Play the MegaMillions lottery because you can’t play the MegaBillions lottery

here's hoping

You can play the MegaMillions- but not the MegaBillions Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan via Compfight

Today, many of you who don’t play the lottery, may decide to plunk down a buck or two on the “MegaMillions” for a chance to win $540 million. In their “how to play” section, it doesn’t take that long to tell you what you have to do to win-

“MegaMillions tickets cost $1.00 per play.

Players may pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers – five different numbers from 1 to 56 and one number from 1 to 46 – or select Easy Pick. You win the jackpot by matching all six winning numbers in a drawing.

What if you win the jackpot?”

Really- after 46 words- “What if you win”

What if you get struck by lightning, while being held by a terrorist, after sitting on a needle in a haystack? But, someone has to win is the common justification for giving away your dollar. That’s right, while you’re hoping to win $250 odd million after taxes (depending on which state you live in) there are people winning the lottery year-in, year-out.

Let me introduce you to the people who’ve managed to legally (and why what they do is legal still is beyond comprehension) make this kind of money by playing with other people’s money. Meet the “hedge fund managers” and I use that term “manager” very loosely.

From today’s New York Times:

Hedge funds have endured a rough year. Tumultuous markets. Tighter regulations. An insider trading crackdown.

But despite the lackluster environment, the top managers still took home $14.4 billion in 2011.

Even when returns suffer, the largest hedge funds can collect big paychecks, thanks to the fees they charge pensions, endowments and wealthy individuals to manage money.

Paul Tudor Jones II charges a 4 percent management fee and takes 23 percent of any profit. So he made $175 million in 2011, although his main fund tracked the returns of the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. Steven A. Cohen, whose firm, SAC Capital Advisors, keeps 50 percent of the profit, earned $585 million.

“The industry’s fees and performance are so out of whack it’s unbelievable,” said Bradley H. Alford, who invested in hedge funds while he was at the Duke Endowment in the late 1990s but today oversees a lower cost mutual fund firm that competes with them. “Fifteen years ago, you got double-digit performance for those returns, but last year, the S.& P. was positive and hedge funds were negative. There’s no alignment with the fees.”

But the 10-figure payday is a rarer phenomenon. In 2010, six managers earned more than $1 billion, according to the annual ranking by AR Magazine, which tracks the hedge fund industry. John A. Paulson topped the list, taking home $5 billion.

Last year, only three managers hit the $1 billion mark. Ray Dalio, the enigmatic founder of Bridgewater Associates, seized the top spot, after his largest fund gained 16.05 percent. His payday: $3.9 billion.

In all, pay for the top 25 earners dropped by a third to the lowest level in three years. AR Magazine arrives at its figures by estimating money managers’ portions of fees along with the value of their personal stakes in the funds.

It all comes back to performance. In recent years, industry returns have been “uninspiring,” said Brad R. Balter at Balter Capital Management, as hedge fund strategies that have been “successful in the past aren’t working in these markets.”

The average hedge fund lost 5 percent in 2011, according to Hedge Fund Research Composite Index, which tracks nearly 2,000 portfolios. That compares with a 2 percent gain for S&P 500.

Strong returns account for the difference between a stratospheric payday and one that is just substantial.

Bridgewater’s gains — along with the firm’s hefty $120 billion in assets — catapulted two of Mr. Dalio’s lieutenants to this year’s top earners. Greg Jensen and Robert Prince each collected $425 million.

A relative newcomer, Chase Coleman, a protégé of hedge fund giant Julian Robertson, landed at No. 6 on the list, the magazine said. Mr. Coleman, 36, began his Tiger Global Fund in 2001, and earned $550 million last year, owing to bets on Internet companies like the Russian search engine Yandex. A spokeswoman for Tiger Global declined to comment.

Even longtime managers proved they can rack up big returns. The activist manager Carl C. Icahn, 76, was up 34.5 percent in 2011 and pocketed $2.5 billion.

via Large Hedge Funds Fared Well in 2011 – NYTimes.com.

While the government tightly regulates all kinds of industries, especially the gambling industry- which is the only business I know that is absolutely guaranteed a profit as long as it has customers, Wall Street operates on its own rules and regulations. It can do this because it pays an annual fee to our government to write laws that favor them; I call it the “campaign tax” – a fee paid by the wealthy to buy advertising and support for political candidates who will look the other way while they pay themselves exorbitant salaries from fake manipulations of our capital markets.

“Even when returns suffer, the largest hedge funds can collect big paychecks, thanks to the fees they charge pensions, endowments and wealthy individuals to manage money.”

So they win even if they lose money, unlike the lottery that you may play today.

These billions that are being paid these Wizards of Wall Street are coming straight out of your pocket- and you don’t even have a chance at winning. Ask the hard-working folks who retired from Delphi what happened to their pensions? Or look to the people you know who had jobs working at GM- which went bankrupt while paying many of their internal “managers” million-dollar-a-year-plus salaries- they are now working for much less- losing homes, boats, cars, a future for their kids- and the shareholders who never worked a day in their lives on an assembly line- got made whole with our tax dollars.

Look at the value of your home- and how it’s been affected by the foreclosure crisis- which was caused by the unregulated financial chicanery that’s helping put cash in the pockets of the Wizards while sucking it out of your pocket in large chunks.

There is a real lottery in this country- but it’s the “MegaBillions” and you and I aren’t allowed to play. We didn’t buy our legislators who allow this kind of corruption to continue.

There is one last example to keep in mind of how crooked our country has become. Some would consider playing in the NBA or NFL hitting the jackpot- despite having to have worked hard for years to reach that level of athleticism. But our country has laws in place to protect the players from agents who manage their money- that’s right, the amount a sports agent can charge a client is capped by law to something under 10%, yet we don’t cap fees on how much the people who manage your pension can make, because, well, that would be un-American.

Your tax dollars at work as venture capital vs. small businesses at work

If you wonder why Dayton doesn’t have as many police officers as it used to, or firefighters, or recreation centers- it’s because we’ve been so busy doing “economic development” and “job creation” to the effect that fewer people want to live in neighborhoods considered unsafe, and plummeting property values as people move to where they feel safe.

Job creation tax credits and grants and tax breaks are nothing other than corporate welfare. The jobs that are being “wooed” like the ones at the GE Episcenter (which got a 15-year tax break from Dayton Public Schools) aren’t the ones that provide work for the under-educated types that used to be able to find good paying jobs at Generous Motors- they are high-skilled, requiring advanced educational achievement. Guess what- those people that GE is going to hire aren’t going to want to live in Dayton (although they’ll pay taxes in Dayton) – they’ll live in Oakwood with their highly trained safety forces, great schools and well paved streets.

In today’s Dayton Daily News we read about millions of our tax dollars being handed off to big corporations who promise jobs in the future:

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved Monday a 75 percent, 15-year Job Creation Tax Credit for Abbott worth an estimated more than $8 million, said Stephanie Mennecke, a spokeswoman for Ohio Department of Development. That’s the largest value tax credit approved Monday, she said.

The second largest was for approximately $4.5 million for a Republic Steel and Republic N&T Railroad Inc. expansion in Lorain, she said. The authority approved 11 total incentive packages Monday.

The Ohio Development Financing Advisory Council also approved Monday a $1.5 million, 10-year, 0 percent interest loan for Abbott’s project.

“There were many factors that lead us to the decision to build a new plant in Tipp City including direct access to a major interstate, quality of available work force, and state and local incentives,” said Abbott spokesman Pete Paradossi in an email Monday. “Other locations were being considered. In the end, Tipp City was the best choice for this plant.”…

The Tipp City plant will create about 240 jobs, according to Abbott.

Tipp City Council members will vote April 2 on a local incentive package for the Illinois-based company, said Brad Vath, Tipp City Assistant City Manager. Vath did not say Monday what the city plans to offer. He said the city is optimistic everything will fall in place and the project will move forward “very, very quickly.”

Pilot Chemical Co., which operates a Butler County facility in Middletown, also received a tax incentive Monday. Pilot received a 50 percent, six-year tax credit worth an estimated $182,006, according to Gov. John Kasich’s office. The Sharonville-based company is planning an expansion at its headquarters, as well as a $42 million expansion project at either its Middletown or Houston, Texas, facilities.

Kasich’s office said Pilot’s project would create an estimated 38 full-time jobs.

via Abbott to begin building $270M plant.

On the flip side of these public fundings of private companies, I’m watching a small start-up try to get out of the blocks. A house painting company that specializes in making new paint stick to old houses- by doing maniacal surface preparation and using high quality paint. He could hire an employee tomorrow to start work, but, he has to pay for licenses, bonding, insurance and purchase capital goods like a scaffold, all out of cash.

Also the minute he hires someone, he has to start paying worker’s comp (which is high for a painting company out of the blocks) payroll taxes- all the things we’re willing to subsidize for the going concern.  And, the person he’s likely to hire- is someone who is also under-employed, needing every dollar earned just to survive.

He has no credit, no tax breaks and zero support. I helped by creating his new identity, printing business cards, door hangers and signs. I set him up with a website and suggested marketing strategies, he’s finishing his first project and about to start his second tomorrow. I also hired him to do some interior painting as he was getting started. He’s having to bid low to prove the value of his product, despite having a few “freelance projects” to show from last year.

When we know that the major engine for job creation is small businesses, why are our tax dollars subsidizing large ones?

When we know that the small business can have an immediate impact- why are the deals being done for jobs that are a year away?

Why do we subsidize any business with our tax dollars? With every subsidy we tilt the playing field to give an unfair advantage to one company over another- not the role for government or a fair use of our tax dollars. Plus, if the big business paid the same taxes as our smaller ones- maybe the burden of starting up wouldn’t be so insurmountable?

Would you like to help a small business get started? Hire one. The Brush and Bucket. (updae 2015, I can no longer vouch for this business)

You want your tax dollars to help a big company by costing you more for security systems, slower emergency crew response, new school tax levies to make up for the giveaway- continue to sit on your thumbs while politicians sell you the BS that tax supported “job creation” is a good investment of your tax dollars.

Because when our tax dollars are used as venture capital- the only ones who win are the private companies who get the tax breaks.

 

Trayvon Martin should make us question what kind of society we live in

A short excerpt written by me, September 11, 2011

What does Safety Mean?

…To the people of South Park- it means going out on patrol to make sure their homes and garages don’t get busted into.

via What does “safety” mean?.

I was George Zimmerman. After repeated break-ins, I would don a bright green vest, take a large Maglight flashlight and strap a 9mm pistol on my side and go for evening walks in my neighborhood. We don’t have “gates” to “keep the undesirables out”- but we’ve had a lot more security systems and cameras installed in our neighborhood.

One neighbor has managed to video record two criminal acts (the theft of packages from a porch and an attempted break-in to the vacant house next to them) neither of which has led to an arrest.

We’re not living in a perpetual state of fear, but, we’ve come to accept the idea that whatever isn’t chained down, locked, alarmed or monitored has become fair game for others to steal, damage or destroy.

This isn’t the America of  Mayberry R.F.D. and it’s not quite “Escape from New York” either- but the geography of “safety” seems much smaller today than it was when I came into this world in 1962, despite the Cuban Missile Crisis and the killing of our President than today, when a “neighborhood watch captain” is able to get out of his vehicle and then shoot an unarmed teen because he “looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something.”

The illusion of safety, the illusion of order, the illusion of a civil society is slipping away from us and while people are being galvanized one day to seek out Joseph Kony, the next we’re focused on Trayvon Martin and all the while the crimes that make all this possible are continuing merrily along.

Our country has become a mockery of a free society. Our beloved “democracy” is a farce. Our righteous proclamations to other countries of what is fair and proper come not from a morally protected high ground built on a foundation of “doing the right thing” but from having bigger bombs and being the only ones to actually use them. America has lost the right to call itself the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Our elections are anything but free- estimated to cost $10 billion this cycle. Our prison system is overflowing with minorities and under-educated, ill-prepared second-class citizens while Wall Street has created a new class of robber barons, of whom virtually none  have gone to prison. Our country is deep in debt, our states, counties and cities are unable to fund the systems we’ve put in place and record numbers of Americans have lost their jobs, their pensions, their homes and their dignity.

I am not going to go into guilt or innocence of George Zimmerman, it’s almost as futile as discussing the thought of Sarah Palin as a viable vice president. What we have is nothing more than a gross caricature of a country that used to be considered a shining example of all that could be right in a nation. A country that was founded with these most powerful words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

There is a famous child’s fable about “The emperor’s new clothes”- are we willing to admit our country is now ruled by a different standard? That the self-evident truths are entirely fictional? Why do we pledge allegiance to a flag of a country that’s as far from united as we’ve become, which stands for nothing other than the power of the almighty dollar (which in itself has become a fraud thanks to the huge gap between rich and poor). Our ideals were nice, our execution of them of late has become criminal.

The future of our country was wearing a hoodie. He’s dead now. The guy who shot him is still walking free. What happened to those “certain unalienable rights” – I miss them. You should too.

The problems with property taxes: taxing investment

Considering The Tax Shelter
Photo Credit: JD Hancock via CompfightThe reason Mitt Romney pays so little income tax is that he makes most of his money from investments. This is supposed to be a way to “incentivize” investment. So he invests in companies that supposedly create jobs and spread the wealth around.

Mitt is most definitely part of the 1%. For the rest of us, our biggest investment is our home. The government gives us a mortgage-interest deduction to help us out, but mortgage interest is a fixed known cost in the equation, our wild card is property taxes- something our government seems to play fast and loose with.

For most Americans- the only long-term investments they make are their home and their retirement accounts. Both are supposedly backed by our government. Mortgages were backed by Fanny Mae and Sallie Mae or FHA and our pensions (unless you worked for Delphi) are backed by the Federal Pension Guarantee fund. Government regulations are all over the place- with rules on 401Ks, IRAs and the mutual funds that much of our retirement planning is predicated on.

But your home is different- it’s the one that is tangible, a direct reflection on your choice of where to live and you are the manager. You decide if it’s time to paint, put new gutters on, how you landscape, if you want to invest in granite counter tops or just use Formica. And here is the rub, at any time, someone hired by the county comes around every few years and decides what the value is and raises or lowers your tax bill totally arbitrarily.

How do I know this? Quite simply- I own four pieces of property and have watched the bills get played with over the years and despite going in to dispute the values last year- end up with mixed-up bills again this year.

Case in point: I bought two virtually identical cottages across the street from my house in 1995 for $19,500 each to try to improve the quality of life on our block. They were owned by a slumlord, whom the city has made very wealthy by overpaying for rent for years on a priority board office in a building he owned on the West Side. He was renting them out as Section 8 homes, I wouldn’t let a junkyard dog sleep in either one when I bought them. When entering for the first time the one my parents now live in  (I bought them without inspection) a lump of dirt fell on my hat – when it started moving, I realized that it wasn’t dirt- but cockroaches. The house was so infested I even found them inside the toilet tank. The other house was involved in drug sales- but wasn’t much better. I totally gutted both, put all new everything inside them, and then went to the banks to refinance and get my money back. They’ve been solidly rented ever since.

The tax values on these two homes, despite me telling the county that they are identical- is different. It’s also based on a number pulled out of a hat. It is so confused that they don’t even tax you on “the value” but on a percentage of value. The value goes up and down over time, based on what others in the neighborhood do, based on what you do, based on whim and whimsy.

This is bullcrap. The value of the homes was established when I bought them. What I choose to do with them is none of government’s business. If I fix them up and rent them for more, how is this any different than what Mitt Romney does in buying stock and hoping it goes up? Why does my investment get “appraised” a market value by someone who has no real way of telling what the value is? Concrete numbers like rent received aren’t counted. Concrete numbers like sale price aren’t considered. If you wonder why our housing market started fluctuating like the stock market- it’s because we allowed the banks to change the way they made money from concrete numbers to a numbers game (like a casino would run- where the “house” always makes money- and the irony of that expression is noted).

Banks used to make a majority of their money by lending money to people to invest in their home or business- and they had to hold those notes to get paid. Now, they make their money by investing money that we let them “create” with dubious products that they started selling based on packages of loans that they handed off. Banks no longer had any responsibility to make sure their investments were protected- since they sold off the loan as fast as possible to someone else and moved on to the next loan. Churning mortgages by banks is the same as churning stocks for stockbrokers- who only make money on the transaction- not on the outcomes.

So here I sit in my house. Bought for $14,500 in 1986, across the street from my office, bought for $2,200 and $2,400 in back taxes in 1988 and my two cottages (which I paid too much for)- paying taxes on property that is now worth a lot- according to the tax man, despite being written off by everyone else, including the banks when I bought it. Every property I bought I had to pay cash for, since they were all worth “below” the loan threshold for banks. Yet, here I am being asked to pay $2,000 a year  on both my office and my house and $800 a year on each cottage. I am being penalized for investing. Mitt Romney isn’t.

To add insult to injury- the house nearby, which is bigger than mine (it’s 2 stories over the back of the house, while mine isn’t), but the same basic footprint, was sold in foreclosure 3 years ago for $14,000. Not only are their taxes only $600 a year, they haven’t paid them and have been the frequent entertainers of police, fire and truancy officers.

How much money could we save if we didn’t have to pay for “re-appraisals” every so many years- and based tax value only on the purchase price by the owner? How about treating the real estate investor the same way we treat the stock market investor? It’s time for real-market valuation system and taking the arbitrary valuation of property out of the equation. Never mind the effect this has on seniors on fixed incomes (where we have to put “homestead” protections in place).

Why shouldn’t those who buy low and don’t sell, be allowed to profit from their investment in the community? Why do we abate property taxes for businesses that are “going to invest” but not for those who actually did invest? Considering that my investment in the office building brought jobs to an empty storefront- saved the city from having to tear down another vacant building and turned a shithole into a preservation award winner- why am I getting penalized with a growing tax bill? Consider that the cottages have been rented to people who have jobs instead of being on welfare or either on the way in or our of prison, haven’t I added value to the community and deserve to be rewarded instead of taxed? My home had sat on the market for over 2 years, starting at $22,900 and sold for $14,500 because the banks wouldn’t lend (despite all the BS about Community Reinvestment Act – CRA lending protocols), and yet 25 years later, because of banks’ new found freedoms of not having to be held accountable for loans- the nearby home sold for $500 less- despite being worth much more?

How come on almost every other level, investment isn’t penalized, but on property, it is? If there was a reason for a tea party revolt over taxation without representation, shouldn’t this be the case? My home was valued at one time by a bank at $130,000, but now according to Zillow it’s only worth about $62,300 and interestingly enough, Zillow is what the government is turning to for valuations for the “Making Home Affordable” program- not our local tax man’s appraisal.

There is only one honest way to value real estate, by the purchase price. Do you agree?

If you like this article- please share with a friend. If you like having this kind of material on esrati.com please consider donating to the campaign, because, even if my voice can’t be heard in Congress- it can continue to be heard in our community. These 1900+ posts come with a price and I’d appreciate your support. Thank you.

 

A local unsung hero

Note: On the request of Jeff- I’ve deleted most of the post. The Army-produced video has his rank wrong.

Jeff doesn’t like the headline either- he’s not a hero- just a guy doing his job. I’m not changing the link. He’s still a hero in my book- for many reasons,

Jeff Lee grew up in Beavercreek, graduated from Beavercreek High School and Wright State University.

I was in his wedding.

Jeff Lee, thanks for being my friend all these years, and thank you for your service.

How to REALLY save money on dispatch Brookville and others…

The argument Brookville is using to justify splitting from the Regional Dispatch Center and buying dispatch services from Englewood is saving money. Early termination fees will cancel the savings making this “cost saving move” a non-starter according to the Dayton Daily News today:

Brookville is considering breaking from the RDC to join Englewood’s dispatch center at a cheaper price. Last year, Brookville paid $98,213 to the RDC, but Englewood has offered dispatch services to the city for $48,000 a year on a three-year contract.

“I’ll go back to my council and see what they say next Tuesday,” said Brookville city manager John Wright. “The whole thing (moving to Englewood) was to save money. Now, I’m not.”

via Brookville’s dispatch change would be costly move.

But if the citizens of Brookville really wanted to save money- they’d simply merge with Englewood. From the facts page of the City of Brookville site:

The Brookville Police Department serves a population of 5,289 (2000 census) and covers a land area of 3.3 square miles.

via City Of Brookville – Departments.

Englewood is exactly 2x as big by geography and 2.5 times as big by population:

The population was 13,465 at the 2010 census…  the city has a total area of 6.6 square miles

via Englewood, Ohio – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Throw in the throwback of Butler Township:

As of the 2010 census the population was 7,894.

via Butler Township, Montgomery County, Ohio – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

And we add all those up and we have a population of 26,648 – which is what the minimum population should be in order to have to support a police chief- as well as all the other offices that each of these fiefdoms carries- a city manager/township administrator, director of finance, mayor, council, trustees, economic development people, zoning etc.

We could eliminate over 100 taxpayer paid jobs that deliver service at a ridiculously high overhead rate.

Dispatch isn’t what’s costing the people of Brookville too much- it’s the entire pride issue of having a city.

For all the talk about taxes being too high and government being too big, we could start by changing the rules that govern jurisdictions in the State of Ohio to cut the costs and overhead considerably by forcing larger size standards to be required to receive any State tax dollars. We’d see instant savings and hopefully- weed out a whole bunch of micro-managers who only have jobs due to our insane system of partitioning up our state- which dates back to the Northwest Ordinance of 1785 that divided up our state into the boundaries we’ve stuck with for no good reason.

That’s how you save money.

 

Afghanistan: FUBAR. Time to leave; what are we waiting for?

Foreign policy decisions are being made by a U.S. Army Staff Sergeant, four Marines urinating and a trash burning detail that couldn’t read Arabic.

No matter what the dreams are of our leaders, the idea that foreigners can force stability on another country without creating animosity is irrational, especially when there hasn’t been stability in the foreign land before. We’re not dealing with Germany, a country where the rule of law was always absolute and the people were well educated and believe in government and order. We’re dealing with Afghanistan, a country that makes the Wild West look like high tea in an English parlor.

Soldiers aren’t policemen, nor are they “nation builders” and it’s time to realize that the longer we force our servicemen and women to try to use their hammers as plowshares we’re going to continue to fail.

The killing of 16 Afghan civilians by one soldier is almost immaterial compared to the tens of thousands we’ve already killed, but to Americans who have been footing the bill for this war without end for the last decade, it should be the last straw. Obama got Osama last year, al-Qaeda has moved on to other places like Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen and the government we installed in Afghanistan is a farce full of greed and corruption. We “won” the war years ago- all we’ve done over the last half dozen is add to our cost both in dollars and in American lives.

Unless we have people to kill and cities to capture, our troops shouldn’t be on the ground in foreign lands without a printed invitation and the host country paying their security bill.

Back in the USA, instead of dealing with these issues, we’ve got the President watching basketball in Dayton, politicians talking about contraception and abortion and an auction of political offices of epic expense.

In case you don’t know what FUBAR stands for, it’s an old unofficial military acronym: F’d up beyond all recognition. If I told you that we’re going to invade a lawless country to kill terrorists, but then decide to stay and try to create a democracy in a country that’s never known one, and then hang out while our soldiers get killed and maimed for no good reason, while costing us a fortune, only to start letting 32-year-old sergeants make unofficial  policy statements heard around the globe- you’d say I was crazy, but that’s exactly what we’ve done.

Leaving now or leaving in 2014 will have zero deviation in the fact that Afghanistan was FUBAR before we invaded, while we occupied and will continue to be FUBAR after we leave. The situation in Afghanistan makes zero difference to anyone in America other than those of us who have friends and family putting life and limb at risk, or are profiting from the continued greasing of the wheels of the military industrial complex that needs war to stay alive and financially healthy.

If we continue to allow our foreign policy to be made by individuals operating way above their pay grade, we’ll continue to bear the costs which are already well beyond our budget.

If anyone can tell me one good reason we should still be there, I’m all ears.

Sharen Neuhardt, candidate of the 1%

Who cares that you start your campaign $92K in the hole, as soon as you turn on the new campaign, the money rolls in, $97,510, and you pay off your former political consultant a 4-year-old debt of $5k, you start paying yourself back on the loans you made, and you collect the money for the primary AND the general all at once (two checks of $2,500) as if the law that limits the campaign to $2,500 per cycle makes a difference. You don’t play by the rules the everyday candidate has to play by.

Take a look at this filing from the FEC. Her check of $2,700 to NGP VAN for her software rental was almost half of all I raised.

She hired a staffer (obviously to call donors for her) Uriah Anderson, for about $1,600 every two weeks. She spent $19,873.02 and this was the filing through Feb. 15th (I was too busy running to do the proper reporting).

We have the best candidate money could buy- and she won with a paltry 7,530 votes. That works out to: $12.95 a vote.

If she continues on that pace, and has to beat just Turner’s primary vote- of 79,548 at $12,95 a vote, she needs to raise: $1,030,123 ignoring the fact that the general election will have a much higher turnout. No matter what, she’s going to need at least 2 commas in her campaign chest.

While this filing doesn’t have the huge PAC money in it yet- it’s coming. Read it and wake up. We’re on our way to another auction for Congress. Sharen Neuhardt Pre-primary 2012 FEC Filing

Who needs to say anything. Money talks.

Thank you for your support

For those of you who believed, thank you.

For those of you who encountered me with an open mind for the first time, thank you.

For those who visited this site to learn about the candidates- you’re welcome.

To the Montgomery County Democratic Party, the State Democratic Party, the AFL-CIO and to Sherrod Brown- stay out of primaries, let the people decide. Maybe if you worked harder at building up your party, and holding fair and honest primaries, you’d have more people running. Every unopposed candidate is a FAIL- and I saw way too many of those today.

To the Fayette County Dems and the Greene County Dems- thank you for your open arms and minds. If I were you, I’d be seceding from OH-10 and the Montgomery Dems as fast as possible. For as long as this district puts you in holy matrimony, your voices will mean little.

  • To Sharen Neuhardt, you better do better than any of the last 5 softies the party has sent to battle with Turner. You didn’t impress me one iota with your life story.
  • To Olivia, I want to know your secrets.
  • To Tom McMasters, please go back to being a Republican, you didn’t fool anyone.
  • To Ryan Steele- congrats on coming in 2nd in Fayette County, and keep your chin up.
  • To Mack Van Allen, it’s been a pleasure meeting you, I look forward to working together to change things for the better.

To my readers- I need to take a break for a bit. Let me know if I missed a sign somewhere- or grab it and bring it to the office if you can. I’ll have some commemorative ringer t-shirts for sale soon.

What’s next? I hope to find a race or two in town where I can get all the candidates to work together to hold a well programed, fair and clean election, to prove it can be done. See my post about “The Dayton Process”

Unofficial final – Montgomery County:

Total Votes 15,419
David Esrati 2,296 14.89%
Olivia Freeman 4,102 26.60%
Tom McMasters 1,571 10.19%
Sharen S. Neuhardt 5,338 34.62%
Ryan Steele 1,009 6.54%
Mack Van Allen 1,103 7.15%

Note, read the Republican numbers:

Total Votes 52,584
John D. Anderson 7,800 14.83%
Edward Focke Breen 1,193 2.27%
Mike Turner 43,591 82.90%

Turner got almost 3x the votes in the primary than all Dems together. The Montgomery County Democratic Party “Leadership” should be recalled.

Official final – OH-10

Total Votes 21,035
Sharen S. Neuhardt 7,530
Olivia Freeman 5,380
David Esrati 2,884
Tom McMasters 2,159
Ryan Steele 1,586
Mack Van Allen 1,496

Again- Turner alone has 4x the total votes of all Dems, and the second place finisher has 2x what Sharen received.

Total Votes 79,548
Mike Turner 63,704
John D. Anderson 14,048
Edward Focke Breen 1,796

 

Where do I vote? OH-10, Montgomery, Greene and part of Fayette County

The League of Women Voters has an amazing tool online to tell you where your polling place is.

http://www.vote411.org/pollfinder.php

It works nationally, but on Super Tuesday, March 6, 2012, if you live in Ohio, the polls are open from from 6:30 A.M. to 7:30 P.M.

Many of our polling places in Montgomery County have changed. Our Congressional district has changed radically. I’ve covered all this on Esrati.com in the past.

Another popular post is how do you vote in a primary- declaring your party affiliation. You can switch parties every primary. Unfortunately, we have a very primitive voting process in Ohio that forces people to limit selection. I’m a proponent of instant run off balloting– but that’s another issue.

In Montgomery County, it’s like the three stooges at the polling places trying to enter your data. They have an optical gun to scan your driver’s license (not a swipe card reader). At my polling place my brand new driver’s license wouldn’t scan. Then they check you on a paper book, enter your driver’s license number, then pull you up on a digital voter poll book- where you can’t see your name displayed- and have you sign on a touch pad, much like a CC swiper. I find this odd- because when you sign on most swipe card readers it tells you what you are signing for.

They then give you a plastic card you can insert in the electronic touch-screen voting machine. It should pull up your party affiliation first. Then you get the slate of candidates and any issues for your location. As always, so many judges running unopposed as well as political party reps.

Besides the 6-way race for Congress, you have a choice on Supreme Court justices- pick one from two, district judges, pick one of two and if memory serves me right- that’s it on the Democratic slate.

I was out early hanging door hangers- and got a call a few hours later. “Hi, My name is Jerry Name Redacted. I just wanted to call to say that the door hanger I got today was the best piece of campaign literature I’ve ever seen terrific.” He left his phone number and e-mail. Made it all worth while.

I’m still fielding calls back from the Robo-call. If you got a call from 937.985.1312 it’s my congressional candidate hotline. I’ll answer as many as I can.

Please vote- and tell you friends.