From The Vaults

Caroline Gentry And Jim Butler — OHD 41 — Will Have Lincoln-Douglas Type Debate At KHS On Friday, Nov 2

This is great news: Caroline Gentry and Jim Butler — candidates seeking election to represent District 41 in the Ohio House — will participate in a Lincoln Douglas style debate on Friday, November 2. The debate will be at Kettering High School on Shroyer Rd. in the Recital Hall starting at 3:45 PM.

Republican Jim Butler is the incumbent, appointed to the position last January. This is his first election. Caroline Gentry is the Democratic challenger. And this is her first election.

The program will last for one hour and the public is invited to attend.

In the 34 minute debate portion of the program, both candidates will speak four times for total of 17 minutes:

  • 7 minutes      First Speaker
  • 7 minutes      Second Speaker
  • 5 minutes      First Speaker
  • 5 minutes      Second Speaker
  • 3 minutes      First Speaker
  • 3 minutes      Second Speaker
  • 2 minutes      First Speaker
  • 2 minutes      Second Speaker

A coin toss will determine who is the first speaker.

For the remainder of the hour program, candidates will respond to questions from the audience, taking turns as to who will answer first, and with each response limited to two minutes.

I am delighted that here at the last minute, this could come together. Last February I asked Mr. Butler if he might agree to such an exchange and he said, “Sure.” From, Republican Jim Butler, OHD-41, Likes Idea Of “Lincoln Douglas” Debates With Democratic Challenger:

This may be a great year for citizens in OHD-41. Two excellent, articulate candidates, both thoughtful individuals with impressive credentials, both, I believe, well meaning and seeking to do what is best for Ohio, may actually conduct a campaign that will elevate our political discourse and cause thoughtful participation by voters. It would be a great compliment to the citizens of OHD-41 if “Lincoln Douglas” type debates between Gentry and Butler would actually happen.

And, so I’m happy this is actually happening — and between two highly qualified and very articulate candidates. It should be an interesting afternoon and I hope a lot of the public will attend. Kettering HS Principal Von Handorf showed me the Recital Hall — what a great facility — it will hold 200 people.

The original Lincoln-Douglas debates lasted three hours: The first speaker spoke for 60 minutes, the second speaker than spoke for 90 minutes, and then, the first speaker than spoke for 30 minutes. In the Lincoln-Douglas format, there is no moderator asking questions, but instead, the candidates have full discretion in the use of their time. This is a format that I wish could be used more often and hopefully this debate will be such a success that in future elections this format will be requested by the public.

Terry Morris of the Dayton Daily News recently wrote an article about the Butler / Gentry contest:

Both candidates who want to represent Ohio’s new 41st House District are young Oakwood attorneys who attend St. Albert the Great Church in Kettering and have never been elected to office.

That’s where the similarities end between Republican freshman incumbent Jim Butler and his Democratic challenger Caroline Gentry.

Butler says innovation and common sense — not higher taxes — are the way to continue the state’s economic revival. “Making Ohio the best and most competitive state in the country, which we can do, will make people want to move here. Companies will add jobs. Workers will get raises. That will provide more money for government services,” he said.

He’s been endorsed by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Manufacturers Association PAC, National Federation of Independent Businesses, Buckeye Firearms Association, Ohio Right to Life, Ohio Society of CPAs, Ohio Veterans United, Ohio State Medical Association and Ohio Farm Bureau.

Gentry said government services are in danger right now due to funding cuts to schools and local governments. “We need to invest in safer neighborhoods and excellent schools. That’s what will promote businesses and attract talented people to move here.”

Her endorsements include: Teamsters Local 957, Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters, Ohio Federation of Teachers, IUE-CWA, Dayton Miami Valley AFL-CIO and Ohio Association of Public Employees.


Ohio House of Representatives:

  • 41st District: Centerville, Dayton (wards 9 and 20), Kettering, Oakwood and several precincts of Riverside
  • Term of Office:  Two years
  • Annual salary:  $60,584

Jim Butler

  • Age:  39

    Jim Butler

  • Residence:  Oakwood
  • Education:  Bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy; masters from the University of Maryland; law degree from the University of Cincinnati
  • Employment:  State representative; Attorney at Thompson Hine
  • Political Party:  Republican
  • Political history:  Appointed 37th District representative, 2011
  • Website:

Caroline Gentry

  • Age:  42
  • Residence:  Oakwood
  • Education:  Bachelor’s degree, Kalamazoo College; law degree from Yale University

    Caroline Gentry

  • Employment:  Partner, Porter, Wright, Morris and Arthur
  • Political party:  Democratic
  • Political history:  Never held elected office
  • Website:



Rick McKiddy Reminds: Opponent Refused High Speed Train & Fed’s $400 Million — Lost 6000 Good Jobs

Rick McKiddy has a new video that reminds voters that the Republican Assembly voted to refuse $400 million in federal money that, if accepted, would have funded a high speed train in Ohio. The video says that, because of this refusal, Ohio lost 6000 good jobs.

McKiddy is seeking election to the Ohio Senate to represent District 6 and is challenging the Republican incumbent, Peggy Lehner. The proposed high speed train would have had a potential big impact on District 6, because one of its planned terminals would have been in Riverside, close to the Air Force Museum. Citizens throughout District 6 were anticipating a potential economic boom that the train could bring to the region, but Lehner voted with the Republican majority to refuse $400 million from the federal government and to stop the project. The $400 million that Ohio could have received instead went to California.

In his campaign McKiddy also is reminding voters that Lehner voted for Senate Bill 5 — the legislation that attacked public employee unions and last year was overwhelmingly overturned by a public referendum known as Issue 2. SB-5 was strongly opposed by firemen, policeman, and teachers.

McKiddy has a great life story. He started working on the assembly line for General Motors and eventually worked his way through college and became a lead negotiator for the UAW.

McKiddy writes:

The story of SB-5 helps explain why the grass roots are awakening, and it explains one of the reasons why I decided to run for this office. My opponent, Republican Peggy Lehner, was appointed to the State Senate last year to fill a vacancy. At that time, the anti-worker Senate Bill 5 was being introduced, and Governor Kasich needed support for his agenda. A Dayton Daily News article quotes Mrs. Lehner, as saying, “I have voted along with the Republican party 98.8% of the time (320 out of 324 times).”

Six Republican Senators refused to support SB-5 — it was just too far out of the mainstream — and instead, voted “No.” The final vote was 17-16. Mrs. Lehner’s vote made the difference. Ultimately, the bill was overturned after more than one million Ohioans signed petitions and voters repealed it. However, I am convinced the governor and Lehner, unless they are stopped, will ignore the votes and voices of Ohioans, and will simply go after our public sector employees one group at a  time.

The way I see it, the Republicans in Columbus are not out of control, they are in total control. Under Kasich they control all branches of State Government. They are a monopoly and are guided by an ideology that hurts the middle working class.

The Republicans have controlled the State Senate since 1985. Every bit of legislation passed during the last 26 years has their signatures on it.  While they’ve been in control, Ohio has lost over 600,000 jobs, and, unemployment and underemployment has continued to rise. The loss of these jobs has led to home foreclosures and an erosion of the tax base.

The General Assembly made things worse by giving tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy and by drastically cutting funding to local government and local schools. In the Kasich budget approved by Mrs. Lehner, communities are losing over $2 billion. Many communities will need to raise local taxes or reduce services to make up the difference. Balancing the state budget by transferring taxes from the state level, to the local level, moves more of the tax burden from corporations and the wealthy to working citizens.

The assault on working citizens has not been isolated to jobs and taxes. The Assembly attacked voting rights in HB-194 — legislation approved by Mrs. Lehner and condemned by the League of Women Voters


At the Dayton Rally — I Shook The Hand Of the Hand That Shook The President’s Hand

Yesterday my one student, Juwan, and I went to see President Obama. And a great day it was.

When I was Juwan’s age, in 1964, I made it to downtown Dayton to hear Barry Goldwater. He spoke on the steps of the Dayton Court House, standing on the very steps where Abraham Lincoln also once had made a speech. I simply caught a bus and went downtown and joined a large crowd. It was a memorable experience and I wanted Juwan to have a similar experience.

Now in 2012 to see the president, one has to have a lot more determination and a lot more stamina. I first waited in line at the Obama HQ on Fifth Street. There was a long wait and my name was put into a computer and I was given a numbered ticket and told that I would need personal identification at the gate.

Juwan and I made it to Island Park at about 11:45 and then the waiting started — long lines snaking back and forth. As it turned out, the president would not speak for another four and one-half hours. Everyone seemed in good spirits and the fact that it was such a beautiful day helped. But the line moved slowly. Everyone had to go through security similar to that at the airport. And then we were all packed together.

Here is the New York Times report:
“Appearing with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. at a raucous rally before 9,500 people in Dayton, the president went into a spirited assault, using his new favorite attack word — “Romnesia” — to highlight his rival’s position on the auto bailout, which the White House says was vital to saving jobs in Ohio and throughout the Midwest.
“Last night, Governor Romney looked me right in the eye, tried to pretend he never said, ‘Let Detroit go bankrupt,’ ” Mr. Obama said, one of many instances all day when he suggested Mr. Romney was not being honest about his positions as he seeks to appeal to a general-election audience after a Republican primary campaign in which he emphasized conservative stances.”
I took my camera and shot a lot of video — too much, as it turned out. Shortly after the president began to speak, my camera indicated that the memory card was full. We were standing a ways back from the president — about in the middle of the crowd, so my video shows the event from the standpoint of an average participant. Here is a section of the president’s speech from a better perspective — made by Marc Kovac at Ohio Capital Blog — where he tells of the symptoms of “Romnesia.”

At the end of the speech, the president and vice-president moved into the crowd to shake hands. Most people where we were standing started to leave, but Juwan wanted to press forward. We got within ten yards of the president, and I wish I had had a workable camera. I told Juwan that I was pretty sure that he had waved directly to us.

As we were leaving, I spoke to a man walking next to us. He said that he had finagled to get a “red” ticket — evidently that ticket put him closer to the podium — and, in fact, he said the president had grabbed his hand.

I said, “Then, let me shake your hand.”

And I did, and so did Juwan. Wow. What a day. Exhausting but memorable. And, we shook the hand of the hand that shook the president’s hand.



Nick Kuntz, Juvenile Court Judge, Seeks Re-Election — Says Montgomery County System Is Among The Best

Nick Kuntz, Montgomery County Juvenile Court Judge, met with our South of Dayton Democratic Club this week. Kuntz has served as Juvenile Judge since 1994 and this year is on the ballot for re-election. He thanked the club for supporting his reelection campaign. He said that he loves his work and that during his tenure he has worked to make a lot of good improvements in the county’s juvenile court system. He said that he has visited over 100 other juvenile court systems and has not found a juvenile court system better than Montgomery County’s.

I was very impressed — not only with the judge’s words, but also in his matter-of-fact, yet compassionate attitude.

Kuntz said that he was surprised to have competition in this re-election effort and that, although his opponents are good people, they have little or no experience in dealing with the type of cases he has encountered in his life’s work.

Judge Kuntz spoke briefly about some of the programs for juveniles that he has helped developed in Montgomery County. Kuntz said that in administering juvenile justice, he does not shy away from using the word “punishment,” but believes that punishment must be seen as a first step to rehabilitation.

Kuntz’s web-site is outstanding in its thoroughness. It shows the judge’s resume. It tells the judge’s philosophy and gives details about the programs either initiated by or established during his administration.  Judge Kuntz notes that juveniles who are in trouble usually lack a good support system, a good value system, and they lack hope. His web-site explains:   

“We need to do whatever we can to give them support, teach them values, and give them hope for the future. We believe in punishment (appropriate consequences) because rehabilitation begins with appropriate consequences.

Incarceration, in and of itself, does little to solve the problem. The trick is to know which ones need to be locked up to protect the community and which ones to treat in the community setting. Experience teaches this.

We believe in utilizing Evidence Based Programs, proven to be successful.

We believe in building on the strengths of the child and their families (Strength Based Service) rather than concentrating on their weaknesses.

We believe in (seamless services) actually connecting our clients to outside resources, rather than simply referring them, and then keep them engaged.”

Judge Nick Kuntz has initiated and/or supported a number of very important youth programs that have been of significant benefit to the community and to the yourth that they have helped. These programs include:



Who Stands For The Middle Class? Dayton Congressman Mike Turner Gets Score Of Zero — “Worst Of The Worst”

It’s hard to understand why Dayton voters keep returning Mike Turner to Congress.

The “Campaign for America’s Future” tracks ten key congressional votes dealing with the economy and the middle class, and Mike Turner, my congressman to the U.S. Congress, according to this organization, is the worst of the worst and deserves a score of zero.  In its report, the CAF analyzes ten pieces of legislation and, Mike Turner, in every case voted against the middle class. Turner voted for the Ryan Budget, voted against a jobs bill, voted to diminish consumer financial protection, voted to weaken unions, voted to repeal Obamacare. Here are the ten votes:

  1. Voted for the Republican FY 2013 Budget
 (The Ryan Budget)  — Would slash domestic spending including converting Medicare into a voucher program,
  2. Voted against the FY 2013 Progressive Caucus Budget for All
 — H.Con. Res. 112 amendment would reduce long-term federal debt through short-term job-creation measures, such as increased spending on rebuilding roads and schools.
  3. Voted for the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act
 — Extends the Bush tax cuts giving millionaires an average bonus of $160,000 next year.
  4. Voted for the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act
 — H..R. 10 would allow Congress to exercise veto power over the health, safety and environmental regulations the executive branch writes to implement legislation.
  5. Voted for the Consumer Financial Protection and Soundness Improvement Act — 
Guts the ability of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to protect consumers.
  6. Voted for the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act
 — Diminishes the rights of private-sector workers to hold union elections.
  7. Voted for the South Korea Trade Agreement
 — H.R. 3080 lowers tariffs on U.S. auto exports to Korea while maintaining incentives for outsourcing of U.S. jobs.
  8. Voted for the Surface Transportation Extension Act
 — H.R. 4348 would weaken environmental protection efforts, fast-track the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and widen the gap between transportation needs and available funding.
  9. Voted for the Interest Rate Reduction Act
 — H.R. 4628 keep student loan borrowing costs low for 7 million college students but at the cost of ending a vital public health program.
  10. Voted for the Repeal of Obamacare Act
 — The 31st failed attempt by Congressional Republicans to repeat the Affordable Care Act.

The Campaign for America’s Future explains:

There are many guides that seek to measure how “liberal” or “conservative” an elected official is, but this guide takes on the unique task of measuring members of Congress against the kitchen-table needs and concerns of middle-class voters. Put another way, this is an effort to look at the votes and priorities of Congress through the lens of the daily economic struggles of working families, unemployed people, students, retirees — all those who consider themselves members of the middle class or who are trying to climb their way into the middle class.

That focuses this guide on a particular set of priorities: an economy that produces ample numbers of good jobs — jobs with living wages and strong benefits; health care that is affordable and accessible; top-quality education that fully equips children for the challenges of tomorrow without crippling them with debt; watchdogs who stand against those who would prey upon consumers or poison the environment; economic protection for those going through hard times, simple dignity for seniors at the end of a long worklife., and a democracy in which the voices of ordinary citizens are not drowned out by the rich and powerful.

The key votes in the 112th Congress graded in this voter guide symbolize this range of priorities. It is not a comprehensive measure of all of the consequential decisions that were made on the floor of the House and Senate that impacted middle- class voters. Before Congress went on its August 2012 summer recess, the House had passed 263 bills, and the Senate had passed 66. Many of these bills would have had significant impact, for better or worse, on the day-to-day lives of working people had they been signed into law. (Many of these bills are featured on

The key votes in this guide serve as a clear measure of whether legislators were defending the interests and concerns of the broad middle class. The bills were chosen before we compiled how legislators had voted.


Sharen Neuhardt is the Democratic challenger to Mike Turner