In Race For Probate Judge, David Brannon Has $525,000 To Spend — $507,895 Is Family Money — Arvin Miller has $66,500

The Pre-election Campaign Finance Report shows that the Committee to Elect David Brannon raised a total of $524,567. Of this amount, 97% — $507,895 — came from the Brannon family, as loans to the campaign. David Brannon’s Mother, Colleen, provided $377,880 and David, himself, provided $130,000.

The Finance Report shows that the Committee to Elect Arvin Miller raised a total of $66,550. Of this, $15,000 is listed as a loan to the committee from Arvin’s wife, Susan Blasik Miller.

David Brannon and his brother, Douglas, work as lawyers, along with their father, Dwight, in the “Brannon Law Firm.” Their website emphasizes that the law firm works with the Probate Court “in all types of probate, will, trust and estate matters.”  I’m sure it would be a big boost to the probate business of the “Brannon Law Firm” to elect David Brannon as Probate Judge. The family is putting a lot of money into Brannon’s campaign — $507,895 — spent on slick TV ads and expensive campaign materials. This flood of money from one family to acquire a judgeship, to me is unseemly. If the public knew this information, I believe the Brannon campaign would be slapped down. Our democracy is corrupted by money and this corruption is especially offensive when it works to buy a judgeship.

David Brannon is 41 years old. The Vote411 Voter Guide, reveals that Brannon has had zero years experience as an active judge. In contrast, Democrat Arvin Miller is 65 years old and the Guide shows that he has had a lifetime of relevant experience as an active judge. The last twelve years Miller has served as Probate Magistrate — hearing and deciding cases under the supervision of the retiring Probate Judge — Republican Alice McCollum.

Arvin Miller clearly is a better choice to be elevated to this important and respected position, but educating the public is a huge task. The power of money to shape public opinion is truly awesome. Our democracy is corrupted by money and this corruption is especially outrageous when it works to buy a judgeship.

See: To Elect Him Probate Judge, David Brannon’s Mom Provided $200,000 For Slick TV Ads — But Arvin Miller Is The Real Deal

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This Week, Donald Trump Supporters Plan “SIGN RALLIES” In Kettering — On Loop Road And On Wilmington Pike

Donald Trump supporters are planning two “SIGN RALLIES” this week in Kettering. The organizers write: “While our President is recuperating from the Corona virus it is our privilege to stand in the gap.” This is their instructions concerning sign messages: TRUMP 2020….. TRUMP ❤…..A….. HONK 4 TRUMP…..WE ❤YOU PRESIDENT TRUMP …. 4 MORE YEARS …..VOTE TRUMP/PENCE ….. VOTE 4 TRUMP……WOMEN 4 TRUMP ……WORKERS 4 TRUMP…… BLACKS 4 TRUMPS …… GRANDMAS 4 TRUMP…..VETERANS 4 TRUMP…..TEACHERS 4 TRUMP….and any other creative message that is not too long in length! Focus positively on the President.  Don’t use Biden’s name as it might be perceived as pro-Biden.”

Here are the instructions:

1.  Wednesday – October 7th – 4:00 to 5:30 PM (rush hour) 
We will be holding signs/flags in support of President Trump on the bridge that crosses over I-675.  This bridge is one of the few that has a sidewalk and nearby available parking.  It is located on Loop Road which “loops” from Alex-Bell and Route 48 in Washington Township. It is right behind the Cross Pointe shopping mall.  Ample parking is available in the lot next to the Tile Store and from there it is only a short walk to the bridge sidewalk.  Please bring signs that have a simple message* in  very large lettering – which can be read by those driving cars along I-675.  A few extra signs will be available.  Large foam boards can be purchased at the Dollar Store for $1.

2.  Saturday, October 10th – 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
We will once again take advantage of the great visibility on Wilmington Pike – Sugarcreek Plaza in front of the Walmart / Lowe’s stores.  There is great parking right up by the sidewalk area (by the vacant Applebee’s Restaurant).  Please bring signs that have a simple message* in very large lettering which can be easily read by those in passing cars.
A few extra signs will be available.  Large foam boards can be purchased at the Dollar Store for $1.
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To Elect Him Probate Judge, David Brannon’s Mom Provided $200,000 For Slick TV Ads — But Arvin Miller Is The Real Deal

David Brannon, a 41 year old Republican attorney, has a big TV ad campaign — telling voters he has the experience needed to be Probate Judge — paid for with a $200,000 loan from his Mom. In The Vote411 Voter Guide, however, this young attorney reveals what these ads fail to mention: Brannon has had zero years experience as an active judge.

At left is Dwight Brannon, age 72, founder of “The Brannon Law Firm.” With him are his two sons who are partners in the firm: Douglas (age 44) and David (age 41). Their website advertises: “The Brannon Law Firm has represented clients throughout Ohio in all types of probate, will, trust and estate matters.”  The Brannon family runs the “Brannon Law Firm.” The June Finance Report shows that Brannon family has provided $200,000 to David Brannon to acquire the position of Probate Judge. This looks like a good investment for a law firm that represents clients in that court. The way that the Brannon campaign is burning through cash, I expect the next Finance Report will show the family has provided even more money for the David Brannon campaign.

In contrast, Democrat Arvin Miller is 65 years old and the Guide shows that he has had a lifetime of relevant experience as an active judge. The last twelve years Miller has served as Probate Magistrate — hearing and deciding cases under the supervision of the retiring Probate Judge — Republican Alice McCollum.

The June 5 Finance Report recorded at the Montgomery County Board of Elections shows that, at that filing, the David Brannon campaign had $200,089.99 to spend and that the Alvin Miller campaign had $30,475.01 to spend. Brannon lists only three contributors — plus a $200,000 input from Colleen Brannon. Miller lists 58 contributors — almost all for amounts $100 -$200.

David Brannon and his brother, Douglas, work as lawyers, along with their father, Dwight, in the “Brannon Law Firm.” Their website emphasizes that the law firm works with the Probate Court “in all types of probate, will, trust and estate matters.”  I’m sure it would be a big boost to the probate business of the “Brannon Law Firm” to elect David Brannon as Probate Judge. Such a boost, over time, I imagine, would be worth much more than the $200,000 investment in this campaign.

The work of a Probate Court extends far beyond financial areas. There are over 200 references to the work of a Probate Court in the Ohio Revised Code — including marriage license, adoptions, name changes. One huge demand on a Probate Court are issues dealing with “guardianship.” If your relative is acting crazy and you are worried he or she will either hurt him or herself or will hurt somebody else — or if Altzheimer’s has made your friend or relative incapable of handling his or her own affairs — the Probate Court is the last resort. If you are being treated unfairly in your effort to adopt a child — again, you will seek justice in the Probate Court. There are all sorts of complicated cases, often involving those least capable of defending themselves, that end up before the Probate Court.

On his website, Arvin Miller explains: “The probate court is not a typical court. It deals with numerous and complex social issues. It requires experience. … Probate court is responsible for protecting some of society’s most vulnerable individuals.”

Arvin Miller for the last twelve years has worked as a “Magistrate,” hearing and deciding cases in the Probate Court. He was selected for this position by the retiring Probate Court Judge, Republican Alice McCollum, and has worked closely with Judge McCollum on many complicated cases.

At age 65, Miller has had a lifetime or working with the vulnerable. Prior to working as Magistrate for the Probate Court, Miller served for eight years as a prosecutor, with Lee Falke; he also served eight years as a public defender. He has volunteered many, many hours of service to those unable to pay. These last twelve years, as a Magistrate in the Probate Court, he has heard and decided many complicated cases. It is this experience that sets him apart from 41 year old David Brannon, who, it appears, has worked mostly with wills and estates.

I’m impressed that at age 65, Arvin Miller is still out there running. My knees fizzled out before age 50. From his website: “On a peaceful Dayton morning you may see Magistrate Arvin Miller running through some of his favorite places in town. He’s been doing this most of his life. For him it’s more than a hobby; it’s a passion. This passion has been the guiding light through many of his endeavors. Through running you learn to push through, keep your goals in mind, and help those you see along the way who are on their own journeys. Arvin has taken these lessons with him in his law career and now in his run for Montgmery County Probate Judge.”

Miller writes: “I want to be  positioned to help those suffering from severe mental health issues; help protect the elderly and mentally challenged from abuse and neglect though guardianship; and see that children can find forever homes through adoptions.  Also, more recently, to help those suffering from chronic alcoholism and drug addiction receive necessary treatment.”

The Court, of course, deals with the money issues of wills and estates, but the Court is the last hope for many of our most vulnerable citizens to find good solutions to very complex problems. David Brannon’s expensive campaign fails to explain what a significant part of being a competent Probate Judge entails.

I’m voting for Arvin Miller because his 65 years have been devoted to service and because his life experiences has given him the wisdom needed for a Probate Judge.

Miller writes: “ I believe that it is important to give back to the community. My continued commitment to the Montgomery County community is shown by my work creating the nationally acclaimed Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project along with past and present board membership on a wide variety of community organizations. Being Probate Judge will allow me to continue to help the community address systemic problems facing the vulnerable citizens coming before the probate court.”

41 year old David Brannon’s campaign to be elected Probate Judge is similar to 33 year old K. George Kordalis’ campaign to be elected Common Pleas Judge. Both are young Republican attorneys with money to spend, but both lack the real life experience that a judge needs. Both are going against much older and much more experienced Democrats.  In the contest for Common Pleas Judge, 33 year old Republican K. George Kordalis admits he has zero experience but 51 year old Democrat Susan Solle list years of relevant experience. (See the Vote411 Voter Guide)

See:

The Brannon family runs the “Brannon Law Firm.” The June Finance Report shows that Brannon family have provided $200,000 to David Brannon to acquire the position of Probate Judge. This looks like a good investment for a law firm that represents clients in that court. The way that the Brannon campaign is burning through cash, I expect the next Finance Report will show the family will have provided even more money for the David Brannon campaign.

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Republican Candidate, Niraj Antani, Wants The Ohio Senate To Prohibit Any Restrictions On 2nd Amendment “Rights”

Niraj Antani now represents House District 42 and he is the Republican candidate seeking election to represent Ohio Senate District 06

In yesterday’s Dayton Daily News front page article on the contest for Ohio Senate District 06, Republican candidate Niraj Antani stuck to his guns, repeating three times: “I do not support any bill that increases restrictions on the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens.”

More to the point, Antani wants to remove any limitation on guns.

Antani got national attention for advocating that 18 year olds should be allowed to take their long guns to school. He is famous for saying: “My view is that anyone who is of age should be able to carry a firearm wherever they want. The only restriction I believe in is for private property.”

Will Garbe of the DDN reported Antani saying: “Law-abiding high school students age 18 years or older should be able to carry long guns inside public high schools.”

There seems no limit to Antani’s zeal to liberate guns:

  • Should people to allowed to carry concealed weapons in the Ohio Statehouse and its grounds? Yes, sure.
  • Should workers be permitted to keeps guns in their cars in their employees parking lot — even if prohibited by the employer? Of course.
  • Should a gun holder have the right to “Stand their Ground” ? Yes. Yes.

Democrat Mark Fogel is seeking election to the Ohio Senate to represent District 06

In her April 19, 2020 DDN article, “Gun laws: Where local Statehouse candidates stand,” Laura Bischoff writes:

“Niraj Antani, a Republican state representative from Miamisburg, holds an A+ rating and endorsement from the Buckeye Firearms Association. He is undecided on DeWine’s Strong Ohio plan, though he is endorsed by DeWine for the Senate seat. Antani opposes bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as red flag laws. He favors enacting a stand your ground law and supports eliminating training and background checks for people who want to carry concealed weapons.”

After the Oregon shooting, Antani’s wild stubbornness for complete gun liberty was too much for Republican Senator Peggy Lehner. Term-limited after eight years as senator for District 06, she refused to endorse Antani. Weighing on Lehner’s decision had to be the memory of the shouts of the crowds who gathered to tell Governor DeWine to: Do Something. Do something. Do Something.

After the August 4 mass shooting, Governor DeWine, two weeks later, responded to the “Do Something” cries and made some specific recommendations for new gun laws. Lehner supported Gov. DeWine’s proposals and Antani opposed them. Antani’s stubbornness may have been the final straw for Lehner. Antani said he had asked Lehner about her support, but they differed too much on firearms.

“Lehner and I disagree on the 2nd Amendment,” Antani said. “I believe in supporting the 2nd Amendment. She believes in gun control. “I’m not willing to compromise on that issue. And I believe that’s why she endorsed my opponent,” Antani added.This from the August 18, 2019 DDN: Ohio lawmakers mixed for law changes from shooting:

In the Senate 16 members — evenly divided by party — support the governor’s red flag proposal. In the House 23 Democrats and two Republicans said they support it.State Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering said she supports all of Gov. DeWine’s proposals and considers the red flag and universal background check proposals “to be the most urgent and potentially most life-saving.”“In addition, I support a ban on high

capacity magazines and assault weapons. These are probably more effective at federal level,” Lehner said. …

Of those surveyed, only State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg said outright that he is against DeWine’s red flag proposal. “The proposal lacks necessary due process,” Antani said

The issue of gun legislation is one big difference between Republican candidate Niraj Antani and the Democratic candidate Mark Fogel. Here are their responses to DDN’s three questions:

Q: SB221, the governor’s Strong Ohio gun reform package, isn’t likely to pass this legislative session and will likely be re-introduced next session. Where do you stand on the basic elements of the package?

Antani: I do not support any bill that increases restrictions on the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens.
Fogel: Common-sense, reasonable gun safety legislation is one of my top priorities. I say this as a gun owner myself, and someone dedicated to keeping our community safe. As we all know, after the Oregon District shooting, our neighbors demanded that leaders ‘do something’. While the Governor’s gun reforms are a step in the right direction, it’s upsetting that our legislators have failed to pass this bill, not to mention failing to enact the will of the people.

We need to make sure dangerous people don’t have access to guns, so we need universal background checks for gun sales. Ohio needs ‘red flag’ laws that help keep guns out of the hands of those deemed to be an imminent threat. Unlike my opponent, I believe that people with concealed carry permits should be required to complete training, and that high schoolers should not be able to take guns to class. The latter idea is dangerous and preposterous. I’m proud to be a Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate, and be endorsed by Ohio’s Police, because they know I’ll fight for smart gun policy in Ohio.

Q: Should Ohio require background checks for ALL gun purchases, including private party sales?

Fogel: Yes.
Antani: I do not support any bill that increases restrictions on the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens.

Q: Should Ohio pass a red flag law that allows families and police to seek a court order to remove firearms from those deemed to be a danger to themselves or others?

Fogel: Yes.
Antani: I do not support any bill that increases restrictions on the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens.

It’s hard to think that a majority of the citizens of District 06 could possibly agree with Antani’s over-the-top — “I’m not willing to compromise on that issue” — radical views of total gun liberty. Could sanity for gun laws be the issue that will make a difference in this contest for District 06?

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Democrats Seeking Election In Republican Districts Should Show A Plan For Transparency, Citizen Engagement

In 1994, Newt Gingrich got Republican candidates to agree to support a “Contract With America” — promising that, if elected, they would to take action on specific legislation. This Contract nationalized the election and is credited with the Republican’s big success that election — gaining 54 House and 9 U.S. Senate seats — flipping both chambers.

Democrats seeking election in Republican leaning districts cannot win by expecting Republican voters to embrace a Democratic Party agenda. I’d like to suggest that Democratic candidates in this region — seeking election to the Ohio House and Ohio Senate in Republican leaning districts — agree on a “Contract With Voters.” Rather than establishing legislative goals, this “Contract With Voters” would establish standards of representation. It would tell how, when elected, the candidate will be accountable to voters and how the candidate will engage and empower voters. This might include a plan for town halls, a plan for a “Citizen Forum,” a plan for engaging citizens, especially youth, in understanding the issues, the work and the challenges of the Assembly.

What is our biggest problem?

In 1994, Gingrich with the “Contract With America” convinced a lot of voters that the biggest problems in America were deficit spending, crime, lack of term limits, etc. In the contract, the Republicans offered specific legislation to deal with these problems.

Here in 2020, we have a lot of big problems, but I’m thinking there is a growing consensus that our biggest problem is the on-going destruction of our democracy. Not all Republican leaning voters would agree with this assessment, but I think many would agree. A key section of Republican leaning voters, I believe, would respond to an authentic leader who was honestly working to bring citizens together and to empower citizens — regardless of party affiliation.

Authentic leadership, I believe, is “servant leadership” — the term used by Mark Fogel, Democratic candidate for Senate District 06. But without a contract to spell out what this term means in practice, to promise “servant leadership” amounts to just more political speech.

Fogel made an excellent TEDx talk, The Culture of a Fighter Squadron, in 2018. In this talk he explains how leadership works in this exclusive fighter group. Successful leadership in this setting is committed to accountability, transparency, and empowerment. This leadership is focused on the group working together to safely and effectively achieve its missions.

So, what is the mission of an elected member of the Assembly?

Democrats should define the mission. The mission of a member of the Assembly is not to get reasonable gun laws; it’s not to help citizens get health care. The mission, as defined by the “Contract With Voters,” I’m thinking, should be to make our system of democracy work as it should. The Contract, then, would spell out how the elected member of the Assembly will act to empower citizens to be co-servants, co-leaders in saving our democracy. When our democracy works as it should, we will have reasonable gun laws, we will have a health care system that helps every citizen.

This “Contract With Voters,” then, would show a specific plan for transparency, accountability, citizen empowerment and citizen engagement.  Creating such a Contract — establishing standards for representation — and promoting this Contract as a contrast with the typical Republican behavior of members in the Assembly, I believe might make a difference in the election.

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