The Dayton City Commission race that could change everything…

I filed my petitions at the deadline yesterday. Now, the Board of (S)Elections goes into full handwriting expert mode to try to protect the party incumbents from challengers. Although handwriting analysis is not accepted in US Courts, and signatures change over time (The Dayton Daily news even had an article today about a service you can pay to help you develop a signature you may like more than your own) the board will manage to reject enough of my 550 signatures to force me to go out with a notary and get notarized affidavits that yes, that was in fact these voters intentions when they put ink to my form.

Last time I did it- I turned in 15 notarized affidavits and they accepted all but one. I needed 11 additional. So you ask, why don’t you turn in more signatures? Because the first time I ran, I turned in 503 and the second time 506 and I got on the ballot. That was in 1993- when I wasn’t deemed a threat to the Monarchy of Montgomery County. That was before we turned into a fascist state where political dandies get jobs with the power to disrupt elections to their liking without oversight.

The 2 seats that are up for defending are those held by Matt Joseph (51) and Chris Shaw (56). Joseph is the longest serving commissioner up for his 6th term, first elected in 2004 and Shaw is trying for his 3rd term, first elected in 2015.

When I turned in my petitions I also made a request- that Russ Joseph and Dave Owens have nothing to do with my petitions or this election. Russ, is the newly appointed Deputy director and brother of incumbent Matt Joseph, and Dave is the brother of the former party chair, Mark Owens, who sent out smear mailers against fellow dems Shenise Turner-Sloss and Darryl Fairchild.

To The Board of Elections

3 Mar 2023

RE: Partisan participation in an election by family members working to conduct elections

I am protesting the involvement of Russ Joseph in the 2023 election process due to his brother is on the ballot. This is a conflict of interest- and he should be isolated in every way from involvement in the race.

The voters of Montgomery County have TWICE- chosen someone other than Russ Joseph to be in a position of authority in this county after he was placed in the Clerk of Courts job and then the County Treasurers job.

Why he would accept a pay cut from the job in the Federal Courts to take over a position of trust over an election should be suspect, especially since his brother is up for re-election for the first time since the FBI and the DOJ investigated elected officials in Dayton and told us we have a “Culture of Corruption” here.

I also, do not think David Owens should be involved either, after his brother suggested at a public meeting of the Montgomery County Democratic Party that I was somehow less than suitable as a candidate for office

This was despite the fact that I’d won a 4-way primary.

The fact that the board of elections only recognizes Democrats and Republicans although a greater proportion of voters in Montgomery County are neither is already a problem.

The “Friends and Family” operation of the two parties in Montgomery County is not democratic, nor to be trusted.

Thank you,

David Esrati

Candidate for Dayton City Commission


Letter delivered to BOE Director, R- Jeff Rezabek

I think all of us, would be happy to run for city commission if our brother was in charge of the election. The reality of collecting signatures in the winter, when the sun goes down at 5:30pm- is that voters really don’t love being bothered in their homes by political candidates. The other issue is it only takes 50 signatures to run for Congress and 500 to run for Dayton City Commission.

There are also other ridiculous requirements that the petitions be notarized. Why? What does that prove, since the notary wasn’t there to witness any signature other than the circulator of the petition?

I get my signatures very carefully. I only go to homes of registered voters, and ask for those voters. This should get a close to 100% hit rate. I instruct the few folks who volunteer to help on this dirty task to do the same.

Word on the street that two of the newcomers to this process who turned in petitions gathered their signatures by standing out side the NW Rec center and other locations. First of all, I’ve been illegally chased off of city property multiple times in the past, and secondly, this guarantees a fail rate of about 50%.

We will see if Jo Love (33 years old) or Marcus Bedinger (34) get through the BOE signature gauntlet. Considering the election is 60 days away from the turn in date, the fact that they aren’t going to certify the petitions until March 14, 2023 should have the entire board fired. With a limited window- candidates need to know if they are on the ballot and who their opponents are so they don’t waste time or money on a doomed effort.

Bedinger, seems to be oblivious to this, and has already launched his website and has a video. His logo was probably designed by the same guy who did Jared Grandy’s logo in his well financed losing effort for Commission 2 years ago.

Grandy, would have had a better shot this year- but, let’s face it, it’s been a long time since an incumbent got beat in this race. Either someone has to retire from office as Dean Lovelace did to make way for Chris Shaw, drop out of the race to run for Mayor like Jeff Mims did to elect Shenise Turner-Sloss, or you have an indicted FBI snitch like Joey Williams step down so Darryl Fairchild can win in a special election.

Running for Dayton City Commission without the support of the crooked Montgomery County (UN)Democratic Party has been futile for decades.

The other three challengers, myself (60), Jordan Wortham (33) and Valerie Duncan (70) have all done this before. All use voter lists to get their signatures. Duncan spends her own money mostly to run and get knocked out of the primary. Wortham is coming off a nearly successful run for County Commissioner vs Caroline Rice which took a very odd statistical turn in the final vote count, where a mere 4000 votes were so far off the general vote that the Feds should be investigating (I truly believe that the MCBOE runs two different databases of voters and manipulates the outcomes in close races- I showcased proof of this in 2014). This is why Dave Owen’s is handy to have at the BOE for the Montgomery County Dem Party- and why they secretly hired the former director Steve Harsman to re-jigger the precincts two years ago for $150K.

Full disclosure, my business, The Next Wave has provided design, printing, web development and hosting and mailing services to both Duncan and Wortham.

The last two party endorsed candidates to run, Scott Sliver and Stacey Benson Taylor who got beat by Turner-Sloss and Fairchild, are absent. Sliver wants no part of the political scene after the last outing, and Taylor, has a new patronage job working as Chief Deputy for County Recorder Brandon McClain. It’s unconfirmed, but the smear mailings against Turner-Sloss and Fairchild were the brainchild of current Dayton Clerk of Courts Marty Gehres who is another child of the Monarchy who will always have his toast buttered for him by the party.

Why this race matters so much

When Joey Williams was indicted for accepting bribes and disgracing himself, I asked the first question at the press conference announcing the “Culture of Corruption” witch hunt- “Do you only indict Black men?”

The reality is Williams, Winburn, Higgins and the FBI informant Mike Marshall were scheming to set up a new demolition company to get city contracts. The ones Joey had already steered to Marshall’s existing FBI front company “United Demolition” had been deemed a fail- knocking that company off the bidders list. Now, just remember, contracts are supposed to be negotiated by the City Purchasing Department and the City Manager- not the Commission- which only is supposed to vote to approve in a role as a check and balance.

That takes 3 votes- and of the 4 possible people who joined Williams on that, all but Nan Whaley are still on the Commission: Mims, Shaw and Joseph. It’s also well known that under Whaley, “favored” contractors (read donors to her campaigns) were routinely given inside information on upcoming bids. That the FBI and DOJ never indicted anyone else in City Hall is a travesty of epic proportion. It’s also why I’m still waiting for the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on my FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) case to get the tapes of Whaley that I know were played to the Grand Jury. That case has been accepted by the court and we will wait, I’m sure, until after this election, before the voters find out the truth about how corrupt city hall has been.

It would only take one of the challengers to get elected to shift the balance of power forever in Dayton. It takes 3 votes to get anything done, and we’re currently sitting at the all time high of 2 independent voices. (Other single voices have been Abner Orick, Mike Turner, Gary Leitzel and for a few years, Darryl Fairchild).

I don’t know much about the newcomers Love and Bedinger, other than Bedinger seems like another Desiree Tims– coming in from out of town and suggesting he’s the chosen one. The technical term for folks like this is “Carpetbagger” (Oxford dictionary: “a political candidate who seeks election in an area where they have no local connections.”). However, I’d vote for anyone other than Shaw or Joseph who have been proven to be the friends of only 3 causes:

  • Downtown developers who take our tax dollars for their private projects,
  • Demolition Contractors who destroy our urban fabric and clean up the messes that the years of insider rule has caused.
  • The Health Care duopoly- that they effectively continued by allowing Good Sam to be torn down- with a restrictive clause that wouldn’t allow any other health care provider to move into the community.

I will be setting up a new bank account for my City Commission Race as soon as I know I’m on the ballot. In the mean time, I hope the voters in the city realize, this election is only about one thing: Do you want to end the reign of the Culture of Corruption by electing at least one more voice to help Turner-Sloss and Fairchild- or do you want to continue with more of the same?

I personally, don’t believe we can move forward as long as people like Shaw and Joseph are in power. Those who look away from the heinous treatment of our citizens in the jail, who allow paraplegics to be pulled out of their cars by their hair by Dayton cops, who think you can demolish your way to prosperity and lastly- to continue the “culture of corruption” that still hasn’t been fully exposed.

Dayton deserves better than the rule of the un-democratic parties friends and family program. It’s time to topple the monarchy.

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