Dayton Ohio voter’s guide

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. Polls open at 6:30 and close at 7:30

If you don’t know where you vote:

If you don’t know if you are registered, (it’s too late to fix this)

There are 3 Statewide Issues. 1 Countywide levy. Three contested races in Dayton. There are three local options on liquor licenses.

State Issues

Issue 1, is changing the process of gerrymandering our state. This is not the best solution possible to end the quagmire we’re in, but it’s an improvement. Vote YES on Issue 1.

At least it will require a little bit of cross-aisle diplomacy in order to make changes.

Issue 2 is what the people who won gerrymandered races are doing to fight issue 3. Do not be deceived by the seemingly noble intentions to “outlaw monopolies” in Ohio- if they’d really wanted to do that, they wouldn’t have let the casino people do the exact same thing with disastrous results. Issue 2 will either accidentally or intentionally, end up giving power to the politicians over citizen initiatives- which they already have proven by their ballot language proposal on issue 3. Vote NO on issue 2. If you want to read more about this- try this conservative think tank position post that says no on 2 as well.

Issue 3 is the pot legalization bill on the surface, in reality, it’s the casino bill all over again. We didn’t learn then, hopefully we learn now. This issue will grant a monopoly to the people who proposed the bill. It isn’t about legalizing pot, it’s about making a few rich people- a lot richer.

I don’t smoke pot. I don’t care if you smoke pot. I don’t think people should be filling up our prisons for smoking pot. I do believe it works well as medicine for some health issues. I don’t want pot smoked in public anymore than I wanted cigarettes smoked in public. I’m convinced that people who are high shouldn’t be driving. But, this legislation- which will bring a whole bunch of single issue voters to the ballot, is not the right way to do this. When something sounds too good to be true, like wiping out past pot convictions, and allowing anyone to have some plants of their own, it probably is. Vote NO on issue 3.

Montgomery County Issue- 13, Sinclair second property tax levy.

Sinclair already has a substantial levy. Now they want to add a second levy. It’s blasphemy to say Sinclair is anything other than our regal crown prince of Montgomery County. It’s a heinous crime to suggest that this organization has grown out of control- taking over teaching high-schoolers, and expanding into other counties. We’ve paid and paid since 1966 to build a resource for Montgomery County residents- and now we are being asked again. Consider these facts:

  • Montgomery County has the 2nd highest tax burden in the state (after Cuyahoga).
  • Sinclair is totally debt free and has a large cash nest egg. They refuse to float bonds like every other school- even when interest rates are the best ever.
  • Sinclair is no longer finding needs and serving them in the community, but instead chasing things like UAV pilot training- and hyping the hell out of it. They don’t teach truck driving- where there is a great need for instance.
  • The school has changed under the direction of President Steve Johnson- with a swelling administration, and an increasing reliance on part-time faculty. Program quality in many areas has declined.
But the main issue is that Sinclair now operates a campus in Warren and courses in Preble and Greene- to which they say “No Montgomery County money is spent”- which is pure hogwash. If it were true that the measly $50 more per credit hour was enough to fund all of that- can Montgomery County drop both levies and let students just pay 50% more in tuition (it would still be a great deal)?
I’m the treasurer of Keep Sinclair Fair, where you can read a lot more reasons why Sinclair should either be forced to pull out of other counties, or charge them all a nominal property tax to continue services before Montgomery County taxpayers add another dime in burden. Vote NO on Issue 13.
City of Dayton
First, the disclosures: my firm, The Next Wave, an advertising agency- does work for political candidates. With my political biases, this usually means I don’t get asked to work for the Democratic party candidates- even though I’m on the party central committee and a ward leader. I will disclose in each race.
Dayton City Commission:
I’ve run for commission more times than I can count (really- I have no idea, how many times I’ve turned in over 500 signatures at this point). I feel very qualified to offer advice on this position, even if the voters don’t think I should be elected to it.
There are four candidates, you get to vote for two. You can vote for just one if you like. It is a vote that guarantees you don’t somehow cancel your own vote.
There is one incumbent, Matt Joseph, seeking a ridiculous fourth term. By manipulating the petition process, he has never faced solid opposition. He is a very nice guy. He contributes nothing but a yes vote to his puppet-master, Nan Whaley.
Chris Shaw is the party-anointed candidate. Despite having 2 black men already on the commission, the Democratic party reneged on a promise made to Darryl Fairchild to back him, if he didn’t run against Jeff Mims, 2 year ago. Shaw is who the party wants on the commission. He’s also a nice guy. But, almost as non-threatening as Matt Joseph.
Darryl Fairchild is a Democrat, running without the party endorsement. Surprisingly, he’s picked up some endorsements from unions- which is a breaking of the ranks. He feels this was supposed to be his seat, which is kind of screwed up- but, I’ll leave it at that.
Scott Sliver is the second half of the preacher posse (Fairchild is also a preacher) and running as an independent. Full disclosure: I’ve known Scott for 25 years- we both started ad agencies about the same time and were friendly competitors, until he gave up advertising for being a touchy feeley singing pastor. I consider him a friend- and he hired my firm to do his campaign materials (except his website). A total political newcomer, he has picked up one labor endorsement.
My first advice- do not vote for Matt Joseph. He’s a placeholder and dead weight on the commission. If he’s ever voted in the minority, or even asked a question in 12 years- I’d be hard pressed to remember it. Our city will never get a penny’s worth of value from his years in office.
So, that leaves Shaw, Sliver and Fairchild.
Shaw hasn’t distinguished himself in any candidate forum. He’s not demonstrated that he can do much except what the party tells him to do. He brings no new ideas to the table.
Sliver is great at listening. He is very empathetic. He has been involved in feeding the poor with his Hope Foundation for 5 years. He’s an advertising guy at heart (and he was very good at it) and will bring new skills to the commission- however, he’ll be like Gary Leitzell- a sole vote in a sea of puppet strings. He may be naive, but, he’ll work for you and ask the right questions. Vote for Scott Sliver
The question is should Fairchild get his “promised seat.” My gut reaction is – “not with my help.” Anyone who thinks they can wheel and deal in back rooms to get elected, and that that’s an OK thing- should get automatic disqualification. However, since he got burned, maybe he learned a little bit- and it’s our first chance to put two people without puppet strings on the commission? Sliver along with Joseph or Shaw is a lost cause. Sliver with Fairchild, means the people are one race away from breaking the stranglehold on our city of the monarchy of Montgomery County. However, voting for Fairchild could put him ahead of Sliver (unlikely based on the primary performance where Sliver came in a solid third). Vote for Darryl Fairchild, grudgingly, because it’s better than the party line.
Dayton Municipal Court Judge
In a rare case of unintended democracy, you have a choice for Judge. Full disclosure- politics makes strange bedfellows- and my firm did all the design work and website for Mia Wortham Spells- and I worked closely with Idotha Bootsie Neal who is helping Ms. Spells run.
The Dems had three choices- and went with Collette Mooreman who has worked as a magistrate for a long time. Mia Wortham Spells is a criminal defense lawyer who has worked in the city a long time. Judicial races are strange- the candidates can’t have opinions- because once elected, their job is to follow the law- especially at the Muni Court level.
My feeling on electing judgeships is that voters have no clue who to vote for. We can’t easily read or research their legal writing skills. We can’t see them in action. We don’t know how they will manage case loads- or how fast or correctly they will make decisions. In the past- the party has backed people who were horrible managers and had tons of cases overturned on appeal- the only real stats you can judge a judge on.
The reality is- our system of local municipal courts instead of a countywide system is a miscarriage of justice. Franklin County has one municipal court- we have a ton in Montgomery County.
I’m going to be diplomatic in this one- and defer to someone whom I trust in this matter to endorse- and that’s A.J. Wagner- who was a judge- he has a Mia Spells sign in his yard- and he’s been a strong Dem for a long time. But, in reality this is more a vote about patronage jobs and a popularity contest.
Dayton School Board
Full disclosure- my company printed signs for John McManus and I offered him technical advice on how to campaign.
This was supposed to be a very contested race. Instead, we have 4 candidates running for 3 seats. Not exactly democracy in action.
Whom we elect won’t really matter- since before this term is over, the State will step in to take over the poorly performing Dayton School System. It’s not the system’s fault- poverty does this to standardized test scores 100% of the time.
That the three incumbents even chose to run is testament to their optimistic belief that they can avert the inevitable. Two of them are guaranteed to win. I can’t think of a reason to vote for any of them over the new guy- McManus, and while I could say that I’ve supported Robert Walker in the past- I think he’s still naive about what needs to happen.
Nancy Nearny almost didn’t make it on the ballot last time- until they found 3 signatures for her. Sheila Taylor is still labor’s favorite candidate- although McManus did pick up a labor endorsement.
The only compelling vote for me is for McManus– who would be the youngest member of the school board. It’s time for some new, fresh thinking. The other three- in reality, you’d be doing the one you leave off a favor- knowing what’s coming up when the state steps in. If I had to pick one to skip on, it would be Nancy Nearny, who cares but seems out of touch with the situation to this observer.
Local Options:
Dayton 13-A- Love’s Travel Stop.
1-A University Shell
9-A Paterson Pub & Patio
If you think voting a precinct dry is a good idea- or singling out a business on the ballot- just wait until we have legal pot. Regulation through piecemeal ballot initiatives is almost always guaranteed to have unforeseen consequences. I’m a big fan of mediation, other enforcement options, but anything other than a new law to regulate a single business. If you live in the precinct- do your research first.
Sorry this is so long.
short rundown.
Issue 1- Yes
Issue 2-NO
Issue 3-NO
Issue 13-NO
Sliver for Dayton City Commission
Fairchild-maybe for Dayton City Commission
Spells for Judge
McManus for Dayton School Board.
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