Self-inflicted governmental failure

While the idiots we elected to Congress continue to debate if it should be $600 or $200 a week in extra unemployment that is invested in stopping the complete collapse of our country while the death toll continues to rise, the local level idiots still seem to think they are doing something to solve a pre-pandemic problem: the costs of keeping them all employed:

“Locally we have lost as many jobs in the last four months than we did in a three-year period of the Great Recession,” said Richard Stock, director of the University of Dayton Business Research Center…

Stock said state and local governments haven’t recovered from being “trimmed to the bone” during the Great Recession and federal assistance would help them avoid cuts in services to their residents.

“It’s not just the urban areas. It’s also the small towns and villages,” Dickstein said, adding that the city projects a $12 million loss in revenue in the current budget.

Both Montgomery County and the city of Dayton took early action to cut budgets before the revenue hits became clear. Dayton limited all but essential spending, suspended capital equipment purchases, froze hiring, abolished 100 vacant positions and used a voluntary separation program to get 96 people to retire, Dickstein said.

The county’s nearly $30 million in budget adjustments included a hiring freeze and cutting economic development grants and capital reinvestment projects, spokeswoman Brianna Wooten said.


Their concern with jobs has nothing to do with your well-being, it has to do with their self-preservation. How many mayors are there in Montgomery County, how many Township administrators? Police Chiefs? “Economic development” specialists? Well, we’re on a mission to find out, compile the cost, and share it with everyone so you can decide for yourselves. We, by the way, is Reconstructing Dayton, a 501(c)(4) non-profit, that plans to ask every single candidate on the ballot what their positions are on re-engineering Ohio’s archaic and backassward laws allowing an urban township like Miami Township with 50K people, have it’s own SWAT team (I can’t make this stuff up):

Miami Twp. Police Chief Charles Stiegelmeyer said he has examined the police department’s manpower since becoming chief. Using revenues from a levy approved in May 2019, Miami Twp. Police Department added three new positions to bolster SWAT staffing, increasing staff positions to 42.

The restructuring of the department helps ensure there is sufficient supervision and that one supervisor was not getting overburdened with more personnel, he said.

Source: Police chief says new roles help streamline setup – Dayton Daily News

while on the flipside, the “Village” of Phillipsburg, population 500 or so, has an income tax.

This week, we were on a mission to find out exactly how much income tax and property tax is collected in all of Montgomery County- via each of the “localities”- which should be interchangeable with the better descriptor “Banana Republics.” In doing our public records requests, we encountered exactly the kind of problems created by too many chiefs and not enough educated Indians.  We literally had to cite the “Yellow Book”- Ohio’s “Sunshine Law” guide back, chapter and verse to multiple bureaucrats and even lawyers they are supporting with tax dollars, on why information about public money is public information. You should wander over to the following post for an entertaining case study in stupidity:

Over the past couple days I have spent much of my time filing public records requests. My goal is to collect tax information from the municipalities and townships in Montgomery County to uncover inefficiencies and disparities among our various local government structures. The process of obtaining these records has demonstrated the very inefficiencies we at Reconstructing Dayton are striving to eliminate.

Source: How Public are Public Records? | Reconstructing Dayton

Now, to make your head explode, let’s talk about the lessons we should have learned from the “Great Recession” of 2009, that Richard Stock uses as a point of comparison. Foreclosures are the devils way of government interfering with private business for its own self-flagellation. Why government is expected to enforce private contracts between a lender and a borrower to the extent they are is one of the great mysteries of America. I have a judgement against a thief for $70,000, and can’t get a Sheriff to go collect for me, but, a bank, after missing just a few thousand dollars in payments can take your home with the Sheriff’s help, regardless of how little is left on your loan.

When a bank takes possession of a home, they have little incentive to maintain it or prepare it for resale, especially in poorer areas, where homes often don’t sell before the scrappers have further devalued the homes. It’s absolutely crazy that our local government is somehow turned into an enabler, to help devalue our community. There are no laws requiring banks that have foreclosed on properties to be held responsible for keeping them in the same condition they were when last occupied. The government had to pour trillions in the last time- to save the banks, but not the home owners, or tenants.

If we had rational thinking minds in office, the obvious thing to do is loan modifications, that provide alternatives to foreclosure or eviction. Or, at least, convert the mortgage payment into a rental agreement, until the home is sold, so the property remains intact and occupied. Throwing people on the street just creates additional headaches for social service agencies, welfare, and children, who often get the short end of the stick every time.

Of course, this is what happens when government cares more about self-preservation than public welfare. Public records are just one way we can keep tabs on what really goes on. Figuring out ways to reduce the number of banana republics in Montgomery County alone would go a long way to actually having more funding available for the people, by the people.

Meet the newest enemy to the Monarchy of Montgomery County

You’ve heard of 6 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon?

In Dayton, it’s rare you’re more than 1.2 degrees of separation from people, unless you are an elected official or hold a patronage job. Then the factor goes down to .2

If you could look at the list of Precinct Captains of the political parties central committee, and you had a list of public employees, the crossover factor would be amazing. Note, you also have to know who is married to whom, because sometimes, you have your spouse with a different name take a seat for you. I tried to pass an amendment to the Dem Party Constitution to prevent employees of elected officials from being the people who vote to endorse and support candidates and was thoroughly outvoted.

But, if that was our only problem in Montgomery County, we’d be on easy street. The huge problem we have is that we have too much government, too many governments, elected officials, meetings, jurisdictions, websites, courts, police departments, tax offices, tax rates, street maintenance departments, libraries, trustees, school boards, parks and recs departments, building inspectors, school superintendents, zoning departments, the list goes on. Each of these duplicative and unnecessary organizations adds tax overhead on the citizens of Montgomery County. It also adds lots of opportunity for graft, corruption, incompetence, complexities and the list goes on.  The biggest problem is that with limited media to act as a watchdog, you now have to hope and pray that some of your neighbors take up the job of citizen journalists and investigate and publish their observations.

  • For the shitshow known as Dayton Public Schools, you can count on former School Board Member Mario Gallin who has a Facebook page she keeps up to date. She looks at agendas, budgets, and watches the countless onerous meetings like a hawk.
  • In Centerville, the feckless City Manager, Wayne (Mr. Mary Kate Huffman, Judge) Davis, had already alienated so many staff members that left, but then he forced out a long term police sgt. who was on track for promotion. Next thing you know, there’s a facebook group, Support Sgt. James Myers, that’s digging up dirt on Mr. Davis (like a dropped domestic violence case and a DUI). He then moves to seal his records after the fox is out of the hen house. The city commission and mayor start getting very defensive and start violating sunshine laws, deleting public comments on Facebook and denying citizens the right to speak at meetings.

Unfortunately, Facebook pages aren’t open and available to everyone. It’s not quite the same as this blog, which has been exposing corruption and the Monarchy of Montgomery County since 2005. 2970 posts so far, 23,705 comments, making this site more yours than mine.

The sad reality is, Ohio places itself at a handicap by allowing tiny little governments like Moraine, population 6000, have a government that existed solely by the benefit of the old GM truck plant and now Fuyao. There is no reason for a city manager, a council, a police chief, a fire department, and all the overhead that go with it- for a podunk burg in the middle of much larger, well run cities. And, that’s where Reconstructing Dayton comes in. We watched as “One Dayton” spent a ton of time devising some new sort of geo-political system to manage a “unigov” for Montgomery County only to be met with insane resistance- mostly lead by the powers in charge now.

Instead of coming up with the new model, all we’re going to focus on is the ridiculous costs being thrust upon the taxpayers to support the Monarchy and their many banana republics. We’re going to work on identifying which candidates support reduction in governmental overhead, increased transparency and simplification savings for our county. We’re going to ask the stupid questions- like, if we can redraw precincts and state rep districts and congressional districts, why can’t we re-draw county lines? Wouldn’t it be easier to bring Fairborn, Beavercreek, Springboro and Bellbrook into Montgomery County- which could be mostly urban, and leave the rural farmland to a rural focused county?

To do this, our 501(c)(4) has hired a full-time writer/researcher to start digging in and developing resources to further our dreams of a simplified governmental structure, tax base and public face to a global economy. I don’t care if you were born and bred in Oakwood, Washington Township, or Miamisburg, to the rest of the world you’re from Dayton and it’s about time we stop pretending we’re not capable of competing for jobs with Atlanta where NCR went, or the Research Triangle where Lexis Nexis went, or Cincinnati where Iams went, etc.

Our new writer is Alexander Sharp. His brief bio: “Alexander Sharp is a researcher and writer for The Next Wave in Dayton, Ohio. He received a B.A. in English (literature) from Wittenberg University and an M.A. in English (rhetoric & composition) from the University of Dayton.” He can be reached at [email protected]

His first post, Efforts for Campaign Finance Transparency Long Overdue  is now up. It’s our reaction to the housebill that’s being proposed to help eliminate the “dark money” that got Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder indicted and removed from office.

You should subscribe to the site to be updated on every post, and consider donating to support this important work.


Sgt. Major North Woodall wants the police to do their job

Dayton Daily News cutting about SGM Woodall Murder

Gone, but never forgotten. SGM Woodall, US Army Special Forces

July 27, 2009 seems like forever ago.

It’s when an 85 year old veteran of three wars was found dead in his West side home in Dayton Ohio.

Sgt. Major North Woodall had survived WWII, Korea and Vietnam, but at 85, was killed by….

We still don’t know. I write a post about this every year. I still have the front page of the Dayton Daily news with that news hanging on my wall, in front of my desk, for me to look at every day- and hope that one day, someone will talk. Someone will say something, and the bastards that killed him will be found and brought to justice.

There is a reward for information leading to the conviction in this murder. Someone knows who did it. Someone has talked. It’s time for the police and the prosecutor to pull a rabbit out of the hat- and avenge this hero’s death.

We’ve seen the Dayton Police Department at their best when they killed the Oregon District shooter a year ago. We’ve seen them at their worst when they shot rubber bullets and tear gas at a rally for George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. I’m still grieving over the death of the Sgt Major, and I don’t want anyone to forget that this crime has gone unsolved.



Why do we elect a Clerk of Courts? And how much is the ransom to get a competent one?

This is a story of institutionalized incompetence, the reality is, it could have happened to anyone who was dumb enough to run for a lot of public offices that have no business being elected positions.

Most voters can’t tell you what the treasurer, auditor, recorder actually do, never mind who they are. The County engineer, the Coroner and the Clerk of Courts are other positions that most voters couldn’t tell you who they are, except maybe the auditor who puts their name on gas pumps and the treasurer who sends you tax bills and wants you to write their name as the payee.

In terms of having some kind of qualifications to run for office- Judges have to be lawyers, the County Engineer has to be an engineer, and the Coroner needs to be an M.D. The rest, don’t even have to have a high school diploma.

And this is where things can go dramatically wrong, like on May 3rd 2020 when the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts, Mike Foley, found out the courts websites had been hacked and there was a ransomware demand. Now, this isn’t anything new. Lots of businesses have had this problem, and many government sites as well. Cybersecurity is only as safe as the people running your IT make it.

I’ve already questioned why we have so many court websites in Montgomery County and did a little research on this starting three years ago when I launched Reconstructing Dayton, a 501(c)(4) dedicated to pushing for reducing government waste and overlap in Montgomery County. We did public records requests to determine the costs of developing each courts website and we found an expensive mess of less than adequate municipal courts websites.

When it came to the county, there is yet another layer of sites, including separate ones for the Common Pleas, Probate, Juvenile and then the 2nd District Court of Appeals.  We looked at Franklin Country, in Columbus- where they have a single site for all courts and instantly realized there is an advantage to uni-gov, not only from cost savings, but from ease of use for both the citizens and the clients of the courts- the legal profession. Add in, doing background checks is much easier when you don’t have to check 7 different sites in one county.

But, wait, there’s more. Some enlightened states like Wisconsin actually have a unified, state-wide clerk of courts online system. Ohio, is studying the matter. In the meantime, there are a whole lot of vendors feeding campaign coffers to keep their proprietary software/website systems the choice of Clerk of Courts across all 88 counties in Ohio.

There are somethings government can simplify, and this is clearly one.

Mike Foley ran for clerk of courts to fill the unexpired 4-year term of Greg Brush, a Democrat, who for some odd personal reason, resigned just after he was re-elected Clerk. The way things work, the party gets to put a person in to the job, with the caveat that at the next County wide election they have to defend the seat. The local Dems went to the consummate party insider, Russ Joseph. Russ had been diligently putting his time in as second banana to Mark Owens, party chair and Dayton Municipal Clerk of Courts. Russ actually had experience running a court filing system, albeit, not the same one the county uses. Mike Foley had something more important to the voters- he had the last name Foley. That’s all.

He spent almost nothing on his campaign, he just put up signs that looked almost identical to those of Dan Foley- the long-term local politician who had been a County Commissioner after he’d been clerk of courts before Brush. Oh, and Dan Foley was the son of Judge Foley, who sat on the bench until he was petrified and put out to pasture. Voters thought they were voting for Dan, and Russ was out of a job, but, only for a minute, because then Carolyn Rice got elected, and he got to be her replacement as treasurer. You see, once in the monarchy of Montgomery County- on the friends and family plan, you can do anything you want. Even if it means hiring your convicted rapist brother to a job at the board of elections without even a job posting (yes- this happened).

Whew. A lot of background. Now, here’s the thing. Right after Foley got elected, he fired Mohamed Al-Hamdani from the best paying job he ever had- chief of the legal division. Mohamed is on the school board, and is currently the board president. He, like Russ Joseph is in the club- headed by Queen of pay-to-play, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. Who better to pick to replace Mohamed to rub it in, out-going school board member, John McManus.

Full disclosure- I first met McManus when he ran for School board, I printed his signs, and started to other campaign work for him. I’ve considered him a close personal friend for a long time.

McManus, a newcomer to the Dayton political fiefdom, showed up as a UD Law student after working in DC and in the Tennessee state house. He’s literally born into politics, his father and mother have both been elected to various offices. He grew up in it. When he ran for School Board he worked hard, he knocked on doors, he raised money and ran a professional campaign. He should have been the next school board president, but was made to sit second fiddle to the absolutely incompetent Dr. William Harris, thanks to Mohamed and his “slate” of Karen Wick Gagnet and the party faithful. Jocelyn Spencer Rhynard, the wild card candidate who knocked out Paul Bradly as the fourth guaranteed party vote, went along with this mess- as did Sheila Taylor who insisted that we needed an African American to lead the board (as racist as this sounds- I was running my video camera when it happened)

McManus ran for State Rep against Jim Butler in OH 41, and worked really hard and might have won, had Butler not been propped up by Larry Householder with big donations and lots of political pressure. The Dem party did nothing to help. McManus did better than any previous candidate in the district that scores at least +5 R thanks to the grand master Gerry Mander who rules Ohio. He was now, out of office, and still working his regular job- 2nd shift worker at the Franklin County Clerk of Courts. That’s right- not wanting to tarnish himself by being an insider here, he commuted 60+ miles each way daily to work in Columbus. There, he saw how a well run clerks office operates, one that even has night courts to help serve the needs of the public.

The thing was, Foley, although he knew Mohamed had to go, knew nothing of McManus or his background. I was the one who suggested he hire someone who knew something about working in a clerk of courts office that wasn’t a cesspool for patronage jobs (or at least not our cesspool). Note, McManus’ “friend” on the school board, Sheila “the racist” Taylor- also worked in the Dayton Municipal Clerk’s office for Dem Party Chair Mark Owens. Our cesspool stinks, but, it’s a pretty small one. When I told him that McManus had Clerk’s experience, and a law degree and an interest in working locally, McManus became his new Chief of the legal division.

Foley’s other hires weren’t so stellar. He hired political operator and former Butler Township Trustee Nick Brusky, a tea-party republican operator to run the auto title division. Brusky, still short of a college degree, seems to do quite well as a Trump supporter with connections to former Republican Party Chair Rob Scott, who is now the regional SBA Director after being one of the top campaign officials for Trump in Ohio. Foley also hired Herb Davis, the former director of the Montgomery County Veterans Service Office, where he spent almost a decade making sure most of the money targeted to helping veterans didn’t get spent- so it could come back into the county coffers.

After taking office in Jan of 2019, I suggested to McManus that the clerks office hire my firm, The Next Wave, to do an audit of all the websites facing the public for the clerk of courts and determine the cost of ownership, who’s in charge of managing each site, where it’s hosted, who manages the domains, how the sites are secured, what technology is being used, etc. with the plan being you could then have a roadmap for a modernization and standardization.

I was told to revise my bid about 7 times, to add pictures, to better explain what we were providing, to cut out sites that weren’t under the clerk’s office (but should have been). The goal was to provide some kind of basis for going out to bid to create something better- which in our minds meant the following:

Secure. Mobile Friendly. ADA compliant. Cost effective. Easy to use.

Our total bid was $25,000. Which was a crazy low price. Which also happened, by accident, to be the amount that Foley could authorize to spend without going to the county Dataprocessing board for approval (I was told this later).

After getting absolutely nowhere, we asked for a chance to come in and present and explain what we, as web developers and user interface experts saw as problems that needed addressing, especially with the PRO site. PRO- stands for Public Records Online, and it’s the primary portal into the Common pleas courts. Unlike, other systems, this one was home cooked and most lawyers actually like it better than many other clerk sites despite it still looking like something done in 1995. My developer and I went down to the basement of the courts building on July 2nd at 10:30 in the morning to present a quickly thrown together deck- outlining how we look at a site and dissect it. In the room were two young ladies who worked under Foley, Herb Davis, McManus and Foley. We spent about an hour going through the deck. 14 slides.

Montgomery County Clerk of Courts Sites prezo

You might note that on slide 12, bullet 4:

Risk of hacking/ransomware is exponentially higher due to current architecture. Study will provide roadmap to plug leaks


Foley was itching to leave the meeting so he could get on the road to Columbus to see his girlfriend. McManus pulled me aside and said “That was the best presentation I’ve ever seen” which made me laugh. This was dumbed down and down and dirty. In my business, presentations for work can go for hours, be incredibly well planned and be filled with primary research and presented by people who have practiced for weeks. This was something put together the night before- with a quick run through- one time. Of course, after being fed a constant stream of dreck at DPS board meetings, where people should have been fired on the spot…. (seriously, watch this presentation for a $400K project, where the DPS staffer still has “My perfect title slide” and “Lorem Ipsum” greeked text in her deck.)

At this point, over 4 months of jerking around had passed, and Foley wasn’t interested. Instead, we did a project for some banner stands for his “public outreach” efforts. Instead of fixing the sites and working on making the clerks office look like it’s in this century- he was more interested in campaigning by going out to the voters and doing face time.

When the hackers hit May of this year, the courts were already in virtual shut down thanks to the Coronavirus. While the legal community realized that the site was down, the general public didn’t, and the “newspaper of record” in Dayton, the Dayton Day-old snooze, had no clue. Every story was Covid. This story is the result of the second public records request on the subject I asked for and was filled Friday night- after everyone had gone home. It’s enough for me to whet your whistle for more and give you the background. The real meat will come when they finally turn over the big pile of info on how the clerk’s office reacted to the attack.

How long it will take the prosecutors office to redact and purify the results is anyone’s guess.

For now, the most damning document I have is the 2-page letter sent via Certified mail from chief administrative Judge Gregory F. Singer to Foley demanding that the clerk provide for a tech audit- to uncover who, what and when caused this mess and how do we avoid it in the future.

Judge Singer request Clerk of Courts Tech Audit Project 2020
Ad for tech audit by the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts

The ad the Clerk ran on July 10 2020

There was an ad posted in the Dayton Daily “Notice to Bid” section at a cost of $189  on Friday 10 July, 2020 with instructions to go to the county purchasing site to find out more. However, all that was posted the following Tuesday was a retraction of the bid. It’s not clear of how any of this came to be out of what they sent- other than questions of if this is something that’s covered under the county’s insurance policy and if they should choose to trigger a claim. The out of pocket on a claim is $100K- and my guess is, they solved the problem for less after two weeks of round the clock work internally.

There’s a rumor that Foley wanted to pay the ransom with some other funds, but, until I have those documents, I know nothing.

The insurance company rep said this:

Just to clarify, an audit of your cyber security is generally a review of your normal cyber security posture. An audit is unfortunately not covered under the policy. However, the forensic investigation to determine the nature and scope of the cyber incident is covered, which I believe is what you are requesting. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

It is difficult to say what the cost might be for the forensic investigation as it depends on the systems impacted. I can only give you a really rough ball park estimate. It can range between $5OK to several hundred thousand. There is really no way for me to accurately provide you the cost since each matter can be very different. If you ultimately decide to reach out to a forensic investigator, they can provide you with a Statement of Work detailing an estimated budget.

One of the benefits of consulting with the breach coach is that they can provide some guidance. And if the breach coach is ultimately engaged, they can assist our Insured in obtaining quotes for the forensics investigator.

As far as I know, they’ve not gone down this route. It all makes our $25K contract look both cheap and prescient.

However, we don’t elect people for their smarts or their qualifications.
Nor, do we do what’s in the best interest of the taxpayers.

The insurance company repeatedly asked the following questions, which we all hope I’ll be able to explain when I get my first public records request filled:

    1. What is the Ransomware variant?
    2. Demand amount, if known?
    3. Status of your back ups {local backups, cloud based backups, offline backups etc.)
    4. Any vendors retained to date to assist with the response?
    5. Operational Impact

For now, you, me, Judge Singer and the rest of us in Montgomery County wait for the rest of the story and the answers to these questions.




Team Householder gets charged with racketeering

I don’t have time to unpack this whole thing, and it will be a while before it all starts to come into focus.
I just wanted to make sure the common folks have access to the 81 page FBI indictment of the Ohio Speaker without having to sign up for anything. 469930706-United States vs Matthew Borges

The shell company, Generation Now Ohio was set up by a lawyer named Eric Lycan, who used to be a partner at Dinsmore and Shohl. Now he’s with the Kentucky House Republicans. He’s called an expert in campaign finance by a few of his friends on his Linkedin page. House speaker Larry Householder, former Ohio GOP chairman Matt Borges, 48, of Bexley; lobbyist Neil Clark, 67, of Columbus; lobbyist and Ohio Civil Rights Commission member Juan Cespedes, 40, of Columbus; and political consultant Jeffrey Longstreth, 44, of Columbus were all arrested and charged with racketeering.

The way the FBI described it, “Company A”- which is First Energy, gave a boatload of cash to Housholders shell company, Generation Now Ohio, a 501(c)(4). Then, they had a whole tier of secondary shell companies- that distributed the money to candidates on “Team Householder”- which is 21 house members who haven’t been identified yet. The FBI is pissed they have to waste time on this, they have better things to go after instead of “Politicians who can’t do their jobs.” This is the first time they’ve filed a RICO charge against a public official in Ohio (they obviously haven’t looked very hard, because the Dayton Culture of Corruption is just as guilty).

The FBI said that these crooks actually used the words “Pay to play” and they have them discussing this same sort of arrangement with payday lenders. The quotes are just unreal:

From the indictment pg 19 – LH – householder, NC- Neil Clark a lobbyist
“LH: Now switching gears. So we are looking at the payday lenders. And we are expecting big things in (c)(4) money from payday lenders….
NC: Right. Right.
LH: So far, I think we are what, fifty? I think
NC: Are you, you’re checking now with Jeff right?
LH: Right.
NC:: You should have gotten twenty-five or fifty from [owner of firm], correct?
LH: Yes.
LH: [After confirming with someone in the background} Twenty five total . . . Twenty five total is what we’ve got”
They spent huge sums on advertising. The agencies aren’t disclosed but, give me time.
The insane part, is after they passed HB 6 to give First Energy it’s 1.5B and people started to try to do a ballot initiative to reverse it- Team Householder hired all the signature collection competitors so the opposition couldn’t get it on the ballot.
RICO isn’t far enough. It’s time to start trying these political punks with treason. That way, we can actually hang them.
If you look at this money, it’s still only half of what went missing at Wright State. So far, the FBI and the DOJ still haven’t charged Cliff Rosenberger the last Ohio House Speaker.
How much corruption can get covered up in Ohio?
When will we see someone really big do big time?
So, far, the best they’ve done with an elected official was 3 months and 21 days for Joey D. Williams who was allowed to gracefully leave office before getting charged a year later.
Gotta give the FBI credit, a year after only arresting African Americans, and Steve Rauch, they’ve finally arrested some white guys.
Tyler Buchanan @Tylerjoelb covers Statehouse/Politics  for @OhioCapJournal Former editor of the  @athensmessenger and a . BGSU grad built a spreadsheet to show where Householder money went:
Fascinating reading. Might want to keep an eye on Ohio Capital Journal.



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