It seems only fitting- my two thousandth post on esrati.com is to tell you that I lost yet another election.
Tonight, the “executive committee” of the Montgomery County Democratic party voted to submit two people to fill the unexpired terms of Dennis Lieberman and Tom Ritchie, who were voted off the Board of Elections island by our Secretary of State, Jon Husted.
Of course, all of this could be for naught, if the lawsuit filed against Husted today, in Judge Walter Rice’s court, orders Husted to put Lieberman and Ritchie back on the island, now that Husted has been publicly spanked by Eric Holder and the Democrats.
The whole story of why Ritchie and Lieberman were the first in Ohio history to be punted from a Board of Elections without doing something heinously illegal like selling Meth or hiring a convicted rapist because, well, he’s the brother of a person with a patronage job and was hired without filling out a job application- no, they were fired because they wanted to make it easier for people to vote.
The God that the Republicans pray to doesn’t like people to vote early in person- because, well, too many liberals do that.
There were five candidates. I was probably the one who got the least votes. The ballot was on paper, write two names- sign your name. Counted by Mat Heck and Lee Faulke, the first place finisher was Rhine McLin who now gets to fill the longer remaining term that Dennis held (I think it’s 3.5 years) and number two was John Doll who gets to sit in Tom Ritchie’s seat for a year and a half before reappointment. Of course, Jon Husted gets final say on who gets in (odd, because he also gets final say on who isn’t in- making him the effective king of both parties).
All the candidates, including me, promised to vacate the seat if the lawsuit forces Husted to rescind his action.
The good news for Dayton is that as long as Rhine is on the BOE collecting her $20K a year for 2 meetings a month- she can’t run for city commission to fill Nan’s spot while she runs for Mayor. The bad news is, if my family will permit me, I’ll be running for city commission again next year.
There was actually a roll call of the executive committee members tonight. I should have recorded it so I could post it here. I’m a member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party, and I don’t even know who makes up the executive committee. It was nearly a full house- only a handful of them were missing. 25 were needed for a quorum to vote and they had over that.
I’m also remiss, in not having full bios of everyone running. Joan Holmes (sp)? ran – and was totally unfamiliar to me, and the Mayor of Brookville, David E. Seagraves also had his name in the hat- with a letter of recommendation from County Commissioner Dan Foley (who wasn’t in attendance tonight or on the executive committee.
I had a few people come up after- and tell me they voted for me. In my intro speech it probably didn’t help that I pointed out the fact that a convicted rapist had been hired to the BOE without a job application- or that you still can’t find out basic info on voting on the BOE site- stuff that always comes up as referral searches near election time- on esrati.com.
This wasn’t a groundbreaking post. It isn’t even significant in the grand scheme of things. But, 2000 is a milestone- most blogs never see that many posts. Thanks for being a reader.
Here is what I handed out to the members of the Executive Committee:
Why should I serve on the Board of Elections?
As a “perennial candidate” I’ve had 20 years experience of frustration at finding the way onto the ballot and through the process.
It’s been my experience that the information that’s fundamental to running for office is missing from the BOE site, as are filing deadlines, sample forms, sample language and process and procedure.
As a member of the Board, I would work to make sure that the process is as open and transparent as possible.
Some things that I’d work on:
A complete listing of all elected offices and the election dates, office holders, election results and requirements for every office in Montgomery County.
Voter education: Every year at election time, my personal site gets a ton of traffic for “Do I have to declare a party” and “can felons register to vote.” These questions should be directed by Google to the SOS- but since our SOS is more interested in stopping people from voting, he’s not done the job.
I’ve also been a vocal critic of our BOE. We’ve had some hiring mishaps, as well as other negative press over the years. I don’t believe that the first reason to work at the BOE is because you are a friend of________________. Our election process is sacred- and we’ve taken our responsibilities pretty lightly in Montgomery County.
I fully support the actions of Tom and Dennis. I’ve never been prouder of two Democrats in my life. If they get their seats restored, I would step down so that they would be able to reclaim their seats. My appointment would also be a sign that our party isn’t all about good ‘old boy politics as usual.
More than likely, the SOS will reject my appointment, for any number of reasons. Most likely, because I’ve tripped up against the system too many times. This would be one more issue he’d have to deal with, on top of the pending litigation.
I would do everything possible to question why if he’s so set on “statewide standards” why our local BOEs use different systems and our databases are such a mess.
I take this position very seriously. If appointed, it would have to end my political aspirations and make me focus on improving our election process in Montgomery County- and hopefully- the State of Ohio.
If you don’t know my commitment to open, fair, honest elections by now, I don’t deserve this job. It’s been my goal to raise the political consciousness of our community via open, honest discussion since I started running for office 20 years ago.
My site, www.esrati.com has more information on it about elections, and the process, than any other site in Montgomery County.
I hope to help take the MCBOE to the next level.
Note: Building highly accessible, ADA compliant, useful websites is what my team in the professional world does. It would be my honor to help bring this knowledge and skills to the County.