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Why the Montgomery Democratic Party is a joke

Mark Owens, Montgomery County Party Chairman and Dayton Clerk of Courts came up to me after the meeting to ask me if I gave someone the finger. I said yes, and that the little old lady has been disrespecting me for years, mostly by hissing when I spoke, but tonight, as I started to speak and said Montgomery County has a problem- she suggested that it was me. I was tired of her shit.

As I went to confront her, she started to tell me that it was the only thing I’d ever said worth hearing. I gave her the single finger salute and left her to run to Mark. Some folks saw me do it and chastised me. Former AFSCME Chief Tom Ritchie being one. Another woman came up and said I lost all credibility. Really? People are dying- and giving a heckler the finger is your big worry? I think I’ll survive my loss of credibility.

But, that’s the end of the story, and although Kurt Vonnegut Jr. said in his 8 rules for writing to “5. Start as close to the end as possible” I started there, because, well, you know, full disclosure is critical to journalism, and I wouldn’t want to waste your time continuing to read if I no longer had any credibility.

The meeting had a whole bunch of new precinct captains as the party is trying to backfill 2/3rds of the seats that were never filled. Some of those people had no clue who I was either time I spoke, and of course, that’s my fault as well, since I didn’t say who I was.

First the party endorsed former party employee Dawn Wojcik [1] who is running for the seat on the State School Board, District 3, that Jeff Mims abandoned when he wanted to be a city commissioner.

Then, they heard from Becky Benay from Five Rivers Metroparks who came asking for an endorsement to renew the levy- plus tack a little extra on. I questioned why her board, that’s appointed by a probate judge, and supposed to have three year terms never changes, and why, just not getting as much tax revenue today vs 2010 is a good enough reason to justify her increase. The dems, earned their tax and spend cred- by almost unanimously voting to endorse- almost, except for me, the loan voice, who told Ms. Benay that I’d like to have as much money as I did in 2009 too- but, my taxes keep going up for Sinclair, the libraries, etc. We could start saving money by stripping Metroparks of their private police force and putting that job under the Sheriffs budget, but, that’s not how we roll in Montgomery County.

When it was time for other business, I went up to the podium and started my speech about how it’s embarrassing that this party, with it’s control of the county commission, and complete control of the Dayton City Commission- is allowing the jail to continue to operate as is. That jail is not a place to get tortured, to be maimed, or to die. Yet, in the last 3 weeks, 2 maybe 3 have committed suicide already [2], and we’re facing over $10M in settlements from lawsuits.

Folks, $10 million spent on proper jail staffing and management would go a long way to solving our problems. Real democrats wouldn’t allow the poor to be sent to Phil’s house of horrors.

If a house is dirty, if it doesn’t have running water- it’s declared unfit for human habitation and the people are evicted. I remember getting the run around on an occupancy permit for my office because the staircase rail would let little kids fall through. Yet, we are allowing a jail to operate that’s killed three people in 2 weeks?

Sorry. That doesn’t cut it. Real leaders would find ways to do any of the following:

At the end of the meeting, as Owens was threatening to kick me out of the party (I’m not sure he can do that, since I’m an elected precinct captain), and whining how I’d called him a criminal on my blog (I looked quickly for it- couldn’t find it via search- A free “Make Orwell Fiction Again” [4] t-shirt to the first person who posts the quote and link in comments) he also complained that he couldn’t find anyone qualified to run against Plummer.

Well, Mr. Owens, you’ve been endorsing your friends and family to run for office before the primary for so long, you’ve chased people away from being involved. You’ve advanced the careers of people so bad, that they’ve been beaten by no money yahoos- like Mike Turner when he first ran for Mayor- that they got to move up to Congress- and you’ve failed to mount a serious contender against a pretty weak candidate (remember, Turner lost to Rhine McLin before he was handed the congressional seat). Rhine was also beat by a no money yahoo- Gary Leitzell- mostly because Owens, who ran her campaign, spent half his budget mailing everyone lit with Gary’s name on it.

This is the party that never met a tax levy it didn’t love, because they help pay for more patronage jobs in the bloated mess of banana republics that make up this County. If you want to see how expensive it is- check out Reconstructing Dayton’s site [5]– and look at some of the charts we’re starting to build [6]. We could do a lot more, with a whole lot less government.

But first, we have a duty to protect the less fortunate, the drug addicts, the mentally ill and even the common criminals, from getting death sentences while awaiting trial.

If you like this kind of reporting. If you like my efforts, please consider donating to the 501(c)(4) non-profit Reconstructing Dayton to keep these efforts alive [7].

And, if you are a glutton for punishment, you can watch the entire meeting:

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed [8]! If you wish to support this blog and independent journalism in Dayton, consider donating [9]. 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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True Justice

Great read Esrati, you brought up some great points. This county has been Democratic for a very long time and the county has tanked. Maybe we need to give the other side a chance to turn this thing around. Plummer is the biggest issue costing all of us money. Your solutions are great ideas to make that jail a better place, an even better solution is to get Plummer removed.


Once again, David, you have hit the nail squarely on its head! I am a registered Democrat but when it comes to this county government, I don’t like to admit it. You are right. Something needs to be done with Sheriff Plummer and this jail situation that is completely out of control. While inmates are being abused and others are hanging themselves, Mark Owens is sitting on his hands. Why? To hide the blood of the aforementioned inmates. Damned near anybody that has a decent background in law enforcement in this county could do as good of a job with the jail as Plummer and there’s probably plenty who could do better. And Mark Owens continues to sit on his hands on the sidelines. The Democratic Party in this county needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Quickly!!!!

William Wirt

David, you’ve got a legit point regarding Plummer, but why don’t you head over to the GOP meeting and give them hell; last time I looked the proprietor of Plummer’s Dungeon was not only a Republican, but their party chief.

Mr J.

The saddest part of Mr Plummer’s reign as sherieff is this , I made a diligent effort to forewarn him about what was going on inside that jail. I told him about the officers who were abusing their powers. I gave the proof to his command staff, just to hear him call me a bad apple. I reported the issues of segregation to the Dayton Daily News. As the writers conducted their research they found that my accusations were founded and actual. DDN even had to involve their lawyers because Plummer refuse to turn over the information they were requesting of him. Plummer with the help of his prosecutor buddies got out of turning over the facts. Nothing new with that maneuver. Why haven’t the other deputies involved in the racial texting been disciplined. Not one of those deputies received a single day of discipline even though Plummer promised this county they would receive 30 days. He blames it on the union. The union doesn’t have final say. And how many of those union members were involved in the racial texting themselves? Any union who feels that those deputies shouldn’t be held accountable should be disbanded. Why is it that a deputy who reported racial slurs from one of Plummers command staff fired? If you heard the comments from one of Plummers deputies that been involved in several shootings in the black communities during the so called Diversity Training you would be confused if it were a KKK rally or a county sherieff diversity meeting. Wake up Montgomery County Mr Plummer is the wolf in sheep clothing. Any questions feel free to ask me Mr J.

Jerrid Canpbell



David, Plummer is from the other side.

Also the Montgomery county GOP is full of loonies. I mean Kathy Neiheisel spends her time tweeting Q Anon theories. And some how she has a degree in Math.

Biz Mark

Mark Owens has and always will be The Whale’s Bitch. He needs to go, but won’t. I have no hope.


David, the reason you have little credibility is because you do stupid things like giving someone the finger. Don’t you realize that juvenile gestures like that undermine any argument you may have. Act like an adult and people will treat you like one.


Then why are you voting for Carolyn Rice, the brunette Debbie Lieberman? To maintain the one party control? Just because she is a public servant does not mean she isn’t egotistic. I love your blog but I don’t understand the contradictions. I don’t care if Barry has an ego if he gets shit done.