 2||B||Charles||Bowling||Former BOE employee|
|MBG 4||B||Julie||Bruns||County Prosecutor|
|MOR 2||A||Patricia||Celes||Job and Family Services|
|OAK||A||Peggy||Weller||JFS childrens services|
|OAK||E||Tony||Tipps||Former BOE worker, son of Lobbyist Paul Tipps|
|PNLB||A||Betty||Bennington||Dayton Clerk of Courts|
|CTN 1||C||Dennis||Lieberman||Former MCDP Chair, Former BOE, Husband of Debbie Lieberman|
|CTN 1||D||Tina||Brown||Board of Elections|
|CTN 2||C||Joe||Litvin||Former County engineer|
|CTN 3||C||Cheryl||Hart-Groff||Dayton Clerk of Courts|
|UN||B||Robin||Davis||Dayton Clerk of Courts|
|WS||A||James||Vangrov||County Commission office|
|WS||V||Leigh Ann||Capizzi||Juvenile Court, married to Tony Capizzi, former Dayton City Commissioner and now Judge|
|WS||X||Beverly||King||Board of Elections|
|CV||F||Cathy||Startzman||County Commission office|
|CV||K||Michael||Rice||Husband of County Treasure Carolyn Rice|
|CV||L||Christianna||Romer||County Commission office|
|CV||O||Lee||Falke||Former County Prosecutor|