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Opinion: By R. Al Bain
Political Corruption in Detroit, Lansing, and Beyond
With the recent story of Walter Ralph Mabry former head of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters Union who plead guilty in federal court to accepting kickbacks from a casino consultant and a Chicago businessman who donated $10,000 to ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s nonprofit foundation, this is just the tip of the iceberg in all these scandals!
While I am not a prosecutor or an attorney, the evidence and or ties with the information I have obtained sure doesn’t look good for certain political figures not only in Detroit but Lansing as well! There is more to this corruption that will be reveled. U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade who is investigating Kwame Kilpatrick’s inner circle in the Detroit corruption may be all over this already? A certain long time politician in Lansing who accepted campaign contributions from the Carpenters Union was said to have arranged these meetings with lawmakers at the request of the Carpenters Union in which Mr. Mabry headed, the top political figure in Lansing invited lawmakers with positions of influence on key committees to meet with Mr.Mabry in casual settings in Detroit.
Those politicians invited were treated to dinner at Fishbones, then to a Red Wings game, and then to a suite at a prominent Detroit Hotel coincidently next to Kwame Kilpatrick’s suite in which Kwame came over to their suite and conversed with the key political figure who arranged this meeting and other lawmakers. If I can find this stuff out wouldn’t you think that U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade who is the lead investigator would find this out as well? I knew Kwame and many other politicians were dirty and couldn’t figure out why it appeared they were getting away with the illegal activities they were doing. I said to a close friend why isn’t the FBI looking into these politicians and she responded how do you know they aren’t, turns out they were! It will be interesting to see how this all play’s out and for all involved to get their due!
Along with corrupted politicians I’m sure there are prominent businessmen in Detroit and around Michigan that are also involved as to garner political favors in Lansing. When the Kilpatrick story broke some of those names was mentioned only to disappear as the story concentrated on Mr. Kilpatrick.
Does Richardville have Ties to Former Union Boss Guilty of taking Kickbacks?
You make the call! I received several phones calls from past and present elected state legislators in regard to the breaking story on former Carpenter’s Union Boss Walter Ralph Mabry who wish to remain anonymous.
Interesting Information: It was stated that current Senate Majority leader Senator Randy Richardville arranged for lawmakers and the leadership of the Carpenters Union which then included union head Walter Ralph Mabry former head of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters who just plead guilty Monday in federal court to accepting kickbacks from a casino consultant and a Chicago businessman who donated $10,000 to ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s nonprofit foundation. It is alleged that Richardville arranged meetings with lawmakers to meet with Mr. Mabry as to gain Union Support at an undisclosed location in Detroit.
Although it’s not uncommon for lawmakers to help with causes they believe in, it is suspicious for a so-called Republican to help with special interest groups such as the carpenters union in order for them to have a greater voice in government over the very people who elected him and who he is supposed to represent. But of concern to the taxpayers and voters is that fact that these revelations have come to the forefront in regard to Mr. Mabry who recently pled guilty to accepting kickbacks in federal court. It is also alleged that at the request of the carpenters union in which Mr. Mabry headed, that Mr. Richardville invited lawmakers with positions of influence on key committees to meet with Mr.Mabry in casual settings in Detroit.
More than 80 percent of Richardvile’s donors were Political Action Committees representing a variety of business interests, including Homebuilders, Banks and Credit Unions. He also received donations from the “Carpenters Union”, the Utility Workers Union and the Michigan Education Association. Richardville is a Union Supporter, the Unions placed “thousands of dollars” into his campaign coffers according to the Michigan Secretary of State campaign finance web site! An example of one is RANDY RICHARDVILLE FOR SENATE DIRECT CONTRIBUTION FROM THE MICHIGAN COUNCIL OF CARPENTERS 12/08/05 $5,000.00. For verification as to validate this contribution click this link Michigan Campaign Statement Contributions!
There is, it appears, validation to this allegation with Richardville’s introduction of the (Mandate Carpenter Licensure Bill) in 2007 Senate Bill 839 & Senate Bill 839-40 (As Introduced) and sponsored by Senators Randy Richardville (R) and Ray Basham (D) and his support for forced unionization of home health care provider’s and home day care provider’s! Fitting the pieces together it now becomes perfectly clear why Richardville and his political cronies worked so hard to eliminate the people he called radicals within the Monroe County Republican Party! Crystal clear!
The Real Price Tag of Carpenters Union Corruption
The details of all the goings-on between union boss, “investment consultants,” politicians and dubious
charities is all a little overwhelming, so I won’t try to go into all the
complexities here, but there’s one little corner of the spaghetti tangle that
deserves highlighting, because it illustrates how damaging union corruption can
Lawmakers seek Tenure Reforms, say Firing Bad Teachers too Costly
Removing an ineffective teacher is such a long, expensive process that many districts won’t bother trying.”We could spend as much as $200,000 only to have the (state) Tenure Commission put the teacher back in the classroom,” said Bruce Brown, superintendent of the Stockbridge Community Schools. I’ve personally heard this from other superintendent’s from other district’s that this is a huge problem and a disservice to our children’s education. But when you get a union supporting legislator introducing legislation such as an “Amendment” to Senate Bill 638 in 2009 offered by Sen. Randy Richardville (R) on December 3, 2009, to establish that the state Superintendent of Public Instruction would create the definition of “consistently ineffective” in teaching, and the state Board of Education would have to approve this it just validates Mr. Brown’s point! The amendment passed by a voice vote in the Senate on December 3, 2009. Like the right to work legislation with Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville this will be very hard to get passed! http://www.freep.com/article/20110520/NEWS05/105200398/Lawmakers-seek-tenure-reforms-say-firing-bad-teachers-too-costly
Monroe County Likely to Maintain 9 Commissioners
Democratic Prosecutor William Nichols who cast the lone vote against keeping nine made an impassioned speech for reducing the number to seven. For those who have attended the commissioners meetings it’s easy to see why Mr. Nichols would like to see a reduction, it’s all about money that he feels could be better used for his office. He consistently asked for more and more funds for his office at these meetings with little or no accountability of past, present, or incomplete proposals for these funding expenditures which have resulted in cost overruns at the taxpayer’s expense.
Michigan GOP Gets Pass on No-Tax Pledge Broken Promises
When it comes to election or re-election these politicians speak with fork tongue! There are those that sign no new tax pledges and those who dare call themselves a conservative but once in office it’s a different story. The Michigan legislature approves a half-billion-dollar tax hike. That’s the kind of story you would expect from a Democratic governor and legislature.
Jackson, Allen Park Consider Emergency Managers
The mayor of Jackson has asked the Michigan Treasury Department to review the city’s troubled finances under the new emergency manager law, and a citizen has asked the state to do the same in Allen Park. The requests for financial reviews are the first steps needed toward the possible appointment of emergency managers since the law affecting local governments and school districts took effect in March.
Court Strips Citizens of the Right to Resist Unlawful Police Entry
A little-noticed Indiana Supreme Court decision late last week overturned long-standing precedent and stripped citizens of the right to resist unlawful police entry to their homes, in a move dissenting justices called “breathtaking” and “unnecessarily broad.” This strikes to the heart of the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens from unlawful search and seizure.
Our Tax Dollars At Work? Welfare, Bridge Cards, and Abuse of Taxpayer Money!
The receipt below tells the whole story. Study it carefully, the “items” and the cost of the Mountain Dew plus how it was paid for. While we as a compassionate citizenry due the right thing in helping those in need though programs such as welfare, food stamps, etc. this would be better left to the non-profit organizations and churches where fraud and abuse are less likely to occur. Other recent stories of College Students and Bridge Cards, Bridge Card withdrawals from Casino ATM’s, and Bridge Card withdrawals at Exotic Vacation destinations show this may be the wrong approach to helping the less fortunate! How can it be justified for those asking for the taxpayers help and support to purchase and consume “Lobster” and “Steak” at the taxpayers expense? It can’t! These same taxpayers struggle to make ends meet, and some survive on baloney sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or spam.