How much does a City Commission seat cost? Answers today.

It’s the campaign finance turn-in day today.

If you’ve got over $10K in donations you have to file. I’m proud to say, I don’t have $10K and won’t be filing. That doesn’t mean I’m not serious, it’s just that I have a real job, and real obligations, and don’t think that winning elections should be based on your ability to:

  1. beg
  2. sell out

I guess that makes me a nobody in the political scene. It’s one of the questions the Dayton Daily News editorial board always gets hung-up on- who else has endorsed you? and how much money have you raised? It’s very rarely about what you stand for, or plan to do.

I went, uninvited, to the AFL-CIO HQ on Monday to “screen” for an endorsement. Getting endorsed by a union, even though I agree in principle with what unions used to stand for- fair wages, good working conditions, policies of equality- is highly unlikely. In fact, I’m pretty sure they picked their candidates long before I walked in the door. My parting comments to them were, although I would like your endorsement, I can’t accept money from the unions- I’m sick of having the best politicians money can buy. Yep, shot myself in the old foot again.

What should a campaign for a local office, part-time position cost? I’ve always said if you spend more than what the job pays in one year, you’ve spent too much. But, I’d like to spend even less.

In my first few runs, I limited myself to $1,000 per run. It was all my money. Then I learned, that won’t cut it. That was also pre-internet. The last run, I spent $6K. I got 6K votes. Unfortunately, the incumbents, Bootsie Neal raised and spent $10K and Dean Lovelace $12K. I guess the thing that spooked me the most- was Bootsie got 10K votes, and Dean 12K. It was almost a straight dollar per vote.

Yep. Public office is for sale. Every once in a while, the voters see past the dollars- the anti-smoking bill won despite being outspent something like 6-1. But, it’s rarely the underdog that wins these days, our President is the exception. He wisely used his money to maximum effect by doing a very careful, target marketing using a tool called “vote getter”- something the parties hold sway over. I’m not a party guy, so, if I want it, I have to either play nice, or be sneaky. Haven’t figured out which yet.

So, in tomorrow’s paper (Saturday) you’ll see who has raised money- and hopefully, you’ll find out from whom. For Federal offices it’s easy- and all the reports are online. For local, you have to ask for them. I can already tell you some familiar names will be supporting the incumbents. Look to Steve Rauch demolition to be handing money over to the Mayor- and probably Nan. I could probably make more predictions- but, why? Those of you in the know, know- it’s the same people. What makes it even funnier is when you see people donate to BOTH candidates running for the seat- it’s called hedging your bets.

Yes, I need money for my campaign, and you can help by making a donation. More importantly, I’ll need volunteers to help go door to door, to call people, to make sure the message goes out. Please sign up on the right to be a part. But, the other thing you can do- is find your favorite post on Esrati.com and forward it to other people in Dayton- and tell them that this is why you think it’s time to elect someone who isn’t going to do one of the following:

  1. beg
  2. sell out

We can’t afford any more of the same.

Thank you.

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