Getting property taxation right

Why isn't the purchase price the permanent valuation for the length of time you own it?

Only in Dayton is the $10K house a reality

Are you your neighbors keeper?

Every week I look at the listings of homes sold in Montgomery County and marvel, because only in Dayton can you buy a home for less than the price of a nice used car.

This doesn’t happen in surrounding communities (other than the depressed ones- Jefferson, Trotwood) . Do you wonder why?

It’s all supply and demand would be the perfect capitalists answer. But, what drives demand?

In real estate 101 they say “location, location, location” – and people choose communities based on the schools. And to some extent this is also correct. Yet, my house, bought for $14,500 in 1986 is worth close to 10x that, and a slightly larger home 2 doors down, just went for the same amount 7 years ago. It shouldn’t have sold that low, but it was a foreclosure. And, my property value dropped- not just because the price was low, but because of the cancer that moved in.

Four doors down, a house sold for $95K 3 years ago. The new couple put at least $40K into it before splitting. It sold in a day- price unknown, but for well over $125K. And my property values are sure to go up.

Yet, I didn’t change locations, and my schools still suck. My investments in my house shouldn’t penalize me with higher taxes anymore than what my neighbors do. The value will come to me, and to the community, when I sell.

How and why do the actions of others affect my property values? If I own a share of stock in 3M, does my value go up just because Apple had a great year? No. Yes, if I go to sell my car, and someone else paid X for a similar car- that’s the price- but, I’m not selling my home, I just want to live here. Why should my value change until I do something?

Simple answer- it shouldn’t. And, this constant re-valuation of real estate based on the actions of others is causing gentrification, housing bubbles, foreclosures, and a mangled economy.

The purchase price of an owner occupied home shouldn’t change until the house is sold. The same should be said of rental property. When the government steps in and raises your property value for taxation purposes, they become an uncontrollable variable in a business equation. They distort markets. They screw existing businesses and property owners when they offer tax abatement to the new guy, while the long term investor gets shafted.

And, it’s almost counterproductive to do improvements to your property, if the tax man is just going to charge you more. But, what could be worse? Your neighbor doing improvements.

Case study: Dr. Michael Ervin, shadow mayor of Dayton before he left town for Scottsdale AZ, bought a dump of a bar in the Oregon District and poured $1.6M into it. This skewed the valuation tables for his neighbors, who were thankful the bar left, but were asked to pay more for Dr. Mike’s excess. Some, couldn’t pay the additional taxes and were forced to sell or move. Others might have spent more on a crappy house, because Dr. Mike did what he did. The market skewed. But, 10 years later, when it came time to sell, Dr. Mike got less than half his money back on his taj mahal. Yes, it’s still double the value of any of the other single family homes- and still skews things, but, the only person paying the tax on the new market rate evaluation- $725K , should be the new owner. Just as the neighbors who never left, shouldn’t have been forced to pay more when the $1.6 boondoggle went in.

The reason we pay property taxes is supposedly to support public infrastructure and government to keep our investments safe. Income taxes are supposedly a more progressive tax that are supposed to be based on ability to pay. When property taxes unfairly start to penalize people for making a long-term investment that they hoped to keep- it’s wildly unfair, un-American.

The fact that almost every office building downtown has been foreclosed on, while tenants have moved to fairer pastures funded in part by tax dollars- with more advantageous tax structures (both income and property tax) like Austin Landing is proof positive that our property taxation and income taxation hodge podge is causing more problems than it’s helping.

The value of the Kettering Tower, once the premier office space in Dayton, was decimated by Dayton’s high income tax (now 2.5%) and property taxes based on market forces beyond the owners control. Would Austin Landing have looked so good, without the huge investment in infrastructure by the county, or the income tax free zone for white collar workers (while the retail underclass pays 2%)? Probably not.

It’s time to realize that tax policy and abatement has serious consequences to the entire region, and we need to find a way to level the playing field and stop letting the choices others make, affect our tax rates.

Regional tax policy, from property to income tax, needs to be set and managed at the county level, and by fair market forces, for all of us to live within our means, and to stop changing the playing field in the middle of the game.

 

The man behind the curtain is now backing bike share

Mike Ervin liked the idea when I first told him about bike share back in 2009. So did Andy Williamson- when I brought Bcycle from Boulder to the first Miami Valley Bicycle summit.

I took a slide deck out and presented it to, or talked with Dr. Hopkins at Wright State who loved it. Dr. Dan Curran at UD and I discussed over lunch in his private dining room where he seemed noncommittal, and people at Premier Health (who would be the ideal advertising sponsor) have had the proposal in their hands for years. Same goes for Sinclair, where Dr. Johnson has no interest in talking to me about it (he’s still mad that I’ve said Sinclair shouldn’t be in Warren County unless they pay a tax like we do to subsidize it- but, that’s another story).

RTA had a copy too- with Mark Donaghy liking it, but not sure about how it qualified for Federal transportation dollars (the Schuster Center got over $4 million from RTA and Federal dollars- more than enough to pay for an entire bike share system). It’s also been passed around Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission where it was filed in the good-idea-but-we-don’t-really-do-much bin.

It’s been on my campaign literature too- but, enough about what I’ve been doing for the last 4 years- now, it’s Andy and Scott making the rounds with the backing of Dr. Ervin, the man behind the curtain:

Andy Williamson, 32, and Scott Murphy, 34, share a love of recreation. Williamson is a regional director for the International Mountain Bicycling Association and Murphy is a recreational bicycle rider and mechanical engineer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

As representatives for Bike Miami Valley, an organization that advocates for bicycle-friendly public policy, the two are making the rounds of government officials, planning organizations and private business groups to discuss their research paper, “Miami Valley Bike Share Feasibility Study.”

It will be unveiled to the public Friday at the Miami Valley Cycling Summit in Springfield. The event is sponsored in part by Cox Media Group Ohio, owner of the Dayton Daily News. They provided an advance copy of the study to this newspaper.

Mike Ervin, co-chair of the Downtown Dayton Partnership, said pending new downtown housing units, including hundreds of student apartments planned for the old Dayton Daily News site at Fourth and Ludlow streets, as well as newly-created bike lanes on major arteries like Brown Street, would help make a bike share program a success.

via Public bike rental system proposed for Dayton area | www.daytondailynews.com.

Bicycle sharing systems are a game changer for Downtown parking, where people would no longer be tethered to parking in the core to get to buildings with limited or more expensive parking. It also makes possible housing, where people could live without the need of a car- since bikes that can haul groceries are readily available. I’ve ridden bike share bikes in London and Paris and know how easily these systems can transform your mobility.

BCycle called it a “magic bike” because when a system is installed with critical mass and effective re-balancing of the system, there is always a bike at hand. Besides being great for the environment compared to cars, it also encourages healthy exercise. Maybe now that Dr. Downtown has blessed my idea, we will see it happen. You can read much more about bike share in Dayton here: http://esrati.com/category/bike-share-in-dayton-ohio/

Dayton Region Rally Nov 17 – they want you to come!

The Dayton Development Coalition- doers of evil no-bid contracts to congressman’s wives, are trying to clean up their image- and holding a feel good hoo-hah at UD arena.

A partial list of speakers:

  • Kellen Winslow, Athletic Director at Central State University and NFL Hall of Famer
  • Joe Sciabica, SES, Executive Director, Air Force Research Laboratory
  • Stacia Edwards, Director, Regional Workforce Transformation Consortium
  • Sean Creighton, Executive Director, SOCHE and DaytonCREATE
  • Dr. Tom Lasley, Dean, UD School of Education, Edvention
  • Dr Mike Ervin, Oregon District – Downtown Dayton Plan

They want you to go to this site and sign up:

We’re all in charge of our future, so let’s make it a positive one.

Join others in our community and become a part of this exciting event that highlights our regional strategy for growing jobs and celebrates all the opportunities available in our area. Hear how others are achieving success in the Dayton Region, and learn how you can get involved and do the same

via Dayton Region Rally.

I’ll be there. You should too.

Dayton’s next leaders; part of “The Esrati Plan”

The Dayton Daily News says everyone who is qualified, has left for the suburbs. How wrong they are.

As part of the Esrati plan, and if elected, it’s my primary job to find, recruit, mentor and help the next leaders of Dayton.

No more unopposed candidates, or incumbents (that’s right, I want a primary even if I’m the one in office), no more excuses for not voting because you don’t have good choices. And, I’ll host candidates’ nights like no others, with the candidates engaging in real debate- where they ask each other questions, not this moderator, controlled Q&A stuff. It’s time we see how well candidates think on their feet, and stand up to tough questions, different questions, and so that going to every event brings out new material- not the same old tired stuff. (I’ll even give candidates 5 minutes to explain their positions at the beginning, and at least 3 to close).

With all that said, the other goal is to have a City Manager who has a number 2 and a number 3 person trained and ready, to step up to the position, if they can’t get the job done. It doesn’t mean they have to leave the city, they just may not be suited to being City Manager, our most important leader. (The military rotates generals all the time- and the system works fine.) No more national searches, it’s the job of our leader to develop his replacement, just as it will be mine.

So, with all that, I’d like to introduce someone to you whom you may or may not know. I didn’t know him before tonight, but after he pulled me aside to give me some advice, I asked, why don’t you run? His answer was next time! These are the kinds of people I want to champion, and help:

Dayton Original: John A Lumpkin, Jr.

Born at Good Samaritan Hospital, John A Lumpkin, Jr., is a true Dayton Original. Mr. Lumpkin is currently a manager of Chase Bank on North Main St. in Dayton. The Lumpkin family has deep roots in the City of Dayton. All of Mr. Lumpkin’s uncles and his grandfather worked for the City.

Mr. Lumpkin credits the City for providing an opportunity for his family to thrive in this region and feels he owes the City a debt of gratitude for his success. Mr. Lumpkin is a proud 4th generation Dayton native. After graduating from Trotwood-Madison and going to The Ohio State University on athletic scholarship, he brought his teammates home to run both football and basketball camps for Dayton Youth.

Mr. Lumpkin believes that for the city to change the overall perception, its natives must go out into the world and bring back, and implement, the successful practices from around the globe here in Dayton.

Mr. Lumpkin immediately got involved in his community first by graduating from Parity Inc.’s black leadership program. Shortly after that, he ran for the Northwest Priority Board, and is currently serving his third term. Mr. Lumpkin is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Joshua Christian Ministries, The Dayton Urban League Young Professionals, and The Trotwood YMCA board. Mr. Lumpkin has been a mentor for students in the Dayton Public and Trotwood-Madison schools.

He has had interns from DECA, Dunbar, and Trotwood in his office to promote financial literacy in our youth. Mr. Lumpkin has an unswerving loyalty to his community. Mr. Lumpkin lives in Dayton View Triangle with his wife, and they are expecting their first child – the next Dayton Original.

via Dayton Originals: Stamp Collection.

Since this bio for Dayton Originals was written, John and his wife now have an 8 month old. He’ll be ready at the next election.

I’ve called before for candidates for Mayor, suggesting that Dr. Mike Ervin stops running things from behind the stage and steps up, and that Col. Colleen Ryan, USAF Ret., would make great strides in projecting a city with confidence.

Another great candidate for Dayton City Commission (and I have many more in mind) is serial developer Jim Gagnet. He’s served as a council member in Tipp City for 8 years, and he’s made his mark in Dayton as one of the original developers of “The Diner on St. Clair” (now Vex nightclub on St. Clair), many buildings in the Oregon District and South Park, co-owner and developer of Coco’s Bistro, and owner of Pacesetter Painting. You’ve seen his handiwork as the painting on the Oregon railroad overpass, the Neon Movies mural, and the sides of numerous buildings. He’s a no-nonsense renaissance man, who has made things happen over and over in the 15+ years I’ve known him and has a track-record of proven “economic development” in Dayton (mostly in-spite of city bureaucracy).

Do you have future candidates in mind? Are you one? I’ve been assembling the online data tools to help you win without the assistance of the ruling political party. It’s time we cut the puppet strings and elected independent visionaries who have new ideas and are elected by the people, not by a system that’s unfriendly to anyone but party insiders.

That’s part of my plan, and one of the reasons I’m asking for your vote November 3.

Rashad Young to leave Dayton for NC: the real issues

The mark of an excellent leader is that he has a capable number two ready to step into his position.
That’s not the case with Mr. Young, however, he’s hardly to be faulted. We have a city manager form of government, with a part time mayor. Someone needs to tell that to Mayor McLin- who has made every effort to keep Mr. Young out of the lime light- or to let him do his job.
However, McLin is no different than Mike Turner before her, and Clay Dixon before Turner, and Paul Leonard before Dixon and… well, that’s as far back as I go.
If Young had been allowed to do his job, we’d know more about what he was, or wasn’t capable of.
It’s unfortunate that Young will leave before the citizens have a chance to vote at least two new faces to the commission. His announcement comes at the same time we learn that the city is facing a $20 million deficit. It’s going to take a strong leader, who knows our community. We can’t afford to bring in an outsider.
We have the talent here. I’ve already suggested Colleen Ryan, now with the Dayton Development Coalition. Other options, David Bohardt (who didn’t run for Mayor this time), Dr. Mike Ervin (he’s already doing so much- why not pay him for it)- and now that we don’t have a residency rule- there may be a lot of other candidates available.
The most important change we can make is to help Mayor McLin retire, and empower the new City Manager to lead and do their job. Otherwise, it’s futile.
Best of luck Rashad- hope they give you a chance to really manage a city in North Carolina.

The informal movement

In 90 minutes or so, I’m going to be standing in front of a group of Dayton marketing professionals and presenting a “Big Idea.” This isn’t the Dayton Ad Club (now, unfortunately mis-monikered as the “Greater Dayton Advertising Association) or the Dayton Chapter of the American Marketing Association or the IABC (I can’t even remember what those initials stand for) or the…. countless other “formal” organizations with chapters, bylaws and tax IDs, but an ad hoc group founded by my friend David E Bowman. The “Dayton Marketing Community” is open to all, without dues, a set agenda, or all the rest of the trappings of formality- it’s basically just an online hub facilitated by Ning.

Like minded people, getting together, to get something done. As David said, we don’t have to ask permission to have a meeting.

It’s the same thing Dr. Ervin has done with his Oregon Arts District initiative. He didn’t ask permission, he just did it.

The Pinewood Park Athletic Association probably started the same way. Like-minded people coming together.

The highly organized campaign to elect our president, for all its structure and process, still felt ad hoc to many. The message boards are still there, but they aren’t as alive as they used to be.

Some efforts are carried by momentum, some by shared vision, some by an immediate purpose, but the question I ask today is- are all the trappings of formality really what gives a movement status? Is ad hoc the new way to get things done?

I think about this a lot, when I come to things like the Dayton Priority Board system, which seems to run parallel to the neighborhood organizations. I think about this when we look at unions and management battling for position, when both should be more worried about survival (car companies and firefighters/city hall for example).

Institutions are places of higher learning- and places we send crazy people people who can’t cope with regular day-to-day life within societies norms (to be PC). I find the dual use of the word almost ironic.

I’d like to hear your thoughts- do formal organizations always get more done?

The bigger downtown session

I attended the planning session at c{space on Jefferson last night, with a crowd of about 100. It reminded me of every other planning session, going back to the vision 20/20 plan- a professional facilitator, writing ideas down on big post-its, letting people add their 3 cents worth. There were some good ideas, and passionate people.

This one was a bit different because one person got unlimited time at the microphone- our new shadow mayor/kingmaker Dr. Mike Ervin. Ross Perot once said “If you ever want to see anything get done, find a monomaniac on a mission” or something close to that- and Ervin is a man on a mission. He has the benefit of being loaded so that he doesn’t have to sweat the consequences of ticking off anyone – sort of like having a gun at a knife fight. He has his vision- which is probably the clearest new-urbanist vision we’ve seen in this community. He doesn’t seem to be willing to tackle uni-gov yet, but is instead focusing on what he calls a greater downtown.

Great. Fine.

But, without getting the political and business communities involved, relying on the many armchair planners won’t get the programs implemented. For that, he’ll have to get some political juice going- and not just one or two people in power, but a majority of them. Like it or not, these are the people who ultimately hold the purse strings and set policy.

With the upcoming election, maybe he’ll sponsor some debates, hell, maybe even put candidates through an “Apprentice” type challenge, so voters can see who has the plan, gets the vision or has real ideas that they want to advance (other than their own political careers).

We’ve seen these planning sessions before- now, what’s going to make this one different?

It’s time to draft Mike Ervin for Mayor of Dayton.

Dr. Ervin thinks he can “get more done behind the scenes” than as the Mayor of Dayton.

He’s been working closely with City Manager Rashad Young to make his arts district fly.

Now he leaks the confidential plans for the Downtown ice arena, as he’s also pushing the new downtown trolly- plus the “Greater Downtown” vision. Sounds like he’s the shadow mayor of Downtown.

The problem is, the real Mayor isn’t and hasn’t, made us look good over the last 7 years. She won’t do any better over the next four. She’s not well liked or respected in the suburbs, she doesn’t understand that she’s not supposed to lead the city- but to guide the city manager (who is paid 4x what she is – FOR A REASON)- and she doesn’t exactly exude the confidence or competence that Mike Turner parlayed into a seat in Congress.

We need Mike Ervin to realize that we can’t wait another four years for someone to step-up who can effectively lead the City Commission (board of directors) to guide the City Manager (CEO) to get the city back on track.

Dr. Ervin would have the instant support of the entire business community, the suburban stakeholders that own property but can’t vote and I’m pretty sure, most of the population.

We need change, and we need someone with the business experience to step up. He’s made the investment in his home, his neighborhood- and now, it’s time to invest just a few hours of his time per week to be the first true Mayor/Chairman of the Board the city has had in decades.

Please get your friends to read this- and encourage Mike to run by adding your comments.

Downtown’s finally getting bigger.

I’ve always said one of the problems in Dayton is our narrow definition of Downtown. I consider South Park, UD, Miami Valley Hospital, Grandview, the Dayton Art Institute, the Oregon District- all to be downtown- and have been laughed at for it.

Now, apparently the idea has caught on:

The effort is divided among three committees focused on the plan for downtown, a value proposition for the urban core and funding sources for implementing the plan. The group defines value proposition as the things that make Dayton an attractive place to locate and its competitive advantages.

Dr. Mike Ervin, a local philanthropist and co-chair of the planning effort, said the principles laid out on Jan. 27 are meant to act as a starting point for the discussion over downtown’s future.

The group hopes to have a draft plan completed by June, he said.

“The future belongs to those regions taking urban revitalization seriously,” Ervin said. “Those are the regions that are and will continue to attract high-value jobs, young professionals and those businesses and institutions that want to employ them.”

Also chairing the planning effort are Michael Greitzer, co-chair of the Downtown Dayton Partnership Greitzer, and Dayton City Manager Rashad Young.

During the press conference, the group issued what it calls guiding principles for planning. The list includes such issues as housing, sustainable development, training for green jobs and evaluating and recommending whether the city should have streetcars.

Ervin said the area under review will include not only the central business district, but also other neighborhoods and landmarks such as Miami Valley Hospital, the University of Dayton and the Dayton Art Institute.

Public Meetings:

Feb. 10: Noon at Dayton Metro Library, 215 E. Third St.

Feb. 12 5 p.m. at c{space, 20 N. Jefferson St.

Feb. 17: 7 p.m. at Sinclair Community College, Charity Earley Auditorium, Ponitz Center.

Surveys:

Short surveys offered at www.downtowndayton.org. Surveys also available at Dayton Metro Library branches.

[note- I got this error message at the end of the online survey: The system cannot find the file specified.]

Chats:

Discussion threads have been set up at www.mostmetro.com.

Facebook:

Official Facebook name: A Greater Downtown Dayton Plan.

via Local leaders want input on revitalizing downtown.

While it’s great that Mike Ervin is pushing for yet another plan for the future, if he really wants to lead downtown back- he should consider running for mayor. We’ve had a lot of plans and projects for “fixing downtown:” Courthouse Square, The Arcade, The Arcade Tower and the Cit Fed Tower, the Schuster Center, Riverscape, and 5/3rd Field all come to mind.

What we haven’t fixed is putting someone in charge who can paint a big picture and get people on board.

Realizing Downtown is bigger than the 12 blocks between the river and the railroad tracks isn’t rocket science. Getting a real board of directors (City Commission) who can guide the CEO (the City Manager) on a path to prosperity- that’s the real plan.

Longshots, Soundbites, Favorite Sons and the Qualifications of a Congressman

I had an interesting talk with Dr. Mike Ervin this afternoon. For those of you who don’t know Dr. Ervin, he’s been the chair of many task forces (including the Electric Trolley one now in action) and made quite a bit of money running a medical insurance business that built the “Wright Health Associates” building right across the street from the doomed NCR building 26. He now lives in an amazing modern home in the former Southern Belle in the heart of the Oregon District- and is going to transform all the empty retail spaces down 5th street in the District into arts galleries. Watch him.

He thinks I have good ideas. He reads my site. He reads DaytonOS (and was asking me why it’s borked today) and is generally connected to the power grid of Dayton (and I’m not talking DP&L).

And he too, still doesn’t get the “Ninja mask” and thinks it’s my weakness in the race. Other readers have said that as well. After an explanation of what happened- and how I triumphed over the evils of Mike Turners secret meetings, he still sees me as a long shot, and isn’t prepared to back me (He was one of Dick Chema’s biggest backers in the last slaughter). So, I’m sitting here- and asking myself, can I realistically change perception in 70 days, from “Ninja Dave” to the only one brave enough to go toe-to-toe with Mr. Slick and have a shot at winning?

First and foremost: what is it the voters want in a Congressman?
Article 1 of the Constitution requires only 3 things:

  • twenty five years of age
  • a citizen of the United States for at least 7 years
  • at the time of election, be a resident of the state

Unfortunately, along the way, the system now expects the following:

  • be a member of one of two major political parties
  • be able to raise scads of cash from questionable sources
  • be a lawyer
  • talk in sound bites and sound like a PR huckster (note, I said sound like one- not be one)

No where is there anything in either of those qualification sets are any of the following:

  • innovative ideas
  • challenging the system (which we all seem to agree isn’t working all that well)
  • intellectual leadership (unless we really want more dummies in government)

Back when Mike Turner and I both ran against Richard Clay Dixon we were both longshots. He didn’t even have the Republican party taking him seriously. But, he fit the mold that people were comfortable electing: a lawyer who spoke in sound bites.

If I hadn’t rankled Clay with asking if his campaign funds came from “people who wanted to build a landfill on the West Side”- he wouldn’t have taken me outside for a boxing lesson- and Mike Turner probably wouldn’t be where he is today. He only beat Clay by 400 votes.

My campaign literature wasn’t sound bite either. I asked the hard questions even then- like how are we going to end poverty in Dayton, fix the schools, strengthen property values, racially balance the safety forces. You can read my literature from then now– I still have it posted. I’m not ashamed of it, and I still believe now as I did then, that I had viable ideas to transform Dayton. What I didn’t understand then was how the system worked and that you need three votes to get anything done on the City Commission (ask Mary Wiseman about passing civil rights legislation with Turner on the Commission with her).

Turner used to mock me on the campaign trail- suggesting I should be running for school board, since I kept talking about stopping busing by filing a lawsuit to lift the deseg order on the grounds of it causing “economic segregation” which is worse than racial segregation. He didn’t think that the City could do that. Later as Mayor, he claims ownership of ending busing for deseg in Dayton- hmmmm.

When I went to the City Commission meeting to protest the illegal secret meetings he was holding, I went alone. A few years later, I was privileged to have dinner with Martin Sheen in his brother’s home- and Martin said he thought I was brave and fighting a noble battle, and that he was honored to meet me. For those of you who aren’t aware, this is a man who has been arrested over 100 times protesting for what he believes are right and just causes. However, the local media liked Turner’s spin on the mask more than the message, and continue to malign me for doing their work as watchdog.

After winning over Turner five times in court (remember, he’s the lawyer) and settling for $100,000 (most of which went to paying attorneys fees) Turner sill is seen as the “politically correct” candidate- even though he has shown little respect for either the Constitution or his constituents. As to his legacy of his “Urban Mayor” background, need I remind people that the first thing he did after losing to Rhine McLin was move to a gated community in Centerville.

Why do I think I’m the best candidate to run against the buzz machine we have masquerading as a Representative of the people? Maybe some of it comes from my upbringing, by two Americans by choice, not by birth right. Maybe it’s from my willingness not only to volunteer to serve in the US Army, but to volunteer two more times- for jump school and then for Special Forces, bypassing an opportunity to go to West Point Prep (probably my biggest mistake ever).

It was in Special Forces that I was made to believe that a small force of well trained men, could change the course of history. Somehow I still believe that. Ross Perot once said that anything getting done was the result of a “Monomaniac on a mission”- and it was George Bernard Shaw who said: ‘The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man”- a quote I put on my old literature.

So while Turner was studying law, so he could go on to break it. I was studying how to wage a war when out gunned, out manned and behind enemy lines. Perfect training to take on an incumbent congressman, with three quarters of a million dollars in the bank, who has become rich through his association with a defense contractor (MTC owned by Raj Soin) and who doesn’t seem to mind accepting money from every corporation- including NCR, one of Dayton’s oldest- who just pulled millions of dollars out of the local tax base after being offered a tax dollar bribe to move to NYC.

And, do I need to remind you that my name is David. I was born to fight Goliath.

So, Dr. Ervin, according to all sources, beating Mike Turner is an impossible task. The district is gerrymandered, the incumbent unscathed by his own questionable actions, and backed with an insurmountable financial lead- do you want to back someone who seems like a good lamb to the slaughter, or do you want someone who is willing to bring guns to a knife fight?

Do you want to bring the troops home? End corporate welfare? Bring sanity back to the financial markets? Focus on infrastructure and social capital to restore the value of being an American? Work toward a sensible health care system that can deliver equal access to all?

Or do you want the same, slick, seasoned politician?

Choice is up to you? Write a check to Elect Esrati – because when longshots pay off, the win is big.

Oh, and one last thing: Mike Turner can’t stand being in the same room as me. So at least, you can find joy in making him miserable from now to November.