One of the better articles about a race that I’ve been a part of. Front page today, below the fold.
“Turner’s voting record hardly qualifies him as a “moderate republican.” He has a 92.9% Trump Score.
As to the Party not endorsing me- that’s because I call out criminal behavior by both parties. I’m an equal opportunity critic.
My position on gun ownership was simplified- I believe that to own semi-automatic weapons, you must be part of a “Well regulated militia” as per the 2nd Amendment. See the link in the story.
Turner blaming “Biden’s policies” for inflation shows he doesn’t understand monetary policy at all. The Fed has been the leading problem- raising costs for poor folks while making the rich richer.
Candidates for U.S. Congress seat have long, not so friendly history – Dayton Daily News
By Josh Sweigart – Staff Writer
Incumbent Turner and Esrati go back in Dayton politics.
The race for the seat representing the Dayton region and now Springfield in Congress features two men who not only differ ideologically but who also have personal animus dating back decades to Dayton City Hall.
The candidates for Ohio 10th House District are incumbent Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, and Democrat David Esrati, a Dayton activist and blogger.
The seat represents Montgomery and Greene counties, and, after redistricting, now includes Springfield and southern Clark County but no longer Fayette County. It comes with a two-year term and pays $174,000 a year.
Turner has been in office nearly 20 years, best known for his efforts to protect funding and missions at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. A moderate Republican, he voted to certify Joe Biden winning the 2020 election but also made cable news rounds recently questioning the FBI’s raid of former President Trump’s Florida estate.
In an interview with this newspaper, Turner touted his impact on the region during his time in Congress.
“You can’t drive through this district and not see some area in which I have impacted the community,” he said.
Esrati is an Army veteran and owner of a marketing firm. He has run for several political offices but never won. His blog reflects his willingness to be confrontational.
His activism includes lawsuits challenging local government actions.
“For 20 years, (voters) have had somebody who was chosen for them, who doesn’t meet with them, who doesn’t represent them,”
Esrati said in an interview.
The two faced off politically for the first time in 1993. They were among five people trying to unseat Dayton Mayor Clay Dixon, with whom Esrati got into a fight after a candidates forum that made news, according to newspaper archives.
Turner beat out Dixon and served as mayor until 2001, when he was unseated by Rhine McLin. He ran successfully in 2002 for the congressional seat vacated by Democrat Tony Hall and has been re-elected ever since.
Esrati’s most famous confrontation with Turner came in 1996, when Esrati was arrested after Turner had him removed from a Dayton City Commission meeting for wearing a ninja mask. Esrati wore the mask to protest proposed limits to public comment at meetings. Turner said he was worried about public safety, according to Dayton Daily News archives.
Esrati sued the city for $1 million and settled for $100,000 in 1998 after courts ruled that the arrest violated Esrati’s right to free speech.
Esrati has since used the courts to take on other entities.
He currently has an open Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Justice seeking investigative records from an investigation into corruption by multiple Dayton officials.
He has sued the Montgomery County Board of Elections and Dayton Public Schools alleging Open Meetings Act violations.
In 2018, Esrati sued the Dayton Metro Library after a security guard there kicked him out of the downtown branch for taking photos. The library settled for $35,000, which Esrati says he used to start Reconstructing Dayton, an organization advocating consolidating area governments to increase efficiency and decrease waste in local government.
Esrati has stayed an unrelenting critic of Turner, saying Turner “has been bought, sold and paid for by the military industrial complex,” and isn’t accessible to voters.
“Turner hates me,” Esrati said.
Asked if this race was personal for him, Turner said: “My opponent has a history of assaulting the community, and his own personal record has resulted in the Democratic party refusing to endorse him.”
Turner said he is proud of work done on behalf of WPAFB, but he has provided other benefits for his district as well in recent years: funding for the redevelopment of the Salem Mall area, the Mound in Miamisburg, On Main in Dayton, and the West Carrollton riverfront.
“All of these are projects that I’ve both been active in and assisted in providing funding and assistance,” he said.
Turner is working this year to get legislation through Congress — which has gotten President Biden’s support — that would restore pensions for salaried Delphi retirees. And he says he advocated for a project to bring low-income housing for veterans to Dayton.
Congressional redistricting made the 10th congressional district more competitive than in previous elections.
Turner holds a substantial fundraising advantage. The most recent Federal Election Commission data says Turner raised $1.1 million from January through June and ended the reporting period with $583,444 on hand. Esrati raised $13,958 and was left with $2,750.
Esrati said Turner is backed by billionaires and he expected local, state and national Democratic organizations to support him financially as they had other Turner challengers when the district was less winnable by a Democrat. But that support never came.
“The Democratic Party in Montgomery County is only interested in keeping their friends and family in power,” he said.
Montgomery County Democratic Party Chairman Mohamed Al-Hamdani said there was no official reason Esrati wasn’t endorsed and that party members all had their own reasons for voting not to endorse anyone in that race.
Esrati noted his work as president of his neighborhood organization and forming community and business groups as examples of connecting people and getting things done.
“I work with people all the time. My business involves working with people,” he said.
Esrati on the issues
If elected to Congress, Esrati said his top priorities will be restoring the abortion protections of Roe v. Wade nationally, adding more transparency to campaign finance “to report in real time and make it clear who is buying your representative,” and gun reform.
On guns, he believes legal gun ownership should only be provided to people who have served in the military. (see: www.electesrati.com/guncontrol)
Asked how the federal government can address inflation and the cost of living, Esrati said the problem is corporate greed and pay inequity. He said anti-trust enforcement and supporting small business — such as offering Medicare for all — would help support people not billionaires.
“To put it simply, if you play Monopoly and one person takes all the money, the game is over. And we’ve been operating like that for years without knowing it,” he said.
Esrati said defense spending will continue coming to this area regardless of who is in Congress.
He believes elected officials and judges should be age-limited at 70.
Esrati said voters in Springfield should vote for him because he will be accessible to them.
“I’ll hold town halls, I’ll actually answer calls, I’ll meet with the public. That’s something Mike Turner’s never done,” he said.
Turner on the issues
Turner said if reelected his priorities will be continuing growth with Wright-Patterson, economic development and job creation in the region, and “working to tame this economy and the inflationary impacts of Biden’s policies.”
He said federal spending has fueled runaway inflation, and while Ohioans are dealing with increased costs of living they are going to see increased interest rates.
“You’re going to see inflationary pressures at the same time you’re going to see economic constraints with increased interest rates, and I’m very fearful that could result in recessionary pressures,” he said.
On gun control, Turner supports restrictions on “military style assault weapons.”
Turner said he doesn’t support a federal abortion ban and said the issue should be left to the states.
As for the addition of Springfield to his district, Turner said as a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee he helped bring $10 million to the National Advanced Air Mobility Center of Excellence at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.
“I’ve already been working on behalf of the people in Springfield and Clark County.
I view that the geographical boundaries of congressional lines are imaginary, and we’re all one southwest Ohio,” he said.
Contact this reporter at 937- 554-0876 or email [email protected]
MEET THE CANDIDATES
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Wright State University; U.S. Army
Current employment: Business owner, The Next Wave Marketing Innovation
Political experience: None
Political party: Democratic Website: ElectEsrati.com (you are on it)
Education: Doctorate, Georgetown University ; Law degree, Case Western Reserve University; MBA, University of Dayton; Bachelor’s degree, Ohio Northwestern University
Current employment: U.S. representative
Political experience: U.S. representative since 2002; mayor of Dayton 1994-2002