Based on a true story…

“Changeling” was a movie that was nominated for three Oscars, including Angelina Jolie for “best performance by an actress in a leading role.”

Here is a synopsis from IMDB:

Los Angeles, 1928. A single mother returns from work to find her nine-year-old son gone. She calls the LAPD to initiate a search. Five months later, a boy is found in Illinois who fits the description; he says he’s her son. To fanfare and photos, the LAPD reunite mother and son, but she insists he’s not her boy. The cops dismiss her as either a liar or hysterical. When she joins a minister in his public criticism of the police, they in turn use government power to silence and intimidate her. Meanwhile, a cop goes to a dilapidated ranch to find a Canadian lad who’s without legal status; the youth tells a grisly tale. There’s redress for murder; is there redress for abuse of power?

via Changeling (2008) – Plot Summary.

In Dayton we have a true story- but it’s full of bad actors, and it has been going on for a long time.

I think my first indication that the city wasn’t run by rational management came when local businessman Tom Danis paid Tyree Broomfield, Chief of the Dayton Police Department $100,000 to resign- and no, it wasn’t even in small bills delivered in a trash bag- it was front page news. If anyone wonders why we’re now paying people who failed the police exam- or who may have even thought of taking the test, well, the story started long ago.

Has our government used its power to silence critics and intimidate them? Absolutely. Has there been abuse of power? The articles about 43% of elected officials having family on the public payroll, or no-bid contracts to the Congressman’s wife, should make it abundantly clear.

In the movie, a preacher uses his radio broadcast to challenge the corrupt nature of City Hall. Now we have the Internet and sites like this. I’m still shocked that my story last Friday about the Magistrate who was fired for daring to challenge his boss, and then having his petitions as an “independent candidate” disqualified by the partisan Board of Elections has only 3 comments as of this writing. This is a test case for the State- if not the Nation on how we limit ballot access to all but the party faithful.

The movie upset me. Not because of what happened in 1928- in what was known as the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders, but because we’ve all been witness to the greatest crimes of the century- on Wall Street, in Washington, and even right here in Dayton- as we’ve watched the rich buy the feckless politicians and manipulate them to pass laws and regulations that aren’t in the voters’ best interests- and we haven’t marched en masse on the Capital.

This morning I read a lengthy article in the New York Times on the failures of regulators and the corporations to realize that blowout preventers have a critical weak link- and fail at an astonishing 40% rate. I listened to “This American Life” where they discussed how the State of New York is once again faced with a “budget crisis” caused by fly-by-night accounting- and also how Barbados didn’t suffer the same face as Jamaica when realizing they’d overdrafted their nation.

The true stories are all around us- and yet, we only react if the stories been sensationalized, sanitized and romanticized with a Hollywood script and soundtrack before it registers.

This video has a bombshell dropped in it- one that I’ve been holding back for too long. So to those of you who faithfully watch, listen carefully- because, even though it’s only mentioned in passing- there is a true story ready for the big screen right here in Dayton.

And, btw- if I do get to face off against Mike Turner for Congress this fall, there will be more to this story, guaranteed.

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5 Responses

  1. David Lauri June 21, 2010 / 11:11 pm
    I wonder what kind of influence a Midwestern Republican Congressman has over the FBI, both in squelching any investigations into his own alleged wrongdoing as well as in triggering investigations fishing for dirt to be used against a potential challenger.
  2. Dad June 22, 2010 / 9:17 am
    The thing in Changeling that bothered me most was the use of mental hospitals to punish people the cops did not like. It happens in Russia, but I did not know until I saw this movie that it happens here.
    I once worked as an attendant in a state mental hospital in Massachusetts. On my first day, a handsome patient took me aside to tell me he was an FBI special agent and that he was being kept locked up because he was investigating some fantastic scheme involving the superintendent. I checked with a supervisor and she explained that the patient was a paranoid schizophrenic and that he would tell me about a different “enemy” daily. She was right.
     
  3. Max July 1, 2010 / 7:21 pm
    David, I’ve publicly given my vote to you should you win the primary.

    I am sure you read my DDN blog thing outlining how you can lose and why.

    You do need some serious campaign management intervention, or, you can remain as the DDN tags you a ‘perennial candidate.’

    Taking a tape recorder to a DDN editorial staff meeting makes you look paranoid and presenting this proudly attracts the maggots who probably won’t find the few polling places to vote for you.

    Roberts, as young as he is, has a zip code far more credible than yours and you can beat that aspect by appealing to the ‘burbs.

    David, you’re 47 and have a political website reading like a 14-year old’s MySpace page. You don’t need friends; you need votes. There’s a difference.

    Read my DDN blog response and get back to me if you’re interested. My fee is $600 per hour but I’ll do it for free if you prevail over Roberts. It’s not that I like your views all that much but, rather I despise Turner more.

    The ball is your court. My zip is 45419.

    Max

  4. David Esrati July 1, 2010 / 9:16 pm

    @Max- taking a tape recording in is called open government- I don’t believe in going “off the record”- nor do I believe that the readers are stupid- and should be allowed to draw their own conclusions.

    If you think this site is like a 14 yr old’s MySpace page- you obviously have been spending too much time on the DDN site- which makes that Myspace page look mature. I’ll just ask you to read one article- posted in the last 2 weeks about a major story that the DDN hasn’t covered: http://esrati.com/wilcoxon-vs-boe/5130/

    If you’d like to volunteer to be a campaign manager- I’d be happy to sit down and talk- you won’t be the first or the last. As to $600 hr- not possible.

    As to credible zip codes: I live in the USA- where anyone can be a Congressman. I’ll take my block in South Park to your block in Oakwood any day.

    Thanks for the comment btw…

    wait till you see the video of the Candidates Forum.

  5. theonlysane1here December 8, 2010 / 9:52 pm
    stop watching movies…….get a life…..PLEASE?

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