I’ve never gotten a positive word out of the Dayton Daily News editorial board. Most of the time, it reads like a list of elementary school put downs- the only thing they haven’t told me is that I’m ugly and my mother dresses me funny.
So, finding this in today’s paper almost has me wondering if I’m doing something wrong:
Martin Gottlieb: On candidates new and old
Trying again — and again. Then there’s another kind of candidate — the kind who keeps running and running, without winning.
Some in this category lack all the characteristics that one expects in a politician. Others do not. David Esrati and John Mitchel are bright and comfortable facing an audience.
This year, though, in running for Congress, neither has party support, much financial support, much of an organization, much in endorsements or an apparent political base.
Why have they been so marginal for so long (having started in the 1990s)? After all, breaking into local politics really isn’t all that hard. We’re not talking Carnegie Hall.
I suppose they could explain their failures as those of outsiders fighting an establishment (including the media). But, come on. The local political establishment is not exactly the politburo in power, Obama in appeal or Google in competence.
With me being a Democrat, and a believer in the will of the people, having “party support” would be antithetical to my core beliefs, since I don’t think a secret screening committee deciding who should run before the primary is very democratic (see The People who choose the Democratic candidates- and who chose them)
I have a broader financial base than my opponent, Jane Mitakides, who counts on her own money, PAC money and rich relatives to put money in her campaign chest according to her FEC filing (see The Best Politicians Money Can Buy?).
As to endorsements: If I don’t believe that the party screening committee is right, should I believe that the endorsements of three people at the DDN is a good thing? Or solicit from special interest groups like the NRA or the Pipefitters? It’s that kind of political dealmaking that has our country in the mess it’s in.
For a political base? I guess readers on this site aren’t considered a political base. Free thinkers aren’t valued in Dayton anymore- but I still believe they are our future. I’ve been an activist in Dayton for almost 22 years- raising issues, questioning decisions of those in power, and even willing to go to jail to fight for what is right. I know there are people who know who I am, either from DATV or from the TV news- or just from my being an active part of my community: founder of VOB108 a veterans business group, neighborhood president, founder of South Park Social Capital, memberships in Art Center Dayton, the Dayton Ad Club (now known as the Greater Dayton Ad Association), work with charities including Artemis, DVAC, Daybreak and others, etc.
As to the local political establishment not being like the Politburo, Mr. Gottlieb needs to check out how people like Matt Joseph and Nan Whaley work their way up in the party pecking order. It may not be Joe Shump’s machine, but it’s still a machine with a very specific dance.
Those of you who know me- know I don’t dance on command, or dance around the subject. That’s a big part of why I’m not a part of it.
But, the overall question, why do I keep doing it? Maybe it’s as simple as I still believe in this country, as it was intended. I know it requires people who are willing to serve the people – not just serve those who gave them money. I guess that’s why I volunteered to be in the Army, why I chose to move into a dump and fix it up, why I’ve stayed in Dayton even when both my career and my reputation could have been much better elsewhere.
I think those of you who’ve spent some time on this site know why I am running- but to make it clear to Mr. Gottlieb, it’s because I still believe that one person can make a difference. If you look at all of his questions, it’s as if he believes that only groupthink is the answer.
You and I know different.