While it’s wonderful that our vote in Ohio still matters (it hasn’t in past primaries), and that we have 2 real choices on the Democratic side for President (my preference is Barack Obama), I’m a bit dismayed at how the congressional primary has been all but ignored.
No debates. Very few, poorly attended voter forums, and only a smattering of newspaper coverage. If you wanted information you almost had to turn to the candidates websites- and of those, I believe this was the only one that had regularly updated content.
Go look: Jane Mitakides www.jane08.com and Charles Sanders : www.charleswsanders.org
Then look here- either by scrolling down, or picking topics from the Categories on the right hand sidebar, or doing a simple search for information that you feel is important to base your decision. Then try finding real positions on their sites.
Typically, a congressional campaign is a years in the making, before the filing deadline. All three candidates weren’t prepared, myself included. However, I had three years of content and ideas on my site to build a base from. The others- well, Charles had a two year old site, and Jane, well, it took her a month just to get a holding page up.
I’ve produced postcards and done a limited mailing, bumper stickers and buttons, and worked like crazy to be at events and hand out the cards. I’ve also knocked on a lot of doors. I’ve raised a bit of money- all from people like you. Jane has taken PAC money and loaned herself $50K.
For those of you who know what RSS is– and have followed the regular posts, I think we’ve built a pretty good relationship/community. To me, the idea of having a Congressman that posts daily would be huge step forward in connecting the House of Representatives with your house. If every politician did this, there would be no more of that “I voted for it, before I voted against it” bs. It’d all be online for all to see.
There have also been a few things I’ve exposed that I am quite proud of- all before the Dayton Daily News figured them out:
- The whole Turner Effect/slush fund donation work around. I first asked the question in July of 07. I was the first to point out that Lori Turner had done work for a PAC, has a GSA schedule, and uncovered the government money passed through the Dayton Development coalition.
- Although it hasn’t hit the news yet, the Q-Base donation scandal got it’s start here. 12 employees all giving to one candidate, all within a short period of time. Considering that Q-base is a federal contractor, there are problems here.
- Most significantly, I posted the membership of the Montgomery County Democratic Party Screening Committee. This is the secret society that picks candidates behind closed doors and tries to limit ballot choice. A prime example is their choice to endorse Roland Winburn over another fine candidate, Lt. Col. Victor Harris, US Army Ret. for the OH-40, a district that is guaranteed to go democrat- no matter who runs. It’s always been my goal to force government into the open- this fight isn’t over yet, but, when Harris (who got the Dayton Daily News endorsement) wins, it may be the beginning of a movement to stop the party from endorsing in primaries. Note, in the congressional race for OH-3 Highland, Clinton and Warren County Dem parties didn’t and wouldn’t endorse.
It is my goal to prove that it doesn’t have to take a million dollars to win a congressional campaign. If enough voters heard my message, and prefer honesty to political jargon, I’ll be facing Mike Turner in the fall- a task I relish.
We were at the 2nd Street Public market on Saturday with a booth. I had three banners up- one got all the attention: “If Karma exists, Mike Turner is in big trouble.”
For now, there is nothing more I can do, the choice is in your able hands. If you believe in the power of Grassroots, tell all your friends who you plan on voting for, and we’ll see what happens.
Don’t forget the Guaranteed winners party: Tuesday Mar 4, 2008 South Park Tavern where we will watch the election results and raise money for Daybreak. It’s either the end of the line for this candidates campaign, or it’s the big kickoff – but, either way, we’ll do something good for a good charity and make this whole thing worth it.