The post election shuffle: winners and losers

Elections have unintended consequences that the average voter never takes into account. The political junkies have entire scenarios modeled in advance. No matter who wins and who loses- jobs are affected, careers changed and dreams created and hopes dashed.

For Ohio- kiss legal abortion in this state goodbye. DeWine will sign a “heartbeat bill” and more restrictions will be placed on providers including strict enforcement of the bogus “transfer agreement” laws.

You can also figure that redistricting won’t really change much in 2020- no matter how the process was changed. A full house of R’s won’t do much to fix the horrible gerrymandering.

The State Supreme Court is actually a bright spot- but, a few more D judges won’t change much.

The Ohio Democratic Party needs to have a housecleaning- as does the Montgomery County Democratic Party who have let our county go from Blue to Red over the last 10 years thanks to their protection of the “Friends and Family” plan.

Russ Joseph is a prime example. His 10 years of experience and believed “political acumen” lost him a job he should have been a shoe in for. He raised more money- but instead of talking about issues, talked about a man’s family. Of course, he won’t be unemployed in January- the Party takes care of it’s own.

The biggest award is the vacant county treasurer seat that will be open when Carolyn Rice takes over Dan Foley’s open seat. Will it go to Joseph as a consolation prize? Or John McManus? Or Dan Foley? This is how we roll. For Dan Foley, if he isn’t handed a patronage job or Carolyn’s seat, he’ll have to find a job in the real world for the first time in his life.

The bigger loser in this is Dayton School Board member Mohamed Al-Hamdani who got a job in the clerks office thanks to his buddy Russ. With Mike Foley taking over, Al-Hamdani will need a new “Friends and Family” job. Maybe they’ll give him the recorders office? Who knows.

Hopefully, we’ve seen the last of Adil Baguirov and his deplorable illusions of grandeur. He ran Dayton Public Schools into the ground, while committing voter fraud and living outside the district without redress. His business deals that he engaged in were questionably self-serving. If we’re lucky, he’ll pick up stakes and go back to advising crooked congressmen from a base of operations in D.C.

With Sheriff Phil “the Torturer” Plumer now a state rep, the running of the house of death will fall to the local Republican Party to pick. They’ll have 2 years to put their name on every cruiser, badge, and sign at the jail at tax payer expense, to get ready to defend the seat in 2 years, if at all. The local Montgomery County Party hasn’t been able to find someone to run for Sheriff reliably, and let Phil run unopposed last time.

The only place local Dems did really well was in running for judge- where the “D” label wasn’t on the ballot.

Everywhere else, they took a spanking.

There are ways to fix the Montgomery County Democratic party, but they involve bigger thinking than their “brain trust” can handle. The real issues choking Montgomery County are ones of duplication of services and too many banana republics. You can read more on www.reconstructingdayton.org

There will be recounts in some races, some ballot squabbles, and the state will remain divided and red, until the party of patronage learns how to be the party of the people.

In the mean time, the backrooms will be hard at work planning how to keep their friends in jobs- instead of worrying about their dismal failures.

 

Mohamed Al-Hamdani; the prince of pious

Before this school board was elected, I warned the citizens of Dayton that William Harris was a mistake:

Harris has said “I won’t be anyone’s puppet” as part of the slate- yet, that’s comically what he is. I don’t think he brings any of the critical thinking skills we need to this board, nor do I think he has the intellectual horsepower to move the district forward at a critical time. He’s Ron Lee 2. Pass, please.

Source: Evaluation and endorsements of the Dayton School Board candidates – Esrati

I also said it was time for Joe Lacey to go. Luckily, the voters agreed, and Joe wasn’t re-elected. Unbelievably, Harris makes me forlorn for Lacey.

On my non-recommended list, was the political climber Mohamed Al-Hamdani:

This guy has political aspiration signs coming out of every side of him- in neon, with strobe lights. This board run is his first step to his long future political career. And, he’s arrogant, by the truckload. Early on, I asked a question about the hiring of Burges and Burges and how much it cost- and why they didn’t buy local talent- and he tried to sidestep it and said they hadn’t paid them a dime. I don’t need to be lied to ever, and especially before you have been elected.

Mohamed thinks he knows it all. He has a smugness that rubs people the wrong way. He thinks he has all the answers. He probably reminds people of me in some ways- but, with the establishment nod. His campaign rhetoric has been full of bullshit about all the teachers that taught him- and his story of coming to America- all nice and fine, but missing any substance. He may indeed have all the answers, but, I’ve not heard them, and his testiness will bring back some of the rancor to the board that we can’t afford. He has a law degree- which would and might be handy, but, so does McManus- and it hasn’t kept us out of trouble. One of the biggest mistakes Americans make at the polls is thinking that being a lawyer makes you a good lawmaker- and that’s actually the opposite. Good lawmakers and only the best lawyers, understand that their profession is actually the art of compromise. Too many think it’s to win at all costs. Mohamed is a total wildcard. He may be smart, he may have a good story, he may even understand the issues, but I’d put Mario and Jocelyn ahead of him for my slate. He’s also been the one to say that if “The slate” is elected, they won’t disagree with each other as much in public- lending me to believe he’s planning on operating behind a curtain.

Source: Evaluation and endorsements of the Dayton School Board candidates – Esrati

So far, my predictions have been totally proven correct. Al-Hamdani, started with trying to have secret illegal meetings of the School Closing Task force before he was even sworn in- leading to my lawsuit against the district over the Open Meetings Act.

But, last month, when I decided to push my speech over the 3 minute limit- after Harris had let a whole bunch of people speak for well over 5 and as long as 10 minutes in the June Meeting- I mentioned that maybe, Harris practiced discrimination- since he doesn’t interrupt African American speakers- and referenced Sheila Taylor’s  nomination of him for board president as a rookie- because he was “African American.” You can watch my video: A racist on the Dayton Public Schools Board of Education 2017.

Al-Hamdani, Wick-Gagnet, Jocelyn Rhynard, John McManus, Robert Walker and William Harris were all sitting there- and didn’t say a thing then- but, when I bring it up, Al-Hamdani, the pious one, wants to make me out as a racist for reminding them how Harris got to the center seat.

“So I want to apologize to you on behalf of this community, to insinuate that your only qualification was your color, um was interesting to hear, um there’s people, as a community, we’re better than that sir, so I’m sorry that we had to hear that today, but that’s the world we live in today” ~ Mohamed Al-Hamdani

When I tried to go up with my camera to question Al-Hamdani after the meeting- the security forces played bouncer. You can watch the entire meeting here.

Word has gotten back to me, that someone is telling people that I said the “N” word. Nothing farther from the truth.
What you need to watch is how smug Al-Hamdani is as he plays this out. Note also- if you watch the DPS video feed of this meeting- you’ll never hear my outburst.
It’s sad that this is the best we can do for a school board. They all need to be removed. All of them, suffer from amnesia apparently, totally forgetting how they followed Sheila Taylor’s racist rationale for picking Harris as board president.

Nothing Trumps the Learning" sign at Belmont High School in Dayton Ohio, where a large proportion of the students are immigrants

Apparently, we’re now evoking the Trump brand at Belmont HS in Dayton.

And, while we’re at it. As part of his campaign trail story, Al-Hamdani liked to talk of his path to success as a poor immigrant child coming to America, not speaking English- and how he owes all his success to his DPS teachers and their acceptance of him.

A source has sent me a photo of new signs in Belmont High School “Nothing trumps the learning”- the DPS school where most of the immigrants are, a sign that has many of the international parents terrified. This is, after all, the country where children are now separated from their parents in deportation camps, thanks to President Trump.

A final note: Al-Hamdani, right after getting elected to the school board, was handed a high-paying patronage job in the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts office by his Democratic Party buddy Russ Joseph, who was just appointed to be the clerk when Greg Brush left town.

School board to meet illegally tonight

6/22/18, 12:24 PM, Denise Gum, “Confidential Secretary to the Board Office Dayton Public Schools” sent out an email on behalf of William Harris, board president announcing a “Special Meeting–Fiscal Year” to be held this afternoon. Despite multiple warnings from me, the Superintendent et al have not published an agenda in advance of this meeting. It is, if they hold it, an illegal, improperly noticed meeting.

I highly recommend anyone who cares about DPS to go to this meeting and pack their tiny conference room- and force this meeting to be rescheduled properly, with proper notice.

Her notice said:

In accordance with Section 3313.16 of the Ohio Revised Code and File: BD of the Handbook of Policies, Rules & Regulations of the Board, I hereby call for a special meeting of the Board of Education of the Dayton City School District, Montgomery County, Ohio, to be held on Friday, June 29, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. in room 6S-116 of the Administration Building, located at 115 S. Ludlow St., Dayton, OH 45402.

The purpose of the meeting is to allow the Board to vote on recommendations from the superintendent and/or treasurer.

The media is being advised of this meeting in compliance with the Ohio Sunshine Law.

6/27/18, 11:01 PM I sent an email to Superintendent Libbie Lolli, Cherisse Kidd, Denise Gum, John McManus, Jeremey Kelley, Jocelyn Rhynard

Dr. Lolli,
It’s 11pm on Wed.
Your meeting is scheduled for 4 on Friday.
No posted agenda on board docs.

No meeting.
Or I’ll haul you into court again.
This isn’t rocket science- but it is the law. Publish your agenda 48 hours in advance.

If you can’t hire competent people, you should quit

This morning, I sent another email- to everyone on the superintendents distro list:

As of 8:23 am this morning, there is no agenda posted.
This illegal meeting of the board should be cancelled.
If you can’t tell the public what you are discussing 48 hours in advance of a meeting scheduled on June 22nd.
If you don’t understand how notification is critical to the duties bestowed upon you by the state, either resign, or get educated.

If this meeting continues- as planned, you will be facing another lawsuit.
This mickey mouse game needs to stop.

I notified the Superintendent of her failure to post an agenda on Wednesday night around 11 pm.
That would have been too late to meet the 48 hour rule.

I would suggest she be held accountable and given a reprimand by the board.

The public is being insulted by their malfeasance.

If the meeting isn’t cancelled and is held today, I will be adding to my court case, or filing a new one against this incompetent school board.

Wick-Gagnet shows her ignorance of current events online

On another note, in a Facebook war, I posed a comment on board member Mohamed Al Hamdani’s wall.

(it saddens me that I’m following in the footsteps of the Dayton Day-Old news and turning Facebook posts into news)

Al-Hamdani’s original post:

Not surprised by the SCOTUS decision to uphold the Muslim Ban. As a people and as a country we have a long way to go to reach a more perfect union. We will be disheartened for a day and reenergized tomorrow. The fight continues…

And while that issue is very real, SCOTUS dropped another bomb, one that will affect our political junkie Al-Hamdani even more (I couldn’t call him a political beast because it wouldn’t be PC), and I commented-

David Esrati And now you won’t have a union sugar daddy to get you elected either.

This was a reference to JANUS v AFSCME, and stops the forced donations to unions by people who benefit from Union bargaining. It’s a serious blow to labor, and the generally liberal political clout that Unions have.

Board member Karen Wick Gagnet, who has become Al-Hamdani’s puppet, blindly following his lead, responds:

Karen Wick-Gagnet David Esrati … this is a totally bigoted statement. You are a bully and your comment in no way reflects any spirit of humanity in a manner we need to move positively forward. You have again shown your ugly, hateful side.
She is literally clueless. My is this the pot calling the kettle black. This is a woman who was my friend for over 2 decades, and a long time client, who fired me because of my continued scrutiny of a school board in chaos in the hope that they start acting ethically and honestly. The conversation continues

(I have no idea who Kristin Todd is, but she thinks she has something to contribute):

Kristin Todd This attitude is why you never get elected. You’re no better than Trump and equally need to seek counseling. I can provide you with many resources.

David Esrati Karen Wick-Gagnet you think this is bigoted? The ruling to stop unions from collecting dues from all members is going to flip liberal politics on its head, leaving the wealthy to run citizens united full tilt, with no opposition. As to my ugly hateful side, I find it fascinating that you’ve yet to do anything as a school board member other than support fighting losing lawsuits. And, it’s also interesting that when the hose next to you burns down, it’s cleared away in record time. Talk about privilege.
sequential comment:
David Esrati And I’m pretty sure Karen that you had no clue I was talking about the decision Janus vs AFSCME, because you aren’t that bright. Mohamed understood what I was talking about. Maybe, he should give you instructions on Facebook just like he does on the school board. You are good at playing follow the leader.
sequential comment:
David Esrati Kristin Todd who are you? What have you done? You don’t even know what the hell is going on here

sequential comment:

David Esrati Karen Wick-Gagnet read this, maybe you will understand: After Janus, Unions Must Save Themselves https://nyti.ms/2lG0TiA?smid=nytcore-ios-shareManage
nytimes.com
Wick then admits she had no clue what was going on- but continues her bullying with calling me hateful.

Karen Wick-Gagnet David Esrati … I may have not totally understood the issue and for that I apologize. However, the undertones of your original response to Mohamed and your response back to me is full of ugliness (nothing we need more of today). I may not be as “bright” as you, but I would trade any amount of brightness for kindness, love or compassion which is what I wish for you.

David Esrati Kindness is not calling someone a bigot, a bully, and denying my humanity. You don’t do your homework, you don’t read 2 newspapers daily, and you obviously don’t understand free speech, the sunshine laws, or the art of discussion. If I also mentioned  Kennedy resigning, you’d probably have to look it up. Good luck with your “free hugs” approach to everything. And, you aren’t as kind as you think you are. Reread what you said.
Kristin Todd David, darling.. It doesn’t take a “bright” person or someone who has done what you consider success to recognize a person filled with hatred and narcissism. The enire city knows that of you. You throw tantrums like a child behind your computer screen and we all feel very sorry for you. Thankfully no one has been ignorant enough to vote you into public office. Keep trying.
David Esrati repeat: who are you? What have you done? You don’t even know what the hell is going on here.
You don’t know me. Karen actually does.
And, no one knows you.
Cheers.
Kristin Todd David Esrati I hope whoever bullied you in elementary school apologizes because clearly you’ve carried that into middle age.
David Esrati You mean like you are bullying now Kristin?
Back to the main thread-
Karen Wick-Gagnet You’re right, I should not of used those harsh words. I’m sorry. Out … no more need to use this form of communication, it’s not healthy or productive for me. Best to you as you continue your journalistic practices.
If DPS had competent PR consulting, board members would know better than to engage in this kind of BS with a critic. However, they hired Marsha Bonhart and the Ohlmann Group. You reap what you sew.
I will have a camera at the board meeting this evening, despite my being out of state on business.

DPS continues controversy with bizarre moves

The Ohio High School Athletics Association sent a clear signal to Dayton Public Schools last year after they identified DPS District Athletic Director Mark Baker as the linchpin to the attempt to throw the Dunbar/Belmont football game. Instead of letting Baker go, and moving forward, DPS under former Superintendent Rhonda Corr, dug its heals in and gave him a two year contract.

This is what happens when people like City Commissioner Jeff Mims is advocating for you from the sidelines. Even though Mims left the school board and the state school board for his eventual throne on the City Commission, he still thinks he’s the man behind the curtain at DPS. Why else would he be the co-chair of the illegal task force on School Closings?

When OHSAA vacated Dunbar’s win in the tournament for failure to sit players for 2 games due to the bench clearing brawl at Thurgood in January, moving Thurgood back into the tournament, DPS decides to go to court to force Thurgood out and Dunbar back in. How does this help DPS students at Thurgood?

Legal action should have been taken against OHSAA- when they declared that students enrolled in Charter Schools now had to play sports at the school closest to their home- instead of closest to their charter school- and kids were torn from program after program- DPS sat on their hands. Because they aren’t really in it for the kids- they are in it for the money, just like the charters.

thumbnail of Incident File – Dunbar v Belmont – 1.26.18 – Redacted_Redacted

Redaction done by DPS staff. Click document to view full PDF

Defending Dunbar and Rookie Coach Chuck Taylor seems odd, especially after they had ordered Chuck to sit two games for his calling a parent a bitch. I’m unable to confirm if Taylor did in fact sit two games. From the attached reports on that incident:

Mr. Taylor in the Dayton Public Schools Athletic Handbook it states: Our goal is to not only be successful in our endeavors, but also to act according to the ideals of both good sportsmanship and good conduct on and off the court. Our program should operate with: integrity, honor, respect, and accountability. The use of the word “Bitch” to refer to a parent regardless of the situation showed a disrespect for women and our parents in which the Dunbar Varsity Team and the Dayton Community witnessed. This sets a poor example for the young men under your leadership.
Due to the severity of this incident I am imposing a two game suspension that will be served on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 and Friday, Friday February 2, 2018. Lastly we cannot always control the actions of our parents but we must control the way we react to them.

The program has been in total disarray since Baker was given his contract, and then forced the most successful coach in Dayton athletic history to the side to replace him with Taylor.

I’ve been informed that both Mark Baker and Dunbar principal Crystal Phillips are on paid administrative leave right now. This is unconfirmed at this point.

Acting Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli held a really stupid, short press conference on Thursday night with the three members of the slate, Harris, Al-Hamdani, and Wick-Gagnet standing mute behind her. The board members refused to comment, however, the choice of the three is telling.

The three remaining members who made the mistake of hiring Baker and letting former coach Pullen go, were no where to be seen: McManus, Walker and Taylor.

The lone independent candidate, Jocelyn Rhynard, seems to be doing her standard silent analysis of the issues, and may or may not weigh in before this is said and done. She’s cautious to the point of being ineffective so far.

What seems to be missing from all this is accountability at the top. Over Mark Baker according to the organization chart left over from the Corr era- is PR hack Marsha Bonhart, who had to have a hand in directing the press conference where nothing good was done.

It’s obvious that Lolli has no idea of how this is playing publicly. since she has zero connection to the community. Generally, this is seen as an embarrassing sidestepping of the actual need for action.

Litigation is never the best strategy for the court of public opinion unless you are either the underdog or absolutely guaranteed a win. DPS is neither in this case and will end up with even more egg on their face.

The only right course of action was to fire Bonhart, Baker, Phillips, Taylor and allow Thurgood to move forward and put this shitshow behind us and beg forgiveness from OHSAA.

Instead, we’re risking expulsion from OHSAA if we lose, and then, DPS will see even more exodus of students who used to stay in Dayton to be a part of powerhouse sports programs.

This school board and superintendent are getting horrible legal and strategic PR advice. You read it here first.

DPS: Special meetings are to avoid scrutiny

The announcement came on Thursday the 22nd- which is a day earlier than normal.

The Board wants to meet Thursday February 27, 2018 at 5pm to have an: “Executive Session to consider the employment, dismissal, discipline, or compensation of public employees and to investigate charges and complaints against a public employee.

The Board may choose to reconvene in public session for the purpose of conducting a public vote.”

That’s boilerplate text- and my guess is this will be where they make Dr. Elizabeth Lolli the Superintendent, with a multi-year contract, without public input, without asking the community how they feel about her, or where there is any opportunity for anyone else to apply.

And you know what? That’s just fine, because after I’m done with my lawsuit- and the judge finds that the Task Force met in violation of the Sunshine laws, Lolli, Burton, Abraha, Al-Hamdani, Walker and Harris, will all be unable to take action on closing any schools- because they discussed the issue in an illegal meeting.

If you need to see the visuals of the illegal meeting- the one the judge will review- watch “Goodbye Sunshine”

Unfortunately, this board is just as much of a mess as the last board, despite their shorter meetings.

At the community session on Thursday at Meadowdale Elementary, the community groups said the same thing over and over:

  • Safety
  • Communications and Transparency
  • Have a plan and stick to it

Unfortunately, there was only one board member actively engaging the community, Jocelyn Rhynard. The other board members, Walker, Al-Hamdani, Harris and Commissioner Mims, all stood off to the side, either talking to each other, or observing. Same can be said of Lolli, and DPS communications guru Marsha Bonhart.

As I walked from table to table, group to group, I recognized people at every table. And I kept thinking to myself, if David Lawrence was Superintendent, one, we wouldn’t be having a community in an uproar, because he actually understands and knows the issues and the community members- but, that he’d have his sleeves rolled up and be actively engaging and learning from the groups.

That’s why we need to have a board that comes clean on its plans for a superintendent in advance, and give the community an opportunity to weigh in.

Just remember, another man the last board passed over to hire Rhonda Corr – went to Springboro schools, which had been in turmoil, and brought order and pride back to a challenged district. That man, Dan Schroer, also managed to get Springboro to pass a levy on the first try ever.

I warned you about what would happen with Joey Williams. I’m warning you again, this board doesn’t understand open and honest communications, and as long as they feel the need to keep pulling secret meetings, emergency meetings, they will never earn the trust of the community.

And they won’t move this district forward.

thumbnail of Lolli’s smoking gun email

Before Al-Hamdani is in office, only he and Harris are in the loop

In the 171 pages of internal communications they released to me through a public records request- there was this gem from Elizabeth Lolli to Bill Harris’s private email and Al-Hamdani’s private email before Al-Hamdani had even taken office:

2. We have the first meeting of the Facilities Task Force on Tuesday, January 9 from 9:30-11 :00. The agenda includes a review of the district data that we have collected. I will make sure that you receive the same information Tuesday evening.

3. DPS has officially joined the Montgomery County ESC Business Advisory Group. The group has been meeting (Superintendents, Reps for the Superintendents and a consultant from MCESC) to develop the Ohio Department of Education Business Advisory Plan. They have been meeting monthly to write the plan, but after the plan is submitted in March, the meetings will be quarterly.

4. I am meeting with Phil Parker and Rick Stover on Friday to discuss the Accountability Panel and suggested changes they have for that group. We will also begin to plan out how best to rework the Contract with the Community. I will update you after the meeting to share the ideas they have and gain your input.

5. Tommy Owens met with me on Friday. He is suggesting that the BOE hire his firm to do the “grass roots” marketing for the district. He indicated a guess contract amount would be around $45,000.00 and he requested that we agree to hire him for two years ($90,000.00) if his company is hired. Please be prepared to weigh in with me on this idea. We currently have two PR people and we employ the Ohlmann Group.

7. Hiwot and I have our monthly review meeting with the Mayor and Shelley Dickstein on Wednesday. am meeting with Bill Burges on Friday to discuss a strategic communications plan that will include recruiting our students back to DPS.

What do you need to know about this: The Facilities Task Force is a district committee- being given privileged information. The district is now part of the Montgomery County ESC advisory group- the same ESC that I was denied the ability to serve on the board of. Lolli is making a beeline for Phil Parker of the Dayton Chamber of Commerce and Rick Stover– who is tied to everything business interest in Dayton- including CityWide Development. She’s talking to Tommy Owens – about marketing, when she wouldn’t talk to me, and also meeting with Bill Burges from Cleveland- who ran the campaign for “The Slate” of Harris, Al-Hamdani, Wick and the unfortunate loser Paul Bradley.

Used to be this had to go through purchasing- because it was mandated- now, we can just hire at will. BTW- someone find a company website for Tommy Owens please? I can’t find it.

Lolli isn’t working for the full board. She’s not informing the full board. If I was the board members cut out of these communications, I’d fire her.

But, then again, 3 of the board members were involved with hiring Rhonda Corr over David Lawrence and can’t admit they made a mistake. And four new board members don’t know what the Sunshine laws are.

Same screwed up situation, different actors. Sorry people, Tricks are for kids, not the way you move a district forward.