The Ugliness of Eastpointe Politics
Why is politics in Eastpointe turning into bloodsports? Perhaps, that is a little strong, but not far from the truth and at some point, things need to change before blood is actually shed.
I learned last year when I pursued a seat for City Council that there is an element in the city that simply doesn’t want to “play fair” in the political arena because they believe in using every ugly opportunity to their advantage. But is it truly an advantage or just a revelation of the “politricks” used by others when they know, they do not have a meritorious campaign to win an election?
Last year, was an eye-opening experience — one that led me to my determination not to get embroiled in a political campaign of my own — ever again with opponents. This year, the political challenges have been eye-popping and gut-wrenching. Some of the tactics being used are simply sickening and because of those involved, makes me wonder about the future of our court system if integrity does not reign on the bench.
Supporters of one candidate have attempted to persuade me (and probably others) against the candidate who is known for their public service in the city on the grounds that they lack the number of years of experience of the candidate of their choice. I have been called a liar, a racist (which is rather comical) and one person (the same one) lied about a job offer that didn’t exist, because I do not plan to work for anyone again. I have addressed that issue via video and written commentary, but the issue that concerns me the most, has not been publicly addressed in a written forum, which is why I am addressing it now. No one and I mean no one should ever be subjected to the nastiness that I am watching unfold.
Everyone in this city has noticed and commented on the fact that everywhere, one candidate has gotten permission from a business or homeowner to leave a sign on their premises, the other candidate’s signs pop up — at the same location and had been put up in front of the other person’s sign to obscure the sign already there. I wonder, with the desperation we are seeing, what the real motive is for running for the seat.
For example, a sign was put on the pole of one of my favorite restaurants (with permission) by the candidate I am supporting. One morning it was there and by the afternoon it was taken down. I took pictures of where the sign lay on the ground surrounded by the other candidate’s signs. I later learned that the “other” campaign misled the management on the legality of the sign. Notice — I said — “they misled” the restaurant. The sign was not a violation of any city ordinance and that was later confirmed by administration at City Hall and the sign was returned, on the pole.
On social media — Facebook in particular — a number of people are questioning why the need for so many signs in this race. People are paying attention and it looks like a battle of the signs on a number of corners in the city. I’m not persuaded by signs, I’m persuaded by relationships with people running for office, but the issue has gotten out of hand, when the brother of a candidate was rude and bullying to another person attempting to put up a sign for their candidate. Here is what they had to say:
I needed the night to sleep on this before I posted anything. I apologize for the long post, and I do not want to make this a political tug-of-war by naming names because this is about having respect for the community. In working on a family member’s campaign yesterday for the local election and putting up a sign at a local business, I ran into one of the opponent’s campaign workers, who had stopped into the business we were putting a sign up at for what seem to a protest against us doing so. Mind you this opponent already has their sign up there, we received permission as well from the business owner to put ours up where there was room, and it was in no way blocking the opponent’s sign. This person was clearly agitated and expressed his aggressive agitation towards both me and the business owner, who clearly felt uncomfortable about being in the middle of something. I felt absolutely stunned and nervous by his aggression, and horrified that the business owner was being made to feel uncomfortable. That should never, ever happen. Ever! I believe I held my own with a calm and collective attitude while responding to him, but I was a bit intimidated, and was just over all very sorrowful for the owner, whom I apologized profusely to afterwards. And I am troubled to wonder if that type of behavior has taken place at other locations as well.
I believe one thing should be made unmistakably clear… the business owners and residents of Eastpointe DESERVE to be treated with respect and dignity by those who are or should be working to earn your votes, especially when candidates are asking to use your homes or places of business to support their campaign. This is your home, your community, your businesses, your city. My family has lived here for over 27 years straight, and never have I ever experienced that level of campaigning before. So, know and believe that your voice is worth something, and that you do not have to tolerate any pressure or disrespect from anyone running for a public service position. Not from the candidate I am campaigning for, not from the opponent, not even from someone who has no opponent. Elected officials and those who are running are supposed to be our voices and the representatives of our communities. Make these candidates work with integrity to earn your vote. And to anyone who has already felt the level of discomfort I felt last night, I am truly sorry. That is not okay in any election, from any candidate, period.
I will be glad when the election is over, if only to know that that sort of intimidation will subside. Which is unfortunate. We deserve better from our election systems.
I agree that we deserve better from our election systems — but more importantly, the residents of this city and every other city, deserve better candidates running for public office which require a modicum of integrity and ethical behavior.
I am — the by now — infamous — Mary M. Hall-Rayford and I stand by what I say and hope that every resident in Eastpointe will VOTE FOR INTEGRITY over experience, which appears to be lacking in this race for a seat as judge.