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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