A Wayne County judge has appointed a receiver to take over absentee ballot voting operations in Detroit after finding that city Clerk Jackie Currie’s workers violated a court injunction Thursday regarding the use of election ambassadors just hours after it was issued.
A state Bureau of Elections worker testified at an emergency hearing Friday that she observed one of the ambassadors, Gracie Allen, ask an apparently incapacitated person at the Fairlane Nursing Center twice “Do you want to vote for Jackie?” and then marked that person’s ballot.
This is the first time the state has ever been asked to intervene like this.
The general election is on Tuesday.
This is a loathsome display of more government sleaze, but the story gets far worse. The Detroit mayoral race comes to a close this coming Tuesday, with the city’s thug mayor Kwame Kilpatrick running against Freman Hendrix, a holdover from the previous Dennis Archer administration. The Archer administration was a respectable administration that, quite frankly, I am beginning to miss, if only because it was an unobtrusive group.
The Detroit mayoral election is a complete fraud before it has even taken place. The Detroit City Clerk, Jackie Currie, is a profligate liar. Not only are residents receiving absentee ballots already filled out (with votes marked for Kwame and Jackie), but Jackie and her office sidekicks were personally distributing ballots to nursing home residents who were completely incapable of making any cogent decisions. You know — people with dementia, Alzheimer’s, little problems like that. As reported in the Detroit News:
But the most poignant findings were stories from those in nursing homes who had recently voted absentee.
Among them is Charles B. Allen, a resident at the Passion Caring Home for the Elderly who stared blankly one day last week when asked to name the mayor of Detroit. He’s never heard of Kwame Kilpatrick and can’t recall whether he voted in August.
“I just don’t know,” Allen said. Six years ago, a Wayne County probate judge declared the 87-year-old legally incapacitated due to dementia and Alzheimer’s.
But according to city records, he voted in the August primary by absentee ballot.
He did so with the aid of Rose Johnson, one of City Clerk Jackie Currie’s 50 election assistants, who met with him in a private room and helped complete his ballot, according to nursing home owner Gena Payne. Johnson declined to speak to a reporter.
State law prohibits the hand-delivery of absentee ballots (unless there is a special request by the voter), a process which Jackie and her staff have performed for years without repercussion.
In the August primary, Currie’s assistants hand-delivered 4,560 ballots to the clerk’s office while another 3,314 were delivered either by one of Currie’s election officials, the voter or a member of the voter’s immediate family, according to the clerk’s office.
Now get this: under this hellcat’s reign, wherein absentee ballots typically comprise about 14% of the votes nationally, in Detroit, absentee ballots have made up between 30-60% of the vote totals in past elections and primaries, with averages in the 40% range. And this con game continues on its merry way, year after year.
Currie’s problems with absentee voting go back decades. She and her late husband, Charmie Currie Jr., were charged in 1964 with conspiring to solicit 21 people to sign applications for absentee ballots and later advising them on how to mark their ballots. Currie’s husband pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge, and the prosecutor dismissed charges against Currie on grounds that “she acted out of love for her husband.”
A local radio station keeps running some great sound bites in which Jackie Curry was asked about personally picking up some absentee ballots from a nursing home, and she replied to the media crew: “No, I don’t know what you are talking about.” Within seconds, she changed her tune and noted, “Oh yeah, I just did that today. I am trying to get the people of Detroit to exercise their votes.” Uh huh. Nonetheless, she’s an elected official who is supposed to objectively oversee the mechanics of the election — not bring in the voters.
Kwame, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to care that he’s on the front pages of the paper daily, with one sticky wicket after another. A scandal-o-rama it has been. Sir Kwame has been known for rolling up his personal debt onto the backs of Detroit taxpayers.
As Detroit eliminated thousands of jobs, struggled with exploding pension and health care costs and became a city on the brink of receivership, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick charged more than $210,000 to his city-issued credit card in less than three years on the job, city records show.
Read the details of Kwame’s "expenses," and note the non-business flavor. He was partying so hard and so late into the evenings when he was in Washington D.C. (for business of course), that the local police refused to continue providing personal protection while he was in town. Then there are those business trips to the Caribbean, where he needed to observe how to "improve city government."
Quite often, the important question surrounding the election has been: will Kwame wear his earring during the election? Will he put it back in if he wins? How much did his fleet of Navigators cost? As to the earring, our unremarkable mayor, the king of imbecilic comments, was actually quoted by AP saying
”That little insignificant thing in my ear gave off a bad spirit of rebellion,” the 35-year-old Kilpatrick, who is locked in a tight race for re-election, said Wednesday.
”And it overshadowed the fact that I have a law degree, that I was leader of the House … that I’m able to do things like put together the best emergency operations plan in the country.”
If you don’t identify with the triviality of such bilge, don’t try, because neither can anyone else. It gets worse. There’s that full-page ad in the Michigan Chronicle where Kilpatrick race-baits. A local reporter describes it this way:
Rooted in black nationalism, the latest racial scourge to devastate Detroit feeds off the twisted theory that a legion of white, suburban power brokers are poised to swoop in and take back a city that is the birthright of African-Americans…..Kilpatrick has positioned himself as that leader, fanning the irrational fears as he desperately tries to hang on to his office. No surprise there. Kilpatrick will do whatever it takes to win, even if it means keeping his city in the dark ages.”
The mayor’s opponent — Freman Hendrix — is a black man, by the way. The Daily Kos has some comments on the Kilpatrick ad. Here is a link to the wickedly disturbing ad online. The comments and racial overtones are repulsive.
Kilpatrick is an irresponsible, partying fool; a menace to the public; a thief and liar; and an embarrassment to the good people of the city. The election is already tainted, and should be stopped in its tracks until the mess can be sorted out. But my bet is that Kilpatrick and the clerk’s office may have already done their night work and fixed this election solidly in his favor, and hers. (Freman Hendrix had been ahead in the polls.)
Then there was the salute-o-rama that didn’t go over too well for Kwame:
In Detroit, officials believe the mayor deserves more respect than he’s been getting. That’s why the police department has told all city cops assigned to the mayor’s security detail that they have to salute Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick or face disciplinary action. According to the language of the new directive, “All members assigned to the security detail at the mayor’s residence, upon seeing Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick exit his home or vehicle shall get out of their patrol vehicle with your hat on and render a hand salute.”
Indeed he tried to institute a policy of having police officers salute him. Do Detroiters really wonder why this city has such a bad rap worldwide? Unsurprisingly, opinions of Kwame’s character are always similar, even from Detroit’s liberal media.
- Even after the public trough is dry, he still manages to find taxpayer money to benefit himself, his kin, his thuggish high school cronies and his embarrassingly public hard-partying lifestyle.”
— Metrotimes Newspaper, 04/20/2005
- “I think he’s a thug, I think he’s a crook, I think he’s a loser, I think he’s a liar.”
— Jeff Deminski, Detroit Talk Radio Host, 04/18/2005
- “His name is mud around here. Nobody trusts him.”
— John Riehl, President AFSCME Local 207, quoted in Metrotimes, 04/20/2005
- “The mayor himself said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Well, he’s doing the same things over and over again.”
— Joe Harris, Detroit Auditor General, quoted in Detroit Free Press, 04/09/2005
Everywhere and always, the State is a menace, and thus do libertarians strive to bring the federal Leviathan down in favor of decentralization. However, even having our Kings close to home is no guarantee against abuse, for all government everywhere is disposed to empowering the people that make up the political circle at the expense of the populace that is robbed to fund the pilferers’ clambake. Libertarians can refuse to endorse the crimes of the state and its totalitarian democracy by saying no to the State voting apparatus. In 1992, post-Clinton, I went straight, and have not had a sip u2018o democracy since that time. It’s been a wonderful road to recovery.
Karen De Coster, CPA, [send her mail] is a part-time libertarian freelance writer; graduate student in Economics and Finance; and a full-time, accounting and finance professional. She is fond of American-made pick-ups, Japanese SUVs, Belgian beer, Polish food, Italian markets, Mexican beaches, West Virginia diners with real corn bread, Harley Davidsons, the Waughs, Murray Rothbard, H.L. Mencken, and photographing small-town Americana. She makes a mean martini, and she orders Windsor Rare California Port by the case. She doesn’t have time to recycle, thinks Bill O’Reilly is a Nazi, and she spends her spare time evading the Homeland Security Nazis for kicks and grins. She aspires to disturb the peace of the complacent, content, collectivist masses that would sell their souls — and hers — for a little security, a cushy easy chair, and a big-screen, color TV. See her Mises Institute archive for more online articles, and check out her website, along with her blog.