Another Esrati Fundraiser: South Park Tavern and blues

You’ve heard of the Democrats and the Republicans, well, there’s a third party in town: The Dayton Pizza Party. Membership is $15 and gets you Dayton’s Original Pizza Factory all you can eat, soda and blues from “The Miserable Howling Dogs Blues Band” Then head over to Patterson Park with David Esrati for a Candidates night.

When October 6th, 2009 5:30 PM through 7:00 PM

1301 Wayne Ave Dayton, OH 45410
via Event Information | Elect Esrati.

Price is $15 and gets you unlimited pizza and soft drinks. Cash bar available. Sign up and pay in advance with link above, or pay at the door.

The Grand Opening of The Ohio Coffee Company

For those of you who love your coffee- the former Seattle East/Terra Cotta Cafe at the corner of 5th and Ludlow will be opening tomorrow, Oct 1 at 7am to serve up coffee and assorted other things (don’t know what yet, ’cause they’re not open).

On Friday, Oct. 2nd, they’ll be having a free shindig with a bunch of bands. Music starts at 7pm (sorry for my omission Jeff)

Jordan O’Jordan, Dane Terry, Bible Belt Blues, Wes Tirey- will all be playing. They are asking for donations for the touring bands.

Head on over, tell them Esrati sent you.

Remember, you can get Starbucks anywhere, but you can only get The Ohio Coffee Company in Dayton – so support your local independent businesses.

But will it be a “REAL DEBATE”- McLin v Leitzell

Finally- something not called a forum or a candidates night- but a debate!

Back and forth? Q and A- attack and respond?

After 8 years of zero debate in chambers, maybe we’ll see if Mayor McLin is capable of having a substantive discussion on the issues?

The Dayton Daily News, WHIO-TV and ThinkTV will host a debate between Dayton mayoral candidates Rhine McLin and Gary Leitzell.

The event is open to the public, but registration is required.

* Date: Wednesday, Oct. 14.

* Time: 7 p.m.

* Location: Cox Ohio Publishing Media Center, 1611 S. Main Street, Dayton [map and directions]

If you are attending, you can also submit a question for the candidates in advance

via Dayton mayoral debate online registration.

With WHIO as a co-sponsor and Think-TV it would be obvious to assume it will be televised. Unfortunately, even though the Mayor is on absolute equal footing with the commissioners, there has not been a commission debate.

If you want to attend- you must click on link above and register.

Bomb squad follies part deux: Mayor McLin and the porcelain pig

It was years ago when City Commissioner Idotha Bootsie Neal came out to her city-supplied car, thought someone had tampered with it, drove to City Hall, and then called the bomb squad, forcing the evacuation of City Hall.

Now, we have the Mayor, sending her “aide” (who I’m assuming is on the public payroll) to her vacant business to “pick up mail.” Excuse me? Is that why a part-time Mayor, needs a full time aide?


DAYTON, Ohio — Dayton police call for assistance of the Dayton Bomb Squad when a suspicious package shows up at the former McLin Funeral Home.

Police along with the Dayton Bomb Squad responded to the 1100 block of Germantown Street.

An aide for the mayor found a towel inside the mailbox with something wrapped inside.

Lt. Bob Chabali, from the Dayton Police Department, said the incident was unusual and so they took extra precaution.

The bomb squad did use a robot to check the suspicious package out.

Police said the suspicious package was simply a porcelain pig wrapped inside a towel and no detonation was needed.

via Bomb Squad Called To Old McLin Funeral Home – News Story – WHIO Dayton.

Maybe we wouldn’t need staff cuts if the Mayor actually picked up her own mail. I hate to tell you how much it costs the City for a bomb squad run.

Let’s all use Husted logic in the next election

I’ve heard it a million times, I work in the city, I pay city taxes, yet I have no say in what goes on because I don’t live in the city.

Well, for those of you who own property within the city, with paid utilities, there is great news, you can now use the “Husted defense” and change your registration to vote in Dayton in the upcoming election. Just hurry, because registration ends this week.

I have to thank Jon Husted for this amazing gift he’s given me, just before the election:

State law requires that voters live where they are registered and that state legislators live in their districts. Brunner’s ruling only covers Husted’s voter registration. The issue of his 6th District senate seat is up to the Ohio Senate to decide, and Senate President Bill Harris, R-Ashland, has said he believes Husted is a Kettering resident.

Husted contends Brunner overstepped her authority by subpoenaing utility records and other documents she used as evidence in her ruling.

via Court has no jurisdiction over Husted’s residency dispute, says Brunner.

And, don’t worry, you don’t have to worry about the Secretary of State coming after you, because, well- the office has no power to investigate in Jon’s self-centered world.

Too bad Jon doesn’t own property in the City of Dayton too- he’d definitely want to vote here so he could  try to vote down the  2.25% income tax next time it comes up. You see he also has a ghost job at the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce that allows him to collect a big check without having to show up for work. The only person who turns the lights on in that office is the cleaning person- and they don’t have much to clean since Jon doesn’t really work there anymore than he really lives in Kettering.

So, remember, if you own real estate in Dayton- you now have permission to change your registration and vote here, courtesy of Jon Husted. Just do it quick.

With dead people donating to McLin, smear sites run by the Montgomery County Democratic Party, huge donations to incumbents from people they’ve only “met once”  and now “Husted logic” we’re getting close to having a complete mockery of the election process.

Joey D Williams adds a platform to his site

Joey Williams got beefed up his platform over the weekend. Now instead of just the bullet points, there are also FAQ’s. The navigation is a bit rough, but it’s substance, which is severely lacking over at Nan Whaley’s site.

From his site, jump to the link to read the answers to the FAQ:

* Steadfast concentration on financial stability

* Developing initiatives to create jobs

* Keeping safety a top priority

* Enhancing youth development activities

* Further developing regional cooperation opportunities

* Continued focus on senior citizens and all members of our community

Frequently Asked Questions & Joey’s Answers:

* Commissioner Williams, what have you done to help the youth?

* Commissioner Williams, what have you done to help Dayton’s financial position?

* Commissioner Williams, outside of your activities to help keep the city’s budget balanced and your work towards the youth, what other activities do you point to show your effectiveness?

* Commissioner Williams, can you better clarify your position on the City’s 2007 local anti-discrimination vote?

* Commissioner Williams, what are your thoughts on regionalism?

* Commissioner Williams, what community activities and meetings do you attend?

* Commissioner Williams, what are your ideas on economic development and job growth for City?

via Joey D Williams – Platform.

Still no ability to hold a conversation online, in public, but- it’s a good start toward a substantive discussion of the issues. I plan to read all his responses this evening.

On another note, I pose this question to Joey, who has always abided by the anti-negative campaigning guidelines set out by the League Of Women Voters: What is your position on the smear site launched and paid for by the Montgomery County Democratic Party? I also pose this question to other elected Dems- how do you feel about your party investing effort in a smear site, when the actual party site is still full of placeholder greek text?

Will any of the elected officials condemn the actions of their party?

Stay tuned to see how this turns out.

First time visitors: welcome, Dayton Daily News profiles review

The Dayton Daily News wrote three complete, yet very short, profiles today of Commissioner Nan Whaley,  Commissioner Joey D. Williams, and me. Online, at the moment has Joey’s story, my profile and nothing about poor ”knock ’em down” Nan. It’s currently at

The DDN fixed the story- it’s now at:

Although much was made of my many attempts to run, and the mask case was referenced, there is only one error in the reporting (a first for the DDN which usually makes every attempt to paint me negatively)- this site gets between 15,000 and 20,000 unique visitors per month, not “hits” per month, the stats don’t count RSS feeds, people who subscribe by e-mail or people who read this content on where it is republished so that government employees can’t get in trouble for visiting on the job (which many of them do). [note: error of omission, the “profile” they have left out my military service- although you could infer it from my founding of VOB108}

The stories are brief. If that is all you have to judge three candidates, there isn’t much there. However credit must be given to Dayton Daily News reporter Joanne Huist Smith for starting her article about me “It’s probably an understatement to say the election of David Esrati will shake things up at City Hall.”

The headlines are telling too- Nan’s is “Youngest commissioner hoping to make a difference”- as if to say after four years she still has hopes to achieve something, and Joey’s is “Two-term commissioner wants to continue his work toward making city sustainable.” I get “Community activists wants to build a better Dayton through empowerment, regionalism.” If you only had those three headlines and one vote, knowing the condition this city is in, which would you choose? And, in fact, when you vote, if you really want to see a change, that’s how you should vote- only once, because any other vote in the commission race counts against me and cancels the vote out (you have two votes- the top two vote getters win).

I’m sure that the most controversial subject is the part about my plan to eliminate the priority board system. I’ve written about it before on this site (you can search it to find out more) and in “The Plan” (something missing from the other candidates’ sites entirely). In a nutshell- the Priority Board system was set up in a different Dayton than we have now. It used to be well-funded, and the city had almost 100,000 more people. The major flaw is the way seats are distributed- based on voting precincts, which are frequently gerrymandered by politicians in Columbus to try to make it easier for one political party or the other (and you must choose between elephants and donkeys, no third party allowed)- not by the actual neighborhood with real physical boundaries and a sense of place. Blindly drawing on maps gives us a very ineffective way to rebuild our city. My proposal is to use the neighborhood organizations as the way to maintain a connection with City Hall. Each neighborhood president would speak to the City Manager at least 4 times a year at a city-wide meeting. There, each neighborhood would be evaluated on its efforts to reach its own goals- and those of the city. Those that do meet progress standards will be rewarded, those that haven’t will be helped. Neighbors will be asked to help neighbors- on a neighborhood-based level, to help all rise.

My observations on the three candidates are simple, Nan Whaley is a pawn of the Montgomery County Democratic Party. She has never held a job outside of its wing, has accomplished little in four years in office and talks incessantly about tearing down our city. Her fund-raising prowess is amazing, she’d raised well over $37,000 at reporting time, for a job that doesn’t pay that much in a year. Her largest contributor, whom she seemed very uncomfortable about in the Dayton Daily News editorial board meeting, is a demolition contractor and landfill operator- who when pushed, she made out to hardly know, which is believable since he lives in Westerville, Ohio. I fully expect more smear, negative attack ads from her if the polling they were doing yesterday gives her something to worry about.

Joey Williams and I have a long history. I consider him a friend. He’s done well working within the lines, being very cautious. He’s a banker for a living, and the conservative side to his nature is apparent. He brings real fiscal knowledge to the Commission but has yet to craft any signature legislation or change in two terms. The only remarkable action he’s ever taken is the one he’s most frequently accused of, an abstention. By abstaining on the resolution to protect gays and lesbians in the workplace, he lost the respect of the typically Democrat-leaning gay community, protected his position with the homophobic preachers and got wailed on by me, who referred to his action as spineless. Although I find his inability to take a stand on an important issue and his list of accomplishments on the commission on the short side, I would endorse Joey for the second seat which is the most likely outcome of any election in Dayton, based on past numbers.

It’s sad that there isn’t a fourth candidate on the ballot. The system is designed to make it difficult to beat an incumbent. Besides the ridiculous 500-signature requirement (you only need 50 for County Commissioner or even U.S. Congress), every card is stacked against challengers. We had 11 people take out petitions for Commission and Mayor- yet only two new names will appear on the ballot.

If you would like to support me, please consider giving at least $25 to my campaign (buy the poster and I’ll personally hand deliver it to your house in Dayton), or if you want a yard sign- go to and register to volunteer and check off yard sign. We also need volunteers to walk neighborhoods, make phone calls and organize fund-raisers or attend them. There are still tickets available for the event at Chef Joe Fish’s home, where he will feed you delicious bites and wine in return for a $50 minimum donation.

Last, but not least, if you are interested in what a real journalist writes, when doing an interview- check out what two-time Pulitzer prize nominated writer, Larkin Vonalt (who moved to Dayton to send her kid to Stivers!) wrote about me a few months back, I think it will help you better understand why I run, over and over. Thank you for reading.

The war of the yard signs. Not being waged in yards.

If memory serves correct, political yard signs are only to appear in yards- not public right of ways, abandoned lots, etc.

You wouldn’t know it looking around Dayton.

I despise yard signs. Usually, they have the name of the candidate and that’s about it. They are, for the most part ugly. Visual debris. However, people seem to think more yard signs means victory.

Looking around, I’m not seeing many Nan or Rhine signs in yards- just in pairs, anywhere there is a Leitzell sign. With $100K in the bank, McLin and Whaley will win that war- and any media buys placed by challengers will be decimated. In the money war, the challengers will lose- although Gary did tell me he got his first $1000 check today.

My signs will arrive in two weeks. They will say something other than my name. They will not appear in public-right of ways, only in yards. They will cost a pretty penny. If you ask me, it’s money wasted- but, if you want to be visible, it’s the most affordable outdoor solution out there. So, if you want one in your yard, please go to and register as a volunteer- and check off “yard sign”- we’ll bring them to you. The only catch- we’ll also pick them back up. I don’t want to litter our city anymore than needed. In the mean time, expect to see more chalk on watlks, streets and where people meet.

As an indication of the nervousness of the incumbents, polling was being done today. If they are hearing anything like what I’m hearing going door-to-door, the mood is decisively anti-incumbent anyone. People want change, and the incumbents don’t offer it. I’ll keep working to keep you informed.

In the meantime, I still ask you to go visit and and see if you can find anything even remotely like

Try to leave them a message, or have a discussion.

We’ll see who has the last laugh, November 3.


More candidates nights announced

Since the media doesn’t spend much time on anything but dead bodies, car crashes, break-ins and tough luck stories, if you want to find out about the candidates and the issues, you’ll have to either watch for bad videos on this site, or actually come to a candidates night.

Here is the latest:

Five Oaks Candidates Night, October 12 at 7:30 pm

Mary Queen of Peace Activity Center
200 Homewood Avenue Dayton OH 45405

The Five Oaks Neighborhood Improvement Association (FONIA), by special request of our members, request your participation in the Five Oaks Candidates Night on Monday October 12th at 7:30pm. The format will be Questions from the audience and FONIA Board directed to a specific race or candidate. The Candidates responses will be time limited. Metro Parks and The Library have confirmed attendance.

I have a complete list of events at: in the right sidebar. You can add them to your calendar automatically there.

Dayton’s number one priority for David Esrati

Population loss in the McLin/Williams Era

Population loss in the McLin/Williams Era

I can write the plan, I can write more than 1,000 posts on this site, I can talk about all the little things we could do- and even some of the big things, but there is no greater priority than solving this problem:

From 2001 to 2008, Dayton’s population declined by nearly 10,000 — from 163,962 residents to 154,200.

via Pay freeze, layoffs possible for city workers.

My whole quest for public office began in 1986 when as a new homeowner in a seemingly decrepit part of town, I went to city hall to find out how we could have a “Historic District” with special laws- with no signs and no covenants in the deeds?

It was like talking to a wall. Instead of thanking me for buying a home that had been on the market for 2 years- losing a third of its asking price, and moving out a clan of tenants who did wonderful things like pooping in a pizza box and locking it in the closet- I was ignored and prosecuted for fixing it up (putting on the wrong style of garage door). I tried to tell the commission then that this wasn’t the way you treat the customer, or you won’t have customers.

In the last 7 years- roughly, the time that Rhine McLin and Joey Williams have been on the City Commission, Dayton has lost about 9,000 taxpaying residents, and countless more taxpaying employees.

This is, to quote old Ford advertising “Job 1”- to make Dayton a place where people want to live and work. This should be the primary, if not the only measure of our leadership- net increases in residents, jobs and tax base.

My formula is simple: Hire the best City Manager/CEO we can afford, set goals and objectives, measure performance, adjust course as necessary. It is the job as a commission to guide and advise, hire and fire the City Manager and not much else. He or she, should be the clear captain of the ship. It’s not about the commission, the mayor- it’s about the Captain and his crew. When it comes to statements about safety- I want to have Chief Biehl at the microphone, not Gary Leitzell or Rhine McLin. When it comes to marketing our community, I want the City Manager and the heads of the Chamber of Commerce, the Dayton Development Coalition, Citywide Development etc.

You notice I didn’t say the “city head of economic development?” That’s because I don’t believe that “economic development” is done as a separate function of government anymore than service is a separate part of running a restaurant. Everything the city does- has to be the greatest good for the greatest number. We have to strive to use what we have, to create the most livable, safe, comfortable, friendly city we can.

When we do that right, people will move back, jobs will follow and the transformation will begin.

I hope to be a part of the City Commission that puts these principles into practice.