Jan 26, 2010
Drolet says a little corruption is no big deal
Republican Senate candidate Leon Drolet called the corruption filled 2008 recall effort against House Speaker Andy Dillon, D-Redford, on the level because only two signature takers were indicted for fraud.
Michael Bastianelli, 28, of Westland and Harvey Robinson, 39, of Redford were arraigned back in December in 16th District Court in Livonia on two felony counts of uttering and publishing and making false statements related to recall petitions during the Dillon recall attempt. On Friday, Bastianelli pled guilty to a felony charge of uttering and publishing. He had forged the signature of Redford's fire chief on a petition form.
Drolet - a former Republican state Representative, Macomb County Commissioner and executive director of the so-called Michigan Taxpayers Alliance (MTA) - headed up the recall effort because Dillon voted for a tax increase to avoid a state government shutdown. Drolet claims he only met Robinson once, and he also claims he had nothing to do with the fraud because he hired a company to collect signatures.
Even more incredible, he told subscription only Gongwers that he disputed criticism that “the recall effort was rife with fraud. If anything, that only two people out of 200 workers were charged vindicates the integrity of the campaign.”
He went even farther and said the committee that sought Dillon's recall should be repaid by Bastianelli. He’s using the GOP strategy that if you’re going to tell a lie, you might as well go big.
"This was two guys out 200," Drolet told Gongwer. "No, I don't believe it does (taint the campaign) anymore than one person can go and sign the name Mickey Mouse on a petition and taint the whole petition.”
That’s the same situation with the favorite Republican boogieman, ACORN, who are under fire because a few workers collecting voter registrations forged them because they were paid for each one. But ACORN was a nationwide effort with thousands of workers. Drolet’s crooked recall took place in one single township. The claim that Drolet didn’t know anything about it is ridiculous.
He is either lying or he is a poor administrator who had no idea what was going in something he was in charge of. Considering how small an area he was in charge of that, it’s clear he knew what was going on.
Not only that, but the State Police began investigating in May 2008 after receiving 499 complaints of documented forgeries and nearly 2,000 additional suspected forgeries, indicating a widespread campaign to commit fraud. Again, for Drolet to claim he did not know what was going on is ridiculous.