What will the Democratic party think of next? It’s not as good as the Dayton Process.

The Montgomery County Democratic Party (you know the one that forgets to run a candidate for Congress) is already putting word on the street that they have a “super candidate” a “political heavyweight” ready to run in four years to “beat Gary.”


Nevermind that they need to have a candidate to fill Dean Lovelace’s seat when he keeps missing meetings, or one for Matt Joseph when he gets that State Department job he’s dreaming of. How about having enough candidates to force a primary in two years- and let the voters decide? Last time Matt and Dean ran they were unopposed if memory serves right.

And who is this “super duper candidate” that they have in the wings? My guess is Judge AJ Wagner. It’s really too bad that he didn’t run this time to force a primary, where we would have seen Rhine knocked out early.

The reality is, in four years the Montgomery County Democratic Party won’t have any power left in the commission elections. The days of raising $127K plus to lose to an unknown are over. There are quite a few people wondering what they got for their money they donated to Rhine’s campaign right now.

In fact, their days of counting on the Get Out The Vote in West Dayton to deliver their slate will be over. We’re going to reinvent the way we elect people in Dayton, much the way we invented the City Manager form of Government. Introducing:

The Dayton Process

I am organizing the next group of candidates to run in two years. They will work together to make sure they all turn in valid petitions with at least 500 notarized signatures. They will each keep a blog with at least one post per week on their position on city issues. They will each raise a fixed amount of money in small donations from a wide donor base to pay for a single mail piece that will be delivered to every registered voters home in Dayton with equal space for each candidate. They will participate in several organized debates which will be broadcast on public access, available on YouTube and the public will be invited. There will be no yard signs, tv spots, radio ads, print ads, door hangers or any of the other “noise” that goes with our typical election process.

The candidates will meet at least monthly to learn about the various parts of the city charter, the organizational structure of Dayton, to discuss issues like regionalism, urban planning, sustainable strategies, best practices in other cities. The meetings will involve thought leaders in the community, elected representatives who support this process and experts in fields as diverse as criminal justice to green technology. Think of it as an apprenticeship for public leadership.

When these candidates show up on the ticket, they should have already learned about all the neighborhoods in Dayton, met with neighborhood leaders, built a collective database of voter data and established relationships around the city. There will be no unknowns running for office. Yes, the primary process will eliminate at least several of them from the actual election, but, they will then be the cadre for the next batch.

Of course, the incumbents will be invited to participate, but they too, must play by the same rules- no additional money or marketing. If they choose not to join in, they will be running against not just a well prepared, extremely bright, prepared group of candidates- they may seem out of place when going begging for thousands of dollars to promote their candidacy in the outmoded way.

Unless they have a great set of accomplishments, voters will see no reason to return them to the ballot after the primary. The stranglehold on the ballot will be forever broken.

Sure, this sounds a bit idealistic, and there may be candidates who decide they want to drop out of this programmed approach, but, since all meetings will be openly documented, voters will already have a good sense of the group dynamic and who the best leaders are for the job.

I’ve already mentioned some of the people I hope to have on the ballot in 2011, if you are interested in participating in this program, please let me know.

Last Tuesday we proved that underdogs can win. Now, we have to make sure there are plenty of dogs in the race so that the voters feel that they really have a choice and a voice.

I believe Gary Leitzell was an eminently better choice for the next four years than Rhine McLin. I expect he’ll support this initiative. As to those of you who question his qualifications, and think that he’s beatable in four years- let me remind you- before Rhine McLin ascended to her daddy’s House seat, she had less experience in leadership that Gary, and she was consider unbeatable this year by her last opponent, David Bohardt.

Times change, imagine that.

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29 Responses

  1. Will Brooks November 7, 2009 / 9:19 pm
    Well, we need to chat soon. Hopefully we can meet up next week.
  2. truddick November 8, 2009 / 7:33 am
    You characterize yard signs and door hangers as “noise”–does that also mean you’re swearing off sidewalk chalk stencils?
  3. David Esrati November 8, 2009 / 7:38 am

    @Truddick- other than to possibly promote the aggregator site for the candidates personal blogs- yep.

    Anything that doesn’t inform at depth- goes bye-bye.

    But, you know the nice thing- I didn’t have to go pick up a single chalk stencil- or worry about it being blown over or stolen. Only risk was it might have rained election day.

  4. David Lauri November 8, 2009 / 10:23 am
    Thanks for doing this, David.  I don’t want to run for office, but I’ll certainly contribute to this effort.  More choices (even if it’s candidates saying rather Christianist things) are better for the city than politicians running unopposed.
  5. John A Smith November 8, 2009 / 7:47 pm
    Great Idea setting up the Dayton Process. The electorate will have learned what the candidates in the Process are proposing rather that the usual hidden agenda that the “PARTY” has proposed behind closed doors. Keep up the good work David.
  6. Dan November 10, 2009 / 1:15 am
    I was glancing through the Democratic Party’s website and saw the bit on ward leaders.  The Tea Partiers are trying to take over the GOP through the Precinct Captains, maybe we could take over the Montgomery County Democratic Party the same way!  Also 100% onboard with the voter database, I have some ideas on how to identify likely voters/volunteers.
  7. David Esrati November 10, 2009 / 6:22 am


    There were a group of us who believed we could take over the MCDP at one time- however, there are 535 precincts- and although a lot of them are empty- it’s a lot of seats to fill.

    I’m kind of surprised to see you posting here- since your name was attached to the registration of the No Gary No smear site. Also- the only thing I could find on the MCDP site that mentions the Precinct Captains is their Constitution: http://www.montgomerydems.org/about/constitution.asp

    I don’t see any active recruitment for captains- even though they are very short on them. Am I missing something?

  8. Ryan November 10, 2009 / 7:30 am
    The better question is….What if Gary turns out to be a great mayor.  Why then would any party (Republican or Democrat) want to remove or unseat him?  We all know that both parties are more interested in the politics rather than the city that their political games affect.  I applaud Gary for running as an Independent.
  9. ThomasI November 10, 2009 / 9:49 am
    I will totally run for office. Drop me a line.
  10. jstults November 10, 2009 / 12:16 pm
    Isn’t the power of the internet that it is decentralized and accessible (low barriers to entry).  Why is there a need for a centralized “screening” site and rules for fundraising?  That seems like it is using modern tools to prop up old style party politics.  The market and the voters already provide the rules: grassroots and cheap sites on the internet work. Maybe I’m missing something?
    @Ryan: I’ll second that, more Independents are what we need.
    Independent candidates require you to engage your brain to evaluate them, you can’t be lazy and let a party (or a primary process) evaluate them for you.
  11. Ambrose November 10, 2009 / 12:25 pm
    @ David Esrati
    I’m going to going to go out on a limb here and guess that the Dan you’re referring to isn’t the same Dan that just posted above.  Call me crazy, but I’m going to wager that there might be more than one Dan in the world with internet access and capable of posting.  Next time, maybe ask for social security numbers (sarcasm, don’t really do it).  It may help in your conspiracy theory to identify all political connections for Dayton and Montgomery County employees.  Maybe this Dan was Miami Dolphins great and Nutrisystem spokesperson Dan Marino?  I hear he lost 22 lbs. and more importantly he’s been able to keep it off too.  Or I bet it was Hawaii Democratic Senator Dan Inouye?  As the 3rd oldest US senator I’m sure he reads your blog to start his morning off everyday and btw he’s a war hero as well.  Wow, a Hall of Fame QB or maybe  a long serving American Senator to possibly count as one of you readers.  Way to go!
  12. Hall November 10, 2009 / 1:00 pm
    Same name ? I presume you mean e-mail address ? We (users) can’t see the e-mail address used, only the “name”. Don’t tell us he used the same ! :-)
  13. David Esrati November 10, 2009 / 2:00 pm

    @Hall- it is what it is. And just because his name shows up on the site registration- doesn’t mean he’s responsible for what went on the site.

  14. Will Brooks November 10, 2009 / 2:19 pm
    @David. He may not be responsible for the content but IMO he was in agreement with the sites intent as a smear site from the domain name nogaryno.com. Personally, I would not have registered a site titled norhineno.com simply because I believe in relevant issues and not character assassination. As much as I disagree with Mayor McLin I would have to anticipate that a site called norhineno.com would have no good thing to say about her. With that said, I hold nothing against him and would welcome involvement from anyone interested in making Dayton a better place instead of promoting their political party. Not sure if he fits the bill or not but I am willing to assume the best of him until I know otherwise.
  15. Hall November 10, 2009 / 3:11 pm
    Gary’s blog pointed to different postings that this “Dan” guy has made and it’s safe to say, he’s not a quiet, un-opinionated person ! He may have some input with the content there.
  16. Will Brooks November 10, 2009 / 4:13 pm
    I posted this on a day where all my pre-election frustrations came to a head and I let go of them as I typed my rant. Guess this is what effect smear sites and negative campaigning can have on John Q. Voter. Pay attention Dan, I am sure this wasn’t your intent.

    That mailing is just slanderous. In light of this mailing, I enjoyed seeing the distress on McLin’s pathetic mug tonight on the news. She seemed like she was VERY upset and I think it’s hilarious that she had to run and hide for almost 24 hours before going public. I bet she tied one on last night that exceeded my Leitzell election party celebration scotchs mega fold. I also loved the video where she gave her acceptance speech. Wait till all the results are in next time! You made a perfect ass of yourself, exposing just how smug you and your ilk really are. Good riddance ex-mayor (redacted)!
    I only pray that someone flushes the toilet over at the democratic party to clear out all the turds floating around the bowl over there. Daniel Klco, Mark Owens being the chief turds in my book. Oh, and Democrapic party….THANKS FOR THE NAME RECOGNITION, WE COULD NOT HAVE WON WITHOUT YOU!! morons.
    Sorry if I am a little caustic on this issue..lol


  17. Dan December 21, 2009 / 7:31 pm
    David is correct, the Dan in the comment is one in the same as the person who registered the nogaryno.com website.  I would however note, that I did not author or approve of a single word written on the website.   I am simply a technical guy who volunteered to help out the MCDP and was dumb enough to put in his own name as the technical contact.   To be completely honest, at the time I registered the domain, I had never heard of Gary Leitzel or his website.  I hope this clears the air somewhat.
    I haven’t really appreciated the way my name has been used as a scapegoat over the last couple months, but given the nature of politics I can hardly say I am surprised.   What upsets me the most is that you, David Esrati, chose to publicly flog and slander me without even bothering to contact me to get my side of the story.
  18. David Esrati December 21, 2009 / 7:37 pm

    @Dan (Klco) I wouldn’t call the treatment you got on this site a flogging or slandering. I actually defended you as probably not the author. As to getting your side- these forums have always been open- and you are perfectly capable of defending yourself- or responding (which was more than what was possible on the nogaryno site you set up).

    Now that the precincts have been redrawn- there may be hope for a retaking of the democratic party- time will tell. Welcome to the open side of discussing things political in Dayton.

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