ypsi’s ward 3 race for city council

I haven’t written much here lately about the upcoming Ypsilanti Ward 3 City Council race. Sorry about that. To be honest, I don’t find it all that interesting. As the winner of the Democratic primary generally takes the seat come election time, even in years when we don’t have strong Democratic candidates at the State and Federal levels driving voter turnout, I don’t think that the independent challengers in this race have much of a shot against former Mayor Pete Murdock (who beat out Rod Johnson for the Democratic nomination a few months ago). No offense to Murdock’s challengers, but I just don’t see how the Democratic nominee, given all the local work being done by the Obama campaign to get out the Democratic vote, can’t win. But, I know you folks like to fight about stuff, so here’s your chance. You now have a new thread in which to discuss it. If you want to thank someone, you can thank Huckett, who wrote in with the following request:

I continue to wish that there would be some lively discussion of the Ypsilanti Third Ward City Council race here. Is Eller really a super-freaky conservative? How come I don’t like Murdock either? And who the heck is this third guy “Ted Windish?” So far I’m depressed about the possibilities. Any hot tips on write-ins?

And, for what it’s worth, the “Ann Arbor News” doesn’t share my opinion about it already being decided. They say Ward 3 is shaping up to be a “real” race. Here’s a clip from their article on the three candidates — Murdock, Eller and Windish:

…In the 3rd Ward, Murdock said he wants to restore trust between the council and city residents by listening to community members’ ideas. He also talks about redeveloping Water Street, keeping residents informed about the project and finding ways to address the effects of the housing crisis on the city and neighborhoods.

The state chair for the America First Party, Eller is running as an independent because the party is too small and does not have a ballot position in Michigan. The America First Party calls for limited government.

Eller said he knows some people vote straight party lines, so he is going door-to-door to talk to voters about his ideas.

Eller said it’s time for a business-minded person to serve on the council. He said he wants to increase funding for police and fire by reshuffling city priorities, look for ways to reduce the city’s property tax rate and seek a developer for the Water Street project.
 Windish said last year’s proposal for creating a city income tax prompted his campaign.

He opposed the plan, also rejected by voters, and said it would have driven business out of the city.

Windish said he would work to reduce spending, find additional sources of revenue, seek new businesses and sell the Water Street property to start generating taxes for the city. The city should consider offering a tax break to attract small businesses to empty storefronts, he said. He would also encourage residents to work with the police to reduce crime…

I haven’t seen any sign of it yet myself, but word on the street is that Murdock is beginning to take the competition seriously. As I understand it, he’s been distributing a flyer these past few days responding to issues raised by Eller… If someone could send me a scan, I’d appreciate it.

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  1. Mark H.
    Posted October 19, 2008 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Mark — thanks for starting the thread. I agree it’s likely that Pete Murdock, the Democratic party nominee, will win (and I hope he does, he’s a good guy and a capable advocate), but there is a dangerous stealth candidate in Ward 3, Mike Eller. He’s running as an independent, so called, but he is the state chair of an extremist political party that calls itself “The America First Party.”

    Google it and you can find the web site of the America First party of Michigan and their state platform — here’s a clip from one portion of that revealingly extreme document:

    “In Russia, communism is dead, but in the West it is a Living Lion.”

    “These are the words of Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, spoken in the mid 1970’s. They are truer today than ever before. The Republicans deal with the problem of Domestic Communism by compromising with it, as seen in the June, 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision to allow the University of Michigan to give preferential treatment to the University’s favorite racial minorities during the admissions process. The Democrats embrace Domestic Communism, exemplified by Governor Granholm’s declaration that June is homosexual “pride month”

  2. PM
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Mark H.,

    This has been, and continues to be, a sad and difficult race. I agree with you that Rod Johnson was a good Democrat who lost due to his affiliation with the failed policies of the Farmer administration. And, if it were not for the opposition, rightly so.

    I do not know how long you have been in Ypsilanti, but I do know that anyone who refers to Mr. Murdock as “a good guy” either is one of his beneficiaries or does not have the historical perspective of someone who lived under Mr. Murdock’s leadership.

    I do not exaggerate to say that many citizens felt that Mr. Murdock was worse for this city than his contemporary who is now, at long last, in prison.

    I cannot express categorically enough that Mr. Murdock is corrupt and has been proven so by the courts. You describe it well when you quote that Mr. Eller is “honest.”

    I believe he is honestly wrong on many, many issues. But, as those who have known him in town for many years can attest, he is as passionately honest as Mr. Murdock has proven the opposite.

    I have long had very core issue disagreements with Mr. Eller. But, I have to ask, what of his extremist views can practically (Constitutionally) be imported into Ypsilanti? Very few.

    Yet the idea of giving his party legitimacy makes my stomach churn, despite his honesty.

    Likewise, the thought of returning Mr. Murdock to public office is immensely disheartening.

    I should say, I was not very enthused about Mr. Johnson either. He is a good man but his ideas are too closely affiliated with those who have made some poor choices for our community.

    Since I have been of age I have voted in every election. I have often made difficult and unpleasant choices. I have been wrong as often as I have been right.

    This year, the national election, for me, is an easy choice. This local election is what plagues me. Put simply, the local election is between a corrupt politician whose stated views I espouse and an honest politician whose views I detest.

    To frame the debate otherwise exposes either historical ignorance or party bias.

    I am voting for Mr. Murdock, but only because I believe he has lost enough control that the current environment will hold him in check and make his abuses impotent.

    Still, the image of being in that beloved booth and casting a vote for Mr. Murdock makes something rise in my throat that I can barely keep down.

    This is the worst election for third ward voters since the emancipation from the grasp of Mr. Murdock and his cronies.

    The chickens have come home to roost.

    Forgive me, but for many it is like seeing Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bush returned, decades later, for another term. Imagine how you would feel if, given the alternative, you felt compelled to vote for them.

  3. EoS
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Mark H.,

    That was perhaps the most despicable post I have ever read on this site. I know Mike Eller. He’s an honest and decent man. His views parallel Ron Paul’s in many respects. He’s a businessman who has lived his entire life in Ypsilanti. He would be a much needed voice for economic sanity in the city. It’s a sad day in America when believing in the Constitution is considered extremist. If you support another candidate, then tell us their qualifications and agenda, but please spare us the hateful smear of opposing candidates.

  4. Brackache
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    I’m impressed Eller’s got as many signs up as he has, and that he’s doing well enough to get attacked at all. I sure couldn’t have predicted that.

  5. Brent
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    I’ve not been impressed with any of the candiates but I am certain I will not be voting for Eller.

    From America First State Platform:

    There is no such thing.

    Eller made his way to my door over the weekend and left a flier in my absence. Had we been home, he would have seen that gay marriage may not be codified into law, but yes there is such a thing – and right under his nose in Ypsilanti. He also would have been asked politely and forcefully to respect my private property rights (something he also has an extreme stance on) and to move along.

  6. Posted October 20, 2008 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Reasons not to vote for Mike Eller and the America First Party:

    “Protect English as our common language ” – basically this is a PC code work for white superiority

    “Strengthen our borders and promote rational immigration policies” – keep non-whites out of America

    “Protect and recognize the sanctity of all human life” – code words for a patriarchal pro-life viewpoint that see women as vessels for reproduction and not human beings.

    “Recognize the Judeo-Christian heritage of our shared values ” – again, another PC racist code word espousing the superiority of white people at the expense of Atheists, Muslims, Dianetics and anybody else who runs counter to the totalitarian moral-speak of the right wing.

    “Preserve and protect all of the Bill of Rights ” – more PC moral speak for the right to bear arms and excercise power over others through the threat of violence.

    “Defend the self-evident truth, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” – as long as they are white and believe in Jesus.

  7. EL
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    My wife and I were supporters of Rod Johnson, and we’re most likely, albeit reluctantly, voting for Murdock–first and foremost to keep Eller from winning.

    I don’t care how honest and decent Eller is; honesty and decency w/ his party p.o.v. do not warrant a seat on the city council.

    As Mark H. un-despicably wrote earlier in these comments, Eller is part of the America First party… indeed the state chair of that party. That party’s principles run counter to mine. I’m a liberal Democrat, and there’s no way I would ever want Eller’s representation in local government. No freakin way.

    Support Eller if you must, but only support him after you’ve read what the America First party’s principles are–I doubt he’s talking about it that much in his door-to-dooring.

    The xenophobic and homophobic aspects of the party are reason enough to disregard Eller, but the conservative populism of the party in toto should tip the scales and abhor the majority of Ward 3 voters. If you see, as I have, an Eller sign in the yards of people with Obama signs, you may want to ask those people if they really know about Eller.

    “Thanks but no thanks,” Mr. Eller.

  8. Michael Schils
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    EoS, your criticism of Mark H.’s comment as being “despicable” and a “hateful smear” does not seem valid. Is there anything inaccurate regarding Mark H.’s claim that Mike Eller is tied to “The America First Party”, or the clip he included of TAFP’s platform? If not, then his comment is hardly a “smear” as he was merely stating facts. These are facts that apparently Mr. Eller does not disclose in his door-to-door contacts.

    Quite similarly, it would not be a “smear” for me to remind everyone that you are a former atheist who now believes that the universe is 6-10 thousand years old. You expressed this view on this website and everyone should be aware that this is the prism through which you now see things, and everyone should weigh your views, accordingly.

  9. Posted October 20, 2008 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I find it frightening that Obama supporters would be that mal-informed. I think that the Libertarians often get more of a free pass than they deserve.

  10. rodneyn
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m fascinated with the level of local Democrat-venom raised against the ward 3 Democratic Party candidate for City Council. Are the stories I’ve heard of ex-Mayor Farmer and others among her supporters actually going door-to-door in support of Eller true? I hope not.

    Pete Murdock is the right person for the job of Ward 3 City Council representative.

    Mr. Eller may be a local business owner and “an honest and decent man.” That doesn’t make his “America First” party priorities any more palatable.

  11. Jim T
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    An EoS endorsement? Really? I know that’s going to carry a lot of weight around here.

  12. Brackache
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Will Eller actually have the power or desire to enforce his religious morality on the citizens of Ward 3?

    What are people afraid of him doing?

    For that matter, what are people afraid of Murdock doing?

    Just curious.

  13. Posted October 20, 2008 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Eller himself has pointed out that he is only running for local office, possibly implying that we shouldn’t worry about his racist, xenophobic politics. However, in a city which has a large African-American population, a racist xenophobe in any office is kind of scary.

  14. Ingrid
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    I find it strange and disheartening, Mark that you think this Third Ward race is not interesting. I am currently fascinated by national news; however, I can find hundreds of better sites for analysis of national news. Since Ypsidixit has regretfully moved onto greener pastures, we have few sites to explore such interesting contests as those between Murdock and Eller.

  15. Brackache
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Okay, besides dude’s evidenceless accusations of racism, sexism, theocracy, and xenophobia (otherwise known as libel, but don’t worry, Eller has assumed public figure status), is there evidence that Eller is a racist, sexist, theocrat and/or xenophobe?

    I mean for real, not just people equating differences in public policy with inherant racism/sexism/theocracy/xenophobia as a demagoguing technique.

    Cause if you differ in regard to his public policies, fine. But evidenceless ad hominem attacks don’t do your character or credibility much credit.

    I’m open to evidence.

  16. mark
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Only hundreds of sites better than mine, Ingrid? Wow. Thank you for that compliment.

    And, if I might be so bold, if you’d like to have a local site that doesn’t waste so much time babbling on about national politics, I’d be happy to point you toward Blogger, where you can find the tools necessary to start your own site. And then you can have exactly the kind of site that you’re upset that this one isn’t.

  17. Eller is a wacko
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Check it out:

    America First Party.

    America First Party of Michigan.

  18. Posted October 20, 2008 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Eller claims to be the head of America First in Michigan.

    There are two possibilities:

    1)He follows the agenda of America First and agrees with them. I mean, he did step up to the plate and decide to lead the Michigan chapter.

    2) He didn’t read the website he instructs you to go to to find out more about America First and decided to head the Michigan chapter of America First because he liked the name.

  19. Eller is a wacko
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    dude: you don’t operate as head of the state chapter of a fringe party if you don’t agree with the party’s views. If anything, you champion the views.

    Brackache: read the sites. only a wacko wouldn’t accept that as evidence.

  20. mark
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if there’s any tie implied between McCain’s “Country First” and this “America First” group…. I wonder how they came up with “Country First” at a theme. Does anyone know the history?

  21. slimjim
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    “Eller is a wacko” Now there’s a smart response! If you can’t argue your position constructively and intelligently then just resort to calling names. That always wins in a debate – I guess. And “Dude” where do you get that PC dictionary of “code words” you refer to in one of your comments? I’d love to get my hands on that. Isn’t it interesting that the “open-minded” and “culturally diverse” people always resort to name-calling when someone isn’t as “open-minded” or as “culturally diverse” as themselves? If someone doesn’t believe the same things you believe then they are OBVIOUSLY “fringe” or “extremists” or “wackos”. That’s what I call a hypocrite. Incidentally, how come we never hear about “left-wing extremists”?

  22. mark
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    We do. His name is Obama, and he’s going to be our next President, Slim Jim.

  23. Brackache
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Okay, dude and all your aliases, I accept it as evidence of what his public policy views are. I don’t automatically equate those public policies with the character flaws you’re accusing him of. By and large…

    However: he implies by describing George Washington’s kicking soldiers who engaged in homosexual behavior out of the Continental Army that it would be a good public policy to not allow people who have sex with people of their same gender out of our armed forces. I fail to see the merit in this, if for no other reason that the success of the armies of ancient Rome and Greece prove that homosexual behavior among soldiers does not necessarily adversely affect military performance. I also fail to see how marriage of any kind is State business. So I’ll grant you that one. Sorry in advance if I offended anyone by how I phrased that; not my intent.

    Clearly a communismaphobe as well. Can’t fault him for that, although his persuasive writing skills could use a little tutoring in the presentation. He should talk more about the merits of deregulation rather than scream communist every three sentences.

  24. Brackache
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    to not allow people who have sex with people of their same gender out of our armed forces

    sorry, I meant not allow IN our armed forces. Or kick OUT. Not allow out. You know what I mean.

  25. huckett
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Hey, thanks for the thread, Mark! Isn’t this fun? Oddly enough, just today I also finally got a flyer from Ted Windish. No politician-type he, just a regular shoot-from-the-hip Ypsilanti guy with ideas and convictions. Won’t promise what he can’t deliver, etc. Possibly a crackpot. Have any of you met Windish? He says he goes to city council meetings…

  26. Brackache
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    …but again, I fail to see how his antihomosexual public policy views could be wielded as ward 3 city council rep.

    Somebody smarter than me explain how he could bring those views to fruition as city council rep.

  27. Posted October 20, 2008 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Brackache, you are entirely right that his anti-homosexual views may not go very far as a city council rep, but there are some clear racist and xenophobic undertones to the America First site. Eller is the chosen candidate of the Ypsi Police Department right now. Having a borderline racist or someone who is influenced by racist thinking that close to a Police department is fairly troubling.

    While Eller may not necessarily be a flag waving KKK member, his politics are certainly to be considered when voting, just like any other candidate. Just because he is “only on the city council” today, doesn’t mean that he won’t use his city council seat to promote America First.

    Sure, there’s free speech and Eller has every right to say what he likes anywhere he wants and run for office if he likes, but if there are Eller signs next to Obama signs, then there are voters out there that need to be seriously informed about their candidate before they make a voting decision. They may not know and might be appalled to find out.

  28. Brackache
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    dude, what is your evidence for “clear racist and xenophobic undertones” in the America First site?

    Being anti-affirmative action? A lot of people, including myself, are anti-affirmative action. I, at least, am not a racist. I know a lot of people are, but what exactly is your “clear” evidence that his position is based on racism?

    A lot of people, similarly, are for immigration reform who aren’t xenophobic. Some are, some aren’t.

    “Clear” evidence?

  29. Brackache's alternate identity
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Here’s something that might have been a better explanation for Eller’s position against Federal regulatory agencies than just saying everything’s communist.

  30. Doug
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    I think Dude’s right on with his reading of the language on the America First website.

    Haven’t been here long enough to know about Murdock’s history – I’d appreciate a fair synopsis – but from what I have read and heard he seems acceptable to me.

  31. Dirtgrain
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Slimjim said: “Isn’t it interesting that the “open-minded” and “culturally diverse” people always resort to name-calling when someone isn’t as “open-minded” or as “culturally diverse” as themselves?”

    Yes, it’s almost as bad as generalizing and using absolutes, which types like you are always doing.

  32. plant
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    I think Brackache is a genius, and handsome to boot.

    I hear Murdock tried to do some cronyism back door dealies and sue the city when they wouldn’t let him back in the day.

  33. rodneyn
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Brackache “…but again, I fail to see how his antihomosexual public policy views could be wielded as ward 3 city council rep.”

    There’s this neat little provision that was added to the City Charter awhile back after great effort – that language that outlaws discrimination on the basis of (among other things) sexual orientation. It just so happens that the City Charter will be coming up for review and renewal in a couple of years, so any sitting Council members may have some influence….

    I’m sure that the folks who pushed for and got this provision into the Charter would be more than a bit upset to think that discontented Democrats in ward 3 managed to elect someone who is so completely opposed to this policy.

  34. Brackache
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks rodneyn!

  35. Posted October 20, 2008 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    “dude, what is your evidence for “clear racist and xenophobic undertones” in the America First site?”

    Good god. Does it have to be spelled out for you?


    or, better yet, off Eller’s own site:


    For the record, I am anti-affirmative action and pro-immigration reform, but not for the same reasons these people are.

  36. EoS
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    O.K. 33 posts so far and not a single reason to support Murdock. Is it inconceivable that any one of you might vote for someone rather than against another?

  37. Posted October 20, 2008 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    I thought that’s how all elections went.

  38. Michael Schils
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    While reading the AFPM’s State Platform, I have to admit to not seeing any CLEAR evidence of racism. It’s more just a feeling I get rather than something I can really put my finger on. But maybe that’s just the “liberal pinko commi” part of me.

    But there are some funny parts, like in the “12. SEAT – BELTING”-section:

    … Forced seat – belting increases the risk of having an accident, in our opinion. Wear it if you want to. But not if you feel it hampers your control of your vehicle. Otherwise, obey current law, wear your seat belt, talk on the cell phone, watch Car TV, play the Internet as you drive, and ask the Lord to keep you from killing somebody else, and/or yourself.

    And in the APPENDIX (more examples of Domestic Communism):

    73. The ongoing smear campaign against Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

    If this were sarcasm, it would be pretty funny. But since it isn’t, maybe not so funny.

    A section of the APPENDIX, “80. The continuing emasculation of the FBI…” reminisces about the “good old days” of Hoover’s FBI and comes close to overt racism when it concludes by stating that the FBI is now wasting it’s time investigating “hate crimes against Muslims and Jews.” Although I suppose there’s some wiggle-room there.

    But the end of the APPENDIX is strange and perhaps could have used some editing:

    83. “Cleavage” – women in 1/2 – dress. This is a “slippery slope”, leading to the bottom of the slope, except, perhaps, in cases where there is little or no slope. This latter could be termed the flat-chested cleavage. But: better little than nothing, right? Or is it all wrong, from the top on down?

    84. Cleavage II – in, or from, the rear.

    Why the discussion on cleavage and flat-chests? What exactly is cleavage “in, or from, the rear” and how is any of this “domestic communism”? Strange.

  39. Brackache
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Michael, too. Now we’re getting somewhere. I’d like to know where Mr. Murdock stands on the seatbelt/cleavage issue myself. Mandated seatbelting is the 28th plank of the communist manifesto (in secret commie code).

  40. Mark H.
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Rodeyn — you make an excellent point about the charter ‘s anti-discrimination provision and the relevance of an anti-gay, anti-immigrant member being on city council.

    Let’s face it: Mike Eller is part of a fringe extremist political group whose origins can be traced back to the anti-Jewish Gerald K. Smith movement of the 1940s & the George Wallace racist political part of the 1960s-70s.

    Who in Ypsi wants to promote that kind of political leadership? Even if the city council can’t set social policy for immigrants and gays in a big way, wouldn’t it be a slap in the face of a town that prides itself on diversity and inclusion to have an “American First” party leader in elected office? No other community in the state will elect one of these crazies, but maybe Ypsi will!

    To call Eller out on his positions is not to smear him. It is merely to reveal him. Gosh, his party thinks Governor Grandholm is a commuist because she issued a pro forma proclimation for gay pride month! I bet the chamber of commerce – or some of them – welcome gay pride celebrations: They are good for business. They are not communist!

    Eller has an extremist point of view on the constitution that disregards the whole history of constitutional rights in America. He may or may not be honest – I don’t know – but he is part of an extremist, I’d even say “unAmerican,” movement.

    I gotta shut up soon, but here’s one last observation: About 20 years ago, a neo-Nazi ex-Klansman, open racist won the Republican nomination for Governor of Louisiana. His name was David Duke. The Democratic nominee was former governor, Edwin Edwards, who had a really corrupt history (Louisiana, after all), but he was a real effective politican. The GOP establishment all endorsed Edwards rather than risk letting Duke win the race. Duke lost, and Edwards was elected, but it was a narrow race: the majority of white voters in Louisiana voted for the ex-Klansmen. I praise people like George Bush Sr. for openly supporting Edwards — they put country ahead of party, for they knew that electing an extremist like Duke would harm the country.

    The analogy here is clear to me: While Ypsi is a small town compared to Louisian, and while no doubt Mike Eller has far less of the extremist background of an ex-Klansman, he is still an extremist. Mayor Paul S. and former mayor Cheryl Farmer should come out with clear endorsements of Pete Murdock (our Edwin Edwards? perhaps. but I think Pete’s an honest guy: opinions differ). Rod Johnson should too. Either Democratic leaders in the city should endorse Pete — or else their silence shows that they’d rather let our local extremist win office. And from that office, he could do much to harm Ypsi.

    Just think of what a struggle it was to protect our equal rights ordinance and provision in the city charter. Want to bet which way Miike Eller voted in that referendum? the main leaders of that anti-equality campaign didn’t even live in Ypsi, let alone hold office here.

    There’s a plan afoot. Elect Eller and the plan advances and Ypsi suffers. Defeat him, and the extremist plan is dealt a setback.

  41. rodneyn
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    EoS: “O.K. 33 posts so far and not a single reason to support Murdock.”

    As I said earlier, Murdock is the right guy for the job. That’s reason enough, but there is much more. He is an advocate for fiscal responsibility in city government, and against burdening residents with new taxes. He expects the city budget to be less than its revenues, with extra set aside for contingencies. His election to Council would add valuable experience to a group led by an inexperienced Mayor and supported by a team of mostly even less experienced department heads.

    He has served as Mayor and as a Councilmember in the past, so he will be ready to contribute to the future of the City from the very first day – no learning curve. That’s important, since our first payment on the oft-delayed Water Street debt is looming quickly on the horizon – while the project area remains desolate.

    This is a man who deserves the support of ward 3 Democrats. This is also a man for whom independents and republicans in ward 3 can feel confident about supporting with your vote on November 4th.

  42. Mark H.
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Reaons to support Pete Murdock:

    He’s a real Democrat, a progressive. He supports gay rights, and human rights in general. He is a practical person, and knows as much or more about municipal budgets as anyone I’ve meet around here. He is “green,” an environmentalist. He is frugal – knows the city budget is seriously strained and that the city’s resources needs better management. He favors public transportation and knows that doesn’t mean giving the store away to AATA. He has long been a critic of the Water Street fiasco and makes no effort to pretend that it was a good idea executed in a fine way: This puts him at odds with the current and immediate past mayor, but hey, the facts are on his side.

    Another reason – Pete won the party primary and most voters in this ward are Democrats. The alternative to Pete is….our local extremist, a candidate too aware of the unacceptability of his actual beliefs to campaign on them. Pete campaigns on his beliefs, and he says plainly that there are no simple solutions for Ypsi’s problems. That’s realism and that’s wisdom.

    sorry to go on so long here – a professor’s pedantic nature, you know. Pete’s much more to the point than me – another reason to vote for him.

  43. Elder Her
    Posted October 21, 2008 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    Suddenly, Mike Eller is an extremist. He was not an extremist when serving our community as a member of the Ypsi Orchestra Board, the Central Business Community, the Ypsi Food Coop, the Ypsi Chamber of Commerce.

    He was not an extremist when the men and women of the Ypsilanti police endorsed him.

    And, I do recall, a famous letter from Birmingham, describing the relative merits of extremism.

    If you have not done so yet, go to the horse’s mouth: http://www.mikeellerforypsi.com

    Mr. Murdock counted on his last ditch smear campaign, like McCain, to ride him back into power. Mark H. Pete has no beliefs beyond his self interests and erratic ego. That is why we through him to curb decades ago. I, for one, do not bring in the trash.

    I, with an overwhelming majority of Ypsilanti voters, took it out decades ago. There are some things that I will not recycle. Plastic, paper and glass, yes! But not solid waste.

    I challenge anyone to name one thing Mike Eller has done in Ypsilanti that is not completely above board, productive and honorable. I challenge everyone to compare Murdock’s actions in our community to Eller’s and vote not on what you are told to fear they will do, but what they have done.

    That is the only measure worth taking. And, only one candidate sparks fear in my memory. Murdock cannot be returned to city council. The fact that he still has retained the gall to live here astounds me. That he would run, again, is unthinkable.

  44. Posted October 21, 2008 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Reasons to vote for Murdock? You mean, like because he has more experience governing than anyone sitting on Council? Because he’s got the strongest background in turning government green than any other candidate? Because he wants to represent his constituents by giving them a voice on council? Because labor has endorsed him? Because his skill at understanding city finances is substantially better than the other candidates?

    And not to mention, because Eller has crazy political views and hasn’t disavowed his party’s nutty platform?

    Come on, nobody comes here to actually get information about their candidates. The loaded questions that regulars seem to delight in asking prove that they’ve made up their mind and prefer to use this forum to insult those that disagree with them.

  45. Mark H.
    Posted October 21, 2008 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    A troll calling himselef “elder her” wrote “I challenge anyone to name one thing Mike Eller has done in Ypsilanti that is not completely above board, productive and honorable.” I accept that challenge, and it’s easy to meet: Eller is the state leader of a political party that says our Governor is a communist because she supports the rights of gay citizens. Yet he is not making that extremist position a ‘talking point’ as he campaigns here….but clearly for Ypsi to have an elected official whose views are that wacko would not help and would indeed hurt Ypsi’s ability to have a productive relationship with the Governor of the state. Not a small point, if your real concern is Ypsilanti’s well being.

    But that’s not ELler’s main concern – he is part of a true believer tiny little party of political zealots, a group so pure they know the Truth on all matters, democracy be damned. That’s the nature of such right wing pure political movements.

    Don’t let Ypsi be a springboard for the nutcases!

    As for Eller’s other Ypsilanti services – ward 3 never elected him to those positions. He may have done good work in them, and if so fine. But that’s not an argument for electing an extremist now.

  46. rodneyn
    Posted October 21, 2008 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Elder Her – “Murdock cannot be returned to city council. The fact that he still has retained the gall to live here astounds me. That he would run, again, is unthinkable.”

    It’s nice to hear from you, Cheryl.

  47. Posted October 21, 2008 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I like how “Elder Her” refers to an evil smear campaign against Eller. Obviously, you can’t have a smear campaign when all the damning evidence is on the candidate’s own website.

    These groups are a throwback to the 18th century. Their ideas on society and economy may work in the backwoods of Alaska (or Michigan!), but do not translate well to a pluralistic, urban environment. It’s easy to point fingers at “Communists” when everyone around you is just like you. It’s quite another to claim that the way to stop AIDS is for the government to stop providing money for it when the person down the block from you that you wave to on your way to work has a partner or a relative dying from AIDS or is HIV positive.

    Keep these “honest” bastards away from public policy.

  48. slimjim
    Posted October 21, 2008 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    It’s very reassuring to know that all history before 1960 has been erased in the minds of the great “brainwashed” masses. “Those who refuse to learn from history are bound to repeat it” which, incidentally, speaking of more recent history, will most definitely be the case if Murdock is elected – yet again.

  49. Trey
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Mike Eller is a decent guy. He offers Ypsi relief from the policies that have the city on the edge of bankruptcy. .

    Mike deserves credit for offering Ypsilanti a choice not an echo of the failed policies of the past.

    Further more as far as being opposed to racial preferences and men marrying each other would put Mike on the side of the vast majority of citizens of Michigan. Those who favor racial preferences and men marrying each other are the extremists not Mike.

    The state auditer is coming and all these folks seem worried about is immigration and men marrying each other.

  50. Brackache
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    My dilemma is that I think we might need the city/state/nation to go bankrupt at this point. Not that it would be pleasant, but it may have to happen to show people the end result of their faith in flawed human government, spend money we don’t have on everything, interventionist political delusions.

    So I’m tempted to vote for the most corrupt, biggest government guys possible to judo their stupid philosophy with the momentum of their own wrong headed convictions.

    I suppose some jackasses would somehow blame the results on libertarianism and free market capitalism, though. Never fails.

  51. designated republican
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Mike Eller appears to be an attractive candidate for republicans in ward 3, at least until you read his party’s policy platform. Maybe if he was just some semi-active member of the party, he might still be a reasonable choice, but he’s not. He’s the head of this party, and the author of the platform. The rantings I read on his website are all him.

    For the republicans and fiscally conservative folks in ward 3, Pete Murdock remins the best choice on Nov. 4th.

  52. Robert
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    “flawed human government” Brackache? Is there some other kind?

  53. Brackache
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    For some reason I can’t think of a humorous response to that that I find funny enough to commit to a comment. Five minutes I’ve been sitting here brainstorming. My insticts want to come up with some comic book council of superheros, but it’s just not happening. I got nothin’. Somebody spot me.

  54. mark
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Brackache, when I get stuck, I usually reach for the boner sound effect.

    Use it wisely.

  55. Mark H.
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Trey writes “Mike deserves credit for offering Ypsilanti a choice not an echo of the failed policies of the past.” Two responses. First, the term ‘a choice not an echo’ was a slogan of Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Republican presidential campaign. Trey, glad to hear from you! I’d been wondering what had happened to Barry Goldwater’s old speech writer and now I know! You’re working for Mike Eller here in Ypsilanti now, pushing pretty much the same extremist program as Goldwater had in 1964……but Barry lived on more many years, and changed his views on many things as he learned, and became a more Libertarian conservative than the hard-right winger. (Goldwater’s successor in the US Senate was….John McCain!).

    Trey’s comment shows that the real Mike Eller’s political ideology is rooted in the right-wing movements of the 1960s That stuff failed then and it has zero potential now for success.

  56. Elder Her
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Mark H.

    I don’t know if I should be flattered by your sexism, but do follow dude’s lead and refer to me as “her.”

    So, by your logic, Pete Murdock is also not being honest for making “a talking point” of his views on national issues such as the war in Iraq, gay marriage, and global warming?

    Pete reads this blog. How dare he not comment on national issues and run for local office! Come on Pete, tell us what you believe!

    Better yet, Pete, tell us what your priorities are for local government (beyond being elected).

    Mike Eller has not hid his beliefs. Pete Murdock has not expressed, in the primary or now, any of his beyond vague assertions of “everything is on the table.”

    Pete Murdock has a well-documented history of corruption. Mike Eller has a history of open, and yes, extreme, belief and service.

    Those who have been around a while can, I think, agree on a couple things. Murdock is not a Democrat, he is an opportunist. Eller is not a libertarian, he is a theocrat.

    If you look at his record, not his pandering, Murdock is the libertarian in this race.

    Practically speaking, both Murdock and Eller are small government men.

    I do not like the hand I have been dealt at any point in this cycle. This is an abysmal choice for had begun to be a progressive town.

    I do have to defend Eller as honest and oppose Murdock as the antipathy. For Murdock surviving as a potential candidate, I blame Farmer. I cannot send him back.

    If you are suckered by Pete’s party affiliation, then vote the straight ticket.

    For me, the ticket ceased to be straight with LBJ. And, that is the only tradition where I can find affiliation between Pete and the party.

    Mark H. What is worse for the party? Electing honest men without, or allowing corrupt men to reign within?

    You don’t have to answer me. Answer with your vote.

  57. Brackache
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Where’s Steve Pierce in all this?

  58. rHesident;
    Posted October 23, 2008 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Hello! a wise person said those not learned by the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat the mistakes. I do not know you but I know my history. Yes. I cannot vote for one of the worst personsin our history as long as I have been alive. I has never done my town wrong like the mayor did.This is not personable but it was a hard time and very ashamed. Mike is from a good family. He always warmed us every season. It was a bad time for us with the mayor. We thought of leaving. We all thought htat way but there were jobs and families to tend. It has not been good but is warming. So many young people and stores with such nice people that warms my heart. It was never like that before now. It was mean spirted. I just do not ever want to see them leave to. Please reconsider. I cannot make you see how it was but it is so much better I hope andpray. That is all I have to say. Please do not do it.I just want to see it the way I thought. Thank you.

  59. designated republican
    Posted October 23, 2008 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    If anyone wants to know about Pete Murdock’s views on national issues, I would suggest asking him…. …or you could just drive by his house and see for yourself. He has a nice crop of yard signs that pretty much spell things out.

  60. Paw
    Posted October 23, 2008 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    That boner sound effect is contagious. Don’t listen to it unless you’re alone.

  61. homedWeller
    Posted October 23, 2008 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Greetings the time before I came to read about this I wanted to say two things, the first of which is that I is not knowing about PeTe Murdock but still nonetheless would like his to see him elected because of Mr. Ellr. See I’ve not been living Ypsilanti but maybe four years. Maybe three or too. But having known nice people, Mr. Eller surely is one but still politicla platform sayhing that no such thing gay marriage. What is that? And the thing about the closing our borfders? So he keeps me warm, Mr. Eller, a good thing, but not only at Christmastime. I like a good turkey just like the rest of you has. USed to be time was guns on the wall in the living room wife in kitchen gays only talked about by gays back in locker rooms and that was that. No more. Eller’s wrong on Ypsilanti, Wrong on anyone who wants to vote for him. Thanks you for this time and blog and time to talk about all of this. Pete will maybe win because due to good yhpsilanti people assuring us victory.

  62. eller is a wacko
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Ha, ha, ha looks like somebody else thinks eller is ‘ill-suited to help shape the Ypsilanti of the future.’

  63. Brackache
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Did Steve Pierce pass away and I’m being really insensitive by wondering what his opinion is in all this? Let me know. Sorry if so.

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