Why bother to have elections at all in Montgomery County?

Donald Trump won Montgomery County.

The local democratic party did nothing to win any new seats, and Debbie Lieberman came within 1% of losing to Gary Leitzell, who only spent $6000 and barely campaigned.

No seats changed hands. No republicans were replaced, no incumbents got voted out. Phil Plummer who should be in jail instead of running it- got re-elected.

Mike Turner hasn’t faced a serious opponent since his first race.

The local dems endorsed Ted Strickland from the start as well as Hillary Clinton and we see how that turned out.

We don’t really hold elections here, we just rubber stamp decisions made in back rooms on who should be allowed to run.

UPDATE

an hour after posting: And one other thing happened, without anyone knowing in advance, from Thomas Suddes:

Then there’s the General Assembly. In January, Republicans, led by Speaker Clifford Rosen-berger of Clinton County, will hold 66 of the Ohio House’s 99 seats. That’ll be the biggest House majority either party has held since Ohio went to a 99-member House in 1966 – 50 years ago….

It takes 66 House votes – the number that Rosenberger will have – to pass a bill as an emergency measure. That may seem like inside baseball, but for this: Voters can’t challenge emergency measures in statewide referenda. If Republicans could’ve passed union-busting Senate Bill 5 as an emergency measure, voters couldn’t have killed SB 5 (as they did, resoundingly, in a 2011 referendum).

Source: Ohio Democrats find selves in tough spot

How does labor feel about that? Some labor groups even backed Portman in this election.

In the spring election, be it in May or March (I can’t remember, because they switch it up- and the Board of Elections site is worthless) the democrats will be selecting their new precinct captains and ward leaders. It only takes 5 signatures of registered dems to get on the ballot. It’s long overdue to throw out the stacked deck of patronage job holding precinct captains that keep allowing the Monarchy of Montgomery County to continue with their lame “leadership.”

This is also the year where three seats will come up on the Dayton City Commission- Mayor Whaley, Joey Williams and Jeff Mims. The question is who will really try to challenge them. Whaley raised half a million last time so she could raise your taxes, charge you for street lights, and raise your water and trash bill, while buying empty buildings and giving away Garden Station for $10. Williams has repeatedly won more votes than any other candidate, yet has done little but go with the flow. Mims, despite being a former educator, local and state school board educator- has zero problems allowing more tax abatement shortchange Dayton Public Schools.

But, consider everyone in the country who said Congress was broken, worthless and gridlocked, how many seats changed hands?

Case closed.

The highs and lows of election day 2016

Nina Esrati and David Esrati voted 2016

Mom, me, I voted stickers- missing Dad.

Today was the first election day, where I didn’t have my dad to talk to, to take to the polls, to take the photo of him, mom and me on their porch with our “I voted today” sticker.

My father believed in this country, its ideals, its principles. He also believed strongly in the fourth estate, of which he was a part of, to keep us informed, to set wrongs right, to make our country better, through an informed electorate.

Today, Wright State Medical School called to tell me the brick, bearing his name, was installed today. He had donated his body to the school- in the hope that some young doctor, might be able to learn something and go on to do good.

But, at 2:14 am, I sit here writing, with Donald Trump 5 electoral college votes short of a win. With the Republicans holding on to the house and senate, and potentially appointing three supreme court justices. Wall Street and World Financial Markets are in a tailspin. And, frankly, the entire country is in shock- that he won, that she lost, that it was this close… but, as I’ve been known to say, “never underestimate the stupidity of people in large numbers” – a quote that is sometimes attributed to George Carlin, but probably wasn’t his.

It’s not that he won, or she lost that has me in shock, it’s that in this election we went from the already tainted dirty world of politics, down to something more resembling a cage fight to the death. This was the election where, quite frankly, there were no holds barred, no blows too low, or any resemblance to statesmanship, decorum or decency.

Our country will need a lot of healing. And a lot less polls, predictions and armchair quarterbacks. We need to take the cards that have been dealt, and figure out how to win, if that is even remotely possible.

And on that note, I have to recount the high point of today. I went to the Dayton School Board meeting, where, per usual, the agenda was posted last minute and the failed transparency and communication skills of the worst district in the state were about to be glaringly obviously exposed.

About 50 people showed up in addition to the normal cast of characters. There were parents, para-professionals, principals (more correctly, principal, Mr. Fowler of Kiser) and teachers- all there to talk to the board about cuts being made in classrooms across the district. And per usual, the people we elected to that board, felt very little need to hear from the people they represent. It was that same attitude by the Dayton City Commission 30 years ago, that pushed me into politics.

The board opened, and immediately went into executive session, for what Board President Dr. Adil Baguirov said would be “about an hour.” The people in the room had no clue of what this meant, or what it was about. The district no longer prints agendas, instead using some wonky flawed, non-ADA compliant, proprietary software called Board Docs- that is worthless on a mobile device.

A parent stood up and said, “since they are having a private meeting, is there any reason we can’t have one? Right here? I’m a social worker and I’m good at facilitating these kinds of things” or something to that effect. I started the video camera back up and taped. It should be posted tomorrow afternoon. That the BOE doesn’t tape all their meetings and have them available is one more indication of their disdain for the people they represent- they have an amazing video system available with robotic cameras.

The people went around the room to introduce themselves and say why they were there. Paraprofessionals who had been told to pack up and leave, yet hadn’t officially been fired by the board who has to approve all personnel issues, told stories of being with the district for over 20 years. That they didn’t understand that how, a district struggling to meet the third grade reading guarantee, was dismissing the people who helped the district get it’s only “A.”

There was talk of the 1-1 computer plan- and how a chromebook can’t show a child from the Congo how to open a milk container, or teach a kindergartner how to use a mouse. There were stories of how teachers had some of their students come back to the district to teach- and one mother/teacher- who told her daughter to avoid DPS, because of this very issue- lack of respect for those who are doing the work in the trenches. The director of the Challenger School who was on the list to be fired today, had to pull herself together to talk about losing her baby of 25 years- one of the few things the district has that’s a real success- something that brought STEM to the district before anyone knew what STEM was. There was a bus driver who professed his knowledge of how to fix the most fundamental DPS problem- actually picking up and delivering students- on time. The entire group would love nothing more than that to happen- and can’t understand on how or why it hasn’t.

And while I was there recording it – ostensibly as a citizen journalist, I did something I shouldn’t have and shared my story of the districts ineptitude in PR, marketing, managing an RFP, and even in their failed deal making on real estate where they sold a property to CareSource without a deed restriction precluding tax abatement. What shocked me more, other than my own self-exclusion from potentially working for the district to help them not screw up in the future- was when Dayton Daily News reporter Jeremy Kelley spoke up and interjected some facts about executive sessions and process and procedure- that, my friends, was a first.

After an hour and a half- the social worker felt that everyone had had their time to share, and wondered where the board was. She announced her intention to go invite them to come and hear the ideas they’d gathered- and to ask the board why they weren’t coming back on time.

I knew what was about to happen, and didn’t intervene. I thought maybe someone else would be galvanized to action after being smacked down for asking for respect and integrity from elected officials. For her honorable intentions, she was chastised by several board members, treated like a child and put in a corner. DPS security chief, Jamie Bullens appeared with one of his aides, dressed in black shirts, and stood by, in case she didn’t get the message.

Then came the speeches. Dr. Baguirov stated facts on falling enrollment, from 2000 to today. He talked about the ratio of administration to students- a stunning 1 administrator for every 136 students. Cincinnati, is at 1 to 236. Yet, we were only firing 20. Today.

The youngster on the board, John McManus tried to single out the Challenger center director for a pass from todays lynching. He had Sheila Taylor on his side for a few, until Joe Lacey, who has become cranky and sour, schooled the rest of the board about his experience during the last reduction in force. And Hazel Rountree launched into a tirade about how we had to bring in someone outside to fix what what couldn’t be fixed before. Ron Lee did point out that there are many unintended consequences to each and every dismissal- from seniority bumps to lawsuits, but in the end- the list was executed.

And of course, the board felt the need to blame the state, the feds, and everyone else for their difficulties, telling the people to go fix that for them.

Expect the Nov 17 meeting to be overrun with pissed off people. It will be ugly..

Both Debbie Lieberman and Judy Dodge spent real money on their reelection, despite being challenged by financially weak republicans with zero party support. Judy won  over Bob Matthews by 3% Debbie squeaked by Gary Leitzell with a single point plus lead.

And the county went to Trump.

A giant FAIL to Mark Owens, Nan Whaley, Karl Keith, who were incapable of fielding candidates that could even come close to winning. This is what happens when all you worry about is keeping your job, shilling for Hillary and getting your mitts on peoples paychecks who can’t vote you out of office.

If there was a time for a group of real democrats to join together to overthrow the Monarchy of Montgomery County, this would be it. Just the fact that embattled sheriff and republican party chair Phil Plummer was unopposed should be enough to shame them, if there was any shame to be had.

It is now 3:01 am and I checked the NY Times site, and we have a misogynist president who promised to “Make America Great Again.” My father has turned over in his cold storage.

My worst fears have almost all come true. Like Britain after the Brexit vote, we now have a brand new reality facing us.

Only one word comes to mind.

Courage.

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Why early voting is a mistake in Ohio

Early voting is dumb graphicSouls to the polls, where churches bus people to the voting booth after church weeks before the election are a strategy GOTV people love.
Wait, you don’t know what GOTV is? Get Out The Vote has traditionally been a strength of the Democratic party- which is also a fan of slate cards- printed lists of “Endorsed candidates” or as I like to call them “stupid voter cards.” Why do I call them “stupid voter cards”? Because there was once a black judicial candidate who had tried to run as a Democrat, but hadn’t kissed the party bosses ring. So he ran as an Republican, but in Ohio, judges don’t get to have their party affiliation on the ballot- since they are supposed to be impartial. On election day, he had slate cards printed for the West side of Dayton, which is predominantly black, with his photo, along side all the “Endorsed Candidates” which was the rest of the Dem party ticket. He had his people handing them out at the polls.

On the white East side, he just had his name, no photo- along side the dem ticket. He won. The party cried foul, but by that time it was too late.

Uninformed voters are the parties best soldiers. Ones that voter early, are ones they don’t have to worry about on election day.

The reason they love early voting is because of logistics. The more people who vote early, the less you have to round up and drive to the polls on election day. In Ohio, each polling place posts a list of who has voted as of 11 am, and at 4 pm- giving the GOTV people time to check off their lists, and then to start calling on the ones they think they can count on to vote their way- and get them into the polls. This is the machine that has worked in Dem strongholds for years- it’s where organized labor comes in handy. It’s where the rubber meets the polls.

But, there is another reason early voting is uniformed voting. In this presidential cycle, you might have cast a vote for Donald Trump- before you herd that he thought it was ok to “grab them right by the pussy”  or locally, voted for Issue 9 in Dayton- without knowing who had contributed all the money to the campaign to raise your taxes.

There is also the fact that in Ohio, once you cast your early ballot, you can’t change it- like in some other states.

Among the states that do allow voters to change their early ballot after it’s been cast are: Wisconsin; Minnesota; Michigan; Pennsylvania; New York; Connecticut; and Mississippi.

Source: Want to change your vote? Some states say no problem – CNNPolitics.com

There’s also the dirty tricks reaction- at the last minute, a candidate you voted for, may send out a mailer calling their opponent a pedophile. Nah, that wouldn’t happen would it? Well, in a Montgomery County State Rep race, it actually happened well before you went to the polls, making incumbent right wing jerk Jeff Rezabek look like a grade school bully with twisted tendencies – although he claimed he had nothing to do with it.

Or when the FBI director decides to restart the crazy train about Hillary Clinton’s email server less than 2 weeks before the election. Or when Donald Trump….

Early voting is only a tool to heard lazy uniformed voters who will vote your ticket into your corner. There is no reason for it to replace the old absentee ballot for those who may not be home on election day, or are serving overseas, or could be hospitalized. And, in reality, with the new law in Ohio allowing you to now take selfies of your ballot- it’s an opportunity to pay people for votes. Of course THAT never ever happens… right….. want to buy a bridge in Brooklyn?

The real answer to “early voting” is vote by mail- for everyone. Not only does it help prop up the post office, it gives people the ability to actually take time and research each candidate and issue at their leisure. It’s been the way Oregon votes for years.

Our main problem in this country isn’t voter fraud- it’s fraudulent candidates. We never know what they really stand for, or what’s coming out of their mouths next. There are truth in advertising laws with legal repercussions- but there are no truth in campaigning laws with teeth.

So if you’ve already early voted- I hope you feel good about saving someone some time and money trying to round you up like lemmings to vote their way. Me personally, I wait to the day of, and make sure I know exactly what and why I cast each ballot.

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Issue 9- follow the money- and tax shifting

While everyone is all excited about CareSource building a new building on the old Patterson High School site that they bought from the Dayton Board of Education for a cool million, just be aware that it’s probably the last money DPS will see from that property.

Because, of course, they sold it to the tax exempt Port Authority, who will then build the building for CareSource, and pretend to own it- or the City Commission will flat out abate it, or CareSource will claim non-profit status, despite paying their CEO $3 million plus a year.

Note- all of CareSource’s revenue comes from Federal money that is targeted to the poor. Instead of the government administering the distribution of money for health care, we’ve “privatized” it because, well, we don’t trust the government to spend our money wisely. That’s why the President of the United States only makes $400K a year, and generals make about half that. Pam Morris, CareSource CEO is worth more- and you wonder why your health care premiums keep going up?

Moving on- CareSource is in the campaign finance report for “Neighborhoods for Dayton’s Future” a sham Political Action Committee that is doing a great job of raising money and spending it outside our community- “for our future.” On 10/6/16 they wrote a check for $25,000 to raise taxes on their employees by .25% to help fund the city. Remember, they don’t pay property taxes that fund the schools, but they are willing to charge their employees- who are paid with Federal funds.

And- in another twist, to help your medical bills skyrocket- the Greater Dayton Hospital Association tossed in a cool $30,000 on 9/15/16. This is the organization that helps the two major health care operations in the area collude and maintain high prices for less than optimal care as reported by the New York Times earlier this year. If I was paid as much as their director to write this blog, I’d get you the link – and more. Note, CareSource’s CEO’s salary is set by her board, which has people from the hospitals on it, and CareSource in turn spends their money with the hospitals in one gigantic mutual admiration and back patting and wallet padding society.

This campaign has contributions from some strange places- but, before we get to those, if you look down the list- if you are a vendor with the city, you wrote a check, if you are a high level staffer, you wrote a check, if you are a city commissioner, you or your campaign wrote a check, if you are labor and you do contracts with the city you wrote a check, if you receive funding from the city- you wrote a check.

Remember how they keep selling Issue 9 by telling us that for the average person making $35K the cost is only dollars a week and how the tax is mostly paid by people who work in Dayton but don’t live in Dayton (taxation without representation)- note, the people who can vote, aren’t donating to this campaign at all. This is being sold to people as if they are stupid.

And, the only guaranteed by the legislation winners- Learn to Earn Dayton- donated $8,000 which is chump change to pay for a potential $4 million coming into your organization a year- of which 20% will go to pay their overhead and salaries.

This is anything but a “grassroots campaign,” the average donation from 150 donors was $1873.

Compare that with almost any other campaign in this community- that’s probably 10x the average.

If you wrote a check for $100 or less, you are one of a very small group of cheap-skates, most likely, low level party people who felt pressured to show support, or who thought it might help their career advancement in the Monarchy of Montgomery County.

Usually I point out donors of $1000 or more in this kind of article- but I think in this case- $2,000 is the starting point, since it’s over the average, and people from out of the area:

  • M.O. and Nancy Diggs Jr. $5,000
  • Jerome and Patricia Tatar $2,500
  • Crown Services $3,000
  • Sandy’s $5,000
  • Friends of Nan Whaley (as if she really has any) $5,000
  • Ohio Council 18 AFSCME $5,000
  • Learn to Earn Dayton $3000 (why wouldn’t they buy their future sugar daddy some campaigning?)
  • Moodys of Dayton  $2000
  • Susan Woodhull $2000
  • Huntington National Bank $2500
  • Roger Glass $10,000
  • Copp Integrated Systems $2000
  • Weston PAC 1101 Pennsylvania Ave Washington DC $1500
  • Malt Products Corp (of NJ) $2500
  • Shook Construction $5000
  • MV Commercial Const. $10,000
  • 34 N. Jefferson LLC $2500
  • The aforementioned Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association $30,000
  • First Financial Bank $2500
  • CH2M Hill Engineers of Englewood CA $5,000
  • Hollywood Gaming $2500
  • Woolpert Inc. $10,000
  • Danis BLDG Constr. Co $2000
  • LWC $50000
  • Passero Assoc LLC of Jacksonville FL $5,000
  • HMV Hoot of Brethesda MD $1000
  • SPT of Chicago IL $1000
  • Lyn Leibowitz of CO $250
  • Dayton Business Cors? $5000
  • Realtors Political Action Com. $2,500
  • Learn to Earn Dayton – another contribution $5,000
  • DP&L $25,000
  • CareSource $25,000
  • Hazen and Sawyer of NY NY $3,0000
  • Arcadis of Highlands Rance CO $2,500
  • Richard Lapedes and Maureen Lynch $2,500
  • John Scott $2001
  • Larry Taylor $2000
  • Michael Emoff $2500
  • Charles Simms $4500
  • John Stafford $2500
  • Tina Bustillo $3500
  • Peter Haley $2500
  • Crawford Hoying $50000
  • Fund Raising Net $4629

If that doesn’t make you queasy about this campaign- note that they also spend their money in strange places, much of it outside this community:

  • LJR Custom Strategies of New Orleans LA for polling- $11953
  • Politech of Las Vegas NV for consulting $2,800  plus aother $2,800
  • Rust Belt Strategies of Columbus – Program MGT Russ Joseph- $5000
  • Stand up for Ohio – Youngstown- program MGT $1750
  • Community BLDG Strategies of Kent Oh for consulting $5,0000 + another $5000
  • Burges & Burges of Cleveland for consulting $20,000 + another $10,000 + another $10,000- $40K total.
  • Ohio Organizing Campaign of Youngstown for Consulting $3,400
  • Angle Mastagni Mathews of Ft Worth TX $10,795 no purpose listed
  • The New Media Firm Inc of Washington DC for media placement- digital ads- $35,000

and their printing provider- seems odd, Spark Space Creative– of Dayton. This organization has the same name as a Columbus firm, but runs out of a house on Peters Pike by a former Lexis employee Errin Siske. Her website is a holding page. Yet, they spent $4830- no purpose given, $18,422.27 for printing, $9273.97 for printing, $10,409.42 for printing. That’s a lot of printing ($42,935.66) to be doing out of your house.

There are a lot of talented local firms that could have been hired- but, instead, they chose to bypass the Dayton talent. They spent $218,478.19

That’s a lot of money.

And, as always, in politics, follow the money.

Note- the whole report is here: neigborhoods for-daytons future 2016 pre-election finance report. It’s filled out by hand- so that it can’t be compliant with the ADA or easily readable by google or those with disabilities. Good way to cover things up.

UPDATE

7:30 PM A dedicated reader took on the trouble of retyping the entire report- in a proper PDF- so it is accessible and searchable. It also has correct math. Although for the life of me- I couldn’t read some of the chicken scratch- so I can’t verify everything. But, compare the reports and see why this is important. Accessible 2016 10 27 Neighborhoods for Daytons future campaign finance report

Here is another video- shot on Tuesday, of Mayor Whaley and Jeff Mims trying to sell this tax hike at a forum sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha. I didn’t ask a question, because of the format of the questioning- and maybe because the last time I asked a political question in a church I was thrown out (although I was assured that wouldn’t happen here).

 

 

Issue 9 information session report

The group Neighborhoods over Politics, NOP, held a forum on Wednesday 12 Oct, 2016 at CSU Dayton campus.

There were about 50 people in attendance including all four Dayton City Commissioners and the County recorder Willis Blackshear. Normally, more than 2 members of the city commission causes Sunshine law issues if discussing public business.

There was an employee of the group pushing to pass issue 9- the one that hasn’t filed a campaign finance report. When asked who was bankrolling his job, all the signs, mailings- it got kinda strange.

Sorry about the quality of the video- it would really help if organizations holding candidates nights etc would read this post before holding an event like this.

Everyone needs a microphone- and to step up to speak. Preferably in the same spot.

It also helps to have a handout with the names and titles of your panel.

The people from Learn to Earn- or whatever organization they were from, seemed to be oblivious to who I was- or why I was asking the types of questions I was… with a camera… because, local “journalists” don’t ask questions….

I’ll have a post opposing issue 9 and why up here once I complete some more research.

It’s really apparent that this plan creates some new slush fund entities with no public oversight- that can take tax dollars and funnel them to private business. This isn’t what government is supposed to do with our tax dollars.

Rumor has it that an organization dumped $200K into the coffers of “Neighborhoods for Dayton’s Future”  and we still don’t know why.

As always- follow the money if you want answers.

 

Congressman Moocher. Warren Davidson. OH-8

Congressman Warren "Moocher" Davidson, [R] OH-8U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson hasn’t been in office for more than 3 months, and he started out with a great idea to help get the VA on track- force Congress to “eat their own dog food” by moving their care to the VA.

I’d love to see Congressman Turner and Davidson at the Dayton VA for something other than cutting a ribbon or talking about how they help veterans, like waiting for an appointment for a proctologist or a psychiatrist, because the VA can’t hire enough of them. Davidson, a former Army Ranger, is eligible for care there.

I’ve received all of my health care from the VA since 2001 or so. For the most part, it has been absolutely exemplary. They also took care of my father, and he thought the same thing. But, now I have to ask, was he the moocher, or am I? Both of us qualified as Service Disabled Veterans. Or is it my employees Dad, a Vietnam Veteran who has a 100% disability? Is he a moocher?

Of course, Davidson’s first mistake is thinking that Congress actually gets things done. When it comes to work ethic, integrity, and return on investment, the American tax payer is paying a lot of money to windbags who can’t do their jobs- like appoint a 9th Supreme Court Justice.

In today’s Dayton Daily news, Davidson just tried to redefine a legal description of what a veteran is. This bothers me no end, because I just had to battle the VA and their SSVF (Supportive Services for Veterans Families) program about the qualifications of a veteran to be eligible for services. It’s actually spelled out in law, one Davidson is sworn to uphold. Yet now, Davidson says the problems at the VA are caused by “moochers”

U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson told a room full of veterans that one way to clean up the Department of Veterans Affairs’ health care system is to get the “moochers” out of it.

The Troy Republican spoke with the Concerned Veterans for America at a town hall event Monday evening in West Chester Twp.

“Just like work comp out here’s got moochers, I wish that there were no vets that were the same sort of problem on our society,” said Davidson. “But part of the problem is there are some vets that are moochers and they’re clogging up the system. And we do as taxpayers want to make sure the VA filters out these folks that are pretenders. Just like we wish there were no people out there with stolen valor, but that’s a problem in the vet community too.”

Source: From the Dayton Daily News, 9/21/2016: Davidson to vets: Get ‘moochers’ out of VA

Getting a VA ID card isn’t exactly easy. It requires a DD-214. That comes with completion of at least 180 days in the service. In case Congressman Davidson forgot, since he’s a veteran too, that usually includes basic training, advanced individual training and having the potential of being sent places where people can shoot you.

Ah, but, what is a moocher?

noun: moocher

North American
a beggar or scrounger.
“the mooch who got everything from his dad”
synonyms: beggar; informal, bum, scrounger, sponger, cadger, freeloader, moocher
“she is such a mooch”

I thought I’d look up Congressman Davidson on the moocher index, conveniently provided by the Federal Elections Commission.

Name: DAVIDSON FOR CONGRESS
Address: 1385 STONYCREEK RD. BOX 4, TROY, OH 45373
Treasurer Name: DETRICK, ALISSA
Type: H – HOUSE
Designation: P – PRINCIPAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE OF A CANDIDATE
Party: REPUBLICAN PARTY

I. RECEIPTS
Itemized Individual Contributions $402,283
Unitemized Individual Contributions $71,090
Total Individual Contributions $473,373
Party Committees Contributions $0
Other Committees Contributions $107,495
Candidate Contributions $9,461
TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS $590,329
Transfers from Authorized Committees $0
Candidate Loans $250,000
Other Loans $0
TOTAL LOANS $250,000
Offsets to Operating Expenditures $0
Other Receipts $0
TOTAL RECEIPTS $840,329

If I read this correctly, Mr. Davidson spent $250,000 of his own money, and mooched $590,329 from others, to get a job that pays about $178K a year. It comes with comprehensive health care coverage, retirement, an annual payroll in the millions, to hand out to friends, family, and donors. And, as we can see from the person he replaced, John Boehner, a guarantee of fat paychecks after you “resign” from the job- midway through, so Warren could take over in an easier election.

I’d like to give Davidson a chance to apologize for his mis-characterization of veterans seeking care from the VA. That care was part of a contract those veterans made with the people of the United States.

If we use Davidson’s reasoning that “moochers” are the cause of all the problems at the VA, our country has an even bigger problem,  because using the definition of moocher, every single congressman qualifies as one, or am I missing something Congressman “Moocher” Davidson?

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Medical marijuana in Ohio: a false positive

Welcome to Ohio, where medical marijuana is now legal, except, you can’t get it, use it, sell it, grow it. Only in Ohio folks, where despite being a democratic state in the last 2 presidential races, we’re run by a bunch of goober republicans who are beyond reckless in their pursuit of petty control over everything that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, while the important stuff gets ignored.

They rushed through their medical pot legalization after a bunch of rich assholes tried to get the voters to create a constitutionally guaranteed monopoly on pot sales in Ohio. Luckily for once, the old adage of “never underestimate the stupidity of people in large numbers” didn’t hold true and voters told the future barons of pot to go smoke their stuff somewhere else.

Unfortunately, the legislature has now made pot legal, and then, put it on the legislative slow boat for the next two years. In the mean time, states like Colorado are rolling in dough off taxes on legal pot for all. We’re still locking people up for possession- as if being stoned is a threat to humanity. The real threat is the idiots we’ve elected- not just at the state level, but now, we have local jurisdictions passing ordinances to delay any kind of pot-dispensary in their jurisdiction for the next six months- as if legal pot would be here in the next 24 if we’re lucky.

My old friend and republican sparring partner Greg Hunter was in town, and we decided to have a little conversation about medical marijuana and recorded this last month. Sorry, personal events have slowed me down a bit. Here it is for you to enjoy, debate and discuss.

If the State legislature really wanted to do their job, the first thing they’d do is put together some parameters for how dense and big you can be in order to have your own local banana republic within the state. A simple formula based on population density would regulate how much power to do local legislation is possible, forcing cities to merge, urban township tax havens to disappear, and stop duplication of resources in the name of political patronage positions… but, no- teasing us with medical marijuana legalization without implementation is much more fun.

Throw this Hillary supporter into the “Basket of Deplorables”

We're stronger together unless we're deplorable www.esrati.comDear Hillary, the DNC, all of the surrogates and the rest of vaunted machine, this is why Bernie Sanders was a serious candidate, even though you did everything you could to discredit him.

You’re out of touch.

You’re possibly about to blow an election to someone who no one would have considered a serious contender a year ago, and you still don’t know why.

Hint: it’s really you. Not the #basketofdeplorables as you put it.

All those people who are voting for Trump- are voting against what they see you stand for. The machine. The one that’s broken. The one that tells us Ted Strickland is our only hope to beat Rob Portman, and then, once we passed over the bright young rising star for “re-tread Ted” – you pull the wheels off his wagon two months before the election, canceling ad buys and leaving him to twist in the wind. Note- this is Ohio, a state you “Have to win”- and he was your surrogate, your man, your ardent supporter. He was all in for Hillary, who said she stood for “stronger together” – unless you are those in the basket of deplorables.

No, I’m not a “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic – you name it” I’m just another American who doesn’t claim I’m “dead broke” while buying million dollar homes. Or giving top-secret speeches to Goldman Sachs and other Wizards of Wall Street.

What we’re facing in this country is a class war, and your kind, isn’t up for the challenge. Yep, I said it “your kind.” Because as long as we’re bandying about slurs and gross generalizations, let’s throw out this one, our country can’t afford for either of you to “win.” That’s right, both you and the guy you are running against, are out of touch, disconnected, living in an echo chamber feasting on the media induced frenzy of selling out our country to the highest bidder to their benefit.

It doesn’t cost a million dollars to buy a house in my hometown. In fact, you can buy them left and right for less than the cost of a new car. Granted I bought my “Historic Home” in Dayton Oh in 1986 for $14,500 and it’s worth more now- but about 6 years ago, someone bought one slightly bigger, two doors down for only $14,000 thanks to your friends on Wall Street.

Record numbers of people say they don’t trust you. As a guy who makes a living doing marketing, that’s a real problem. You see, if you weren’t still adhering to the same political playbook your husband used to get elected, you’d understand that times have changed. Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what they say it is. And that they is us, some of us, who just ended up in the basket of deplorables.

Unlike many who just ended up in that new basket- I’ve been in that basket for the last 26 or so years. I’m one of those bright young democrats who had the gall to think I had the right to run for office. I’m a citizen, a veteran, college educated, and I went down to the board of elections back in 1991 or so, to pull petitions to run in a non-partisan local political race.

The local democratic party, which, btw- was all in for you, so much so that it practically took an act of god to allow Bernie supporters to meet in the democratic party offices, had a different idea of who could and should run for office. When invited to “screen” before the “screening committee”- a hand-picked bunch of local cronies and friends and family, the question to this day is “if we don’t endorse you, will you drop out.”

What kind of democracy is this? 40 people in a room deciding instead of the electorate?

When will you realize that Bernie Sanders stood for the same ideals you stood for as an idealistic young graduate at Wellesley College back in 1969? Granted, you still were at an elite school, while many of us in your basket, are paying through the nose for student loans, and trying to keep our heads above water. Maybe you can start to understand that while you collect huge speaking engagement money from the very same people who kicked us while we were down, stealing our homes, our jobs, while paying themselves millions and even billions.

It’s happened before, when a candidate drops out- even if it’s a VP. Thomas Eagleton did it, and now you can too. It can be Bernie, or Kaine, or Biden for all we care, but, you’ve got to realize by now, your email server isn’t ever going to go away, nor is Benghazi, or will your #basketofdeplorables or the fact that you took a paycheck from the people who screwed America just as bad as your opponent has screwed contractors, small businesses, taxpayers, students at his schools etc.

It’s over. You aren’t going to win Ohio while backing away from your ally Ted. You aren’t going to win the country, while calling some of us names. And, I’ll never get elected either, but that’s a different situation.

I’m not running to lead this entire country, you are. And sometimes, true leaders have to admit that they aren’t the right answer, no matter what their own perception of their life tells them.

It’s time to blame the DNC for throwing you a bone, which now, you have to respectfully, throw back to someone who kept his principles and isn’t going to hand the election over because their ego got in the way of reality.

Unfortunately, dear Hillary, you don’t listen to anyone, other than who you choose to listen to, so this message will go unheard as well. God help us all.

How the state can save half a million on the election that doesn’t matter

Doofus candidate runs as a democratic candidate for Congress for a seat he’ll never win. Drops out after the primary and before the general. In this case only one candidate files, and the Board of Elections thinks they have to host an election to confirm one candidate at a cost of half a million:

Steven Fought, the Democrat running in the 8th Congressional District, was surprised to learn he was the only person to file petitions for the race when the previous candidate, Corey Foister, dropped out.

“I looked at the vacancy in this district and thought the people deserved a choice,” Fought said.

Foister’s decision to leave the race was prompted by a job opportunity out of state. Had he waited an additional 17 days to withdraw, the Democratic Party would have been able to appoint a replacement candidate. Instead, state law requires that a special election be held, even though Fought’s name will be the only one on the ballot.

That me ans an election that costs taxpayers $500,000 will almost certainly reveal what is already known, that Fought will be opposing Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, in the November election.

Fought may cruise to victory in the Democratic primary, but he faces a much more difficult challenge on Nov. 8. The 8th District, which includes Butler, Preble, Darke, Miami, Clark and a portion of Mercer counties, is one of the most GOP-friendly districts in Ohio….

Local officials tried to reduce the cost of holding an election with just one person on the ballot.

Jason Baker, Clark County Board of Elections director, said initially he looked for some way to hold the special election without going to the expense of opening every precinct.

“Unfortunately the Ohio Revised Code says differently,” he said. “Here in Clark County we will have 50 of 51 locations that will be open. Regardless of how many candidates are on the ballot you have to have a full-blown election for it. It doesn’t matter if it’s one, two or 50 (candidates).”

Early voting in the special 8th District Democratic primary has already started at the board offices.Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who runs Ohio’s elections, considers this one to be a waste of time and money.“I hope the legislature will change the law to avoid this problem in the future,” he said in a written statement.

Source: From the Dayton Daily News, 2016-08-22: Candidate: Election cost not his fault

Same thing happened in Montgomery County about 6 years ago in 2010. Single candidate made it on the ballot because my petitions were ruled invalid. Candidate dropped out. Three candidates filed, and instead of opening every precinct, Elections Director Steve Harsman opened 4 remote polling places to pick a dem to run against Mike Turner. The candidates were Joe Roberts, the party endorsed putz of a 25 year old, Guy Fogle – a former broadcaster and this idiot.

Roberts won with nominal votes, and then got crushed by Turner. He left town with bills behind.

Trying to decipher Ohio election law and what changed is above my paygrade- but, there is precedent for not opening every precinct in a contested election, nevermind this uncontested one.

If this proves to be possible, I should get a Whistleblowers award for saving the state money. If it is impossible, I’ll be suing for holding an illegal election. Cheers.

The Democratic Party rigging system

Thanks to WikiLeaks we can now see how the Democratic National Committee is really not Democratic at all. They play favorites and have a plan to shepherd the flock into the ballot box to put their preferred pick in power. It’s an insiders game. And while many Bernie supporters feel gypped right now, wondering how all these bought and sold delegates aren’t voting their way- the Republican Party is sitting there wondering how a former Democrat reality TV star who had never run for office before just hijacked their party. Super delegates are the poison pill to make sure that doesn’t happen in the Democratic party.

The whole two party system reeks of insider politics. Almost every other “free country” in the world has more than 2 major political parties and has real differentiation between platforms. Only in the US do we get dumbed down parties where many people can’t even tell the difference.

But if you think this is only a national phenomena, you’ve missed the most important part. The local Montgomery County Party engages in the same filtering, the same preselection process. You don’t get to choose your candidates, you get to choose who they let you vote for in most elections.

We don’t have primaries in most local elections anymore. Which means we don’t really have a democratic process.

This can change. If you are a democrat, and you feel that the system has been tilted for Hillary, or you just want to make sure that people in a smokey back room don’t choose your candidates for you, consider running for precinct captain of the democratic party. The next election isn’t for a little bit, but it wouldn’t hurt to start talking to the dems in your precinct, and connecting with others who want to have a fair and just electoral process. Where candidates are elected by the voters, instead of by party insiders.

Feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] if you are interested.

It’s time to take the politics back to the people from the political elite.