Fighting Local Government Corruption - Part 13 of ?

Why pursue a Recall? Why do it twice? Why do anything at all in the face of government corruption? I have been asked these questions many times over the last few months, and the answer is simple: guilt. I will explain that in a little bit. First, let's look at the Recall.


I proposed three options to the Concerned Citizens of Dalton Township Facebook group. Here's my post.

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Let's think about new Recall wording.

On May 8th, 2019 Dalton Township sued Hidden Creek Farms. On May 17th, 2019 Dalton Township Supervisor Tony Barnes stated to Fox 17 News, "Dalton Township has not filed any litigation against Hidden Creek Farm..."

On May 8th, 2019 Dalton Township sued Hidden Creek Farms. On May 17th, 2019 Dalton Township Supervisor Tony Barnes stated to Fox 17 News, "Dalton Township has not filed any litigation against Hidden Creek Farm seeking to shut them down..."

On May 8th, 2019 Dalton Township sued Hidden Creek Farms. On May 17th, 2019 Dalton Township Supervisor Tony Barnes stated to Fox 17 News, "Dalton Township has not filed any litigation against Hidden Creek Farm seeking to shut them down..." We would like to be granted the privilege of removing this liar from office.

Let me know what you think.

Here are examples provided by the State of Michigan:
https://www.michigan.gov/documents/sos/BSC_Explanation_Recall_Wording_639174_7.pdf

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I decided on the middle option, but with the sentences reversed. I did that because Tony's lawyer Nick Curcio made the argument in the first recall hearing that the wording was unclear because the name Tony Barnes wasn't mentioned until the last sentence.

Here's the final language.

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On May 17th, 2019 Dalton Township Supervisor Tony Barnes stated to Fox 17 News, "Dalton Township has not filed any litigation against Hidden Creek Farm seeking to shut them down..." On May 8th, 2019 Dalton Township had sued Hidden Creek Farms.

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My last recall cited the Open Meetings Act violations. It was found factual, but lacking sufficient clarity. This statement is also factual, in both meanings of the word. And, I don't think you can get more clear than that.

The hearing is set for Monday, August 26th at 11:15am in the Board of Commissioners room on the 4th floor of Muskegon Hall of Justice. Here is the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/348454686041502/

It's a public meeting and a good opportunity for citizens to come and be heard. You get 2 minutes to speak. I will specifically be talking about the clarity and factuality of my statement. Other good things for people to talk about in support of the recall are the times that Tony has lied, any of his other bullying tactics or misconduct, and to support the right of citizens to recall.

My statement will be direct and to the point, something like:

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In Michigan Election Law section 168.952 it clearly states that the purpose of this hearing is to determine if the wording enables, and I quote, "...the officer whose recall is sought and the electors to identify the course of conduct that is the basis for the recall." It is clear that it is the specific quote given by the official that is the basis for the recall. A specific action, on a specific day, by a specific person. Nothing can be more clear than that. It is clear that this date is after the lawsuit was filed against the farm. Two specific dates with a specific quote makes it crystal clear.

The statement is also factual, in both senses of the word. It can be easily verified or falsified, and is thus a factual assertion. And in this case both statements are verified by the records of credible third party sources, namely Fox 17 News and the Michigan 14th Circuit Court itself. To finish, I quote from the 2018 case Hooker v Moore, "Our state constitution provides that "[t]he sufficiency of any statement of reasons or grounds procedurally required shall be a political rather than a judicial question."... An assessment of the accuracy or truthfulness of a factual assertion is an inquiry into the sufficiency of the reason stated in support of recall; our Constitution plainly reserves that assessment to the electors, and the Legislature could not in any event remove that right from them." As an elector, I now invoke that right.

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Something to that effect.

Back to guilt. In "The Question of German Guilt" professor Karl Jaspers identified four types of guilt: criminal guilt, political guilt, moral guilt, and metaphysical guilt. In Jaspers' case he was talking about Nazis violating the rights to life, liberty, and property. In the case of Tony Barnes and Dalton Township we are talking about them violating the rights to liberty and property. The same distinctions apply.

Let me point out two short quotes.

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Everybody is co-responsible for the way he is governed.

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And

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There exists a solidarity among men as human beings that makes each co-responsible for every wrong and every injustice in the world, especially for crimes committed in his presence or with his knowledge. If I fail to do whatever I can to prevent them, I too am guilty.

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The citizens of Dalton Township did not seek out corruption to fight, and I assure you that I have other things to do, but that responsibility has been forced upon us. We have a choice, an unavoidable choice. We can choose to do nothing and suffer the guilt of failing to do the right thing, or we can do something. The default choice is to do nothing, to submit to tyranny and the violation of rights. The heroic choice is to stand up and act. Because if you do not act to protect your rights, then you do not have rights.

Before we leave, let me tell you a secret; there is a way you can do nothing and still avoid guilt. The key is hidden in the paper "Deceptive Behavior in Social Relationships: A Consequence of Violated Expectations" by Millar and Tesser. Here's one sentence.

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The students experienced guilt, however, only with a violation of their own expectations, their role partner's expectations, and a match between their own and their role partner's expectations.

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Expect nothing of yourself and you will be free of guilt. But if you're the better type of person, the type of person that expects themselves to defend the rights of their neighbors, and their own rights as citizens, then you do expect something of yourself. And therefore you have a responsibility to not just your neighbors, and not just yourself, but also to your conscience to take a stand and act.

At the first recall hearing around ten people showed up to support my proposal. How many people will show up this time? How many will stand and make a statement of support? What do you expect of yourself?

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Read more of what Jeff deems worthy of attention at: http://www.JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com

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