Corrupt Politics Behind Lakota’s Boys and Girls Club West Chester: The exploitation of children to fulfill fantasies of vanity

The essence of the Boys and Girls Clubs across America is really an excuse for altruistic latté sipping prostitutes to bath themselves in perfume and take selfies at award dinners to celebrate their bailout of failed parenting and offerings of all day babysitting services to families too busy and ignorant to perform the task of mentoring for their own children.   In spite of the hoards of celebrities which participate in commercials for the Boys and Girls Clubs, the basic message of the organization is that parents fail at raising children and that there is a social safety net out there to catch all those lost children who would otherwise fall through the cracks of civilization.  The idiocy of the message is that an alliance with government schools will somehow miraculously overcome bad parenting and make children complete citizens who will then grow up and “serve” their communities.  Needless to say, I think the whole premise is a bad idea.  So it should come as no surprise that I’m against the one that is being built in West Chester, Ohio in partnership with Lakota schools, which can be seen at the two articles below, one from the Journal News, the other from me where I break down the essence and politics of the deal telling the behind the scenes story of how that ridiculous endeavor came to be and who the personalities involved are.

However, the focus of this present article should be on the strategy of the Lakota superintendent Karen Mantia—as I am in a unique position to tell the story—which of course she will deny when pressed—but actions always do speak louder than words.  Karen when she was hired and overpaid by Lynda O’Conner, current Vice President of the Lakota school board, came to Lakota to pass school levies.  Up until that point Lakota residents had a strong resistance against tax increases proposed by the school.  So she set to do as she had in Pickerington, Ohio, to unite the business community and get their buy-in to her school system—as school superintendents like to see themselves as CEO’s who run vast corporations.  Coming to Lakota she sought to convert members of the opposition from No Lakota Levy—my group—into her way of thinking but first she had to know the political lay of the land.  She met with us and she and I had a nice conversation about my motorcycle and recent trip to Key West.  She was smooth and unassuming and made my partners believe that she had a head on her shoulders and that she just might approach school business with a mind to savings.

However, what Karen knew and discovered during that meeting, and through subsequent dinners through Lynda O’Conner with members of my No Lakota Levy group was that the builders and developers who were a part of the tax resistance were scorned by the school and not getting any work.  After all, Lakota schools is one of the largest employers in Butler County so it is hard to be in the business of developing things when you are on the shit list of local government employment group, so some of those members of the No Lakota Levy group wanted to repair their relationship with the school because they needed the work and felt vulnerable being on the wrong side of politics.  Mark Sennett was the first to defect out of pressure applied to him, which was revealed during the summer of 2011 when he misspoke to the media that No Lakota Levy would support a 2012 levy under certain conditions.  Of course I corrected that to the media and Mark was pushed out of the No Lakota Levy group.  Other developer types joined Mark, while others stayed with me.  Mark being a former government employee himself didn’t have strong convictions about things and was a member of No Lakota Levy because his affiliation with me saved him a lot of money in taxes—so we agreed on that much.  But on other matters, his reasons for being a part of the group were not as strong as mine.

During her meeting with No Lakota Levy Karen learned who the leaders of the group where and who the moderates were and quickly went back to the drawing board to figure out how to divide and conquer our group.  I warned our guys that this was her intentions and that she wasn’t such a nice old lady as she seemed.  For that particular election, they listened to me, but after the third levy defeat for which we orchestrated again saving local business owners millions of dollars—they began to feel the heat of being on the political out within the community and wanted desperately to repair their inside relationships for the exclusive purpose of gaining work from Lakota.  As developers, they couldn’t afford a sustained resistance to Lakota’s constant tax requests and Karen knew it.  So she attacked them where they all shared common ground—through the local socialite Patti Alderson.

Karen nurtured a friendship with the West Chester version of Lovey Howell from the Gilligan’s Island television show which cut directly to my No Lakota Levy members, because many were involved in the Community Foundation with her.  After discovering that Karen seemed like a reasonable women—a titan of industry much like herself–Alderson formed an alliance that would continue well into the next two years.  The purpose of this alliance was to pull the business oriented support of No Lakota Levy away from the ideological elements—represented by me.  I warned our members that this was what was going on, and told them that Karen planned to ignore the voters by going for another levy attempt in 2012 during a meeting right before Christmas in 2011.  They held tight for as long as they could, but really could not stand up to Alderson who put a lot of social pressure on them to buckle, because in essence they needed her more than she needed them.

On cue, Karen made her moves and positioned Lakota for an early 2012 levy push for either May or August when everyone was thinking about summer break—a tactic she tried in Pickerington.  Patti put pressure on my No Lakota Levy guys to separate from my radicalism and join the political moderates who were under the thumb of Karen Mantia joined together through the Community Foundation. Sensing the separation, Karen then worked the radical elements of her levy supporters to come after me personally and smear my name leading to the now famous Kroger Survey incident.  CLICK HERE TO REVIEW.   Reports of the survey came to me from No Lakota Levy supporters who directed me to the website “Yappi Sports,” which naturally infuriated me.  I agreed to a plan by the other No Lakota Levy members who were direct friends with Alderson to help them with a charity type organization called Yes To Lakota Kids.  Originally, we were planning to join Alderson’s group—but since her real objective was not to help kids, but build alliances against No Lakota Levy in favor of Karen Mantia’s efforts—she couldn’t work with me.  So we started our own group which touched off a firestorm of panic.   Immediately school board member Julie Shafer whom I debated on 700 WLW scoured through my articles and pieced together some of the worst things they could find that I had written to smear me publically—because the Yes To Lakota Kids foundation strategically cut too far into Lakota’s turf—which I knew it would all along.  So they had to take action.  I stood by my comments and felt good about it until the No Lakota Levy guys in direct alliance with Alderson left me stranded at the altar.  I knew the temptation was strong from them to end the levy fight, but I didn’t think they would side with her against me—but in the end, the politics of the deal was stronger than friendships and the rest is history.  Because of the damage on both sides—as I was intensely furious about the incident even more so than what caused me to say the things I had said in the first place—a short cease-fire was agreed upon.  Karen took that time to lick her wounds and try a different approach using a strategy of friendliness to counter all the vile things I had said about them.  Lakota spent many thousands of dollars on publicity to re-invent their image, and tried again for a levy in the fall of 2013 which they won by the slightest of margins.  Karen knew she had to try to get the money during a low year of voter turnout, as there weren’t any big state or national races on the ticket—otherwise she might not get another chance until 2015.  At the rate of spending Lakota already needs to try for another levy in 2017—so her time to take her one and only shot was in the fall of 2013.  My old friends and I joined together once again to resist the levy, but without me in the formal role of spokesmen—the effort failed.  I was better working in front of the scenes than behind and among them they couldn’t find anybody else to do the job the way I had.

I did what I had to do shortly after the levy passage to reduce my tax burden to absorb the cost of the levy, because I simply wasn’t going to spend the extra dollars out of my pocket to pay Lakota.  But for the rest of the members, who sided with Patti, they now have a substantially higher rate of tax to pay because of their wishy-washy behavior and failure to stand for their convictions—which leads us to this whole Boys and Girls Club at the old Union Elementary school.  What’s in the deal for Alderson—she gets to attend more dinners that worship her wealth as spotlights will douse her with attention—which she desperately seeks.  Karen gets a partner to support her in the next levy attempt as Patti pulls a lot of the local Republicans off their small government positions and into her fold just because of the wealth and political influence she commands. The local levy supporters get a free babysitting service so that they can feel the lack of guilt from being such sucky disconnected parents and my best friend from the No Lakota Levy days gets to build the whole thing.  He stood up to them for a while, Lynda, Karen, and of course Patti, but in the end he was locked arm and arm with West Chester’s Lovey Howell after the school board meeting finalizing the deal several months ago.  He was finally, conquered by Karen Mantia’s strategy implemented carefully and patiently.

So when people say about the Boys and Girls Club deal that there is corruption involved, now you know dear reader what they are talking about.  The inside deals are voluminous and run to the deepest cores of politics in Butler County.  Karen came to Lakota paid by O’Conner to do just this kind of divide and conquer tactic—but what all these elements have in common is their exploitation of children to commit the deeds.  Lakota routinely does this to gain money and leverage for their collective bargaining contracts, but in essence the Boys and Girls Club is no different.  They use children and the unfortunate victims of bad parenting to bath themselves in vanity for self recognition that has its roots in their personal religious outlooks.  Children and their misfortunes by all these parties are continuously exploited for the gains of adults who deep down inside want to be adored and loved by the masses for reasons that trace back to their own childhoods and the failures associated there.  That is why when the next levy is attempted by Lakota it won’t be the old cast of characters from No Lakota Levy this time—it will be a much more ideologically driven base that stands in defiance.  I knew what Karen was up to all along, because it takes one to know one, and I am well at work on the next campaign against them and will not again be vulnerable to wavering souls driven only by tax savings and not rooted in firm convictions.

Rich Hoffman