Confusing the voter

Voter education is at an all time low and despite spending billions on an election cycle, voters aren’t getting any smarter or wiser.

This became painfully clear as I went door-to-door on Saturday working for the presidents campaign and collecting signatures for my future Dayton City Commission race.

When asking about the Senate race, which in the scheme of things is probably as important as the presidential, the survey form had the names Brown and Mandel. In the congressional, they were only asking Dem or Rep, leaving out Neuhardt and Turner’s names.

Although it wasn’t on the walk sheet, voters are just as lost when it comes to issues, polling places, rules and regs. A woman said to me that she can’t vote because she had a felony- a common misunderstanding in Ohio. You can’t vote while serving time for a felony- but after you’re done, you’re back to voting status. Another was so glad to find out she was registered here, having moved from Middletown, but hadn’t received any notification and didn’t know where her polling place was. Last time we went to the polls, it was vote no on issue 2, and now, it’s vote yes on issue 2- I saw two teachers vehicles in my kids school parking lot- one with a bumper sticker each way- of course, one was two years old. Confusion rules.
Never mind same name candidates. We’ve got a county commissioner named Dan Foley and we’ve got Foley signs up all over the county- it’s not the same Foley.

I even heard people saying they wouldn’t make up their minds until they saw the “voters guide”- ostensibly, the one produced by the league of Women’s voters and distributed by the newspaper (which fewer and fewer people get). On the flip side, I heard on NPR that the Post Office wasn’t going to go broke this month, only thanks to the huge influx of campaign cash being spent on direct mail.

So why is there so much resistance to changing the system? Obviously, this isn’t the best way to run campaigns or elections (unless you own a media outlet and are getting fat and happy from campaign spending). The single thing I’ve heard from most of the people was that they can’t wait for this to be over, to which I’m in total agreement.

Instead of counting on tv ads, billboards and mailings- why can’t we create a complete voters guide giving each candidate equal space- mailed to every voter- and not with a request form for an absentee ballot or directions to a polling place, but with a paper ballot that they can mail in at their convenience? It’s been this way in Oregon for years. With this much focus on early voting and the like- we know that paper ballots work by mail.

Soundbite :30 second tv spots, billboards, radio spots aren’t made to inform the voter- they’re made to persuade the voter and more often than not end up being a mudslinging mess. If this is the best we can do, we’re bound to keep getting the results we’ve had.

American’s deserve better elections. It’s time to rethink the way we educate the voter and ask for their participation in a process that needs massive improvement. It’s time to take the confusion out of the process and work to make sure that we’ve got the best educated and informed electorate possible.

I’m pretty sure it can be done for a lot less than $6 billion dollars too.

The credibility of the Dayton Daily news

The headline is: “Apple disappointment weighs on markets”

Worse than expected earnings from Apple and Amazon were weighing on markets Friday ahead of the first estimate for third-quarter U.S. economic growth.

Both firms reported losses after the market close on Thursday, contributing to a sour trading session in Asia.

via Apple disappointment weighs on markets | www.daytondailynews.com.

And while Amazon reported it’s first quarterly loss after 18 consecutive rising quarters, Apple didn’t come close to reporting losses, as you can read in this NY Times article:

Apple said its fiscal fourth-quarter profit jumped 24 percent, largely because of a surge in sales of the iPhone, a product that now accounts for nearly half of the company’s sales.

via Apple Profit Rises 24% on iPhone 5 Sales – NYTimes.com.

The only problems that Apple is having is it can’t make it’s iPhone 5’s fast enough and that it just revamped it’s entire line which now costs a bit more to build. Hardly a loss.

Somehow, speculators expectations of reported earnings are now more important than the facts. Speculators were expecting even higher profits from Apple and this somehow took the place of the real world results of the worlds most valuable company.

DDN front page screen grab 26 OCT 2012 on River Run

Is it news? Or just Cox PR?

It’s this kind of reporting, where donations seem to count more as an indicator of a politicians performance on election day compared to polls and polls are more important than actual positions on issues. We’ve become so used to made up news that the actual news is currently dominated by speculation and opinion being passed off as news.

Real journalism in Dayton is something we do a few times a week, when handed a story by people so fed up with the pervasive cult of corruption and they risk their jobs and civic standing by speaking out. Then the paper takes the credit. Or, as we had today, on the front page center, we have the “story” about the reaching of the $4 million goal to eliminate the low damns for paddle boats in the river with the header “FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE RIVER DEVELOPMENT” as if they get brownie points for covering their own donation of $1 million to make this happen.

Real news isn’t supposed to be speculation, or positive or negative, it’s supposed to be impartial and factual, informative and inquisitive, smart and succinct, and yet, we have a story that says Apple reported losses- which is so far from true you have to wonder what drugs they are on in the Dayton Daily news office.

To be the newspaper of record in a community is a huge responsibility- and the first one is to be trusted to get it right.

What else did they screw up today?

A note to President Obama while you’re here in Dayton

Barack, hope and change worked last time. And, yes, you’ve done amazing things in the first 4 years- like the affordable health care plan.

But, we’re still hurting here in Dayton Ohio. This is the Main street you talked about- the one where jobs aren’t what they used to be. Where our homes are losing value because the banks threw our neighbors out, and then the houses had their copper plumbing and wiring stripped bare. We’re the ones who’ve had to pay for $4 a gallon gas while the oil companies made record profits. We’re the ones who continue to see our health care costs rise.

Mitt Romney isn’t the enemy right now. What the enemy is people who’ve lost hope. They aren’t as likely to go out and vote for you as last time.  You’ve failed to clearly talk about what you can do if re-elected. Concrete, clear, concise changes that will make things get better. So, here’s a short crib sheet:

  • Stop corporate welfare through “economic development” tax breaks, job creation breaks, relocation assistance by any government entity lower than the federal level- where all incentives will be available to anyone who qualifies- not just the big donors to campaigns (yes, there is a correlation and we look like a pay to play state). Mitt’s right, government has to stop picking winners and losers.
  • If you want to see small business take off- it’s time to give the GSA a lesson in what’s reasonable for a small business to fill out to do business with the federal government. We need a GSA EZ schedule for true small businesses, $6 million a year or less is a start- but, I’m talking about $1 million or less. 250 pages of paperwork isn’t doing anybody any favors.
  • Speaking of government contracting- we have these areas called HUBzones that are struggling to see investment. How about an innovative way to force investment- unlimited H1B visas for companies that locate offices in these distressed areas- as long as the employees all live in the zone? I think we could eliminate HUBzones a lot faster that way and solve some immigration issues as well.
  • Then there’s Wall Street. It’s time to change the culture upside down. Investing isn’t done in a flash and you don’t invest in a company for 12 seconds. That’s roulette. Either put a transaction tax in place, or tax the hell out of anything held less than a year. And to remove volatility, let’s start with the only tax break on stock holdings is on actual dividends- not on trading values.
  • When it comes to the commodities markets- take the speculators out and shoot them. If you aren’t actually purchasing corn, sugar cane or jet fuel, you can’t bid on it. End of story.
  • Health care is totally screwed up as well. Since when were hospital administrators worth 10x a year more than actual doctors saving lives- and all, while calling their hospitals non-profits? Let’s get honest, if you are a non-profit, you aren’t going to get to skip out on paying property taxes etc and pay your CEO $4 million a year. That’s for profit. It’s 10x what you make. And, don’t tell me a company like CareSource, which is entirely funded with tax dollars should be paying their CEO $3 million a year because they are saving the taxpayers money, the VA doesn’t pay their people that way, and they are doing a much better job with a much less healthy community. Non-profit means non-profit. Let’s get that straight.
  • While you and Mitt keep arguing about tax rates- most of us don’t really believe that’s the enemy. We get taxed plenty and the cuts you make aren’t really as important as reeling in credit card interest rates, bank fees, and when the bank slaps on an insurance policy at 8x the cost of the one you’d have bought had you still had a job.  Tax rates aren’t the problem- the gap between the haves and the have nots is the problem- and it’s time to talk about it in real terms. So- above and beyond, while the poor kids have been off fighting in America’s longest war, the rich haven’t had to sacrifice a thing. They’ve gotten richer by shorting America. Buying up devalued real estate, playing positions on Wall Street than encourage offshoring jobs. This has to stop. It’s pretty simple too- just explain that until unemployment drops below 8% there’s a rich people tax. It can also be in place as long as US men and women are dying protecting their wealth. War used to cost everyone, now, it’s only affecting the poor.

These ideas don’t make for sound bite slogans- or slick promises that can’t be kept like creating millions of jobs (I’m in advertising and we’re not allowed to make claims we can’t back up- you should have to live by those rules).

Anyway- you will be speaking in Island Park in 30 minutes- and I’m not there, because I have to work in my small business that employs 7 people. But, I wish you the best on November 6th. Unfortunately, I can’t believe that we can count on the best man winning, thanks to Citizens United, and us having the best politicians money can buy- but, I hope your backers can out spend Mitt’s people so we might have a chance at not going backwards.

Thanks for reading. Now, go out and talk about specific plans you can implement. I’ve given you some starting points. You’re welcome.

The Turner v Neuhardt “debate”

Recap: Neuhardt will raise taxes on the richest 2% and set their tax rate to what it was when Bill Clinton was president.

Turner says Neuhardt will raise taxes so government can keep spending more.

Nothing else was said.

Neuhardt wanted 3 questions answered by Turner- in both her opening and closing statements, but never inserted them into the “debate.” She mentioned the no-bid contract to his wife in the open- and forgot about it. She made the unfounded claim that Turner wants to cripple WPAFB with sequestration because of his unwillingness to raise taxes on the top 2%. She wanted to know why should Turner be reelected to Congress and lastly, She wanted to know why he spent over $200K of his campaign money on legal defense- yet, despite being a lawyer, seemed unprepared to answer the question.

Good lawyers always know the answer to the questions they ask.

At no point did she bring up any substantive ideas for how to change business as usual in Congress. She heard lots of ideas when she was facing 5 candidates (including me) in the primary- and yet, all she could do is regurgitate the standard party lines.

When Turner talked about his having the support of named Democrats- the Mayors of Miamisburg and Huber Heights- she couldn’t come back with a name of a single “republican business leader” she claimed to have discussed Turner’s performance with.

Turner has questions to answer- Neuhardt can’t ask them. Turner makes the argument that Neuhardt is untested, unknown, that she hasn’t served in office, on non-profits, local leadership. He’s right.

When he talked about Congress picking winners and losers with the bail outs- she could have come right back with the pickings of winners and losers like the development she now works in- Austin Landing, something Turner crows about as part of his Congressional pork he’s brought to town at great expense to Downtown Dayton- where Sharen used to work.

This was the first time Sharen had even seen Turner, since he feels no need to go to local candidates nights. She barely knew the man. If this is the best that the Democratic party can come up with, there will be no surprise when Turner wins with 60+% of the vote on November 6.

And, just maybe, if she’d said more than “my daddy was a Dayton Police officer, I went to Fairview, I’m a lawyer and I own a farm in Yellow Springs” while she was on the campaign trail- she wouldn’t have wasted 20 seconds of every answer with “uhs’ and “ums” and looking at notecards. This stuff should have been easy. Turner is a millionaire thanks to his pay-to-play positions in Congress and needs to be exposed and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

It’s time to demand better from the local Democratic party. We can’t continue to send lambs to the slaughter.

(and btw- the video is on WHIOTV site- but, the link, may or may not work: http://shar.es/cs9jO )

When adherence to the Dayton City Charter is optional

From the Dayton City Charter, Section 38, part 4:

B) For each absence of a Commissioner from a regular meeting of the Commission, unless authorized by a majority vote of all members thereof, there shall be deducted a sum equal to one  percent  of  the  annual  salary  of  such  member.  Absence  from  five  consecutive  regular meetings shall operate to vacate the seat of a member unless such absence be authorized by the Commission.(Amendment adopted by voters, 6-3-75; 11-2-82)

Commissioner Dean Lovelace, is once again MIA for an extended period- going back to August 22, 2012. Apparently, he fell, injured his side that was already paralyzed from the stroke he had several years back. The commission has been excusing his absences over and over, meaning his pay isn’t docked, nor are his duties being performed.

The citizens are getting shortchanged on representation and on their tax dollars.

Considering the maniacal attention to the charter when it comes to the standards for getting elected, why the lax enforcement of it when it comes to Commissioner Lovelace. It’s time for an investigation and a special election.

Had this been Gary Leitzell, the four democrats would have been calling for his vacating of the seat- and Nan Whaley would be proclaiming herself mayor.

Dean never would have been elected had it not been for him switching from a regular election to a special election. Of course, once you’re elected, it’s hard to be sent packing. It’s time to either abide by the charter- or admit it’s all a farce and carry on, but someone needs to ask why the Commission isn’t demanding his return or his resignation.

WHIOTV makes up news as they go along

This “story” that WHIOTV ran today, is a prime example of manufactured news.


http://www.whiotv.com/videos/news/columbus-craigslist-laptop-thefts/vf2b8/

Unfortunately- I can’t embed it here, like I can the well produced and much more factual story run by the Columbus station that got the story first.

This was a laptop that I found on Craigslist. I sent my employee- Matthew Sliver (not Michael as they first call him) to Columbus with another employee to buy it. I told him what to look for- and for them to take a picture of the buyer- since he didn’t have the box or disks that went with it. I was the one who made the initial contact and who paid for the computer. This was on July 5th 2012.

When they brought it back- and I started to look through the machine- I found software registered to a man not named “Joe”- and googled him, to find out he was a doctor in Columbus. The computer had been stolen out of his wife’s BMW 6 weeks previous. He wasn’t interested in the computer as much as in other personal items that had been stolen from the car. He’d filed a police report- but had heard nothing.

Since Joe had offered a choice between 2 laptops when I called him- I contacted a grade school friend of mine who is a Columbus PD detective. He put me in contact with his lieutenant- and we coordinated the sting. Matthew drove back to Columbus and the cops made the bust before he’d even started the process.

Turned out “Joe” not only had 3 other stolen laptops in his car- he was due in court the next day for “receiving stolen property.” More laptops.

The doctor, as the story said, didn’t request the laptop back, and actually persuaded the Columbus police not to demand its return for “evidence.”

Cox media has suffered huge losses in revenue due to Craigslist and their loss of their classified ad revenue. They love to run stories about the perils of Craigslist. This was a prime example. We’ve bought and sold many pieces of equipment on Craigslist, all without incident. The fact that criminals use Craigslist to unload stolen goods is no different than them using ebay, pawn shops or any other way of selling goods- but let’s not let this get in the way of making up news to suit our own purposes.

If WHIO wanted to get real news- they wouldn’t have had to rely on the Columbus station that cued them into this success story of the Columbus PD at arresting a criminal, and point out that Matthew went above and beyond in volunteering to meet with this criminal and help the police recover other stolen goods. This shouldn’t have been a story about the perils of Craigslist as much as it should have been a story about a good citizen, doing the right thing, and helping police take a scumbag off the street.

And while Matthew does work in social media- he’s an account executive/account planner for The Next Wave, and we’re damn proud of him and hope when you need smart, savvy help with marketing problems, you call him first. 937-228-4433

www.thenextwave.biz

And- if you want to see how a real TV station reports the story- getting the facts a lot clearer and telling the story without bias watch the Columbus stations news:

Channel 7 is as sloppy as their “newspaper”- facts take the back seat.

Has terrorism been redefined?

In the opening salvo of the debate, Congressman Paul Ryan has defined the killing of the U.S. Ambassador in Libya a “terrorist attack” and blamed our government (of which he was part) of being unprepared and under manned.

Malarkey.

The real terrorist act is Ryan’s use of fear for political gain.

I’ll start with the very basic definition of terrorism:

The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

via define terrorism – Google Search.

When it comes to killing people to move your political agenda to the forefront, there is a difference between terrorism and war- and that’s what seems to be lost in our current political debate.

When you storm an Embassy with superior forces and firepower- that’s war. When you do a judo move and leverage a small act into a major game-changer that’s terrorism. Terrorism is effective because its fallout is much bigger than its initial explosion. Four Americans can die violently every day in a major city in America- and it’s not a global issue. Four American troops can die in Afghanistan and we’re not calling for regime change in Washington. But, in the hands of the Republican party, the death of an Ambassador and 3 others- by a organized group that was better armed and organized- is now being called terrorism, because it helps the Republicans in their pursuit of their political aims.

We can’t call it an act of war by the Libyans (whom we just helped overthrow their government by enforcing a no fly zone- something we refuse to do in Syria because we’re really just after, as Paul Ryan said last night – “the interests of the American People” which was a code word for his supporters in the oil industry) because we’ve stopped declaring war legally and because the Libyan assault force wasn’t claimed by a government (of which one barely exists in Libya).

The secret to terrorism is to be able to multiply the force of a few to move your actions onto the world stage. Now, we have Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney redefining an act of war into terrorism- because it suits their agenda.

If the American people are stupid enough to buy into this, they will get the government they deserve. A government that thrives on fear as justification for all they do. Fear “Obamacare” fear “big government” and even fear social programs, because it’s really PBS that got us in the financial jam, not the fact that people like Mitt Romney have no problem paying 14% income tax while we send the poor people to be proxies in our war for oil and energy security in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya (when it suits us).

Biden is just as bad, lacking the spine to call for the people most able to afford to pay for the war, to do so. In World War II, everyone was eligible to go to war, and everyone was expected to help share the burden of paying for it. Freedom has a price and Ryan and Romney are unwilling to accept the bill.

Instead, they want to build a platform based on fear of terrorists, as justification for continuing to buy weapons the Pentagon doesn’t want and to win office by suggesting that our country is incapable of handling any threat, real or imaginary (Ryan’s suggestions that we would let Iran get a bomb is another example of using fear to further his position- as if we’d beat Israel to the punch on this one).

Terrorists work from a position of weakness to gain superiority by perception. The same can be said of Paul Ryan.

Think hard about this, there will be a test, this November 6.

A male cop, a naked teen girl, and a lack of outrage

Once again, something stinks in Montgomery County.

The deputy police chief of the Miami Twp. Police Department, Maj. John DiPietro, who is normally their PR go to guy- who obviously should know better, took it upon himself to “decontaminate” a 17 year old girl who had been pepper sprayed after shoplifting. He did this by having her strip naked and stand there while he hosed her off with water. This was captured on video, in the “Sallyport” of the police station. He didn’t have a female officer come to help.

I posted this as a trial balloon on Facebook before writing this. I watched in disbelief while some tried to defend his actions- by blaming the girl for shoplifting, for running from police, for being pepper sprayed, for the possibility that there were no female officers available to do the hosing down, to this is acceptable behavior. I also heard WTF and that this has no place in modern America (thankfully I have some smart friends).

What’s most amazing is that an investigation has been underway for a while- this happened in July. The Dayton Daily and Channel 7 have been investigating since Sept. It has appeared in several articles and yet people in the community were still unaware of this transgression of basic rights.

Excuses, once again are being made by the prosecutors office and no public official has stepped up to question why this happened. Our County Commissioners are mute. The County Administrator as well as the Miami Township trustees- nothing.

So am I the only one who thinks that besides a full investigation, Maj DiPietro should be on unpaid leave and facing dismissal?

First, let’s look at when pepper spray is supposed to be used with a suspect:

the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals set a new precedent for the use of pepper spray.

“The 9th Circuit held that the use of pepper spray must be justified in the same way that tazers are used. That standard is very high,” Deputy Ed Obayashi of the Merced County Sheriff’s Office said.

Obayashi is a subject matter expert for Peace Officers Standards and Training, better known as POST. He says the August 26th (2011) court ruling stated officers must face an immediate threat in order to use pepper spray.

That’s different than how they’ve typically been trained.

“If the deputies or officers had to go hands on with an uncooperative suspect that justified the use of a tazer or pepper spray, and that is simply no longer the case under 9th circuit law,” he said.

via Court ruling could affect pepper spray use | abc30.com.

I’ve yet to see proof in any of the articles that the use of pepper spray was warranted. This was an arrest for shoplifting, not armed robbery or assault. If a police officer is having problems with a 17 year old girl, he has the option of calling on other police officers.

Next up- where do you spray the pepper spray? I’m assuming the suspect was clothed. How do her exposed genitals get covered by pepper spray? Do we pull her pants down and spray it in her crotch?

Assuming the girl was pepper sprayed in the field- pepper spray continues to have effect for 45 minutes or so. The real question is what is the proper procedure for police after spraying a suspect with pepper spray? If there isn’t one in writing- the officers shouldn’t be using it. Considering it takes time to transport the suspect- shouldn’t the fact that she was a female been communicated to command, to prepare for decontamination?

But, here is the cincher:

Water can be used to soothe the affected area, however since pepper spray is oil based and designed to stick to the skin, water by itself will not offer much comfort unless utilized continuously for approximately 30 minutes or more.

via Pepper Spray Decontamination.

The whole reason pepper spray is considered effective is that it doesn’t just wash off with water. In fact, scrubbing does more harm and large amounts of water are totally ineffective. DiPietro’s actions weren’t what any proper guideline would call for- and if he indeed was standing there, hosing a naked teen off for 30 minutes- where and why were any other witnesses concerned with the fact that this girl wasn’t given some non-pepper sprayed clothes to wear? Or- transported to a facility that could do proper decontamination?

Nothing about this incident makes any sense to me, nor does it appear legal or justifiable.

Do we have rogue cops carrying and using pepper spray without proper training and procedures? Why wasn’t a female tasked with the ineffective decontamination? Why was pepper spray used in the first place- considering it is potentially lethal? Are a few stolen items from a second hand store really a danger to society?

Chemical weapons aren’t to be taken lightly, legal or not. International laws were put in effect soon after WW1 to ban them for good reason. Pepper spray is a chemical weapon- that often, elevates the danger in a situation rather than defusing it.

For all the reasons above, I believe we need to take a closer look at what we consider acceptable behavior and use of force by the people who are supposed to protect us- because when the law fails one of us, it will fail all of us in the long run.

Inspector Gotcha at work in Vandalia

Last night we heard both Presidential candidates talk about being pro-small business.

What we needed to hear was that if either was elected, “Inspector Gotcha” would be put on America’s Most Wanted List and hunted like Bin Laden.

Thanks to Vandalia, we get to see another prime example of stupidity in power:

One building code issue remains unresolved between the city and the new Scene 75 entertainment complex on Poe Ave. near Wyse Rd. next to Interstate 75.

The city says the fire alarm system isn’t loud enough. Scene 75 owners say it meets code, especially since it is teamed with a visual system.

Until the issue is resolved, an occupancy permit will not be issued and the building will continue to operate under a temporary permit.“We think we’re in compliance,” said Les Sandler, part of the ownership group of Scene 75, which opened in early July. “We have two systems, a sound system and a sight system. The place lights up when the system goes off.

“We’re continuing dialogue with the city. We’ll get past this.”Vandalia building inspector Ted Baker informed the city council in a work session this week the sound system for the alarm is not enough, especially on weekends when 1,000 or more people are in the building, which contains a restaurant, bar and snack areas and several entertainment venues such as go-karts, miniature golf and a 4-D theatre.

“The system designed on paper met code,” said Vandalia building inspector Ted Baker, “but it didn’t pass muster when it went into the field.

”Because of that, Scene 75 has been granted three occupancy extensions as long as firemen are on the scene as a temporary measure in what is called a “fire watch” in case there are problems.

via City, Scene 75 in dispute over fire alarm system | www.daytondailynews.com.

Let’s be absolutely clear- the system meets code. However, if there is a fire, Inspector Gotcha doesn’t think’s that Scene 75’s patrons will be able to hear the alarm and will stand around, despite the lights all coming on, sirens going- and continue to play their games as if nothing is going on. Employees, who have been trained on evacuation techniques and procedures, will also stand around either mute, or will high tail it out, leaving the video gamers and go-cart drivers to fry into crispy critters because, well- the sirens aren’t loud enough.

This has caused the owners of Scene 75, or the citizens of Vandalia to pay to have firemen on the scene while Scene 75 is open (over 3 months) and frustrate and hassle a new small business that has more important things to focus on.

While I’m sure Inspector Gotcha thinks he is doing his job, this isn’t the seventies or the Beverly Hills Supper Club. The risk to the owners of Scene 75 of not having a system and procedures to evacuate a building in case of a fire is clear and they have met code. It’s time to stop Inspector Gotcha from rewriting the laws on the spot. If government bureaucrats had their livelihood on the line and had to take responsibility for their actions, we wouldn’t see this kind of pedantic, capricious behavior.

This is the kind of over-regulation small business really worries about, and the kind that Wall Street Banks aren’t.

Fire Inspector Gotcha now- and let Scene 75 have their occupancy permit.

Only in Montgomery County- steal and buy your way out of a felony

It was only a crime if you didn’t get caught. Because if you got caught stealing from the taxpayers in Montgomery County- you could just resign and pay the money back. Do bank robbers get the same option? How about the “mugger” who robbed my tenant last week? We already know that CEOs like Mike Peppel formerly of MCSi don’t do jail time, or even be forced to pay back the millions he stole from his employees, customers and investors.

Justice is for sale. Justice is arbitrary. Justice is optional if you are connected. Justice is anything but blind.

From today’s Dayton Daily news- who is gloating over the fact that actually exposed something and got the policy (which was illegal) changed.

MCJFS officials in December 2011 allowed Jennifer King pay the county about $5,700 and resign after JFS officials said she inflated two years worth of mileage reimbursements. In return, the county agreed to offer a neutral reference in her personnel file and not to seek prosecution against her.

Officials with the prosecutor’s office, which serves as the legal representative for most county agencies, weren’t aware of the deal until the Daily News asked them about it. Acting on a tip from a reader, the Daily News uncovered the agreement through a public records request.

In an interview last month, Montgomery County JFS Director Gayle Bullard said the deal was struck because it allowed for taxpayers to get money back while avoiding the risk that an independent arbitrator might reinstate King’s county job were she to appeal being fired.

via County changes handling of employees suspected of crimes | www.daytondailynews.com.

Charges should also be filed against JFS Director Bullard, who knew about the crime and didn’t turn it over to the prosecutors. An investigation should also be conducted to find out who else has been given the opportunity to resign and be promised “neutral references” despite violating the most basic tenant of public service- violating the public’s trust.

The prosecutors office should be investigated as well, for their lack of oversight on other issues over the years- like the county administrators family profiting wildly on the deal for the Sears property downtown that became Riverscape. The Feldmans cleared close to $2 million dollars on what started out as a $200K investment.

We’ve seen lax oversight in the Board of Elections- hiring a family member who was a convicted rapist, awarding a government welfare program to Reverend Trammell who had served time on a felony for welfare fraud, and also the rampant nepotism that’s in play at the county building.

No where else but Montgomery County is a public office building run like Melrose Place.

This “policy change” is a joke- the law stated what the policy was. Our elected leadership, the County Commission, the Sheriff and the Prosecutor all should be held accountable for this, as should the former County Administrator on whose watch this happened.

The example has been set- it’s ok to steal, as long as when you get caught, all you have to do is offer to payback what you stole.

This is why it’s time to dismantle our local political parties who are part and parcel to keeping these incompetent criminals in office.