How much does a City Commission seat cost? Answers today.

It’s the campaign finance turn-in day today.

If you’ve got over $10K in donations you have to file. I’m proud to say, I don’t have $10K and won’t be filing. That doesn’t mean I’m not serious, it’s just that I have a real job, and real obligations, and don’t think that winning elections should be based on your ability to:

  1. beg
  2. sell out

I guess that makes me a nobody in the political scene. It’s one of the questions the Dayton Daily News editorial board always gets hung-up on- who else has endorsed you? and how much money have you raised? It’s very rarely about what you stand for, or plan to do.

I went, uninvited, to the AFL-CIO HQ on Monday to “screen” for an endorsement. Getting endorsed by a union, even though I agree in principle with what unions used to stand for- fair wages, good working conditions, policies of equality- is highly unlikely. In fact, I’m pretty sure they picked their candidates long before I walked in the door. My parting comments to them were, although I would like your endorsement, I can’t accept money from the unions- I’m sick of having the best politicians money can buy. Yep, shot myself in the old foot again.

What should a campaign for a local office, part-time position cost? I’ve always said if you spend more than what the job pays in one year, you’ve spent too much. But, I’d like to spend even less.

In my first few runs, I limited myself to $1,000 per run. It was all my money. Then I learned, that won’t cut it. That was also pre-internet. The last run, I spent $6K. I got 6K votes. Unfortunately, the incumbents, Bootsie Neal raised and spent $10K and Dean Lovelace $12K. I guess the thing that spooked me the most- was Bootsie got 10K votes, and Dean 12K. It was almost a straight dollar per vote.

Yep. Public office is for sale. Every once in a while, the voters see past the dollars- the anti-smoking bill won despite being outspent something like 6-1. But, it’s rarely the underdog that wins these days, our President is the exception. He wisely used his money to maximum effect by doing a very careful, target marketing using a tool called “vote getter”- something the parties hold sway over. I’m not a party guy, so, if I want it, I have to either play nice, or be sneaky. Haven’t figured out which yet.

So, in tomorrow’s paper (Saturday) you’ll see who has raised money- and hopefully, you’ll find out from whom. For Federal offices it’s easy- and all the reports are online. For local, you have to ask for them. I can already tell you some familiar names will be supporting the incumbents. Look to Steve Rauch demolition to be handing money over to the Mayor- and probably Nan. I could probably make more predictions- but, why? Those of you in the know, know- it’s the same people. What makes it even funnier is when you see people donate to BOTH candidates running for the seat- it’s called hedging your bets.

Yes, I need money for my campaign, and you can help by making a donation. More importantly, I’ll need volunteers to help go door to door, to call people, to make sure the message goes out. Please sign up on the right to be a part. But, the other thing you can do- is find your favorite post on Esrati.com and forward it to other people in Dayton- and tell them that this is why you think it’s time to elect someone who isn’t going to do one of the following:

  1. beg
  2. sell out

We can’t afford any more of the same.

Thank you.

Unforgiveable

I’m pissed.

And, there are a lot of other people pissed as well. I know them well, I served with the US Army Special Forces.

These are people who don’t accept excuses, and it’s time for Dayton to stop making them. That means you, and everyone you know.

It’s time to stop letting punks run the streets, it’s time to stop making excuses for bad behavior, it’s time to stop blaming the courts, the prosecutor, the system, the drugs, the thugs and the media.

We’ve all lost something and someone valuable today.

From the Dayton Daily News:

U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. (Ret.) North E. Woodall was found bloodied and unconscious by a neighbor about 11:30 p.m. Monday, July 27, at 1028 Walton Ave. after an apparent home invasion, police said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The front door to the home was kicked in, and Woodall was found on the floor near the door, Lt. Brian Johns said….

Woodall served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam before retiring as an E-9 sergeant major, U.S. Army Special Forces , also known as a Green Beret.

The recipient of two Silver Stars

via Veteran of 3 wars, 85, dies in home invasion.

Silver Stars don’t come to those who sit by and do nothing. Sgt. Maj. Woodall didn’t serve us in three wars to let some punks do him in and go unpunished.

Someone in Dayton knows who did this and needs to step up and turn them in. All of us need to take responsibility for this senseless death.

All of us need to demand justice, and a return to civilized behavior.

Bars on the windows and doors are not the answer. Standing up and calling out the losers in our community- and either getting them in treatment, or in prison is the answer.

I hope you join me in making this mans death a wake-up call.

We can’t let this happen in our community anymore.

Carmen’s Deli now open- go see Haitham

Haitham Iman of Carmen's Deli

Haitham Iman of Carmen's Deli

I’ve known Haitham Iman for years. I’m sure many of you who have attended events at the David Ponitz center, Building 12, of Sinclair know him too.

He’s the always smiling, nice guy, who makes sure your experience is exceptional when it comes to the food at events.

Now, he’s the guy on the grill- only it’s his grill, in his and his lovely wife Carmen’s new restaurant on the first floor of the 5/3rd tower in the old Swisher’s Too location.

They had a long line today at lunch, and he had complimentary chips and dip for people who were patiently waiting. I ordered a gyro, chips and a soft drink for just under $7. They aren’t taking plastic just yet- and phone orders aren’t happening just yet, but give them time.

Carmen’s Deli is at 110 N. Main St. Suite 90, but, you’d best enter the building off Second Street across from the Kettering Tower. Their phone is 937-610-9999

Go in and support a local independent restaurant, and tell Haitham that Esrati sent you.

And, yes- I took a shaky picture with the iPhone. Guess I’ll have to go back to get a better shot, shucks.

The best politicians money can buy- the continuing saga

Maybe I missed something in the Dayton Daily Newsless- but, this news from February’s Cleveland Plain Dealer (thank’s TG) covers the Fed’s raiding a defense lobbying firm that has given considerable amounts to Congressmen Hobson, Turner and Austria.

PMA Group specializes in securing defense earmarks for clients in spending bills. The Center for Responsive Politics says it was the top campaign donor last year to 40 members of Congress, including Ohio Democrats Tim Ryan of Niles and Marcy Kaptur of Toledo, as well as Springfield Republican David Hobson, who retired from Congress at the beginning of this year.

Although PMA gave Murtha’s campaign fund $134,200 over the years, it’s only his fifth largest career donor, behind defense behemoths like General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin. In the 2007-2008 campaign cycle, it was his 10th largest donor, with $26,700.

But PMA lobbyists have been the top source of Ryan and Hobson’s campaign cash throughout their careers…

Hobson got $87,500 from PMA throughout his career, while Kaptur got $40,500. During the last election cycle, PMA gave Kaptur’s campaign $26,500. Kaptur’s top all-time donors are unions.

Other current Ohio members of Congress who have accepted PMA money include GOP Sen. George Voinovich, Democrats John Boccieri of Alliance, Charlie Wilson of St. Clairsville, Mary Jo Kilroy of Columbus and Republicans Steve Austria of Beavercreek and Michael Turner of Centerville.

via Federal authorities raid top donor to Ohio congressmen – Openers – cleveland.com.

I think it’s time to do what I heard The Onion advocating- dress our congressmen up like NASCAR drivers- with all of their sponsors clearly on display. If we want to see real change, it’s time to kick the lobbyists off the hill.

What do companies like PMA get for their investments? How much is it costing the taxpayers? And why, didn’t this make the DDN?

Let’s take out the trash Ohio.

For lack of $53,000 the State of Ohio has stopped providing trash cans at State Parks. This means, when doing maintenance- like cutting the grass, State employees have to waste more time stopping to pick up the trash that didn’t get taken home by taxpayers. Really bad choice. Here is the article from the Dayton Daily News:

Strapped by historic underfunding, $500 million in backlogged maintenance needs and even more dire budget projections, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has pulled trash cans from day-use areas at 30 of 74 state parks.

By canceling trash service beginning last year, ODNR has racked up $53,000 in savings. The program does not include campgrounds or other areas in parks where overnight accommodations or fee facilities are in place.

via State park visitors asked to help with trash.

I have a better suggestion. As a gift to the residents of all Ohio, why doesn’t the Dayton Area of Commerce stop paying Jon Husted to “oversee its workforce development efforts.” and pay for the trash collection in State parks? That would be a real nice thing to do for the citizens of the State of Ohio- and show how Dayton business has the foresight to see what the State doesn’t. Trashy parks make bad impressions.

Husted already has a full-time job as a State Senator- one that takes so much time, that he doesn’t have the ability to live in his district anymore in violation of the law. Inside sources claim Husted is paid more than $53K a year for this “job.”

We could also look at the contracts that various local governments have with lobbyists, and stop paying private, “politically-connected” people to do what our legislators won’t. But, that would be asking legislators to take out the trash- and we already know they won’t, as demonstrated by the ODNR.