My Snowball Viburnum Is Blooming And It Is Magnificent

Wow. This bush get better every year. I bought it about twenty years ago from Siebenthaler’s. It produces such spectacular blooms. It is a Chinese Snowball Viburnum. Siebenthaler no longer carries them for sale. Last year a friend who wanted to find this variety could find it nowhere in the area, but found one on-line. I think in Arkansas. It’s a treat every year. I wonder how tall it will grow.

Wow. This bush gets more magnificent every year!


This picture was taken five years ago!


Would The Democratic Party Be Improved If The Leaders Of The Party Were Chosen By Rank Choice Voting?

I always check out Esrati’s website. In his newest post — Why our political candidates generally suck — David advocates that there be a change in the Dayton Charter so that Dayton City Commissioners are elected through rank choice voting.  Esrati writes:

“We are starting the 501(c)(4) Reconstructing Dayton to try to bring sanity and better candidates and forms of government to Montgomery County, we’ve just founded a 501(c)(3) The Modern Policy Institute to work on plans and policies to create a system that actually provides us a chance to select from the best and brightest to make decisions that will affect us all.”

David Esrati explains his rank choice voting proposal in his youtube video — Let’s Improve Dayton Elections.

I like David’s rank-choice proposal but I can’t agree that our democracy would be improved if candidates for office were required to pass a test demonstrating their preparedness. David writes:

“Maybe it’s time that we create a test for public office, to make sure that candidates actually know something about the office they are running for, what their responsibilities are and what rules apply to them as elected officials….We don’t require proficiency in Roberts Rules of Order, which most public bodies nominally follow, nor do we require any understanding of public finance (it’s not the same as either business or personal for a multitude of reasons), nor do we have any kind of standing job description or “company handbook” available to help them do their job well. It’s almost as if we want our politicians to fail. There are no other jobs that affect this many people and risk so much, that require no preparation, training or qualification. “

To me, that sounds anti-democratic. I responded:

The only way to get a higher quality of elected officials is to somehow repair our dysfunctional system of democracy. Democracy demands: Let the people decide. If the people want to act like asses, then elected asses are what we get. It’s a small matter that a candidate might not be proficient in Robert’s Rules, or whatever. The big factor that has the largest impact on the quality of the official’s work is the official’s overall character.  Democracy means we have faith in a system that an informed and engaged citizenry will have the  discernment to choose leaders of good character and good motive. An informed and engaged citizenry is the only hope for our republic’s survival — an alarming thought.

I agree with Esrati that implementing rank choice voting would be a big improvement. Of key significance is its potential to engage and empower many rank-and-file citizens who are now on the sidelines. Implementing a rank choice structure, I believe, could help repair our dysfunctional system.

Now that David Pepper has resigned as Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, a new leader must be selected. I’ve got to think that if the ODP used a rank choice system, Ohio Democrats would get a more effective leader. (Whatever the voting method, only the 148 Democrats on the ODP Executive Committee will get to vote on the leader for 1.5 million registered Democrats in the state, of these only 66 are directly elected.)

In 2022, the newly elected Central Committee of the MCDP Montgomery will meet at the quadrennial MCDP Reorganization Meeting and, by majority vote, will approve changes to the MCDP Constitution and will elect (or reelect) party officers. I wonder if there could be consensus among Montgomery County Democrats that it would be an improvement to change the MCDP Constitution so that at the 2026 Reorganization Meeting, the new chair and other officers would be chosen by a rank choice voting method, rather than a simple majority method?


The Mission To Flip OSD-06 — Valiant, But A Failure. We Need A DeBriefing: “What Went Right, What Didn’t, and Why”

Ohio Senate District 06 had a great candidate in Democrat Mark Fogel — a 40 year old graduate of Air Force Academy who served as a jet pilot for the Air Force — and it looked like Fogel had a great chance of flipping this Republican district. Fogel was very qualified, informed, and likable. He ran a good campaign. His Republican opponent, Niraj Antani, in his six years in the Ohio House was famous for extreme views and awful pro-gun and anti-abortion legislation — far out of the mainstream.

Thanks so much to Allison Benford — our President of The South of Dayton Democratic Club — for posting this map showing the presidential vote in each of Montgomery County’s 360 precincts. I very much appreciate this effort which, I know, represented hours of work. The map shows Dayton solidly Democratic and the the region west of Dayton, solidly Republican — merging with Prebble County which voted 78% for Trump. Senate District 06 is two-thirds of the county — everything north, east and south Dayton. It is an interesting mix, with various islands that are solidly Democratic.

This Republican District would not yield. It stayed Republican and Antani won with 53.2% of the vote. The problem for Fogel was not money — Fogel had three times as much campaign cash as Antani. This from the DDN:

Democratic candidate Mark Fogel outraised by a 3-to-1 margin state Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, who is serving his third term as the representative of the 42nd district of the Ohio House of Representatives.
Fogel’s campaign raised the money via 1,026 more donors than Antani’s.
Antani’s campaign raised $76,746.37, according to a pre-election campaign finance report. Of that amount, $63,242.35, a little more than 82 percent, came from Political Action Committees or PACs, with contributions received from 44 individuals.
Fogel’s campaign raised $242,650.73 via more than 1,500 individual contributions, with unique donors comprising 1,070 of them.

In keeping with his experience in the Air Force, I’m thinking that Mark is working on a debriefing of his campaign. He explains in The Culture of a Fighter Squadron that after every mission there was an intense debriefing to understand “what went right, what didn’t, and why.”

I contributed money to Mark’s campaign and I’m hoping that Mark will share his debriefing with his donors and supporters — and the Montgomery County Democratic Party Central Committee. The mission to flip District 06 was a flop. What can we learn from that failed effort? For the mission to have been a success, two things had to happen:

  • Enough non-voters had to become registered and then had to vote Democratic.
  • Enough previous Republican voters had to vote Democratic.

So, 2024 will be here before we know it and Democrats will once again have the opportunity to flip District 06. What should be the strategy? What is the plan that Democrats can, over the next four years, implement so that the Democratic candidate will have a better chance? Debriefing the District 06 election would make for a good discussion at a South of Dayton Democratic Club Zoom meeting.


It’s October 30 And My Dahlias Are Still Blooming — In Dayton Ohio — But Some Claim That Frost Is Coming

Wow, this might be a record. My dahlia plants are still alive and still producing new flowers here at the end of October. I’m seeing it as a positive sign of something positive.

I was telling a friend on the phone that it’s wonderful and unusual that my dahlias are still blooming and he said, “Yeah, but it’s suppose to frost this weekend.” What kind of a friend says things like that?

I’m cutting the nicer flowers to make bouquets and I’m covering the plants with some tarp and old sheets.

So, yes, some claim that frost is coming. It’s Frost, Frost, Frost. I’d like to think all of this Frost attention is just part of the Fake News. I’d like to think that if people stopped predicting Frost so much, we’d have a lot less Frost.  Anyway.  These plants have been faithful to produce a lot of great blooms this year and I’m thinking that if they can withstand just one more cold snap — they might make it to Thanksgiving !  Please people, let’s stop predicting Frost.



K. George Kordalis Put Up $90,000 Of His Own Money To Massively Outspend Susan Solle In Contest For Judgeship

K. George Kordalis

Susan Solle

The pre-election Finance Report, filed October 22, shows that in the contest for Common Pleas Judge, the Republican candidate, K. George Kordalis, loaned his campaign $90,000 and that, by using this money, his campaign outspent Susan Solle’s campaign six to one.

The Report shows that Kordalis spent $91,058 and Solle spent $14,491.

The Report shows that Solle received $27,361 in individual contributions — almost twice the amount that Kordalis received: $15,526.

In order to have the cash needed to massively outspend his opponent, Kordalis loaned his own campaign $90,000.




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My Snowball Viburnum Is Blooming And It Is Magnificent

Wow. This bush get better every year. I bought it about twenty years ago from Siebenthaler's. It produces such spectacular blooms. It is a Chinese Snowball Viburnum. Siebenthaler no longer carries them for sale. Last year a friend who wanted to find this variety could...

My Big Viburnum Bush Is Blooming And Spectacular

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