And there will be no more secret meetings in Dem HQ either…

Was at the Board of Elections this morning, filing my signatures (113- same as my house number)- and saw Lt. Col. Vic Harris US Army Ret. checking his signatures to run in the Ohio 40th against “endorsed candidate” Roland Winburn (see this post).

Vic doesn’t have his site up yet, but he has a nice looking piece of campaign literature where he says he wants to:

  • Introduce a plan to address the home mortgage crisis.
  • Fight to provide health insurance for all Ohio children.
  • Address the high cost of college tuition.
  • Develop a State-wide energy plan to lower costs by using renewable energy.

Also, Sherry Y Greed of Auburn Avenue in Dayton took out petitions for the OH-3 seat as a Democrat today. We’ll see if she can file enough signatures.

A florist, a jackeroo, but no advertising professionals- on picking congress.

I read a lot. Today, I came across a passage in “Confessions of an Advertising Man” by the great copywriter and agency chief, David Ogilvy. It was originally published in 1963, a year after my birth. I’ve wanted to read this book for years, so the timing of this paragraph was almost prescient:

“But even in the United States it is rare for advertising men to be appointed to important jobs in government. This is a pity, because some of them carry more guns than most of the lawyers, professors, bankers and journalists who are favored. Senior advertising men are better equipped to define problems and opportunities; to lead large short-range and long-range goals; to measure results; to lead large executive forces; to make lucid presentations to committees; and to operate within the disciplines of a budget. Observation of my elders and betters in other advertising agencies leads me to believe that many of them are more objective, better organized, more vigorous, and harder-working then their opposite numbers in legal practice, teaching, banking and journalism.”

So I went and looked for what we have now, and of course, a lot of lawyers make the list, as well as career politicians.

We all know the definition of insanity: “Doing the same thing, yet expecting a different result” yet we continue, for the most part to send unimaginative people like Mike Turner to Washington. Our elections have become boring evaluations of sound bites and euphemisms. Looking over the promises made by politicians is flat out boring compared to reading a well done ad- because at least you know the statements in an ad are policed by an industry that believes in “truth in advertising” and there are legal ramifications to making outrageous or untrue statements.

Another ad great, Howard Luck Gossage, said “people don’t read ads, they read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.” I’m looking forward to the day when politics is more about ideas than ideology, and when we start passing legislation that’s actually worth reading.

You ever want inspiration on how it’s done, when done right? Go read the Declaration of Independence. That may be the quintessential example of retail politicking, had it not been inspired legislation, we wouldn’t have a nation.

And note, while there were a lot of lawyers and politicians who signed it, there were also quite a few farmers and merchants- both well underrepresented in Congress today.

How to beat Mike Turner in OH3

I attended a small meeting of Democrats to hear Dr. MacNealy talk about his chances of a Congressional run tonight. I’ve also been looking at search results for Jane Mitakides last bid against Turner, and a bit of Charles Sanders material.

None of them have a clue at how to stand up to Mike Turner with his wonderfully smooth lines about all he’s done for the region. None of them know how to really talk about issues either.

Faulting Turner for voting Republican is like blaming the sun for daylight. He’s a Republican- that’s what they do. And talking about issues like health care, abortion, the death penalty, stem cell research are all pretty much moot points. What has to happen is the gloves have to come off and talk about the real Mike Turner vs. the puffed up one that does no wrong.

For all his claims about his saving of Dayton; Mike only has a few success stories that he can truly claim as his own, and tearing down two x-rated movie houses didn’t exactly turn our city around.

He can’t take credit for Baseball, that was started by Tony Capizzi and final negotiations were by Clay Dixon. He can’t take credit for Riverscape, which was spearheaded by Reynolds & Reynolds (and David Holmes, former CEO was Tony Capizzi’s biggest backer against Turner). He can’t take credit for lasting management, with his first pick, Bill Estabrook being run out of town in a year, and Valerie Lemmie botching her exit with a failed deal in the UK.

He failed at the basic Constitutional stuff as well. My arrest was an affront to the First Amendment (and remember, he’s a highly trained lawyer), and his dogged attempt to win cost the city many hundreds of thousands- all to possibly collect a guilty and a max of $1000 from me. He fought the civil rights legislation spearheaded by Mary Wiseman, which later passed. He was unable to work with Dean Lovelace to get anything done about predatory lending, and was asleep for 4 years in Congress while our County is one of the most foreclosed areas in the country.

He did manage to make sure that as they flatten the city, we don’t implode buildings into the basement and leave them as archaeological sites- which is great, but wouldn’t it be better to have seen investment flood back into the city and see those homes rehabbed and occupied?

His “Brownfield” legislation helped make some questionable sites become usable- however, the real question is who really benefited from this? The citizens or the former polluters? Some of those polluters are his leading supporters.

It’s quite amazing when one reads his bio of how many things he accomplished singlehandedly. I know others who would say that Rehabarama was their idea, but Turner likes taking credit for others work.

What may be the most significant statement of all as to his great accomplishments as our “Urban Mayor” is that he lost in an expensive election to a woman who can barely make a speech in public- and that he soon pulled up stakes and left his urban/historic/rehab manse for a “patio home” in a gated community in Centerville.

When he first ran for Mayor he was driving a little Dodge Shadow with a George H. Bush bumper sticker. Soon after getting elected, he was driving a Cadillac.

If anyone thinks Mike Turner is a man of the people, for the people, it’s time to take a second look. It will be interesting to see how much he nets from the sale of MTC, his former? employer, and recipient of many defense contracts since Mike ended up on the Armed Services Committee.

You don’t get millions to spend on campaigns if you don’t sell out to special interests, and that’s what Mike Turner has been most successful at. In terms of taking care of the average resident of OH-3, he’s not been that interested in your well being- not unless you are willing to send him thousands of dollars.

It’s time someone called him on the carpet for his largess at our expense. It’s time someone went to Washington and looked out for those of us struggling with how to put gas in our tank, instead of tanks of gas in Iraq.

Of all the candidates, there is no one else who has watched Mike Turner from the start, who can take his claims and cut away the window dressing. Mike Turner wasn’t Dayton’s savior, that’s just the picture he likes to paint.

Time to take the whitewash and add some Esrati style technicolor. And this is just the beginning.

Update on OH-3

Jane Mitakides, Charles Sanders and Mike Turner have already filed their petitions. Verification doesn’t come until the BOE meets January 9 or 10. It’s 50 signatures of people in the district, in the most populous county of the district, who are of the party or undeclared (I didn’t count the undeclareds). OH-3 was gerrymandered pretty badly- including an odd cut around Turner’s old house just to keep him eligible (which is odd, because you don’t have to live in the district to run in it).

I checked my signatures to the highest standard today and have over 50 guaranteed, but will collect some extra insurance between now and Monday morning when I plan to file.

There is an $85 filing fee (thank you to my contributors for making those funds available!).

You want a piece of me?

Talked to one of my advisers, who happens to hold office, and he said “David, you need to be out there talking to other elected people about your campaign.”

So, I’m throwing this out there: you want to meet for coffee, lunch, breakfast, or work out at the Y with me, let me know and we’ll get a meeting set up.

Don’t know how to reach me? Easy- just add a comment to this post (what, you think I’m going to do this in secret?) or call me: work number is 937.228.4433, home is in the phone book, but I’m rarely there.

I pay for my own cell phone, so I don’t give that out to everyone.

Or, if you just want answers to my positions- ask in the comments and I’ll write a post to answer each and every one.

A different kind of candidate, a different kind of campaign.

Small cover of “Dear Son: Do you really want to be an American?” by Stephen G. EsratiI’m not a fan of the typical campaign literature: A picture of the candidate and the family, a brief bio, the party affiliation, some rhetoric about lowering taxes, protecting you, and the standard disclaimer and where to send the money.

I’ve always thought there is more to an election- it shouldn’t be a beauty contest, or a sound bite bonanza.

For those of you who’ve wondered what makes me tick, or why I’d risk going to jail to make sure the sunshine laws are enforced, I’m going to give you the answers- all in one 60 page essay.

I’m sure every political campaign analyst will say that I’m crazy— no one is going to read 60 pages, and they may well be right. However, the people who have read it will say something different: it’s the book we all should read before we go to vote.

I’m also sure some will disagree strongly with some of it— that’s the beauty of America, we can agree to disagree.

Should it be an Oprah book club recommendation— I think so.

Here is the best part: I’m giving it away for free, donate if you think it reflects the ideals of an America you want for your children. It’s the frank representation of America my Father gave to me when I turned 17, and now, I’m giving it to you.

Here is the link to the page where it all begins: www.esrati.com/DearSon

Comments are closed on this post- comment on the above page.

I look forward to what you think. I think it’s better than a t-shirt, hat, or yard sign. Of course, you’d expect something different from me— ’cause I’m not the typical candidate.

Goodbye Gene.

A note to readers of this site: I’ve banished Gene- at least, his comments will no longer be posted without my moderation. Insinuations and attacks are fine- but when they border on stalking and contain patent lies, well, it’s time to take away the keys to the candy store.

I don’t mind pen names- just as long as you are consistent. But, if you see me out, and don’t introduce yourself- and then claim you were there, well, in my eyes- you weren’t.  Gene can find someone else to stalk. I haven’t deleted everything he’s said- but some conversations may seem a bit out of wack.

For the record: I don’t know who he is. I don’t think he’s the sender of my wacko mail. But, I’ll be damned if I’m going to host comments about me that are unfounded by someone who won’t sign their own complete name. And, yes, I will double check the names if need be.

Longshots, Soundbites, Favorite Sons and the Qualifications of a Congressman

I had an interesting talk with Dr. Mike Ervin this afternoon. For those of you who don’t know Dr. Ervin, he’s been the chair of many task forces (including the Electric Trolley one now in action) and made quite a bit of money running a medical insurance business that built the “Wright Health Associates” building right across the street from the doomed NCR building 26. He now lives in an amazing modern home in the former Southern Belle in the heart of the Oregon District- and is going to transform all the empty retail spaces down 5th street in the District into arts galleries. Watch him.

He thinks I have good ideas. He reads my site. He reads DaytonOS (and was asking me why it’s borked today) and is generally connected to the power grid of Dayton (and I’m not talking DP&L).

And he too, still doesn’t get the “Ninja mask” and thinks it’s my weakness in the race. Other readers have said that as well. After an explanation of what happened- and how I triumphed over the evils of Mike Turners secret meetings, he still sees me as a long shot, and isn’t prepared to back me (He was one of Dick Chema’s biggest backers in the last slaughter). So, I’m sitting here- and asking myself, can I realistically change perception in 70 days, from “Ninja Dave” to the only one brave enough to go toe-to-toe with Mr. Slick and have a shot at winning?

First and foremost: what is it the voters want in a Congressman?
Article 1 of the Constitution requires only 3 things:

  • twenty five years of age
  • a citizen of the United States for at least 7 years
  • at the time of election, be a resident of the state

Unfortunately, along the way, the system now expects the following:

  • be a member of one of two major political parties
  • be able to raise scads of cash from questionable sources
  • be a lawyer
  • talk in sound bites and sound like a PR huckster (note, I said sound like one- not be one)

No where is there anything in either of those qualification sets are any of the following:

  • innovative ideas
  • challenging the system (which we all seem to agree isn’t working all that well)
  • intellectual leadership (unless we really want more dummies in government)

Back when Mike Turner and I both ran against Richard Clay Dixon we were both longshots. He didn’t even have the Republican party taking him seriously. But, he fit the mold that people were comfortable electing: a lawyer who spoke in sound bites.

If I hadn’t rankled Clay with asking if his campaign funds came from “people who wanted to build a landfill on the West Side”- he wouldn’t have taken me outside for a boxing lesson- and Mike Turner probably wouldn’t be where he is today. He only beat Clay by 400 votes.

My campaign literature wasn’t sound bite either. I asked the hard questions even then- like how are we going to end poverty in Dayton, fix the schools, strengthen property values, racially balance the safety forces. You can read my literature from then now– I still have it posted. I’m not ashamed of it, and I still believe now as I did then, that I had viable ideas to transform Dayton. What I didn’t understand then was how the system worked and that you need three votes to get anything done on the City Commission (ask Mary Wiseman about passing civil rights legislation with Turner on the Commission with her).

Turner used to mock me on the campaign trail- suggesting I should be running for school board, since I kept talking about stopping busing by filing a lawsuit to lift the deseg order on the grounds of it causing “economic segregation” which is worse than racial segregation. He didn’t think that the City could do that. Later as Mayor, he claims ownership of ending busing for deseg in Dayton- hmmmm.

When I went to the City Commission meeting to protest the illegal secret meetings he was holding, I went alone. A few years later, I was privileged to have dinner with Martin Sheen in his brother’s home- and Martin said he thought I was brave and fighting a noble battle, and that he was honored to meet me. For those of you who aren’t aware, this is a man who has been arrested over 100 times protesting for what he believes are right and just causes. However, the local media liked Turner’s spin on the mask more than the message, and continue to malign me for doing their work as watchdog.

After winning over Turner five times in court (remember, he’s the lawyer) and settling for $100,000 (most of which went to paying attorneys fees) Turner sill is seen as the “politically correct” candidate- even though he has shown little respect for either the Constitution or his constituents. As to his legacy of his “Urban Mayor” background, need I remind people that the first thing he did after losing to Rhine McLin was move to a gated community in Centerville.

Why do I think I’m the best candidate to run against the buzz machine we have masquerading as a Representative of the people? Maybe some of it comes from my upbringing, by two Americans by choice, not by birth right. Maybe it’s from my willingness not only to volunteer to serve in the US Army, but to volunteer two more times- for jump school and then for Special Forces, bypassing an opportunity to go to West Point Prep (probably my biggest mistake ever).

It was in Special Forces that I was made to believe that a small force of well trained men, could change the course of history. Somehow I still believe that. Ross Perot once said that anything getting done was the result of a “Monomaniac on a mission”- and it was George Bernard Shaw who said: ‘The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man”- a quote I put on my old literature.

So while Turner was studying law, so he could go on to break it. I was studying how to wage a war when out gunned, out manned and behind enemy lines. Perfect training to take on an incumbent congressman, with three quarters of a million dollars in the bank, who has become rich through his association with a defense contractor (MTC owned by Raj Soin) and who doesn’t seem to mind accepting money from every corporation- including NCR, one of Dayton’s oldest- who just pulled millions of dollars out of the local tax base after being offered a tax dollar bribe to move to NYC.

And, do I need to remind you that my name is David. I was born to fight Goliath.

So, Dr. Ervin, according to all sources, beating Mike Turner is an impossible task. The district is gerrymandered, the incumbent unscathed by his own questionable actions, and backed with an insurmountable financial lead- do you want to back someone who seems like a good lamb to the slaughter, or do you want someone who is willing to bring guns to a knife fight?

Do you want to bring the troops home? End corporate welfare? Bring sanity back to the financial markets? Focus on infrastructure and social capital to restore the value of being an American? Work toward a sensible health care system that can deliver equal access to all?

Or do you want the same, slick, seasoned politician?

Choice is up to you? Write a check to Elect Esrati – because when longshots pay off, the win is big.

Oh, and one last thing: Mike Turner can’t stand being in the same room as me. So at least, you can find joy in making him miserable from now to November.

Another Dem Candidate for Ohio 3?

DaytonOS.com got borked Christmas eve with an attempted upgrade by an admin who shall remain nameless.

I got this in an e-mail, and assume it would have gone on DaytonOS had it been running.

Exciting news. A potential Democratic congressional candidate, Dr. Mark MacNealy, wants to meet with a Focus Group consisting of Democratic Primary voters.
I’ve reserved the Committee Room at Panera Bread, 1203 Brown St. on December 28, at 7:00 PM. The room holds about 35 people and I’m hoping to find a way to fill it. Would you consider coming to the meeting? Please e-mail me back. (I will be out of town until
Thursday evening.) The room is available at 6:30 PM, and Dr. Mark and I will be there then, so come early, if possible.

Dr. Mark MacNealy is contemplating filing as a candidate in the Democratic primary to seek the Democrats’ endorsement to run as their candidate to be the representative in the 3rd Congressional District to the U.S. Congress. The Democratic candidate will seek to win the seat currently held by Republican Congressman Mike Turner.

I believe Dr. MacNealy would make an excellent candidate. He is articulate, informed, and passionate about the issues important to voters in the 3rd District. As a physician, he is experienced in solving problem and, I believe, voters this election will be attracted to candidates who are committed to identifying problems and finding solutions to those problems. In the 3rd District, in order for a Democrat to win, we must find a way to persuade voters who previously had voted Republican to change their vote. Some of these Republican voters are not persuadable, but, I believe a significant portion of Republican voters this year will be looking for a reason to be persuaded. I think Dr. MacNealy would be a great candidate and would conduct the type of campaign that would attract a lot of previous Republican voters to switch their vote.

Dr. MacNealy is 57 years old and has a specialty in neuology. He has attended law school and if he doesn’t get involved in a campaign, he plans on focusing his time on reviewing his previous law education, and sitting for the bar exam this next summer. He says that he is a computer geek and, I believe Dr. MacNealy earned enough money while a student doing computer work that he paid his own way through college. I first spoke to him at the October Montgomery County Democratic Party Central Committee meeting after he was introduced as the Coroner candidate. At that time, I told him that a person with his background and credentials would be an excellent candidate to run for U.S. Congress and he said that he say the Coroner’s election as a stepping stone to accomplishing just such a goal. He has decided to not pursue the Coroner’s position.

At the Demember meeting of the Central Committee, the Montgomery County Democratic Party , on a vote from the floor, chose not to endorse any candidate for the 3rd Congressional District.
–Mike Bock

So, not only will Democrats have real choices, they may have some made outside Democratic Party HQ’s locked upstairs secret room.

The more the merrier!

Merry Xmas. I’m going to try to be there on Friday night.

Throw a concert in Dayton?

One of the keys to regional cooperation is the ability to find resources quickly- it’s one of the keys to the new County Sport Tourism authority. When I look at my stats on this site, I realize that part of my value isn’t just political entertainment for the die hard readers- but for the casual person looking for something to do, or places to eat in Dayton. So, here is another fine resource for people planning a concert- or event needing a stage. It’s not complete- but maybe, after a few comments, we can have a great resource by working together.

The Dayton Daily started this idea with their article about the new Centerville theater:

Theater complex caps arts expansion in school system
Where besides downtown Dayton in Montgomery County can you find a theater with at least 1,200 seats, a proscenium stage, solid acoustics and a good selection of amenities?

As of Dec. 17’s community holiday concert there, you could find one at Centerville High School…

As fully equipped theaters in the area go, it’s far from little. With 900 seats on the main floor and 300 in a balcony it has more capacity than the Victoria Theatre in downtown Dayton. Only the Schuster Center, with 2,300 seats, is bigger. For concerts, the 4,400-seat Trent Arena in Kettering is also larger.

Organizations looking to rent a formal theater of more than 900 seats outside downtown often had to look to the northern edge of the county and Northmont High School’s 1,160-seat auditorium.

“We will be able to host community events, concerts and recitals here,”…

With Memorial Hall still in mothballs, other options also include:

  • Convention Center theater with 700 seats
  • The Dayton Art Institute theater with 500 seats
  • The Masonic Temple with 1200 seats
  • UD’s Boll Theater with 369 seats
  • WSU Festival playhouse with 376 seats
  • Sinclair Blair Hall with 459 seats
  • LaComedia dinner theater ? seating.
  • Stivers High School theater will be coming online soon (as soon as they get the scissor lift out that they built in by accident :-)

I’m sure there are a few other stages, including Gilly’s downtown which seats around 200, the Loft Theater with another 200 or so, and the Dayton Playhouse.

The Convention and visitors bureau has a list of meeting facilities that I ran across here: http://www.daytoncvb.com/meetings/ but I couldn’t find a list of performing arts theaters anywhere. Hopefully this is a good starting point for anyone wanting to throw a concert, dance performance or play on a stage in the Dayton area.