First Montgomery County countywide citizen initiated referendum in the works

Reliable sources have informed Esrati.com that former Republican Party chairmen, Greg Gantt and Rob Scott are working together to write a referendum and collect the necessary 14,583 voter signatures to put the recently approved sales tax increase to the test on the November ballot.

The .25% sales tax increase was rushed through the county commission in a closely choreographed series of hearings where everyone and their mother who sucks at the county teat, got up and spoke in support of raising the sales tax.

The County Clerk of Courts Russ Joseph said we need it. He didn’t bother to mention that the stupid system of multiple municipal courts with their own clerks, staff and websites is a giant waste of money in Montgomery County– nor did he suggest ways to streamline government and save money.

The people from the “PreSchool Promise” came out in support also. An organization with ZERO public oversight, huge ad budgets, that exists to give public tax dollars to private companies running glorified day cares in many cases.

The list goes on.

The task of getting that many valid signatures stops most referendums on issues like this, as does the difficulty of writing acceptable ballot language. This is why we have so much overlap and duplication in government in Montgomery County.

Once the language is approved, petitions have to be circulated and then turned in at least 90 days before the November 6, 2018 election.

The tax increase is currently scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 1, 2018. No word on if the petitions are submitted that the hike would be delayed. The cost to retailers of having to implement the new rate should be considered by the County- and they should delay their action until after the issue has been decided once the petitions are approved.

This country was founded because of taxation without representation. To put this tax hike to the voters is the correct action.

Issue 9 campaign finance accounting gets an “F”

When I wrote the post back before the election about where the issue 9 money came from, I was flabbergasted.

Not only by the amount of money they spent and where it came from, but the average donation was higher than most federal campaigns. The average was $1873. Issue 9 raised the City of Dayton income tax to 2.5% and promised millions of dollars to a quasi-public organization with no voter oversight- the “Preschool Promise” and “Learn to Earn” people.

thumbnail of Neigborhoods-for-Daytons-Future-2016On the reporting deadline, “Neighborhoods for Dayton’s Future” they said they had a balance on hand of $94,148.76

I waited for a post campaign report. It never appeared.

I waited for a 2016 annual report- it never appeared.

I wrote Jan Kelly, director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections and asked where it was and got the following response:

David,

Good afternoon.  You raised a question as to whether or not a local PAC (Neighborhoods for Dayton’s Future) has been compliant with reporting requirements under campaign finance law. The PAC filed a 2016 Pre-General report as they were participating in promoting an issue during last falls’ General Election cycle. They did not file a Post-General report. They did file an Annual Report. Our campaign Finance Department has not yet audited all 2016 reports. All 2016 reports are scheduled to be audited over the summer including all PAC’s. If a PAC failed to file a required report, at the conclusion of the those audits, letters will be sent to the Ohio Election Commission listing all PAC’s which are not in compliance. We expect that all audits will be complete by the end of July and letters to the Elections Commission would follow shortly thereafter. I hope explanation this answers your question.

Happy Memorial Day.

Repeated calls to Ms. Kelly went unanswered as to where the annual was. Finally, on Friday, I contacted David Landon who is the R in charge of campaign finance reporting and he got me a copy of the annual. It was 2 pages long.

thumbnail of 2016 Annual Neighborhoods for Dayton’s Future PAC Campaign Finance Report

2016 Annual Neighborhoods for Dayton’s Future PAC Campaign Finance Report (click to download)

It showed only one expense in the period between the pre-election filing and the annual: $1051.33 to Code Credit Union on 12/30/16 for a “Visa PMT” – it never said what the payment was for.

Let’s do basic math- $94,148.76 – $1051.33 = $93,097.43

Which should be the balance on hand, only slight problem. They start out with a balance on hand of $51,969.67, meaning $42,179.09 was unaccounted for.

And you wonder why I didn’t trust the PreSchool Promise/Learn To Earn quasi-governmental school board with our tax dollars?

We need an immediate accounting of where the Political Action Committee money went.