Back in December 2017, I wrote a piece urging people to run for precinct captains in the Montgomery County Democratic Party- here’s an excerpt:
The crazy thing is that running for precinct captain is the easiest thing to do. You get a petition, you determine your precinct, you get signatures of at least 10 dems in your precinct (you only need 5 good signatures) and turn in your petition by February 7th to the Board of (S)Elections in the Montgomery County Building. Make sure people SIGN their name- and have the correct date, etc.
I posted links to the proper places you need to go to get petitions, how to fill them out, etc.
But, what was missing was a video. One to run on YouTube- and to run on Facebook, where all the political amateurs like to tell everyone how they would fix our political mess. One of them asked “is there anyone who can do a video about it” – after meeting me online- probably because of some of my videos.
Yeah, I’m not that stupid- I’ll do yet another video for free. But, why just listen to me, don’t we need “Fair and Balanced?” So I reached out to my good friend Rob Scott, yes, Kettering City Councilman, former leader of the Montgomery County Republican Party, former campaign director in Ohio for Donald Trump- yeah- a guy who on paper should be my exact opposite. He gladly came in to talk on camera about how and why you do a takeover of your political party- and he has first hand knowledge, having wrestled the Republican party leadership out of the nearly dead, old, cold hands of their version of Republican Monarchy.
I know it’s a bit long, but hopefully you’ll watch and learn, as we walk through the reasons being a precinct captain is so critically important.
On a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon (14 Jan 2017), about 45 people met in the basement of the Wright Library in Oakwood to learn “How to elect & support local officials.” I was one of the panelists, along with:
Nan Whaley, mayor of Dayton
Robert Klepinger, ran for congress, 10th district
Jimmy Calhoun, ran for congress, 41st district. Precinct captain
David Esrati, ran for congress, 10th district. Precinct captain, ward leader.
Dan Saks, congressional candidate Springfield/Clark county area
Also notably in attendance was Sarah Greathouse, the new executive director of the Montgomery County Democratic Party.
The audience was mostly women. Upset women. How did a misogynist beat their girl? Now, we have to start paying attention and fix it, because, well, women need to be in office.
Nan was loving it. Totally in her element, talking about how women are underrepresented in office.
She’s right of course, but, that’s not what the real issue is, as Nan spelled it out:
Money in politics- Citizens United.
Unfortunately, thanks to the Republican landslide, money in politics isn’t going to go away, and more than likely, Trump will name not just one, but as many as three supreme court justices before the mid-terms and it will be all over for a long time. Too little, too late.
The gerrymandering situation, well, the audience wanted to know more about it. Because, most voters never learned how our “democracy” works in school, and certainly haven’t bothered to pay attention until now. How the apportionment board works in Ohio was explained- yet, the likelihood of the Dems grabbing the Governorship, Secretary of State and the Auditor in 2018 is slim and none, unless the backlash against Trump, and the current Republican domination of the Statehouse causes a meltdown the likes of which we’ve never seen before.
I wouldn’t count on it. Although the women’s march yesterday and all of its supporting marches did give me some hope. Organizing is great, but, if it’s just more of us vs them, without a clear list of issues, we’re all doomed.
This group is afraid to put the word “Democrat” in their name- because the founder thinks it’s meaning is kind of “murky”- well, then maybe your first goal should be to clearly define what being a democrat means.
It’s time for the local dems to learn from my friend, Rob Scott, founder of the Dayton Tea Party, and the organizer of the short lived overthrow of the local republican establishment (and yes, I have friends who I’ll never agree with politically):
Dayton Tea Party co-founder, Rob Scott, now Kettering vice mayor, said the key for the movement was that activists knocked on doors, made phone calls, held rallies and focused on issues.
“I think that’s why the tea party movement really took off because we talked about issues,” Scott said. “In 2010 it was like a big wave and it was handed over to the Republican Party.”
Electing women is not an issue, it’s a cause. Issues are things like we have too many jurisdictions in Montgomery County, too many different tax regulations, unfunded mandates, poor schools, an unconstitutional school funding system, the list goes on…
The funny thing about the group hosting this meeting- it’s a private facebook group.
Sort of like the private club that selects the democratic candidates behind closed doors in Montgomery County.
Which brings us to the important news of the week: This Thursday, at the IUE hall on S. Jefferson, at 7pm, the Montgomery County Democratic Party is going to have a meeting where they are talking about appointing a whole bunch of new precinct captains. If they really want to show they’ve turned over a new leaf- we’d pass a rule: no one can be a precinct captain if they work in local government, or are related to someone who works in local government. That would be a good first step to dethroning the monarchy of Montgomery County and turning the party into a true Democratic Party.
When Robert Scott stepped down as chair of the Montgomery County Republican Party last October, the party machinery didn’t quite work the way it was supposed to. Typically, there is an order of ascendency, and the vice chairmen would become chairman. However, vice-chairman Nick Brusky stepped down too, and next on the pecking order was Dave Landon who should have been made party chair- but since he was already on the County Patronage Payroll at the Board of Elections and couldn’t be party chair and get paid, so he abdicated as well.
Apr 23 see comment below- Co-chair was Kate Burch, who stepped down, leaving Landon, who couldn’t and then second vice-chairman, Nick Brusky, who should, technically be leading the party
There should have been an election, with a quorum of the Precinct Captains voting. A quorum is 50 percent plus one of the central committee. That meeting/election never took place. For a very short period, Landon was representing himself as acting party chair. See this PDF of the filing with the Ohio Elections Commission case about the “endorsement” by the party of a candidate, even though the party wasn’t actually functioning at the time: Landon at Ohio Elections Commission
Here is a screen grab from the Ohio Republican Party Site showing Plummer as chair
Somewhere along the line, Landon realized he could lose his high-dollar job, and then Montgomery County Sheriff, Phil Plummer anointed himself chair. Never mind the election wasn’t held, thereby breaking state law, but it is highly unlikely that Plummer would be able to get the votes, since Scott took over the party by getting a majority of the precinct captains elected who supported his brand of Republicanism. It was a message that the good-ole boy days were over, and yet, that’s exactly who is back in power now.
While the equally dysfunctional Democratic party in town can laugh about all this, there is one major problem with having the sheriff as the head of one political party in Ohio- he’s the guy you call when you have an election day problem. Yep, the person who is to enforce order on election day, the one you call if someone is within 100 feet of the polls doing electioneering, the one who oversees the safe transportation of the ballots- is the sheriff in Ohio.
“Election officials are charged with preventing violence and disorder at the polls and may call upon the sheriff or other peace officers to aid them in enforcing the law, including the arrest of violators. The sheriff has a statutory duty to respond immediately to such a request.”
“At least one policeman shall be assigned to duty in each precinct on each day of an election, when requested by the board or the secretary of state. Such police officer shall have access at all times to the polling place, and he shall promptly place under arrest any person found violating any provisions of Title XXXV  of the Revised Code.”
Mixing politics with his elected duties is not only a very large potential conflict of interest, it also opens a big can of worms if something ends up in court. Plummer should resign as party chair, or as sheriff immediately.
Right now, Plummer has one of his officers, a “Detective of Special Investigations” J.M. Clymer, out doing the Ohio Democratic Party’s dirty work. Although the Board of Elections has already accepted the required number of signatures on petitions submitted for Larry Ealy, the long-shot Dem candidate for governor in the upcoming primary, Plummer’s pogue is out trying to harass Ealy’s circulators with the threat of felony charges for submitting questionable petitions. Considering that current Dayton City Commissioners have turned in petitions with as many as 40% failing signatures, why these circulators are being harassed is questionable, and the credibility of Plummer’s office in the case is nil. You can’t be a political party chair and the criminal investigator for election law at the same time.
The Dayton Daily news has written about this investigation twice- even trying to infer that one of the circulators had a previous case for election fraud- stemming from a questionably legal eminent domain case in Moraine and his attempt to vote once he was made homeless. Here is what they published on Feb 18:
Petitions to run for governor submitted by Trotwood resident Larry Ealy were forwarded to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted for investigation of possible fraudulent signatures, said Steve Harsman, deputy director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
Husted spokesman Matt McClellan said the office had not yet received the complaint, but would ask the local board to do the formal investigation in conjunction with the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s office. Harsman said election falsification is a fifth-degree felony. The maximum penalty for a fifth-degree felony in Ohio is 12 months in prison.