David Esrati serving Twist cupcakery cupcakes at his birthday fundraiser

The joys of running for Congress

On Wednesday night I held a fundraiser/birthday party at Coco’s Bistro. It was a small gathering, and I felt somewhat guilty asking friends to pony up $125 a plate. I paid my friend, fellow veteran, sometimes client, David Cousino to play music. I brought in delicious cupcakes from sometimes client Twist Cupcakery.

The food was amazing, I talked a bit, and I let my guests tell the others how they know me, and what they think of my run for office. I made a video for myself- (for when I get old- to remember the night) and to share with a few folks who couldn’t be there.

The next day on Facebook- David Buccalo wrote the nicest thing about me:

Happy 60th Birthday Esrati. Like Cher, Madonna, tough guy Stallone he can easily function with just one name. His life defines him. His name is his brand. Tough. Relentless. Disciplined. Tireless. Sharp. Quick witted. Stubborn. Most of all defined by loyalty of love to his parents, even now and his duty to the greater community that he calls home. He is the Dayton version of Detroit’s Michael Moore. He does more than just walk the talk. He is the talk. Looks out for what is not right in our world he calls it to account and has little tolerance for nonsense. He’s definitely not a Republican and the Democrats are not sure what to do with him as he shows no partisan favor. He is the stuff of that greatest of American characteristics, he is an independent thinker. He is a dreamer in a world where we like the concept about dreamers but rarely encourage them in real life.
That is what I should have said.
Happy birthday to the 60 year old birthday boy. He fights the impossible fight and gets back up to do it again. He does not know what it is to be knocked down. He only knows what it is to stand up. As the song says, “You don’t stand on Superman’s Cape.”
Next year he will be fighting the fight for right and he will be 61. The question is not what he will do in his next year. The question is what will you do with your next year.

This is after the Ohio Democratic Party refused to acknowledge that I won a democratic primary to be their candidate to take on Mike Turner. In their hack job letter, they accuse me of:

We have also received multiple credible accounts of past conduct on your part that would make us hesitant to do so, such as harassing Democratic candidates, elected officials, and leaders; supporting Republicans; and using inflammatory and offensive language.

Does the Democratic Party care about winning elections?

To be attacked by your own party, attacked by trolls on Facebook, while watching your opponent being given more than his 15 minutes of fame defending Trump for his theft, deception, and treasonous theft of classified documents is enough to make you disgusted with the process, before you also think about that what you raised at that one fundraiser doesn’t even equal the donations from a single one of the 19 billionaires that have backed Turner.

It’s odd that despite Turner’s recent star turn as Trumps defender in chief, not a single major news outlet has contacted me for a response, or given me a mention. So much for “equal time rule.” You’d think that even a single Democratic PAC would key in on this- and offer a modicum of support? Nada. To date, the only PAC backing me is the one run by Senator Sherrod Brown- which kindly sent $2500 to every Ohio Dem running, regardless of the parties stance.

In the mean time, Turner’s been mailing postcards with his free mail frank, and I can’t get an answer from the Ohio Democratic Party or the DCCC, if they will avail me of the rights of discounted postage allowed “political parties” but not candidates by themselves (something that needs fixing if we ever hope to see other parties form in this country).

I’ve been working a minimum of 12 hour days, sometimes more, every day, including weekends since winning the primary. I’m trying to do things to differentiate myself from Turner- who has never had a town hall in 20 years – so I’ve been doing daily (M-F) livestream townhalls on Youtube and simulcasting them to Facebook at 4PM est. www.tinyurl.com/esratilive The idea is to engage folks, increase the amount of content about positions and to build an audience- and then to continue doing it once elected- so everyone can find out what their congressman did for them each day. It’s a rather novel approach to using technology for outreach- but, I’m probably 5 years ahead of everyone else. I’d have thought a mainstream news outlet would have mentioned it- but, no, my first national press comes from the right wing rag that gave the world the Fusion GPS BS. Apparently, their fresh out of writing about TTUN minor sports, “assistant editor” watched my livestream one day and wrote a hack job story (nothing researched, no background, just a regurgitation of carefully chosen content) about my livestream talking about how Congress shouldn’t be allowed to trade stocks.

He even has the wrong image- and video posted with his “story“. Which is all about how I’m so busy distancing myself from Joe Biden- just like Tim Ryan. Hardly the subject.

If you are wondering what the real position was- it’s not that far out there, it’s been on the House floor for a while- banning members of Congress from trading stocks while they can make changes that wildly impact specific companies. S.3494 – Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act which was introduced in the Senate after the House failed to move even though supposedly, Nancy Pelosi greenlighted it.

This “associate editor” was reporting on my response to a question posed during the livestream by my longtime Republican friend Mark K. who was asking about kickbacks and how Hunter Biden made insane money despite zero qualifications. Somehow, this becomes the entire topic of the story.

No news outlet has picked up the fact that 80% of Turner’s money is from out of state- or that 19 billionaires have backed him. Politico hasn’t taken the tip that he’s spent $35K on “Food and Beverage” just in this reporting cycle- when it was “news” to them 2 years ago, when he spent twice that much over a few years.
It seems that until you raise half-a-million, nothing you do is worthy of coverage, unless it’s something illegal or irrepressible. Unfortunately, I’m too busy to shoot someone, hire a hooker or get caught on tape talking political kickbacks in exchange for city contracts (oh, yeah, that’s the hallpass to run for political office despite having committed a felony in office that the FBI gave to Joey D. Williams- with an agreement to resign if re-elected).

Since I’ve been denied access to the Party database and tools- I’ve gone the AOC route and adopted a tech startup Reach.vote’s tools to help my supporters connect with their friends and spread the word. If you want to help out- go to https://app.reach.vote/campaigns/elect-esrati-for-oh-10 and sign up. You’ll download the app, load your contacts in and match them to voter records, and then start working your friends to support the campaign- and get them to come on board.

The app is gamified, and if you contact enough voters, send enough messages- you could win a t-shirt, a signed framed (by Custom Frame Services) Shepard Fairey print and my undying thanks.

Please also sign up for the weekly campaign email at www.electesrati.com/subscribe.

This week, I have a tele-conference on my lawsuit against the Montgomery County Board of Elections concerning their inadequate agendas and public records policies, and we start seeing more candidates events.

If you’d like to donate to the campaign– or just buy a t-shirt or print to contribute to the campaign, follow the links. The new “Defund Politicians” shirts should be ready by weeks end. In the meantime- I’ll continue to be the same voice of the worker, the downtrodden, the under-represented, the ignored, the righteous fighter of transparency, the activist, the ad guy, the big brother, the caretaker of veterans, I’ve always been.
Thanks for reading.

Saint David Lawrence, Chief of Innovation, Dayton Public Schools

Worst kept secret: David Lawrence’s return to DPS

Full disclosure: David Lawrence is one of my best friends, since meeting at the YMCA over 25 years ago. I’ve posted many times before suggesting he’s the best choice to lead Dayton Public Schools for many reasons. I’ve sat on this information for a while- and am even late to publishing it as the agenda probably came out Friday. And, if you want to know why I’ve not been posting as much, you probably aren’t subscribed to my Campaign For Congress emails. Feel free to do so here: https://electesrati.com/subscribe/

Dayton Public Schools agenda for Tuesday, Sept 13, 2022 has listed “Appointment: Business Manager – D. Lawrence” on the menu. Since it’s a “Review Session” and not a “Business Meeting” which happens the following week.

Note, in their descriptions of type of meetings on their website, they don’t actually define a “Business Meeting”- which is kinda a #FAIL.

A “review session” is:

Each month, the Board is asked to approve recommendations from the superintendent and/or treasurer regarding issues such as staffing, contracts, major purchases, and curriculum. To allow the members an opportunity to gain information that will aid in their decision-making, a review session is held approximately five days before each Business Meeting. 

Members are provided with a complete list of recommendations from both the superintendent and treasurer, and during the review session, they may question the superintendent, treasurer, or members of the superintendent’s cabinet about the details of any of the recommendations.

https://www.dps.k12.oh.us/the-board/board-meeting-information/

There are no details as to the hiring of Mr. Lawrence, his pay, his duties, but we can assume two things: one, the board is hiring him directly, that he reports to them and not to the Superintendent. And two, it’s part of concerted effort to bring structure and order to the areas where Dr. Libby Lolli is an absolute failure- namely, operations. Sort of like the separation of church and state, we’re seeing the board ease Lolli out, giving her the opportunity to focus on instruction, where her team teaching model seems to be in their favor (and why wouldn’t it be? A third grader can tell you that doubling the number of teachers in grades 1-3 will get you positive results), and get a good chance to look at Lawrence as heir apparent.

Lawrence and I are similar in several ways- people either love us or hate us. There generally isn’t a middle ground. We’re also both Army Veterans. We both read, a lot. And we both love a good steak at the Pine Club.

However, there is a major difference between us- he’s the most disciplined man I know. You can tell when you look at him, 54 years old and he’ll still give a high schooler a run for his money. He works out like a machine, and I envy him for it. His name still is on the wall at Welcome Stadium for holding track records that may never be broken. He loves Fantasy Football and approaches it like a statistical Einstein. You should never bet against him in Fantasy Football. NEVER.

He started his career at Dayton Public Schools as a math teacher- something we’re still in short supply of, especially considering he’s male, and Black. He rose through the ranks at DPS being tutored in building management by Erin Dooley at Stivers as an assistant principal before being handed the new Thurgood Marshall High School where he made the unprecedented (and un-followable) progress of increasing test scores 20 points in 3 years. I visited the building while he was in command and the place was a model of learning taking place. No kids running wild, no teachers not engaged, and mutual respect at all levels. He was willing to fire a well loved winning basketball coach- because he didn’t like the life lessons being taught- and brought in a new coach who took the program to new levels.

If there are any faults to Mr. Lawrence, it’s his faith in his friends, me included. He pushed hard for LaMark Baker to be hired as head of Athletics, which ended in the fiasco of the Dunbar/Belmont game that was thrown, supposedly at Mark’s instruction, to get both teams into the playoffs. One of the stupidist, darkest things in DPS’s less than illustrious past of the last 10 years. That video, continues to be one of my highest watches on Youtube- despite the fact that I didn’t shoot it.

Lawrence claims that had he still been chief of innovation for the district at the time, instead of paid off to leave the district because he made Rhonda Corr look bad, it never would have happened.

In the time since David was paid to go away, he’s earned a PhD, making him Dr. Lawrence, and worked as an elementary school principal in Northmont, less than a mile from his home. When you’re an Elementary school principal, you don’t have to be at so many night time events- like when you are a HS principal or a superintendent was his reasoning for taking the job. And although elementary schools typically aren’t difficult to manage, the times I visited his elementary school it seemed to be running at the same high level of functionality as every other building when he was in charge. When we walked onto the playground during recess, he was mobbed by the kids. They loved him, and he loved them back. Respect.

The job description for Business Manager reads like the Board expects something similar to the second coming. They hope to wave a magic wand over the district and undo years of incompetence in so many areas. From getting the kids to school via bus, to making sure that people and vendors get paid, and that there is organization and process to follow in all manners of operation- and most importantly, to slow the continued exodus of competent experienced employees who were victims of a toxic culture caused by Lolli who is the farthest thing from a “People Person” as they come.

I don’t have any insight on how this came to happen. The board isn’t my thing right now (running for Congress will do that to you)- but, I can place a bet that Board Member Chrisondra Goodwine, a lawyer, had both her hands in this. Joe Lacey was on the board when he passed on letting Lawrence advance to the final round when they chose Corr. I’d love to hear his reasoning on why they made that epic mistake and helped shrink the district by around 5000 students.

There is no guarantee that Lawrence will become Superintendent next year when Lolli’s contract expires, and they could waste their time and money with yet another “national search” for candidates. The reality is, no one else already knows their way to every building without a GPS (it’s doubtful that a few people in the halls of the temple of administration could do that- still). He knows the political landscape, he knows the church leaders, he knows the neighborhoods- and he knows a lot of parents and graduates.

One of the hallmarks of his leadership in buildings was the number of home visits he made. He believes in that personal understanding of each and every student- and their background is critical in helping them succeed.

A long time ago, I called him “Saint David Lawrence” and while neither of us is much of a believer in “Saints” we do believe in spirit and soul of an institution. It’s camaraderie and respect and institutional knowledge that’s critical to bringing the best out in every organization. If there’s ever been a shining star on the horizon for Dayton Public Schools, this Tuesday- it will make it’s first appearance.

To quote LL Cool J, “Don’t call it a comeback” – get ready Mama, DL’s coming to knock it out of the park.

The Mysterious Business Manager at Dayton Public Schools

The new Business Manger position for Dayton Public Schools job was posted back on July 25, 2022 after many meetings, many executive sessions and a bit of controversy. The idea that this would be a position reporting directly to the school board, is the only position except treasurer that gets that treatment.

Dayton Public Schools has had business managers for a long time of some sort- different titles. James Harris was the former “chief operating officer” of the Dayton Public Schools, who left uncomfortably and opened a restaurant, Serendipity Bistro on Jefferson St. There have been many who have come and gone.

The most controversial hire was Dr. Gary Dickstein, husband of Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein. For some board members, that incestuous like relationship was too uncomfortable. Hired in Oct of 2019, by a 5-0 vote with school board members John McManus and Sheila Taylor abstaining. As is typical of the Monarchy of Montgomery County operating system, requests by the Dayton Daily news for records concerning the job posting were not forthcoming.

As with many people hired into leadership roles under Superintendent Libby Lolli, he didn’t last very long, leaving June 30 of 2021. Any first year management consultant would take a look at turnover in leadership at DPS and suggest that the problem is the person at the top. Unfortunately, the DPS board has hired every consultant Lolli has suggested, and none that they’ve needed.

One number that’s important to know- when the School Board chose to part ways with Lori Ward as Superintendent in 2016, the district still had 14,000 students. Now, they say they have 12,000. It’s now the 13th largest district and has falling numbers.

Turns out, Ohio actually requires a license for this position, something I, the board and the Dayton Daily didn’t seem to be aware of. Even a few former board members didn’t know this. And, it’s actually a law, that’s been in effect since 2003.

The board of education of each city, exempted village, and local school district may create the position of business manager. The board shall appoint such business manager who shall serve pursuant to a contract in accordance with section 3319.02 of the Revised Code. In the discharge of all official duties, the business manager may be directly responsible to the board, or to the superintendent of schools, as the board directs at the time of appointment to the position. Where such business manager is responsible to the superintendent the business manager shall be appointed by the superintendent and confirmed by the board.

No board of education shall appoint or confirm as business manager any person who does not hold a valid business manager’s license issued under section 3301.074 of the Revised Code. If the business manager fails to maintain a valid license, the business manager shall be removed by the board.

https://codes.ohio.gov/ohio-revised-code/section-3319.03

The qualifications of a business manager are spelled out clearly by law and weren’t a part of the conversation when Dickstein was hired, which begs to ask if his employment was legitimate? He probably had the qualifications to get the license, but, it was never a part of the process. At what point to board members or the superintendent take responsibility for their hires?

The position has now been posted for 30 days, and the board should be able to decide on a hiring by now. They are scheduled for yet another “executive session” tomorrow, Friday, August 26, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at the Administration Building, located at 136 S. Ludlow St., Dayton OH 45402. They properly state the reason for executive session: “Pursuant to R.C. 121.22(G)(1), immediately after convening, the Board shall enter into executive session for the purpose of discussion regarding the employment of a public employee.”

Do we find out who the new Business Manager is? Do we get to see a list of potential hires? Will their be a public process, like there was to hire the train wreck of the last superintendent, Rhonda Corr? Or is the hiring just a thing the board will do?

It seems by the job description that they are looking for a SuperHuman to solve all of the problems Dr. Lolli fails at, and then some.
Because the job posting will go away, here’s the posting as a PDF.

DPS-School-Business-Manager-Candidate-View

And, of course, you can go to this site to look up the qualifications of any educator, administrator, superintendent, business manager in the State of Ohio.
https://core.ode.state.oh.us/Core4/ODE.CORE.Lic.Profile.Public.UI/
And if you look up Dr. Dickstein, he’s currently working as a substitute teacher. Still no Business manager license though.

OD Pills- suicide

Mom, I can’t find my underwear

(note, this article was triggered by an article about suicide in the NY Times, it may trigger some of my readers as well. I’ve not written about this before, nor have I been posting my normal amount lately. That article made me want to share this story. Thank NY Times opinion writer David Brooks).

No, this headline isn’t click bait. Those were the words of a 9 year old on a Sunday morning that changed my life. They were my words. And, it was a full 15 minutes before my father had a clue that they would change his life as well.

My father worked nights as a copy editor at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. A copy editor is someone who checks the facts, makes sure the story reads and made it fit in the paper in the space allotted. In 1971, they were still using IBM selectric typewriters, rubber cement and scissors to edit. Speed was everything, as was accuracy. They also wrote the headline- to inform, not to get your attention. At 7ish AM- he wasn’t usually functional. That would happen around 9:30 am most mornings, and after 2 cups of coffee, a few Players cigarettes and a read of the NY Times (from 3 days ago- since he insisted on getting the final city edition mailed to him instead of the earlier national edition).

I don’t remember much of Saturday night. Dad told me I was up until around 10:30, “celebrating” my Grandfather Fred’s (Opa) Birthday. He was in Boston- so it must have meant a phone call- and some cake. He was my father’s stepfather, but that didn’t register until I was 12 for some reason, my biological grandfather had died before I was born, and my grandmother had divorced him in 1941, soon to remarry another German M.D. – the man I knew as Opa.

When I couldn’t find my underwear, I went into my parents room and tried to wake my mom and she wouldn’t budge. Usually a light sleeper (my parents slept in separate twin beds because of it- and the fact that my father tossed and turned and even would punch his pillow in his sleep), this wasn’t normal. When he woke, and told me to let her sleep, I thought I was in trouble, but not for the trouble that was hanging over the room that morning. By the time he called the ambulance, and they took her flaccid body out on a gurney, both of us were fully awake, and soon on our way to University Hospital.

This was the beginning of the story from the NYTimes this morning. I had no idea who Frederick Buechner was, but, it turns out he’s also a writer, like me, and my father before me.

One morning in the fall of 1936, 10-year-old Frederick Buechner and his younger brother were playing in their room. Their father opened the door, checked on them, and then went down into the family garage, turned on the engine of the car and waited for the exhaust to kill him.

Buechner and his brother heard a commotion, looked out the window and saw their father on his back in the driveway. Their mother and grandmother, in their nightgowns, had dragged him out of the garage and were pumping his legs up and down in a doomed attempt to revive him.

There would be no funeral, or discussion of what happened. Their mother just moved the boys to Bermuda to escape. The rules in that family were, “Don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel.” They became masters at covering themselves over.

Source: Opinion | The Man Who Found His Inner Depths – The New York Times

My mother, the light sleeper, had a prescription for “sleeping pills” back in 1971. We had just moved back to Cleveland after 2 years in Toronto, where my mother would complain about the trash truck coming in the middle of the night and waking her. Ear plugs would have been a better solution, but, drugs were easy- and maybe they weren’t just given to her because of sleep. I now administer a bunch of a drugs to a mentally ill veteran, and there are “anxiety pills” available to help him sleep when he’s on edge.

My father and I sat in an alcove at the hospital, down the hall from the intensive care room she was in. It was on an upper floor- and the window looked out over Severance Circle, with the pond in front of the Art Museum, the old church with the green patina copper roof that my dad had labeled “the oil can” because of it’s steeples odd shape. My fraternal grandmother would later come to Cleveland and lived next door to the oil can in an old hotel that had become a senior living facility.

Around 3pm I was allowed to see her, sort of, my father had taken me down the hall, and lifted me to the window, where I saw my mother, surrounded by tubes and machinery, and with black spittle covering the side of her face and down onto the gown and sheets. They had pumped her stomach using charcoal, to get the undigested sleeping pills out of her body- and she was in a coma, with no real prognosis on recovery at that point.

My father and I hadn’t said much to each other that day. He was in shock, I was confused, and neither of us knew what our future held. It was probably around 7pm that I asked him “If she wanted to die, why don’t we let her?” It was  a logical question, and the only one I felt needed answering that day. The answer was not what I ever expected from my father, a man who had always had patience to explain things, even if it meant I had to answer questions along the way on why I had asked the question. This time, there were no words, just a slap across the face. He’d never hit me like that, or would ever again. I didn’t cry. And we sat the rest of the night in silence, before going home.

My grandmother, Oma, arrived from Boston either Monday or Tuesday. The school, where I was still the new kid was informed of the trauma I’d suffered, and I think I was back going to school right away. Mom was in a coma for three and a half days. And, I wasn’t to see her again for about 2 months. Oma stayed two weeks to take care of me. Since Dad worked nights- and would usually be gone by the time I got home from school, she’d hired a woman, Mrs. Morley, to come stay at the house while dad worked.

Mrs. Morley wasn’t like anyone I’d been around much. She was Black, Southern, and she had soul. It came out in her cooking- where I was getting food I’d never tasted before- okra, collard greens, black eyed peas and a can of Crisco appeared in the house for the first time in my life. She taught me how to shuffle cards, you know, make them make a bridge as they fluttered into a stack, and we played Tonk and Spades and other card games that would come in handy in homeroom in High School, where we had 15 minutes to socialize. I’d either play cards with the Black girls in my homeroom- Joy Jordan is now a dentist, or play chess and get my butt kicked by Dan Lancry, who I’d actually gone to kindergarten with in a different district before our move to Toronto.

When I did finally see my mother, she was at St. Lukes on the psychiatric ward. She was frail, in a wheelchair, and somehow different. What I didn’t know at the time, was they had been doing electroshock therapy on her, trying to rewire her brain via electrical trauma. That practice stopped a few years later, only to make a comeback again in the last decade or two.

In the time my mother was gone, my father and I formed a bond and an understanding, it was our job to look out for Mom. We grew close. He went out and got a model airplane for us to build together- not a plastic kit, but balsa and tissue. He didn’t start out with an easy one either, it was a F4U Corsair, the gull winged fighter that dominated in the Pacific theater of WWII. It was supposed to be able to fly with a rubber band driven prop, but, we had a near impossible time getting the wing assembly onto the fuselage correctly, so next up came plastic kits- which was a hobby of mine for the next 4 or 5 years until the sax, then photography and hockey started to take more of my time.

When Mom did come home, we walked on pin cushions around her. Soon after, my father’s friend from Toronto, John Kelsey, moved in with us (the story was that John was on the run from the Toronto Communist party, that he had been a member of) – and started working with Dad at the Plain Dealer. Soon, John’s wife Bo and his daughter Jennifer were living with us too- and Mom and Bo were out looking for a house for them, when Mom found and fell in love with the glass house, or “lego house” that I grew up in. John and dad remained close friends until Dad’s death in 2016. John drove from Eastern PA to visit dad in the hospital. Dad had suggested to John to pick a hobby when he needed something other than lefty politics to bide his time. John took up woodworking and taught me some basics. My first project was a wooden toolbox I made for my dad in the basement with John. I still have it today. John went on to become the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine and is still a master woodworker after getting a masters degree from RIT in furniture building after he left Cleveland in the early eighties.

My mother was diagnosed with manic depressive disorder. To this day, I don’t know if she truly was, or what it was that triggered her to take that entire bottle of sleeping pills. She can’t remember anything about the time before that Saturday night- and the times we talked about it, all she could do is apologize to me.

Every single one of us has done something one time, out of character, brought on by something, that may either change our life or that of those around us. I’ve had more than a few “forks in the road” where I’ve taken the wrong path, but we never know where that path will lead us. Without moms botched suicide a series of things would never have happened; my bonding with my dad, spending a few weeks with my Oma, Mrs. Morley, the Kelsey clan sharing our rental house, my father buying a house (he would be famous for saying, “you don’t own a house, a house owns you” after doing the restoration on the glass house which became a National Landmark), my love of airplanes- esp. WWII ones, and an understanding that mental illness isn’t well understood and is treated differently than other medical conditions- more art than science.

I do know that I was lucky that she survived, even though we never were as close after the suicide attempt. It was this trial by fire where I saw how much my father loved her, and stood by his vows of marriage at times when most men would have walked away.

I’d always expected them to die within days of each other, but, in the end, her dementia getting worse was too much for him to handle and I think he just threw in the towel knowing his beloved wife was gone and never coming back. His death barely registered with her and for the next three years, I was her only tie to reality. When she died at hospice, I was holding her hand, reading to her from the NY Times, an article about editing. A profession both my parents had made a living at, and a skill, I still need to perfect.

Life doesn’t follow a script to a nice clean happy ending. If you think you are the master of your destiny, I guarantee, there have been “I can’t find my underwear” moments that have changed the course of your life as they did mine.

I am sure that there will be vicious attacks on me by the time November 8, 2022 when I stand as the democratic choice for Congress in Ohio-10. I’ve already seen my own political party ostracize me, and watched them attack other candidates of their own party who I supported (Darryl Fairchild and Shenise Turner Sloss).  Nothing will surprise me, or hurt me as much as that morning when I couldn’t find my underwear. But it will leave me just as confused.

I know that one thing I am committed to more than anything if elected is to normalize mental illness, to stop our prisons from being our psych wards, and finding better solutions for those who need medical help than our corporate medical system.

In the mean time, I take care of that veteran, as I would hope another veteran would take care of me, and hope that I get the chance to serve, so that no other 9 year old has to deal with the trauma of a parents suicide ever again.

If you are considering suicide, or know someone struggling with their own value, you can call 9-8-8 in most places to be connected with the suicide prevention hotline.

The final chapter in the “Culture of Corruption?”

On July 1, 2022, while most of us were in a state of shock due to the Dobbs decision effectively banning abortion in all the Red states including ours, just before the holiday weekend, Judge Thomas Rose of the Southern District of Ohio slipped one by us.

Roshawn Winburn, the public employee caught accepting bags of cash from the FBI false front company “United Demolition” in exchange for a demolition contract, got sentenced after years of delays. What his penalty was will floor you, but, background first.

Literally involved in the setting up of a new company, to be called “Airborne Demolition” or something like that- with City Commissioner Joey Williams as a partner, along with FBI informant Mike Marshall and businessman Brian Higgins (the Airborne part) a Black veteran with a service connected disability, they were going to go after millions in public demolition contracts that had previously gone to Steve Rauch Inc.

(Full disclosure, Higgins and I are friends and fellow paratroopers. My firm, The Next Wave had done work for him starting in 2010. I sat through his entire trial)

Marshall had been Rauch’s job boss before the two parted ways. Rauch got a slap on the hand, despite the FBI having a surveillance operation going on former County Recorder Willis Blackshear who was the bag man according to the warrant that was unsealed weeks after I filed a FOIA case in Federal court asking for the tapes of Nan Whaley that were played to the Grand Jury.

I filed the FOIA case, not just because it would expose Nan Whaley as being pay to play, but, because the idea that City Commissioner Joey D Williams was caught accepting a bribe- a patio enclosure built by Mike Marshall, in exchange for getting demolition contracts. Williams was turned into a Confidential Human Source by the Feds– on 10/02/2015, and worked for them for 3 years while a sitting city commissioner. He was allowed to run for re-election, with a deal that if he won, he’d resign shortly after he was elected (which he did) a few months before his indictment on April 30, 2019 with Winburn, Higgins and disgraced former State Rep Clayton Luckie. That date was the same date that William’s youngest son graduated from High School- so he wouldn’t have to face his peers with the disgrace of his father.

Williams got sentenced to a year in prison plus fines for the price of the patio- around $40K. He spent all of 3 months in the pen before being released due to the pandemic. Luckie, who wasn’t involved in this scheme, but had “consulted” with other demolition companies served 4 months. Higgins, was sent to prison for 3 years. He was the only one that refused to plead guilty, and went to court. But, the trial never explained any of his connection to the demolition contracts- the feds carefully curated the evidence and only charged him for insurance fraud- a case that should have been a civil one between the insurance company and Higgins, with zero mention of how Higgins had connected their informant to Winburn and Williams.

Higgins appeal to Rose’s decision was just taken on by the University of Michigan Federal Appellate Litigation Clinic. This usually means the case has some significant legal issue at stake, but calls and emails to the clinic have gone unanswered.

Higgins is now in the Federal Prison transfer facility in Oklahoma City awaiting assignment to a prison. He was taken in cuffs out of the court on his sentencing date, May 25, 2022, after the jury found him guilty in January. He’s been held in the Montgomery County and then the Butler County Jail for the last 2+ months.

While Higgins case is on appeal, my case had been decided on administrative grounds by the fourth Federal Judge who got the case. I’ve filed an appeal to the Sixth Circuit, and am awaiting a response. Her arguments that administrative rules are hard and fast and that I shouldn’t be granted an exception, yet, she’d allowed me access to electronic filing via PACER- which is not allowed administratively. You can’t have it both ways while dodging the real question- which is, do the feds have the right to run “Manchurian Candidates” or is it election fraud?

Note: 29 Aug 2022- I filed an appended appeal due to the unprecedented release of the search warrant affidavit in the case of the former president.

Appeal-v2-Appended

And, onto the sentence for Roshawn Winburn, Mr. let me show you how RingCentral can make it look like you are answering a phone from your company, while you are at work for someone else…

90 days of limited house arrest-” the defendant shall be restricted to the residence everyday from 3 p.m. to 9 a.m. or as directed by the probation officer.” 50 hours of community service, 3 years of probation, and $8,500 in restitution. Judge Rose didn’t even bar him from public office or public employment, despite his willingness to defraud the public.

The Feds spent millions of dollars on this investigation, and in the end, concluded that only Black people commit crimes against the public, and that it’s worse to defraud a clueless insurance company than it is to steal from the public.

Winburn-sentancing-14319163511

And, in one last note about the Sixth Circuit and appeals, and Federal crimes, the City of Centerville spent a ton more of Centervilles tax dollars on lawyers to ask the Sixth Circuit to reverse themselves on the Sgt Myers case.

It would seem that corruption can’t get a fair shake in court for anyone in this region. Maybe it’s time to refresh some Federal judges- no one seems to be happy with them these days.

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