And the truth will set you free- (just don’t record our screening meetings)

I’m faced with a dilemma. The Dayton Daily News editorial board wants to meet with the three candidates for the primary next Wednesday at 11am.

I believe that deliberative meetings concerning the endorsement of candidates are as important, or maybe even more important than the deliberations of elected officials which are supposed to be held in public.

I had asked the DDN to allow the meeting to be open to the public, which was denied. I then asked to video it, which was denied. Then I asked to make a recording- suitable for podcast. That was approved, pending the ok’s of the other candidates.

I thought I had won a small victory for the people. Especially since Jane Mitakides had told me that she records every single speech she makes so as to have a record. Yet now, the DDN tells me that Jane doesn’t want a tape made.

I can’t imagine what could be said in one of these meetings that isn’t fit for public consumption. I also don’t understand what a candidate has to hide. If you can’t answer a few journalists on the record before you are elected, how can you be expected to answer after?

I could boycott the meeting on principle, however that would only hurt my chances at getting my ideas heard. I’m not a huge fan of the newspapers editorial board, from past experiences with different editors, I don’t recall any particularly insightful questions or a grasp of the issues.

The fact that the DDN doesn’t tell the candidates with recording phobias to stay home says they haven’t quite grasped how the Internet changes the landscape.

Should I go? Or should I stand my ground? I know what my gut says- and is pretty much hinted at in the first YouTube spot. I need your advice?

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18 Responses

  1. David E Bowman January 15, 2008 / 11:05 pm
    GO my brother, GO!

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  2. Brian January 15, 2008 / 11:32 pm
    Decisions are made by those who show up. Show up.

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  3. gene January 16, 2008 / 12:53 am
    I agree. You MUST GO! I understand what you are barking, and I agree, but you must SHOW UP!

    Put together WHO YOU ARE – short and simple – and then go from there…….

    Even from me, GOOOOOOOOOOOD LUCK!!!!!! – again, you NEED TO GO!!!!!

    You have others to remember besides the WB’s – such as CFK………You can’t stud a toe…………. you know the rest, just go!!!!

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  4. J.R. Locke January 16, 2008 / 12:54 am
    I would stand your ground. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go to the meeting and take copious amount of notes and report for the people on the meeting (which I figured you would anyway). Refuse to answer questions for the board on your grounds. Simply repeat that you do not think that these closed door meetings matter for the people.

    Remember your ideas are in the open air already. I would try to utilize the DDN meeting to make your point on this issue and also get this website’s name out there. Afterwards I would take back the questions they asked you and the other candidates and write up a post on here explaining your views on the issue.

    A boycott will likely do you no good but a stand may make a difference.

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  5. D. Greene January 16, 2008 / 2:07 am
    Lawsuit. Let me repeat: lawsuit. This is an absurd friggin thing they are doing here, and I applaud your courage in battling the status quo in Dayton. Seriously man, keep up the good work, here’s hoping you win this small battle in service of the larger war for the political soul of Dayton.

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  6. Teri Lussier January 16, 2008 / 8:38 am
    If you don’t go, how will we know what happened?

    Can you live blog it?

    Can you live twitter by txt?

    The DDN and other candidates can’t keep information from people. The days of picking and choosing information are long gone. LONG gone. Just because you are the only candidate who chooses to embrace that fact, does not mean it isn’t a fact.

    I can’t believe we are having this discussion! Honestly.

    >they haven’t quite grasped how the Internet changes the landscape

    Nicely understated. Very diplomatic of you. I wouldn’t be so kind in my assessment of their “grasp”.

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  7. yvan melnikoff January 16, 2008 / 10:40 am
    David,

    If you have the opportunity to present the full scope of your vision go and do it! Play their game on their ground with their rules and bust their chops. This is a huge opportunity to display some political largesse, broaden the perception of your public persona and begin building some consensus through compromise. You already know the minefield,…walk the cleared path. Stay out of the clinches!!! Don’t let the process ignite your instincts. Use your humor to jab and then bring the strength of your idealism and commitment down like a hammer. Call me for a beer(s) I’ll be glad to listen to you vent out the worst possible scenarios ahead of time.

    Yvan

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  8. Jim Crotty January 16, 2008 / 11:40 am
    Ditto, all the above, and then some.

    And as an added thought to my comment posted yesterday, please keep in mind that sometimes we have to lose a few battles to win the war. But in the words of Sun Tzu, “Sit by the river long enough and you will see the body of your enemy float by.”

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  9. Charles Halton January 16, 2008 / 11:58 am
    We live in a far from perfect world and many times incremental changes are big wins. I think you’ve scored a big win by just getting the DDN to agree to an audio recording, even though another candidate didn’t. I would go and present your ideas clearly, persuasively, and respectfully. I completely disagree with J.R. Locke’s advice to refuse to answer questions. Being belligerent won’t get you or our country anywhere. If you can keep causing little changes, like you’ve just done, pretty soon you reach a tipping point where big, game changing opportunities arise. This doesn’t happen if you take your ball and go home.

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  10. Juan January 16, 2008 / 12:04 pm
    David – Charles is right. Don’t refuse to answer questions as that will just have them re-apply the “local political gadfly” label to you. Little changes are better than no changes!

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  11. gene January 16, 2008 / 3:16 pm
    I think you answered your own question when you stated:

    “The fact that the DDN doesn’t tell the candidates with recording phobias to stay home says they haven’t quite grasped how the Internet changes the landscape.”

    The DDN can do what they want, you can participate or not. And if they have not grasped how the Internet changes the landscape, well then they will soon die or have to change – but they don’t have to change b/c you asked them to, they will change when less and less people read the DDN, therefore less and less will advertise with them. If you believe the Internet is this powerful, and it may well be, they will sooner or later have to change or die. That is up to them and their management/stockholders.

    You should still participate.

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  12. Jeff January 16, 2008 / 4:42 pm
    “I think you’ve scored a big win by just getting the DDN to agree to an audio recording, even though another candidate didn’t.”

    Since the DDN has agreed to a recording, you can get it transcribed and posted, so the transparency issue is resolved.

    Even if they didnt you could take notes, as others have said.

    Yyvan made some good remarks, too.

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  13. David Esrati January 16, 2008 / 4:55 pm

    The DDN won’t release their recording.
    That’s the problem.
    They won’t let me make an additional public recording. It’s only for them to be able to “check their facts” – not us, to support any claims of misquotes.

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  14. Jeff January 16, 2008 / 7:27 pm
    Well, then take notes and post what was said here, or at DaytonOS. You are not going to get their endorsment anyway, so machts nichts if you go or dont go.

    Id say go for the meeting, but the purpose is to report what was said.

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  15. Scott January 16, 2008 / 10:39 pm
    Go, Dave.
    Not going will only hurt you, not DDN…and as Juan said, allow them to dismissively tar you with the “gadfly” label. You’re a serious candidate, and serious candidates have to participate in forums like this.
    I understand your stand about openness – but the DDN is a private entity, not a governmental body (even if they are a de facto monopoly). They have a right to decide the forum they use for their editorial endorsement meeting. You have the right to boycott, to cut off your nose to spite your face, but you gain nothing in that action.
    Prepare, go, and show them that you are a serious candidate with well-reasoned positions on relevant issues. Ask for their endorsement because you believe it’s in the best interest of OH-3 to send you to Congress.
    Then tell all of us on the internets what was asked, and how you responded. You’ve then participated in their forum, and brought openness to the part of the process over which you have control.

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  16. David Esrati January 16, 2008 / 11:10 pm

    There is no question that I am going. However, I’m not quite brilliant enough to answer and report at the same time. I am allowed to bring a “bodyguard” as Ellen Belcher put it- so if anyone wants to volunteer to cover the interview as an independent voice- let me know.
    They want me to bring:
    1) Their resume and any campaign materials they’re distributing.
    2) A color mug, preferably a jpeg, minimum 200 dpi.
    3) Their birth date, education, occupation, previous elective experience,community of residence, their campaign web site address if they have one and any information they’d like to provide about their family.
    4) Finally a letter of endorsement of their candidacy from a person of their choosing. This should be no more than 150 words and it will be printed in the paper and posted only. The “recommender” must sign his/her name and include his/her title or association w/ the candidate.

    I’m willing to take 150 words from any of you…
    I’m wondering if I can have my laptop in the room- with a wifi connection- so I can do searches on my site to read them back answers that I’ve posted over the last 3 years?

    I’m just waiting for them to find some quotes from 2005 written from a “guy on the street” prospective and throw them back at me as a “Congressional candidate” to show how “Brilliant” they are. Of course, since the other candidates barely have sites- they don’t have a record to check.
    I’m not answering the boxers or briefs question either. Not unless everyone in the room wants to drop trou.
    (you get my point… I hope).
    New YouTube coming tomorrow- and it has a great story to go with it…. :-)

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  17. Gary Staiger January 17, 2008 / 12:36 pm
    You must go. Reasons already stated above.
    What you need is a stenographer

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  18. David Esrati January 22, 2008 / 2:07 pm

    Ellen Belcher said “No” to the stenographer. I’m taking a guest to write an impartial review.

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