It wasn’t gerrymandering that sank Sharen Neuhardt

I’ve not posted my complete profile of Sharen Neuhardt yet. Partially, because she hasn’t bothered to put together a website ( is a one page press release) and she hasn’t distributed any literature. Her campaign speech is mindless drivel (video coming tomorrow night). Her entire speech is:

  • I was born in Dayton
  • My father was a Dayton Policeman
  • I went to Fairview high school
  • I went to Northwestern
  • I went to Georgetown law
  • I’m a business attorney
  • My husband and I bought a farm in Greene County
  • I learned from my 2008 campaign that a Democrat shouldn’t run in a gerrymandered district.

Even her answers to questions, from day one have been short, concise, boring and conservative. Her answer to “does she support single payer” is that “it might have worked 50 years ago- but not now, she supports what was passed.”

I tried to ask her how she knew the big bankers who gave her money a while back- and didn’t get an answer.

When the “screening committee” of the Montgomery County Democratic Party decided to endorse her, despite most of the candidates suggesting that the party shouldn’t (informal poll). They cited her “proven ability to raise money” and they think she can “beat Mike Turner.” It got under not only my skin, but Ryan Steele‘s as well. After I called her out at the Fayette County Democratic dinner, he did too. He asked why she didn’t file on the first deadline when OH-10 wasn’t the same district it is today, and if she really wanted to be our Congressman, or was she just in it to win. She deferred an opportunity to respond. Ryan specifically asked if it was still gerrymandered, would she run? He points out that she always blames gerrymandering for her well financed 2008 loss to Steve Austria for the open seat vacated by David Hobson.

We decided to make a video to point out how ludicrous Ms. Neuhardt’s excuse is. The fact is, she doesn’t campaign well. She hires people to do the work. She doesn’t have a message. She’s still $90K in debt for her last run. We’ll have a video of her campaigning up tomorrow.

But, for now- watch and learn, how she spent 48x the amount of money that Bill Connor spent to get 3% more votes than he did. It’s embarrassing that this is what the private club screening committee of the Montgomery County Democratic Party chose to “endorse.”

Tomorrow night, March 1st, 2012,  we’ll all be at the League of Women Voters candidates night at Stivers School of the Arts at 6 p.m. It’s free. Please come, and see if this video gets her to change her speech. Voters have a right to know what she stands for and what she plans to do- other than raise money from K-street lobbyists and her partners at Thompson Hine.


The politics of polarization aren’t going to solve our problems

True debate has disappeared from the American Political Campaign process. Where candidates ask directly, not through proxy or via smear attacks- what makes one candidate a better choice than the other.

We’ve seen the same hot-button issues rehashed and rehashed. Hardly a day goes by without me getting a postcard telling me to save the unborn. Yet, abortion laws don’t restore our economy, nor do they put us back to work. They are used as smoke and mirrors in a magic show that gets you to ignore the real trouble this country is in: we’re broke and still acting like we’re a superpower.

Listening to the Republican presidential candidates argue over who is the true conservative is akin to watching the gauges in the cockpit to fly the plane, instead of looking out the window to see you are about to crash into a mountain. Our real problems won’t be solved by “conservatism” or “moral high-grounds” but by solving the problems at hand.

The cost of campaigning and the energy committed to the process is obscene. We need shorter, fairer election cycles. By publicly funding the process and switching to vote by mail with instant runoff balloting we can fundamentally change the political process and get better results.

Financial markets are not the economy- and shouldn’t control it. We need to bring back Glass-Stegall, re-regulate secondary and commodity markets and bring accountability back into business. We can start by having the federal government stop doing business with companies that pay their top people more than 35x what they pay their average U.S. worker (20x for non-profits). At least until unemployment is under 6%- then we may raise it to 40x if more than half your global payroll is in the U.S.

Our real military weaknesses aren’t the lack of firepower or troops, it’s that we don’t make key technologies here any more. Rare earth magnets are almost all made in China. This is a real problem if you want powerful electric motors.  Never mind the fact that we’re almost spending more than all the other armies in the world combined. We’ve already seen that the most powerful weapon to bring a country to its knees isn’t a bomb, but a move by a ratings agency to downgrade your debt. We need to pull our military out of bases across the globe, bring our troops and mercenary “contractors” back from Afghanistan and Iraq, and stop trying to “spread democracy” by pointing guns at people. Am I the only one who thinks it’s absurd to be spending $355 million to buy planes for Afghanistan while we can barely fund the FAA here? Maybe the answer is we need to invade our own country to get our government’s attention and build roads and schools?

Everyone agrees our tax system is broken, and our job-creation engine, small business, gets the short straw in almost every single instance. It’s time to change that. Simplify the collection of taxes and make it foolproof so we stop fining small businesses for missing filings- while allowing big businesses to skip paying taxes at all. To jump start small business, it’s time for a GSA EZ schedule for small businesses doing work for the government. All the people in Dayton who do business with the government will know exactly what this means.

When it comes to the “Affordable Care Act” let’s stop fooling ourselves. Mandating that we have to pay a middleman until we’re 65 and then, when medical costs start to skyrocket, the middleman gets off the hook for a single-payer public system is a crock. Health insurance isn’t health care- and doctors having to spend tons of money for administrative help instead of medical help is a farce. Investing in preventive, holistic health care for all Americans will do more to cut costs and keep workers healthy and productive than any plan involving insurance. It’s not about “Obamacare” vs. “What we have now” – it’s about offering a system that works more like what the military and the veterans have and moving on. If it works for our military and our veterans and our seniors, we should focus on improving and extending it, because while those services can’t go away- insurance companies can.

But most importantly, while our Republican presidential wannabes keep talking about bringing god and religion into our country, I prefer to discuss bringing morals and respect for the individual back. The “Patriot Act” stripped away many of our basic rights, the unregulated financial system has stolen trillions of our dollars, our dependence on fossil fuels has held us hostage to people we don’t like- and yet, the politics of polarization want to talk about “What would Jesus do?”

We need to re-evaluate so many things, all bigger than a 30=second TV spot, a sound bite on the evening news or pundits’ and pollsters’ opinions, it’s time to take a look at what we want. I don’t think America has really changed that much since I was a kid- where being a centrist was an admirable quality and extreme positions were shunned.

I wrote this piece last night and wanted to look it over in the morning- and in the NYT I read about Maine Senator Olympia Snow deciding not to seek another term:

“I do find it frustrating,” she said, “that an atmosphere of polarization and ‘my way or the highway’ ideologies has become pervasive in campaigns and in our governing institutions.”

via Snowe Opts Not to Seek Re-election In Maine –

If you really want to know what makes a candidate better than another, it’s time to ask better questions.

Because the ones we’ve been asking are the ones that got us in this mess in the first place.

Note: I am a candidate for Congress, and believe I will focus on the important issues raised above. I won’t do it because of what my party believes or because it’s what I believe, it’s because it’s what we need as Americans. I may not be able to change things- but I will be able to share the inside workings of Congress with you through this website and let your voices be heard. In this campaign, I’ve done as much as I can to shed light on the campaign trail, the candidates and the process. I hope this makes it possible for you to make an informed decision on March 6. Thank you.

Olivia Freeman for Congress 2012 – OH-10

This bio comes from the DDN voters guide- which I reposted here

Olivia Freeman


Bio: Born to a military family, I served stateside during Vietnam.  A Wright State Alum,  I’ve traveled to Eastern Europe and Africa to promote education.  Using my marketing and workforce development skills, I help small businesses grow.

Question 1: How will you deal with the continuing costs of military actions and the costs of domestic needs?

Answer 1: The people must be better informed in world affairs before voting on involvement and without giving our hand away, be kept in the loop. Cut the military to a “surgical staff” which is supported by civilian contractors will increase competitiveness and transparency. Demographic analysis indicates we have enough money to pay for SS and Medicare, et al. The “fire sale” of 2008 was a money laundering scheme transferring ownership and profits to foreign corporations. We must close that gate, then increase global market penetration. Let’s bring manufacturing into the 21st century and provide everything, everywhere and bring “our” money home.

Question 2: What are the most important issues in this race?

Answer 2: People need a  “workhorse” not a show horse.  I encourage rural and urban intra-district monetary circulation. I created:  9 Square which funds community programming by granstmanship training  to   2-3 people from every organization to fulfill their missions. The new Ohio Science Alliance will  prepare folks for 21st Century preeminence so everyone gets workforce training, utilizing our science centers and simulation technologies. Weekend Business Bootcamps will start hundreds of new businesses and put thousands of people to work in these vacant buildings across the district and hopefully spawn new industries as well.

And I have the experience to make it happen.

From the DDN interviews on Feb 26 2012

Olivia Freeman

Freeman, 56, lives in Fairborn and works as a consultant to small business. She said she has worked in software sales, as a corporate recruiter and as a substitute teacher. She ran unsuccessfully in the 2010 Congressional primary for the 7th district.

Freeman spoke repeatedly about the need to revitalize American manufacturing, describing it as an answer to job woes as well as deficit problems, and saying “anyone who can start a manufacturing business needs to start it today.”

She said the lack of credit available to small businesses is a hurdle to accomplishing this goal and called on credit unions and the U.S. Commerce Department to make more loans available. She said if the government can find money for corporate bailouts, it “bloody well better find money for this.”

Freeman also called for the use of “simulation technology” in education to better prepare students in science curriculums. She is in favor of getting American troops out of Afghanistan, and said she does not believe in cutting entitlement programs, saying once the Baby Boomer wave is past, the programs will be sound again. She said her business experience has prepared her for a bipartisan approach.

“When I am working with companies, I’ve got to work on both sides of the fence, making sure both the city and the contractor are getting their needs met,” Freeman said. “And I am a tough negotiator.”

Click on image to download pdf of Olivia Freeman campaign piece

Click on image to download PDF of Freeman for Congress piece

Olivia ran in 2010 in the OH-7th and had a leftover site that’s a bit odd- which she’s updated, and may be using signs from that run. Her tagline is a bit odd from an ad standpoint- “A workhorse, not a showhorse” as if this is a horse race instead of an election. She’s missed a few candidates nights and has some literature that showed up about the same time McMasters lit showed up (both a few weeks after mine was already out).

Olivia Freeman congress OH-10 car flyer

Olivia gives you a ticket

Today, while I was distributing literature at churches I hit one church right after Olivia had- I took a picture of her lit under a winsdhield- my mother thought it looked like a parking ticket.

When you watch the videos of Olivia speaking you’ll hear the same thing for the most part- about her age and military experience- she went into the Army in 1973 making her a Vietnam era vet, however she didn’t serve there. You’ll hear she went to Wright State as did her daughter- who she’s quite proud of, who wasn’t supposed to do drugs or have babies  (so far so good) and then she’s off on her idea of solving problems by begging corporate America’s foundations out of charitable cash to solve the problems in our community.

Looking at her LinkedIn profile she only has 17 connections and the link to her company website: is a dead link. Her work history is also a bit odd:

CEO Next Generation Technologies, Inc October 2007Present (4 years 5 months)

Next Gen is broken into four business units: Solas Construction helps people get training and experience in the construction industry. We manufacture our own solar power generator providing training and job experience to market disadvantaged and the underemployed. Freeman Educational Engineering, uses simulation technologies and engineering principles to enhance outcomes. Next Gen Communications: still produces software and added products for disaster preparedness. Next Gen Pharmacom: provides jobs in the pharmaceutical and aquaculture industries.

Human Resources Generalist Drake Center Nonprofit; 1001-5000 employees; Hospital & Health Care industry May 2005October 2007 (2 years 6 months)

Brought professional recruiting practices to hospital. Sourced candidates, wrote protocol for recruitment standards, methods and metrics. Created and presented career development courses to ensure captive audience of candidates. Designed employer branding, arranged logistics beyond job fairs. Streamlined application and interview process. Created first HRIS system for hospital. Rated “Excellent” in customer relations and employee advocacy.

Privately Held; 51-200 employees; Computer Software industry 19972003 (6 years)

Sold over one million dollars in mainframe data encryption software. Developed strategic plan to increase market penetration. Trained sales staff. Taught world-class relationship building. Trade Show Diva. Always came back with great leads. Still hold record for largest single sale.

I’ve heard her speak enough times that I should know what her plans are for Congress- but, I’m still feeling like I’ve not heard anything substantive.

Freeman is one of 6 choices in the Democratic Primary for OH-10, currently held by Mike Turner. The other candidates are Tom McMasters, Ryan Steele, Sharen Neuhardt, Mack Van Allen and me, David Esrati. The primary is March 6, 2012

Dayton Daily covers the OH-10 Congressional primary

Click to download PDF of DDN article as it appeared in print (truncated version)

Click image to download PDF version of print edition


It turns out the printed edition, as seen in the screen shot from an iPad, is missing entire paragraphs compared to the online edition. I’ve posted a screen shot of the print edition so you can see the difference

It’s not my normal practice to copy the entire contents of the DDN- but they don’t provide a forum for discussion of this article, so I’m posting it here. I think Jeremy Kelley did an outstanding job of condensing our hour long conversation into the story. You can listen to the whole conversation here: Dayton Daily News interviews David Esrati
U.S. House primary features 6 Democrats

By Jeremy P. Kelley, Staff Writer 11:37 PM Saturday, February 25, 2012

Democratic voters have a crowd of six candidates to choose from in the 10th Congressional primary March 6, ranging in age from 28 to 67 and including a cross-section of the community from business owner to retired teacher, and from pizza delivery driver to attorney.

Two are political newcomers, while four have run for Congress in the past five years. None has held elected office.

David Esrati

Esrati, 49, lives in Dayton and owns the advertising agency The Next Wave. He helped lead revitalization of the historic South Park area, where he lives. He has run for Dayton City Commission multiple times, and ran in the 2008 and 2010 Democratic primaries for Congress.

For years, Esrati has called for a new campaign finance system, referring to two-year Congressional terms as one year of campaigning and one year of paying back campaign donors. He favors publicly funded campaigns in which voters could have equal information from candidates.

He suggested three main reasons for America’s financial struggles — military spending on unnecessary weapons, wars and overseas bases; financial industry deregulation that led to a “casino” setup on Wall Street; and higher health care spending than any nation in the world.

Esrati focused more on corporate issues than most candidates, pushing for an end to “corporate welfare” and suggesting that CEO pay be capped at 35 times average worker pay for government contractors. He called for stronger penalties against corporate criminals, saying possession of $100,000 in crack cocaine will earn a life sentence, while corporate misdeeds that cost many times that in cash, jobs and pensions receive little punishment.

He called for pulling troops out of Afghanistan, focusing the military more on special forces roles, the need for a public option plan in health care reform, simpler rules and regulations for small business, and some tougher rules for those on public assistance. He said if elected, he hopes to post to the Internet a daily report of what happened in Washington.

Asked about his public disagreements with some local officials — he won repeated legal appeals after a spat with then-mayor Mike Turner got him arrested in 1996 — Esrati said he works well with people who want to be worked with.

“I’ve had a business for 22 years,” Esrati said. “I hate to tell you, but if you can’t work with people, you wouldn’t have a business for 22 years.”

Olivia Freeman

Freeman, 56, lives in Fairborn and works as a consultant to small business. She said she has worked in software sales, as a corporate recruiter and as a substitute teacher. She ran unsuccessfully in the 2010 Congressional primary for the 7th district.

Freeman spoke repeatedly about the need to revitalize American manufacturing, describing it as an answer to job woes as well as deficit problems, and saying “anyone who can start a manufacturing business needs to start it today.”

She said the lack of credit available to small businesses is a hurdle to accomplishing this goal and called on credit unions and the U.S. Commerce Department to make more loans available. She said if the government can find money for corporate bailouts, it “bloody well better find money for this.”

Freeman also called for the use of “simulation technology” in education to better prepare students in science curriculums. She is in favor of getting American troops out of Afghanistan, and said she does not believe in cutting entitlement programs, saying once the Baby Boomer wave is past, the programs will be sound again. She said her business experience has prepared her for a bipartisan approach.

“When I am working with companies, I’ve got to work on both sides of the fence, making sure both the city and the contractor are getting their needs met,” Freeman said. “And I am a tough negotiator.”

Thomas McMasters

McMasters, 49, lives in Huber Heights, and is a retired Air Force officer working as a support contractor at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He has run for Huber Heights City Council and challenged John Boehner in a 2010 Republican Congressional primary. He said he considers himself an independent who could fit as either a Republican or Democrat.

McMasters is soft-spoken and shies away from simple answers to policy questions, saying on his web site that his “strengths are the willingness to do a lot of technical work, the ability to comprehend the details and sensibility to promote credible solutions.”

He said he sees the federal debt and deficit as a major hindrance to the economy and called for deeper analysis of fiscal decisions. He said policymakers pushing to raise interest rates need to weigh whether raising taxes would have the same effect. He said lawmakers now calling for trillions in deficit reduction should realize that the Bush tax cuts were the equivalent of a $4 trillion expenditure.

Asked about abortion and gay marriage positions, McMasters said, “If you’re hard on one side, you’re probably not going to vote for me.” He leaned toward “civil unions” for gay couples, and said from a religious standpoint, abortion makes him “nauseous” but he wouldn’t support legislation against it.

McMasters said it makes sense that the defense budget decrease as wars come to a close and needed efficiencies are found. His key to building a better political system is to “get the middle of the country voting” and better informed.

Sharen Neuhardt

Neuhardt, 60, lives on a farm near Yellow Springs and practices business law for the firm Thompson Hine. She won the 2008 Democratic primary for the 7th U.S. House District, but lost the general election race to Steve Austria. She has been endorsed this year by the Montgomery County Democratic Party.

Neuhardt said one way the government can help the economy is by avoiding the near-shutdowns of the past two years over the debt ceiling and tax decisions. She said government contractors have had to start and stop work because of political gamesmanship, and all businesses struggle to prepare for last-minute changes in tax withholding rates because of temporary fixes rather than long-term solutions.

She said her career as a business lawyer would help her create compromise in Washington, as she has brokered deals between companies where “neither side gets 100 percent of what they want.”

Neuhardt said America needs more tax revenue, and it needs to come from the wealthy. She would support an increased rate on the top tax bracket, saying most in that bracket don’t object to paying more, but object to “the government wasting their money.” She said America’s tax code needs to be simplified.

Neuhardt said giving the president a line-item veto on budget items would be a good way to reduce our debt, because giant spending bills come before Congress, containing a multitude of provisions that wouldn’t pass if considered on their own. She said efforts to improve the local economy need to be broad based.

“We have to …make sure the Air Force base is strong and flourishing,” Neuhardt said. “But not everybody can work at the base. We have to do a good job of reaching out to businesses that are already located in the Miami Valley and asking them to invest more here. What will it take for you to put that next factory here instead of Indiana?”

Ryan Steele

Steele, 28, lives in Beavercreek and works as a pizza delivery driver. He has said at campaign events that he recently earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts at Wright State. He clarified Friday that his course work in religious studies and philosophy is finished, but he will not receive the degree until outstanding fees are paid.

Steele is new to politics and claims that as a strength, arguing that Americans have sent lawyers and CEOs to Congress and gotten little in return. “They’re not 28, a pizza delivery guy and a philosopher … that’s a combination we haven’t tried yet.”

Steele said it’s more the market’s job to take care of the economy, with the government there to referee and regulate. He said situations like the recent recession are the points where government can step in with public works projects to get people back to work. He suggested entitlement programs should not be dismantled, but also should do a better job of eliminating abuse.

He said as a former Libertarian, he has “an insane hatred of the income tax” and is tired of politicians arguing over who raised or lowered taxes on which group. He said the FairTax, or a similar form of governmental sales tax, is the best idea he’s heard so far, as long as it doesn’t disproportionately affect lower-income people.

Steele prides himself on being able to see both side of an argument, so he said he should be able to work in a bipartisan way.

Mack VanAllen

Van Allen, 67, lives in Centerville and is a retired high school government teacher. He said he has worked on local political campaigns, but this is his first run for office.

Van Allen says his primary concern is the handling of the federal deficit and debt problems. He cited an early November letter sent by 100 Congressmen, urging the debt supercommittee to pursue an aggressive $4 trillion debt reduction, rather than $1.2 trillion. “If Mike Turner had been one of those 100, I wouldn’t be in this race,” he said.

Van Allen said gradual, long-term fixes can be made to programs like Social Security and Medicare that would prevent the United States from having a Greece-like collapse in 10 or 15 years.

“It’s all about choices,” he said. “We have to have a sound fiscal policy in order to do the kids of things we would like to do socially.”

Van Allen’s entitlement suggestions wouldn’t be draconian, as he said a society is judged by how it cares for those least capable. He agrees with Neuhardt that long-term fiscal planning, rather than repeated six-month stopgap measures, would inject certainty into the economy, encouraging businesses to invest again.

He says he’s against earmarks, is against the payroll tax cut because it undermines social security funding, and is not a military isolationist, believing quick responses to some international conflicts are appropriate. He said he knows the inertia of government, and that as a freshman legislator, he wouldn’t change the world.

“I’m old-school … you elect a representative because you expect them to provide some leadership,” Van Allen said. “So it’s your job to make some judgments, and if that judgment runs counter to your district, but it’s clearly best for the nation, you’ve got to cast that tough vote. And if the voters want to throw you out, that’s their prerogative.”

via U.S. House primary featuring 6 Democrats.

The Republican article also by Jeremy Kelley “Republicans offering primary voters distinct options” covers the other three candidates- however, neither Turner nor Breen have shown up at a single candidates night.

Primary election voters sometimes complain there is little difference between candidates, as all of them try to appeal to the same party base.

That’s not the case in Ohio’s new 10th congressional district, where Republican voters have three distinct choices in the March 6 primary election.

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, elected first in 2002, is being challenged by John Anderson and Edward Breen, two men who have never held elected office, and who differ sharply in their policy positions.

John Anderson

Anderson, 60, lives in Enon and is a senior logistics consultant for a defense contractor. He ran for Congress as a Libertarian in the 2010 race won by Republican Steve Austria in Ohio’s former 7th District. He touts his 35 years of experience at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as a key qualification.

Anderson calls for a dramatic government downsizing — elimination of the departments of energy and education, saying education should be controlled by states, and arguing that the free market could make us energy-independent in 10 years.

He thinks funding should stop immediately for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and said the country can’t afford to be the world’s policeman in conflicts such as the one in Syria.

Anderson said his first action if elected would be to cosponsor the FairTax plan to replace federal income taxes with a 30 percent sales tax. He says the plan would draw corporations and factories back to the United States.

Anderson said both parties are to blame for the nation’s debt problems, with George W. Bush starting wars that Barack Obama continued, and Republican legislators creating an expensive prescription plan for seniors that Democrats compounded with recent health care legislation.

“If you really want to change government, vote for John Anderson,” he said. “If you want more of the same, vote for Turner.”

Edward Breen

Breen, 54, lives in Kettering and is an author and reserve (substitute) teacher in Dayton Public Schools. He’s the son of Eddie Breen, a former Dayton mayor, Montgomery County commissioner and congressman in the 1940s and early ’50s. He says he’s a moderate Republican and has been a precinct captain as both a Democrat and Republican.

Breen’s policy positions don’t stay within one narrow ideology. He supports the “heartbeat bill” anti-abortion measure. But he said he has no strong opposition to gay marriage.

Breen said he believes U.S. forces should get out of Afghanistan, and while he agrees that defense spending should be cut, he says the new focus should be on elite forces, drones and other high-tech advancements that are studied at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

He said government’s role in improving the economy is removing “red tape and redundancies” as well as providing tax incentives “with teeth.”

Breen cites an immediate need to improve our education system and our physical infrastructure. And he calls environmental issues important, saying he’s very opposed to the “fracking” process to extract natural gas. He’s opposed to the Obama health care plan, but said health reform is needed, and criticized Republicans for not offering “a serious alternative.”

“Ending the gridlock in Congress is important,” Breen said. “Maybe we need to get back to basics, having face-to-face lunch with our Democratic counterparts.”

Mike Turner

Turner, 52, lives in Centerville and is in his 10th year in Congress. He also worked as an attorney and served as mayor of Dayton for eight years. He has often focused his congressional efforts on the health of Wright-Patt, Ohio’s largest single-site employer.

Turner said he advocates across-the-board spending cuts to balance the budget, but adds that defense has already been cut and should not suffer further. He has been criticized by Anderson for votes early in his tenure to raise the debt ceiling. Turner argues that those votes came when the debt was $7 trillion lower than it is today.

Turner said entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare need reform, and benefits should change for those younger than 55.

Asked about voter frustration with gridlock in Congress, Turner blamed President Obama, claiming he has been unwilling to have a dialogue on spending cuts outside of defense.

Turner wants U.S. forces to stay in Afghanistan to ensure that terrorists do not gain control. He said his experience and advocacy for the region make him the best candidate.

“Our local economy is incredibly tied to the success and hard work of the men and women who serve at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,” Turner said. “My work on the Armed Services Committee has expanded, supported and defended Wright-Patt.”

via Republicans offering primary voters distinct options.

In a third article, Kelley outlines the changes in the district- and provides websites for the candidates.

Mike Turner currently represents Ohio’s 3rd Congressional District — most of Montgomery County, northern Warren County, plus Clinton and Highland counties. Steve Austria currently represents the 7th district — Greene, Clark and Fayette counties, plus areas just south of Columbus.

The district lines have been redrawn for 2012 candidates, who will take office in 2013. The new 10th Congressional district will include all of Montgomery and Greene counties, as well as a piece of Fayette County to the east. That means Huber Heights voters who have been represented by John Boehner, as well as Greene and Fayette county voters who have been represented by Steve Austria, are now included in the 10th district.

The Republican and Democratic primaries are March 6, with the winners and Libertarian candidate David Harlow competing Nov. 6, seeking a two-year Congressional term that pays $174,000 annually.

Democrat websites

Republican websites

Facebook: Edward Breen for U.S. Congress

via How does the new 10th Congressional district affect you?.

Your opinion of the reporting and the candidates? If you want to see video of any of the candidates- except Turner and Breen, you can head over to where I’ve posted video from all the candidates nights.


Fayette County Democratic Party Dinner- with fireworks (small display)

The Fayette County Dems had their annual dinner last Sunday. It was the first and only time I’ve had to pay my way to speak :-) which was quite OK- the money supports the party.

It was a full house at “Our Place” restaurant, with about 100 people in attendance. They take their politics much more seriously in Fayette County- this was the biggest group of Dems to hear the candidates on the trail.

All the dems were there except Olivia Freeman. I had to borrow Tom McMasters’ footage of my 5 minutes because my Kodak Zi-8 locked up just before I spoke (and no, that’s not why Kodak is in bankruptcy- I still think the Zi-8 is a great tool for the price). The most important part of the evening started with me bringing up the Montgomery County Dems’ endorsement of Sharen Neuhardt in the primary for her ability to win by raising dirty money, and then followed with a question from Ryan Steele about why she didn’t even file on the first deadline.

Starting about 4:22 into it- he asks the question- is Sharen running to represent us, or just to win?

The party chairperson was a bit taken aback by Dems attacking Dems and it becoming a debate at the dinner, for that I’m sorry, but whoever they back is going to have to fight Mike Turner (who has yet to show up to anything other than fundraisers to collect big checks). She offered Sharen a chance to respond- Sharen declined. I might have audio of that on the tape- but haven’t had time to check. I’ll try to get that posted tomorrow as a separate video.

Since this was just a few days after the Montgomery County Dems’ private club screening committee had endorsed Sharen, I started right out with my opinion of that practice, so the people of Fayette County would know how things will be influenced in their district as long as these new lines are drawn. The Fayette Dems who are in OH-10 will have undue influence exerted by a group of people over whom they have no control in their choice of representatives to the House. Seeing that a candidate who wins Montgomery county and do well in Greene can win the seat, their votes get marginalized by this unethical practice.

Here is Tom McMasters with his professor’s dissection of the financial mess our government is in:

Sharen Neuhardt- sounds like a broken record, but at least had some signs to distribute at the event, and since Fayette used to be part of the OH-7, she was a known quantity to some.

Mack Van Allen- who had his yellow and red signs for the first time at an event. He was brief- on the advice of his wife who became great friends with my significant other over the course of dinner.

I apologize for not getting this post up earlier.

Notes from the campaign trail- 9 days to go

Last night was the big gala event, “The Hermes Awards,” for the American Advertising Federation Dayton chapter where local work is recognized for excellence. Two of our campaign pieces were recognized, the logo and the foreclosure video. It’s rare that political work ever shows up in these competitions, but, this is the second time we’ve done it; the Big money spot was recognized 4 years ago. Since there isn’t a category for low budget online ads, we were up against some very tough, big budget work and deservedly, didn’t win the gold. The spot by Real Art that won in our category was phenomenal, with a kid starring in it who was all pro. To their credit, they shot the spot in Dayton- bringing in national level actors. It hurts to admit it- but, I was beat by a 10 year old. Real Art has a “behind the scenes” video about making their winner here:

Note, there is no behind the scenes short about the video- we filmed our spot in about an hour and a half, edited it in a day. We also illegally entered the red cottage- which had its door wide open. Not quite the same as flying a kid in such a big jet that they had to land it in Cincinnati (according to the Real Art person accepting the best of show award for the spot)

We won a silver, which is eligible to advance to regionals for Foreclosure:

The Yard Sign War

More than a few ad pros mentioned they’d seen my big 3×5 signs around town. Yes, they look different, but the other thing is you don’t see them at highway entrance ramps, in the median, on empty lots – only on voter-owned land with permission of the owner. Well, except for in Washington Township where one of my supporters who lives on Mad River Road got a certified letter yesterday demanding the sign be removed. Apparently, freedom of political speech doesn’t apply there, with severe limits on sign size and placement. The two page document included photos of the offending sign and chapter and verse on why it couldn’t be there. I’ll post a PDF tomorrow. At least it was up for 8 days.

I guess Washington TWP hasn’t heard of Citizens United yet either- where corporations are now people. Political speech is above and beyond their legal authority these days.

A friend in AAF Dayton owns some property zoned light industrial on 48 in the TWP, and volunteered his prime space for a sign- I’ll be putting it up today :-)

I had to pick up a sign that I’d placed on Dayton Xenia road as well. After I put it up, the homeowner called me and asked if I supported President Obama, to which I answered of course.  I found the sign neatly wrapped up with the two poles on his step. It had a piece of masking tape on it- where they wrote me a note:

Note on an Esrati campaign sign taken down by the homeowner in Beavercreek

Esrati is a good person

There are laws about campaign signs, yet the people who hope to make them, break them. I wrote about this last election cycle: Illegal Signs from the people who make the laws

To me, wild postings of campaign signs are the lowest level of political speech. The signs have no meaning except desperation unless they are a meaningful representation of a voter’s support. I’ve tried to make sure that my signs  are only placed on private property, with permission of the voter- and on main streets. Today and next week I’ll be working to get my small signs up on major streets and near polling locations. If you would like to help, please drop me a line at david at elect esrati dot com

Campaign signs don’t explain positions, they don’t inform voters, they just litter up our streets. I’m still seeing some Schooler/Walker signs that are still up from last fall.

Behind on posting

I’ve not posted about the Fayette County Democrats’ dinner last Sunday yet.

I started to write a quick note about it- then realized- I may as well post it- so I’ll be posting it right after this post.

It’s worth mentioning that there were some deviations from the standard campaign stump speeches- and Ryan Steele showed some political teeth. See the post.

Mike Turner sticking his 2 cents in on health care to protect his donors

This story is about political grandstanding of the most contemptuous sort. It’s a hatchet job, being amplified by a congressman, by a newspaper in search of another Pulitzer prize. It’s a story that needs to be analyzed a little deeper to understand what’s going on.

To set the story in perspective, I’m a Service Disabled Veteran and I get my health care at the Dayton VA. I’ve also had care through the commercial health care system- because in order to offer health care to my employees, I used to have to enroll in the for-profit medical system that this country continues to espouse as “the greatest in the world” while severely underserving our citizens. Given a choice after experiencing years of both- I can tell you that I’d choose the government run health care at the VA any day over the medical billing mill run by the duopoly of  Premier Health Partners and Kettering Health Network and supported by the virtual duopoly of United Health Care and Anthem in our community.

Last year, the Dayton Daily News latched onto the story of a VA dentist, working well past his prime at 81, who wasn’t following hygiene standards properly and some whistle-blowers got fired. There was a huge investigation, Dr. Pemberton retired, and Congressman Turner was leading the charge to find someone to blame at the VA. It made national news. The Dayton Daily even wrote a scare story: “Dayton VA investigated more than any other veterans’ hospitals” yet when you read the first graph you find:

Since 2006, the Dayton VA Medical Center has conducted more in-depth investigations of patient abuse and other employee misconduct than any VA hospital in Ohio {emphasis added}, a Dayton Daily News examination has found

via Dayton VA investigated more than any other veterans’ hospitals.

The Dayton Daily News won a Pulitzer in 1998 for a series on failures of military medicine. It’s my belief that they see the Dayton VA as their chance to win another.

To put things in perspective, I’m sure Dr. Pemberton didn’t follow modern processes for disease control as specified by the American Dental Association etc. But, as a patron of dentists for at least 45 years, I can remember when dentists didn’t wrap the room in plastic wrap, wear surgical gloves, eye shields or drape themselves in surgical gowns to go rooting around in your mouth- and yet many of us lived to tell the tale. The outbreak of AIDS brought a whole new level of protection (and lots more disposable medical waste) into the dentist’s office. Was Pemberton wrong? Yes. Should the system have caught him earlier? Yes. Was the VA negligent? Yes. But, so far, we’ve spent millions in investigations and found just a few cases of hepatitis and they can’t be directly correlated to Dr. Pemberton. The director was shuffled out, the whistle-blowers were exonerated, and Turner can now claim he’s there for our disabled veterans.

This week, we’re seeing the creation of another VA  “crisis” prime for political grandstanding. From the Dayton Daily News:

The Dayton VA Medical Center is investigating more allegations of improper conduct by an employee, this time in its anesthesia unit.

The allegations include an accusation that a doctor drew blood from patients under anesthesia without their knowledge or consent, according to a document containing the complaint.

…According to the complaint, the doctor also kept in his office a supply of a controlled substance, propofol, that he obtained from other VA employees. That propofol was kept in an unauthorized location and was not monitored or managed through the pharmacy even while there was a nationwide shortage of the drug in 2009……. It also wasn’t clear Wednesday how many patients allegedly had blood drawn without their consent, or when the activity took place.The allegations pose fresh challenges for the Dayton VA as it tries to restore its image following a scandal over infection control issues in its dental clinic in 2010 and 2011.

The federal hospital since 2006 has conducted more in-depth investigations of patient abuse and other employee misconduct than any other VA hospital in Ohio, the Dayton Daily News reported last year

…“If true, these allegations are troubling to say the least,” U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Centerville, said in a prepared statement.

“Since the dental scandal this past year, I have been concerned about the management and standards at the Dayton VA Medical Center. Our veterans deserve the safe and reliable health care they were promised when they entered military service. The new director, Glenn Costie, has indicated that he will take this matter seriously and provide a full accounting to our community.”

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, also expressed concern about the alleged misconduct.

“He has contacted the VA to express his concern and has requested that the VA complete a full, fair and prompt investigation on this matter,” a Brown spokeswoman, Lauren Kulik, wrote in an email.

via Local VA investigating more conduct complaints.

So we have political outrage over a dentist past his prime not following standard hygiene practices and an anesthesiologist who drew some blood without consent and had a private stash of a controlled substance.

Yet, zero outrage over the cost of three stitches to an uninsured citizen at Miami Valley Hospital. (the total $1,423 in case you don’t want to click the link).

Never mind this story from today’s paper about Miami Valley Hospital:

The state Department of Health on Friday confirmed there was one death associated with last year’s outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at Miami Valley Hospital.

…a lawsuit filed this month against the hospital in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court identified a hospital patient whose death certificate lists Legionnaires’ disease as the cause of death. The patient, Charles O. Preston, 94, of Dayton, died on March 20.

via Death at MVH associated with Legionnaires’ disease.

Here we have an actual death, caused by not following proper procedures. Congressional outrage? Zero. And in reading the DDN article, we find that the laws on reporting the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease are weakened under state law.

I had an unnecessary heart catheterization at Kettering after their fancy MRI scan of my heart showed problems due to their insufficient administration of radioactive tracer dye. Luckily, a friend who worked there managed to get the bill waived since their test was flawed (it was still being evaluated as a non-invasive process for doing heart scans). Was it the end of the world- hardly- yet, drawing blood without permission isn’t anywhere near as risky as sticking a camera into someone’s main arteries.

Here is the dirty little secret. Mike Turner doesn’t like public health care. If you look at donations by industry at Open Secrets over his career you find the following:

  • Health professionals rank 6th in all-time giving with $145,020
  • And hospitals and nursing homes are 17th with $96,620
  • This is leaving out his number one donor- “Leadership PACs” which may include medical lobbyists: $322,739

Do VA employees have to start donating to Mike Turner’s campaign so he will leave them alone to do their jobs and he can go after the real health-care fiasco in America- that of the overpriced private health-care system?

If  Mike Turner really cared about helping veterans, he’d not have allowed the wars to go on for over a decade, creating tens of thousands of new severely service disabled veterans. If he really cared about his constituents, he’d have pushed for the institution of single payer health care for everyone, eliminating the 35% premium those of us who have private health insurance pay to support a totally unnecessary middleman in the delivery of health care: The health insurance industry.

If you’ve managed to make it to the end of this article and agree with what I’ve said, please consider making a donation to my campaign which does not accept money from Corporations, Special Interest Groups, PACs or lobbyists. It’s time we had a representative in Congress who can stand up for us instead of for the corporate money that buys a seat in Congress. Thank you.


David Esrati on creating careers (not just jobs)

The idea of starting The Next Wave really began the year I graduated from Wright State- it was 1988, and I knew there wasn’t an ad agency in Dayton doing the kind of work I wanted to do. Most people would have moved to New York, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Minneapolis or Portland OR, but, instead, I tried to move them here.

It took 2 years to get 100 Bonner transformed from the $2,200 boarded-up disaster into the building it is today, and in March of 1990, I had a Mac SE-30 with 4mb of RAM and a 20 MB hard drive, a Laserwriter II and no clients. I rented out part of my office to John Walker, former co-worker at Graphica, who is an amazingly talented graphic designer. We had separate businesses but worked together a lot. I sold, wrote, and marketed, he designed with markers and tissue paper and then I’d do production on a black and white screen of color projects.

My first employee was Jeanne Destro. You may remember her as DJ on WVUD, Magic104, WTUE. She introduced me to George Wymer who taught me everything I needed to know about buying radio. We did work for the Dayton Dynamo- and I remember sitting in a closet at WTUE with a very young Jim Hausfeld who helped us create cassette tapes of cuts of music to play in breaks- things like “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” by AC/DC. Hausfeld went on to the head of commercial production for all of Clear Channel only recently leaving there to become a creative director at The Ohlman Group.

There are a ton of other people who helped my company grow. But there was one thing I learned before I got my first job in the field was that while a lot of people would interview me, only one gave me a chance in the business- Larry Holland, and that was only after five months of me pestering him. Larry ran Graphica, a company that formed by siphoning off half the team and half the clients from Wanamaker Advertising Arts. In the ad business this is typically how new firms start up- stealing accounts and talent and setting up a new shop. It was something I swore I’d never do. Even though Larry fired me after a few months after I’d rubbed one of his partners the wrong way after getting them into Mead Data Central (a client they continued to do work for – including the re-branding to LexisNexis) he remained a friend and mentor all the way up until his premature death about 14 years ago.

I promised myself to give young kids a chance at my place. I’ve never refused to review a portfolio, speak to students, offer assistance. I’ve had probably 20 interns that got their start in the business at The Next Wave, and I’ve also probably given as many  their first job.  In an attempt to share with you the parts of me that you won’t read about in the paper, or get from reading this blog, I asked for people who knew me to volunteer to tell their story. I’ve already posted Brad Proctor’s and Stacy Thompson’s testimonials. This post is about starting the career of Alan Dickinson, a young man who came to me to intern and now works for Frog Design at their NYC office. He was the first to step up to tape, but it took us a little longer since we had to wait for some footage from NYC.

While lots of politicians talk about job creation, I’ve actually been creating careers since starting my own. Here’s the story of one of them:

Alan came to me as a 16 year old kid at Vandalia Butler. Normally, you only get a job in an ad agency at that age if your parents own it. He brought a painting he did at 12 that was better than somethings I’ve seen hanging on gallery walls, and a hand crafted box that he’d created to give something to his girlfriend Katie. I gave him a chance. Here is what he had to say about it:

To add a few personal things about me that you might not know:

  • I grew up in a house that was built in Cleveland as a prototype for the 1939 New York World’s Fair by an architect, Harold Burdick. It was built using the modern materials of the day- steel frame, plywood, glass block and was sponsored by GE as the “all electric house.” Reportedly it had the first two fluorescent lights in a residence. We had a lot of Lumiline light fixtures to illuminate the glass block bays. When my parents bought it in 1971 it was a mess- the glass block was mostly broken due to the steel rusting and expanding, crushing the block- they restored it and had it placed on the National Register of Historic places.
  • I was the first junior to ever be named photo-editor of my high school’s yearbook. I spent 11th grade taking more pictures than notes and had to work extra hard my senior year just to have enough credits to graduate. I built my own darkroom in the “wine cellar” of the house and shot over 200 rolls of film that year. I still love to take pictures.
  • A friend of my father’s, David Bensman, was a “Big Brother” to several kids as I grew up. He was one of my favorite people, he always had a sense of humor and liked to talk with all kinds of funny accents. He worked as a ceramics engineer of some sort at Ferro in Cleveland, coming up with coatings for your stove or refrigerator. When I was in high school I became friends with one of his “littles” and realized how much of an impact Dave had made on this young man. He was my inspiration to do the same when I got to Dayton. For the last 24 years, I’ve been following in his footsteps. Unfortunately, Bensman was shot to death in a home invasion around 15 years ago. I still think of him often and miss him.


PechaKucha Night tonight! Rosewood Arts Center

Pecha Kucha Dayton logoPecha Kucha is the art of presenting- 20 slides, 20 seconds each. I’m a huge fan of the local group- one of over 400 worldwide. I spoke at PK-8 about coin-flip politics, but, I’ve tried to keep my readers informed of every PK night.

Tonight, one of my team at The Next Wave will present. Max Spang, my star videographer and editor will be sharing “What the hell is beer” and, despite being just 23, he knows beer- just read his blog:

February 23, 7:30PM at Rosewood Arts Centre, 2655 Olson Drive, Kettering. We’ll be taking our break in the gallery, so you can soak up some great art along with some provocative thinking.

We’re still lining up our 8 speakers, so we’ll keep you posted. Beer, wine and snacks provided. The event is free, thanks to our wonderful sponsor Dragonfly Editorial.

via PKNight Dayton goes to Rosewood! – PechaKucha Night.

I’ll be there – running a video camera so we can immortalize Max for his blog.

Media bias in choice of pictures: Dayton Daily quietly endorses Romney & Santorum

Media bias in choice of photos of Republican Presidential primary coverage

Which of these four candidates looks out of place?

Front page of the Dayton Daily News, centered, above the fold. Photos of the four Republican candidates involved in the Feb. 22, 2012, debate in Mesa, Arizona. If we ignore the headline that places  Romney and Santorum as the only two possible contenders, and just examine the picture spread, we have 2 candidates looking thoughtful, looking to the left, one candidate looking to the right with an expression that looks like he’s a jack-in-the-box, and then a disgusted looking candidate looking back over the field, dejected.

If pictures tell a thousand words- what do these four pictures, together with a headline, do? Minimize two candidates-clearly mocking one, Ron Paul, and setting Gingrich aside as a spectator at a train wreck.

Photo choices by media outlets convey bias as much as words do.

Editorial note- this type of “debate” isn’t really a debate at all and the coverage of these events does little to illuminate the candidates’ positions. Most of the time is spent name calling, or discussing moot points on “Hot Button Issues” that most likely will be decided by the Supreme Court. If you make your voting decision based on this type of information- you are, and will forever be, misinformed and under-informed. It’s why, besides taking the money out of politics, we also need to create a mechanism to give equal opportunity to communicate with voters, a much shorter political season, opportunity for minor parties to actively engage in the process and a voting process that doesn’t make the people choose between the lesser of two evils when they cast their vote. See this post: