Fighting Local Government Corruption - Part 15 of ?

An election where your option is one person isn't an election. It's an appointment made by the political party in charge of your government. That's true from Communist-controlled China to Democrat-controlled Dalton Township.


The reason there isn't another option is that people are afraid. I have been personally told by more than half a dozen people that they are unwilling to run for office, or oppose the local government, because of fear of reprisals. That's not living life, that's being allowed to exist.

After I helped expose the corruption in Dalton I had several people ask me to run for office. I said no. I have had some health concerns ever since I got sick in Kenya, Africa in 2015. I had further complications with my spinal deformities. And I continue to have issues with my heart and lungs. Nevertheless, there have been great men throughout history who pushed through physical difficulties. If Robert Louis Stevenson can become a great writer while suffering from respiratory problems that plagued him his entire life, and FDR can become President while in a wheelchair, why can't I fight corruption in my local township?

Even though I didn't want to run for office, I guaranteed several people that they would at least be given an option on election day. That there would be a choice. And that if no one else would do it, I would. So here I am.

Last Thursday I filed my Affidavit of Identity and my Nominating Petition with Dalton Township. More people volunteered to sign my paper than I could legally allow to sign it.

There are a few major questions about me running for Dalton Township Supervisor. Let's go through them.

Why am I running?

When you see something that's wrong it's normal to think, "Someone should do something!" When you see something that's wrong in your local community, and you can do something about it, you are the one. There is nothing more dangerous than a corrupt government. It's the duty of all citizens to fight back against that corruption and to hold the government accountable. To safeguard their own freedom by protecting the individual rights of others. If people are afraid to speak out against the government, then it's even more important to do it. There will not be an easier or better time in the future. The time is now. Courage is the currency that pays for freedom.

Why am I running as a Republican?

I could run as an Independent or as a third-party candidate. But, the United States operates as a two-party political system. That's just the way it works. So, in general, you have to choose, Republican or Democrat.

Tony Barnes is a Democrat. His wife Jennifer is the Chair of the Democratic Party for Muskegon County. The Barnes's are in control on that side.

Plus, I like the fact that the Republican Party was founded specifically to oppose slavery. And I like the fact that their other main founding feature was an emphasis on limited government control and power. That's exactly what we need in Dalton Township, limits on the control and power wielded by the government. (For an introduction to my views on slavery see my article "The Opposite of Slavery": http://www.jeffreyalexandermartin.com/2020/01/the-opposite-of-slavery.html)

Finally, the township government does not deal with the same issues that occur at the state or federal level. Even if people disagree with an official at a higher level, that does not have to determine their vote at the township level.

What's wrong in Dalton Township?

There has been a breach of the public trust. This was clearly demonstrated when the township secretly colluded to sue Hidden Creek Farm out of existence. When they violated the Michigan Open Meetings Act to do it. When they ignored the Michigan Right to Farm Act to do it. When they lied repeatedly about suing the farm. And these aren't isolated instances. Ever since I started writing this series of articles various people have come to me and told me how Tony Barnes uses bullying tactics to get his way, and how there's an inconsistent application of the local ordinances. That's wrong.

What needs to change?

There are two key pieces needed for a better government: better principles and better people. In Dalton Township we need transparency to replace secrecy. We need compliance with the Open Meetings Act and the Right to Farm Act. We need a real public discussion and debate about zoning. The township isn't in charge of roads, or police, or drains. But there are mechanisms through which the township can assist its citizens in these areas when they have an issue. There needs to be a discussion about what the role of the township is in neighborly disputes, and a process put in place. (I first pointed these two pillars of better government in my article "The Two Things Necessary for a Better Political System": http://www.jeffreyalexandermartin.com/2019/04/the-two-things-necessary-for-better.html)

Will they come after me?

Getting elected will not be easy. I do not know how much resistance to expect. Will they bully and try to intimidate me? I teach English online, will they accuse me of colluding with a foreign government? Will they sue me like they did with the farm? I do not know. But I do know that a free people has never become free by cowering in fear.

Most people want to be left alone to live their lives in peace, and I am no different. I want to write, and teach, and meditate; and not worry about politics. But there are times when we are called upon to fulfill a duty. Now is that time in Dalton Township.

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To read more from Jeff go to JeffThinks.com or JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com

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