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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

BREAKING: Mike Duggan eligible to Run as a 'Write-In' for Detroit Mayoral Race; questions on 'Official Ballot' display legality still remains

Photo Credit - IU News & Talk
Michigan's Elections Director Christopher Thomas on July 10th ruled in favor of Wayne County Prosecutor 2001-2003 -- Mike Duggan's eligibility to run write in candidate.

Detroit Mayoral election candidate Tom Barrow sought to have Duggan's named ballot candidacy declared void and engaged in a legal battle on Duggan's ability to run as a write-in candidate on July 9th.

In June, a decision Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Lita Masini Popke ruled Duggan was ineligible to be a named ballot candidate during Detroit's August 6, 2012 primary election. Barrow, also successfully challenged up to Michigan's Appeals Court Duggan's ability to appear as a named ballot candidate for not meeting the City Charter Residency requirements. 

Duggan moved from Livonia, Michigan to Detroit April 16, 2012, and the candidate's campaign filed nomination petitions for the Mayoral race less than one year later on April 2, 2013. The Charter mandates potential candidates for office maintain residency in Detroit for one year or 365 days prior to seeking a elected office position in Detroit.

A second allegation made by Barrow's campaign was not addressed by State Elections Director Thomas decision about legitimacy of Duggan's "Write-In" campaign ballot instruction guidelines.

Barrow a legal challenge in Wayne County Circuit Court on Monday, July 9th, disputing the white nature color of a sample "Official Ballot" Duggan's campaign displayed during a Press Conference covered by the Detroit Free Press and WXYZ Channel 7.

In a press release, Tom Barrow and his Attorney Robert Davis alleged an violation of State Election Law occurred during Duggan's write-in candidacy announcement press conference.
"Barrow is also seeking a Temporary Restraining Order prohibiting the Duggan campaign from going any further and ending its advertising blitz which illegally instructs voters by using a sample ballot in violation of Michigan law at MCL 168.718.
Along with Judge Popke's order forbidding his candidacy, Duggan is also in violation of MCL 168.718 which bars anyone from using the official ballot without permission of the Elections Commission.  The Statute that describes Duggan's latest violation reads as follows: 
MCL 168.718 Official ballots; printer, acts prohibited; instruction ballots, printing. "It shall not be lawful for...any person other than the board of election print, or cause or permit to be printed, any ballots in any other form than the one prescribed by this act, or with any other name thereon, or with the names misspelled, or the names, devices or designs therein arranged in any other way than that authorized and directed by the said board of election commissioners; but it shall be lawful for said board of election commissioners and upon its authorization for the chairman and candidates named on the official ballots to procure any number of facsimiles thereof to be printed on red, yellow or blue paper and to circulate the same for the purpose of the instruction of voters. Said colored facsimiles shall have printed at the head the words "Instruction Ballot". When Duggan held a news conference to reverse his decision not to run as a write-in, he used a magnified version of the official ballot illegally. His subsequent literature, television and radio commercials all illegally use the city's official ballot. "This should be an election about the future of Detroit, but Duggan and his attorneys continue to advance a candidacy in spite of the law, abetted by a seemingly rogue City Clerk", said Barrow in his July 9, 2013 press release."
Barrow's request for a Temporary Restraining Order on the ballot Duggan's Campaign has distributed thus far has yet to be determined by Wayne County Circuit Court. State Election Director Thomas did not reference whether or not Duggan violated state election law by using the white makeshift billboard with words of "Official Ballot" during his campaign's June 28th press conference.

Less covered by Detroit's major media resources, was recent sale of former Vanguard Health System owned Detroit Medical Center Hospitals to Tenet Healthcare Corporation.

As first revealed on Independent Underground Radio LIVE podcast July 9, 2013, a company named Blackstone Group LP cited in the New York Times up to March 2013, owned 37.9% of Vanguard Health Systems prior the sale of Vanguard's Detroit Medical Center Hospitals holdings. Blackstone Group LP has been a part of or represented legally in merger or buy-out acquisitions by Washington, D.C. based Jones Day Law Firm.

In May 2013 Jones Day Law Firm represented DDR Corporation in a $1.46 billion acquisition portfolio of prime shopping via a previous joint venture with Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII. July of 2012, the prestigious law firm represented Blackstone Group, LP in $246 Million sale of logistics assets French real estate investment trust Gecina SA. Additionally, in 2006 Jones Day Law Firm managed a consortium buy-out lead by Blackstone Group, LP of former UICI Risk Management firm for $1.8 billion dollars.

The Law Firm private equity practice according to Jones Day website site:
"Advises clients in a wide array of legal issues arising from structuring, negotiating, and executing leveraged acquisitions, venture capital and growth financings, and dispositions of investments through sales, public offerings, and recapitalizations."
Detroit's Emergency Manager Kevin Orr, appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) in March 2013, was a former bankruptcy attorney with Jones Day Law Firm.

Prior to waging an effort to become Mayor of Detroit, Duggan as the former Chief Executive Officer of Detroit's Medical Center assisted the acquisition sale of DMC properties to Vanguard Health Systems, as cited in a recent campaign commercial noted in the Detroit Free Press.

From Fox 2 Detroit - 'DMC Head Mike Duggan announces resignation, thanks employees' - By Ron Savage

"When I came into DMC, the board had voted to close Receiving, close Hutzel, there was talk about closing Sinai-Grace, and everybody said a hospital can't survive in Detroit," Duggan stated to Fox 2 News on November 8, 2012
You need to move to the suburbs, which is what our competitors were doing.  We proved that by embracing Detroit, we could build and succeed, and now we've got $850 million of investment from Vanguard into our facilities.  I feel the same way.  When people say Detroit is dead and it can't come back, I just don't believe that."
Independent Underground News & Talk will continue to follow Detroit Mayoral Campaign information and report stories as warranted.

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