We’re glad you’re our neighbor signs

We're glad you're our neighbor signImmigration ban 2 just went into effect today. If you, like me, realize that we are a nation of immigrants and want to send a message of acceptance, these are the signs that have been popping up all over South Park, St. Anne’s Hill, Dayton View and elsewhere. We’ve printed and sold almost 250 in a few weeks.

We’ve heard people have seen prices as high as $25 ea. My printing prices are not only the best in Dayton, we’re doing these at a steep discount to help spread the word. And, you can help support this website through your purchase at the same time.

18×24 on 4mm Coroplast, same, yard signs, both sides, In 5 languages:

  • Kinyarwanda
  • Spanish
  • English
  • Arabic
  • Turkish

$8 with a stake, $7 without- including tax. Pickup at my office, 100 Bonner St Dayton OH 45410 from 9am to 6pm M-F. We can also have the prepaid for pickup at the Second Street market on Saturdays. Best way to guarantee your sign will be here is to buy and pay online.

If you want larger quantities, or shipping, please call during business hours: 937-228-4433

Nan Whaley trashes Dayton 65 days before the election

It looks like Labor Day weekend was the kickoff to the Whaley sign campaign, with her signs appearing all over town. Empty lots, right of ways, public property- it’s all about her! I saw signs in overgrown lots, near highway entrance ramps and next to any leftover A.J. Wagner sign that’s been left since the special election in May – like the one at the corner of W. Fifth and Ludlow in front of a parking lot.

I’ve always consider yard signs the least informative part of political campaigning. If you think about it- all it is a candidate’s name and the office they are running for and not much else. When signs are in supporters’ yards- you assume that person knows why they are voting for the candidate- but unfortunately, when it comes to Whaley- I heard this more than a few times in the primary, “I just have it in my yard because I was told to put it in by….” either the union they belong to, or the politician that they work for.

Granted, Whaley had almost 5,000 votes in the special election, compared to Wagner’s 2,500, but when you add in the Leitzell voters who are mostly going to vote for Wagner, you soon realize that the well-funded Whaley battleship is hoping to win by sheer brute strength instead of their candidat’s competency. Putting signs out this early by a leader is nothing but a show of fear.

And just remember, every time you see a small sign- that it could have bought a basketball net, and every three big signs with two fence posts- she could have bought a backboard, you start to realize what the Whaley campaign is focused on- Nan, and nothing else.

Here’s a video I did about campaign signs in the last Congressional race:

I’m sure we’ll see Wagner signs out there shortly, with his new slogan- More Change, less politics. I for one, hope he waits till 30 days before the election to post his signs and shows some class. It’s the major difference between these two old school candidates- and it’s one of the reasons I think Wagner is much better suited to be Mayor.

I’ve still got a few hundred “Esrati, New Ideas” signs to put out, starting 30 days before the election. If you live on a corner, or on a main street, please go to: http://electesrati.com/?page_id=586 and sign up for one. It will be delivered around Oct. 5, and picked up Nov. 6th. Thank you.

And if you are looking for what I’ve been doing instead of wasting money on yard signs- go to www.hoopsdayton.com and learn about my basketball nets.

Yard signs, campaign lit and forums in Dayton politics

Esrati yard sign, New Ideas

Esrati yard sign, New Ideas

The battle has begun. Yard signs are popping up- but, most of them aren’t in yards so far, they are in the right of way, on public property- or even in vacant lots.
The signs are placed by overzealous campaign workers working for campaigns with lots of money. Signs aren’t cheap- I just got David Greer 250 and the bill was around $675, these are the cardboard, fold over type.
A yard sign doesn’t tell you anything about the candidate- other than their name, what they are running for. It’s not like a website, or a voters guide. Supposedly, the display of a yard sign means that a voter thinks they will be best represented by that candidate.
The reality is- not that many voters are that tuned into local elections that they actually say- I want one of those Esrati signs, I’m going to have to go find one.
It’s really not that hard- all you have to do is sign up for one here, and I’ll come deliver it: http://electesrati.com/?page_id=586

I’ve always prided myself of only putting my signs in yards- and that I’ve gone and asked the voter if it’s ok. Some say yes, without knowing much about me. Some ask questions and then make up their minds. And then some say no.

If given a choice, I’d much rather have them read my literature, or this site- and then tell their friends, than have them put a sign in their yard. But, it’s even better if they do both.

My signs say “New Ideas” on them- and it’s a statement of fact- I represent new ideas. Read the other signs- they say nothing. Is this the level of political discourse we should be having?
This season, despite having a primary for mayor and commission- something that hasn’t happened for 20 years, we’ve had the fewest requests for candidates’ nights. I think it’s because of the disgust people have for the politicians in D.C. that there isn’t as much interest locally. We’ve got a commission event this Monday at the Kroc Center- McCook Field Neighborhood is sponsoring, no mayoral candidates Monday, April 8, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. in Exhibit Hall Room A of the Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center at 1000 N. Keowee St. And Tuesday, the Stonewall Democrats is having a taping at DATV from 6:30 to 8:30 for broadcast on local cable. That’s it. Haven’t heard from the League of Women Voters, nor have the candidates worked together to create an event. The American Institute of Architects is talking about an event AFTER the primary at the Engineers Club, but that’s it.

I’d like to see a Pecha Kucha night for all the candidates- PK is 20 powerpoint slides, 20 seconds each- on autopilot. Both Mayor Leitzell, Joey Lutz, and I have participated in past events. Each candidate can make their pitch on “Why me” and a moderator selects questions from the audience- that are handled in an organized fashion- with all candidates getting equal time to answer.

The Dayton Independents- Greer, Leitzell and Esrati (me) have all been doing video interviews with the Dayton Informer and posting them at www.IndependentDayton.com to try to show how three candidates can work together- and to make sure that we have done all we can to inform the voters since we won’t have a $100,000 budget for mailings, tv spots, radio.

What are your ideas?

Printing T-shirts for Esrati for Congress now

screen printing esrati for congress shirts

Hand screen printed, limited editions

Right now, in our conference room, we’re printing out our limited 1st edition t-shirts.

We started offering them with the first $25 and up donations, and now still have 6 left for $50 and up donations.

They’ll be available at the Pancake Breakfast on Sunday- with a $50 donation for in-person donations.

No other Democratic candidate has this much going on with their campaign already.

The shirts have the logo on front with Congress 2012.

The backs say “No Pacs, Special Interest, Corporate money accepted ever!” and “electesrati.com” Congress 2012

Get over to the campaign site and donate now!


We’re reusing old yard signs for the primary- and they will be ready to pick up for display on private property at the pancake breakfast.


Dayton: Show me a sign (for free pizza)

Esrati yard sign, New Ideas

Esrati yard sign, New Ideas

This Saturday- I need help distributing signs on main streets and by polling places. Stop in the office at 100 Bonner Street between 11 and 2 to pick up your signs, and then come by the South Park Tavern at 4:30 and get free pizza until 5:30. Note, all my signs have to be in peoples yards- not vacant lots or public spaces.

You can just show up – or, to help us plan- register at http://electesrati.com/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=18

2 weeks and counting: thoughts about elections

In two weeks we’ll be going to the polls. This is when the gloves slip off and everyone jumps into the mud pit.

My own personal observations- if you see a yard sign, here are some things to think about:

  • They are expensive – so if you see more than one in a single lot, someone has money to burn.
  • The more colors on a yard sign, the more expensive. Just saw a ton of Issue 3 signs- and, they are at least 3 color.
  • They aren’t supposed to be in public rights of way- such as highway medians or intersections – only on private lots.
  • Yard signs typically don’t say anything- the ultimate soundbite politics. They depress me, yet seem so essential.

Robocalls will start. If there is one thing I hate, it’s having an answering machine call me. The more calls you get from machines, the more you should wonder. Robocalling is one of the cheapest ways to reach voters if you can’t collect e-mail addresses. There are companies that sell you out for as low as 2¢ a call. I’m sorry you will have your dinners interrupted.

One step above robocalling is phone banks. Telemarketing. Also annoying, but remember, there is a real live person on the other end of that line. The key is, are they doing it because they believe, or because they are getting paid. Be nice to them, even if they are catching you indisposed- you don’t have to listen, but you still should try to be human.

TV and radio will start to get full of stupidity. Issue 3 will be on the air non-stop, spending millions to get that sweetheart casino deal passed. Don’t fall for it- it’s handing over the keys to one ownership group with no competition. I’m fine with casinos, if it’s an open bidding process. This isn’t. Next spring we may get a shot at a real casino deal. Please wait. Casinos aren’t going to solve any budget problems overnight, nor are they without their own problems- but, this isn’t the right one to vote yes on.

Your mailbox will be full of campaign mailings. If they aren’t 4 color glossy these days- on good thick stock, someone is a fool. Printing costs have dropped. If they have “I was born here, I went to school here, I have a (spouse, kids, grandkids, dog)” you should ignore it totally- as if they had anything to do with where they were born here- or that breeding is a qualification for office. Slate cards will arrive- these tell you to ignore options- buy the package deal, all of the above, it’s a wonder we haven’t put this button on the automatic voting machines to make it easier for the voters that the Democratic party is always accused of paying to vote at every election (I don’t believe it- but, people keep telling me it happens).

Literature will be dropped at your door on the eve of the election, telling you to vote one way or another. The really wealthy campaigns will pay people to stand outside polling places handing out literature. If only we would make as much effort to provide real voters’ guides- with more than 200 words per candidate? What kind of election would we have?

And for all this work, turnout can be incredibly low. In 1999 when I ran in a 2-seat cycle (no mayoral seat) only 17% of the voters turned out. In the mayoral years, it’s higher, but, still less than 30%. I think this is the thing that depresses me more than anything, since our percentage of registered voters in this country is incredibly low to begin with, compared to other industrialized countries.

Win or lose, at least, Gary Leitzel and I have given voters a choice. You may not like  any of the candidates, but until we change something (either the process or the people) we’re all you’ve got.

If there is one indicator that gives me more insight than anything else in looking at where to place my vote, the old reporters’ adage “follow the money” is always a great way to make an informed decision. Do the people who give the money to the candidates seem like you? Or, are they the establishment? I’ll be posting the pre-election campaign finance reports as soon as possible after the 22nd turn-in.

How do you pick whom you want to vote for? What are your key issues and how do you research them? I’d love to hear them.