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Brandana: A Discredit to Women in Politics August 1, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, politics, writing/editing/blogging.
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As I watch (and live) the local campaign season, I find myself completely disappointed in one of the Democratic candidates in the race for State Representative for Michigan’s 22nd district, a seat made vacant by the term-limited Hoon Yung Hopgood.  In full disclosure, one of the candidates happens to be my husband, hence my statement about living the campaign season. There are two men vying for the seat and one woman. Sadly, it is the woman, Jill Brandana, who is proving to be a discredit to women in politics regardless of how large the arena is or how high the office. I would say this even if my husband were not one of her opponents. There are five reasons and indisputable facts why.

Reason One: A Broken Promise on a Civil Agreement
From the onset of the season, Ms. Brandana reneged on an agreement — an implied promise — to keep the race clean.

Both my husband and Ms. Brandana are currently seated City Officials. In fact, they hold the two highest seats on our seven-member City Council. At the start of the campaign season, questions about whether they were running against each other surfaced. Rumors ran rampant that they were. They spoke with one another and had a civil agreement to run for the seat, run on the issues rather than run against one another and to not use the kind of attack-campaigns that have become all too familiar to the voting public. (You all remember the last presidential campaign season, and what is occuring with the current presidential election.) Now those who aren’t intimately involved in the polticial life (and even some who are) might ask whether you aren’t in effect running against the other candidates. Yes and no. You’re running for a position (just like applying for any other job) only its in the public eye. You’re running on your qualifications for the position and your ability to perform the job aptly … you’re running on the issues.

As a voter, I must ask, if she can reneg on a promise made to a colleague, what campaign promises would she reneg on once in office, were she to be elected?

***** ***** *****

Reason Two: Resorting to Old-style Politics and Playing into Stereotypes about Women
Women are great communicators. We have the innate ability to use our communications skills to soothe, heal and build relationships. The flip side of our communications skills are snarky, catty, petty and can be downright bitchy. Unfortunately the flip is what we’re often stereotyped for. So as a person who has the ability to represent not only her constituents, but our gender in the political arena, why not choose the healing, relationship building side. I’m not saying we have to be soft. We can be powerful and have powerful voices by focusing on real accomplishments, goals, the issues, and how one is the best candidate for the position, rather than focusing on trying to diminish the other candidate(s).

Why not make real connections with constituents instead of having an outsourced company, sponsored by a political action committee (PAC) call voters with pre-recoreded messages that give mis-information about your opponent’s stances on hotbed issues? Why not be actively involved in the community meetings that have been held instead of “networking” with the PACs and other organizations to get a more impressive looking list or endorsements, from bodies with people that aren’t in our community and couldn’t vote for you if they tried.

(For what it’s worth, and in strong contrast to Brandana’s tactics, Geiss happened to make personal calls to registered voters in both cities, from our home, every day after work. He chose the personal-connection/relationship building/I-need-to-speak-to-and-listen-to-my-constituents approach. Geiss was at the public meetings about the proposed Metro airport expansion, the hearings about the deep-well injection site, put on his jeans and rolled up his sleeves and helped bulldoze vacant and derelict houses near area schools, was present when the men and women of the National Guard left and returned from duty overseas, and participated in many other programs and events that directly impact our community. Brandana was not. Sure, one might need “face time” with certain groups or people, but for Geiss, “face time” means being present for and involved with his community, not about building impressive looking lists.)

As part of reneging on her promise for a clean race on the issues, she resorted to using smear tactics to deceive the voters, with information gathered (and edited for spin) from surveys sent to all candidates by various PACs. As someone who calls herself an agent for change, this is hardly change, but rather politics as usual and is certainly playing by the rules made and used by the old guard.

As a voter, I wonder how can we trust someone who says they are the change, and yet the campaign they’ve run is the same old stuff, that most thinking voters are sick of.

***** ***** *****

Reason three: A Lobbyist Bedfellow.
How can you really represent the people, when you’re in bed with the lobbyists and PACs? Isn’t that among the things that we’re tired of on the national political landscape? Why bring it to our district?

As a voter, it makes me wonder, if one is an agent of change, how can you be a puppet (or lackey) for the people doing the polls and telling you that’s what you’re supposed to be doing? I ask, where is your voice, Brandana?

***** ***** *****

Reason Four: Inexperience and Lack of Commitment
There is no evidence of Brandana being for the people, but there is ample evidence of Brandana being for personal gain and the vainglory of being in office.

Let’s look at Brandana’s record of public service. In 2003 she ran for School Board and was not elected. In 2004 she ran for School Board  again, for the staggered term, and was not elected. In 2005, she ran for City Council and was elected, with help from the then incumbent mayor’s team, despite saying that she does not subscribe to team politics. Note: the then incumbent mayor was not re-elected by an overwhelming margin.  In 2008, half-way through her first (and only) term in public office, she is running for a yet higher office.

As a voter, I wonder, where the level of commitment is for our community. Okay, I concede that one could say the same thing about Geiss, but at least he 1) served a full term already and 2) in the term-and-a-half that he has served has made all of his election promises come to fruition, some accomplishments which Ms. Brandana in her campaign literature claims as her own.  Brandana’s only proven experience is as a serial candidate.

As a voter, it makes me wonder whether one can truly trust her to do the job that our tax dollars will be paying for her to do, or if when a higher seat opens up (as one will next year) will she jump ship on the 22nd District with unfinished business and broken promises left behind?

***** ***** *****

Reason five: No Backbone.
The primary is this coming Tuesday. You’re probably wondering (if you’ve made it this far), why this post? Why now? A few days ago, my husband received a call from a concerned citizen who was visited by “campaign volunteers” who are from neither community represented in the 22nd District. They were telling voters with whom they made contact my husband’s views on hotbed issues such as civil unions. Problem? Their information was all spin and vitriolic rhetoric, based on trying to tap into people’s fears about homosexuality. (If you’re unclear on what a civil union is, it’s not just about same-sex marriage; the unmarried heterosexuals living as committed “common-law” spouses, would count as civil unions.) It was also clear from where it originated.  Mr. Geiss called Ms. Brandana on the phone, because, as I originally stated “they had a civil agreement.” Here’s what he was told by Ms. Brandana. “Well, they’re telling me that this is what I need to do to win, because you’re way up in the polls.” Um…what? So, because some firm that your election committee hired is telling you to to resort to politics as usual, you’re going to do it? You don’t have the guts to say, “I don’t approve of that message”? Nice leadership.

As a voter, I wonder what else can they “make you do”?

I also ask: How can a local candidate have such empassioned supporters from communities outside of our district including a conservative blogger (who also happens to be a legislative staffer) in your corner? What do they have to do with the issues important to the 22nd District? Answer: they want someone malleable up in Lansing, not someone whose public record has always been about the issues and doing what’s right for the community at large. This is why most of Brandana’s endorsements are from people, groups or organizations that want to maintain the staus quo and are for anything but change. For Taylor residents reading this, ask yourself, for example: How many of the Police Union of Taylor members actually live in Taylor, the same group that wants City Council to vote to raise your taxes so that they can have six-figure pensions for working fewer years than you put in at your company?

Why, in the last push to the primary, create an attack ad that reinvents history and calls your main opponent a flip-flopper to run on local cable and posted on You Tube prior to when the ads are scheduled to air? Answer:  Because, in wanting the position so badly, the candidate is willing to “whatever it takes” including try to deceive the public, insult voter intelligence to win, and laying with the very people who continually condemn her publicly and with great zeal. (Who’s the real flip-flopper here?)

As a voter, it makes me question Brandana’s integrity.

***** ***** *****

Having A Uterus Does Not Automatically Make You an Agent of Change
With all of the women in politics doing positive things, and being real agents of change, Ms. Brandana’s politics-as-usual campaign does not resound well. The thought of Brandana as our State Rep makes every feminist hair on my head stand on end. Brandana’s setting all women back by resorting to negative stereotypical backstabbing and petty snarkiness instead of finding her true voice and running on the issues. Playing the game like McCain to Obama and taking the “Low Road” instead of rising above the temptation to play with unsportsmanlike behavior, keeping her word and being a real leader, Brandana’s proving to be nothing more than a follower and not a true leader. That’s not the kind of person, and especially not the kind of woman I want in office representing me or my community. We have enough followers and panderers to special interest groups in office already.

Someone willing to use underhanded tactics in the attempt to gain voter confidence and then lay the blame on “they made me do it” rather than taking ownership of her decision to go along with an ill-advised plan is not the mark of a strong woman. It is not the mark of a woman who can stand on her feet, stick by her decisions or convictions (right or wrong), and not the mark of a voice that our district needs advocating for us.  It is not the mark of a woman who should be in office at all. Poor decision making during the campaign can only lead to even poorer decisions made while in office. Furthermore, the way Brandana’s campaign has been run makes a farce out of the real work, strength and power of women in politics. We should be moving forward, not backwards.

Male or female, I want the kind of person in office who not only keeps their promises, but is in the community actively working hard for the people who hired them. I don’t want a “rubber stamper” or a “yes-man”/”yes-woman.” I don’t want a person easily swayed by PACs and lobbyists. I want a person in office who has a proven record of getting things done, the backbone to speak up, knowledge of the legislative process, moxy to really elicit change, integrity to run a clean campaign that’s focused on the issues, and passion for the community that they represent to make well-thought out decisions on our behalf.

Don’t you?

Copyright © 2008, Erika-Marie S. Geiss

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Comments

1. Jennifer G. - August 1, 2008

Wow.

It’s amazing how this election (everywhere top to bottom, it seems) we’re seeing into some of the back-rooms of politics. Things we, as voters, would never have seen prior to this election. It’s very exciting, as well as refreshing, because it turns the candidates into humans.

Where I’ve never met your husband and do not live in your state much less your district, I now know he’s the victim of a derogatory ad and I know the running record of the candidate.

Isn’t technology amazing?

Thank you for sharing this. The links to the videos really helped me put it all in perspective. I wish more of our city/district leadership were blogging.

If your husband wins, I think you’re a hell of an asset to have right next to him. You are smart, funny, and turn the stereotype of the feminist right on its head. Go you!

2. emsgeiss - August 1, 2008

Thanks Jen! I appreciate the comments and support of Doug, even if you’re not in our state/district. I know that the voters of our district are smart, thinking people and such tactics will not go over well with them. They don’t like to be made fools of or misled.
-Erika

3. Jeff - August 2, 2008

Erika – please explain why Doug has flip flopped so much on key issues? Also, why he has been less than honest in some cases to the very people that elected him? I voted for him once along with donating to his team & I now feel that it was a foolish thing to do. The video says a lot about him. I mean no ill will; however if he had been honest from the beginning he may of found his bid for the legislature much easier.

http://www.taylorwatchdog.com/DG3cardmonte.html

4. William Reynolds - August 2, 2008

What do you mean “not in bed with the lobbyists?”
TAYLOR CITY COUNCIL
TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 2008

Motion by Molner, supported by Brandana
Resolved: To approve the Mayor and Clerk the authority to execute the Government
Consultants Services Inc., Retainer Agreement, for a term of one (1) year to commence on
April 1, 2008 for an amount not to exceed $54,000.
Ayes: Brandana, Molner, Lamarand, Weycker, Geiss
Nays: Ramik, Sollars
Motion carried.

Looks like most of the Council is in bed with lobbyists. Remember, those who live in glass houses.My Grandaughter used to be a fan of this site.

5. emsgeiss - August 2, 2008

Jeff, I am more than happy to address your questions as best I can.

First, Doug has neither flip flopped on any of the key issues nor has he lied about anything. When the woman at the meeting in Romulus asked about Taylor helping Romulus, what he said was true. In fact prior to that public meeting the City Council adopted a resolution to join Romulus in fighting the airport expansion. (So did Dearborn Heights and Inkster.) What all of the communities involved did was pool their funds to fight the airport expansion. That is how monies were spent, and was legal to do so in that manner. Taylor tax dollars were not spent in Romulus. Jeff, when you asked Mr. Geiss about it during open business at the April meeting, you were not only out of order (and as Chair, he could have had you removed, but didn’t) you were decided to browbeat him to get the kind of response that you wanted, rather than speak with him about the DTW issue after the meeting as he offered live, on camera. I realize that you don’t understand the legislative process or how funds can be used appropriately, and because of that, I can see how you have misconstrued his actions or intent. Doug was honest from the beginning and always has acted with dignity and integrity including when members of your group attempted to boycott his first fund raiser. Ms. Brandana has not, and because she is weak in the polls has gone back on her word and has resorted not only to mudslinging and presenting falsehoods herself, but to consorting with your group, which has also been quite vocally critical of her. (I find this quite curious–what’s in it for you, I wonder? You do realize that getting her out of Taylor and into Lansing will still mean that Geiss is the Chair of the City Council, don’t you? )

Second, what I don’t understand, Mr. French, is your ire with Doug. Everything you publish about him is filled with vitriol. Every time you approach him, it is with a chip on your shoulder. Why do you hate him? What did he do to you? You’re upset with him because the initial site plans presented to Council about the Island Lakes development did not include the 10-foot-high difference in foundations? (And by the way, your math is fuzzy…10 feet does not equal a three-story building anywhere on this planet.) Obviously, you’ve never seen a site plan–they are not “simple drawings.” (I know, I’m an architectural historian.) have you seen every iteration of plans presented to the City by the developer? Was the site plan even properly labeled to show the “correct” elevation? How many drafts of site plans have been created and of those, which made it to the Council for approval? Do you have answers to these questions? Are ALL of YOUR facts straight? Were you with the developer AND city officials during all stages of the Island Lakes/Mortenview debaucle? I’m not asking this as part of defending my husband, I’m asking you this as a thinking person. Have YOU asked any of those questions? Based on the drivel on your Web site, you have not. You are quick to point fingers, lay blame and do psuedo investigation, and when you don’t get the answer you want (or more to the point, when you do get the answer(s) that support your previously decided negative opinion) you post misconstrued information on your Web site and send out fliers to the residents as Gospel. That’s neither fair to your elected officials nor to your readers for that matter, and it insults your readers and their intelligence.

You can have your opinions about Doug’s voting record. You can have your opinions about the decisions he’s made while on City Council. You can even have your opinions about him personally, but don’t you dare malign his integrity or character with lies and innuendo and spread them around. And no, before you ask, that’s not what I’ve done to Ms. Brandana. I haven’t said anything on this blog that isn’t a fact or directly related to hard facts.

Do NOT stand behind the watchdogs as being a voice for the entire city or the residents of the 22nd district. You have a question? You know how to contact Mr. Geiss through the appropriate channels. He has never denied any resident the chance to speak with him, and you would be no different. But do NOT try and denigrate him by handing out literature door-to-door that spreads lies and misinformation about him yourself, Mr. French. (Personally, I think you owe him a public apology.) Do NOT try and convince voters that he’s taking any kind of pay increase, when in fact if he is elected, he will be taking a pay cut that is tens of thousands of dollars. Do NOT try and use the fuzzy math that you seem to be so good at by comparing the public office salaries of a part-time position on City Council with a full-time position in the legislature to try and convince voters that he is, in your words “a hustler.”

Third, there is NO three-card monte going on here, except in your own mind. If you’re so interested in really making a difference in Taylor (and obviously better than Doug has done), perhaps you run for office so that you can get things done yourself. As someone who constantly complains about issues but never does anything about them actively aside from spreading hatred and revisionist history, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution. And don’t even think about standing behind the title of citizen journalist, because citizen journalism is constructive and what you’re doing is plain and simply, destructive.

You have not been fair, as you so claim here and on your Web site and you DO mean ill will. One could call you a flip flopper for having once supported him and now no longer supporting him, without valid reasoning. This is your modus operandi with the entire council, and yes, I am defending the entire body. You have never once invited any of the Council members that you criticize to respond to the issues or attacks on them on your Web site. Never. Your tactics have been underhanded from the beginning, and that is with respect to how you’ve treated the entire legislative body of our wonderful city. You Mr. French are more interested in trying “to catch,” “to trap,” and denigrade your elected officials than saying or doing anything that yields any real results aside from perpetuating hatred, anger and lies.

You are free to say what you want about him, the First Amendment grants you that. Furthermore, you’re free to vote for whom ever you want as well. You’re disappointed in him? Well, now isn’t that why we have a democratic system? So that We the People can choose our elected officials? And since anyone can run who’s a citizen and over a certain age, why don’t you exercise your democratic right to get involved and make real change and run for office yourself. As for his bid for the legislature being “much easier?” He’s not the one who is behind in the polls, so far behind in fact, that he’s willing to do anything at any cost to win. Doug has remained civil, kept his word and run a clean race. And win or lose, at least HE will be the candidate who will be able to go to bed with a clean conscience and not have to feel like a hypocrite when he takes the Eucharist.

Back to your first question.
I cannot speak for my husband or for how he handles legislative issues. If you want answers from him about community issues as a concerned and interested citizen, pick up the phone or send him an e-mail and act like a civil human being.

6. emsgeiss - August 2, 2008

Ah, Mr. Reynolds,
Thanks for taking the time to visit a site that your granddaughter was once a fan of. I appreciate her as a fan whether former or current.

Regarding your comment:

What do you mean “not in bed with the lobbyists?”
TAYLOR CITY COUNCIL
TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 2008

Motion by Molner, supported by Brandana
Resolved: To approve the Mayor and Clerk the authority to execute the Government
Consultants Services Inc., Retainer Agreement, for a term of one (1) year to commence on
April 1, 2008 for an amount not to exceed $54,000.
Ayes: Brandana, Molner, Lamarand, Weycker, Geiss
Nays: Ramik, Sollars
Motion carried.

Looks like most of the Council is in bed with lobbyists. Remember, those who live in glass houses.My Grandaughter used to be a fan of this site.”

Neither GCS nor any other PAC or lobbyist group is telling Doug how he should conduct his campaign. None have and none are. Some political entity however is telling Brandana how she should conduct hers. Voting for something in the capacity of doing their job does not make a person in bed with that entity.

I’m not throwing any stones. I’m just printing the facts, sir. Just the facts. And yes, the information you cite is factual too, but has nothing to do with this election.

I thank your grandaughter for giving me another reader (you), and it’s great to see an elder online.

Have a fabulous weekend.

7. jeff - August 2, 2008

I have sent emails to Doug & gotten no response in the past. I do not have his personal phone number even though he has mine as does the rest of the council, yet he has never called me. I would be happy to hear from him. Since your response is quite a long one I won’t try to cover all your venom, I’ll only say that by your response it appears that you are the one with a chip on your shoulders. Doug has personally lied to my face on more than one occassion when I asked about his intentions to run.

About the condos- a 10′ hill + a two story house = 3 stories, ask the folks who have one in their backyards! If you would like I’ll get a extending ladder & we can measure them together. I think you’ll find that my math was actually conservative. I also find it odd that you are so angry? Remember without the Watchdogs there would be no Moratorium on new Condo/PUDs & also without our constant pressure on Council, an Ethics Ordinance – something Doug has been happy to claim credit for.

In closing: TEAM politics are the cause of many problems in TAYLOR. It would be great to see everyday people run for office not jut those who can buy their way into office via large cash donations to the team ticket. For the last 3 years Doug has been in contol of the Council & has had majority rule yet the best he can do is a watered down ethics ordinance? Come on!

8. William Reynolds - August 2, 2008

Maam I am also a fan of sites like yours. I am a man of many years and I guess you can say I don’t have much else to do with my time. Since I am unable to attend City Council meetings, due to my condition, I stay involved by reading, watching the Council on TV, and researching the City website to review past decisions. This will put me at an advantage even when discussing your husband or his lackluster opponent. For clarity only and no disrespect intended;

TAYLOR CITY COUNCIL PAGE 3
TUESDAY, MARCH 21, 2006

Motion by Molner, supported by Weycker
Resolved: To approve the execution of the Governmental Consultants Services Inc., Retainer
Agreement, for a term of one year to commence on April 1, 2006 for an amount not to exceed
$54,000.
Ayes: Lamarand, Weycker, Bzura, Brandana, Molner, Geiss
Nays: Ramik
Motion carried.
3.143-06
————————————————————————————————————
TAYLOR CITY COUNCIL PAGE 5
TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 2007

Motion by Molner, supported by Brandana
Resolved: To approve the Mayor and Clerk the authority to execute the Government
Consultants Services Inc., Retainer Agreement, for a term of one (1) year to commence on
April 1, 2007 for an amount not to exceed $54,000.
Ayes: Brandana, Molner, Lamarand, Weycker
Nays: Ramik, Geiss
Motion carried.
3.167-07
————————————————————————————————————
TAYLOR CITY COUNCIL
TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 2008

Motion by Molner, supported by Brandana
Resolved: To approve the Mayor and Clerk the authority to execute the Government
Consultants Services Inc., Retainer Agreement, for a term of one (1) year to commence on
April 1, 2008 for an amount not to exceed $54,000.
Ayes: Brandana, Molner, Lamarand, Weycker, Geiss
Nays: Ramik, Sollars
Motion carried.

2006-YES
2007-NO
2008-YES

Same item. Three years. Three different votes. This is a flip, flop, flip.

Who will make the better State Representative? Answer. They are the same. Neither has the ability to say no to the powers that be. We need leadership and not one candidate thus far comes to the forefront.
You have a pleasant weekend as well.

9. Jomama - August 2, 2008

On the ethics ordinance, for clarification, David Geiss, proposed it originally in March or April of 2001. However, the council at the time didn’t have the courage to support it. Doug Geiss proposed again in January 2002.

In terms of “Team Priebe” having a majority on the council, that isn’t true. Originally, only 2 out of the 7 were elected, Geiss and Weycker. Now Sollars is on the council and that still doesn’t give a majority.

Please also remember that Doug Geiss didn’t run on a team until this last election. His brother never ran on a team. Would you prefer the former mayor?

10. emsgeiss - August 2, 2008

To Messers Reynolds and French:

Again, I asert, if you have an issue with his voting record, take it up with him, not with me. You both have the means and ability to do so. This is my personal blog, not his.

********************************************
To Mr Reynolds:

No disrespect taken-

_-you’re just printing the record as it stood. I can’t agree with you about Ms. Brandana and Mr. Geiss being the same, but we are all entitled to our opinions and our votes. That set of votes that you list, are not his entire voting record and I don’t know the circumstances or budget were in each year, or anything else for why the votes differ. No clue. The person to speak to about that is the person who voted–why not ask him a direct question? This isn’t his blog, so please don’t do it here. And, isn’t it great that you can view the meetings live? That’s how I watch them. Don’t forget, you have Mr. Geiss to thank for having that ability.

Again, thanks for visiting and may your weekend continue to be pleasant.

*****************************************

To Mr. French,

There was no venom in my response, just the facts and several questions, which you still have not addressed yourself. If you felt a sting, perhaps it is because I spoke the truth. Clearly I did, since not once did you refute or deny creating the smear campaign that you’ve waged with the latest flier. Thank you for just admitting in print, writing the slanderous text. When you use lies and innuendo to discredit my spouse, I have every damn right to say what I said, especially when I made my statements in my own sandbox.

Regarding the Ethics Ordinance…were the Watchdogs around in 2001 when he was running the first time, the ordinance was one of his campaign promises from his first term and the only one not achieved during his first term in office because there were not enough votes from other council members for it? Do you recall that? Do you recall that the creation/adoption of an Ethics Ordinance is something my brother-in-law championed when he was on Council and before Doug was? Or are you again, trying to rewrite history? Are you accusing the journalists of the News-Herald of being liars?

Have you really exercised the possible ways to contact him? You don’t know the phone number? Funny, other citizens do. Certainly, Jeff French, the Big Watchdog himself, can figure it out.

The people on our City Council *are* everyday, regular folks, it’s you who has attached a mythos around them. Please, Mr. French, I think that there are a lot of people in this community who would love to see you run for office. All you have to do is do it the way everyone gets their start…pull the paper work, door knock and get petitions signed . I am sure that with all of your notoriety in Taylor, and service for us as our self-appointed watchdog, that you would have ample support in a bid for office. This is the beauty of a democracy, we can have open dialog about issues and not backroom politics.

If you are so upset about how things are run, do something proactive and make the kind of changes that you would like to see fit by getting involved in a constructive manner. Or are you not willing to put yourself out there, make the kind of sacrifices that every elected official and their families make, and be held accountable for your decisions and votes by your constituents? When are YOU going to run, Jeff? When are you going to put your money where your mouth is?

11. emsgeiss - August 2, 2008

Thanks Jomama for visiting and for including the history of the Ethics Ordinance and on Team politics in Taylor as it relates to the Geisses.

12. Jeff - August 2, 2008

I see we disagree on many things. However you couldn’t of made things clearer than you did in your last sentence above. With many of our current leaders it’s all about the money, that seems to be the center of their world. I am not about the money nor is our group. We are about honesty & accountability in local government.

The way we see it many people look at things in Washington D.C. [Doug’s training ground] & ask how can things be this bad? We answer you have to follow the problem back to its roots. Those bad/corrupt politicians didn’t just appear they grew from the back room deals of local government. So by getting involved & trying to make a change for the better, I have everything to gain & thus nothing to lose. I see you are happy with the status quo. Ask the over taxed /under served “little people” in this town like myself and I think you would find we are not happy with it – NOT AT ALL! I shall respect your personal blog even though you are using it as a vehicle for mudslinging yourself. I think they call that hypocrisy, don’t they?

I will resist the urge to respond in the future, however I would be happy to debate you, your husband, the entire City Hall if you would like in any public forum of your choice at any time. Is that putting up enough for you?

Sincerely,

Jeff

13. emsgeiss - August 2, 2008

Jeff, clearly you have taken the phrase literally. Why won’t you just simply run for office? You should.
Where have I slung any mud? Was anything I said or asked you about inaccurate? How do you figure that Doug sprung from back room deals? He ran, just like every candidate, and on his first try running, had the 2nd highest number of votes. How do you figure D.C. was Doug’s “training ground”? It had been 15 years between being his being a Congressional Page and his first time on the ballot. He wasn’t in D.C. during those years; he was in Michigan, living in Taylor, except for when he was a student at UMich-Ann Arbor. How is it that you could possibly know more about Doug’s history than I, when I’ve known him for 18 years?

When one is dissatisfied with government, you work to change it in a proactive manner. Grassroots organizations are wonderful, powerful things; but when they use hateful tactics, that’s not constructive at all. That’s all I’m saying, and that’s all I’m suggesting you do — be proactive, not a voice of hatred and if you really have a problem with the government, get involved and run for a seat that will give you the ability to implement the changes that you think should be made.

As untoward as Ms. Brandana’s ways might be with this campaign, and as much as I might criticize *how* she’s let her campaign be run, at least she has the guts to put herself out there. What have you done that’s constructive?

Have a pleasant evening, and I guess we’ll all see how things turn out when the polls close on Tuesday. I’ve already said it and I’ll say it again, when the polls close, win or lose, Doug and everyone associated with him will be able to rest peacefully, knowing that we have all conducted ourselves in a civil manner.

14. SwedeDad - August 3, 2008

“Democracy is the worst system of government known: save for all the others humans have tried.” People in deomcratic countries, alas, get the government they deserve. I hope these tricks don’t work. And also that Doug will be interested in solving Michigan’s problems. Which, when one compares its economy to its neighbors, appear to be largely self inflicted,

15. Communications Guru - August 4, 2008

There is an awful lot of stuff in this post that is questionable, but it’s hard to find fault with a wife defending her husband. Instead, I will just address the misinformation you put out about me. I am in no way a “conservative blogger.” I’m a liberal Democrat, but the name of the blog is “The Conservative Media” because that’s the case. I live in Michigan, and the Legislature represents the entire state, as well as the 22nd District. I can tell you this – and it’s disturbing you don’t know this – the Legislature address issues every day that affects the entire state, not just Taylor and Romulus. I don’t want someone “malleable up in Lansing.” What I want is someone who tells you their position, and will not then turn around and tell someone else something else just to please them.

Brandana’s endorsements are from people who represent Democratic values, as are your husband’s endorsements. As for the Taylor police, I really have no idea if they live in Taylor or not. What I do know is the city seems to want to blame PA 312 for the high salaries and the high pensions and want to repel it. The fact is PA 312 is not the culprit; the culprit is the City Council.

As for the ad, it’s accurate and relevant. You keep talking about “pooling money,” but it’s still dollars from Taylor taxpayers.

The bottom line is it’s great we have three qualified candidates. As I said on my blog, your husband is a great candidate, but he’s the second best candidate in the race.

16. emsgeiss - August 4, 2008

Thanks for visiting K.J. I appreciate the visit. As you yourself have said at Communications Guru, we are all entitled to our opinions. You have yours, I have mine, I am aware of certain things that you’re unaware of, but that’s beside the point. I apologize for mis-attributing you as being “a conservative blogger.” (Now that you’ve clarified the blog title vs. your political stance, it makes sense…I agree that is the case with most of the media.

I *do* however, understand that the Legislature does represent the entire state and the interests of all districts. What I found interesting/relevant is your specific interest in Ms. Brandana. The only other districts that I found you mentioning for this year’s race are the 66th and 47th (your own). Grant it, I didn’t go through your entire archive–don’t have time, 1) I’m on deadline (which as a former journalist, yourself, you understand); and 2) the primary’s tomorrow, and being a Legislative staffer, I don’t have to tell you what the day before the primary’s like, as I’m sure you’ve worked on many a campaign. You also don’t know my husband, I don’t think there’s anyone in Taylor who knows him and/or his record, who would accuse him of “telling someone something just to please them,” save for a small group. It’s not his style, it never has been, and unlike many of his colleagues, I’ve known him pretty much close to half of my life and can say that with great confidence. Doug’s no “yes man.” He speaks his mind and votes his conscience, even if it means that someone may not like it. Not everyone is like that…there are people (and we’ve all met or worked with them in some capacity at some point in our lifetimes or careers) who are more concerned about being liked than doing what’s correct. Furthermore, Doug has been very specific about where he stands on the issues. Have *you* spoken to him directly about the issues, or are you just reading/hearing snippets of information (and often repurposed) taken from the vast array of surveys that the candidates have to fill out?

Regarding the ad: It was only accurate in the sense that the clips were taken from real events, however they were cut and spliced in such a way that doesn’t portray the entire story. (I don’t know if you’ve seen the entire tape from the town hall meeting in Romulus or from the council meeting. I have seen both. In fact, I watched the council meeting live and know what was edited out of it to make that bogus commercial; so does everyone who was present.

As for the pooling of resources, yes…Taylor taxpayers, Inkster taxpayers, Romulus taxpayers and Dearborn Heights taxpayers all put money in because all four communities were stakeholders in the airport issue. I’m surprised that as a Legislative staffer, that you don’t understand how that works. Were the airport in Inkster, let’s say, and not in a city in the 22nd District, the emphasis on fighting whatever airport master plan changes that would have the same community welfare effect as the 5th parallel runway proposal had, would have been no different. (Note, I’m taking into account any differences b/c of geography and orientation were the airport in a different city than Romulus, but still affecting our area and extrapolating.) Campaign for State Rep for the 22nd District or not, Doug would have been just as interested in the issue as well…the proposed runway would have had planes flying right over our house….so as homeowners, we were stakeholders as was every other citizen in the four communities affected. As a City Councilman, he was representing his community. Again, I ask where exactly was Ms. Brandana during the public meetings. Even if they were held during the day, I am sure that Mr. Feiger would have given her the time off necessary to attend such an important event, given his interest in doing what’s right for us little people, had she really been willing to make the effort. (All she did was vote to pass the resolution for the city to join the fight.) But that’s all water under the bridge now anyway, since the issue has been resolved.

Hey, no matter what the outcome is tomorrow, hopefully, whomever makes it through the primary tomorrow and on to November, that once the final ballots are cast in November that all of our elected officials can work together (and staffers) to get the job done for Michigan and its citizens. I’m sure on that, at least, we can agree. And please note, I’m not stating that with any implications for my husband’s success tomorrow. Sure, I hope he wins just as you hope Jill wins, and that there are Mulka supporters who hope that he wins. But after tomorrow, the key thing will be what happens from August 6th through November 11, and that after tomorrow night’s election results come in, that as Democrats we work together to take back the House, and that whomever wins from all of our respective districts in November, that they can work with their colleagues across the aisle regardless of which of our favorite candidates can claim a primary victory.)
N’est pas?

17. emsgeiss - August 4, 2008

Note: should’ve read November 4, not November 11 in the previous comment. Brain drain, here…just a bit of brain drain.
-Erika

18. Tim Hernandez - August 5, 2008

Erika,

Good job explaining your stance and, sheding some light into the primary process here in Taylor.

No candidate can be the choice of everyone, and that is fine, we all have our choices and Democracy allows us to make them.

The final proof will be in the ‘pudding’ of the Primary.

Give Doug my best and know that your time to relax is almost here, one way or another.

19. Communications Guru - August 6, 2008

Congratulations; I look forward to meeting your husband and campaigning for him. After working in the House for a couple of years, I know he has his work cut out for him.

20. emsgeiss - August 6, 2008

Thanks Tim for your comments!
Thanks C-Guru, I’m sure your insight will be appreciated, and should the chance occur, I look forward to meeting you too, (in person that is).
Onward to November!

21. PROUDFATHER - August 7, 2008

Erika and Doug a great job from a proud father……..It always pays to take the high road and not run against someone but for something, a BETTER MICHIGAN!!!!!!!!The problems of our cities, state, country and yes the world can only be solved by working together with GODS BLESSING and through PEACE…….The election will be over on November 4, 2008, but the problems that must be addressed will still be with us in January 2009 when the new Legislature in Lansing and the New Congress in Washington take office………Democrats must listen to Republican and Republican must listen to Democrats……When I came to Washington in 1982 the only question the Michigan Delegation asked each other was, “Is it good for Michigan?”, If it was, they all voted as one. We must start doing the same for America. Always remember to vote the interest of my Grandchildren, as Bill Ford did for my children, EDUCATION,EDUCATION,EDUCATION,EDUCATION,……..Love Dad

22. emsgeiss - August 8, 2008

You’re making me cry (again), PROUDFATHER! Tuesday night is still so surreal.

From your mouth to God’s ears that whomever is representing us beginning in January, can set about to getting real work done and remember first and foremost, that it’s not about them, it’s about all of us and what’s good for Michigan. (And hopefully, those in D.C. can remember the same as well about us as a nation.)

We love you too! (D just read your comment.)
-Erika


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