How I lost respect for Judge A.J. Wagner

I was collecting signatures door-to-door tonight on Stonemill Road. Lots of city employees over that way. Some very nice people.

Then I knocked on Judge AJ Wagner’s door. According to the voter registration list, there are 5 registered voters that live there (and only 2 are named Wagner- does this make it an illegal rooming house?).

A.J. answered the door. I joked about the rooming house- and asked him to sign my petition. This isn’t verbatim, but pretty close:

AJ: I’ve already signed one.

Me: You are allowed to sign two, since two seats are open.

AJ: No, I think you’re wrong about that.

Me: Nope, I know the law- there are two seats open, you can sign up to two petitions.

AJ: No, you’re wrong.

Me: No, you are allowed to sign two- did you sign Joey and Nans?

AJ: Yes.

Me: Well, are there any other registered voters at home? The list has five of you.

AJ: Just my wife.

Me: It’s cold out here, any chance of getting a signature?

AJ: No, we’re eating dinner.

Me: So, why didn’t you just say you weren’t willing to sign and help me out? Don’t you want to see people on the ballot?

AJ: You supported Joy Clark against me.

Me: I what?

AJ: Good night- closes door.

If you don’t want to sign, say so. Don’t give spineless excuses. Don’t pretend to be friendly to someone for years, while harboring some deep resentment. And, don’t make assumptions that your wife doesn’t want to sign either. The days of wives as chattel ended with the 19th amendment in 1920.

Lastly- I vaguely remember Joy Clark. I doubt I ever supported her. However, you can rest assured that I’ll always remember this exchange tonight.

Access to the ballot is part of the democratic process. It gives the people to vote for or against people. It stimulates debate. It is democracy in action. I should realize that Montgomery County Democratic pogues like AJ Wagner still believe the decisions on who should be elected belong to their secret committee that meets behind closed doors (note, his name appears as a sponsor of one member- Douglas G Dempsey).

I’ve never turned a person down who has asked for the right to run. It’s up to the voters to decide who should represent them, at least, that’s what I grew up believing.

Judge Wagner thinks it’s up to him instead of you. Remember that next time you see his name on the ballot.

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20 Responses

  1. Gene March 4, 2009 / 12:04 am
    Well, good luck with that………

    To be honest, I find it really annoying when people come to my door that I am not expecting. It is like when telemarketers or sales people call me out of the blue, I handle both situations the same way, unless I am real busy. I take as much time as they are willing to pound their fist and cry and I ask about 2 million questions, 1.99 of which have nothing to do with the subject, take as much time as I can, and in the end tell them to buzz off and never come back to my house or call me again. I often do chores or continuing eating dinner or watching my movie while I invite them in or when they call. Heck, when my friend was over once, we kept a guy there for almost 2 hours selling something, I even took a shower(just to make a point) and finished dinner while he tried to sell me something. After I told him to take a hike he cried about me taking HIS time. Well, he came to MY door.

    I have a sigh up, small but noticeable, that say no solicitation. Well, if you knock you will get a real pain in the ass to deal with – ME!

    Don’t knock on my door – I may take 35 minutes from you and you wont get my signature. I may vote for you, but dint come to my door (this goes for ALL candidates, all salespeople) But, of course, I will be happy to sign anything when I am out and about.

  2. james March 4, 2009 / 10:30 am
    Gene, a firm but polite no is effective. Civility does not cost you anything. Making one’s point is often not difficult however, doing so with dignity and respect shows the true measure of the person.
  3. Gene March 4, 2009 / 11:59 am
    When people don’t follow directions, like my sign on my front door, they get the looooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggg treatment.

    I will ask them question like, “what do you do last night, with whom, etc?” and they will talk themselves into a half hour and get nada out of me. Maybe they should go back to school and learn how to follow directions. It is rude to interrupt me at home – I don’t know you, I don’t want to know you, I have a sign the say no solicitations. It is annoying, so I become more annoying by taking their precious time.

  4. David Lauri March 4, 2009 / 2:22 pm
    LOL @ Gene. Sorry, James, but I agree with Gene on this one. First, even if he didn’t have a “no solicitation” sign up, he’s allowed to say whatever he wants to people who voluntarily knock on his door, and, having such a sign displayed, he could even go down the “What? Are you an idiot? Can’t you read?” path. He’s not forcing anyone to knock on his door. It’d be different if he’d done something like sign up on the Mormons’ website and ask for a Book of Mormon just to get two hot young missionaries to come to his house so he could waste their time.
  5. David Esrati March 4, 2009 / 2:38 pm

    When there is a no solicitors sign on the door- I don’t knock. It’s even in my instructions to my petition gathers. Once again- mean gene has diverted this discussion.
    All AJ had to say was no thanks- and I’d have been on my way.
    I handle rejection fine- I just don’t handle being played very well.
    He’s a judge- and trying to tell me I don’t know the law, as an excuse was just the beginning.

  6. Gene March 4, 2009 / 2:49 pm
    Divert the conversation………..?………………. In the course of any discussion, people are expected to relay valid, pertainant stories regarding the subject. GD when did you become so self important on your “open for discussion” blog?

    You insulted him with the rooming house comment. Maybe you don’t listen well and maybe you would not make a good candidate.

    You handle rejection fine, but you are the one who brought up the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over (like you running for office) and expecting a different result. Well, if you lose, you are insane I guess, according to your definition (on a different subject, not this post.)

    He said he already signed one – in a way he told you to buzz off, but you are too confrontational to leave it at that. HE WAS BEING NICE. He rejected you without saying NO, so really it is YOUR FAULT.

    And why am I mean? I am nice, thank you. You just don’t get it – knocking on doors, for the most part, is annoying. But then again you are good at that.

  7. Jeff March 4, 2009 / 4:23 pm
    “You just don’t get it – knocking on doors, for the most part, is annoying. But then again you are good at that.”

    There is a difference in door knocking for political purposes and for selling stuff of trying to convert someone. It seems more legitimate if one is doing it for political purposes, since its’ a candidate or his representative asking for votes, asking to represent someone but also providing information.

    I think people in general understand this difference (at least that was my experience as a precinct worker years ago).

  8. Gene March 4, 2009 / 5:25 pm
    Yeah, politicians are sooooooooooooo “legitimate” and trustworthy.

    At least selling me something I can touch allows me to see the thing that is screwing me over, unlike the “I promise” bs from politicians. They are lie. See Obama. Same Old Shit, Different Asshole.

  9. Rob Degenhart March 4, 2009 / 7:36 pm
    You should have reached out to him differently, could have been easier for you both to have a better, more mutually beneficial encounter…
  10. David Esrati March 4, 2009 / 11:44 pm

    @Rob- I’ve known AJ for at leat 15 years- I’ve seen him naked at the gym- this wasn’t about the joke- this was about something deep seeded that hadn’t come out before.
    Joy Clark? Access to the ballot? These are important issues.
    The rules of signatures- from an officer of the court- all of it. His “I’m everybody’s buddy, folksy facade” crumbled.

  11. Gene March 4, 2009 / 11:57 pm
    I will always vote for AJ Wagner – and, again, you were interrupting his dinner. That is the chance you take, and then you bitch about it……..unreal.

    Once you get a grip on real people, people who hate to be interrupted after a certain hour, then, and only then, you may have what it takes to be a representative to us, the people. Leave people alone. Collect signatures during the day, in public. You are losing votes with every post.

    You will get my vote – only so I can bitch at you, or towards you, or near you, or next to you, or behind you, or in front of you, or above you, or below you, or from a plane, a train, an automobile.

    For real though, take in to consideration that people hate being bothered at home, especially during dinner time. A little courtesy goes a long way.

    I am certain though you will find some “liberal” “right to knock” “right to bother” BS you always come up with. Bronze medal suits you well. When you want a gold, take advise from successful people, like me.

  12. Drexel Dave Sparks March 5, 2009 / 6:12 am
    Well, since success is pretty subjective, how do you definitively define that you are successful Gene?

    I agree with you one some things, and feel really sorry for you if you really carry that disposition in life, because joy in the moment is all we will, or will ever have.

    I still contend this whole thread is meaningless and trivial. Bad for election chances.

    Peace

  13. David Esrati March 5, 2009 / 6:45 am

    I guess I’m not a real politician, because I share what’s on my mind- instead of playing to some public image that’s built for electability.
    Meaningless and trivial- or the difference between the kind of two-faced politicians we elect, who believe that they are entitled to special status (running an illegal rooming house, being a part of the party machines, trying to bully challengers with false information about the rules of collecting signatures, and then- lying straight to my face).
    I can sleep at night, knowing I try to do my best, and have the interest of the people first. That’s the difference between me and the “electable” candidates.

  14. Drexel Dave Sparks March 5, 2009 / 7:49 am
    Nobody said any of that. What I’m saying is that a voter, this is meaningless to my life, this personal exchange on the front porch.

    I want protein, not just flavor.

  15. Gene March 5, 2009 / 9:06 am
    So you are accusing the judge of running an illegal rooming house…………interesting.

    I was kidding about the successful comment, it was to point out that David never or rarely listens to simple arguments. He brought this subject up, AJ told him, in his own polite way NO, and David kept pushing the envelope, yet in David’s eyes AJ was wrong. That’s how Esrati rolls.

    David was wrong to write this post, wrong to bother anyone, including a judge, wrong to accuse him of an illegal boarding house. Simply put David is wrong on this one and I enjoy pointing it out. Thank you.

  16. Gene March 5, 2009 / 9:22 am
    The Judge bullied you as well…….?…….. I say if this it true you should take hime to court.
  17. do you have issues January 5, 2011 / 10:23 pm
    I am really annoyed that you want to point out that AJ (in your opinion) is a fake, or phony or whatever it is that you would like to seemingly refer to him as. 

    The truth of the matter is….yes, you interrupted his dinner AND….you didn’t take to his polite way of letting you know that he had already signed the petition. 

    So I would say that it sounds to me like you have some issues of your own to work out.  I mean starting a blog, really?  Are you stuck in jr. high school or something?

    As a person that has known AJ for a long time….for you to begin to try to belittle him is absurd.  No, he’s not perfect, but he is one of the most decent, kind-hearted people I have ever met in my life.  He is the politician that cares about the people, more than himself and if you really knew AJ, you would know that.

    Someone who is going to create a website and a blog to bitch about someone they obviously don’t know….just someone who got pissed off that someone didn’t drop everything for them….well, my friend….that’s more than sad, that is pathetic!!  And I’m sorry, you are trying to make AJ out to be the bad guy here…..I think you need to find something else, maybe more productive to do with your time…just a suggestion!!

  18. David Esrati January 6, 2011 / 7:50 am

    @do you have issues – Are you the cancer stricken employee who is being protected by AJ with his latest political grandstanding?

    A.J. Wagner shows the Governor who’s boss

    AJ is a political beast- nothing else. He’d sell his mother out if it meant he could get elected- or protect his political cronies.

    I’ve know AJ for a long time as well- and, while an affable guy- and, well meaning- he’s part of the political machine- and thinks he can do no wrong.
    With his latest retirement stunt- hopefully, the voters will see through his charade, and send him out to pasture. He’s part of the problem in our fair county- he’s a prime cog in the Monarchy of Montgomery County. and it’s time to take the wheels off that bus.

  19. Nunya Business April 23, 2013 / 9:50 pm
    Trifling, Esrati, you posses no charisma and aren’t cut out for politics. You were looking for a confrontation obviously to anyone with half a brain. You needed 2 signatures? Why? Are you short? Is he going to break the bank?

    You are egotistical and the last thing we need in Dayton. You probably aren’t honest enough with yourself to admit it, but it’s the case. You aren’t fooling anyone, only yourself. In the words of Mark Twain “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” a little copy pasta, but you get the idea. The problem is, even it being easier, you simply won’t be fooling the voting public. Maybe next round you’ll be better, that’s my estimate, you’re only human, how can we blame you, but stop harassing people who want to do right by the people, your blue blood won’t mix with the red blood running through the cities veins, and always will. Regards, concerned voting citizen.

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