Before the tornadoes, before the mass shooting in the Oregon District, before the pandemic, the FBI arrested a few folks and called it part of an investigation of a “Culture of Corruption” in Dayton. That most of the folks they indicted were Black was about par for the course. Law enforcement in this country is pretty much only good for putting minorities or the poor in prison- and in this stunning announcement of our “culture of corruption” it amounted to about half a year in prison for only 2 of the defendants. Joey Williams got out after 3 months and 21 days of a measly 1 year sentence, and Clayton Luckie did a whopping four whole months for his “corrupt activities.”
While we’re lucky to live in Dayton, where so far, cops haven’t been shooting black people randomly every couple of months like in Columbus, we still have a major problem with a jail that isn’t safe for human habitation. Getting sent to jail, even if for a simple domestic violence charge could may as well be a death sentence. As if covid running wild in the jail isn’t enough, we’ve also got it staffed with sadists, who have tortured inmates, raped inmates, and killed a few just by way of gross incompetence. And before you start saying just stay out of jail- remember, in this country, we still claim that we abide by the idea of “innocent until proven guilty” which isn’t the case in Sheriff Rob Streck’s jail.
As to “innocent until proven guilty” I’m still waiting for just one person to be held accountable for the insanity at Wright State. Apparently, even in the H1-B visa scandal, for which the taxpayers were fined $1M to pay the government (as if that makes sense) no one was guilty, no one went to trial, no one went to jail, no government contracts were revoked, no board members fired, in fact- it seems like the people who were in the middle of the entire Double Bowler scandal where the University bought buildings for the benefit of trustees and benefactors all came out on top- with Greg Sample being promoted to defacto king of the university. Never mind his track record of failure, he keeps amassing more power as more people abandon his sinking ship.
Between the wreckage of Donald Trump and Covid, our country has become more divided, and more unfair. The economic divide continues to grow while those in power enact Stand your Ground- instead of figuring out a way to tax and fund schools properly. Having Larry Householder get caught in a $60M bribery scheme to help power companies barely changed anything. At this point, the taxpayers are still getting shafted, and the idiots who the bribe money helped elect all get relected. Ohio has been so jury-rigged via gerrymandering compounded by a free-wheeling governmental structure that allows us to have more elected officials and jurisdictions than anyone can count. How the hell does a state have 608 school districts with only 88 counties? And when was the last time you heard anyone calling for real reform- other than changing the way we draw electoral districts- when the damage is already done?
For regular readers of this blog, you may wonder a bit about my decreased posting frequency. It’s not for lack of commitment. In the last 5 months I’ve been putting effort into getting Reconstructing Dayton off the ground. It’s a 501(c)(4) just like what Larry Householder built for his nefarious purposes- but, our goal is to bring order and sanity to Montgomery County by reducing the overhead of too many chiefs for way too few Indians. We’re also going to work and assist candidates who are committed to consolidation – or Unigov, which is the only way we’re going to be able to keep track of and keep politicians inline. You can see the posts our research has generated over on that site- and I highly recommend you subscribe. I’ve hired an executive director and he’s been hard at work.
We also have set up “The Modern Policy Institute” to craft policy and technology to help modernize our political system to encourage access and transparency at all levels, because, as we’ve seen, it’s almost impossible to rein in corruption when there are so many layers and jurisdictions. It’s a 501(c)(3) and therefore your donation is totally tax deductible. The site should go live in January 2021. I’m proud of the diversity and depth of our board of directors and looking forward to working with them to get our initiatives into full swing. While there are plenty of organizations working on improving elections, working toward ranked choice voting or other reforms, we have a vision of an election ecosystem that helps people with great ideas get in front of voters- instead of just those with money. Think of a mashup of Ballotpedia, I stand with, Opensecrets, NationBuilder along with an open source board/elected official agenda and meeting management platform – all built with open source software and available to all.
After watching and observing the criminals at work in the local culture of corruption for over 25 years, it’s time to blow the whole thing up. Coming soon- maybe even Monday, a post that will blow the petards off our local county government who are claiming we are due for a 15% property tax hike in the midst of a pandemic. Not too much after that- we should have another post about how a “city” outsourced it’s record keeping- to a private contractor- who, well, went under, and lost all their data. I’m also tired of public records policy in this State being abused at the expense of the tax payer. The latest strategy is to delay, then overwhelm, a requestor with a jumbled mess of 2700 page documents- with the only intent of complying is to overwhelm and obfuscate. If the records are this disorganized in the hands of the people in charge, they aren’t competent to have their jobs in the first place. It’s time for standardizing RFP’s, the bid documents and the rubrics to prevent the kind of crap decision making that makes sure the “Friends and Family” win bids- as evidenced by the convictions of Joey Williams, Roshawn Winburn (who didn’t have to do prison time, despite accepting bags of cash) and Clayton Luckie. Before any contract can get funded- the complete bids, scoring and award documents should be available to all to peruse and double check before our incompetent monarchy signs off on the awards. Gary Leitzell said that when he was Mayor- it was obvious that he was the only one who read the commission packages and often had to send things back for clarification or repair. Unfortunately, public servant leaders like Gary are the exception, not the rule.
So, in closing- all I want for Christmas is open transparent and efficient government that’s not corrupt. If you want to join me in that wish- money helps. You can chose either non-profit to send your donations to- Reconstructing Dayton or The Modern Policy Institute at 100 Bonner Street Dayton Ohio 45410. I promise the money will go to good use.