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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Breaking: Ottawa County Prosecutor Rejected Sheriff's Department Request To Charge Spring Lake Township Clerk Carolyn Boersma For Repeatedly Stealing Political Yard Signs

Acting on orders from his wife, Spring Lake Township Clerk Carolyn Boersma, Tim Boersma steals 'Sjoberg For Mayor' signs from Sue Tuggle's yard in Spring Lake


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


The Ottawa County Sheriff's Department sought criminal larceny charges against Spring Lake Township Clerk Carolyn Boersma and her husband Tim for stealing yard signs last fall during a heated Mayor's race in Ferrysburg, documents obtained by West Michigan Politics reveal.

The charges were rejected by Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz's office despite Boersma being busted by police with signs in her car, Boersma's husband repeatedly caught on a trail cam taking signs at the behest of his wife, as well as the fact Boersma's actions are in direct violation of Spring Lake Township's legal ordinance specifying procedures for how to deal with removing residential political yard signs.
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Spring Lake Township resident Sue Tuggle was furious.

Tuggle was sick of someone repeatedly stealing her "Sjoberg for Mayor" yard signs, she emphatically wanted her friend Regina to win the upcoming Mayor's race in neighboring Ferrysburg against Rebecca Hopp.

Hopp, like Sjoberg, was a member of the Ferrysburg City Council.

When the first heist transpired, she reported the incident to the police. However, the second time, Tuggle decided to take matters into her own hands. Instead of calling the cops again, she bought a couple "trail cams" to try and bust the culprit in the act.

Little did Tuggle know, that new trail cam would soon implicate Spring Lake Township's top elections official, Clerk Carolyn Boersma, subsequently putting Boersma on the brink of criminal charges.
Sjoberg

On the night of September 4th, the sign bandit struck again, clueless to the new trail cams documenting his every move.

Ottawa County Sheriff's Deputy Soto-Lopez was subsequently called to Tuggle's home. Upon arrival, he discussed the theft with her, as well as received a copy of the trail cam footage. Soto-Lopez then called Sjoberg to see if she wanted to pursue criminal charges, which she affirmed she did.

As he studied the footage, Soto Lopez knew he had seen the unknown perpetrator before: he recognized him from a Ferrysburg City Council meeting, but did not know his identity.

The next evening around 6, Soto Lopez hit the road in the area of Swiss Village/Woodland Ridge in an attempt to locate the suspect's vehicle. The plate wasn't clear from the cam video, but it was definitely a new Ford Escape, dark in color.

Jackpot!

Soto-Lopez found the vehicle and then made contact with the owner, who turned out to be none other than Spring Lake Township Clerk Carolyn Boersma.

According to Soto Lopez's report:

"While checking the Woodland Ridge apartment, I observed a vehicle that matches the description of the suspect?s vehicle. The vehicle was parked on front of I then made contact with Henrietta at apartment 7. I explained Henrietta the situation. When Henrietta was asked if she knew where the signs were, she stated that it was inside her vehicle. I then followed Henrietta to her vehicle and retrieved the sign. Henrietta identified herself as the Spring Lake Township clerk. Henrietta stated that she asked her husband to grab the signs from the location. Henrietta identified her husband as Timothy. Henrietta stated that she grabbed a total of two signs. Henrietta said that the signs were located in the right of way area of the Township. Henrietta thought that the owner of the sign was in violation of the Township ordinance. Henrietta stated that she didn't intended to keep the sign. Henrietta told me that she was planning on contacting Regina reference the signs. Henrietta said that the sign was removed because the Ferrysburg political campaign doesn't involved the Spring Lake Township voters.

Soto-Lopez rebuked Boersma's offer to return the stolen signs, telling her he would return them himself.
Carolyn Boersma

"Henrietta stated that she was unable to contact Regina because she didn't have her phone number. When Henrietta was advised that the signs were located in private property she offered to place them back. I told Henrietta that it wasn't necessary because I will be returning the sign to the owner. "

That's when Boersma's husband Tim showed up to the apartment.

"Shortly after, Timothy arrived to the residence. I then made contact with Timothy. Timothy confirmed the same story as Henrietta. Timothy advised me that he just took another sign a few minutes ago today. I then asked Timothy to give the sign to me. Timothy stated that he had removed a total of three sign from the same location. Timothy stated that he was acting on behalf of his wife. Timothy thought that the signs were in the Township right of way. "

Both Boersma's provided written statements confessing to the sign heists.

"I was with Tim on several occasions (taking signs)," Carolyn said. Tim admitted to taking signs three times, "two of which were in the presence of my wife," he said.

Soto-Lopez's report notes that Boersma violated Spring Lake Township's ordinance on yard sign removal.

"Sandra advised me that the Spring Lake Township ordinance 801/802 in section K (is) the right procedure of signs removal. According to Sandra, the Spring Lake Township is required to send a letter before the removal of signs in private property. "

Criminal charges were requested on September 13th, but the Ottawa County Prosecutor's office refused to move forward despite significant evidence.

>>>VIEW THE POLICE REPORT BELOW:

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Editor's Note: WMP broke the story last fall, and was outrageously (and erroneously) accused by the Grand Haven Tribune (a paper I respect overall) in an editorial of peddling "fake news" and utilizing "alternative facts." 

In this case, "citizen journalism" and the truth prevailed over the corporate media at the end of the day.

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Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Developing: Marino Asks Snyder To Boot Bucci From Macomb Township Board

State Rep. Steve Marino


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


Macomb area State Rep. Steve Marino says it's time for embattled Macomb Township Trustee Dino Bucci to hit the road, and he is asking for a little 'muscle' to help bounce Bucci, the Governor who bills himself as "One Tough Nerd."

Bucci evidently has not attended a single board meeting since his indictment last year.

According to a press release:

"State Rep. Steve Marino today sent Gov. Rick Snyder a letter calling on him to exercise his authority to remove a Macomb Township trustee from office.

Rep. Marino, who represents a portion of Macomb Township in the Michigan House, said Trustee Dino Bucci has exhibited corrupt conduct in office and gross neglect of duty, both of which the governor can use as grounds for his removal under the Michigan Constitution.

Bucci was indicted by a federal grand jury in November 2017 on eighteen counts of conspiracy, bribery, embezzlement, extortion, mail fraud and money laundering. The charges are in connection with public contracts in Macomb Township and the Macomb County Department of Public Works, where he worked until 2017."

Marino called the situation "shameful."

“Dino Bucci’s actions while serving as both a township trustee and public servant in the Macomb County Department of Public Works are disgraceful and unacceptable,” Marino said. “Even more shameful is the fact that he continues to receive cadillac health benefits, collect a salary, and hold his title while skipping meetings and avoiding all other official responsibilities.”

Marino says removing Bucci will help the community move forward.

“Trustee Bucci has clearly lost the trust and confidence of both his colleagues and the public,” Marino said. “If he won’t resign, it’s time for Gov. Snyder to exercise the authority granted to him by the state constitution and allow our community to begin the healing process.”

Stay tuned!
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Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Retired Teacher Jim Gurr Challenges Wayne Schmidt In State Senate Primary Over Gas Tax Vote

Gurr Files In Lansing


A retired teacher in Northern Michigan says he plans on making State Senator Wayne Schmidt earn re-election.
Jim Gurr announced his candidacy yesterday after filing in Lansing.
According to a press release:
"Alden resident and 4th generation homesteader Jim Gurr (R Antrim) has filed today to run in the Republican primary for the 37th State Senate district. Gurr, a 35 year retired teacher in the Grand Traverse and Forest Lakes Area schools, has been active in Republican party politics for over 30 years."

When asked why he is running against Schmidt, Gurr cites Schmidt's vote for an increased gas tax.

"Wayne Schmidt has failed not only the people of the 37th district, but the people of the entire State," Gurr said. "It was his gas tax that was utterly defeated in Prop 1, and then revived in the following legislative session. Wayne said the people ‘didn’t understand’. I beg to differ.”

Gurr says too many Republicans govern like Democrats.
 “The Republican party has drifted far from its platform principles over the years, and some of the folks running as Republicans more closely resemble Democrats," Gurr said. "The people of the 37th district and all of Michigan deserve better representation.”

Gurr faces a steep hill in the race against Schmidt, a well connected legislator who was a State Rep. before being elected to the Senate in 2014 after a blistering fight with fellow lawmaker Greg MacMaster.

Stay tuned!

Twisted: Top Schuette Strategist John Sellek Doctors MDP Chair Brandon Dillon's Tweet To Look Like Attack On Barbara Bush

Sellek, left, with Attorney General Schuette


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


One of Attorney General Bill Schuette's top campaign strategists, John Sellek, doctored Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon's tweet about next week's Trump rally to make it look like Dillon had attacked Schuette over the death of former First Lady Barbara Bush.

What the hell?!

>>>The first post below is Sellek's, followed by the real, unaltered post<<<

Dillon blasted Sellek for the tweet.

"Nice cut and paste job though John. Pretty much par for the course for anyone that works for Schuette. Here's the actual tweet in context...but you already knew that."

Sellek's response justifying the tweet was unimpressive.

"The context, that I’m sure you are feeling now that you posted something about the First Lady as a result, is you saying ridiculous things about “old ladies” and a few hours later the First Lady passes-you look classless. Makes it harder for you to do your thing mocking people," Sellek said.


Hmmm....

Some other users weighed in also:

"I didn't know Microsoft paint has a phone app?"

"Lazy, weak, misleading copy-paste work there, @johselleck."

"Looks like Sleazy Sellek is panicking about Shady Schuette. #Sad"


As Michigan mourns the loss of Barbara Bush, sick and twisted tactics like Sellek's phony tweet designed to score cheap political points belong in the trash.

FAKE TWEET:







 REAL TWEET:

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Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Friday, April 13, 2018

You Can Finally See Bill Schuette Debate! (For $200 And A Trip To Mackinac)

Schuette


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


Bill Schuette has finally accepted an invitation to debate, but it will cost you $200 and a trip to Mackinac.

Schuette agreed to the Detroit Regional Chamber's invite to a debate with the top three candidates in both parties.

The event will take place at the Mackinac Policy Conference at the end of May.

The debate will be a Chamber fundraiser and cost attendees at least $200...

Schuette will share the stage with Lt. Governor Calley and State Sen. Patrick Colbeck on the Republican side, as well as businessman Shri Thanedar, former Senator Gretchen Whitmer, and former Detroit public health leader Abdul El Sayed on the Dem side.

Schuette dismissed debates hosted by local chambers and grassroots groups as "gimmicks," but the elitist party on Mackinac full of lobbyists, special interests, and Dems is perfectly cool! Seems legit.

Grassroots conservatives should be absolutely pissed.

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Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Me Too? Radical Feminist Democrat Attorney General Candidate Dana Nessel Brags About Freeing A Convicted Child Rapist On Her Firm's Website

Nessel


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


Dana Nessel made waves during the dawn of the #MeToo movement, saying it was time for more politicians "without a penis" to govern.

Nessel, a radical liberal feminist running for Attorney General, would be Michigan's first openly gay statewide elected official. 

Nessel, known for her role as an attorney in the Supreme Court case legalizing gay marriage, is married and has two adopted sons.

Now Nessel's firm is under fire for bragging about freeing a child rapist on their website after scaring the 12 year old victim on the stand. (Sounds like Hillary!)

And that's not Nessel's only issue as she heads to Detroit this weekend as Democrats decide between her and former US Attorney Pat Miles...

According to Chad Selweski:
"Dana Nessel has enjoyed national media attention as the Democratic candidate for Michigan attorney general tied to the women’s #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct, but her role as a defense attorney presents a much different picture.
The Nessel and Kessel firm boasts online about its successful track record in helping men fight personal protection orders (PPOs) issued by the courts to safeguard a woman who feels threatened or in danger. Nessel, according to the firm’s website, also specializes in getting men removed from the Sex Offender Registry, the state’s public list of those convicted of sex crimes.
What’s more, the Nessel sales pitch tells potential clients facing criminal charges that aggressive lawyering in court can cause a woman’s story about sexual assault or harassment or even rape to be picked apart by using the Nessel and Kessel tactics toward cross-examination of the alleged victim.
As a former assistant Wayne County prosecutor, Nessel handled a wide array of cases, including criminal sexual conduct, assault and child sex abuse. In her 13 years as a criminal defense attorney, the Nessel campaign team says that she has stood up for the accused in cases where the prosecution failed to put forward sufficient evidence.
Yet, Nessel’s self-described legal tactics seem absent of a feminist approach as the protector of women.
Among success stories on the law firm’s website is a 2015 case in which Nessel and Kessel won an acquittal for a man accused of raping his 11-year-old niece. The defendant had previously served time two decades ago in a separate case on the same type of charge: first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a child under 13.  
In the more recent case, the initial rape trial ended with a deadlocked jury -- an 11-1 vote in favor of guilty. In the retrial, Nessel’s young protégé, attorney Chris Kessel, grilled the alleged victim, who was then 12, on the witness stand. Details of this case are prominently displayed on the website:

Chris Kessel carefully and meticulously took apart the complaining witness’s story, piece by piece … Cross-examining a 12-year-old girl about an alleged rape is not something you learn overnight. It is something you learn with countless hours of study and experience. Criminal sexual conduct cases are not cases that just any attorney can handle. It takes an experienced criminal defense attorney, who knows what buttons to push and when to push them, to successfully defend against this type of charge.”

Yeah, Dems may want to nominate Pat Miles...
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Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Nesbitt Files For State Senate, Sets Up Showdown With Genetski

Aric Nesbitt


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


Former State Rep. Aric Nesbitt has made his State Senate campaign official.

Nesbitt's announcement sets up a major showdown with popular conservative Bob Genetski, currently the Allegan County Clerk. Genetski was also a former State House member.

Nesbitt succeeded in getting some major earned media with his announcement after Fox News and other outlets picked up his press release regarding Facebook censoring his campaign launch ads.

It even got the attention of Facebook's top dog, CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

"I’m not familiar with that case. It’s quite possible we made a mistake," Zuckerberg told Rep. Fred Upton about the incident at a hearing earlier this week.

According to WSJM:

"Now in the running for Michigan Senate in the 26th District is former state Representative and Michigan Lottery Commissioner Aric Nesbitt. The Lawton Republican tells us he’s throwing his hat in the ring because he wants to continue recent state progress.

“We’ve already made a good start over the last eight years by cutting nearly $20 billion in long-term government debt,” Nesbitt said. “We need to continue on that course to make sure our children and grandchildren don’t inherit that debt.”
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Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Nassar Victim Rachael Denhollander Blasts Bob Young's Role In MSU Recovery As Former Chief Justice Charges Taxpayers Nearly $600 An Hour

Young (DarKen Photography)


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


Former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bob Young's terrible record on sexual assault cases should disqualify him from assisting with Michigan State University's rebuilding efforts in the wake of the Nassar scandal, a leading victim says.

Rachel Denhollander was the first to speak out against Nassar, now she is calling out Young.

According to the Detroit News:

"Rachael Denhollander, the woman who first spoke out against Nassar, also is alarmed about Young’s role at MSU. She said he has “an absolutely abhorrent track record as a judge, on the specific issue of sexual assault.”

“At every turn, MSU and Engler have appointed political insiders who have a consistent record of being part of the culture of abuse,” said Denhollander, an attorney. “This is not change. This is not transparency. This is institutional protectionism, and it should deeply concern every citizen whose money is being used to fund a university that oversaw the greatest sexual assault scandal in sport and campus history. Especially when this university, at every chance to make real change, runs in the opposite direction.”

One can't say Young isn't charitable though: the article notes he's offering MSU a 10% discount on his $640 an HOUR fee! What a guy.

 Can't John Engler get his buddy to give taxpayers a little better of a deal?

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Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Schuette Rips Governor Snyder For Ending Flint Bottled Water Distribution



By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


Citing progress made with lead testing levels in Flint, Governor Snyder has announced bottled water distribution will end after current offices deplete supplies.

A new study shows lead levels in Flint kids have reached historic lows, yet Attorney General Bill Schuette disagrees with the decision.

Schuette, who originally said no investigation by his office was needed in Flint, says bottled water distribution should continue until all tainted lead pipes are replaced, a process that could take many years.

Schuette did not offer a plan to pay for the program.

According to Paul Egan of the Detroit Free Press:

"The state should keep paying for bottled water for Flint residents until all lead water lines in the city have been replaced, Attorney General Bill Schuette said Monday.
Schuette's comments are a rebuke to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who has clashed on many issues with the GOP attorney general who wants to succeed him.
Snyder announced on Friday that the free distribution of bottled water is ending once existing supplies run out, which is expected to be this week.
"It seems to me that bottled water distribution in Flint should continue until lead pipes have been replaced and trust in government has been restored," Schuette said through his state spokeswoman, Andrea Bitely...
Bitely said she wouldn't speculate on whether Schuette might initiate or support legal action to require continued free distribution of bottled water by the state."
Stay tuned!
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Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Let's Fly: John James Officially Files Petitions For US Senate

John James Files Petitions (Lauren Gibbons | MLive)


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


Businessman John James has made his US Senate bid official, filing nominating petitions earlier this week.

According to MLive:

"Republican U.S. Senate candidate John James filed petition signatures to qualify for the 2018 ballot Thursday. 
During a brief press conference outside the Secretary of State's Bureau of Elections in Lansing Thursday morning, James said his campaign was submitting about 23,000 signatures collected through a mix of paid and volunteer petitioning. 
He said he plans to continue outreach to Michigan voters and add a personal touch to his campaign for Senate."
James, a West Point grad and Iraq Veteran, has excited conservative circles with his campaign against Debbie Stabenow, but has failed to gain traction in polls. 

The latest Mitchell Research survey shows James in 3rd, behind businessman Sandy Pensler and Bob Carr.

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Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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Shri Drops $1 Million On New Ad Buy

Shri


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


As political outsider Shri Thanedar continues to gain big league momentum in the Democrat primary race for Governor against Gretchen Whitmer, the Ann Arbor businessman has announced he is dropping another million on a series of new ads.

The ads will focus on ten issues Shri says are important to Michigan's future.

Whitmer, once a runaway favorite to win the nomination, is in the fight of her political life. 

The two latest polls show Shri up 3, and Whitmer up just 1, a steep double digit drop from the beginning of 2018, right before Shri's popular Super Bowl ad debuted.

According to Dave Eggert of the AP:

"Democrat Shri Thanedar said Tuesday he will spend $1 million to air 10 new TV ads in the governor's race over the next two months, with an emphasis on giving positions on issues such as roads, education and the economy.
The new spots will air across the state starting Wednesday. The self-funded businessman and political novice had spent at least $1.2 million to run ads on network stations through late March — not including cable networks, according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.
"Voters everywhere will have the opportunity to learn more about me and the progressive agenda I want to take to Lansing," said Thanedar, who again promoted himself as the "most progressive choice for governor."
In a 30-second spot , he says he is an immigrant and that some people tell him he as an accent. He adds, though, that his ideas to fix the roads, improve public schools, create jobs and ensure health care for all show "we are more alike than you think." The ad features people saying "Shri is just like me."
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Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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