From The Vaults

The Montgomery County Democratic Party Shows Blatant Favoritism In Democratic Primary Endorsements

The Montgomery County Democratic Party at its December 12 meeting voted on early endorsements for the Democratic Primary. This endorsement practice is so anti-democratic and so reeks of a system that is rigged that some Democratic Party county organizations prohibit this practice.

Willis Blackshear Jr. got the big prize — the endorsement for Dayton’s 39th Ohio House District. There were four other qualified Democrats who had taken out petitions (see the last article below). A majority of the 29 members of the Screening Committee party chose the 27 year old son of their friend — Willis Blackshear Sr., the County Recorder who died less than two years ago. The MCDP seems to have no fear of showing in its endorsement actions what appears as blatant favoritism.

The Blackshear endorsement is particularly appalling because whoever wins the March 17 Primary is a shoo-in for the general election. OHD-39 is gerrymandered to contain as many Democratic voters as possible. In 2016 and 2014, Fred Strahorn, now term-limited, won 100% of the votes in this district — the Republicans didn’t even bother to field a candidate. It is SAD that rather than organizing a fair contest that would meaningfully engage the 16,000 registered Dems in this district, a super-majority at the December 12 Central Committee meeting chose to control the Primary election and to give a big boost to the career of Mr. Blackshear Jr.

Mr. Blackshear Jr. may be wonderfully qualified. I don’t know. There was no explanation offered at the December 12 Central Committee meeting concerning any of the endorsements. I’d say if elected he will be competent, but I have no idea whether, or not, Blackshear has the fire in the belly that an effective Democratic representative needs. He has never addressed the Central Committee.  I think at one time he was introduced. I’ve never seen anything he has written.

My opinion is that if party insiders, as individuals, want to support a young and promising candidate, like Mr. Blackshear Jr, with personal donations and campaigning efforts, then, of course, that is fine. It is simply wrong, I feel, for the “party” to endorse in the Democratic Primary. It is wrong because such endorsement communicates an elitist / authoritarian attitude that is a turn-off to voters — especially young voters. It is wrong because it is not an effective method of finding the strongest candidates and best public servants. It makes no sense for Democrats to mimic the anti-democratic practices of the Republican Party. The Democratic Party must stand as an alternative to the Republicans and must be the party of authentic grassroots democracy and must do everything possible to give rank-and-file Democrats a voice.

Endorsement means that now the MCDP will use members’ dues money to prepare and mail literature to every county Democrat urging that they support the candidates endorsed by the “party.” The early endorsement evidently worked to drive two of the OHD-39 Dems from the ballot. Now, in addition to Mr. Blackshear, only Walter James Hickman Jr., and Jo’el Thomas-Jones have remained on the ballot for the OHD-39 nomination. These non-endorsed candidates will need to raise their own funds to be able to communicate with OHD-39 Democratic voters.

Who is the group called the “Democratic Party” that makes endorsements? It’s a majority of the 29 voting members of the insider group — the Screening Committee. It’s the old guard that shows up at the Central Committee holiday party. Only about one-third of the Central Committee members showed up to vote (81 members out of 244) at the December 12 meeting. This meeting was advertised as a holiday event in a letter sent to each member; the notice of the endorsement vote was tucked inside and not emphasized. No mention was made that this endorsement vote is the most important vote opportunity for Central Committee members in a two year period. Regardless that the party loves to send email notices to Central Committee members urging donations, the party made zero effort to send an email message to inform members the importance of this voting opportunity.

The Central Committee approved the recommendations of the Screening Committee by a vote of 61-20 — meeting the 2/3 super-majority requirement. If only twelve more Central Committee members had showed up to the meeting and had voted “No,” the endorsement recommendations would have been defeated. Since the 2018 Reorganization Meeting, thanks to the yeoman efforts of Tim and Allison Benford, over 125 new members have been added to the Central Committee. Very few, if any, of these new members attended this important endorsement meeting. It appears that these new Central Committee members were never informed about the key importance of this voting opportunity. I won’t know exactly who attended the meeting until I get the attendance report from Kurt Hatcher, the Executive Director. I put in my request on December 13.

At the meeting, I objected to the early endorsement practice — condemning it as unwise and unfair and not worthy of a party that calls itself “democratic.” This objection can be added to my history of objections to this practice. (See articles below.) I was glad to see Lucy McKosky, an officer in the local League of Women Voters organization, also rise to urge a “No” vote and, in the standing vote that occurred, I recognized other League members joining Lucy in the “No” vote. I am a member of the League because I believe in their pro-democracy efforts and I am glad that a small contingent of the League is active in the MCDP.

There is no official record of how members of the Central Committee voted, because, as Kurt Hatcher cheerfully explained to me, prior to the meeting, the MCDP Constitution forbids a roll-call vote for Central Committee endorsements.

Voters are sick of today’s politics. Trump is working to undermine and rig our entire system of democracy but he got elected, in part, by claiming, “The system is rigged.” As a loyal Democrat, who wants the best for our party, I’m aggrieved when it looks like my local Democratic Party organization is rigging the system. Two years ago, members of the MCDP endorsed their friend, Rev. Ward, over Rev. Fairchild — needlessly dividing the membership of the party. In 2008, the party endorsed their friend Roland Winburn over Victor Harris in a gerrymander strong Democratic Ohio House district. In the Primary, Democratic voters were deprived of an important discussion because Roland refused to debate Victor.

Primary endorsements have been a point of contention in the party for years. At the 2018 Reorganization Meeting, there were four proposed changes to the MCDP Constitution concerning votes for endorsements — that they be by roll call vote, etc. None of the four proposed changes received a majority vote.

Also receiving endorsements at the December 12 meeting were candidates for the U.S. Congress and the Ohio Senate. The Screening Committee chose Desiree Tims for OH-10, passing over another qualified Democrat, Eric Moyer. The Committee chose Mark Fogel for OSD-06, passing over another qualified candidate, Albert Griggs.

I’ve not yet spoken with Moyer, but Al Griggs sent me an email explaining that he is staying in the race because he believes that the Democratic rank-and-file voters “deserve a choice.” He says that the theme of his campaign will be “Repairing Our Democracy.”


When Is It OK To Call Someone A “DAMN LIAR” ?

At this point in the video, Joe is challenging the farmer to push-up and an IQ test.

Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Should Democrats be concerned — flabbergasted even — that Joe Biden looked an 83 year old farmer in the face and said “You’re a damn liar, man.” Has Trump made this type of accusative rudeness somehow acceptable?

The old farmer had halting speech and appeared to need a cane. He had already admitted that he didn’t have “the mental faculty” that he once had. He did his best to articulate an accusation

…continue reading the article When Is It OK To Call Someone A “DAMN LIAR” ?


Which Democrat Will Represent OHD-39? Should The MCDP Push An Endorsement Or Let Primary Voters Decide?

There are five Democrats vying for the party’s nomination for OHD-39 and next Wednesday, December 11, the Montgomery County Democratic Party Screening Committee will meet and interview these candidates and will vote whether, or not, to make an early endorsement. The filing deadline is December 18. Any recommendations of the Screening Committee will be voted on by the Central Committee at the December 12 meeting.

Ohio House District 39 is an open seat. The nomination for this seat is great political plum because any Democrat on the ballot for OHD-39 is a shoo-in. Fred Strahorn first was elected in

…continue reading the article Which Democrat Will Represent OHD-39? Should The MCDP Push An Endorsement Or Let Primary Voters Decide?


Donna Kundtz Moore To Speak: What The Parable Of The Widow And The Unjust Judge Says To Us Today

Donna Kundtz Moore

Happy to see that one of my new Democratic Party friends, Donna Kundtz Moore, will be the guest preacher at the New Hope Lutheran Church on Catalpa Dr: October 20, Sunday, 9:55 AM.

At 7:55 AM this morning Donna wrote the following on Facebook: “I am preaching Sunday. First time in years. I want to do it. But… Not written yet. So here I am on Facebook. How do you spell procrastination?” I’m getting a little worried because now it is 12:32 PM and it looks like Donna is still on Facebook.

Donna will speak

…continue reading the article Donna Kundtz Moore To Speak: What The Parable Of The Widow And The Unjust Judge Says To Us Today


MCDP Central Committee Rejects Setting Standards For Itself That Are Generally Expected Of Legislative Bodies

The MCDP Central Committee meeting last night rejected making any requests of Chairman Mark Owens to implement changes to its standards of procedures of operation.

Originally the five proposed rules (below) were suggested changes to the MCDP by-laws — requiring a two-thirds vote to be approved. The motions were changed so that rather than a vote to change the by-laws, the motions were simply requests of the Chairman — requiring only a majority vote.

Last night’s action culminated in complaints going back to January of this year that the Central Committee procedures were unacceptable. The complaint was that the

…continue reading the article MCDP Central Committee Rejects Setting Standards For Itself That Are Generally Expected Of Legislative Bodies