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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6 Responses

  1. Johnathon July 31, 2009 / 12:55 am
    Why not use Wright State film students to shoot an ad for you … they could do it for free and add it to their professional portfolios.

    If you’re interested, I may have a few connections in the film department who might be willing to help you out on this one.

    You know my email and we’re Facebook buddies.

    Also, you will reach tons of young people, who will most likely agree and be excited about your message, Friday and Saturday nights in the Oregon District. Pass out some handbills one weekend advertising yourself giving a speech the following down there.

    If you create a situation the media will be interested in … the media will come.

    Maybe set up a show at the DDC and invite people out to help you raise some money. It’s not selling out to have people come out and check out a couple local bands who agree with you enough to donate their time.

  2. Molly Darcy August 4, 2009 / 9:13 am
    Let me get this straight….you’re serious about running for City Commission, you have ideas on how to ship Dayton into shape, you’re ready to save the city—but—- you’re “proud to say, I don’t have $10K and won’t be filing”???  Let me say this again, you think your election is critical to the future of the city but you can’t make the time to raise the funds necessary to win?  Sounds to me like you’re not serious at all.  Sounds to me like you’re just using this race as another opportunity to throw bombs at people. 

    If you were serious about winning you’d be out pounding on doors raising the cash you need to get your story out.  I hate to tell you this David, but 99% of Dayton voters have never been to your webpage, the only thing people know about you is that stupid mask incident you pulled in the city commission meeting.  That doesn’t exactly say serious candidate.

  3. David Esrati August 4, 2009 / 9:22 am

    @Molly- Joey Williams didn’t file either- is he a slacker too? Gary Leitzell has the backing of the GOP- he didn’t file? Is the size of the campaign fund more important than the size of the ideas? I’ve been on the ballot 6 times, if voters don’t know my name now, Houston, we’ve got a problem.
    Raising cash is probably more about what got our country into this economic mess, with politicians playing pansy to the special interests.
    Go back to bed, try getting out of it on the other side- you obviously didn’t get a good start to your morning.

  4. Molly Darcy August 4, 2009 / 9:38 am
    So Barack Obama who raised more money than any other candidate in history played pansy to special interests???? Give me a break.  Gary Leitzell is your go to person for a serious candidate???  He’s running for Mayor and couldn’t raise $10,000–yeah, that says serious to me.  You say he has the backing of the GOP, yet number one, he’s not a Republican (so he says); and number 2, the GOP never had problems raising cash for Mike Turner’s races, so apparently they’re not really backing him.  Can you imagine if Mike Turner didn’t file a camapign report because he hadn’t raised $10,000??? He’d of been laughed out of town. 

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