My Opponent and I: On Political Puppetry

This is the last push before the August 2 primary election. I’ve walked. I’ve knocked. I’ve listened. District 2 is one of the largest in the County, with over 35,000 voters. Twice as many county residents live outside Ann Arbor as live in the City. In the townships within District 2 (Webster, Salem, Superior, Ann Arbor, Dexter and Northfield), the message has been clear. Ann Arbor’s control of the political direction, funding allocations and operations of the Washtenaw County Board has resulted in dysfunction, operational failures, substandard services, poor communication and a lack of transparency.

District 2 residents want to see a change, a realignment of priorities. I agree.

This is why there has been such a tremendous effort on the part of Ann Arbor City politicians and their monied interests to use every trick in the book to manipulate voters. These Ann Arbor City power brokers want a District 2 representative unwilling to ask the hard questions, unwilling to make the tough choices and unwilling to push for equitable distribution of County funding. They are urging you to vote for their candidate. Casting your vote for their candidate benefits only these Ann Arbor City politicians, power brokers and their monied interests.

Arbor’s political machine and its monied backers want someone beholden to them, and they have one in Crystal Lyte as her campaign finance disclosures show.

My opponent’s campaign finance disclosures reveal that the majority of her funding has come not from District 2 residents, but rather from Ann Arbor City residents, Ann Arbor City millionaires, and Ann Arbor City Council members past and present. Of the around $13,000 Crystal Lyte was given, the majority of, and her largest donations, came from the City of Ann Arbor and outside of District 2.

Recently, Ann Arbor City resident Ned Staebler (as Inspire Michigan) spent thousands of dollars to send out an attack mailer for Lyte that was full of distortions and inaccuracies about me and my political record. Ned Staebler (as the Michigan Talent Agenda) also endorsed Crystal Lyte. Staebler’s “work” was funded by the same Ann Arbor residents (including himself) who donated the majority of Crystal Lyte’s campaign funding, including Council member Linh Song.

This is a sampling of the Ann Arbor residents who funded an attack mailer for Crystal Lyte meant to mislead District 2 voters.

Linh Song is a multi-millionaire who spent over $23,000 when she ran for City Council in 2020, 90 percent of which Song self-funded.

Council member Song is not the only Ann Arbor City multi-millionaire trying to control who is elected to represent District 2 on the County Board. Joe Malcoun, using his wife’s inherited millions, has become an Ann Arbor City business owner, and the owner of an extensive real estate property portfolio.

My opponent has also received donations from:

Lisa Disch (Ann Arbor Council member Ward 1)

Travis Radina (Ann Arbor Council member Ward 3)

Jen Eyer (Ann Arbor Council member Ward 4)

Erica Briggs (Ann Arbor City Council member Ward 5)

Chuck Warpehoski (Ann Arbor City Council member Ward 5 [former])

Chip Smith (Ann Arbor City Council member Ward 5 [former])

Christopher Watson (Ann Arbor Council candidate Ward 2)

Dharma Akmon (Ann Arbor Council candidate Ward 4)

Scott Trudeau (Ann Arbor Planning Commissioner [former])

After the former Executive Director of Washtenaw County’s domestic violence shelter threw out victims who had gone to the media about facility mismanagement, moldy food, and dangerous living conditions, the Ann Arbor reps. to the Washtenaw Board of Commissioners did nothing for months, despite the fact that Washtenaw County owns the Safe House building and provides more than half of the non-profit’s funding. Domestic violence advocates urged Ann Arbor Commissioners to act, and still they did nothing. Meanwhile, the victims and their children went back to their abusers, lived in their cars with their children and pets, or found temporary refuge with relatives. I spoke out about the mistreatment of the victims.

All three Ann Arbor County Commissioners, Andy LaBarre, Katie Scott and Jason Morgan, have endorsed my opponent and so has Sheriff Clayton, a member of the SafeHouse Board of Directors. Who has Sue Shink, Chair of the County Commissioners, endorsed? How about Christopher Taylor, Mayor of Ann Arbor? Bingo.

Chris Savage, the Chair of the Washtenaw County Democratic Party endorsed and donated to…(drum roll, please). Yep. You got it.

My opponent has their support, because these Ann Arbor politicians and millionaires are counting on Crystal Lyte to do their political bidding.

Please vote on August 2, 2022. If you cast your vote for me, you’ll elect a District 2 County Commissioner who will do an honest job for you and work diligently to solve key unresolved problems that you want resolved. I will never be a puppet for the City of Ann Arbor, its elected officials, big money backers, and political hit men.