Apr 19, 2010
Fieger Time fires up the troops at MDP convention
DETROIT -- One important function of any political convention is to energize and fire up the troops, and super attorney Geoffrey Fieger did just that on Saturday at the first ever Michigan Democratic Party Endorsement Convention in Cobo Hall.
The 1998 Democratic Michigan Gubernatorial candidate spoke to a standing room only crowd at the Justice Caucus, and he hit on everything from the current budget situation to the Republican majority on the Michigan Supreme Court once known as the “Gang of Four.”
Fieger lost to former Governor John Engler in 1998, and the only candidate who won on the Democratic slate was current Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who won as Michigan Attorney General. Fieger said he was proud to have had a hand in selecting her as the AG candidate.
He pointed out Republicans have blamed her for all of the state’s economic troubles, despite it was the Bush Administration that ran the country into the worst recession since the Great Depression. Because Michigan has so many manufacturing jobs, Michigan feels any economic downturn, first hurts the worst and is the last state to come out of it. He asked how Granholm can be blamed for General Motors and Chrysler declaring bankruptcy.
“As you know, she walked into a deficit of $500 million that was left to her by Mr. Engler intentionally, intentionally,” he said. “She has never been able to get out from under that.”
Fieger said when the voters know the facts they will never vote for a Republican,and it’s up to the Democrats to get the facts out.
“Why anyone would vote for a Republican in this election cycle is beyond me,” he said. “It’s only possible by the complacency of the Democrats, and it’s only by the Democrats sitting on their keisters.”
He said he was amazed by the Republican gubernatorial field. He said “Twitter” Pete Hoekstra thinks the biggest issue facing Michigan is terrorism. He said Republicans always have to have a boogyman. The current one is terrorists, yet the country was not shut down and freedoms were not taken away after the Oklahoma City bombing, which occurred 15 years ago today.
“When I was a kid it was the communists; like the communists were going to invade Iowa or Montana, but the communists in China are OK,” Fieger said. “They will still take you into a stadium and shoot you in the back of the head in front of 10,000 people, but that’s OK.
“The communists in Cuba are evil, but they can’t hurt a fly, and they don’t have a nuclear weapon,” he said.
He took on the Michigan Supreme Court and especially Justice Bob “Sleepy” Young, who is up for reelection in November. He said Young was the former general counsel for AAA Insurance Co. and a friend of the Michigan chamber, and that’s why he rules for insurance companies more than 80 percent of the time.
“I, and other trial lawyers, represent the victims,” Fieger said. “We are the people’s warriors. Being a trial lawyer is more than my profession to me, I care about my clients.”
Fieger’s distaste for the Supreme Court is personal. On a radio appearance a few years ago he referred to the Michigan appellate judges as "jackasses" for overturning a $15 million medical malpractice judgment he had won. A lower court reprimand based on these comments was eventually upheld by the Michigan Supreme Court.
He also talked about his selective prosecution on campaign finance charges. In 2007, Fieger was indicted on federal charges of funneling illegal contributions to the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, and he was acquitted of all charges on June 2, 2008. He said Goldman Sachs employees were awarded for doing the same thing he was charged for, yet the Bush Administration went after him alone.
“All it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing,” he said.
Michigan can’t afford eight more years of the same old sleepy judge. Young was voted the worst justice on the Supreme Court by the magazine Michigan Lawyers Weekly, he supported drug company immunity when their drugs harm or kill and his decisions have protected polluters who despoil our waters.
“Those four justices never overturned a verdict in favor of an insurance company, and they never overturned a verdict against a criminal defendant,” Fieger said.