Why the Montgomery Democratic Party is a joke

Mark Owens, Montgomery County Party Chairman and Dayton Clerk of Courts came up to me after the meeting to ask me if I gave someone the finger. I said yes, and that the little old lady has been disrespecting me for years, mostly by hissing when I spoke, but tonight, as I started to speak and said Montgomery County has a problem- she suggested that it was me. I was tired of her shit.

As I went to confront her, she started to tell me that it was the only thing I’d ever said worth hearing. I gave her the single finger salute and left her to run to Mark. Some folks saw me do it and chastised me. Former AFSCME Chief Tom Ritchie being one. Another woman came up and said I lost all credibility. Really? People are dying- and giving a heckler the finger is your big worry? I think I’ll survive my loss of credibility.

But, that’s the end of the story, and although Kurt Vonnegut Jr. said in his 8 rules for writing to “5. Start as close to the end as possible” I started there, because, well, you know, full disclosure is critical to journalism, and I wouldn’t want to waste your time continuing to read if I no longer had any credibility.

The meeting had a whole bunch of new precinct captains as the party is trying to backfill 2/3rds of the seats that were never filled. Some of those people had no clue who I was either time I spoke, and of course, that’s my fault as well, since I didn’t say who I was.

First the party endorsed former party employee Dawn Wojcik who is running for the seat on the State School Board, District 3, that Jeff Mims abandoned when he wanted to be a city commissioner.

Then, they heard from Becky Benay from Five Rivers Metroparks who came asking for an endorsement to renew the levy- plus tack a little extra on. I questioned why her board, that’s appointed by a probate judge, and supposed to have three year terms never changes, and why, just not getting as much tax revenue today vs 2010 is a good enough reason to justify her increase. The dems, earned their tax and spend cred- by almost unanimously voting to endorse- almost, except for me, the loan voice, who told Ms. Benay that I’d like to have as much money as I did in 2009 too- but, my taxes keep going up for Sinclair, the libraries, etc. We could start saving money by stripping Metroparks of their private police force and putting that job under the Sheriffs budget, but, that’s not how we roll in Montgomery County.

When it was time for other business, I went up to the podium and started my speech about how it’s embarrassing that this party, with it’s control of the county commission, and complete control of the Dayton City Commission- is allowing the jail to continue to operate as is. That jail is not a place to get tortured, to be maimed, or to die. Yet, in the last 3 weeks, 2 maybe 3 have committed suicide already, and we’re facing over $10M in settlements from lawsuits.

Folks, $10 million spent on proper jail staffing and management would go a long way to solving our problems. Real democrats wouldn’t allow the poor to be sent to Phil’s house of horrors.

If a house is dirty, if it doesn’t have running water- it’s declared unfit for human habitation and the people are evicted. I remember getting the run around on an occupancy permit for my office because the staircase rail would let little kids fall through. Yet, we are allowing a jail to operate that’s killed three people in 2 weeks?

Sorry. That doesn’t cut it. Real leaders would find ways to do any of the following:

  • Send inmates to other facilities that are safe for their residents, even if transportation costs are higher.
  • Charge the Sheriff with crimes against humanity, remove him from office, and place him in the jail. If you need a reminder, go watch the video I released in February of 2017 of yet another inmate in a restraining chair being pepper sprayed at point blank range.
  • Call on the Governor to declare a state of emergency and put the National Guard in charge of the jail. There are multiple MP battalions in the state. Call them up.
  • Hire a private prison management company to take over the running of, and responsibility for the safety of the inmates. We have no problems having private companies run prisons in this state, why not run a jail.
  • Refuse to do the State’s work, holding people who are guilty in the jail.
  • Speed up the courts processes.
  • Refuse to hold people brought in by the feds- ICE, Secret Service, FBI etc. until overcrowding is undercontrol.
  • Build alternative facilities for the mentally ill and drug addicted inmates and charge it to Medicaid.

At the end of the meeting, as Owens was threatening to kick me out of the party (I’m not sure he can do that, since I’m an elected precinct captain), and whining how I’d called him a criminal on my blog (I looked quickly for it- couldn’t find it via search- A free “Make Orwell Fiction Again” t-shirt to the first person who posts the quote and link in comments) he also complained that he couldn’t find anyone qualified to run against Plummer.

Well, Mr. Owens, you’ve been endorsing your friends and family to run for office before the primary for so long, you’ve chased people away from being involved. You’ve advanced the careers of people so bad, that they’ve been beaten by no money yahoos- like Mike Turner when he first ran for Mayor- that they got to move up to Congress- and you’ve failed to mount a serious contender against a pretty weak candidate (remember, Turner lost to Rhine McLin before he was handed the congressional seat). Rhine was also beat by a no money yahoo- Gary Leitzell- mostly because Owens, who ran her campaign, spent half his budget mailing everyone lit with Gary’s name on it.

This is the party that never met a tax levy it didn’t love, because they help pay for more patronage jobs in the bloated mess of banana republics that make up this County. If you want to see how expensive it is- check out Reconstructing Dayton’s site– and look at some of the charts we’re starting to build. We could do a lot more, with a whole lot less government.

But first, we have a duty to protect the less fortunate, the drug addicts, the mentally ill and even the common criminals, from getting death sentences while awaiting trial.

If you like this kind of reporting. If you like my efforts, please consider donating to the 501(c)(4) non-profit Reconstructing Dayton to keep these efforts alive.

And, if you are a glutton for punishment, you can watch the entire meeting:

Dems still endorsing in primaries

Usually, I stand up and make a speech telling the party that endorsing in primary elections is wrong. But, last night I was at the Fairgrounds to Future meeting during the party executive committee meeting.

I’ll have more on that song and dance in a later post.

Then, as I raced over to make the central committee meeting (why we have 2 meetings is beyond me) all I could think about was talking to Dennis Kucinich about my Dad. They were friends going back to when Dennis was a copy boy (yes- that was the job title) at the Plain Dealer in the sixties where my Dad was a copy editor. I had a copy of the obituary I wrote for my father printed out.

Dennis Kucinich with David Esrati

Dennis Kucinich, man of the people and a friend of my father. David Esrati (center) JFK (framed in the background right)

As I stood outside Mark Owen’s office- while Dennis was being interviewed about the closing of Good Sam, I remember my dad telling me about how Dennis had stood up for the people of Cleveland when he reversed the deal to sell the public utility, Muny Light to the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (CEI)  a private company. I was around 16. I had heard about Dennis through the media- where he was called the “Boy Mayor” because of both his youth- and his resemblance  to Alfred E. Newman- from Mad Magazine. The city was being punished by being forced into bankruptcy. Dad said Dennis had done the right thing, fighting the establishment that wanted to steal from the people and privatize a public service. He explained how all this worked, and said Dennis was the man for the people.

Something that’s incredibly clear now. Dennis is still fighting the good fight- for Single Payer health care, taking a stand against fracking, fighting Monsanto and their designer seeds to work with toxic weed killers.

Unlike our local party elite- I’m glad Dennis is battling Richard Cordray in a primary- although I think Rich is a really good guy too- and we don’t lose if either of them become governor, I’m going with Dennis because he’s been fighting these fights- and putting his own life on the line (there were death threats against him in Cleveland through all that turmoil) and started fighting for the people when Cordray was still in diapers.

When Dennis was done with the cameras, I said, “this might be really short, my name is David Esrati” to Dennis- he said, “Last name?” and was looking at me intently, “Esrati”- he said immediately “Steve’s son? Is he still with us” and I told him know- and handed him the obit. He started gushing about how smart my dad was, and how he had such an interesting history. It meant the world to me.

After Dennis spoke, I went back and asked to take a photo with him, mostly to show Mom and see if it would trigger any memories. She didn’t recognize Dennis, but once I started telling her who it was- it seemed to come back. She remembered her husband, and what a special man he was, just as Dennis had said.

And, shame on the Montgomery County Democratic Party for continuing to endorse in primaries.

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How to run for precinct captain for your party- the video

Back in December 2017, I wrote a piece urging people to run for precinct captains in the Montgomery County Democratic Party- here’s an excerpt:

The crazy thing is that running for precinct captain is the easiest thing to do. You get a petition, you determine your precinct, you get signatures of at least 10 dems in your precinct (you only need 5 good signatures) and turn in your petition by February 7th to the Board of (S)Elections in the Montgomery County Building. Make sure people SIGN their name- and have the correct date, etc.

Source: The return of democracy to the Montgomery County Democratic Party depends on YOU! – Esrati

I posted links to the proper places you need to go to get petitions, how to fill them out, etc.

But, what was missing was a video. One to run on YouTube- and to run on Facebook, where all the political amateurs like to tell everyone how they would fix our political mess. One of them asked “is there anyone who can do a video about it” – after meeting me online- probably because of some of my videos.

Yeah, I’m not that stupid- I’ll do yet another video for free. But, why just listen to me, don’t we need “Fair and Balanced?” So I reached out to my good friend Rob Scott, yes, Kettering City Councilman, former leader of the Montgomery County Republican Party, former campaign director in Ohio for Donald Trump- yeah- a guy who on paper should be my exact opposite. He gladly came in to talk on camera about how and why you do a takeover of your political party- and he has first hand knowledge, having wrestled the Republican party leadership out of the nearly dead, old, cold hands of their version of Republican Monarchy.

I know it’s a bit long, but hopefully you’ll watch and learn, as we walk through the reasons being a precinct captain is so critically important.

The return of democracy to the Montgomery County Democratic Party depends on YOU!

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Click to download PDF of my old campaign against the friends and family plan

The idea of free elections, the bedrock of the American democracy, is that the people get to choose their representatives to elected office. We all know that thanks to Citizens United, we’ve turned most elections to federal and state office into auctions, but, local elections were still at least relatively untainted.

That is, unless we’re talking about Montgomery County Ohio, where the two major political parties seem to think the old party boss system is still perfectly OK.

This year, the Montgomery County (Un) Democratic Party is going to elect new precinct captains to fill out the party ranks. Typically, these seats have been filled by “the friends and family” plan. Those who have patronage jobs (working for an elected official- who hires you based mostly for loyalty and payback for helping them get elected- not, on your qualifications) typically fill out the ranks- thereby making sure those who are in power, stay in power.

The crazy thing is that running for precinct captain is the easiest thing to do. You get a petition, you determine your precinct, you get signatures of at least 10 dems in your precinct (you only need 5 good signatures) and turn in your petition by February 7th to the Board of (S)Elections in the Montgomery County Building. Make sure people SIGN their name- and have the correct date, etc.

Then, get a walking list of Dems in your precinct and go make friends. Go door to door- and explain that you believe in open honest party politics where the goal is to elect democrats to office. If you want nice printed material, reach out to me- I’m willing to help get you literature which you can put a sticker on with your name and contact info- so that we can win the party back.

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Darryl Fairchild must have the Democratic Party scared

Why is this so important? Because the current leadership would rather spend resources and money on mailings against “un-endorsed” democrats. See this post: Montgomery County Democratic Party eats its own  The party spent money to mail against a Democrat. A guy so loyal that 4 years ago, he agreed to pull out of a race for Dayton City Commission to wait “his turn.” Considering that this is the party that couldn’t even mount a challenger to Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer, one has to wonder what the bar is to be a candidate. It shouldn’t be hard to run against a man who runs a torture chamber posing as a jail.

At the first party meeting post election, I asked to speak and made a speech about how I believe the party is supposed to elect Democrats- not just the friends and family. I called on an accounting of party money spent, without the approval of party membership to mail the smear piece. I made a motion to require a vote to spend party money on anti-democratic mailings. I was rebuffed and lied to, and the motions were voted down.

Mark Owens, our party chair, apparently doesn’t know the difference between vetting a candidate and endorsing one, trying to say the State Party failed to properly vet their last candidate for Governor- Ed Fitzgerald as an excuse for their policy of endorsing in primaries. Reminder- this is the party that supported Clayton Luckie, a State Rep who went to prison for using his campaign money like an ATM.

The party said that AFSCME paid to do the mailing and that I’d find it in the party financial reports posted on the Montgomery County Board of Elections site. I’ve gone and downloaded them. I can’t find the donation- or the expenditures clearly marked. See if you can find them.

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Pre-General 2017 MCDP campaign finance report click to download PDF

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Post General MCDP campaign finance report 2017, PDF click to download

The next primary election could be the turning point. If enough progressive, honest dems take over the Montgomery County Democratic party we can eliminate endorsing in primaries. We can let the people decide who they want to represent them. We can stop the party elite from choosing a Hilary instead of a Bernie for us.

However, it takes the effort of 360 independent minded democrats to pull this off. After the election, the party gets to fill empty seats- with anyone they want, whether or not they live in your precinct. This is how they consolidate power.

It’s time for this to stop. If you have questions, feel free to contact me at [email protected]

It’s time to concentrating on electing democrats- not just the friends and family.

 

 

 

 

Montgomery County Democratic Party eats its own

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Darryl Fairchild must have the Democratic Party scared

Full disclosure: my firm does work for Darryl Fairchild and Shenise Turner-Sloss. I’m also a member of both the executive and central committee of the Montgomery County Democratic party (and don’t recall voting to authorize this kind of dirty politics.)

I got a mailer today. “Darryl Fairchild refused to support an issue that would provide many quality neighborhood services to Dayton residents” – a hit piece, from the Montgomery County Democratic Party.

Problem is- Darryl is a Democrat.

He’s such a loyal democrat that he dropped out of the commission race 4 years ago, so they could give Jeff Mims his seat. They had told him, “it’s not your time” and we’ll let you run for the next seat- and then they picked Chris Shaw instead. Doing deals with the devil- will always get you burned.

A party that will do this to their own, doesn’t deserve the right to call themselves Democrats. This is a republican thing- eating your own. Or at least it should be.

Darryl wasn’t in support of Issue 9- which raised the income tax- to pay for some of the things they claim:

  • Hiring more police officers
  • Paving Streets
  • Improving Dayton’s Public parks
  • Cleaning and mowing vacant lots

What they left out- was that Issue 9 created another quasi-governmental organization and handed them huge amounts of money to compete with Dayton Public Schools. And, the reason we have to raise income taxes to do the above? Is it because Joey Williams and Jeff Mims and their crew- give tax abatement to every big company that comes with their hands out.

Had Williams and Mims been good stewards of your tax dollars- they should have been able to afford all of the above. And, for the record, they have not “hired more police officers”- they’ve hired more replacement police officers to fill retiring officers positions. The force has not grown, and in fact may have shrunk. One thing is for sure, it hasn’t gotten any more diverse.

Taylor Communications, General Electric, Emerson, Midmark, and every other developer (except the guys doing the FireBlocks projects- who actually pay their taxes) all got tax breaks.

Nope- no mention of the fact that under Williams- 80% of downtown properties don’t pay property taxes.

Also, no mention of the money spent buying vacant buildings a half-million dollars each, and then turning them over to “developers” for pennies. All of those stupid deals have been covered on this blog.

The fact is, the party is scared and thought the right answer was to go negative.

Hopefully, the voters will see this as a desperation move- and do the same thing that they did to Rhine McLin after she sent out 6 negative mailings about Gary Leitzell, vote Williams and Mims out of office and vote for Darryl Fairchild and Shenise Turner-Sloss.

Dayton doesn’t need this kind of mud-slinging. What we need is real leadership.