Mitakides still asking for money, still saying nothing

Screenshot of Jane Mitakides e-mail for moneyJust got an e-mail from Jane Mitakides. Apparently $5K from a DC PAC and an average donation of $995 is not enough, she still needs more. $50,000 of her own money needs to be backed up with your cash (it’s only a loan).

Here is her plea:

Dear Friends-

It’s Leap Day and you know what that means – an extra day to join me in bringing about the change that we so desperately need in America and Ohio. With just three days left until the primary, I am asking you to PLEASE contribute today!

Early money is vital to a campaign – the very first tangible measure of support. Any help you can give now – before March 4 – is critical to our effort! A dollar now is like two later!

Please visit my website to contribute before the primary on March 4, 2008. And while you are there, check out our brand new radio spot featuring the endorsements of Senator Tom Roberts and Reverend P.E. Henderson, two of the most important voices of our community.

My deepest thanks,

Jane Mitakides
Candidate for Congress, OH-3

P.S. Spread the word over the internet and to your friends. Tell them to visit to subscribe, contribute, and volunteer. Together, we can fight for change and face the challenges that lie ahead.

It sure is nice of Tom Roberts to support Jane, a Hillary Clinton supporter, even though he’s strongly backing Barack Obama. Makes you wonder how much money he wants from the bank of  Mitakides for his own campaigns.

If this kind of no message message makes you want to hurl- consider coming to our “Guaranteed Winner Party” on Tuesday and support a local charity instead of a campaign that may be toast on Wednesday (mine or hers).


Volunteers needed this weekend- you can help me while helping Obama

All of you folks who will be knocking on a million doors for Obama, you can hand out my cards at the same time.

Just swing by either the 2nd Street Market between 9am and 3 pm on Saturday- East end, and pick up some literature a button and a bumper sticker. The market is at 600 E. Second Street Dayton OH 45402

We’ll have a booth, down at the East end- close to the glassed in area.

We’ll also have literature available at the office on Sunday- 100 Bonner Street, Dayton OH 45410– you can call 937.228.4433 to make sure someone is here.

The people we had to staff the booth had a medical mishap- so we could also use some volunteers there. Call the office to coordinate- or stop in.

If you’d like to support the cause financially, we’ll have donation forms at the market, be sure you bring a checkbook. We’re still raising money for media already placed.

Guaranteed winners party: Tuesday Mar 4, 2008 South Park Tavern

David Esrati may or may not be the next Democratic Party candidate for Congress in OH-3, but, you can join him to watch the election returns at the South Park Tavern, 1301 Wayne Avenue starting at 7pm. Donation at the door will be accepted for Daybreak, South Park’s own runaway shelter. A percentage of all food sales will be donated to Daybreak, and we’ll accept donations for wine provided by Esrati supporters Pam and Juan.
No matter who wins in the political race- Daybreak will win with your support.

Special thanks to Bill Daniels, owner of the Tavern and the Pizza Factory, who is being generous enough to open the Tavern for this special event, and to come in and work it on his night off. The Tavern serves his famous Pizza Factory pizza.

Photo of Obama “Hope” poster in the Dayton OH Obama for president office windowWe’ll also raffle off the huge “Obama Hope” poster with all proceeds going to Daybreak. Tickets will only be available at the Tavern starting at 7. We will draw when the OH-3 seat is decided. Tickets will be 1 for $1, 6 for $5, 15 for $10, 30 for $20.


We’ll also have a silent auction for a second print- sized to your liking up to 36″x 48″ with up to $200 in custom framing by neighborhood frame wizard David Crowell at Custom Frame Services. So- Two chances to win, one for the people who don’t have big bucks but want a chance at the big poster- and one for the price no object people. All money goes to Daybreak- so bring your checkbook.

No matter who wins in OH-3, Daybreak will win.

Wouldn’t it be great instead of having the best politicians money can buy (this presidential election is on track to be a $5 Billion dollar boondoggle) we could give all that money to a worthy cause. Buying media to promote sound bite politics isn’t really solving any problems. Donations to Daybreak will.

Hope to see you all there.

My opposition must think voters are idiots.

When I ran for Mayor and City Commission long ago, I printed tabloid sized (11″x17″) literature with positions on a whole slew of issues. I was told that no one would read it.

People even tell me my 4×6 postcard says too much.

So, I thought it was bad when Jane Mitakides was handing out her literature from 2004 with things crossed out, and then last night, I finally saw what Charles W. Sanders has, and, frankly, they must think you, the voter, are idiots.

Judge for yourself: Charles Sanders- one side, black and white:

Scan of Charles W. Sanders campaign handout.

And then there is Jane’s, with John Edwards and General Wesley Clark endorsing her:

Jane Mitakides mailer front

And the back:

Back of Jane Mitakides flyer

Compare literature, compare websites, then vote.

Tabloid shocker: Martin Gottlieb finally says I’m bright.

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.

The Flowchart: Your money to the congressman and his pals

The Dayton Development Coalition flow chart graphic as a jpg.

Jeffrey at Daytonology suggested a flow chart of the “Get Midwest” campaign created by the Dayton Development Coalition for the “Dayton Region.” It was a good suggestion, because when looking at the relationships, I also did some digging. I probably should have made it even more interactive, with links on each Trustee that had given to Mike Turner to their FEC donation report.

19 of the current 34 Trustees had given to Mike Turner’s campaign. Bev Shillito, who used to be on the Board of Trustees also gave, and is the co-owner of Real Art, the firm Turner Effect hired to do a lot of the work.

Finding the Montgomery County resolution granting $250,000 a year for 2006, 07, 08 for “economic development” would have been almost impossible without some help. Thanks to those who guided me in the right direction. The resolutions are PDF’s containing scans (see Mar 14)- unreadable by the web, or blind people. This should be changed immediately to comply with ADA requirements, and to make the searches work.

The contract was granted to “Development Projects Inc.” to “differentiate” the dollars from a gift to the “Dayton Development Coalition”- which is just one more smoking gun in this massacre of ethics in the area.

It’s funny how the County gives $750,000 to a private organization, stocked with Turner donors, who then hire Turners wifes firm on a no-bid contract, who then hires another board members company- to do a campaign that is universally panned- at a cost so far, of exactly $750,000. As a professional in the same field as Mrs. Turner, I can say with authority that $750,000 is 3x what it should have been.

Any questions?

Hot Button Question: Sex Offender Laws

I’m pretty sure none of you would want to run for Congress if you realized how many issues there are, and how many are really difficult to answer honestly, without fearing huge backlash.

I got an e-mail from a constituent who asked my position on the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. It’s a very complex issue, with tough decisions, but, because I believe in transparency and honesty over campaign rhetoric, I’m answering it as honestly as I can.

These laws scare me. Here is what Human Rights Watch says:

US: Sex Offender Laws May Do More Harm Than Good (Human Rights Watch, 12-9-2007)
“Human Rights Watch shares the public’s goal of protecting children from sex abuse,” said Jamie Fellner, director of the US program at Human Rights Watch. “But current laws are ill-conceived and poorly crafted. Protecting children requires a more thoughtful and comprehensive approach than politicians have been willing to support.”

In many states, registration covers everyone convicted of a sexual crime, which can range from child rape to consensual teenage sex, and regardless of their potential future threat to children. Unfettered public access to online sex-offender registries with no “need-to-know” restrictions exposes former offenders to the risk that individuals will act on this information in irresponsible and even unlawful ways. There is little evidence that this form of community notification prevents sexual violence. Residency restrictions banish former offenders from entire towns and cities, forcing them to live far from homes, families, jobs and treatment, and hindering law-enforcement supervision. Residency restrictions are counterproductive to public safety and harmful to former offenders.

Putting scarlet letters on people is not a solution.

There is a case in Troy Ohio where a sex offender found a place that was across the river from a school. It was deemed that he was within the radius- even though the only way was to swim, and would have to move.

There are sex offenders living in my neighborhood. There are also crack heads. Which causes more problems? The crack head. Both need treatment, neither are being handled properly.

Although other candidates will attack this stand, I still believe that our Constitution has protections against double-jeopardy, and that these laws aren’t the answer. No, I am not for letting child molesters and sex offenders off- but, there has to be some sensible way for them to reintegrate into society. Either that, or we may as well just start killing them off instead of sentencing them to a life sentence in the court of public opinion.

It’s hard enough to go from convict to citizen (see my post on prisons) but, these laws, often applied retroactively, are questionable both in their intent and their effectiveness, often creating more problems than they are solving.

Ouch. I’m sure by being honest, I lost the election. But, as I say: in an advertising campaign, if you lie, you get sued. In a political campaign, if you lie, you get elected.

Connect the dots: Dayton Development Coalition Board- hire your own, no-bid

Well, finding the link to the DDC board took some help, and here is the link to the 2007 version:

Dayton Development Coalition
2007 Board of Trustees

But, I couldn’t find the 2006 trustees- so I called and didn’t get a call back.

I was able to verify that the 2005 trustees had one person in particular who I was interested in: Beverly Shillito, on the current SS+D law site she says:

Sebaly Shillito + Dyer: A Legal Professional Association
Bev is active in the greater-Dayton community and serves on a number of business boards. She is a Trustee of the Dayton Development Coalition and the Co-Chair of the Coalition’s New Business Development Committee.

And there is a PDF of a presentation that lists her on the Executive Committee.

She also signed the defense letter of the DDC hiring Lori Turner’s firm: The Turner Effect.

So why is it important that Bev Shillito is on the board? Well, Bev is co-owner of the firm that The Turner Effect subcontracted to do much of the “Get Midwest” campaign for the DDC: Real Art.

That’s the no-bid contract that spent $750,000 on a universally panned campaign, by Congressman Turner’s wife.

That she is the co-owner was in the Mar 08 issue of DaytonB2B, page 19 in a piece about Real Art.

Here is another article in the DBJ:

City to revamp economic development efforts in response to study – Dayton Business Journal:
Several community leaders accompanied the city leaders in support, including Montgomery County Commissioner Deborah Lieberman; J.P. Nauseef, chief executive officer of the Dayton Development Coalition; Beverly Shillito, stakeholder at Sebaly Shillito and Dyer and a board member of the coalition; as well as Deborah Feldman, Montgomery County Administrator.

It’s nice work if you can get it. Next up, I’m tracking down how much money Montgomery County gave the DDC and for what.

Watching the debate: how practiced are the lines?

First off- calling these events “debates” is almost as much of a misnomer as calling our current system of auctioning off public office to the highest bidder an election :-)

To me, these moderator run talks are more like a game show, than a real discussion of issues. Every answer is couched in such a way to say as little as possible, without pushing real solutions- many generalizations, few specifics. It’s soundbite politics, and I’m waiting for a full length feature film.

Every once in a while I hear something that sounds real- like when Senator Obama admits that his position on Terri Schiavo wasn’t what it should have been.

However, I’m not interested in electing actors. The similarities in wording between answers last night’s speech by Senator Obama at Wright State in Dayton, and the answers in the debate- are sometimes almost word for word. It is one thing, I’d fail miserably at. I can’t remember my lines, deliver the same speech over and over, or sound so smooth. I’d find it incredibly boring to live life like that. I once remember hearing Billy Joel saying, he loves playing “Piano Man” for the response of the audience, but he’s so sick of playing the same song, the same way for 20 years.

The problems that our country faces aren’t so few, with such simple answers. It’s not about “staying on message”- it’s about coming up with different ideas, different answers and original thinking. We need new ways of representing our people- where we are constantly in touch, exchanging ideas and finding new answers from different sources.

That’s why I believe that the Internet, and web 2.0 offers a real opportunity to change the way that our elected representatives can actually do more representing and less politicking.

What do you think? Please take some time- and investigate many of my ideas on this site. Do a search on things that concern you- look at some of the categories on the right hand side. Find something you agree or disagree with- and let me know.

That’s the kind of conversation I hope to have- not a polished line delivered on cue.

Barack Obama’s speech at the Nutter Center- podcast from the floor

Barack Obama at the Nutter Center in Dayton OH 25 Feb 2008

I was on the floor, maybe 30 feet from the Senator- Wright State University- Nutter Center, I had my Olmpus WS-300M hanging in my name badge on my chest- it sounds like you are in a fishbowl- but, that’s what the Nutter Center sounds like. Every seat was filled, there were people 10 deep on the party decks by Gates 3 and 6- half the floor was used by the press- but it still had to be real close to a capacity crowd of 10,000+

I’d love to transcribe the speech- but no time now, thought I’d throw it up for all of you to download for your commute to work tomorrow. If I wasn’t listening to the Next President of the United States, I’ll be amazed. Yes, he gives a great speech- and he says the right things- but he also admits, he won’t always tell us what we want to hear, there are still huge obstacles to overcome.

I don’t think there is anything wrong in believing in this man- we’ve needed someone to bring this country back together. Ever since 2000, I’m sick of hearing red/blue- I’m an American, and we used to be Red, White and Blue- all of us, together. I believe.


And, yes, that was me in the parking lot “I’m running for Congress, Need something to read while you’re waiting!” Hope a bunch of you did read- came here, and are believers too now.