Aug 24, 2007

LIVCO Democratic Party chair sets the record straight

Livingston County Chair Matt Evans responded to the Livingston GOP chair’s letter-to-the–editor in the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus that ran Wednesday where he made baseless charges that the Democrats carried signs in the Melonfest parade with hateful messages with a letter of his own that ran in today’s edition. In this, Matt Evans clearly identifies himself as the chair of the party, unlike Filip who tried to portray himself as an innocent observer.

As the Chair of the Livingston County Democratic Party I need to set the record straight as to the letter from the Republican Party Chair that appeared in the Press Argus on August 22nd.

Mr. Filip’s letter stated that our members carried hateful signs in the Howell Melon Fest parade. The following are the slogans that appeared on the signs: “Quit stalling on State budget.”; “We want universal healthcare.”; “No spying on Americans.”; “Mike Rogers voted against children's health.” ; “Support the troops, bring them home.”

“State Senate: Don't balance the budget on our student's backs.”

I fail to see how any of these statements can be honestly categorized as “hateful”, however I can recommend to Mr. Filip that if he is seriously concerned about hate speech he should perhaps turn his attention to the October appearance of Anne Coulter. Of course he has an inside line on free tickets to this event as his wife is one of the organizers.

Mr. Filip also took out of context a quote from the house Whip James Clyburn. If you were to read the entire quote (see the Washington Post website) the problem Mr. Clyburn was referring to was the possibility that some Democratic members may want to “stay the course”. He did not say that we would look at progress as bad news. Of course this wouldn’t be the first time Mr. Filip was loose with the facts. This spring he told the Ann Arbor News that Senator Levin “flip-flopped” on the Iraq War, when in fact he opposed this fiasco from the beginning.

I understand better than most the sacrifices that are necessary to guarantee our safety and security. I lost a brother in Viet Nam and even 39 years after his untimely death, it is as real as if it was yesterday. I know first hand the sacrifice that the families of the fallen have placed on the altar of freedom. This administration and its partners, Mike Rogers and the Republican rubber-stamp Congress, must be held accountable for this mess.

Our message is indeed political, but it is not for our personal gain that we march. I firmly believe that we need to return the government to the people, not the highest bidder. And Mr. Filip, if we have to rain on your parade to make it happen, so be it.

Matt Evans

Chairman, Livingston County Democratic Party

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