Why should you support Gary Leitzell?

We’ve yet to see a real debate between the candidates for Mayor. However, as someone who has watched them go through their paces, night after night, the difference becomes clear: one is a professional politician going through her coached responses (heartfelt as they may be) and the other is someone with a passion for innovating. They have traveled very different paths through life, one very safe- and the other, more carefree.

But, the thing that becomes increasingly clear- is that one is able to change course, to adapt, to think on his feet and take chances. His well measured response to the Dayton Daily News endorsement of the status-quo is an indication of his superior leadership skills- read the whole text on Gary Leitzell’s site, but here is my favorite part:

The incumbent mayor has 20 years of political experience and because of this, she is better qualified to lead the city? Let me state this. You can have all the experience in the world. It does not mean that you are good at your “job.” After all, experience is just a term we give to our mistakes. If quality of one’s work sets a standard for experience, I excel. I have the cumulative experience of a rich and rewarding life over the last 20 years. Not one year of political experience 20 times. How Dayton is marketed by our “leader in tough times” is clearly reflected in how she markets herself. Look around you and count the number of green/white/black signs you see on vacant lots or abandoned properties. Quality marketing? After November 3rd I hope the DDN is willing to hire the incumbent mayor to market their paper for 4 years since they feel she is the “Best” choice in this election and my feeling is that she will need a job.

via Dayton Mayor: Setting the record straight. Gary Leitzell responds to the DDN editorial endorsement..

Should Gary lose, and I win (both long shots by standard political standards) I would have no problems working with Mayor McLin. At one time, we were much closer friends.

I hope to have video from 2 candidates nights up by end of today (video compression for YouTube can be very quirky on long videos). We have another candidates’ night tonight: Linden Heights Community Council Candidates Night

I have no right to tell you who to vote for- but, I believe it is my mission in life to help keep you better informed, and thinking.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed! If you wish to support this blog and independent journalism in Dayton, consider donating. 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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45 Comments on "Why should you support Gary Leitzell?"

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Wesley Wellbilly

(editors note- a link to an anti-Rhine McLin Youtube spot was posted here- feel free to go search YouTube- but, it won’t be promoted here.)


You have no right to tell me who to vote for?  I thought that was our right as Americans.  Again, David–a successful candidate edits!

And be aware that I am sick to death of innovation.  As Stuart Brand noted in his architectural tome How Buildings Learn, “Innovation means throwing away what works.”
I’m becoming quite fond of that Shredded Wheat commercial that claims to put the “no” in innovation.
I believe I understand problem-solving processes better than the average non-PhD, and there certainly is a time and a place for untrammelled creativity and freewheeling.  But those times are early in the process of formulating strategies, and those places are in closed work sessions where the participants know it’s brainstorming.  If you advance “I’m going to innovate” and toss out untested ideas as policy, you do not project the kind of stable image that voters want.

Gary Staiger
Gary Staiger

I’ve refrained from the debate about the mayoral race so far. but  Gary Leitzel’s endorsement by the party of NO, otherwise known as the republican party, changes things. The GOP in Montgomery Co does not endorse progressives [see Turner, Michael].  That Mr Leitzel has accepted their endorsement is very troubling to me. “Independent” voters swing form both sides of the spectrum, left to right, right to left etc. An endorsement from the Party of NO has to be an indication that they see him as being on the right side of the political spectrum .
A second point involves his misguided idea of bringing the Rolling Stones to Dayton [for 40K…] to helpsolve our fiscal problems.  I have more than a little experience promoting bands, and it is highly  unlikely that you could finance the STAGE PRODUCTION for the Stone with $40,000, much less hire the band for that ridiculous sum. Doesn’t say much for a vision to solve our financial difficulties.

Gary Staiger
Gary Staiger

No doubt South Park has improved over the last decade, from his and a lot other people efforts, but I’m not sure that translates to a larger scale. Plus, as the DDN’s Gottleib column pointed out, admiring Thatcher and Reagan is not exactly emblematic of a progressive political outlook. We surely don’t need another Micheal Turner  clone as Mayor.

Gary Staiger
Gary Staiger

And, BTW, what kind of “guidance” has the local party of No offered?


Gary Staiger, Leitzell is an independent, not a Republican. You’re reading way more into it than there is. Did Leitzell ask them for endorsement ? I don’t think he did…. They can simply use this to say they tried and as David points out, their level of trying may amount to nothing more than a press release. Will they toot their horn louder when Gary wins ? Bet they will !

Gary Staiger
Gary Staiger

I don’t know Mr Leitzel,  so I’ll take your word on ego  issues, and  in fact,  I think a healthy ego is a likely a prerequisite for a job like that of mayor. On the other hand, citing Thatcher and Reagan as politicians he admires is far more problematic. This is not just a window into personal political  views, it is reflective of a world view that I find to be wrong headed and abhorrent. Supply side economics, imperialist views of the world order, the suppression of civil liberties, neo con views of government,  all these are part an parcel of the right wing world view espoused by Thatcher and Reagan. How many of these views are shared by Gary Leitzel??

Gary Leitzell

If anyone has any questions about the Republican endorsement, I covered that months ago on my mayors blog at http://www.daytonmayor.blogspot.com where I explain exactly what I was thinking at the time. I turned in my financial statements this morning and there is a line item at the end that shows exactly how much money I received from the Republicans. I’m interested in seeing what the DDNs take on it will be.
While you are there, if you read the post titled, “Putting a Perspective on Things” it explains the whole Rolling Stones thing and I wasn’t the one who put a price tag on it. Matt Joseph did and his idea was $30,000. That was told to the reporter but it was attributed to me. If you know the big picture and the entire story where the idea came from it will alter the perspective that was presented to you.
The focus was on ways to get 30,000 people from six states to come to Dayton to spend money HERE. I’m interested in  ideas from anyone. Right now everyone wants to criticize my idea while presenting none of their own.

Gary Staiger
Gary Staiger

Fine, the Stones issue is off the table. Distortions do happenl
On the other hand, citing Thatcher and Reagan as politicians you admire is still ON the table.
Neither David nor Mr Leitzel have addressed this salient point: If you cite Thatcher and Reagan as people you admire it certainly begs the question about what do you admire about them.
They were both virulently anti-trade union, held clearly imperialistic views of how the world should be run [divided twixt the UK and the  US],  believed in the discredited theory of supply side economics, and as an article in the Nation Magazine noted: ” [Reagan] redirected tens of billions of dollars away from domestic needs to build up the largest nuclear arsenel on the planet, ran up record deficits, saw members of his Administration investigated and indicted at a staggering rate and, himself, came close to being impeached for allowing aides to create a shadow government that peddled weapons to sworn enemies of the United States and used the profits to fund illegal wars in Central America.”[ http://www.thenation.com/blogs/thebeat/1491/reagan_s_politics_of_passion%5D Additionally both were “free Market” de-regulators par ecxellance…and you can see where that has gotten us : to the point where Alan Greenspan has said “I was wrong” about deregulation of the marketplace.
I full well recognize that the Dayton Mayor’s office does not have to deal with many of these issues. On the other hand, as we all know, it has provided a steppingstone to an office where these kinds of issues ARE decided.
So, Mr Leitzel, the question is, what exactly  is it that you so admire about these two conservative icons??

Jeff Wellbaum
Jeff Wellbaum

I can’t speak for Mr. Leitzell but I believe since he is a fiscal conservative he admires them for being fiscally conservative.

Gary Staiger
Gary Staiger

C”mon David, Unions support candidates because they reflect the unions position on issues important to Labor.That does  not translate  into “sold out”, whatever that means.
Unions support health care reform, including the public health option. Is that selling out?
Unions support the right of workers to bargain collectively, is support for that selling out?
Unions support the fight against global warming, is that selling out?
If you want to score political points on Rhine,  do it with issues that define the differences between the candidates, not with superfluous hyperbole about “selling out”.
And the question of why Mr Leitzel  admires Thatcher and Reagan remains on the table.
What time is the candidate night at St Anthony’s?

David Lauri

he admires them for being fiscally conservative
From the Congressional Budget Office website at http://www.cbo.gov/budget/data/historical.pdf:

Year    Budget deficit    National debt    President    Senate    House       
1981    -73.9 bil.    0.789.4 tril.    Reagan    Repub.    Dem.       
1982    -120.6 bil.    0.924.6 tril.    Reagan    Repub.    Dem.       
1983    -207.7 bil.    1.137 tril.    Reagan    Repub.    Dem.       
1984    -185.3 bil    1.307 tril.    Reagan    Repub.    Dem.       
1985    -221.5 bil    1.507 tril.    Reagan    Repub.    Dem.       
1986    -237.9 bil    1.741 tril.    Reagan    Repub.    Dem.       
1987    -168.4 bil    1.890 tril.    Reagan    Dem.    Dem.       
1988    -192.3 bil    2.051 tril.    Reagan    Dem.    Dem.
Wait, what?  Reagan was a fiscal conservative?  Every year he was in office the budget deficit and the national debt were higher than they’d ever been under his Democratic predecessor.  For six of the years Reagan was in office, he had a Republican Senate.  Please, give some evidence of Reagan’s fiscal conservatism.


Gary S: “Unions support candidates because they reflect the unions position on issues important to Labor”
What exactly can the mayor of any city do for unions ?

Gary Leitzell

I am not the political person everyone thinks I am. I keep saying, I am NOT a politician. I am an experienced problem solver. My answer to your question is going to be disappointing but since you continue to ask, I will offer a reply.
1) Ronald Reagan- I made a lot of money in the insurance business in the 1980s. I remember it.  Life was good. Reagan was president. Simple. Probably stupid but true.
2) I left England in 1982 at a point in my life when I was on “top of the world”. Everything was wonderful for me. I graduated college, I had a regular group of friends that I hung with. We had just won the Falkland war and many of my school friends had signed up to go. Thatcher was Prime Minister. I remember it. Once again, stupid but true.
Stop trying to get into my head people. If you don’t understand me now, you never will. My own family never understood me. I think completely differently from most people. I come up with some of the most off the wall solutions to problems but they work. Gottlieb was trying to get into my head and understand me. Unless you are an entrepreneur you will never understand me. Period. So stop trying. You will be disappointed. What you should be impressed with is that I threw Gottlieb a curve ball and he hasn’t recovered from it all these weeks later!

Gary Staiger
Gary Staiger

@Hall OMG do you not realize the city has a largely unionized workforce?
@Gary Leitzel
“1) Ronald Reagan- I made a lot of money in the insurance business in the 1980s. I remember it.  Life was good. Reagan was president. Simple. Probably stupid but true.”
That explains a lot, especially the part about making a lot of money in the insurance business.
Our country’s current fiscal crisis is directly related to issues with the delivery of and costs of health care    We are currently involved in a national debate over health care, an area of the economy largely controlled by Insurance companies. A major issue in this debate concerns a public option alternative which the Insurance companies are fiercely opposed to. This question will most directly affect our city. Are you for or against the public option?
If indeed, as someone posted, you are a fiscal conservative, how do you reconcile your admiration of President Reagan with the economic analysis of his terms in office in regards to the information David Lauri presented above?
You use the term politician as if it were a pejorative term. I prefer to think of politicians as people who seek to reconcile diverse public interests for the common good of all. Running for the Mayor’s office inescapably defines you as a politician.
It is unclear to me, an entrepreneur with nearly 30 years as a small business owner, what curve ball you threw Mr Gottlieb that I should be impressed with…

Gary Staiger
Gary Staiger

Your points about Rhine’s campaign finance’s  are quite relevant and do deserve answers.
However, the questions I’ve raised here are about your support for Gary Leitzel’s candidacy and the politics he represents, and they are not being answered.
Succinctly put, if Mr Leitzel is going to profess admiration for Thatcher and Reagan,  the relevant  question has to be about what specifically  it is that he admires, something Martin Gottleib did not pursue. This isn’t a   Supreme Court nomination where the “duck and weave”  gambit is part of the process of obfuscation. We are, after all, talking about a POLITICAL campaign with huge ramifications for the citizens of this city. Citizens deserve to know in what direction Mr Leitzel politics would lead should he be elected. This shouldn’t be  a “get” Rhine campaign; it has to be about what does Gary Leitzel mean  when he cites Thatcher and Reagan models of politicians he admires and how that reflects on HIS politics.
Answer the question.

Gary Staiger
Gary Staiger

Turner didn’t get a pass from me…his brand of politics were stinking way back then and he never received my vote, you did.
All campaign contribution deserve scrutiny including the Mayor’s. At the same time I feel strongly that voters need to know what the politics are of the people running for office…being a “regular guy” is clearly insufficient information.


Of course I’m aware that many city employees are unionized. The police and fire union “names” are obvious and I believe the public works employees are AFSCME. There are donations from the UAW, plumber and pipefitters union, building trades, etc. If city employees fall under those, my mistake. If they don’t, what benefit do they receive from the mayor ?

Gary Staiger
Gary Staiger
@HALL Dayton’s “weak mayor” form of government was established by NCR’s John  Patterson and his cronies at the turn of the last century in order to wrest control from the burgeoning populist movement of the time and place it firmly in the hands of the business class. That class retains basic control over government today, not just in Dayton, but virtually everywhere.   The only real advantage a “weak” mayor has under that system  has is a title  and a “bully pulpit”.  Unions want to have a person in that office who speaks to their needs as citizens AND  as workers, not only for that business class. We need real leaders, people who can help reconcile the differences between the competing interests of the have’s and the havenot’s [or the very little’s…] operating in a manner that does the most good for the most people, not necessarily for just  the people with the most money.   A good example , again, is as concerns health care. The National Chamber of Commerce is fiercely opposed to the concept of  a public option alternative to the insurance companies, and I would assume this is true locally.  Unions strongly support the public option and having a mayor who feels the same on this major issue is, of course to their benefit. Even as Unions are supposed to represent workers in their dealings with the companies they work for, a mayor must represent the people who elected him/her, not just the corporate interests of the business class. Flawed as it is, and I do believe that the Democratic party is flawed at many levels, Democrats by and large support the public option. Unions are part of the coalition of conflicting ideologies that makes up the Democratic party. It is therefor obvious, or should be, that they would want a person in the Mayor’s office whose ideological and philosophical perspective matches theirs. When it does they have met the needs of their members, and, often times, as with health care and the public option, of those of the general non union society as well. Which… Read more »
David Lauri

Stop trying to get into my head people.
Now that’s some campaign slogan.  Never you mind what I think about things.  Don’t try to make sense of what I say.  Just trust me and vote for me.  I can’t be any worse than the incumbent.

Gary Staiger
Gary Staiger

Technically you are correct about the Mayors [non] role in National Health care and  about Union negotiations. On the other hand I was writing about the “bully pulpit”, a platform from which a mayor may engage in the debate on a subject that has great impact on the city and its finances. it would not be the least bit difficult to make the connection between what is going on nationally regarding health care and how it affects Dayton and our economy. That would be leadership. I would further assume that the same is true regarding negotiations with unions. Who do you think gives the City Manager his marching orders? The manager is not an autonomous figure operating under his own separate plan for the city,  and,  he serves at the pleasure of the commission.
I didn’t realize that not attending candidate nights was a precondition for taking part in the mayoral race debate. Sorry for my ignorance of the rules…
I’ll ignore you use of my definition of a good Mayor in favor of asking, once again, about Mr Leitzel’s  POLITICS, a subject most clearly at the heart of  the debate in an ELECTION campaign for POLITICAL office. He likes Thatcher and Reagan. I ask, AGAIN, why? What exactly is it about the ultra conservative politics of those two that he favors? His only comment on this blog about Reagan was:
“I made a lot of money in the insurance business in the 1980s. I remember it.  Life was good. Reagan was president. Simple. Probably stupid but true.”
Is that all there is…”I made a lot of money” ??? Is that the answer of a leader?

Amy -

Go Gary Go !!!! You have the support of our family . We have seen first hand the work you have done for our neighborhood .  I have seen you on the alley clean ups in Walnut Hills , working very hard with little support of the rest of the community .  I have also seen Mayor McHat walk around on what she called her walks i our old neighborhood , she did not pick up garbage off the street or pull weeds back from the alley ways , she pranced around in her hat and white gloves (that were not dirty) shaking peoples hands . How is that cleaning up the streets? We need someone who cares about the people who live around him and the future of our school system . Which i can add is totally screwed up right now . I do have one question . Will you insist on neighborhood schools and stop all the unnecessary busing ?    We will be praying  , As well as voting for you !!!

Gary Staiger
Gary Staiger

You had one  particularly prescient   comment from the election campaign  “It is only one vote of five”. We shall now see how that plays out at third and ludlow…

Regardless of who won, the fact that the winner has a plurality of barely 15% of the registered voters hardly gives him  a mandate. I think it is also significant  that over 10,000 MORE people voted in the city commission races than they did in the mayoral contest. While the reasons are admittedly unclear at this point, possibilities include not just general dissatisfaction with the incumbent, but also a weakness in the cross-over appeal of the alternative candidate. Voters clearly did not support either candidate with any great fervor. A cursory look at the Board of Elections result also shows another divide, between East and West-N West. The underlying factor of race in this contest cannot be understated.
Whether  Gary Leitzel be a unifying or a polarizing force as Mayor  is open to question. Much will depend on his willingness to temper his conservatism with the more progressive views of the other Commission members. He will have to do so to some extent  in order to accomplish any of his agenda,  otherwise his one  vote will be one a very lonely one.

Gary Staiger
Gary Staiger

@David. Thanks for the clarification. It would be very interesting to know the factors behind those abstainers.  I wonder how that 2,000 figure compares to the last two mayoral elections…

Chris Kinter
Chris Kinter
Well now the election is over lets see if Mayor Elect Leitzell can pull this off.  He claims to be a problem solver lets give him the support he WILL need.  The level of hate and desperation in Dayton is scarey.  Reminds me a little of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (Yes, That Bad)  Cutting the corruption in the city will be a good start.  Not just the blue collar.  One thing I’ve learned in life is Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Usually if the lower level people are stealing the higher ups are even worst.    Property values have plummitted and a lot of this is inspectors don’t do their job.  Enforce some and not others.   Their have been studies done about neighborhoods and broken windows we don’t need to reinvent the wheel here.  people just need to be accountable and if they can’t do their job get rid of them.  Rhine Mclin got voted out because she could do the job she never had the power to do in the first place.   The power is in the City Manager.  Find a local one who is smart and wants to live here .  Dayton had been a center of inovation and now it is a center of stagnation, like it or not.  Why do we need to be a technology center.  Any thing we pull together that can be shipped over seas and assembled in china, will be.  We need deeper thinkers who don’t want to control everything and bring in the inovators who don’t have college degrees but have a lot more experience in the world.    My dad was President of Froc and the stories he told me of the beaurocratic mess in the City of Dayton is enough to scare just about any one off from cleaning up things.  We need to put some leaders up front who will start thinking outside the box the Dayton Daily disapointment wants us to think about.  lowering everyones cost of living should be the focus of our leaders now.  In this depressed economy and it is depressed.  We should be looking for ways to… Read more »

At least white man/suburban man creates the wealth……. so i guess you are saying black man/urban man can’t create wealth and just lives off the system. That is what I am getting from this.

Liberal thought when you smoke liberal pot.

FYI – wealth is never distributed. I think you guys need to go buy new bongs.

Bubba Jones
Bubba Jones

Do you have a credible source for the Sitting Bull quote?  The closest thing that I could find to it (in my 90 seconds of Googling) was “The white man knows how to make everything, but he does not know how to distribute it. ”  IMHO, that has an entirely different meaning than what you’ve attributed to him.   Supposedly Sitting Bull also said “You think I am a fool, but you are a greater fool than I am. ” :)
And, another that I’d like to take credit for, but can’t…”What white woman, however lonely, was ever captive or insulted by me?”



Yet the costs of extending services to the hinter’burbs has never been fully allocated to the ‘burbs.

I don’t follow you here, are you saying that people in the suburbs get services paid for by the core’s taxbase?  I’d be interested to see any studies that back that up.
Are you saying the costs of commuting from the burbs aren’t fully felt (because of externalized pollution costs)? Lots of folks in this region live in the burbs and still have short commutes (they work out there in office parks or on base), living in the city  would actually make their commute longer.  I know I would probably be closer to lots of convenient stores if I lived in Beavercreek instead of Grafton Hill.

Bubba Jones
Bubba Jones

>>> The people in the burbs have an airport- that wouldn’t be here if not for the core. <<<
Really????  I assume that you’re talking about Dayton Wright Brothers Airport at the extreme Southern edge of the county.  It’s existence has nothing to with “the core.”  Back in the “Golden Age of Aviation” it was the goal of Ohio lawmakers to have an airport in every county in Ohio.  That airport used to be known as the “Montgomery County Airport” (hence it’s identifier of MGY) and has been out there long before there were “suburbs” out there.
Yes, I know it’s owned by the City and is part of the city budget.   Last time I checked, it was pretty well self-sufficient, receiving revenue from the many tenants occupying office space and hangars.  I’m pretty sure they also get a some amount of money from the amount of fuel sold there. The airport also receives a decent amount of money from the FAA for improvements to the infrastructure out there.  You’re going to see a lot more building activity out there once the Austin Pike interchange opens.


Yes, Dayton is the core. But that does not mean they should “win” by default. The world changes, people have built and moved. We should stop dwelling on the past and the romantic notion of Downtown Dayton.

Businesses are not going to locate there on their own. My suggestion has always been to rehab and built apartments/condos/and house in or very near DT Dayton. People have to live somewhere. We have some of that going on, but they always make it too expensive. Stop trying to compete with the suburbs, DT needs to become its own. Affordable and unique. With more “locals” living in and near DT, people will have a vested interest in DT again. Big business wants nothing to do with DT or Dayton for that matter, DT offices are expensive to lease – owners should be more flexible if they want to fill those spaces. But none of that would amount to much until you have people living DT (or near DT, South Park, Fairgrounds, etc.)

Just saying we have to do it out of the goodness in our hearts alienate suburban folk and is just not sound business advise. People DT is the key, and that means people LIVING DT. Start there and the rest shall follow suit, kinda like how the suburbs did it. They built business after people were living there, not the other way around. But the “owners” of DT spaces over value their property. Inexpensive is the way to go, bc people vote with their wallet more often than not. But we need new, update and rehabbed places, not run down and expensive.

As for the manufacturing we lost, and the Dayton areas that house these businesses, Dayton needs to understand that the manufacturing that we need here has to be forward thinking, ie green products, IT, etc. Industries that are heading “north.” Stop trying to excuse Dayton’s failures. It is people, then business. Business wants nothing to do with Dayton unless there are people around to spend and work and sell. Begging may  help at this point.

Chris Kinter
Chris Kinter
Welllll, Just finished finals and I’ve got a chance to check the gossip sheets(digital)  Well as far as sitting Bull’s Quote,  it will entail reading a book.  He was also quoted while working for the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.  He met a bunch of hungry kids and was appalled at the conditions of the starving youth following him.  You see the Lakota leadership tradition a leader is judged not by what he has, but the condition of his people. (Urban Centers)  :-( As far as distribute wealth The U.S. was sold a bill of goods in the early 80’s about trickle down economics.  While many were memorized by the poor forgetful Mr Reagan, war had been declared by the 1% who control at least 80 % of the wealth and they declared war on the blue collar folks. Hence the death of Dayton and manufacturing in America.  They have managed through good media manipulation to keep this very large group of Americans from open insurrection.  Who had a vote of globalization?  The rich.  Here is a funny number I was given about 6 years ago about a number of folks who vote republican. 60% of those who vote republican believe they are in the top one percent of wealth in the U.S.   The gullibility factor is amazing for both Right and the Left.   Does anyone ever think about America?  The suburbs are full of good people who have also been sold a bill of goods about the poor cities.  Americans are being manipulated to stay divided to keep from coming together.   Now we have people who only think about themselves and screw their neighbor if they even know who their neighbor is.  Their faces are glued to their screen of what ever device is currently feeding them the information they need to know or think they need to know  I’ve worked as a captial raider(Salesman) and it is a lot of fun.  The thing to remember about the rat is, no mater who wins you’re all stll RATS. Our founding Fathers and those their after were well aware of the power of the rich and how to keep them… Read more »