Dec 17, 2006

One party rule in Livingston County hampers progress

I don’t usually like to comment on Letters to the Editor for a number of reasons. But the letter in the Sunday edition of the Daily Press & Argus really caught my attention. It’s hard to believe the letter writer, Bob Murray, was ever an elected official. I have to wonder if the former supervisor of Genoa Township has ever met a Democrat he liked, and as supervisor of one of the most populous townships in the county was he only representing Republicans?

The letter was in response to an editorial the P & A published on Dec. 14 where it urged the Livingston County Democratic Party to being searching for "creditable candidates" for office now. My response was the newspaper should take its own advice and begin treating all candidates fairly.

Mr. Murray blew any creditability he may have had in the first sentence when he called the newspaper the “Democrat Daily Press & Argus.” This is the same newspaper that has on its editorial board an editor that actually ran for the Michigan House as a conservative Republican and another member who is a campaign contributor to Republican candidates. I know these people are journalist who strive to present a fair and balanced view, and for the most part they succeed. However, on the editorial page is where they fail the most.

Mr. Murray says, “The implication seems to be that all you Republican officials are not up to the job and should be replaced by Democrats. Livingston County is one of the best-run and most prosperous counties in Michigan.”

I have to take exception to both of those statements. First, no one is saying the Republicans officials are not up to the job. But, when there are more voices and points of view at the table we all benefit, and a real race makes politicians accountable. In fact, during elections are the only time many politicians are ever accountable to voters. We have seen the consequences when one party controls all branches of government.

As for calling it the best-run county I suggest he get out more. The leadership may be adequate, but calling it the best is a stretch. We are the fastest growing county in the state, but we still do not have the same services for our residents that many smaller counties enjoy. Some smaller counties have their own community colleges, recreation departments and park system and even a health plan for residents. We have none of these things.

Take community colleges as an example. Of the five counties bordering Livingston County only one does not have a CC of its own, Shiawassee County. Just a county away in Monroe, that has fewer residents at 156,000 compared to Livingston’s 187,000 residents, they have had a thriving and growing CC since the 1960’s.

As for Mr. Murray’s last question, is it just a coincidence that it is run by Republicans? The answer is yes.


Anonymous said...

CG, stop the lies!

No member of the Argus Editorial board gave money to Republican candidates! One of their wives did!

How can we trust the information on this blog if you're going to keep on lying?

Communications guru said...

I see no difference in a wife contributing or a journalist who has been in the business for many, many years and knows better. If you want to split hairs on that point, fine, but it’s certainly not a lie. If you’re going to call me a liar at least have the courage to not hide behind an anonymous screen name, who-ever-you-are. I stand by the post.

Anonymous said...

I see no lies here ... making contributions in the name of a family member is one of the oldest tricks in the book.

Communications guru said...

Thank you. That’s my point of view.

Anonymous said...

My God. How incredibly sexist of you.

In your world, a woman is incapable of making a political donation on her own? If she does so, it's only because her husband told her to?

A woman is not capable of having political opinions independent of her husband?

Please, defend this sexist position of yours.

Anonymous said...

Huh?? Sexist?? What's wrong with you?

Men/husbands certainly make political contributions at the behest of women/wives ... it happens all of the time.

Children at the behest of parents and parents at the behest of children.

Get it? ... making contributions in the name of a family member is one of the oldest tricks in the book.

Communications guru said...

I don’t see it as sexist at all, who-ever-you-are. In many cases in two-income families the money goes into a common pot or money decisions are made jointly. One SPOUSE contributing for both is also very common, or having one spouse make the donation in their name because the other person can’t have their name show up on a campaign finance report.

Here’s a great example of that. This is from a July 25 column in the Metro Times by veteran journalist and former executive editor of Hometown Communications Jack Lessenberry. I’ll give you the link because he says some great things about your hero Chris Ward.

"Last week, I read an excellent piece on what’s wrong with campaign finance rules in Michigan in the Northern Express, Traverse City’s alternative paper. In it, the brilliant Anne Stanton (all right, so she was my student many years ago) revealed that an Auburn Hills housewife named Linda Shea gave, out of the goodness of her heart, $40,000 to the political action committee of one Jason Allen, a politically ambitious Republican state senator from Traverse City.
Does, uh, like, her husband know? I wondered idly. Turns out he did indeed; he owns P.K. Contracting, which gets millions from the state for painting those lines on our highways.
Jason Allen is a likely bet to be the next majority leader, unless Yahweh allows the Democrats to take over the state Senate, and the lovely Linda undoubtedly wants to make sure that money for highway lines is in the budget, and that hubby gets the contracts again.
So, I asked our courageous Livingston County reformer, would your reforms forbid this kind of behavior? Well, no again, “but maybe if we get some bipartisan support that might be something we might want to look at.”

Here’s the link.

Anonymous said...

What is sexist is that you assume she made the donation "at the behest" of her husband.

Isn't it possible she made up her own mind using her little old woman brain?

Anonymous said...

True. If you're not a liar, you're at least a sexist.

Communications guru said...

Well, I’m not a sexist like you so I would never say “her little old woman brain,” but I believe most spending decisions in a marriage and partnership are mutual ones. There are all kinds of possibilities. I’m not going to change your mind because it’s already been made up for some time, who-ever-you-are. I guess that one’s a wash, but what about the Republican candidate on the editorial board?

Instead of taking the standard Republican tactic of smearing the messenger try commenting on the message for a change.

Communications guru said...

I’m not a liar or a sexist, 9:14 p.m. poster. You can’t be directing that at me. Try attaching an identity or a pen name to the stuff you write. Or are you that ashamed of it you don’t want to even take ownership of it in cyberspace?

Anonymous said...

I stand by my original thought on the subject ... making political contributions in the name of a family member is one of the oldest tricks in the book.

That's just politics in America.

Communications guru said...

I agree.