Ypsi 2014 mayoral debate

I couldn’t attend, as I had something else I had to attend to, but my friends Ben and Lindsay hosted a mayoral debate on Monday night at the downtown Ypsilanti library. Here’s the video. If you hit “play” right now, we can watch it together…. Actually, just give me a couple of minutes. I want to pop some popcorn and open a beer.

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  1. D'
    Posted July 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Permalink


  2. anonymous
    Posted July 24, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    City politics are always good for moments of unintentional comedy. Mr. Bridges had me working hard on my poker face, but I’m really glad he was there to discuss another elephant in the room. Racist and classist segregation in this county. The wealth and opportunity gap from the east side of the county to west side is staggering. I wish all the candidates would address how this impacts the quality of life for all our residents.

  3. lorie warren
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    anonymous… here ya go


  4. K2
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Is Griwing Hope in danger of losing their non-profit status for sending our Edmonds campaign materials, or is this another instance of the Murdock machine in action?

  5. Anonymous
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    I can’t watch this. Did any of them have good ideas for Water Street?

  6. Grumpy
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    K2, looks like they sure are. I was pretty sure this would happen. http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2014/07/growing_hope_tweet.html

  7. Cracker
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Amanda was wrong for using Growing Hope to promote her campaign. She should know better. As it was quickly taken down, though, it shouldn’t have been a problem. Pete, however, needs to play like this if he’s got any chance of winning.

    From the Ann Arbor News:

    A complaint has been filed with the Internal Revenue Service over a tweet sent out by the non-profit organization Growing Hope on its official Twitter page acknowledging Amanda Edmonds’ campaign for mayor.

    Nonprofits such as Growing Hope, which promotes gardening and access to health food, are not permitted to offer support for candidates in elections. Edmonds is the executive director of Growing Hope and one if its founders.

    The Ann Arbor News obtained a letter from the IRS issued to the person who filed the complaint. The filer of the complaint asked not to be identified.

    “Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office,” the IRS code states. “Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.”

    Edmonds said once she became aware of the tweet, she instructed it to be taken down immediately and she reprimanded the volunteer who posted it. To her knowledge, Edmonds said the tweet was up for a few days before being removed.

  8. Cornelious Fudge
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I showed this video to my daughter. Here’s what happened.


  9. anonymous
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Yesterday an employee of Beal Properties who was showing me an apartment complained to me about tenants removing yard signs in Midtown. Employees were being sent to replace them. He didn’t specify that they were campaign signs but Beal seems to be making sure Edmonds signs are ubiquitous within the city.

  10. Kate Levin
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Amanda is a person of enormous honesty and integrity. Her campaign has been consistently positive. Lets all follow this example! Tell us what you like about your candidate. If you use your own name, it will give more credence to your words.

  11. Mark Higbee
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    The claims, above in unsigned comments, that Growing Hope has sent out “campaign materials” for Amanda Edmonds, and that there is a serious IRS issue here, are totally false. Here are the facts.

    A volunteer at Growing Hope, in April, sent one Tweet that had a link to Amanda’s campaign for mayor, and did so without any authorization by Growing Hope. Sending this Tweet was a mistake, and Growing Hope quickly corrected it. Some unnamed person complained to the IRS — and the IRS sent that person a letter, perfunctory, and that person gave it to the press. The IRS investigates serious allegations of nonprofit abuse of — which involve money. How much does one Tweet, sent by an unpaid volunteer cost? NOTHING. The IRS normally informs people and organizations who are being investigated, but has no contacted Growing Hope. The IRS has serious work to do — and one Tweet by a nonprofit is a mistake without consequences (unless it’s turned into mud for an Ypsilanti election).

    This is a trivial matter, involving no funds whatsoever, no pattern of a nonprofit being involved in a political campaign. The allegation that Growing Hope is sending out Amanda campaign materials is FALSE, and sadly a typical campaigning-by-smearing, all too common in Ypsilanti’s past elections. Unsigned, untruthful leaflets circulated at the last minute have been common in elections in the last thirty years, and this is the same kind of thing. Sadly, we can expect more mud from one side, before August 5.

    Amanda Edmonds is a non-politician running for office. But this town has an old tradition of dirty politics — which we should disavow! Amanda does so, strongly.

    I make this comment in my actual name, and without consulting anyone. I have known Amanda Edmonds and Pete Murdock each for about a decade. I support Amanda for mayor. I have also supported Growing Hope since it was started by Amanda. In the past, I have voted for Pete three times and contributed $ to his 2010 campaign for mayor (he was first elected to City Council, I think, the year Amanda was born — 1977).

    I regret that Pete or his supporters are trying to throw non-existent mud at Amanda — people who know Pete well have tried to talk him out of this kind of thing. I thought he’d turned his back on such petty politics, but plainly I was wrong.

    Amanda Edmonds is a young woman of impressive accomplishments and skill, who would serve this community well in the role of mayor. She’s energetic, principled, and fair, and has an great ability to bring folks of all types together. If you live in the city of Ypsilanti…Vote for Amanda! August 5, Democratic Primary.

  12. Posted July 26, 2014 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Interesting exchange.

  13. dan
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    How many hoop houses can Water Street support?

  14. dan
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Mark, will you share with us who you will vote for, and why?

  15. Posted July 26, 2014 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    I try as best that I can not to pick sides in local elections, Dan. (I don’t even put up yard signs.) I feel as though doing so,would negatively impact the site, which I think would be bad, to some degree, for the community at large. Regardless of who I backed, I’d be sure to piss people off and lose readers, thus limiting the number of voices that we hear from. And what we need, I think, is more conversations across the aisle, and not fewer. With that said, I have, on occasion, come out against candidates. For instance, a few years ago, I drew attention to the fact that someone running for City Council was the member of an organization with ties to the John Birch Society. So, yeah, in some cases, I feel as though I need to cross the line. In this instance, though, I don’t want to weigh in. I know both Amanda and Pete pretty well, and I’d like to think that I could work with either, assuming one of them wins. (I don’t know Mr. Bridges, although I heard him speak once, a few years ago.) So, sorry that I won’t be able to help you as you assess the candidates.

    With all of that said, I am thinking about hosting some kind of online discussion with the candidates, assuming they’re up for it. I just want to watch the above video again and think some more about issues that could be gone into further.

  16. dan
    Posted July 27, 2014 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Understood. I expected that.

    So a different way to ask: what do you think is the single biggest obstacle that the city is facing right now?

  17. Mark Higbee
    Posted August 3, 2014 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Today I talked to a few people in town, who aren’t political at all, who complained about Pete Murdock signs appearing in their yards, despite not having requested them or agreed to having them up. Each person lives either on a corner, or somewhere equally visible in the neighborhood.

    This isn’t the worst kind of dirty local politics, but it is shameful and destructive. I know Pete well, and I respect his many contributions and talents — but Ypsilanti has suffered too much from this kind of dirty politics.

    I urge everyone in Ypsilanti to vote for Amanda Edmonds or Tyrone Bridges, who are both honest and upright. I am voting for Amanda.

  18. Frosted Flakes
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Mark Higbee,

    Not the dirtiest kind of politics? Are you sure?

    Are these rental properties? Maybe landlords showing their support for someone for mayor?

  19. kjc
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Our multi-tenant rental house has an Edmonds sign, and I know for a fact that the landlord didn’t put it there, as they don’t live in town and couldn’t care less about Ypsilanti politics. Perhaps one of the tenants in our house put it out. In any case, talking up petty shit is not much better than petty shit itself, so who cares about the yard signs. Take them down if you don’t want them. “Shameful and destructive” should be reserved for shit like Gaza. I didn’t like the IRS complaint about Growing Hope either, but I’m not going to wax hyperbolic about it. And I’ll forgive both candidates for littering our house with promotional materials over the weekend, many of which were scattered on the ground and in the parking lot this morning. The wind didn’t discriminate.

  20. Pete Murdock
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    @kjc Agreed…Sorry about the litter. It’s collateral “damage” from campaigns. In any event our part will be over after tomorrow. If you give me the OK I can put my signs up on your yard and your house would be an equal opportunity sign location. :-).

  21. Mark Higbee
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    The cases of “unauthorized” Pete signs that I was told of were 3 cases of single family homes, with homeowners living there. They were NOT rentals. I don’t think I was hyperbolic about this issue, but the homeowners were very annoyed and asked me who “this guy Murdock is”. I said Pete was a nice guy, on Council, sometimes a little too zealous. I wouldn’t compare anything in Ypsilanti to the horrible war in Gaza — but still, things in Ypsilanti can at least in principle be destructive, as are I think dirty political tricks. One can notice and complain about real problems without inflating them to war crimes, and without suggesting they are as bad as war crimes. As one of Pete’s supporters said to me a week or two ago, about the fake endorsement that Pete has claimed, “it’s all good when it works.” I disagree with him. Let’s leave the campaigning by deception behind!

  22. dragon
    Posted August 5, 2014 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    The cases of “unauthorized” Pete signs that I was told of were 3 cases

    This reminds me of…
    –“I did not kick him. I did not touch him,” said Mark Higbee, who has taught at EMU since 1994. “This is a tiny little incident that has been blown out of proportion.”–

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