I filmed the Grassroots Greater Dayton candidate forum last night. All four County Commission candidates: Judy Dodge (D) vs. Dixie Allen (appointed incumbent, recently turned R) Chuck Curran (incumbent R) and Dan Foley (D)- and the two candidates for County Auditor: Karl Keith (incumbent D) and Seth Morgan (R).
Pardon me, but you need a score card and name tags to tell these candidates apart. Not a single hint of visionary leadership, not a sound byte to be proud of, not a word of wisdom to lead us from the problems that they could all sum up as: loss of jobs.
When asked if they supported regional government Chuck Curran and Dan Foley talked about baby steps- that they had been involved with, but no one had the guts to say- they wanted to run to make their jobs obsolete, or consolidate the oft quoted 68 jurisdictions.
All of them are nice people, don’t get me wrong. They all have good intentions and truly believe they are the right person for the job- but none was able to communicate what they would bring to our community. A lot of talk about what they’d done, some talk of about what they see as a problem- but nothing close to real, bankable, solutions.
It’s as if they all came out of the same mold- and that’s what we don’t need.
Some personal observations:
- Chuck Curran and Dan Foley both look old beyond their years- obviously being a career politician is rough.
- If Dixie Allen and Judy Dodge are the best the parties can come up with on short notice by the local political parties (Vicki Pegg quit mid-term, allowing the R’s to appoint the recently flip-flopped Allen to the commission- interestingly enough, Pegg gave $1000 to Democrat Dodge) our parties need serious help. Both sounded like bureaucrats.
- Judy Dodge wins an award for bad soundbyte: “I don’t want to visit my kids every Christmas” makes her sound like the Grinch- instead of someone who is worried her kids will have to leave Dayton to find employment.
- Seth Morgan and Karl Keith: they are running for an office that no one cares about- other than the parties who fill the office with political patronage positions (or if you like seeing your name on gas pumps). Electing Auditors, treasurers, Sheriffs and Judges is a waste of time- we should have professionals in these positions, and quit playing politics with them- listen to these two- and you know the job isn’t taken seriously.
- Candidate “Forums” are a waste of time for candidates- unless broadcast. Not enough people care to come, and the ones that are there- are the people who already know you. Spend your time knocking on doors- going to groups of people. I learned this lesson the hard way. However, not showing up at them- doesn’t look good either.
- Debate- real debate, or better yet, duels with pistols- just like Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton- would make things much more interesting.
- My feelings after this: Vote Dem for Dodge and Foley if you want to see any progress our of our normally sleepy County Commission. On the auditor- it doesn’t matter who has this position- but, if you are fed up with the way things are going in Washington- the more D’s that get elected the stronger the message.
Hopefully, the forum tape will make it onto DATV or at least youtube before the election- if you want to see for yourself.