Corporate welfare: 100% wrong, 52% effective

100% Against Corporate Welfare Sticker

Sticker available from click on image to bu

From the very first time I ran for office, I believed that government should stick to doing things that only government should do: provide universal services and amenities to the community it serves. Police, fire, roads, parks, water and sewer are great starting points. Some things aren’t so black and white: trash collection, golf courses and convention centers and concert halls are things that could go public or private, but in general, there is nothing wrong with some publi-private competition.

However, when we start down the road to “economic development” by government, where we pick winners and losers in private enterprise I’m 100% against it. Why one business should get preferential tax breaks or lower interest financing, grants or other tax support, while its competition doesn’t creates havoc in the marketplace.

We’ve gone hog-wild down the “economic development” path in Montgomery County. How do the Wamplers (owners of Hara Arena) feel as Hara Arena has had its business cannibalized  by the Dayton Convention Center, the Nutter Center, and other-tax supported venues?

Despite the fact that Montgomery County hasn’t gained any population in the last 25 years, we’ve been building new housing, new retail space and new office space like crazy- granting tax breaks and creating private taxation districts (TIFS) where the money paid in taxes comes back to the taxpayer (you’d like that deal wouldn’t you?). We now are grossly overbuilt- and facing much larger overhead costs of maintaining all the infrastructure (more roads to plow, pave and sweep). Yet, we scratch our heads about why downtown buildings are empty and being sold for pennies on the hundreds of dollars while we’re pouring tax dollars into Austin Road Interchange and new office buildings.

Finally, the Ohio Attorney general does a study on what we got for all the “investment” in “economic development” read what the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:

A new Ohio Attorney General’s report showed that only 52 percent of companies that received Ohio taxpayer-funded economic development awards that ran out in 2010 kept their promises to boost the economy.

The report, released Thursday, identified 200 companies that received grants, tax credits and other awards from the Ohio Department of Development that did not meet their goals for job creation, job retention or other measures.

The awards to non-compliant companies totaled more than $82 million.

via Nearly half of companies that received Ohio economic development awards didn’t keep promises to boost economy, study shows |

The main excuse for continuing playing this game which pits one community against another to give away your hard-earned tax dollars to these corporate charlatans is that “if we don’t do it- the jobs will go somewhere else.” Hence, NCR moved to Georgia, Mead moved to Delaware, Kettering and Miamisburg (depending on which division). The reality is, if your community isn’t a good fit for a company to make money – no amount of sales incentive should make a difference.

This is one of the key pieces of legislation I’d work to introduce in Congress when I’m the Honorable Gentleman from Ohio representing the hard-working people of the tenth district: No tax breaks or incentives can be made for business relocation, or for “job creation” except on a national level- and only for broad industries for companies that have less than 10% of the total market. We don’t need to support the Exxons or Banks of  America anymore, nor do we want our politicians rewarding their paymasters in our auction system of election.

If we really cared about creating jobs in America- we’d make our tax system work to reward those who employ the most U.S. citizens be able to make the most money. You get what you pay for after all- and what we’ve seen over the last 40 years is that the rich 1% have bought our Congress to help them gain even more wealth at a ridiculous rate.

Ending corporate welfare is my number two priority after taking the money out of politics. I hope you’ll consider supporting my campaign.

Unofficial candidates for OH-10

Until the Board of Elections rules on Tuesday, January 3rd, this is the unofficial list of candidate for the OH-10 race.

10th Congressional District
REP John D. Anderson  6904 Joseph Dr. Enon 45323
REP Edward Focke Breen  213 Ernshaw Dr. Kettering 45429
DEM David Esrati  113 Bonner St. Dayton 45410
DEM Olivia Freeman  22 W. Goodman Dr. Apt-24 Fairborn 45324
LIB  David A. Harlow  2243 Keenan Ave. Dayton 45414
DEM Thomas F. McMasters  6934 Sylmar Ct. Huber Heights 45424
DEM Sharen Swartz Neuhardt  4625 U.S. Route 68 North Yellow Springs 45387
DEM Ryan Steele  1421 Meadow Moor Dr. Beavercreek 45434
REP Michael R. Turner ~ 5815 Stone Lake Dr. Kettering 45429 (INCUMBENT)
DEM L. Mack VanAllen  220 Kimbary Dr. Centerville 45458

So we have 3 Republicans, 1 Libertarian and 6 Democrats. The Libertarian, if his signatures are good, doesn’t have to appear in a primary.

McMasters and Neuhardt weren’t in the running last time around:

Which should make you wonder a bit about why they decided they want to run now?

Neuhardt is an attorney and partner at Thompson Hine, and ran previously in the 7th: against Austria and lost. As an attorney she will be the belle of the ball, but if she couldn’t beat Austria, it’s unlikely that she’ll beat Turner. For some reason, we seem to think that attorneys make good politicians when anyone with a brain would see that’s what got us into the mess we’re in. She spent $855K to get 42% of the vote in a race for an open seat.  I don’t believe anyone can win by outspending Turner- or even trying to come close. It’s time for an unconventional candidate and campaign to take a shot.

McMasters is a whole other ball of wax. I don’t have time to analyze his site- so maybe some of you can help: It says it’s done with the approval of his wife. There may be a problem in that he filed as a DEM but says he’s a REP on his site. He’s retired USAF and the father of 5 according to his bio, to which I can’t directly link (fails web 2.0 standards).

Either way, with Austria out, Turner has a much higher probability of winning than he did when we last turned in petitions, making me wonder if the Statehouse-forced re-petition deal was engineered to give Turner more time to work a deal with Austria to clear the path. If this doesn’t reek of election tampering, I don’t know what does.

WHIO reports Austria drops out against Turner for OH-10

Guaranteed, come Jan. 1, 2013 we will find out what the payoff to Steve Austria was to drop out of the OH-10 race:

Republican congressman Steve Austria of Beavercreek announced Friday that he will not seek re-election, allowing the party to avoid what would have been a contentious and divisive primary with Rep. Mike Turner of Centerville.

Although Austria had been easily re-elected last year, he became a victim of a fierce intraparty battle over the new congressional districts. Because of the new congressional map created by the Republican legislature, Austria would have been forced to run in a March 6 primary against either Turner or in the Central Ohio district held by freshman Republican Steve Stivers.

“I am not going to run for Congress next term as a result of the redistricting map,’’ said Austria, who represented the 7th district. He said a primary would have been divisive and “pitted friends against friends.’’

via Rep. Austria will not seek re-election to Congress |

Expect to see Steve Austria become a federal employee or be appointed to some powerful committee.

The WHIO-TV station news people don’t understand Congress at all- with the following fallacy:

The new map presented Austria with a difficult choice: Either run against Turner in a district that favored Turner, or uproot his family and move into Stivers’ district, mounting a challenge against a Republican with close ties to House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester Township.

You don’t have to live in a district to run in it or to represent it, just 25 years old and have been a resident of the State for 7 years.

This just saved Turner half a million or so. Maybe he just paid it directly to Austria? It wouldn’t be the first time Austria has been bought:

I turned in 108 signatures at 2 p.m. There were 9 candidates who had turned in already, but one was a Libertarian. Petitions can be turned in until 4 p.m. Turner turned in yesterday. The lineup will be validated on Tuesday around 11 a.m. by the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

A peek behind the curtain at the Monarchy of Montgomery County

Regular readers of know that I’ve long talked about what I call “the Monarchy of Montgomery County”- the cabal of politically connected hacks who practice nepotism, favoritism, elitism and above all corruption on a daily basis. Actually, they don’t practice corruption- that one they have down to a science.

Please note, this isn’t an attack on one political party or the other- they are both as guilty. In fact, the practice goes back long before me- to an organization that was before my time (or my awareness) “the All Dayton Committee” which used to meet in private and pick the Dayton City Commission- always keeping the parties balanced with a token shift back and forth. But that’s ancient history. What goes on now is almost becoming comical, because the treasure chest of the community chest has been cleaned out. Now, we fight over scraps and it gets ugly.

In today’s Dayton Daily News, we find that:

The wife of the Montgomery County clerk of courts has been charged with misdemeanor theft in an investigation regarding missing Ohio Lottery tickets.

When asked if his wife, Kymberly, was guilty of what she is being accused of, Clerk of Courts Gregory Brush said “absolutely not.”

He went on to say that he believes the accusation against his wife was politically motivated but did not say who accused her. Gregory Brush, a Democrat, is up for re-election in November. His opponent will be Michael Joseph Foley, a Republican.

Note, it’s been mentioned before on this site via insider reader feedback, that besides making sure his wife had a job at the Board of Elections (the mecca for moolah for the monarchy’s favored sons and daughters) Mr. Brush also hired his father-in-law- who reportedly drove a county vehicle home every night- one festooned with images of his elected son in law.

The next part of the article goes on to tell us that the complaint began on Sept. 26- but wasn’t presented until Dec. 22- note, this started before we knew Mr. Brush had an opponent in the next election.

Vandalia Municipal Court Prosecutor David Caldwell approved the charge against Kymberly Brush, 48, of Butler Twp., after a detective presented the investigation to him on Dec. 22, according to Butler Twp. Police Chief Carl Bush.

The charge was the result of an investigation of a Sept. 26 complaint about Ohio Lottery tickets missing from a machine at Liquor and Wine Warehouse, 3440 York Commons Blvd., near Miller Lane….

Kymberly Brush did work at Liquor and Wine Warehouse, but left the job in the summer, her husband said.

The Vandalia court will cause the party a slight problem in that another member of the interconnect rules the court there, but that is exposed at the end of the article. Of course, the lawyer for the defendant is predictably, another one of the Monarchy:

“I think there was a mutual parting of the ways after some extensive conversations,” said Dennis Lieberman, the attorney representing Kym Brush and the former Montgomery County Democratic Party Chairman.

The next part should make every taxpayer wonder what is really going on in the Montgomery County Board of Elections:

Kym Brush also retired on disability from the Montgomery County Board of Elections in 2006. She is employed now, but Lieberman would not disclose her current job.

Mrs. Brush “retired on disability” from the BOE- but, is now capable of holding a job, or several other jobs? Former employees of the BOE have told me that the percentage of  BOE employees who leave on “disability” is unbelievably high. And of course, it’s also the place where disgraced party people are given a desk job to finish their time to retirement when they can’t hold a public position anymore (see Ricky Boyd).

The paper talks a bit about the Ohio Lottery Commission investigation before we have Greg Brush trying to turn this into a political hatchet job:

“I find it highly suspicious,” said Gregory Brush of the timing of the news of the case against his wife. “We have nothing to hide. It’s politics.”

“This smells of a political ploy just to try to throw some dirt on Greg Brush,” Lieberman said. “I believe it’s politically motivated. Not by the police or the prosecutor, but I certainly believe that once the whole story is known it’s going to be clear that she did nothing wrong.”

The paper then prints hearsay- where the former political party chief then identifies “the source” of the leak to the media as a “registered Republican.”

Lieberman, whose wife Debbie is the president of the Montgomery County Commission, said he has no evidence that Foley had anything to do with leaking Brush’s case to the media. “I think this is coming from another source,” Lieberman said. He believes the source is a registered Republican.

Note- all court cases are public record and the fact that it has to take “a source” to leak it to the media shows how asleep at the wheel our media is. The fact that the Montgomery County Pro System- (where you look up court cases) run by no one other than Greg Brush, is designed to make it impossible to easily create links to cases. Yet in the Vandalia court, while having less info, it is possible:

Of course, the Monarchy has another problem- the Judge in Vandalia is queen to one of the kings:

Kymberly Brush is scheduled to appear for an arraignment hearing at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 5 in Vandalia Municipal Court.

Vandalia Municipal Court Judge Cynthia Heck, wife of Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias Heck Jr., also a Democrat, has recused herself from the case, according to Karen Goffena, Vandalia’s clerk of courts. Darke County Municipal Court Judge Julie Monnin will hear the case .

via Wife of county official faces theft charge.

Time will tell if Mrs. Brush is guilty of stealing lottery tickets. Remember, Al Capone was arrested for tax evasion. The real crimes that are committed daily in our halls of government are much greater than the theft of some lottery tickets. How we have so many friends and family working throughout our “government”- and how we end up with such winners as:

and those are just the highlights from the last year.

It’s time for a chief ethics officer in Montgomery County– to be elected by the people in a nonpartisan election- to clean up this mess. We can’t rely on the media or bloggers to expose this culture of corruption that has turned our government into a political patronage party.

(A note to my faithful readers and supporters, today I go to re-file identical petitions, with new signatures to attempt to get on the ballot AGAIN for Congress in the new OH-10 district. I was already certified on a ballot- with a petition with valid signatures with the exact same information- yet it was tossed by actions of Statehouse Republicans- overriding the will of the people with a valid petition. Wish me luck. It’s not good to kick the hornets’ nest just before you submit your petitions).



The fall of the Montgomery County Republican Party?

Too many sources have been whispering in my ear to let this one go by without mention: The days of Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Greg Gantt are coming to an end with a coming takeover by the Tea Party – led by Rob Scott. The party offices are to be no more- at least not in the Sherry Oakes/Design Homes building with subsidized rent (Oakes is still looking through rose-colored glasses about the FBI investigation into her maze of companies and their questionable minority contracting status). Money is so tight that Gantt borrowed $20K from Sheriff Phil Plummer earlier this year- and now has no way to pay it back.

Not only has the party been ineffective in raising money, somehow, its star, Congressman Mike Turner is now facing a primary after the statehouse Republicans took orders from House Speaker, John Boehner, who used to have part of his district in the county.

Rumors are also flying about a shake-up at the Board of Elections, with top Republicans about to be shifted out.

Montgomery County, as with most counties with a large urban core in Ohio has traditionally voted Democratic, but with the giant sucking sound of people leaving Dayton, the county can no longer be counted as a solid Dem win. The Montgomery County Democrats, under Chairman Mark Owens, aren’t in a whole lot better shape. Still smarting from the underdog victory of Mayor Leitzell over the incumbent party-favored daughter, Rhine McLin, the Dems are now facing challenges for county offices – something that used to get worked out in a back room.

The monarchy of Montgomery County is still hanging onto the last vestiges of the patronage system as long as possible- the recent embarrassment of having a Republican Judge’s son shoot someone five times outside Therapy Cafe on East Third Street- especially ironic because he was in a patronage position for another Republican judge where his job was to assist domestic violence victims in filling out their paperwork and helping them through the system.

To be fair, all of this was standard operating procedure for years, while the local version of the Fourth Estate, the Dayton Daily News, refused to do any kind of investigative reporting, instead believing that they were part of the secret society that ran this town. Now that they have jettisoned the flotsam and buckled down to attempt real reporting- it won’t be long before the entire org chart of both Dayton and Montgomery County gets cross referenced with a genealogical database and all the relationships come to light.

Even with the loss of population, Ohio will still be a key state for the presidential campaign and there will be a lot of money flowing through the party offices. The real question will be if the locals can be trusted, or will outsiders be brought in to try to steer the sinking ships in one last battle royale.



The new fairness doctrine as proposed by Congressional Candidate David Esrati

I believe the first thing we need to do if we want to have the representation we deserve, is change the way we elect Congress. We have to change our auctions for office into elections.

There are two parts to leveling the playing field and balancing the power of the Congress with the power of the people.

The first is to take the money out of politics- entirely.

Rootstrikers, are looking to get to the root of the problem- by introducing a new way to finance political campaigns. Their leader is academic superstar Lawrence Lessig who has a new book out: Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress–and a Plan to Stop It

1. Provide that public elections are publicly funded;

2. Limit, and make transparent, independent political expenditures, and;

3. Reaffirm that when the Declaration of Independence spoke of entities “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” it was speaking of natural persons only.

via Rootstrikers – Fighting the corrupting influence of money in politics.

One of the proposals is to allow unlimited donations, but they have to be routed through the Federal Elections Commission so that candidates have no indication of who supported their positions.

Another brilliant solution is the so called “Patriot dollars:”

The best solution we have heard of is called the “patriot dollars” plan, put forth by Yale law professors Bruce Ackerman and Ian Ayres. Basically, it eliminates all hard contributions to candidates. Period. Instead, each voter is given a $50 ATM card so that he or she can literally vote with their dollars and contribute their $50, in part or in whole, to their choice of federal candidates. Simple enough. Let’s do the math. We spend about $5 billion to $6 billion collectively on all federal elections. If the approximately 131 million who voted in November also had voted with $50 worth of patriot bucks, the donations would have equaled — surprise — $6.5 billion! That money would cover presidential, Senate and congressional races.

via ‘Patriot dollars’ to reform politics –

Both of these solutions would transform our current system that creates a culture of congressional corruption- where our representatives spend at least half their time either begging for money- or spending it campaigning.

Republic, Lost from Daniel Jones on Vimeo.

Once we’ve solved the influence-peddling conundrum, we need to look at bringing some sanity back to our economic ecosystem. There is wealth and there is greed. Having a nation with a small number of people who control most of the wealth creates a system that is unsustainable. This isn’t a new phenomena, Justice Brandeis talked about this at the turn of the last century- his thoughts have been revisited with another solution (and it also mentions the problems of bought elections):

Over the last three decades, income inequality has again soared to the sort of levels that alarmed Brandeis. In 1980, the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans made 9.1 percent of our nation’s pre-tax income; by 2006 that share had risen to 18.8 percent — slightly higher than when Brandeis joined the Supreme Court in 1916.

Congress might have countered this increased concentration but, instead, tax changes have exacerbated the trend: in after-tax dollars, our wealthiest 1 percent over this same period went from receiving 7.7 percent to 16.3 percent of our nation’s income.

What we call the Brandeis Ratio — the ratio of the average income of the nation’s richest 1 percent to the median household income — has skyrocketed since Ronald Reagan took office. In 1980 the average 1-percenter made 12.5 times the median income, but in 2006 the latest year for which data is available the average income of our richest 1 percent was a whopping 36 times greater than that of the median household.

Brandeis understood that at some point the concentration of economic power could undermine the democratic requisite of dispersed political power. This concern looms large in today’s America, where billionaires are allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money on their own campaigns or expressly advocating the election of others.

We believe that we have reached the Brandeis tipping point. It would be bad for our democracy if 1-percenters started making 40 or 50 times as much as the median American.

Enough is enough. Congress should reform our tax law to put the brakes on further inequality. Specifically, we propose an automatic extra tax on the income of the top 1 percent of earners — a tax that would limit the after-tax incomes of this club to 36 times the median household income.

Importantly, our Brandeis tax does not target excessive income per se; it only caps inequality. Billionaires could double their current income without the tax kicking in — as long as the median income also doubles. The sky is the limit for the rich as long as the “rising tide lifts all boats.” Indeed, the tax gives job creators an extra reason to make sure that corporate wealth does in fact trickle down.

Here’s how the tax would work. Once a year, the Internal Revenue Service would calculate the Brandeis ratio of the previous year. If the average 1-percenter made more than 36 times the income of the median American household, then the I.R.S. would create a new tax bracket for the highest 1 percent of income and calculate a marginal income tax rate for that bracket sufficient to reduce the after-tax Brandeis ratio to 36.

This new tax, if triggered, would apply only to income in excess of the poorest 1-percenter — currently about $330,000 per year. Our Brandeis tax is conservative in that it doesn’t attempt to reverse the gains of the wealthy in the last 30 years. It is not a “claw back” tax. It merely assures that things don’t get worse.

via Don’t Tax the Rich. Tax Inequality Itself. –

While any combination of the above ideas would be game changing, the real issue that needs to be addressed first and foremost is how to create living wage jobs in this country and get people back to work.

It’s not going to happen by lowering interest rates, government spending or by crony capitalism/corporate welfare, nor is a “payroll tax reduction” going to solve any long-term systemic problems.

What we need to look at is linking the ability to gain wealth directly to how many jobs you create in this country. It’s time to stop rewarding corporate raiders like Mitt Romney and the Wizards of Wall Street who think that owning a stock for less than 12 seconds is “investing.”

There are two ways to do this: one is to limit all compensation in publicly traded companies to a ratio of highest to lowest paid employees and or payroll. A formula would be put in place that requires at least 51% of your payroll be spent in America for you to have patent protection and other rights, and that the top compensation be directly tied to total payroll and a ratio. The more people you employ, and the higher their average wage- the more you can take home. No more billion dollar plus salaries for creating new financial junk paper- the only financial paper that would count is your payroll report.

The second option is that the Federal Government, the largest purchaser of goods and services no longer does business with any company that breaks the ratio. Things would change very quickly.

The costs of inequality and poverty will destroy our country. When people can’t find meaningful honest work, survival mechanisms kick in and crime kicks in as civility walks out.

Without approaching our problems in a new way with new thinking as outlined above, democracy as we used to believe in it, is doomed if not already dead. It’s why I’m running for Congress in OH-10, and hope that you will support me.

Ohio now has “do-over” election law?

The dangerous precedent that is being set, which I believe to be unconstitutional, is that once a ballot issue has been set and certified, the members of the Ohio House, can at will, overrule the will of the people- and decide to arbitrarily change the course of an election.

What next? After the petitions have been filed to put a measure on the ballot- like issue 2, they change the requirements?

Or if a candidate who was ruled ineligible, is given a second chance to file? (as this law seems to do).

As a candidate who had petitions invalidated in the past- for a minor technicality that overruled the will of 50 electors’ signed names- this sets dangerous precedent.

These actions and meddling in elections by the House and Senate reek of election rigging. The perpetrators of this crime against the people, should be charged and brought to trial.

Making election law as they go along


updated 9:38am After checking this with Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Steve Harsman, the following information: ANYONE can now file to run for Congress- even those who DID NOT file on Dec 7 (the legal 90 day window). Those who did file- will be refunded their filing fees. The only change between the first petitions and the second is that the date of Declaration on the petitions must be dated after 15 Dec 2011. This new 67 day window is totally without precedent, and suggests that a “hurry up” election could be held to fill an unfulfilled seat in the future.

As someone who has filed to run for office a whole bunch of times, I can tell you there is chapter and verse on every possible way to keep a candidate off the ballot. We’ve even had people rejected for the type of paper they used for their petitions.

So, when the Ohio House and Senate manage to reset the primary date, redraw the districts and invalidate petitions overnight you have to wonder how far we are from martial law or a dictatorship. The words that come to mind are “stranger than fiction” for there is no way anyone could look at the Ohio constitution and come up with this fly-by-night gerrymandering and election law off a cocktail napkin.

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Legislation approved Wednesday night and signed into law tonight by Gov. John Kasich includes more of Turner’s turf than Austria’s in the new version of the 10th district. All of Montgomery and Greene counties and half of Fayette County now comprise the 10th. A redistricting law enacted in September also had included all of Pickaway County and most of Fairfield County, but they were stripped out.

Austria, a Beavercreek native, believes he can beat Turner, who lives in Centerville, in the new district, an aide said.

“We had a chance to glance at the proposed new maps and it looks very winnable, especially given that Steve Austria has built a lot of momentum in Montgomery County and it has become clear to us that Republican voters in Montgomery County are eager to finally support a conservative candidate,” said Tyler Grassmeyer, campaign spokesman for Austria.

Turner issued a statement saying he plans to run in the district and is happy that all of Montgomery County is included in it: “This permits our congressional representative to focus on the Miami Valley as opposed to being split between Dayton and Columbus as originally proposed. Our area deserves a representative who is focused on the many and varied issues which confront our region.”…

Although the newly drawn map still favors Republicans in 12 of the 16 districts, GOP incumbents were miffed that they were given little time to vet the map by Ohio House Speaker William G. Batchelder before it was passed late yesterday. Stivers didn’t see it until 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and Austria was said to be “shocked and upset” when he finally saw the reconfigured districts.

“The delegation is extremely upset with the way Speaker Batchelder and his staff handed this,” said a Republican source, speaking only on the condition of anonymity.

Along with altering the districts that previously had been enacted in September, the bill en route to Kasich settled on March 6 as a lone primary date rather than holding two primaries at an extra cost of $15 million.

The primary date positions Ohio as a Super Tuesday player in the race for the White House and made it easier for GOP presidential candidates to play in the state. The March 6 date places Ohio with Texas, Massachusetts, Virginia and eight other states in a delegate-rich conglomerate that could potentially determine the Republican presidential nomination….

The move to eliminate the second primary on June 12 raised questions about qualifying for the March 6 primary ballot.

The two primaries had created two filing deadlines: One requiring candidates for the U.S. Senate, state and local offices to file petitions on Dec. 7 to run in the March 6 primary and another for presidential and U.S. House candidates to file on March 14 for the June 12 primary. As a precaution, Secretary of State Jon Husted had advised all 2012 candidates to file on Dec. 7.

Following the legislature’s designation of one primary on March 6, Husted’s office provided this guidance:

*Candidates for president and the U.S. House of Representatives who filed on Dec. 7 must re-file their nominating petitions by Dec. 30. Others who want to run for those offices but did not file on Dec. 7 now have an opportunity to file by Dec. 30. Matt McClellan, Husted’s spokesman, said petitions submitted on Dec. 7 are “null and void” and new petitions are due Dec. 30.

“If they haven’t filed yet, they’ll have until Dec. 30th to do so,” McClellan said. “If they have filed, they’ll have to re-file.”

*Candidates for the U.S. Senate and state and local offices who were required to file on Dec. 7 have no further opportunity to file.

“If they did not file on Dec. 7, they cannot be on the March ballot,” McClellan said.

*Local governments and school districts with levy requests had to have filed petitions on Dec. 7. Those who had contemplated waiting for the June primary will have no opportunity now to file for the March ballot.

via Candidates moving forward after new districts approved | The Columbus Dispatch.

I filed petitions for the March 6th primary, signed by over 50 qualified electors who are either Democrats or unclassified and all reside within the district I am running in. The requirement to file petitions is 90 days before the primary- how the Secretary of State can not only invalidate these petitions- but also change the district after they have the filing deadline is a usurpation of standing law and ignoring the will of those voters who signed the petitions. The fact that the primary is the exact same day as the petition I turned in, the district name is the same- there are zero grounds for his actions.

To get the required 50 signatures isn’t that hard, but as a matter of principle, I believe that the new signatures should be invalid since they are after the 90 day cut-off. If not, we are setting dangerous precedent.

In case anyone is wondering what is going on with all this backroom gerrymandering, Turner and Austria probably strongly protested the original district which extended across two major media markets making their primary even more expensive. As a way to appease them and to try to save some money to run against the winner of the 6-way shoot-out on the Dem side, they reduced the new district to Greene and Montgomery county- all reachable with purchasing media in one market.

As soon as I get verification of what the requirements are for this petition- I will go and get my signatures again. What is unclear is if this is being required statewide for every house seat- or just ones that the new map has changed. Also the issue of the filing fees- if the original ones will be refunded and re-applied or if they are going to try to squeeze candidates for another filing fee due to their back room deal?

It will be interesting to see if they ever come up with the reason for invalidating a certified slate. To me, it’s just another indication how willing the Republican party is to make things up as they go along.

One thing is certain- the new OH-10 is much more manageable by a candidate and should make it easier for constituents to stay in touch with their representative. The new map is a much better option for those of us little people that still sign petitions thinking that our voices matter.

One more reason not to vote for Turner or Austria in the primary or for a Republican in the general. It’s time to end this “make it up as we go along” excuse for election law.



A proposed compromise on “Obamacare”

As per usual, the hacks we have in Washington who’ve been bought and sold by the various forces in health care in this country (none of us that actually struggle with paying for health insurance or health care) have only two positions on a national health insurance initiative- yes or no.

I’m not a fan of “Health Insurance” at all- but, that’s just not going to happen- there are too many jobs in the “health insurance” industry to try to convert them to actual health care providers fast enough.

To me, health insurance is nothing different than the Mafia telling a business “pay us for protection- or we’ll hurt you.” At a cost of about 35% added overhead to an already out of control health care delivery system.

While Republicans are all against mandatory health insurance, they are also big on free market enterprise, and that’s why I hope this compromise is attractive to them.

  • Keep the requirement that insurance companies can’t reject anyone who applies.
  • Require all institutions that accept medicaid or medicare or federal research dollars to comply with a maximum of 40/1 compensation structure for all employees if over 51% of their payroll is in the USA (if they offshore services to more than 51% of their employees- less likely in health care but more likely in health insurance, the maximum compensation rate is 20/1 average payroll)
  • Create a pricing transparency system- where all rates charged to insurance companies (including Medicare and Medicaid) are posted online and the average price of any service to the insurance companies will be the market price to those paying with cash.

It’s time we started to address one of the hardest to manage expenses for small business and one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in this country- ridiculous health insurance and health care costs and outlandish premiums.

It’s real options like this that motivate me to run for Congress and I hope I have your support.

If you have any ideas to improve this option, I’d love to hear them.

The most important American stock exchange: your neighborhood housing stock

Last night, around 6o South Park neighbors got together at Hope Lutheran Church for our annual “Hot Toddy” party– food, desserts, alcohol, kids, a raffle for some amazing gift baskets and South Park Family Feud game- where the survey said: we’ve built a pretty special neighborhood. South Park is reportedly one of only a few Dayton neighborhoods where the property values went up in the last appraisal.

Sure we have some vacant homes that could be torn down as nuisance structures and we’ve also got some homes occupied by nuisance people, but the real difference (besides the recent crime spree which can be directly related to the aforementioned nuisance people) is that we truly have built our social capital by relentlessly working on quality of life issues, so that the tagline “where neighbors become friends” actually means something. The “social network” of our neighborhood is more real than virtual and the value is very tangible.

Last year I met a nice couple who were starting a business through my Veterans Owning Businesses group- When they visited my office, a building I bought in 1988 for $2,200 plus taking over $2,400 in back taxes, they fell in love with what I had done with the old corner grocery. I informed them of another old storefront that was available down the street. They now own 4 buildings in South Park, are residents and even have his parents investing in some other homes in the neighborhood. These values aren’t like stock prices at the Wall Street Casino and these investments aren’t short-term bets, because real housing markets have real transactional costs and real values attached to them.

Earlier this week, the Dayton Daily News reported that the Feds weren’t too happy with our demolition-happy policy pushed by Commissioner Nan Whaley (who accepted huge donations from “unknown demolition contractors”)

The city of Dayton, already losing ground in its war on urban decay, is slashing its housing inspection department after the federal government said it spent millions in taxpayer dollars with “no reportable accomplishments.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said the amount of seriously dilapidated housing exploded between 2005 and 2009 in all four neighborhoods it studied.

It questioned the city’s long-standing policy of funding its housing inspections with HUD Community Development Block Grant money, and called on city officials to re-evaluate how it is spending the federal money.

via Feds criticize city’s proposal to trim housing inspection program.

Had the millions been spent improving quality of life (CDBG money has been used in South Park for park improvements, street closings, new lighting, wrought iron fences for public spaces etc) perhaps the value of the investment of our tax dollars actually brought a return. You don’t build value by tearing down, you just subtract negative value. There is no incentive for new investment, no growth. Empty lots are very rarely tangible assets in a country going through a disastrous slide in real housing values thanks to the non-existent Federal oversight on the FIRE industries (Financial, Insurance & Real Estate) with their play money secondary markets and the trillions of dollars stolen from the working-class people of this great country.

From today’s Dayton Daily News we find that Ohio is particularly hard hit by the double whammy of higher vacancy rates and lower tax revenues:

Ohio’s housing vacancy rate jumped 50 percent between 2000 and 2010, the 10th largest leap among the states and far above the U.S. average of 33 percent, the Government Accountability Office said last week.

The increases in vacancies are costly to taxpayers, the GAO noted, straining community services like police and fire protection and sometimes requiring taxpayer-funded maintenance and demolition. The impact of vacant homes on surrounding property values also may reduce communities’ tax revenues.

Across the nation, the number of vacant housing units, excluding units for seasonal migrant workers, climbed from 6.8 million in 2000 to 10.3 million in 2010, a change of 51.2 percent.

Ohio’s vacancy rate — the amount of vacant property as a percentage of total housing stock — rose 49.8 percent from 2000 to 2010, going from 6.1 percent to 9.1 percent, the GAO said. That’s the 10th highest, but better than the top three: New Hampshire (77.4 percent), Minnesota, (75.8 percent) and Michigan (73 percent).

Ohio ranked in the top 20 states in three other indicators related to vacancies: the 2000-2010 percentage change in the number of vacant residential properties (13th), the unemployment rate (18th) and the percentage of loans in foreclosure (eighth) as of December 2010, according to the GAO report, issued Tuesday.

via Ohio’s housing vacancy rate up 50 percent in past decade.

The focus on the wrong “Stock Markets” by the media and the politicians has allowed the greatest crime in history to be carried off which has filled the pockets of the super rich while draining those of the rest of us. This is the transfer of wealth and the huge income gap that brought the Occupy Wall Street movement to the forefront. The giant sucking sound will continue as community after community goes bankrupt- all while the fat cats on Wall Street continue on their merry way playing with your money on their play market. Had we bailed out the homeowners instead of the robber barons by:

  • Forcing down interest rates on loans instead of bailouts for banks
  • Capping pay for publicly traded companies’ executives (forcing distribution to shareholders instead of to executive pay)
  • Placed transactional taxes on financial trades to stop volatility and bring real value back to stock pricing
  • Funded the unpopular wars with higher taxes (wars do tax society and voters would react differently if they saw a war tax coming out of every paycheck)

    (updated later, same day)Place compensation ratio limits on any company that does business with the Federal government.

There are some other issues of fairness that need to be addressed in the United States if we want to build a relatively fair and level economic playing field including:

  • A flat rate federal internet sales tax (which would fund universal high speed access nationwide and fund technology for education)
  • The ending of all tax-funded corporate welfare at any level less than national (no more luring of jobs from one community to another with public tax dollars).
  • Funding all election campaigns with tax dollars giving a level playing field to all candidates who would be rated on the value of their ideas, not the size of their campaign kittys. We need real elections instead of auctions in our county again.
  • Universal access to affordable health care (note- no mention of insurance) because good health is a mandatory part of being able to work and be a net contributor to society (if anyone can prove the value of the health insurance industry as middlemen sucking up 35% of all health care spending in this country, I nominate you for the Nobel Prize).
  • Re-evaluating our system of higher education which has seen huge price increases without creating equal value in economic return for students over the last 30 years.

The real stock value in America has never been on Wall Street but on Main Street. It’s time we aligned our Federal policy with good sound financial policy. Only then, will we be building value in our country instead of allowing the few to profit from the collective labors of us all.

On Tuesday, December 13, 2011, I’ll find out if I’m on the ballot to run for Congress in OH-10. If you like what you read in this post, please consider visiting and signing up to volunteer or donate to a campaign that will be funded by the people who built this great country- not the ones who are trying to steal it.