Why my picture isn’t prominently on my site

If you look at the competition sites: www.joeydwilliams.com and www.nanwhaley.com you’ll see their pictures prominently displayed. If you look at their literature, their picture is prominently displayed. If you watch Nan’s videos- she’s in them (with a creepy voice over talking about what she’ll do, as if she can’t speak for herself).

Here, you have to hunt for my picture.


Because, in a city where election maps split down the center of town based on race, I don’t want to be a part of that. Granted, the likelihood of me being an African American with the name “Esrati” is pretty slim (although most people are confused about its origin and make bad assumptions) so I can’t totally avoid it. The reality is, we don’t put our pictures on the ballot (yet, thank you) and if you haven’t heard my name from me or my campaign helpers knocking on the door- or remember it from the news, or saw some chalk on a walk, or a sign in a yard- I’ve not done my job.

Of course, I’ve had to do this all on a shoestring budget because I wouldn’t dare accept a $5K donation to my campaign (if you have that much money- find a real charity).

Politics isn’t about kissing babies, shaking hands, and smiling for the camera- at least it shouldn’t be. It should be about debate, discussion, compromise and civic duty. It should be about doing what’s best for the people- not the people who fill campaign war chests. Win or lose Tuesday- I’ll know that I tried to run an honest campaign- based on ideas for our future.

It’s up to my readers to tell their friends, and their friends to tell their friends- that there is substance here, not just a pretty picture.

Vote yes on Library levy issue 40

My parents get to do something I dream of: they read three to four books per week. They go to the library at least once a week, and have as long as I’ve been around. They were worried when leaving Cleveland for Dayton- having become accustomed to what they thought was an excellent library system.

They’ve found a better one. They’ve been amazed at how good our system is, for books, movies, reservations, inter-library loans and the quality of service.

Right now, with tough economic times, the importance of the library system is even greater than normal. Job seekers are using the computers to find work and to learn new skills. Our kids need access to books, to places to do research- and not just the kind you can do on Google. Libraries are critical to an informed and educated electorate which is the foundation of a democracy.

If we let our libraries fail, we won’t be seeing them come back. It’s not an option. The Dayton Metro library system is well managed and relatively efficient. State cuts have hurt them deeply. It’s up to you and me to do our part- vote yes on issue 40.

The fact that you’re reading this, says you value the values of the written word. Do the right thing.

Metroparks Levy, Issue 4, Vote yes

There is only one shining example of regional governance in Dayton Ohio- it’s our Metroparks system. For years, it was a sleepy organization with nature preserves. Now, it’s an economic development powerhouse, providing the kinds of outdoor activities and places to do things that make Dayton a great place to live.

If you haven’t been to Wegeryzn Gardens, or Cox Arboretum- or heard about the new MOBA mountain bike facility- you aren’t really experiencing what we have to offer in Dayton thanks to this wonderful, cooperative system.

It’s well run, it’s an awesome asset, and it deserves your support. If all of our City ran this well, or was this efficient, we’d have businesses beating a path to Dayton to grow their businesses here.

I’m voting yes on Issue 4, and you should too.

Vote no on Issue 3. For a whole lot of reasons

I’ve already written why Issue 3 is a bad idea. Never mind that Montgomery County Democratic Party thinks it’s a good idea because they got money from the Casino backers to tell you to vote yes.

It creates a monopoly- with no competitive bidding- for 2 organizations in 4 locations. How big of a monopoly? It even bans churches and softball leagues from playing blackjack at a fish fry:

Require that casino gaming be conducted only by authorized casino operators of these four casino facilities or by licensed management companies retained by such casino operators.

via http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/ballotboard/2009/3-text.pdf

via Issue 3 bans fish frys..

Gambling is a pretty bad bet to begin with. However, I’m at a point of frustration with every state around us offering it. We need to save our gamblers their gas money- and have them in Ohio, but only with a true competitive bid situation- like the bill that’s being introduced for next year if this doesn’t pass.

This amendment is a farce- going as far as to write specific pieces of property into the Constitution. Again- Amendments are special, they require a super-majority of 70% of the popular vote to change. This is bad legislation, written to hand over the keys to the candy store to two companies.

Vote no on Issue 3. You’ll get another chance soon enough to vote for something that’s more fair to you and will make our State more money.


Voting no on Issue 2- Livestock care standards board Amendment

There are lots of things Ohio should regulate, and take care of- but, a Constitutional Amendment to create another layer of bureaucracy to “protect livestock and poultry” is an insult to the people of the Great State of Ohio.

Constitutional Amendments are special. It takes a whopping 70% of the vote to overturn or amend them. They are supposed to be passed to stop politicians from mucking things about on a whim.

That’s exactly why big agri-business is hot to pass this as an amendment, as opposed to being handled by simple votes in the legislature. This could be done easily by a vote in the Statehouse- instead of asking the people of your house to do it for them.

Animal welfare is important, but, if you think a regulatory body added to the Constitution is going to help- just take a look at what good the Securities and Exchange Commission has done for you lately. Let’s worry about protecting people with a Constitutional Amendment, not chickens.

Surely our fine legislators in Columbus can craft something without a constitutional amendment. I’m voting no on Issue 2.

A contrarian view on Issue 1

Issue 1 is a vote to add a Constitutional Amendment to issue $200 million in debt to pay veterans for their service in Afghanistan and Iraq. I’m a veteran, and highly supportive of veterans issues- but, doing this because we’ve done if for vets from WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do now.

Here’s why. In those other conflicts- the people we were rewarding were conscripts, draftees. They were uprooted from their lives to go serve, whether they wanted to, or not.

The current military is all volunteer. It’s a career choice, and one where we’re already paying large bonuses for reenlistment and for serving. Granted, there is no amount of money that can adequately reward these troops for their duty- but, it is a different situation.

The real way Ohio could honor and reward our veterans is doing something the current legislature refuses to do: recognize veteran owned businesses and especially service disabled veteran-owned businesses as a preferred class when competing for State work. Ohio has nothing on the books or in the works, whereas Washington, Oregon, California, Missouri, Texas, Alabama, Michigan, West Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia all have State programs. Minnesota is the 14th and newest state to pass this type of legislation. Source: NaVoba State Tracker Ohio has no problems recognizing minority business owners, but is unwilling to recognize veterans for their service.

While this seems like a feel-good vote, it’s really just more sidestepping by the legislature, dumping the responsibility to take care of the veteran community in the easiest way. I’m voting no on Ohio Issue 1.

Automatic raises create automatic problems

Just before the election, we start to see the reality of City Hall- while income has been dropping every year, it’s been business as usual. Two raises a year for managers- regardless of the performance of the city. There are no metrics to use, because the city doesn’t believe in accountability. This is where a 311 system would start to make a dent- as would goals and objectives for improving quality of life:

Summary of wage and step equivalent payments to city of Dayton managers

2005: 2% merit raise, and 1.1% step equivalent (3.1% total)

2006: 2.5% merit raise, and 1.16% step equivalent (3.66% total)

2007: 3.0% merit raise, and 1.16% step equivalent (4.16% total)

2008: 3.0% merit raise, and 1.11% step equivalent (4.11% total)

2009: 0% merit raise, and 1.19% step equivalent (1.19% total)


City of Dayton

via City workers’ raises to be slightly less than $300K, official says.

If you add the percentages up (without the compounding effect- that’s 16.22% over 5 years! While income tax revenue has decreased every year. Guaranteed FAIL.

Another amazing tidbit:

Tom Biedenharn, the city’s director of public affairs, said there are 416 managers in the organization of 2,097 full-time employees. Of those, 381 are eligible to receive the “step equivalent” raise. The raises will not exceed a total of $292,350, Biedenharn said.

If you do the math, there is one manager for every 5.04 workers. Not exactly a formula for success, or saying much about the managerial capability of these managers. Something is grossly wrong with our city organizational structure.

But, don’t get me wrong- I actually believe we should be paying our people top dollar- for top performance. Show me a city manager who can reverse the population decline and I’ll gladly pay him $250, 000 a year or more- as long as it’s tied to real metrics. Show me a way that police officers cut crime in half with the same staffing, and I’ll pay every cop $100K plus a year. What has to stop is paying for failure.

We also are looking at the wrong thing- as is usually the case. While people are all upset about these pay raises- they are ignoring the squandering of our tax dollars to private businesses like MedWork and Bob Schiffler, or BGH.

Every week the city is involved in bribing businesses with corporate welfare to stay in Dayton- instead of providing a place where they want to locate. That’s the real crime.

Linden Heights candidates night video

No fireworks here, just another candidates night. Two minute time limits. Thanks to the Linden Heights neighborhood for hosting it. In attendence: Rhine McLin, Gary Leitzell, Joey D. Williams, Nan Whaley, David Esrati, Ron Lee, Joe Lacey, Stacy Thompson, Jim Weir, Charlie Shoemaker and a representative from the Library levy.

You’ll see me do something that I don’t normally do- around the 1:16 mark.

[UPDATE 31 Oct- have the whole video uploaded]

Sorry it took so long to get up- youtube doesn’t like long large files.

Once again- the candidate that is most accessible- provides the most info on his site.

More mudslinging from the State Democratic Party for McLin

  • McLin Smear Mailing Backs
  • Front of 2 mailings smearing Gary Leitzell

The Dayton Daily News was letting people comment on this article, then shut comments off.

Why is the Ohio Democratic Party is putting so much money out to send smear mailings attacking Gary Leitzell? Is it because their polling keeps telling them that Rhine McLin isn’t faring so well- even on the West Side?

If each of these smear mailings costs $10K with just two, they’ve outspent all of what Gary has raised so far:

Candidate for Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell is calling campaign literature mailed to households citywide by the Ohio Democratic Party part of an ongoing smear campaign.

One slick ad sent to 30,000 Dayton homes this week features a Leitzell-look alike, asleep, with his head resting on a laptop. It does not mention his opponent, Democratic Mayor Rhine McLin. The ad claims Leitzell has “No experience. Bad judgment” and that he is “All wrong for Dayton.”…
Montgomery County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Owens, who approved the ads, said the ads cost about $10,000 per mailing.

He doesn’t consider them negative.

“A negative ad is when you get personal. All we did was quote from local newspapers or his own blog,” Owens said.

via Leitzell slams campaign literature from Ohio Democratic Party.

Of course, at least Leitzell has a blog- and contributes to Dayton Most Metro forums on occasion. That’s more than can be said of any of the incumbents.

With eight years to prove herself, it’s sad that Rhine McLin can’t tell us of any glowing success stories- or a clear vision of where she wants to take us. Instead, she uses the excuse of the bad economy, which only would excuse her for the last two-years at best.

Is the reason the Dayton Daily News is not accepting comments on this article because they are featured so prominently in the smear quotes? Or, that after the negative hammering the post about the “step increases” generated- almost universally saying that McLin has to go- the paper decided not to give the anti-McLin side any more room to comment?

The reality is- the Dayton Daily News is as out of touch with the citizens as the incumbent “Team” and no amount of mud is going to obscure the failures of McLin and company come election day.

Dayton: Show me a sign (for free pizza)

Esrati yard sign, New Ideas

Esrati yard sign, New Ideas

This Saturday- I need help distributing signs on main streets and by polling places. Stop in the office at 100 Bonner Street between 11 and 2 to pick up your signs, and then come by the South Park Tavern at 4:30 and get free pizza until 5:30. Note, all my signs have to be in peoples yards- not vacant lots or public spaces.

You can just show up – or, to help us plan- register at http://electesrati.com/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=18