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Whaley attacks from the gutter with push polling

Last week a citizen got a survey call from a Michigan number that rings back to Mountain West Research Center www.mwrcenter.com [1]

At the end of the survey, the survey caller identified herself as calling from Survey Sampling International http://www.surveysampling.com [2]

The survey began with questions about the local upcoming election- and began with reasons you might choose not to vote for Nan Whaley. The citizen played along and answered as he was asked about the fact that Nan has never had a real job and some other questions. Then as she started to ask about reasons not to vote for Gary Leitzell, he said “hold on” grabbed his tablet and started recording.

After giving reasons not to vote for Gary and asking the citizen to rate them, the survey went on to why not to vote for A.J. Wagner, then ended with reasons to vote for Nan. It’s a pretty good guess that Nan and her crack political brain trust came up with this plan, after all, most of them were also behind Rhine McLin’s last campaign for mayor.

Because the citizen doesn’t want to be identified, he cut his answers out of the recording- and then supplied it to me. I’ve attempted to transcribe it as best I can. It didn’t help that the survey taker can barely read at a 10th grade level, her stumbling over “canon fodder” is almost funny.

Obviously, this was done soon after I posted about “How much is a Dayton City Commissioner overpaid” [3] as Gary’s response is worked into the question. I’m pretty sure Gary had his tongue firmly in his cheek when he said: “If the people want to pay me $90,000 so my wife can quit work and be a stay at home mom and full time educator I could handle it! Even if I had to print all those proclamations and type out the marriage certificates myself!” [4](please see the rest of the comment where he compares his budget to our last “full-time mayor”)

This type of suggestive polling is called “push polling” [5]– where the intent isn’t as much to do a real survey but to plant disinformation in the voter’s mind.

But, I’ll let you judge for yourself, here is the transcript as best as I can make it- and the mp3 file is below.

Ok Leitzell once said quote, “I am not racist, I am prejudiced”.

So Leitzell used the ethnic slur to refer to Asians and said black history was not real history and he also compared people living in government-subsidized housing to animals and said it was amazing that an African American would be able to set up a successful business in Dayton without government help.

Very convincing, somewhat convincing, not too convincing, or not at all convincining.

Leitzell should be fighting to create new Dayton jobs but a committee Leitzell formed to help create new Dayton jobs dissolved after just one year because Leitzell skipped so many meetings.

We need a mayor working full time to move Dayton forward but Leitzell took an entire month off to renovate his home and even wrote about a project on his personal blog.

Leitzell Recently commented on a blog that he wants to raise his pay as mayor to $90,000 a year.

Leitzell is not fighting to improve Dayton’s Public Schools and says Leitzell has attacked some students calling them quote “too stupid for the military” unquote and saying they were even, not even good enough to be quote  cannon “fooder” (sic) fodder, or something, for the um, army.

And Leitzell said he would never send his own daughter to Dayton Public School because she would get bored.

Crime is a serious problem that Leitzell actually said not all murders should be treated equally and Leitzell said the only reason Dayton families are concerned with crime is because the media quote “hypes homicides.

And um we’re just about done thank you now

I’m going to read you some reasons people have given us to vote against A.J. Wagner for mayor. After each thing tell me whether you think it is very convincing, somewhat convincing, not, not too convincing or not at all convincing.

Um, Do you, as a reason to vote against A.J. Wagner. If you are not sure about a particular item just say something on the box.

The state bar association gave Wagner the worst rating of a judge rating, rated in Ohio in, um, 2006.

Wagner’s court was responsible for losing an evidence envelope containing 400 dollars collected during a drug raid and Wagner even sentenced a murdered, murderer convict, convicted of beating a man to death, to just ten years in prison, less than half the usual 25 years.

That Wagner approved $300,000 in bonuses for county sheriff and his staff even after the county commission passed the resolution for him to give up some of his Wagner even gave his own staff bonuses that same year.

Wagner is more interested in being a politician than a public servant, public servant, over the last 20 years Wagner has served as a paid political operative and campaigned for five different taxpayer funded jobs.

Wagner even retired with his government job so he could collect his taxpayer funded pension. Now he’s running for mayor so he can collect another 45,000 dollars of taxpayer money on top of his (?)

Just in the last few yeas.., uh, just in the last few weeks Wagner has been campaigning on raising salaries for the mayor and city commission.

Wagner put campaign donors with special interests first. As auditor Wagner gave a millia… multi million dollar government contract to a company that donated ?bucks? to his campaign and Wagner was the guest of honor at a private dinner at a private Dayton philharmonic pops concert paid for by a lobbyist seeking millions in government spending.

Eh, ah, got another one

And now I am going to give you some reasons people have given to vote for Nan Whaley for mayor. After each brief tell me whether you think it is very convincing, somewhat convincing, not too convincing or not at all convincing.

Whaley led the fight against $3 million in cuts to Dayton’s already struggling schools. Preventing teachers from being fired, prospects from going up, stopping sports from being cut.

Whaley also wants to improve our schools, by holding them accountable for kindergarten readiness, 3rd grade reading proficiency and preparedness for college.

Nan Whaley has fought to keep jobs in Dayton. Whaley worked with city leaders and executives together to keep Caresource in Downtown Dayton and Whaley put efforts to bring GE Aviation and the NCAA tournament to Dayton, creating hundreds of jobs and generating millions of local businesses, for local business

Nan Whaley is the only candidate for mayor endorsed by the Democratic Party and Dayton Firefighters and other labor groups have also endorsed Whaley because she brings people together and fights for Dayton families.

Whaley is working to keep guns off the street and out of dangerous hands.

Whaley will fight to require background checks on every gun purchase to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from having access to guns.

Whaley says government needs to do more with less during tough economic times, that’s why Whaley voted to reduce her pay and hasn’t expected a pay raise in her, in the last 5 years as commissioner.

Survey Sampling International please answer these demographic questions for clarification purposes only, and do you think of yourself as a Democrat or a Republican or an independent

And what is the highest level of education that you have had the opportunity to complete?

In your home do you have cable television, satellite or direct TV just regular broadcast television or no television.


If this is the way Whaley plans to get elected, it doesn’t say much for her confidence in her own “ideas.” I’d been meaning to write a post about her campaign email from Jan 14 2013:

I am asking for your input.

  • What rational and realistic ideas do you have to create jobs?
  • How can we leverage our current assets?
  • How can we support creative collaboration within our city?

Please send your thoughts and constructive criticism to me at [email protected] by January 25th.

This far into her well funded campaign and she’s more interested in how to take down her opposition than she is in how to solve our problems. Never mind that she has to ask for help on coming up with “rational” ideas.

If I was a labor organization that had endorsed someone who engages in this kind of political slander, I’d consider withdrawing my endorsement. If this is an example of why to vote for “Whaley because she brings people together and fights for Dayton families” I think I’ll pass.


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed [6]! If you wish to support this blog and independent journalism in Dayton, consider donating [7]. All of the effort that goes into writing posts and creating videos comes directly out of my pocket, so any amount helps!
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Canon fodder?  Isn’t that what Johann Sebatian Bach had for breakfast?

bryan suddith

Great article..and nice expose on the dirty politics that is push polling.
With that said. This crappy maneuver by Nan and your bright spotlight upon it does nothing to change the race for Dayton’s next mayor.

John Ise

This is why people HATE politics.  If I were AJ Wagner and the Mayor (invite Nan Whaley & Commission canidadtes as well), I’d hold a joint press conference to denounce ad, pledge positive campaigning with no negative ads.  Until people start paying price for this politicing, it’ll only continue.  Make virture valuable. 

Gary Leitzell

Had they both accepted my $10,000 challenge we would have had national publicity and it would have all been positive. We could have attracted people to Dayton.


Did you ever think that the brain trust didn’t want Rhine reelected and didn’t put the money or effort in the race. The republicans are crying foul over this but WISH they had the funds to do the polling. The fact is the R’s can’t win a race or field a decent candidate. Money talks and losers walk in political races, its sad but true. The general public does not care and will vote for the candidate that has the best commercial. 


Which of the statements in the push poll were false? Were any true?

Bryan Suddith

T-Bone is right.  Mostly. 

Teresa W

This, in a nutshell, is why I’ll vote for Gary. I’m so tired of the political games – they make my brain hurt, and my brain isn’t that resilient.


I do not support push polls, nor do I think that they have any useful place in our political dialogue. However, there is no evidence to suggest that this push poll was actually funded by or had the support of Nan Whaley. Any organization can hire out for a push poll– therefore it is logical to conclude that there is a large pool of organizations from which this push poll could have come. Organizations affiliated with Whaley, or organizations that have a stake in the election, like business associations that favor Nan Whaley and AJ Wagner over the incumbent, Democratic party officials–even Republican Party officials do not openly support Leitzell.
To perpetuate that idea that this is fostered by the Whaley campaign with absolutely NO DIRECT EVIDENCE is just as manipulative as the push poll itself. Esrati, this is a blog and it is clear that you have a pro-Leitzell bent. As I type this, Leitzell has moved against Whaley, calling her a “poor role model, spreading hatred and lies.” Nothing in the push poll is a direct lie, as far as i see it. Leitzell makes a habit of putting his foot in his mouth on a regular basis. Why should we be surprised that ANY campaign organization would use his often poorly chosen words against him?


Leitzell has released his rebuttal on nothing more than a hunch, however substantiated, but Esrati. I think that is a foolish political move and of as equally questionable judgment as the original push poll.

Gary Leitzell

Hilary, here is the source of the first quote. This was from an article back in 2007 or 2008 and used against me in the last election.
Someone has been waiting a long time to come at me with this a second time.
David and I personally know the citizen who recorded this last Thursday evening. He is very reliable.


Just because you trust the citizen who made the recording doesn’t change the fact that we do not know where the push poll came from or who paid for it! I recall the quotes from the previous election, and I am in no way saying that the push poll is honest. I’m saying that we don’t know where it came from. I have talked to both AJ and Nan extensively this year–and this doesn’t seem to be a politically advantageous move for either. And I hate this tin-foil hat conspiracy theory stuff that is going on. Establishment doesn’t necessarily equate to evil. It can be evil, but it is not always evil.

Gary Leitzell

I can absolutely assure you that it did not come from me. I won’t be raising money until I know I am on the ballot and I have the least amount to raise because I have a budget and a spending limit. Check it out at http://hadenoughofpolitics.com 


You can’t be a player if you don’t win! That’s why Nan is going to fight to win, she might not have the best ideas but she knows how to win! She has the endorsement, which is big. The faithful D’s will support her and D’s out number R’s 2 to 1 in the city. She will be well funded and has the D’s GOTV( get out the vote) machine. All takes money and grass roots organization. I agree with 80%  of what you say and would enjoy watching city commission meetings if you got elected. Knocking on 500 doors is the tip of the ice burg, 5,000 would be a good start. I bet Nan will hit 10,000 with her army. And be at every polling location on election day and have lit drops and have TV, etc. Its noble to cap your campaign contributions but don’t expect to compete then. Compare it to Chicago Black Hawks  against your hockey team.

Donald Phillips

Dayton’s “Nouveau Directoire” have no interest in denying the levity of their deceit, at least not to “the people”. They have good intentions; so what more do you want? Ingrates! Have patience! The North Korean Workers’ Paradise is a work in progress!


David, I’ll say right up-front that I support Gary in the mayoral race. That said….
“someone paid for it. Since the only candidates with money are Nan and AJ- it would come down to them”
Not true. Look at the last presidential election – plenty of ads were run by groups supposedly on their own that bashed and bashed one of the candidates (both candidates were attacked). 
“…there is no question of where this came from. If it isn’t Nan- I’ll be happy to make corrections.”
Accuse first, investigate next, then apologize / correct ? Hmmm….
“I’m not so sure Whaley is that well loved”
As of today, it’s not whether she’s ‘loved’ or not, I assure you that most residents don’t even know who she is. She, and the Democratic Party, will spend a shitload of money to make sure everyone gets to know her though !


It does seem irresponsible to simply put this out there without any evidence linking the call to Whaley. You rely on faulty logic like “Who else could it be?” and “Let a journalist sort this out.” As you know campaign finance is very complex these days and it’s entirely possible that someone paid for this without the candidates’ consent. You’ve already done certain damage by making the claim, even if it turns out to be false. As a blogger with an audience, you do have responsibility not to say whatever you want without support.
If Whaley was going to run a negative campaign–and maybe she will–why would this be the first move? It’s odd and unprofessional, which is at least not the impression I have of her whatever her politics may be.
If we’re supposed to go on assertions like “who else could it be” and “trust me, I’m running against her,” it doesn’t instill confidence in the messenger. Both yourself and the Mayor have interests invested here.
I’d also like to hear more about the “out of context” remarks besides the one blog post the Mayor linked to. Where would they have gotten the disparaging remarks about public housing or other racial claims?


Hilary are you kidding? First you say that there is no way Nan can be behind it, then you say that it would be okay in any event because nothing said is a lie, then you say you don’t like push polls anyway, then you say that the victim of this trash (our sitting Mayor) is a conspiracy theorist for pointing out who was behind it. You should have more intellectual honesty than this. If the newspaper ran headlines tomorrow pointing out that all the shootings of this past week have occurred on one side of town and by one group of folks all you ‘educated’ Dems would cry racism. But you play dumb when Gary’s words are chopped up and you claim that ‘nothing said was technically false’.
I don’t care about the silly phone calls, I know all three candidates personally and all can carry their own water. I sure wish Nan had real world experience other than being elected. She is the same today as she was when she started out at UD with the College Dems.


For those who care….
Esrati’s post this past summer, in regards to the Side Bar closing….
“@Hall- please note, I don’t just post things “I’ve heard”- I do check and verify with multiple sources if it’s damning. The biggest problem is when I trust the Dayton Daily news verbatim. They get things wrong or partially right many times.
I do try to follow the rules of journalism- to check and verify. I’ve not been sued, or even threatened with a lawsuit yet- knock on wood. Also note, that public officials are open to a different standard than private citizens.”

Pizzabill (Bill Daniels)

If your hockey team gets to play the Chicago Blackhawks, I want to play in goal.

Gary Leitzell

I think she has lost the support of thousands in order to gain the support of hundreds. That is a really bad return on investment. If she had only accepted the $10,000 challenge she would have been a national celebrity promoting the city instead of bringing it down. When will the party learn?


[…] example, in today’s article about Nan Whaley’s push poll, which Dayton first learned about on Esrati.com, there is no link or mention of this site. The story does have a link to Gary’s site (note […]


People should comment about this tactic on Nan’s Facebook page. Of course, we know it won’t stay up long, but it could be fun…. ;-)

Ryan Simon

I’m a “faithful D” and I recieved this call.  I missed the first one and they called back twice before reaching me.  The call had 3 blocks of positive statements about each candidate.  Then two blocks about why “voters didn’t want to vote for ” Leitzell and Wagner.  Then came a block about why voters wanted Nan Whaley.  When I pointed out the discrepancy to the callr he denied it and then asked a third block about Whaley.  At the end it asked who I was leaningtotoward.  I said against whoever commissioned that call.  He hung up.

Ryan Simon

I was more than a little insulted that someone would have such a low opinion of my intelligence that  I might be swayed or tricked by a push poll.

Donald Phillips

Furthermore! Mr. Esrati wore out his favorite pair of Hush Puppies while in pursuit of petition signers. He had to wrap his feet in rags. Such heroism and glory! Your mayor, mind you, has lost $637.13 worth of toy soldier-painting income in deference to city business.  And you have the ingratitude to deny him $90,000 per anum! Shame of you! 


“The Whaley campaign denies the allegation calling the survey a legitimate “scientific poll” collecting data on the attitudes and opinions of 400 likely voters.” 
Good God. Her utter contempt for our collective intelligence is reason enough to never vote for her, on top of the sleazy poll itself. Amateur hour dirty tricks from a pathetic, contemptible figure.


Already I’ve had three campaigner knocking on my door for Nan.  She’s got an army out there already.  Why would anyone be so hell bent for a part-time job?  Is the city going to finally get rid of the failed city commission system?


“I was more than a little insulted that someone would have such a low opinion of my intelligence that  I might be swayed or tricked by a push poll.”
Dayton politics is minor league and most no one gives a rat’s ash. What percentage of Daytonians really care who is in local office? I will bet it is WAY LESS than 10%. Dayton has proven itself to be a pain in the ass to anyone who wants to start a business or expand a business, unless you know someone who is “important,” regardless their political affliciation.
Well Barry Our President “swayed or tricked” several Americans with BS for two election, so this formula works on a lot of people.
Where are all the jobs?
Where is the reduced spending?
Taxes have been increased for almost everyone, not just the rich. But in his defense most every politician has stretched the truth/flat out lied to get what they want, not just Barry. Unreal how guilt has played into the shaping of this country.


Dem HQ wants to get the Mayors office back. That’s what they do, win elections. It also helps with other races on the horizon, judges, sheriff. etc. They can also recruit worker bees and fill the jobs at the court house and admen building. I was mayor now I want to be Governor! Ego might have something to do with it.

Patrick Ernst

I am not sure what the uproar is here regarding Nan Whaley’s campaigning techniques. It wasn’t that long ago when she and her cronies bullied people by pushing her City Commission election garbage in the face of everybody at a City sponsored event. It is very clear that she aligns herself with the ideology of the DNC and their lies and mud slinging.
Not that there was any doubt as to me voting for Gary in November, but I will now definitely use a dirty Democratic Primary ballot and vote for A.J., the most intelligent Democrat on the ticket (not that it would take much!).
Mr. Esrati, you will continue to have my vote as long as you continue to expose the fiscal malfeasance perpetrated by the majority party on the Dayton City Commission. 


[…] asked the first question from the audience- and directed it to Nan. No, it wasn’t about the push poll, because it’s not good form to embarrass the young lady in front of a big audience, so I […]