Mike Eller asks his supporters to stay with him in spite of his comments concerning gays, women, environmentalists, etc.

Over the past two days, since I first shared my thoughts on Mike Eller’s radical, far right beliefs concerning women, gays and civil rights, half a dozen people have written in to thank me, telling me that, because of that post, they are no longer supporting Eller for City Council. (I suspect there are many more that haven’t gotten in touch with me as well.) Furthermore, I’ve heard from many people that, perhaps for the first time in their lives, they’re taking to the streets, and talking with their friends and neighbors about the candidates in this race. Specifically, they’re sharing facts about Mike Eller, and his history as the head of the America First Party of Michigan, a John Birch Society front group. And, Eller is apparently sensing that the tide is turning. He sent out the following to his supporters earlier today.

Given how he’s on the record as saying that FDR and MLK were “traitors” to our country, I particularly like his plea that folks to stop “demonizing” him. And how hilarious is it that he says that he’s a Democrat because the party, “is built upon a profound respect for the dignity of every individual,” when he’s also said, in the past, that we should “cure” AIDS by letting it kill every gay member of our society?

And, one last thing… Saying that the hate group you once led is no longer in existence is not the same as saying that you refute the beliefs you once espoused. Not even close.

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33 Comments

  1. sue melke
    Posted August 4, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    America first may not be in existance, but no where does he say that he rejects the platform. This guy is bad news.

  2. Maria
    Posted August 4, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Mike Eller: “Ypsilanti, a city that is overwhelmingly Democratic, overwhelmingly rejected the recent proposals for a new millage and city income tax.”
    Ummm… how many people actually voted in the last election? Does anyone have actual percentages? It would seem that Eller’s position on the tax issue represents the positions of “two in three of our neighbors” who VOTED, not necessarily the majority overall. Either this is specious reasoning or intentionally misleading.

  3. anonymous
    Posted August 4, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Let’s not forget that Steve Pierce is in bed with Eller. As Erika pointed out yesterday, Steve started a site in 2008, bringing attention to Eller’s beliefs. This site included the 2008 platform of the America First Party of Michigan, which is often quoted here. Steve knows what kind of man this is, and yet he’s now, four years later, co-hosting events with him, and sharing resources. They are two heads of the same monster. This is what the Tea Party has wrought in our country.

  4. Posted August 4, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I just posted this to Facebook, with the following intro.

    I heard from a friend yesterday that, when talking with a neighbor about Mike Eller, the neighbor essentially acknowledged his homophobia, saying that it was troubling, but concluded that she was supporting him as low taxes were important to her. Are people really that stupid, self-centered, and/or evil?

  5. Curt Waugh
    Posted August 4, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Maria, statisticians will tell you that the sample of people who voted was probably as good as any and that they do, in fact, closely represent what would happen if everybody had voted. The voting process has not innovated in generations and it bears a huge part of the blame for low turnouts. Your statement makes it sound as if you carry this idea that a secret majority of high tax supporters just didn’t happen to vote for some reason. To my knowledge, not a shred of evidence exists to back that idea. If you have some data to the contrary, please share.

    Mark asks on FB:
    “Are people really that stupid, self-centered, and/or evil?” (Name calling? Really?)

    No Mark. People simply don’t want to pay for any more Ypsi government. Period. Even good, loving progressive thinkers can see through the folly of Ypsi trying to go it alone. This is neither a Democratic nor Republican ideal – it is the will of the vast majority of people in this OVERWHELMINGLY Democratic town and has nothing to do with anybody’s political leanings. Much like we said to the assholes who wanted to make homosexuality illegal in Ypsi: Give it up; you’re not going to win that fight.

    This is not to say that higher taxes aren’t the solution, just not at the local level. Please keep clear what exactly we voted on. We don’t hate each other and we don’t hate Ypsi – we hated THAT particular idea. Let it go and put your energies into a better solution.

    In terms of Eller, In spite of Bee’s well-written opinions, if this guy doesn’t flat-out renounce his old writings, he doesn’t belong here. There is no room for his self-aggrandizing mushy puffery in this discussion. Eller, if you’re reading this and want to correct your history, please do so. But the squishy quasi-bio above just hammers the point home that you are not a person who is qualified to lead. You’re just a suit and a haircut out marketing as far as I can tell. Sounds like Mitt Light to me.

    This pretty much all goes away if you simply say: “I was wrong. I was very very WRONG. I believe in the equality of all people – including family rights and protections for all. I believe that AIDS is a horrible disease that we should dedicate enormous resources to wipe from the face of the earth. Both the John Birch Society and the America First Party are awful organization that I’m embarrassed to have associated myself with. I was younger and stupid and I have grown and learned. Please forgive me.” I mean, you still won’t win, but at least people might stop hating you so much.

    The great shame in all this is that other, better candidates were pro high tax. That was not a good idea. You screwed up. Big deal. (See apologetic statement above. Replace “John Birch” with “high local taxes”.) I would ask voters, however, to remember that we had the final call here, we will continue to protect ourselves and that a single position on this one issue doesn’t negate their service or value. Please don’t make this a litmus test. Vote for the whole person, not a single issue.

    People feel backed into a corner on these money issues. It’s neither stupid nor self-centered nor evil. It’s the best we could do in a rough economy where our tax base evaporated for reasons beyond our control. If Eller’s opponents would simply take the same, strong anti local tax position, it negates Eller’s only point (in his really terribly written campaign info) and he’s finished. (I mean, vapid bullet points? “To foster the spirit of…” Yeah, way to go Gandhi. I’m gonna go over here and hurl now.)

    I would point you all to our beloved (?) John Dingell and how he has managed never to be attacked by the gun nuts. He simply realized that he was never going to win if he took the standard Democratic party position of gun control. He’s prudent, not evil.

    I would point you all to our beloved (!) former governor, Bill Milliken. This Republican took a strong pro-union stance and served admirably for years. Again, prudence carries the day over demagoguery. The history is there if you’d take a moment to study it.

    Mark, when your neighbor said that she “concluded that she was supporting him as low taxes were important to her”, did you beam and then say, “Oh, then vote for Candidate X. She has the same anti local tax stance and is a much better person.” Perhaps that’s a better strategy, eh? If you can’t offer a better alternative, then what exactly are you offering here? Shame? Man, sign me up.

  6. MarkH
    Posted August 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Most people have never seen homophobia or racism up close and personal. There are perfectly reasonable people supporting Eller because they can’t grasp what he stands for because they can’t believe their “nice guy” neighbor has such bat-shit crazy beliefs.

    The same bat-shit crazy beliefs he had in the America First Party are the same bat-shit crazy beliefs is has in the democratic populist caucus.

    http://www.democraticpopulistcaucus.org/?page_id=109

  7. Dan
    Posted August 4, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Which are the disreputable sites he’s referring to?

  8. dragon
    Posted August 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    The great shame in all this is that other, better candidates were pro high tax.

    Yeah, because letting citizens vote on whether or not to raise taxes is “pro high taxes”. You’re really advocating that we should never ever have the choice, taxes shall never be a ballot issue.
    Let me guess, you’re Pro Abortion.

  9. citywatch
    Posted August 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I believe he is referring to this site as disreputable if I am not mistaken.

    I am bothered by all three of the candidates who are covering up their beliefs by changing parties or, in the case of Mr. Fink, a partisan in a “non-partisan” race. In fact, if you look at Eller’s signs, the word “Democrat” is on a strip of tape pasted over something else, presumably a different party affiliation. If these men have such flexible convictions and beliefs, what does this say about them as people? I have heard people say, “Well it’s just politics….that’s what they have to do to get elected”. If that is their game then shame on anyone who participates.

    One other thing. The no tax people are demonizing the unanimous decision by council to put the idea of an income tax as a possible solution to our economic woes on the ballot so that our citizen’s could, in typical Democratic fashion, vote for or against it. That is what they are SUPPOSED to do. The citizens of Ypsilanti voted “no” and we move on. That is the democratic way. We need the experience those current people have to move on effectively. I don’t want a bunch of newbies who can’t even decide what they believe in to handle our critical economic situation.

  10. CLC
    Posted August 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    That’s what I find so upsetting. That Eller & Fink are making a pretty cut & dry issues campaign into a debate about semantics & what it means to be partisan or non-partisan, & Dem or Republican as a confusion tactic. Don’t tell us in this condescending tone what it means to be a Democrat & what sort of taxes we should support, put the taxes up for a vote & let us tell you what we think about the rates. Isn’t this the exact emergency manager tyrannical overlord-by-proxy situation we were trying to prevent in the first place?

  11. dirtgrain
    Posted August 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    How should this be about taxes? Are there ways that city council can increase taxes without us getting to vote on it? Didn’t several anti-tax, Team Pierce people get elected onto city council, only to support the latest tax proposal? Still, it didn’t seem to make a difference with the vote on that proposal.

  12. kjc
    Posted August 4, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    That’s a great question for mike eller, Bee: what about PEOPLE?

  13. Dan
    Posted August 4, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    “It would be dishonest at best to believe that success in business or life could be built upon bigotry and hatred.”

    What world is this dude living in?

  14. gillian
    Posted August 4, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Okay, let’s take Mr. Eller at his word: “The Democratic Party… is built upon a profound respect for the dignity of every individual.”

    Coming from a guy who actively campaigned *against* Ypsi’s anti-discrimination laws, and who has never renounced this position, I can only conclude that he is not a Democrat.

    Anti-discrimination laws are not hippy-dippy liberal stuff – they are a real reason people chose to live, work and pay taxes (yes, even high taxes) in Ypsilanti. Working against these laws is a clear example of putting conservative social politics above the best interests of the city, and it’s the last thing I want to see from a council member.

  15. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 4, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Mike Eller you said, nothing about your stances, that have been plastered all over your truck for years and your latest, Repeal Obama Care in your bottom right back corner window.
    What is anybody suppose to take from what you just wrote?
    You dodged ALL your far right wing stances, people want to know about.

    Ypsilanti votes heavily Democrat.

    Democratic is the entire process.

    You are NO Democrat.

    Auughh.

  16. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    The more I read his statement; it just gets more ridiculous.

    Please,,,

    You Are NO Democrat.

    (shaking head)

  17. Posted August 4, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    In Response to Carl, who said:

    “statisticians will tell you that the sample of people who voted was probably as good as any and that they do, in fact, closely represent what would happen if everybody had voted.”

    I am not a statistician, but I took a course or two on it at EMU once upon a time (great prof, but don’t remember his name).

    But, I think you’re wrong on this. The sample, I think, is meant to be random in order to determine a statistical tendency, in order to infer probability.

    The folks who voted in the election are not necessarily random. It could in fact be that so few people vote because they represent a small group with some kind of vested interest in the outcome, which others may not share at all.

  18. Posted August 4, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Eller seems like a classic kind of “politician.” His answer to the charges is evasive and dismissive. He’s a real Slick Rick. One can only assume that he is dishonestly and opportunistically hiding his bigoted (to put it lightly) views.

  19. kjc
    Posted August 4, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    You guys are being critical of mike eller’s discriminatory politics and his refusal to be honest about them. You’re not remembering his humanity again.

  20. Curt Waugh
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Folks, the reason the tax issue is coming up again in this election is the fear that the city council will simply put that issue back on the ballot again. I agree that, if the current candidates and council pledge not to push that “solution” again, we should move on. Forgive my ignorance of the breadth of candidates and members, but have people gone on record that this issue has been put to bed?

    dragon, we weren’t given any choice. We were given a “take it or leave it” and it came with some fairly threatening language from the likes of Pete Murdoch et al. That left a horrible taste in my mouth and I’m clearly not alone. I never felt like they “let us vote”. I felt like they “attempted to ram this down our throats”. I suppose we differ on our expectations of council, but I didn’t expect that. (And forgive me, but I completely missed your point about abortion. Kind of an odd topic to bring up, isn’t it?)

    I didn’t say this in my prior post, but should have: Mark, once again you have proven yourself to be an outstanding community leader. You’re changing minds with the seeds of truth and decency and it’s an impressive thing to see in one of our neighbors. (Your blog is like an online “Cheers”. Granted, nobody knows anybody’s name, but we do keep coming back for the booze and the excellent conversation.)

  21. MarkH
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Curt, so you are saying that you’re fears of another tax vote are so great you’d vote a bigoted, homophobe as your representative because he’s anti-tax?

    That’s fucked up beyond belief.

  22. Dan
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Not really, MarkH. I think Eller is a scumbag, but if he were elected, he’s not going to enact anti-gay or anti-someone legislature. He would have the power to continue to ask for more tax money, however. I can understand Curt’s point of view.

  23. atf
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    quick! someone take a picture of the bumper stickers on his car. a picture is worth a thousand words.

  24. MarkH
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Mike Eller gave money to the organization that tried two times to repeal Ypsilanti’s anti-discrimination ordinance.

    You are naive in thinking he his votes on council wouldn’t reflect that narrowminded viewpoint.

    Eller is bad news.

  25. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    He’ll probably say it’s not his truck.

    And people will believe him.

    Bad News.

  26. dragon
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe the self-serving egomaniacs on council are allowing an election this fall, they are leaving us with no ‘choice’. If only they would all give a blood oath to serve as lifetime appointment I would then consider voting for them.

    P.s. Buy some hankies and mouthwash, learn to relax that gag reflex, because Pete’s big ol’ stinky ball sack is about to be crammed down your throat.

  27. Posted August 5, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    With the city charter revision coming up Eller would have a very real influence over the existence of local anti-discrimination legislation. This issue is far more pertinent in this election than Eller supporters would have you believe. Eller is a bigot plain and simple. I can not fathom the idea of having racism, homophobia, sexism or any other disgraceful hateful view such as those representing any part of Ypsilanti.

  28. Bob Krzewinski
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    The so-called Democratic Populist webpage section on domestic communism – http://www.democraticpopulistcaucus.org/?page_id=109 – might be funny if someone wrote it while drunk, but I can only imagine that they were stone-cold-sober when they put this together.

    Oh well, back on the lookout for what Mike Eller’s Democratic Populists list as one of the signs of communism creeping in…. “Christian rock music” combined with “Sub-woofers Sub-woofers Sub-woofers Sub-woofers Sub-woofers Sub-woofers Sub-woofers Sub-woofers”. Yes, they are really pissed off at sub-woofers as they repeat it over and over.

  29. Curt Waugh
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    MarkH, I am in no way saying that I would do that. Not in a million years. I’m saying that, based on Mark’s conversation, that lesser informed voters might not be inclined enough to do the sleuthing that Mark has done here to determine the true character of the folks for whom they are voting. The point is that the whole tax fight was somewhat divisive and that folks are still sore, that’s all.

    I write only to encourage those who oppose him to get the word out that Eller does not have an advantage over them with his anti tax stance. They share it and are a better choice than him for other issues, like human rights (or pretty much everything). Take that cudgel away from him and he is far less likely to win.

    So no, that’s really all that fucked up. He IS bad news. So, defeat him by conceding on taxes and by offering a better choice on all other issues. Use the Dingell/Milliken strategy.

  30. Curt Waugh
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    “So no, that’s NOT really all that fucked up.”

  31. God
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Mark: Thanks for bringing to light this disturbing news on Mr. Eller. Me and my omniscience were on vacay.

    If elected, I will smite him.

  32. maria
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    “if he were elected, he’s not going to enact anti-gay or anti-someone legislature. ”

    Why do we have such short memories? Just last year, Troy’s mayor, Janice Daniels, who scuttled a much-needed transit center because of her Tea Party-small-government-is-better political beliefs, earned some major bad press (nationally) because of the bigoted views she expressed (regarding “queers”) on facebook. But this goes beyond a city’s reputation, she also changed the wording of the city’s oath of office to reflect her libertarian leanings. A fairly large sector of the electorate is now seeking her recall, calling her a “national embarrassment.” What a field day the national press would have with Eller’s “America First Party” website….
    http://www.freep.com/article/20120718/NEWS03/207180380/Controversial-Troy-Mayor-Janice-Daniels-to-face-recall-vote-in-November
    “Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it”:

  33. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    THAAAAANNNNNK YOUUUUUU, maria.

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