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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Op/Ed: Truth-Meter on Michigan Proposal 1 of 2015 Flyer Measures 'Mostly-False'

Photo Credit - Independent Underground News & Talk - The First Marketing Flyer for Michigan's Proposal 1 of 2015 Measures 'Mostly False' by the Truth Meter Standard of Measurement
Photo Credit - IU News & Talk
The First Marketing Flyer for Michigan's Proposal 1 of 2015 Measures 'Mostly False'
by the Truth Meter Standard of Measurement
They could have save the $.54 cent -- isn't that the cost of a stamp now? Normally, I purchase the forever stamps as of late.

Okay, on the morning trip to the mailbox, this thing -- a colorful marketing flyer-- pictured above was within it.

It is a thing because it appears, politicians and their associated financing cohorts must lie to you, to fool you into voting against your best interests. This time the untruths lay within Proposal 1 of May 5, 2015.

So let's tackle LIE ONE: 15,000 Jobs.
Photo Credit - Cleveland.com
PolitiFact Mostly False Truth Meter


Nowhere does this legislation claim or can claim it will create 15,000 jobs.

Why? well there is no job creation component to raising taxes. 

Raising taxes by itself does not "create jobs" unless the revenue raised from said tax hiking is focused on employment retraining efforts, dedicate streams of low-cost start up loans for new entrepreneurs or to increase capital of medium and small business owners. 

Proposal 1 does NONE of that.

Also, didn't the last Proposal 1 of 2014 Claim was to create 15,000 jobs too? Where exactly are those jobs.
"Eliminating the Personal Property Tax will create up to 15,000 jobs and $450 million in additional investment," last year's Proposal 1 of November 4, 2014 for 'Safe and Strong Communities' boast.

LIE TWO: The Devil is in the details.

Guess what, not a pothole road in Michigan will be fixed by the hiking of your taxes by this Proposal until at least 2018. Yes, Virginia --- 2018 at best.

"Significant new road monies raised in the first two years after Proposal 1 passes would be used, not to fix the roads, but to pay off debt," cited an March 14, 2015 article in the Detroit Free Press.
Why?

As the first thing Proposal 1 of May 5, 2015 will do is pay off bonds from previous years used to finance road projects. And if no one remembers how shaky the Bond Market can be --- just say the words Detroit Bankruptcy

So in some cases, bondholders and those who finance said bonds are left holding big (heavy, weighted down) bags. 

There is more, however, it would require reading between the fine details as written by Detroit Free Press reporter Paul Egan this article.

Sadly, most Michiganders will not pay attention to anything but a "cute" commercial or a colorful flyer -- before voting away more money out of their pockets for long-term if that, results.


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Friday, March 13, 2015

Department of Justice finds racial bias in Ferguson Police to No One Surprise

Photo Credit - blogs.rollcall.com        Demonstrators march on W. Florissant Ave., in Ferguson, Mo., August            


From Larry Benjamin of Random Thoughts Blog

Who woulda thunk?


Responses to this report have been varied:
Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts is reported to have said. “I told you racism is no longer valid in this country, now don’t make me look like a fool.”
Many comments from Fox including:
Megan Kelly responded with “But Santa is white.”
Bill O’Reilly “I will write a book about my experiences growing up in Ferguson, soon.”
Elizabeth Hasselbeck “The police are being mistreated and should be respected.”
In Washington John Boehner has called for defunding the Department of Justice until they get to the root of the problem.

Representative Darrell Issa has found a tie between the minorities in Ferguson and Benghazi, he is calling for a congressional investigation.

In Ferguson the courts have issued a bench warrant for Eric Holder; they know he has done something wrong. Not exactly sure what, but declare they can tell by just looking at him that he is guilty of something?

Link to news report….

As for me, hearing of this activity 50 years after Selma, fills me with disgust.

What a sad place we are in.


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Op/Ed: Basic Math on Michigan Proposal 1 of 2015 Ends with Questionable Results

Photo Credit - www.bilaterals.org
The shift of Revenue Shell Game of Michigan's Proposal 1 of 2015
is designed to confuse voters just enough into saying Yes to the measure.

Sometimes, Politicians think we are stupid....

That is the best description one can muster for the shell game being played on Michigan residents about efforts to raise the State's Sales Tax from 6% to 7%.

Last weekend, while attending a local informational form on Proposal 1 of 2015 - a measure designed to hike taxes on purchases not related to food at any grocery store chain or independent operator in Michigan - an moment of clarity arose.

If the basic math and surface details of Proposal 1's lead
 to a reasonable conclusion the measure by its core design takes earned revenue away from the coffers of Michigan's lower, middle and working class were not clear as a bell before this moment in time, this hypothesis was quantified in recent conversation with a elected official we shall leave nameless.
IUNT Reporter: Is it possible we could obtain a copy of the PowerPoint Presentation you just gave on Proposal 1? 
Unnamed State Legislative Official: Not if you'll are planning to encourage your readers not to vote for the Proposal. 
IUNT Reporter: Well our personal thoughts on Proposal 1 have nothing to do with providing all the information necessary for potential Michigan voters who read our articles, to make a informed decision about this measure. The PowerPoint would be featured as a stand-alone article on our site, without commentary. 
Unnamed State Legislative Official: Blank Eye Stare
End result of this tepid at best exchange was the Unnamed State Legislative Official repeating their "Talking Points" on Michigan's Proposal 1 of 2015 scheduled for a decision by voters on Tuesday, May 5; and the Elected Leader body langauge of disappointment and verbalized tone anger IUNT would not fall in line with the plan to confuse and complex voters.

Recently elected Senator Gary Peters (D) cited in a February 18th Detroit Free Press article Michigan's Legislative Officials instead of handing a complex Proposal of 11 bills wrapped into one package promising this and increase that, State Elected Leadership should have did the job they are paid to do in Lansing. Make policy decisions and let the rest fall where it may.


"The Legislature should have done their jobs," and passed legislation to raise money to fix the state's crumbling roads and bridges, instead of sending a sales tax proposal to voters," Senator Peters stated in the Detroit Free Press article"What we have is a failure of leadership from the governor and from the Legislature."
Well said, Senator Peters.


What are the core math details on Proposal 1:

The measure by its core design will if passed increase the State Sales or Use Tax from 6% on the dollar to 7%. Let us review how this expansion in revenue to the Michigan Department of Treasury from your pocket would impact a $7000.00 used car purchase using basic mate priniciples.

The Used Car cost $7000.00. Michigan's current is 6% sales tax or .06% for the purchase.

At this rate the vehicle base cost $7000.00 would be with the 6% Sales Tax = $7000.00 x .06 = $420.00 of Sales Tax added to the automobile overall price out the door.

Now, if the $7000.00 used car purchase was subject to a 7% sales tax by passage of Proposal 1 of 2015 = $7000.00 x .07 =$490.00 plus the price of the vehicle.

The amount charged from a 6% to 7% Michigan Sales or Use Tax would be $70.00, not $7.00 or $.70.

Why is this important for you to know? 

Commercials or propaganda marketing spills have began For and Against May 5th - Proposal 1 of 2015. However, in commercials for the proposal an overriding sentiment expressed is this measure will only increase earned income out of Michigan residents pockets by just one cent


As the basic math noted above proves, this is not true.
Think about for a moment if the purchase made was $.60 instead, much less than $7000.00 by any stretch of the imagination. On a .$.60 item at 6% Sales Tax, the purchase would equal 0.036% or using the rounding up to the next whole number scenario $.04, leaving the final total at $.64. Add a 7% Tax to the same item, the cost would be $ 0.042% or the same .04%.

Yet, the more expensive a purchase is, the more citizens are subject to the tax as detailed by the Used Car Purchase of $7000.00 noted above. In other words, Sales or Use Tax increases are Regressive. 


A Regressive Tax, history has shown, hits Lower and Middle Income Citizens at a higher rate, as normally they are subject to make extra purchases on a daily basis subject to the tax.

Now onto a other points about Proposal 1 of importance:

Legislative versus Constitutionally mandated changes in particular and why it is important to know the difference of each of these factors before voting for or against May 5th Proposal 1 Sales Tax Increase.

By the Michigan Constitution, all increases to the Use Tax must be approved by a majority of voters electing to actively participate in a Special or General Election.

Article IX § 26 (In Part)
"There is hereby established a limit on the total amount of taxes which may be imposed by the legislature in any fiscal year on the taxpayers of this state. This limit shall not be changed without approval of the majority of the qualified electors voting thereon, as provided for in Article 12 of the Constitution."
However, changes to provisions on a increase or decrease of revenue as a result of Sales and Use Tax hike, are sole power of the Legislative decision making body controlling Michigan's State House and Senate.

Article IV § 1


"The legislative power of the State of Michigan is vested in a senate and a house of representatives."
Thus, all other of the promised changes by approving Proposal 1 of 2015 including increasing road repair revenue, allotment of funding for Public Schools, hiking Michigan's Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and more can be changed by the Political Party in Power by majority vote and approval of the Governor, at anytime.

Proposal 1 also has other Regressive Tax Principles hidden within fine details including an expansion of Michigan's Automobile and Electric Cars annual registration fees averaging initially a hike of $40.00-$135.00 based on value of the vehicle along with a $.19 fee hike on cost associated with the gasoline tax.

Proposal 1 promised Road Repairs can take up to three years or more. Additionally, the ETIC for Michigan's lower earned income workers which was cut from a maximum of $600.00 depending on income, to just $50.00 in 2011 by Governor Rick Snyder signing a legislative measure.

In all the ETIC will only increase to $333.00 or $267.00 from the current ETIC --- leaving the State's Poorest Residents paying more in every other way by sales and use tax purchases, vehicle registration fees and the cost of gasoline.


Back for a brief moment to the Unnamed State Legislative Official.

If this Elected Leader believed by denying IUNT's request for Proposal 1's PowerPoint Presentation would stop us from writing this piece, they were wrong. In all Proposal 1 is very complex instead of extremely simple to understand. Lansing Officials failed to perform basic duties within the positions held and make sound decisions to properly fix our roads.

These decisions include repealing the $1.8 billion dollar 2011 tax cut made to C & S Corporations and allocating all revenue gained from scaling back the unnecessary cut in business taxes to Public Schools, restoring ETIC to index for the cost of inflation and to fix Michigan's crumbing roads.

Adding a series of Regressive Taxes packaged with a red bow in eleven bills to raise revenue is not the right way to counteract problems created by Governor Rick Snyder's signing of 2011 massive giveaway to large businesses. The corporations use Michigan's resources along with average Jane and Joe Citizen, and as a result should pay their fair share.


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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ruffling the Feathers of my Democratic Friends Again

Photo Credit - Evans-Politics.com

Written by Larry Benjamin of Random Thoughts Blog


First case came when I posted a satirical blog declaring Obama was to serve a third term. This was shared on the Bill Maher fan page on Facebook and resulted in angry responses from many. I had to go back and explain it was intended to be satire to calm the stormy waters.


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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

America's Real Fears!!

Photo Credit - Times Free Press.com 
Written by Larry Benjamin of Random Thoughts Blog

Much has been broadcast in recent network and cable news outlets regarding ISIS and the threats they impose on America. It is blasted at us on an almost daily basis.

Well listen up my friends, we do have things to fear in America. Things that are much more fearful than the 20,000 or so Sunni fanatics raising hell in the Mideast.

Number one fear should be the semi-stable neighbor that has an arsenal in his spare bedroom. They are out there my friends and they are in your neighborhood. They have the full support of the NRA and to a lesser extent the Republicans. This does not excuse the Democrats, they also fear the NRA and remain silent on the issue of gun control.

Another fear would be the various radical groups that have grown in both number and support since Obama was first elected president.

The Oath Keepers is just one of these groups and should bring fear to all. This group of current and former military and law enforcement officers believe they can disobey any orders given if they violate the U.S. Constitution. Based on their interpretation of the constitution.

This group falls in line with Libertarian thoughts that the Federal Government is an evil empire. A thought that received the support of Saint Ronnie. “Government is not the solution to our problems, government is our problem.”


In the small community of Oakley, Michigan the local police chief came up with a novel method of funding his force. He sold police reserve status to people for various amounts of money. This reserve police status gave the holders the right to carry concealed in areas otherwise off limits. Churches, schools and any other restricted location.

This is still being investigated but the thought of various people with various backgrounds entering churches and schools with concealed weapons brings fear to me.

The SPLC has identified 939 active hate groups in America in 2013. My home state, Michigan has 18 such groups and one of the group’s leaders has been elected to our state congress. On the Republican ticket, if that makes a difference.

Here is a link to the listing of groups if you want to look up one in your neighborhood. ;)

So in conclusion let me say. Yes we do have things to fear in America and the fears we should be focusing on are the threats from within. The mid-east should be left to settle their problems, we must work on the cancer within our boundaries.

A couple of interesting side notes here.

The identities of the reserve police of Oakley, Mi. are currently not being released. They claim fear of ISIS attacks is the reason for their desired secrecy????

In talking to a lady last week regarding the growth of hate groups in America she replied. “Democrats started the KKK.”?????



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Thursday, February 26, 2015

(Video) What Is Independent Underground News and Talk: The Real, True "Underground" Difference

Photo Credit - IU News & Talk  Michigan's Only True "Underground" Progressive Left Radio Network is Independent Underground Radio LIVE, ran by Monica RW since 2010
Photo Credit - IU News & Talk
 Michigan's Only True "Underground" Progressive Left Radio
Network is Independent Underground Radio LIVE, ran by Monica RW since
2010
Often imitated, never duplicated -- Independent Underground News & Talk along with Independent Underground Radio LIVE & The IURL Affiliate Network of Shows is Michigan's TOP Independent Progressive Left - Urban Politics News, Commentary and Informational site.

What's Independent Underground News & Talk (IUNT)? Take a look at the 30 minute video below as Executive Producer/Host/Owner Monica RW, MBA -- describes specifically what IUNT stands for --- and questions rather openly others who would choose specifically to use the "Underground" name when their mediums do not fit the definition, at all.


Listen to Independent Underground Radio LIVE & the IURL Affiliate Network of Shows with over 1.6 Million downloads since 2010 each Monday - Thursday from 9-11 pm ET at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rojsradio

Following IUNT Blog Site at http://iunewstalk.com
Listen to The Program: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rojsradio
Join Our Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/rojsradiolive
Catch Us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/iunewstalk




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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Op/Ed: How the Midwest Was Won for the 1%: Right to Work for Less

Photo Credit- The Stand.org - MLK was against Right to Work for Less
Photo Credit- The Stand.org
MLK was against Right to Work for Less
This piece will be a bit reflective but not too long in nature. To start, in the readers mind let us travel back to a time where all the core Midwest States supported the rights for workers to unionize.

It would be the year two thousand eight. Slightly prior to the 2008 election of America's First African-American President, Barack Obama.


What are the Midwest Core states of the historical Northwest Territory: Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois. 
Photo Credit -SD4History.com - The Original Northwest Territory
Photo Credit -SD4History.com

Two of these states in the years since 2008 are now Right to Work for Less - or widely known as Right to Work. The States are Michigan and Indiana.

In the other three states it appears RTW is literally around the corner from being enacted.

Especially in Wisconsin where non-college graduate Governor and budding Presidential candidate Scott Walker (R) is pushing for the state Assembly to pass RTW before the end of February, or by no later than early March.

Photo Credit - Daily Kos- Illinois  Republican Governor Bruce Rauner
Photo Credit - Daily Kos- Illinois
 Republican Governor Bruce Rauner

Rumor has it Illinois Republican governor Bruce Rauner will do his very best to push some version of RTW through, despite a Democratic Legislature.

Gov. Rauner has signed an recent Executive Order allowing 
for Illinois state Government employees to "opt-out" of paying union dues.

"Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed an executive order earlier this month that effectively created a right-to-work system for government employees in the state," reported by Justin Glawe of Al Jazeera America on February 22. "But the move — which bars public-sector unions from automatically collecting fees from nonunion workers — is just the latest and boldest step in what union leaders say is a mounting assault on Illinois’ labor movement."
Full implementation of Rauner's RTW for State Government Employees has been blocked albeit very temporarily by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) and the States' Comptroller Leslie Munger.

Munger has thus far refused to enforce the Governor Rauner's Executive Order, and A.G. Madigan appears to be readying for a legal battle making a beeline right to the U.S. District Court of North Illinois.

"Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has sided with Munger and declared the order unconstitutional. In anticipation of this, Rauner filed a federal lawsuit the same week as his executive order asking for a ruling on the fees’ constitutionality," the Al Jazeera article cites. 
"A decision on the case, before the U.S. District Court in northern Illinois, would override Madigan’s position."

Meanwhile, driving the Tri-State Tollway up for Illinois to Wisconsin, it more than appears
Governor Scott Walker (R) is ready to declare the Badger state Right to Work for Less.

Walker, a Republican vying to strangely become President of the United States without a
Photo Credit - Crooks and Liars- Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker
Photo Credit - Crooks and Liars- Wisconsin
Republican Governor Scott Walker
college degree to speak of mission appears to be pulling himself as far possible to the right, in a vain effort to win the Republican Presidential nomination.

And at least in the early GOP Caucus state of Iowa, it's working....

"Walker is leading a crowded field of potential presidential candidates in Iowa with 25% of likely Republican caucus-goers throwing their support to Walker in a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. The Iowa caucus will be the first test for presidential hopefuls and while the last two GOP winners didn't get far in the primary process, the caucus is a crucial test of conservative credentials and can help signal some candidates off the campaign trail," according to CNN. 
"Libertarian favorite Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky came in second in the poll with 13% of support while former Gov. Mike Huckabee, the 2008 caucus winner, and Tea Party darling Ben Carson closely followed with 11% each," CNN cited. Walker also topped the list of second picks, with 13% listing Walker as their second choice.
Why RTW for Governor Walker? Why now when he could have easily made RTW his core Governmental mission in 2012, like Walker's twin Republican Governor to the East of Lake Michigan, Rick Snyder did that same year?

As Walker says or will boast on any corporate media news channel allowing the college dropout to grace his presence, Walker "winning" three elections since 2008 in Wisconsin --including a recall effort-- has embolden his ego to believe he can do anything.

Especially if Walker has the Koch Brothers American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Bradley Foundation, State Policy Network and a huge Right Wing War Chest of never ending funds, behind him.

"The Bradley Foundation, with nearly half a billion dollars in assets, regularly hands out $30 million to $40 million a year. One Wisconsin said the organization is among the largest right-wing funding foundations in the country," reported on the Wisconsin Gazette. Additionally, the American Legislative Exchange Council and the State Policy Network took in over $200,000 in 2011 and 2012 from the effort. Nearly $500,000 went to the anti-organized labor Center for Union Facts and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Fund. 
Bradley also gave $140,000 to the Koch brothers-aligned Americans for Prosperity Foundation that partnered with the Wisconsin MacIver Institute to run a multi-million dollar ad campaign that declared "it's working" in relation to the jobs and economic policies enacted by Walker," the Wisconsin Gazette article cited.
Rolling the opposite way from Wisconsin on I-94 passing into Indiana and Michigan, neither state has seen the bold claims promised in job creation by Republican Governor's Mike Pence (Indiana) or Rick Snyder (Michigan) in 2012 with Right to Work for Less.

In fact, after enacting RTW and cutting to near non-existence business taxes, Michigan faces a over $600 million dollar plus deficit.

"News broke today that the Snyder administration knew about the state’s massive budget shortfall last October while Gov. Rick Snyder campaigned on the premise that he had consistently balanced the budget," Progress Michigan cited in a Press Release on February 18. 
Photo Credit - MLive- Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder
Photo Credit- MLive-Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder 
Lawmakers were told that the state’s tax liability through Michigan Economic Development Corporation MEGA tax credits is $9.38 billion, according to MIRS News, which is almost the entirety of the state’s General Fund Budget during the fiscal year," cited Progress Michigan. 
The state is on the hook for the tax credits through 2031 at varying levels, topping off at $607 million by 2029 and declining after."
“With the MEDC doling out budget-busting tax credits and Gov. Snyder being aware of the situation, but not disclosing it to voters, it’s time for some much-needed transparency across the board,” Progress Michigan Director Lonnie Scott continued. “Giving huge tax credits to corporations without any accountability to the public is clearly a problem — and Gov. Snyder knew it. It’s time we opened up the books, disclosed lobbying and allowed the public and the media to dig into the actions of the MEDC.”
Also RTW Michigan has not created the promised "jobs" either.
“You need 10 years before you can reasonably measure any impact of the adoption of right-to-work law in any state,” said Michael LaFaive, director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy told the Detroit Free Press.
Ten years? Seriously!

Over in Indiana no new business job growth and drop in the median wages of workers that
Photo Credit - Politico - Indiana Republican Governor Mike Pence
Photo Credit - Politico -
Indiana Republican Governor Mike Pence
take place in a RTW states, makes the Hooster state similar to Michigan in more ways than one.

"It has not impacted us one single bit,” said Chet Fincher, business manager for Carpenters Local 615. “The biggest thing about Right to Work is it was a union-busting effort. I don’t believe it brings in business. I don’t believe a lot of the statistics they give to prove their point. The thing that Right to Work does is it puts a stigma on the state," reporter Pat Munsey wrote for the Kokomo Perspective. It means people don’t have to pay union dues, but that doesn’t mean contractors suddenly can do what they want. 
“Wages drop in a Right to Work state. Training drops in Right to Work states. It’s amazing that people think it’s a free-for-all to infringe on people’s rights. All this did was pad some politicians’ pockets.”
Ohio is not RTW yet. However Governor John Kasich is feeling the pressure from 1%
Photo Credit - Hey Miller.com - Ohio Republican Governor John Kasic
Photo Credit - Hey Miller.com -
Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich
percenters to do so before the end of 2015.

"Ohio proponents will use Michigan and Indiana as examples when they advance their right to work legislation next session (in 2015). 
Two versions of the bill introduced this year will die with the end of the year, but Greg Lawson, a policy analyst at the conservative Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, said he expects right to work to return in 2015," a Washington Post article cites.
"Right to work advocates learned their lesson from the 2011 battle over Senate Bill 5, Lawson said, and they plan to lay a more comprehensive foundation to avoid a public relations backlash once their measure is introduced," reporter Reid Wilson wrote.
“It’s going to take a lot of tilling of the soil,” Lawson said. 
"Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) is one patch of soil that will need some attention. Kasich told the Cincinnati Enquirer’s editorial board this year that he hadn’t heard any complaints about right to work laws from CEOs looking to open facilities in Ohio," the article stated. Still, he did not say definitively whether he would support or oppose any legislation that might land on his desk."
In the end, although the Midwest five states of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin are not all totally won yet.

However, workers in each of these states who have not enacted RTW for Less - Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin-- need to be keenly aware the agenda of 1% percenters include ending your rights bargain for fair wages and benefits, along with weakening the power of any organized union group to do so for you in the near future. 




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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Community Members Stand With Washtenaw County Only African-American Judge Fight To Stay On Bench

Photo Credit - IU News & Talk Community Members in Washtenaw County gathered at the Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan to pray and express support for Judge J. Cedric Simpson, the County's only remaining African-American Judge
Photo Credit - IU News & Talk
Community Members in Washtenaw County gathered at the Brown Chapel A.M.E.
Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan to pray and express support for Judge J. Cedric Simpson,
the County's only remaining African-American Judge.
Members of the Washtenaw County Community filled a meeting room at Brown Chapel African-Methodist Episcopal Church on Monday evening in a vow to stand behind the Honorable J, Cedric Simpson, 14-A District Court Judge fight to stand on the bench.

Simpson, Washtenaw County's only remaining African-American Judge faces March 30 hearing before the Judicial Tenure Commission after a formal complaint was filed against him in mid-November 2014.

Judge Simpson who attended the event with relatives, was moved to tears by the
Photo Credit - IU News & Talk
14-A District Court Judge J. Cedric Simpson
attended the Community Support Informational event on
his behalf with relative and gave brief remarks
overwhelming attendance of community members, groups and organizations during the event, offered brief remarks.

"This has been a spiritual battle," Simpson noted while his speech was seemingly broken by hand claps of supporters at the Church location. "Yet I will have my say when I need to have my say."
The complaint filed by an unknown accuser, is centered a September 8, 2013 arrest of a former intern of Simpson, Crystal Marie Vargas.

Vargas, a pre-law student at Cooley Law School out of Ann Arbor, Michigan was selected by Simpson and his staff for a internship program, and worked extensively the Judge on a high-profile case, that led to the conviction of a former Ann Arbor Attorney on sexual assault charges.

According to Friends of the Honorable Cedric Simpson group spokeswoman Leslie McGraw,
Photo Credit - Leslie McGraw Friends of the Honorable J. Cedric Simpson group spokeswoman Leslie  McGraw
Photo Credit - Leslie McGraw
Friends of the Honorable J. Cedric
Simpson group spokeswoman Leslie
McGraw
Simpson's upcoming hearing before the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission has not received the proper amount pre-investigation necessary before requiring the Judge appearance in front of the body.

"First of all, there is a lack of understanding certainly with the general public because he (Simpson) received this complaint with the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commision that is who the complaint came from," McGraw shared during an exclusive January 2014 interview on Independent Underground Radio LIVE. 
 "The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission is nothing more than a vehicle to publicly or formally file a complaint. So someone else had to file the complaint."  
"The allegations were not completely vetted. Basically they state there is enough of a discourse here, that we need to investigate further, McGraw stated. "These alleged allegations were treated as if they were hard-in stone, factual pieces of information."
According to a Another Ann Arbor December 9, 2014 article on the Vargas incident, written by the Friends of the Honorable J. Cedric Simpson spokeswoman Leslie McGraw, the allegations against Simpson are on the morning of Sunday, September 8, 2013, Vargas called Judge Simpson at 4:20 am ET after she collided with a tow truck while turning at a blinking red light.

Upon arriving at the location of the accident Simpson learned Vargas has been drinking while driving. Arresting Pittsfield Township Police Officer Robert Cole impounded Vargas vehicle after the intern failed sobriety tests at the scene.

Officer Cole after placing the Intern under arrest stated, "We'll see if we can work on somebody to get your car so we don't have to impound it," then proceeded to place Vargas in the police car for arrest.

Video from the incident shows Officer Cole walking over to Judge Simpson to ask Simpson, McGraw accounted in a written article, to take Vargas car keys due to the intern having no one else available to take possession of the vehicle, and to assist Vargas in avoiding impound fees. Simpson refused to remove Vargas' car from the scene. After the Simpson left, a decision to "crash tow" instead of impound the car was made.



Video Credit - MLive.com

When the vehicle arrived at the impound facility, a impound fee was applied according to McGraw's article on Another Ann Arbor. Several credit card attempts made by Vargas to pay the impound fee balance, failed.

Simpson next paid the tow balance, which Vargas reimbursed the next day. Simpson reported Vargas' arrest and the accident to Cooley Law School, contacted former Pittsfield Township City Attorney Victor Lillich to receive the police report and confirm Vargas' blood alcohol level, for he could make a final decision about the her internship position according to McGraw.

Members of the Washtenaw County community attending Monday evenings informational
Photo Credit - IU News & Talk Washtenaw County Commissioner Ronnie Peterson expressed strong support for Judge Simpson during Monday evenings informational session
Photo Credit - IU News & Talk
Washtenaw County Commissioner
Ronnie Peterson expressed strong
support for Judge Simpson during
Monday evenings informational
session
meeting expressed deep shock and dismay based on known facts of incident, how and why Judge Simpson will face any charges before the Michigan Tenure Commission.

"We should have enough respect for Judge Simpson from knowing him personally, or having relationships with him professionally to know his integrity and honesty goes without question," Washtenaw County Commissioner for District 6, Ronnie Peterson said at the event.  
"Whatever the process is and wherever the process end, we are going to stand by him," Peterson said referring to the upcoming March 30 Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission hearing for Simpson. 
Despite Vargas' accident, arrest on September 8, 2013, and later conviction of driving under the influence along with any questions involving any of Simpson's actions immediately thereafter, the complaint by an anonymous accuser was not filed with the Judicial Tenure Commission officially until November 12, 2014 -- one year and nearly three months after the incident.

Local news resource M-Live Media Group wrote an article on the allegations November 13, 2014 authored by reporter Ben Freed. The article highlighted out a large number of text messages and phone calls between Vargas and Simpson from August - November 2013, to imply some other type of personal relationship existed, in spite of Vargas accident occurring September 8 of the same year. 

"Simpson initially denied that he had a "personal" relationship with Vargas, the two exchanged approximately 10,000 texts and phone calls between Aug. 1, 2013, and Nov. 30, 2013," as it was reported by Ben Freed of MLive.
"The pair allegedly exchanged seven phone calls, including one that lasted for 26 minutes, on the afternoon and evening of Sept. 7, 2013, less than eight hours before Vargas was arrested for drunken driving," according to the MLive article. 
The phone calls and text messages took place well after the court's business hours and as early as 5:30 a.m., the complaint states. Simpson said in his answers to the commission's request for comments that he never socialized with Vargas individually, that his relationship with Vargas was a "professional relationship related to her internship duties" and that his contact with Vargas was only in group settings," the MLive article stated.
MLive's November 14, 2013, article failed to include any statements from Simpson, his supporters in defense, or further explanation about nature of the text messages and phone calls between Vargas and Simpson until nearly a month and two weeks later in a December 22, 2014 follow up piece.

Friends of the Honorable J. Cedric Simpson spokesperson Leslie McGraw offered some insight on why the group believes MLive's reporting was questionable in this case in a exclusive January 2014 interview.

"On the one hand I do feel strongly that it was not reported accurately. But then, on the other hand I also know as a reporter, you create the narrative on what you are given. The second thing is there we need diversity in reporting," McGraw a media journalist stated in an exclusive interview with Independent Underground News & Talk.
"As a reporter one thing that I notice is why the lack of reporting is not a singular event is the changes in how newspapers and media operate."We do not get paid very much, And so it is like the new face of volunteering has become White," she said.
"So has Journalism because you have to have such a strong passion for doing what you do that you are okay with no maybe making as much. Some people are substanize because they are really young or they have support from parents but reporters do not make a lot of money," said McGraw.  
Also, there has not been a lot of positive stories about black men in the press, period. And that is a problem."
MLive did not have a reporter staffed in attendance during Monday evenings informational gathering given by the Friends of the Honorable Judge J. Cedric Simpson group.

Despite what can be perceived as negative press on Simpson's behalf, community members including religious leaders, attorneys, activists, civil rights officials and attending Monday evenings event pledged to stand by Washtenaw County's only African-American remaining Justice, Judge Simpson.

"Judge Simpson without question has been an outstanding member of the 14th District Court. He has been an outstanding community and civil leader," Washtenaw County Commissioner Ronnie Peterson stated.

"It is important that we the community express its support and make sure those that are engaged know that we are 100% behind him all the way."
Photo Credit - IU News & Talk
Ann Arbor NAACP President William V.
Hampton spoke on why the Community
should support Judge Simpson. 
Support for Judge Simpson also was express by National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti/Willow Branch, in addition to the Vanzetti Hamilton Bar Association and Michigan Citizens United organizations.
"We can't be selective about being active. We have to be activates for justice. That justice applies across the board," said Ann Arbor NAACP President William V. Hampton. "It's not just our friends or our relatives, it not just Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti, It's everybody that needs justice. And at unless we stand up for somebody, nobody will stand up for us." 

Simpson's hearing before the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission is scheduled to take place March 30, 2015 at the Washtenaw County Courthouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan.



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