The Legal Fund- to change the petition process

I’m on my way to the Board of Elections to pick up the documentation about which of you had your signatures thrown out by the graphologists they employ.

We’re working on a legal solution- using the provisions of the petitioning process that are in the Ohio Constitution to allow for a ten-day amended petition window- so that people who have their signature declared invalid can have their voices heard.

The money raised- will all go to the legal battle- not to my campaign.

I am using the tools I have available to get this started quickly- since the clock is ticking.

Please help end the tyranny of the partisan, political-party-appointed Board of Elections over our city primaries.

It’s been 18 years since we’ve had a primary- and we’ve had more petitions rejected than accepted.

The donation widget in the sidebar at right is the best way to donate right now.

or use this link:

I apologize for membership sign-up requirement- I’m working on eliminating it asap.

Thank you.

The Ohio supreme court shall have original, exclusive jurisdiction over all challenges made to petitions and signatures upon such petitions under this section. Any challenge to a petition or signature on a petition shall be filed not later than ninety-five days before the day of the election. The court shall hear and rule on any challenges made to petitions and signatures not later than eighty-five days before the election. If no ruling determining the petition or signatures to be insufficient is issued at least eighty-five days before the election, the petition and signatures upon such petitions shall be presumed to be in all respects sufficient.

If the petitions or signatures are determined to be insufficient, ten additional days shall be allowed for the filing of additional signatures to such petition. If additional signatures are filed, the secretary of state shall determine the sufficiency of those additional signatures not later than sixty-five days before the election. Any challenge to the additional signatures shall be filed not later than fifty-five days before the day of the election. The court shall hear and rule on any challenges made to the additional signatures not later than forty-five days before the election. If no ruling determining the additional signatures to be insufficient is issued at least forty-five days before the election, the petition and signatures shall be presumed to be in all respects sufficient.

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14 Responses

  1. Molly Darcy March 9, 2011 / 4:07 pm
    David we had a Primary in 2003. It wasn’t that long ago. And an incumbent lost in the 2003 General which according to you hasn’t happened in Dayton since Colonel Newcom built his Tavern.

    Please stop blaming everyone else. It’s your fault that you didn’t file enough signatures. You know the rules–how many times have you been through this? You knew before you filed that you didn’t have enough. What’s next? A run for Congress again?

  2. larry sizer March 9, 2011 / 4:40 pm
    David: After dinner I will bring a blank check down for you to sign, as my way to get rid of the bad guys in Dayton Politics, along with you get on the ballot and beating Mark Manovich, who just makes me sick to my stomach.
  3. Gary March 9, 2011 / 4:45 pm
    If the petitions or signatures are determined to be insufficient, ten additional days shall be allowed for the filing of additional signatures.
    Now’s your chance David to put on your raincoat and go out and try to get a total of 700 signatures as your one friend did, with his kids signing, too!
    Actually these latest posts are just confusing me more and more … One comment I’m thinking of after reading these posts is it sounds like the BOE needs an Independent, a Centrist and a Libertarian to straighten the whole mess out!
    It appears Molly did her homework–not sure it’s true though, but it was sarcastic!  What is she doing to change Dayton?
  4. David Esrati March 9, 2011 / 4:59 pm

    @Molly- when voters signatures are ignored- it’s the same as their vote not being counted.

    This isn’t about me- it’s about justice.

    As to the Primary- according to Wikipedia- 96 there was a primary.

    And- I should say that no endorsed candidate has lost- the endorsed Joseph beat Bootsie.,_Ohio

    As to “blaming everyone”- the charter was written in 1913- and because of changes in Federal Election law- it is now totally obsolete. It’s time to change.

    You can take your misery somewhere else. You hate me so much- why bother reading?

  5. David Lauri March 9, 2011 / 5:24 pm
    David, as useful as Wikipedia is, it’s not infallible. The Wikipedia article you cite claims, “When fewer than three candidates file, no primary election is held,” which is flat out wrong. As you well know, the threshold for a primary in Dayton city commission elections is five candidates qualifying for the ballot.
    You and the Wikipedia article are also both wrong about there not having been a primary since 1996.  According to the Montgomery County Board of Elections website, there was indeed a primary in 2003. Five candidates–Matt Joseph, Lorana M. Kelly, Dean A. Lovelace, Idotha Bootsie Neal, and Mark Anthony Newberry–ran for city commission. When in doubt as to the last primary or whether, before Leitzell’s win over McLin, an incumbent mayor since Richard Clay Dixon has been defeated, check the BoE website (which, although it has its problems, at least has accurate results).
    Although I don’t think you really have much chance of winning elected office, I do appreciate the role you play in the community, a role that unfortunately our professional news media has failed to embrace.  I do agree with you that Dayton’s provisions for getting on the ballot for city commission are onerous.
    Thus I’ve put my money where my mouth is and donated to the Legal Fund to Change the Petition Process. I don’t think you can win elected office, but I think you’ve got a fair chance of winning this fight.  It’s a fight similar to the free speech fight you fought over the ninja mask at city commission meetings.
    (And folks, don’t forget — even though there’s no primary this year for City Commission, there are are still better choices on the November ballot than Dean Lovelace!)
  6. Deano March 9, 2011 / 6:28 pm
    David should start wearing the mouse hat and zoro outfit to the board of elections and letting the media know he is doing it.  Maybe that will get the DDN to do a story this whole city of dayton/board of elections mess.
  7. TJ March 9, 2011 / 7:00 pm
    Just wanted to make sure you caught the operative language in this section of the Ohio Constitution:
    “The Ohio supreme court shall have original, exclusive jurisdiction over all challenges made to petitions and signatures upon such petitions under this section.”
    The first paragraph of the section begins:  “Any initiative, supplementary, or referendum petition may be…”
    The fourth paragraph describes what an “initiative” or “referendum” petition is: “No law or amendment to the constitution submitted to the electors by initiative and supplementary petition…”
    Also, not sure if you saw this or not, but the paragraphs you quoted provide a court action to challenge the signatures on a specific type of petition, and then ten days if, and only if, the court invalidates the signatures.  The provision also has timing requirements which you do not qualify for.
    I’m not saying I disagree with challenging the disqualification, but I don’t think this provision has anything to do with it.
  8. David Esrati March 9, 2011 / 7:12 pm

    @TJ – yes- I’m aware that the it’s a section that applies to an initiative- however, since the charter doesn’t spell out ways to address disqualification of the petitions- and it then falls to ORC- and ORC doesn’t use the same standard that is guaranteed by the Ohio Constitution- we may be able to use the Constitution to trump all.

    I’m not a lawyer- but, I have interest from some that think there is a chance. With the Charter’s stupid requirement for a notary- it brings an extra level of “legitimacy” to the collected signatures- and when I prove that registered voters are being knocked off the petition- that should force there to be a “second chance”

    We’ll see what happens.

    @Deano- the paper is aware of the ridiculous requirements now- expect a story- but, not crediting me.

    And- all of you- consider contributing to the legal fund if you believe it’s time to be able to recall the idiots- without having to get a signature of every voter in the city.

    Thank you.

    If we don’t hire a lawyer- the money will be returned.

  9. terry March 9, 2011 / 8:47 pm
    You have 2 separate problems here it looks like. One is the ridiculous signature requirements of the city of Dayton and the other is the problems with the people the run the board of elections. The city must lower the required signatures to encourage more candidates to run. The county and state must fire/remove the director and deputy director for obvious reasons so that we can all have faith in this office. You can’t have people that hire sex offenders or people with hit and run charges and drug convictions to be in charge of absentee ballots. David should not stop until both of these ridiculous problems are addressed and out in the open. We should all spread the word about this stuff to media and elected officials. Dayton needs new voices and the county needs a board of elections, not two directors being paid $100,000+ per year to employ untrustworthy employees.
  10. WD March 9, 2011 / 10:07 pm

    David, you need advice from someone that knows how to circulate and submit petitions properly. You must know how to check your own petitions before you submit them and verify you have enough signatures before you submit them. If I was in charge of this process you would be a candidate on the ballot right now. How serious are you about serving on the Dayton Commission? If you decide to run again, you have no excuse for having signature problems. You should be on the ballot right now but it’s to late now.

    In the meantime, bring attention to the signature requirements and get them lowered. Get the media to force the parties to clean house at the Board of Elections and be known for that. You bringing more competition to the City of Dayton Commission and a house cleaning at the Board of Elections might make you a leader.


  11. David Esrati March 9, 2011 / 11:05 pm

    @WD- I fully know how to circulate petitions and submit them properly. What I’ve yet to learn is not to trust people who volunteer. I expected more signatures from volunteers. Manovich wouldn’t have made it on the ballot had I not gotten him 120 signatures- in return- he got me 53.

    This lawsuit will hopefully end the tyranny of 500 signatures for ballot access- and the requirements based on numbers of registered voters. Hopefully it will also make write in candidates possible.

    No one has championed the idea of cleaning house not only in the BOE- but all the city and county offices more than me. I’m waiting to see your donation to the legal fund- and, you volunteering when I ask for help (I did ask multiple times for assistance).

  12. Gary March 10, 2011 / 10:20 am
    I truly hope David wins his law suit and wins a City Commissioner seat!  He’s been at it for years and cares about justice in Dayton, and cares about its citizens!
    David- Have you tried writing your local and/or Federal Congressmen for help?  But we all know that’s a joke, right, you might get a form letter back, ha ha!
    I would give money for the law suit but I don’t have a job and I’m having great difficulty finding one–maybe I’ve been somewhat lazy pursuing one, but all I get are rejections.  But I won’t give up!  Hope you have a lawyer, too, because some jerk is going to try to get you arrested and I’d hate to see that!  Be Careful!
  13. larry sizer March 10, 2011 / 11:27 am
    David: I just logged into to see whom in Dayton, or Ohio does Pro Bono work. Ohio is not even listed which came as as a surprise. Since you helped Mark who is supposed to be a lawyer, and you did help him get names to get on the ballot, one would think that he would help you?
  14. David Esrati March 10, 2011 / 3:19 pm

    @Larry- Mark Manovich is a corporate tax lawyer- not the kind we need to win this suit. I’ve asked him for a donation.

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