AP Government class at Thurgood Marshall High School

“Why are you recording this” comes out about half-way through this podcast. The answer: I believe that people who run for office should be transparent- and accessible. I believe that people who want to learn about a candidate, should be able to go online and read first hand what the candidate is thinking, saying or not saying. Take a look at what’s happening with Rob Portman standing by while “birthers” mouth off about the Commander and Chief.

It’s one of the reasons I tried to post every candidates’ night on YouTube when I was running. It’s why we run the Dayton Grassroots Daily Show unedited. It’s about getting to know who you are seeing on the ballot.

This last Tuesday I was asked to speak to an AP Government class at Thurgood Marshall High School. I brought my father along. A long time ago, he came to my high school to talk about the history of the Middle East to my 11th-grade History class.

I met with 13 engaging students. Principal David Lawrence sat in through a good 30 minutes of my talk to Mr. Spencer’s class.

I took along my very first campaign piece, when I ran almost 20 years ago for Mayor of Dayton. I also took the piece that Gary Leitzell distributed (btw- Gary had spoken to the same class- you can hear what they thought of him on the podcast) in his first run for mayor: should have made an impression.

One of the main questions was “why do you do it? Keep running and losing?” On the way out, Mr. Spencer tried to suggest I should “Move to the center, and try to get elected”- as if the Center is where the answers are?

Of interest- only one student identified himself as a Republican, a few Democrats- and a majority- independents. Apparently they still don’t understand that by being undeclared in the State of Ohio just means you can’t take part in choosing who is on the final ballot (I didn’t really tell them this- my bad).

I did share with them my belief that until we introduce true campaign finance reform- with the taxpayers funding the whole thing, we’re going to continue to be screwed. That was a major part of the discussion. I’d be interested to hear from the students – what they thought, in the comments.

Ohio Secretary of State and candidate for the US Senate, Jennifer Brunner will be coming to Thurgood Marshall in the next week to speak to the students. These students now know what a Herculean task she is facing in running against the much better funded Lt. Governor Lee Fisher. Hopefully, she’ll be prepared to give them real answers instead of the politically correct ones- because I think these students will see right through the same old BS that’s passed for political speech in the past. At least these 13 will.

Here’s the podcast:

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