At 7:00 p.m. tomorrow, January 13, the executive committee of the Montgomery County Democratic Party will meet to decide the fate of one of their long-time leaders.
Normally, yours truly wouldn’t be invited to this kind of meeting, but they don’t have a choice. I was duly elected precinct captain, and when the 5 precinct captains of the first ward met, 2 others who have been wronged by the party over time, graciously opted to vote for me, providing a 3-2 selection as the Ward leader and automatic inclusion on the Central Committee. Note- this doesn’t get me on the screening committee- which is only for those who either have sworn a blood oath, or been elected and are in control of patronage jobs which are handed out like candy to people they then use to fill in the open precinct seats- to make sure they control who runs for office.
The two who fell from grace- former county auditor, judge and mayoral candidate, A.J. Wagner, and current school board member Joe Lacey- who tried to run for state rep and wasn’t endorsed. The two who voted against me- Russ Joseph, brother of Dayton City Commissioner Matt Joseph and heir apparent to party chair, and current Dayton Clerk of Courts, Mark Owens, and Judge Daniel Geheres’ son.
Tomorrow night, the secret society is meeting in private to decide if they should put former Dayton Mayor, daughter of the all powerful C.J. McLin, State Senator Rhine McLin back on the Board of Elections- or should they find someone else to have the cushy job that pays $20K a year for two short meetings each month.
The Dems are mad at Rhine because she broke ranks and supported Wagner for mayor instead of her royal highness, Queen Nan.
Rhine sent all the central committee members a “Fellow Democrat” letter in December- asking for their support and stating her case.
For those of you who don’t know about the Board of [S]Elections – it’s an organization that is totally controlled by the two major parties- to run your elections. This is why third party candidates, independent candidates, and anyone who doesn’t kiss the party’s ass, runs a high risk of not making it to the ballot. Plus, it controls a bunch of patronage jobs- and grossly overpays the staff- especially the directors, one from each party. It gets a little confusing because the actual board is 2 Dems, 2 Republicans- yes- a virtual deadlock on every issue- that gets to hand over the deciding vote to Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican. The members of this board aren’t elected by the people, nor do they have oversight by the people- just Husted. That’s the way we like it in Ohio- ethics be damned.
Rhine has been in the seat for 2 years of a 3-year term- thanks to a deadlocked vote during the last presidential election, where Husted managed to get the 2 Dems, Dennis Lieberman (spouse of County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman and former party chair) and Tom Ritchie Sr.- regional director of AFSCME (a big public service union) kicked out of their jobs when they stood up to Husted on early voting hours.
The party picked Rhine and John Doll. Doll is a check-collecting, empty suit. McLin on the other hand threw herself into the job and is the only member who bothered to become a certified elections/registration administrator. 
McLin is also a party legend. She’s currently vice chair of the Ohio Democratic Party (which isn’t quite as petty), vice-chair of the Mid-West Caucus of the Democratic National Committee, vice chair of the Mid-West Executive Committee of the Association of State Democratic Chairs, and the Mid-West Representative for the Black Caucus of the Democratic National Committee.
She also notes- “I have consistently donated to the Party.”
Face it- it’s pay to play on top of requiring a blood oath and major butt kissing.
Frankly, none of these people deserve to have anything to do with elections. Their idea of running people for office includes interviews that start out with the question “If we endorse someone else, will you drop out and work to get them elected” before petitions are even turned in.
I’ve run in 6 different counties- and no other county Democratic party endorses in primaries- that’s what the primary is for- for the voters of the party to decide whom they want to run for office- not 40 hand-selected members of the “Monarchy of Montgomery Party” to decide for them. They are patently undemocratic- and Rhine herself has benefited from this winnowing process for years. She’s as guilty as the rest of them- the only difference is while she was happy when Nan was her lap dog- when she was mayor- the moment Rhine lost to Gary Leitzel, she lost value to Nan, who along with Mark Owens and Karl Keith had taken over the party- kicking Lieberman to the curb. Now, Nan is a rabid dog, going after Rhine- her former mentor, out of spite- for Rhine recognizing that A.J. was the better man for the job than our monomaniacal mayoress. There are still deep divisions in the party- but, most are afraid to speak- for fear of losing their plum patronage job that either they- or their family members have thanks to their party loyalty.
This is the dirty secret of the Dayton Montgomery County Democratic Party. But, now you know.
And I’ll try to fill you in on what happens, despite me not really wanting to have anything to do with this disgustingly undemocratic process. In 2018, the party will once again elect new precinct captains- that’s when we may be able to organize, and re-populate the central committee with people who believe in democratic principles- instead of the self-anointed royal family we have now.
DE – there is a reason that the Prosecutor has run “unopposed” for years. There is also a reason that when one applies for a job in his office that they are asked “unofficially” what is their political affiliation. Needless to say those with an (R) are not hired. Shocker…
Thank you for revealing a shadow of a view of the Dystopian MC Democratic Party. There is plenty of darkness and underhandedness to expose so keep battering away. The truth has ways of coming out.
David — The last elections for precinct captains was at the Democratic primary in 2014. Won’t the next election for precinct captains be at the Democratic primary in 2018?
You may be correct Mike-
But- you’d never find that info on any public site here…..
The local party site doesn’t even list the regular meetings.
David — President Obama in his SOU speech last night urged that “we fix our politics.” He mentioned fixing the gerrymandering of districts and fixing the undue influence of big money. He said, “we have to change the system to reflect our better selves.”
Obama said gerrymandering and big money influence must change, but he said nothing about the key part of the whole political system — political parties. As you point out in this article, a big part of the system that needs to be changed are the political parties. What we see in the MCDP is consistent with what is happening in the Democratic party in the state as a whole, and, evidently, in the nation as a whole. David Pepper was selected chair of the ODP state party organization, supposedly to represent and lead the 1.3 million Democrats who regularly vote in Democratic primaries. Pepper was chosen by an in-crowd of only 148 voting members. Only 66 members of this ruling group are chosen by vote (a man and women from each of the 33 senatorial districts), 82 members are appointed. Pepper seems a well-meaning man, but since he was chosen by such a small unrepresentative group and since he has done nothing, at least that I’m aware of, to make the ODP more democratic, he has little credibility as a leader. His “listening” efforts mean little as does his providing those Dems who donate to the ODP a worthless membership card.
As political activists — Republican or Democratic — the way we “fix our politics,” the way we “change the system to reflect our better selves” is to become active in our local political parties and to work to remake the parties so they are worthy of our democracy. If we have any hope of transforming the MCDP, we have a big challenge to inform and engage Democrats in Montgomery County. In 2014, only about 100 of the 360 precincts in the county elected a delegate to the Reorganization Meeting.
This is why I want to see a Donald Trump vs. Bernie Sanders Presidential race so both Parties have to explain to voters what their value is….
#1: ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL
#2: The less you watch your officials, the easier it is for them to ignore you.
Combining 1+2, you can easily see why situations like DE describe have become commonplace in US city governance. They don’t care what we think, because we don’t even tell them what we want, because we spend 99% of our collective attention reading/thinking/arguing about national horseraces, and probably 90% of it alone on just the Presidency. Which is important, but nowhere near as impactful to any individual citizen than his own city’s governance.
There is no difference between the 2 party system;only an illusion to get all of us fighting with one another. It is now a norm for a 2 in 1 party system. Please do not think for a moment that it is not true just read from this site and blog and this just did not happen overnight. It worked it’s way in brainwashing us and coupled with the fact of the lowest turnout in election history as well as the rigged election process plus the injustices makes all of this even more troubling as this puts the republic at great risk.
I suggest anyone wanting to understand a little better here is some education; here is a link that could clear the waters a bit. link:
There is plenty of proof written, research conducted, and input of discussion here on these threads and blog to see the writing on the wall.
It is going to take a lot to fill those seats; a lot more to get individuals engaged to do this in the first place. Can it be too,little too late?
There are numerous questions needing asked; what do you think?
Rules to always observe when dealing with Montgomery County Politicians.
Rule #1-The politician is not your friend.
Rule #2-If the politician starts to get friendly, see rule number 1.
Rhine was re-appointed, after she was made to pledge her undying allegiance to whomever the “screening committee” selects in the future.
Turns out, Willis Blackshear was the moving force behind this attack- and he wanted to put former Dayton Mayor Clay Dixon in the seat. Clay declined, out of his allegiance to Rhine.
I spoke up that I found the whole thing distasteful- that Dems should work to elect Dems- not just the anointed ones. Apparently, I hit some serious nerves- because AFSCME head- Marcia Knox got up and bitched me out. Channel 22/45 was there- but- I don’t think they knew what to make of it. It took a few people to calm Marcia down and usher her out of the building before she went full postal on me.
As I left- a few of the people in the back- thanked me for speaking up for what is right.
Those in power definitely do not appreciate their minions falling out of line, especially when TV cameras are rolling.
Did the footage make it on the news or on their website?
I don’t watch the local bozo broadcast- the only way I know if someone tells me they saw me. I didn’t hear anything- so I assume, no.