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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Getting Leon

 
 
  Getting Leon
 
      Following in the footsteps of former President Richard Nixon, the Macomb County leader of twelve ill-fated anti-tax recall campaigns says he is not a crook either.  Tell that to State Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer.
      Brewer has been on a mission from God to get Leon Drolet and when word filtered out that Drolet would appear on Off the Record on public TV this past weekend, Brewer was on the horn just to make sure that tough questions about illegal campaign activities were hurled at Drolet.
      Brewer and company allege that Drolet presided over a fraudulent effort to recall House Speaker Andy Dillon that supposedly included dead persons circulating recall petitions, homeless people writing names from the phone book on the petitions, and who knows what all.
       Drolet says he did nothing illegal and is "unaware" of others breaking the law.  Notice the use of the word unaware which gives Drolet an out if the state attorney general actually discovers laws were broken.  On a lesser note, he does concede he could have done a better oversight job to ferret out mistakes that were made, but of them were criminal.
      Brewer's not buying that.  He says Drolet ran the campaign and should shoulder the legal responsibility for any wrongdoing.
      While they won't say it, you can pretty much surmise that the D's want to make an example of Drolet as a warning to others who would try to boot lawmakers who vote for a tax hike.
      If Drolet is shivering in his boots over the prospects of being charged with a crime, he sure didn't reveal it when he did the OTR taping.
      In fact he suggested that if anybody broke the law it was Brewer and he, Drolet, would explore his legal options against his fellow Macomb County "friend.".
      Meanwhile Drolet will be in the courts this week trying to salvage the Dillon recall effort.  The state ruled last week he did not get enough petition signatures to place the issue before Redford voters in August.
     If he fails in the courts, Drolet admits his public stock will go down.  No duh.
     

3 Comments:

Blogger Zark-Vader said...

Tim,

As much as Leon lack of oversight was monumental, Brewer's hypocrisy here is truly monumental. Ask Brewer some hard questions the next time you have his ear. For example, he told Paul W. Smith a week ago that he was prosecuting Leon to "protect the integrity of the electoral process." You might show that quote right above where he swatted at my camera during a hallway meeting at the July 19, 2005 Board of Canvassers meeting where he was giving the two Democrat canvassers "orders" by whispering sweet nothings to them. (video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lJFWxR1ko4)_
Anyone prosecuting Brewer for helping violate the Open Meetings Act there, and tamper with a Canvassers decision? "Election integrity" from Mark Brewer? This is about power and delivering a message, as you properly note.

Everyone familar with petitioning knows that there will always be some technically flawed signatures, some signers that sign "Mickey Mouse", and signers that legitimately think their registered that are not. If a mistake means going to jail - that is an attempt to chill speech. There may even be occasional "real fraud" - where someone forges signatures, misrepresents their address, or even forges signatures to make petition organizer look bad. As a former petition organizer, I have no qualms with putting in jail those people you have evidence (that meets criminal evidence standards) committed fraud. If the organizer knows about it, they are guilty too -- but you and I both know that stuff is hard to catch. Brewer's proposed standard - "organizer responsible for everything" - would completely disband the American system of jurisprudence (presumption of innocence), chill speech, and make petitioning almost impossible. The standard of "you're in charge, you go to jail" for any fraud below you, is a standard designed to destroy petitioning. Opponents need merely "slip one past the goalie", perhaps through their own fraud, and the organizers are gone.

Leon appears to have massively screwed up on verification of his circulators residences. He'll lose as a result and pay a heavy price. But circulators not being residents is hardly fraud, particularly if they gave honest addresses and lived near a district border. If 2000 were rejected for that reason, it means that there were 9900 voters wanting a recall, even if there were not 9900 technically sufficient signatures.

Chetly Zarko
(former MCRI Treasurer, Dir. of Media Relations)

June 10, 2008 at 7:16 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be so sure that Brewer is out to get Leon Drolet. Brewer and his friend and former boss, Macomb County Democratic Chairman Ed Bruley have a dirty little secret they don't want you to know. They could have taken Drolet out with very little effort in his last election (Nov. 2006). Drolet won his seat on the Macomb County Board of Commissioners by a margin of 167 votes, out of over 8,000 votes cast.

Drolet's opponent, Alisa Diez, was a long time Democratic Party activist who campaigned for two years to rid the county of the three term State Representative. Drolet, after being term limited, decided to run for yet another government job on the Macomb County Commission.

Although Brewer publicly supported Diez, he stood by silently while Bruley actively worked against the Democrat by withholding funding from the County Party Organization and using his influence to discourage large donors from making contributions to her campaign.

If Drolet has anyone to thank for his $35,000 a year paycheck, for part time work, it is Democratic Party Chairman Ed Bruley and Brewer's rare silence.

June 11, 2008 at 5:15 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband I are for LEON and out to get Mark brewer and Andy Dillon out of office next election along with his thugs and we vote every election

June 16, 2008 at 1:44 PM 

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