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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.


    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 11:17:27 AM EST
    Tags: Dennis Lennox, Michigan, Postagegate, Franking, Quid Pro Quo, SEIU, paybacks, taxes (all tags)

    The recent hubbub regarding Republican activist, and current Cheboygan County drain commissioner Dennis Lennox and the improper use use of taxpayer funds to provide postage for some campaign greetings sent out begs the clarity of both forethought and hindsight. Clarity, with regard to ALL elected or otherwise government created positions or offices where tax revenue is used to either push an agenda or reward support.  

    Is his act so very different than that of a grant provided for an interested concern that provides feet on the ground for the reelection efforts of a particular party?  Does it stand out so much as a payback to a particular industry that has a long time bias towards promoting "progressive" change?  What of serious policy decisions made on the people's behalf that carries untruths so that it may receive MORE of the peoples money in grants and support for  its scientific research?

    Look to any of these things..  Including that particular issue with Lennox that surfaced in the media over the weekend, and ask if any one thing is worse than the other.  See if you can place a rational choice on what is more correct a use of government (your money) funds. Logically..  you cannot.  The end it serves is entirely the same, but carries only a different measure of sophistication.

    This is not entirely about Lennox.  This is about responsibility, and accountability.

    We place our trust in those whom we elect to manage the fiscal affairs of their offices with diligence and frugality.  If they steal, their removal, and subsequent prosecution is exigent.  If there is a level of the offense that reaches a particular threshold, then the punishment should indeed meet the level of the crime.  Dennis Lennox' use of approx $110 worth of postage paid for by taxpayers (which he claims was repaid prior to the charges) certainly would be deserving of a misdemeanor charge, as it was not his to use in that manner in the first place.

    What a great lesson to learn here, as we try to persuade ourselves that his error in judgment is so much different than that of the miscellany of our very own legislature's finest rewards to particular constituencies over the years.  The decisions made, which have robbed us of a vibrant and productive state, by first robbing us of our productive ends through poor and unrepresentative tax policy, and then giving credit and aid to select business and philanthropic concerns.  Political reward or quid pro quo, each being a manufactured result, with payment from taxpayer labor and feeding the aspirations of the political class.

    Truly we might thank Mr. Lennox, as even I toss him under the bus for being so incredibly naive to consider using the resources of his position to advance it even more.  We should compliment him greatly for creating yet another argument for the abolition of anything but the most basic process within each department of government.  Who knows? Perhaps the threshold to which future mailings that are politely called "franking" might be held to an even higher standard now as a result of Dennis' injudicious puerility.

    Thank you Dennis.  Now pay the price.

    < In the MACKINAC CENTER Sphere Today | Guess Which Michigan Senator... >

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    Lennox (none / 0) (#1)
    by Rougman on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 01:03:22 PM EST
    I am disappointed in what has come out about Dennis Lennox.  If he put his campaign literature into taxpayer funded mailings he is in violation of the law and must pay the piper.  

    That being said, incumbents in all level of government use, as you term it, more sophisticated schemes to make political hay all of the time.

    Under the guise of keeping constituents informed, mailings are often targeted to particular constituents to beef up an incumbent's resume with that particular voting bloc.  A mailer that highlights labor votes might be mailed to all union members, while another mailer that emphasizes environmental concerns might go out to an entirely different mailing list.

    Is it campaign material?  No.  But, when candidacy is all but assured among incumbents, it serves the exact same purpose.  I griped last week about Bart Stupak's stimulus report...it was a mailing that provided Bart with the exact same exposure that Dennis' did.  I can only assume that Bart will not be paying back the taxpayers for his propaganda's postage.

    I do not applaud what Lennox has (allegedly) done, but I am just as disgusted by the routine manner in which many politicians abuse their stewardship of the public coffers for their own personal gain.  

    Thanks for bringing this back into focus.

    Tax money and judgment (none / 0) (#2)
    by Republican Michigander on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 01:50:28 PM EST
    I said this on another site as the stuff came out. If I was Dennis, I'd use my right to remain silent, talk to my attorney, and listen to him, instead of trying for the Geoffrey Fieger defense of political plot. It worked for Fieger on something extremely difficult to prove. It didn't work for Don Siegleman. Something like this could easily be proven true or false simply by bank records.

    To be honest, I think the prosecutor there is cutting him a break if the allegations are true (he is innocent till proven guilty). Based on the allegations, he might have been able to charge him with a felony, which would really damage his political career - even if he's innocent of both.

    It sounds like his defense is that he reimbursed the county for the mailing already. If that's the case, it's still bad judgment. I never co-mingled personal funds and committee funds unless I was donating it as an in-kind. With tax money, I wouldn't go near it. That's common sense. It's not my money. Period. This wasn't Dennis's money. It's Cheboygan County's money. Don't leave the opening for attack.

    This may have cost him a chance at state rep. He's a tough campaigner, so I won't count him out, but it does not help matters.

    I'm a bit sensitive to this stuff. I've treasured different committees and admin funds over the past 10 years. There's a lot of trust involved when given a checkbook. It's real easy to skim off the top if there isn't checks and balances. I
    don't do that. It's not my money. Legality aside, it comes down to a matter of trust. That's what was damaged the most on this, and frankly, I expect more from a reformer.

    Everybody should learn from this. Dennis is young. He has many years ahead of him, and others have done much worse things and have come back.

    Lennox mailing - RESIGN (none / 0) (#6)
    by rightmich on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 10:55:06 PM EST
    JGillman, well-said. This cannot be condoned, and if it was a Dem everyone would make hay of it.

    Young or not, innocent or not, trivial or not, and a small amount of money or not - it was a gross error and should be paid back with a resignation from the current seat AND a withdrawal from the State Rep election. Just ask Beth Stewart from Plymouth.

    Beth was the Republican candidate for State Rep in 2006 to assume husband John's term limited seat. She did the SAME EXACT THING except she was not an elected official.

    Beth Stewart used taxpayer funded postage to insert a notice in a city mailer. She LOST the primary election, then Mark Corriveau (DEM) won the seat. People were rightfully angry.

    Dennis, step down. You cannot defend this. It did not pass the smell test, and you should be glad you won't be charged with the higher offense.

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