Archive for the ‘Dennis Lennox’ Category

Dennis Lennox Charged with Misuse of Public Funds

January 30, 2010

Dennis Lennox, Wikipedia vandal … I mean Cheboygan County Drain Commissioner has been charged with a one-year, $1000 criminal misdemeanor for allegedly sending 250 Christmas cards using county-paid postage, but including campaign literature in the Christmas cards, meaning that he was allegedly using taxpayer funds to finance his campaign.  Lennox is expected to surrender himself to the Cheboygan city police by early next week.

A press release from Cheboygan County prosecutor Daryl Vizina said that Lennox had been asked to reimburse the county for the cost of the postage, but originally refused; however, once the criminal investigation began, he offered to pay.

Vizina said, “If this was any other citizen we would charge him, so we want to be consistent.  If a employee at Subway was taking company resources for themselves, we would charge them.”

Lennox, on the other hand, says that this is all a political vendetta from the Democratic prosecutor (Lennox is a Republican – although I’ve always thought that he makes our party look bad).  Lennox said, “This is a Democratic political vendetta.  I campaigned against this prosecutor, who is a Democrat, and I campaigned to get rid of this police department.  I also campaigned against the judge.  My lawyer will probably be the candidate who ran against her.”

What’s even more ironic is that Denny Lenny ran on a platform of abolishing the position of Drain Commissioner because it was a “waste of taxpayer money.”  He even went so far as to say, “There is nothing for the drain commissioner to do in Cheboygan County except waste taxpayer money.”  Well, that turned out to be more true than he originally intended us to think it was.

Lennox should be ashamed of himself – he has let down the citizens of Cheboygan County, and he has disgraced the Republican Party.  For the sake of the Republican Party, Republicans across Michigan should come out against Lennox, somebody who has shown hypocrisy and dishonesty in the past.

This pretty much kills his chances of winning the race for the 105th State House District, but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican

Clarification About Ethics and Family Members in Politics

September 13, 2008

Recently some controversy arose concerning whether or not I represent a conservative voice on a panel for an event at Central Michigan (the event is Speak Up, Speak Out [SUSO]).  The CM-Life wrote an article about a complaint by a student, Dennis Lennox, saying that he and conservatives were being discriminated against by the SUSO Committee not allowing him to be on the panel.

I left a comment saying:

I am the conservative representing the College Republicans, so no, it’s not a completely liberal panel.

As for the statement that the university shouldn’t decide who goes to these. I say, it’s their forum, they can do what they want. If you don’t like it, go start your own forum and run it how you want.

As for Dennis’s [Dennis Lennox] complaint, I would welcome another conservative on the panel, but I think that this would open the door for any politically-related RSO to complain and want a spot on the SUSO panel, which would lead to a dozen or more panelists, and this makes the forums too hard to run. You have so many people wanting to talk that it’d become too hard to manage.

2 days went by, another article came out, including statements by myself and the College Democrats’ President, defending the Speak Up, Speak Out Committee’s decision to only include the CRs and CDs.

Later in the day, a comment appeared on the original story, by someone impersonating my sister:

I know Nathan Inks; he’s not a conservative. He’s a moderate, a Republican ideologue. There is a difference between being a Republican and being a conservative. They are definitely not synonymous. 

That crossed a line.  That crossed a big, fat, thick line!  And the reason that I’m posting this on here is to point out a principle–a principle that should not be broken under ANY circumstances.  In politics, there is no reason to drag a family member into discussion, unless that family member has some effect on what’s going on.

Even further than that, to pretend to be somebody’s family or friend in order to deceive everybody else who is reading the comment is both disturbing and disgusting.

I ask for a public apology from whoever committed the heinous act.  It was uncalled for, and both offensive, to me AND my sister.

And I ask that this be a reminder to everybody out there–impersonating somebody on the Internet is not something funny, it’s serious, and it can have consequences that you never intended it to have or even imagined it could have.

If you have something to say, just come out and say it.  Don’t be a coward and try to hide behind someone else’s name.  It’s disgusting and wrong.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Does Michigan Need a Constitutional Convention? Absolutely Not

July 12, 2008

So, earlier this week, Dennis Lennox made the following statements, proposing that Michigan Legislators put a call for a constitutional convention on this November’s ballot (instead of waiting until 2010 like it otherwise would):

It’s Time Michigan Call a Constitutional Convention

With radical disgruntled Democrats pushing a host of deceptive constitutional amendments under the Reform Michigan Government Now umbrella, it’s time for sensible legislators in Lansing to ask voters in November to call a constitutional convention in 2009.

The constitutional convention question would have automatically come in November 2010 – it appears on the ballot every 16 years – but with the threat of Michigan government being destroyed by a partisan agenda, it’s critical voters revise the state Constitution with practical solutions to the issues plaguing our state.

Just as sensible Democrats, Republicans and independents came together under the leadership of George Romney and the auspices of Citizens for Michigan in the early 1960s, it’s time for the same sensible folks to come together to ensure Mark Brewer’s twisted fantasies aren’t passed be naïve voters who think they’re cutting the pay of senators and representatives and downsizing state government.

While few in state politics have paid much attention to the issues surrounding a constitutional convention until very recently, I have been on the issue for more than year and had the opportunity to write bipartisan amendments aimed at cleaning up the Constitution of 1963.

As a student at Central Michigan University, I participated in a semester-long research project by then-professor and Inside Michigan Politics editor Bill Ballenger. We examined the Constitution and possible changes that included virtually everything ever talked about and then some. We also decided we  needed a constitutional convention now instead of waiting until a vote in 2010. In the end, a large number of my proposals were adopted by our class using a mock legislature format. Unfortunately, some of my better proposals – such as eliminating individual boards of control for the 15 public universities and creating a single board of trustees that is partisan and elected on the statewide ballot – didn’t gain support across the aisle to have the two-thirds support to pass. Nevertheless, what did pass was a good package of reform that was later adopted by Senator Michelle McManus, R-Lake Leelanau, who had me testify before a committee hearing and later introduced the measure as Senate Joint Resolution I.SJRI passed not only committee, but also the Senate as a whole. Sadly, it has been stalled in the House Judiciary Committee since early November 2007 – making passage and placement on this year’s general election ballot unlikely. It was originally our hope that the House would have passed it in time for a vote to take place during the presidential primary election.But with yesterday’s news that House Republican Leader Craig DeRoche, R-Novi, supports a constitutional convention question on November’s ballot, there is renewed hope that my proposal will once again gain attention – driving the discussion towards the issues that a constitutional convention would likely examine.

This is why I support a constitutional convention and will work to see the question passes if it’s placed on the ballot in November.


Certainly there are downsides to a convention – namely the high costs.

There would be a special election for delegates, who in turn would have hefty campaign expenses as they would run on a partisan basis. You could expect hotly-contested campaigns, as a convention would essentially become an ideological tussle for many interest groups.

Another major cost is the actual convention. Unless the Legislature took the unusual step of adjourning during the convention – freeing up the two chambers and associated committee rooms for convention delegates – there would need to be space allocated, as well as offices and staff support.

This would all come at a high price for a state with a budget and economic crisis, but it would certainly be worth the cost when you weigh the alternative – complicated amendments that would essentially rewrite the Constitution bundled together in a deceptive package aimed at confusing voters.

During my five months of in-depth study into the Michigan Constitution, I came to the conclusion a convention would have to consider term limits, consolidation of local units of government including the merging of counties to create regional authorities, the election of judges, removing archaic and invalid provisions from the 1963 text, restrictions on ballot question groups and numerous other issues.

However, the biggest issue for both Democrats and Republicans was term limits.

My proposal extended the maximum length of service to 20 years – allowing a legislator to serve four, two-year terms in the House and three, four-year terms in the Senate, or 10, two-year terms in the House. This was controversial, and was the only item in our package not introduced by McManus in the Senate.

In an ideal situation, a successful reform of term limits proposal could also change the length of terms. There was significant support to limit House members to two, four-year terms for a total of eight years, while senators could serve two, six-year terms for a total of 12 years.

This would allow legislators to focus more on serving constituents and do-away with the constant election cycle, and it wouldn’t significantly increase their time in Lansing.

While some might moan about allowing a representative or senator to spend 20 years in Lansing, the average length of service in states with and without term limits has historically been about 10 or 12 years – far below a possible cap of 20 years.

But these are just a sampling of issues that would be examined in a constitutional convention. You can expect everything to be looked at, which is arguably good for Michigan.

It’s simple: Our state is broken. We need real reform, and a constitutional convention would give everyone the opportunity to participate and have their say – not just vested special interests, drawing up ballot proposals in smoke-filled Lansing offices.





For the most part, I agree with Republican Michigander’s and Chetly Zarko’s responses (available on RightMichigan), but I’ll lay out my oppositions to a constitutional convention:


  • I’ve always been an amendment guy.  There aren’t enough problems in Michigan’s constitution for us to say, “Ditch the whole thing and let’s start over!”  We run the risk of only having to amend say 10% of the constitution to satisfy us to needing to amend 25% of a new constitution.  Why start all over?  Fix what you want to fix,  don’t throw out the whole document because of a few problems.
  • It’s costly:
    • Special election for delegates (The Democrats complained about recall elections, you think they’ll support this?  And too many Republicans oppose this already, that the added costs of simply the election will turn more off).
    • The convention itself – space and staff.
  • The liberals have more money than the conservatives, and like I said before, holding a convention would increase the chances that conservatives lose in a new convention.  We could come out of a convention with a constitution that needs more amendments than the current one does.  I simply see this as a long, draw-out ideological fight.  I’d rather vote Yea or Nay on 1 issue at a time, than compromise my views on 1 issue because I like the constitution overall, but have problems with it in other parts.  Amendments are the easiest way to fix things.  When you try to fix too many things at one time, more things become broken rather than get fixed.

I know I am going to take some heat for this next comment: I also question Lennox’s motives here.  About half of his article (I know it’s the wrong word) talks about his ideas for how to fix the constitution, not why we need a convention.  If you ask me, it sounds more like a Dennis Lennox for Constitutional Convention Delegate campaign ad than an argument for a convention.  And why bring this up now?  You said in the article that you thought a convention was needed back when the mock legislature voted on it.  I’m not saying I know this for sure, but this just seems like Dennis wants to run for something now that his campaign for State House is over.

But all of what Dennis said isn’t bad.  I like his stance on lengthening term limits, but I’d rather just do away with them instead of extending them.  I’ve never been a fan of legislative term limits, but I don’t think we need a convention for that – a simple amendment would do.

So, for now, I just say wait until it comes up on the ballot in 2010, and I’m pretty sure I’ll vote it down then as well (unless a lot of crazy stuff happens in 2 years – and  with Michigan, you never know).

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Central Michigan University Impliments a Ban on Professors Running for Public Office, Including Congressional Candidate Gary Peters

May 19, 2008

This is part 2 in a weekly series on the race for Michigan’s 9th Congressional District.  This was supposed to be a post about fundraising, but we’ve had some interesting developments come up in the past week.  Central Michigan University proposed a policy that would go in effect on July 1st, that would require “full-time employees of the university … to either resign or take an unpaid leave of absence when they comply with candidacy filing requirements, 60 days prior to the date set forth for the election relating to the sought-after public office, whichever date is closer to the elections” (source: CM-Life).

The CM-Life reported that this policy was implemented as a result of the Gary Peters issue: “It’s a political year and questions were raised about political candidates (on campus). … That’s when the questions began, in relation to the Gary Peters reaction, but it goes deeper than that.  The university realized the need for a policy.” ~~Steve Smith, Director of Media Relations

There are some exceptions to the new policy:

  • Candidates for unpaid or temporary offices
    • Municipal charter revision commissions
    • Delegate to constitutional conventions
    • Positions on a city or county board where the position is unpaid
  • Candidates for any part-time local offices where the position would not demand work during university-working hours

Smith said that the policy is not final, saying, “We are still waiting on input from the on-campus community.”

Contrary to what I had heard earlier (as I will explain later), the faculty union will be subject to this policy.

Now, I had heard about this policy being in the making back in late April.  I had been told by somebody inside of CMUthat this policy would not apply to faculty who are union members because their contract would have to be reworked through the union, and the union would never let this happen, so instead of fighting with those faculty members, they were just going to leave them exempt.

Dennis Lennox, former Student’s Against Gary Peters spokesman told the  CM-Life, “I think it’s a great proposal that should have been implemented months ago.  This is a victory for students and tax payers who wanted to hold Gary Peters accountable.  It’s a huge vindication.  It’s just unfortunate it took 10 months and a whole host of horrible events for this resolution to occur.”

Now, how does this affect the race for the 9th District?  Well, as I’m sure you all know, Gary Peters obviously falls under this policy.  He will either have to resign or take a leave of absence.

What do I think?  I think the policy is completely stupid, but I think it will stand in court.  From what I’ve seen, since CMU gets federal money, the policy can legally fall as an extension under the Hatch Act of 1939, which has been held up in 2 Supreme Court cases.

Personally, I think this is a violation of free speech.

Ideally, CMU would have a policy that would allow professors to run for office but make sure that no time or resources that belong to CMU are used.

I don’t know if Peters will resign or take a leave of absence, or if he’ll challenge it.  The source that talked to me in late April told me that he/she thought that the ACLU might get involved.  Now that it applies to union faculty members, I think the union will fight back as well, which is a great help for their cause.  They could turn this into quite a battle.  Of course, if they went on strike, I would consider that way over the line and probably add them to my long list of hated unions.

I’ll keep you updated if any more news comes out about the policy.  Next week (maybe), I’ll be talking about fundraising.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Dennis Lennox Suspends House Campaign After Incumbent Elsenheimer Decides to Run for Re-election for His Michigan House Seat

May 3, 2008

Well, I was in Jackson today and I thought I overheard somebody saying something about Michigan Representative Kevin Elsenheimer (from the 105th district, which was going to have quite an exciting primary) ending his campaign for the Michigan Court of Appeals, and a press release from Dennis Lennox, who was running for Elsenheimer’s open seat confirms that:

TOPINABEE, Mich., May 3, 2008 — Dennis Lennox is suspending his campaign for the state House and endorsing Rep. Kevin Elsenheimer, who is pursuing re-election after ending a campaign for the Michigan Court of Appeals on Friday.

Lennox, a Topinabee Republican, announced his candidacy for the 105th District seat — representing Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Otsego counties — in March when Elsenheimer announced his intentions to pursue the judgeship.

“This was a difficult decision, but it’s best for the hard-working people of northern Michigan,” said Lennox. “Representative Elsenheimer has been a strong conservative voice in Lansing, and I fully support him.”

Lennox will continue serving in his capacity as Young Republicans chairman for Cheboygan County and the 1st Congressional District, which spans 31 counties [for more information about YR groups throughout the state, see my post here.  Sorry, but I had to give them 1 more plug]. He will be representing the GOP abroad in June at an international conference featuring French President Nicholas Sarkozy before attending the Republican National Convention as an alternate delegate. Lennox will also launch a political action committee in the coming days to help northern Michigan conservatives.

“Over the past few weeks, I have met some people who were generous in supporting my campaign,” he said. “I won’t forget about them or their issues. I’m committed to defending our conservative values, cutting taxes and standing up for northern Michigan.”

I have checked other candidate’s websites, and I haven’t seen anybody else address the issue of Elsenheimer now running for his current seat, but, Lennox’s website does not have any changes either.  I am guessing that all of the other candidates will follow suit and drop out.  If they don’t, I’m pretty confident that they’ll lose in the primary.  I’ll post any updates if people decide to stay in and run against Elsenheimer.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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The Race for Michigan’s 105th House District Heats Up

April 7, 2008

Well, since this looks like it could be one of the more interesting races this summer and fall, I decided to post about it.

Representative Kevin Elsenheimer (R-Bellaire) decided not to seek a third term in the House of Representatives so that he could run for a judge’s seat on the Court of Appeals.

Here’s who all has said they’re running:

  • Central Michigan University student Dennis Lennox was the first to announce his candidacy when he sent out a press release in late March.  He also launched his website  Lennox is a resident of Topinabee (Cheboygan County), and has been at the center of controversy involving his disagreement with Central Michigan University administrators and the hiring of Gary Peters.  As far as I know, he has not yet filed any official papers.
  • Norwood Township Supervisor Tim Boyko.  He launched his website  He is expected to file paperwork on April 7th, and formally announce his canidacy on the 9th.
  • Ken Glasser, chairman of the Otsego County Board of Commissioners.  I haven’t been able to find out much information about him.  He was the Otsego County Commissioner for 8 years, for 2 of which he was the chairman.  Here is his website:
  • Jeff Garfield, originally from the Flint area, is a Gaylord resident of 11 years was previously elected as commissioner of Otsego County.  He has also served on his local planning commission and chamber of commerce.  Garfield ran against Elsenheimer in the 2004 primary.  Garfield has not yet filed any paperwork.
  • Also running is John Ramsey, the father of the slain child beauty pagent star JonBenét Patricia Ramsey.  Ramsey is originally from Georgia, but he moved to Colorado, where JonBenét was murdered.  In the Ramsey family bought a summer home in Charlevoix, and he and his wife, Patsy moved here permanently in 1993.  He briefly moved back to Georgia in 2006, when his wife went down there to receive treatment for cancer.  Sadly, she lost her battle with cancer that year.  Ramsey also ran against Elsenheimer in the 2004 primary, and he has not yet filed any paperwork.
  • Tony Cutler, launched a website,, but has not yet filed any paperwork.  Cutler finished 6th out of 7 when he ran for city council.

So, on to the controversies (disclaimer: I am simply stating the controversies that are already out there.  Just because I am writing about them does NOT mean that I have taken a side on the issue):

  • Dennis Lennox
    • He was disciplined by Central Michigan University for violating the student code of conduct.  I have stated previously that I supported Dennis in his fight agains the university for his rights.
    • He was criticized by many for going too far in his efforts against Gary Peters.  While I disagree with some of his methods, I definitely think that Peters has some conflict of interest problems.
    • Recently, the following Facebook picture surfaced of Lennox getting a shoe shine by an African American, and many have accused Lennox of being racist because of the comment under the picture saying, “Dude, you have slaves?” (although I will note that the comment was not Lennox’s and he does not indicate that he supports the opinion of the comment):

  • John Ramsey
    • Due to the little experience with murders that the Boulder, CO police had, John and Patsy were suspects of the murder of their daughter JonBenét, up until the theory of an intruder became popular (and I will note that that is the theory that I hold to).  They were never charged, and I think that this should be completely left out of the election, and I have no respect for anybody who uses this against John.
    • John moved to Georgia when his wife saught treatment for cancer, and he cancelled his Michigan driver’s license in early 2007.  He has stated, “I didn’t realize a driver’s license dictated where you resided,” and plans on getting a Michigan driver’s license as soon as possible.  The only home he owns is in Charlevoix.

So, it looks like this could be a VERY interesting primary on the Republican side – we’ll wait and see who pulls ahead.

Done Reporting,

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What Ever Happened to the “Noose Student” at CMU?

March 17, 2008

OK, so the recent controversy with Dennis Lennox has made me wonder, what about the student who hung the nooses?

First, I owe the student somewhat of an apology.  I got caught up in my “A good prosecutor could win that case” syndrome and misinterpreted the law too far.  I claimed that U.S. Federal Code Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 13, § 245 could be interpreted to mean that he should be charged with a hate crime being “something intimidating that interferes with attending a public college, therefore making it a hate crime and thus illegal.”  I was interpreting Clause (b) which states “Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, by force or threat of force willfully injures, intimidates or interferes with, or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with…”

And here’s where I messed up – I did not look up any case law for “force.”  Hanging a noose is not a threat of force.  Is it intimidating?  Yes.  Is it a threat of force?  No.  Also, it was not directed at any particular group of people.  Sure it’s pretty much common knowledge that nooses are a symbol of lynching and racism against African Americans, but you can’t use an assumption as a prosecutor.

The point is, there’s too much “reasonable doubt” that a “good prosecutor” would know that he’d be playing on the emotions of any jury in trying to convict this student.

But wait, there’s more…

According to a CM-Life article, “Because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act [FERPA], university officials cannot release student records, which include disciplinary matters.  Information about the case – including the student’s name – might only be released if Isabella County Prosecutor Larry Burdick decides there is enough evidence to press charges.”

Here’s an excerpt from FERPA (Title 20, Chapter 31, Subchapter III, Part 4, § 1232g (b) (6)):

(B)Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit an institution of postsecondary education from disclosing the final results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by such institution against a student who is an alleged perpetrator of any crime of violence (as that term is defined in section 16 of title 18), or a nonforcible sex offense, if the institution determines as a result of that disciplinary proceeding that the student committed a violation of the institution’s rules or policies with respect to such crime or offense.
(C) For the purpose of this paragraph, the final results of any disciplinary proceeding—
  (i) shall include only the name of the student, the violation committed, and any sanction imposed by the institution on that student; and
  (ii) may include the name of any other student, such as a victim or witness, only with the written consent of that other student.

And here’s the definition of “crime of violence (as that term is defined in section 16 of title 18)”:

The term “crime of violence” means—
(a) an offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or prop­erty of another, or
(b) any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.

So, then if a hate crime was committed (that would mean that my current interpretation of the U.S. Code that discusses hate crimes would be incorrect, and my original interpretation would be correct), then the university would be allowed to release the information.

Dawn Hertz, general counsel for the Michigan Press Association said, “There is someone in Washington [D.C.] who would threaten their federal funding if they released their name.  The university really has to be extremely careful.”

Tony Voisin, director of Student Life, said explained the disciplinary process by saying that anybody who violates the Student Code of Conduct must meet with a Conduct Proceedings Officer, after which, the officers decides if enough evidence exists to discipline the student.  He then went on to explain that hearings only take place when students do not admit guilt, saying, “To date, we’ve had about 10 hearings.  Over the course of the year, we may have 700-plus violations, and only 20 are tried.  We can’t share even the fact that there is a hearing.  The university can’t share those results with anybody other than the student involved.  It’s the business of the student involved and nobody else.”

Dean of Students, Bruce Roscoe told the CM-Life that even releasing the student’s punishment could be a violation of FERPA.

But we just read in FERPA that it’s acceptable to release the students name and punishment if the crime was violent.  The only crime that hanging a noose could be is a hate crime (I know hate crime isn’t a technical term, but it’s quicker than saying the crime established in U.S. Federal Code…).  So, if the student WAS found guilty, then logically, the hearing results could be released.

So, in a normal situation, I would assume based on all of this that the student was found not guilty, and thus the results of the hearing could not be released; however, since I know the history of CMU (specifically the Student Life Department), I’m not going to assume anything.

If anybody does have any information about the case, please let me know.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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“Doctor Death” is Running for Congress in Michigan

March 12, 2008

What do a felonious & murderous doctor, a former Lottery Commissioner turned (controversial) professor, a dude with a really big head, a Congressman, and a kid with a video camera accused of being “Virginia Tech dangerous” have in common?  They’re all involved in the election for the 9th Congressional District of Michigan.  This race just keeps getting wackier, so I’ll list the basics:

  • Joe Knollenberg (R-Bloomfield Hills) is the current Representative for Michigan’s 9th Congressional district (“Oakland, Bloomfield, and West Bloomfield townships; parts of Orion and Waterford townships; the cities of Farmington, Farmington Hills, Orchard Lake, Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, Rochester, Troy, Clawson, Royal Oak, Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Lake Angelus; and the villages of Franklin, Bingham Farms and Beverly Hills” – yeah, Okland county’s kinda weird like that).  (Source: The Oakland Press).
  • There’s a dude with a big paper maché head who has a blog about “Joe Nollenberg” – opposing him mainly on the Iraq War.
  • Gary Peters is the Democratic candidate running for Congress.  He was the former Michigan Lottery Commissioner, and now he is a professor at Central Michigan University who has come under heavy fire by…
  • Dennis Lennox, head of Students Against Gary Peters.  Lennox is opposing Peters because he believes that there’s a conflict of interest if Peter’s is trying to be a professor and run for office in a county that’s at least 2 hours away (and that’s if you’re speeding).  Lennox has come under heavy fire from CMU and has been compared to the VA Tech shooter. (Click on the categories for Peters or Lennox to see more of my posts about their adventures – there’s a lot of them).

And now today, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, “Dr. Death,” announced that he will run as an independent.  Kevorkian, now 80, was sentenced to 10-25 years in prison on second degree murder charges after he assisted in the suicide of Thomas Youk on September 17th, 1998.  He aired a recording of the suicide on 60 Minutes on November 23rd and was charged on March 26th, 1999.  He was let out on parole after 8 years on June 1st, 2007.

In a statement to The Oakland Press after getting petitions from the Oakland County Clerk’s Office, Kevorkian said, “I plan to [run as an Independent].  I wouldn’t do this otherwise.  We need some honesty and sincerity instead of corrupt government in Washington.”  He said that he would have more details next week and that “everything’s in a formative stage.”

Kevorkian has until June 17th to gather 3,000 signatures in order to get him on the November ballot as an independent.

Here are some responses to the news:

  • Oakland County Prosecutor Dave Gorcyca, who sent Kevorkian to prison: “I would place Jack Kevorkian’s candidacy in the same ranking with Ron Paul’s [poor Ron Paul].  It’s probably more of a publicity stunt.  To call attention to himself is standard protocol for Jack when he doesn’t have the limelight focused on him.  I would not consider his candidacy to be a legitimate one.”
  • Gary Peter’s spokeswoman Julie Petrick: “Everybody has the right to run.  Right now, Gary is focused on bringing real change to Oakland County.  Knollenberg has heaped mountains of debt on our children, disastrous trade policies that have destroyed our manufacturing sector, and gotten us into a protracted war with no end in sight.  It’s time for real change in Oakland County and that’s what we’re focused on.”
  • Representative Knollenberg has not yet commented.

I’ve gotta disagree with Gorcyca here.  The Democrats saw an opportunity to take Knollenberg’s seat when he only won with 51.5% in 2006, but now that there’s 2 liberals running, I think Knollenberg is safe.  Let me explain:

In 1998, Proposal B, “To Legalize Prescription of Lethal Medication to Terminally Ill,” was proposed and failed pretty badly.  Specifically in Oakland County, 129,649 voted for it, and 265,888 voted against it – so 67.22% voted against it.  I then looked at all of the 9th District (adding in some extra areas of Orion and Waterford, since I couldn’t figure out which precincts weren’t in the 9th District and excluding the villages of Franklin, Bingham Farms and Beverly Hills, since I couldn’t figure out which precincts of the cities that they lie inside of were their precincts).  I came out with 77,776 voting for the proposal and 158,095 voting against it, so 67.03% opposed it.  So, let’s assume that Knollenberg can only pull 45% of his districts support, which is a low estimate.  That means that 55% will be split between Peters and Kevorkian.  32.97% of the district voted for Proposal B, and let’s assume that only 80% were Democrats (again, an extremely low estimate).  So, 26.38% of the 9th District are Democrats who support assisted suicide.  Now, let’s assume that Kevorkian only gets 40% of that group and nobody else.  He winds up with 10.55%, leaving Peters with 44.45%.  Knollenberg wins (and I actually didn’t mean for the calculations to turn out that close – I was just estimating numbers as I went).  So, 1) I underestimated Knollenberg, 2) I supposed that a high 20% of Prop B supporters were Republicans and thus won’t cross over from Peters to Kevorkian, and 3) I assumed that Kevorkian won’t even get half of the Prop B supporters.  I honestly think the election will fall more like:

  1. Knollenberg 53%
  2. Peters 28%
  3. Kevorkian 19%

It’ll be an interesting race, but this definitely helps Knollenberg.

Oh, and Kevorkian’s possible campaign slogan: “We slaughter the opponents” – wouldn’t that make a great slogan!

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Central Michigan University Violated State Law in Dennis Lennox’s Hearing

March 8, 2008

For the background on this particular case, see my post here  After that hearing, Lennox accused the University of violating the Open Meetings Act (OMA), Act 267 of 1976 (Michigan Compiled Laws [MCL], Chapter 15), specifically Section 15.268:

Sec. 8.

A public body may meet in a closed session only for the following purposes:

(b) To consider the dismissal, suspension, or disciplining of a student if the public body is part of the school district, intermediate school district, or institution of higher education that the student is attending, and if the student or the student’s parent or guardian requests a closed hearing.

Now, at first I was skeptical of what Lennox was saying.  I mean, sure the Open Meetings Act would apply to most meetings, but I didn’t actually think that disciplinary hearings of students would be open to the public.  So I poured over the OMA and found that what Lennox had said was true.  So then I thought, what about the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (U.S. Code, Title 20, Chapter 31, Subchapter III, Part 4, § 1232g).  Surely that must be the reason that the University is having closed meetings (the federal law would trump OMA).  So I poured over FERPA and found this:

(h) Disciplinary records; disclosure

Nothing in this section shall prohibit an educational agency or institution from—
(1) including appropriate information in the education record of any student concerning disciplinary action taken against such student for conduct that posed a significant risk to the safety or well-being of that student, other students, or other members of the school community; or
(2) disclosing such information to teachers and school officials, including teachers and school officials in other schools, who have legitimate educational interests in the behavior of the student.

Now, there are a couple of other references to disciplinary hearings, but none that indicate that a hearing that is the result of a non-dangerous offense can’t be released, just that the results of a hearing because of violence or a nonforcible sex offense are excluded from being withheld.  So, it can’t be federal law that they’re using as the excuse.

Also, why would the Michigan Legislature pass a law in 1976 that directly contradicted a U.S. Law passed in 1974 (I like to think that our politicians are decently smart, even if we have people like Jennifer Granholm and Al Frankenstein out there).

Furthermore, even IF holding an open hearing violated FERPA, it wouldn’t be illegal – it would just keep CMU from getting federal money.  Holding a closed meeting without consent though, directly defies state law.  But again, I don’t think that the OMA and FERPA contradict each other. 

So, after pouring over these laws, I’ve come to the conclusion that Lennox is right (and I should point out – it’s not that I don’t trust Lennox, but the legal system is complicated, and I always scrutinize laws for myself).

But that’s not all I found.  I also found a fun little section in OMA.  Here’s Section 15.269:

15.269 Minutes.

Sec. 9.

(1) Each public body shall keep minutes of each meeting showing the date, time, place, members present, members absent, any decisions made at a meeting open to the public, and the purpose or purposes for which a closed session is held. The minutes shall include all roll call votes taken at the meeting. The public body shall make any corrections in the minutes at the next meeting after the meeting to which the minutes refer. The public body shall make corrected minutes available at or before the next subsequent meeting after correction. The corrected minutes shall show both the original entry and the correction.

(2) Minutes are public records open to public inspection, and a public body shall make the minutes available at the address designated on posted public notices pursuant to section 4. The public body shall make copies of the minutes available to the public at the reasonable estimated cost for printing and copying.

(3) A public body shall make proposed minutes available for public inspection within 8 business days after the meeting to which the minutes refer. The public body shall make approved minutes available for public inspection within 5 business days after the meeting at which the minutes are approved by the public body.

(4) A public body shall not include in or with its minutes any personally identifiable information that, if released, would prevent the public body from complying with section 444 of subpart 4 of part C of the general education provisions act, 20 USC 1232g, commonly referred to as the family educational rights and privacy act of 1974.

And where are these minutes? 

So it is my opinion that CMU is in direct violation of state law.  They’ve already been found to have lied about things in their code of conduct (that a policy on students videotaping their own hearings was in there – it’s NOT!), and now it appears that they’ve violated state law.

Why do they have to keep opposing Lennox on this?  Just admit that you were wrong and move on before you find yourself at the paying end of a lawsuit!

Also, if I were Gary Peters, I’d resign at this point – all of this could really come back to haunt him come election time.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Hearing Held for Dennis Lennox; He Was Issued a Reprimand by CMU

March 6, 2008

Alright, well we’re almost to the end of an era.  The fight between Dennis Lennox II and Central Michigan University over Gary Peters is almost over.

Over spring break, CMU held a closed-door hearing to determine Lennox’s fate.  (The previous hearing had been cancelled because Lennox refused to turn off his video camera, because he claimed that it was his first amendment right to videotape his own hearing [and I agree]:

So, the conduct proceedings officer (maybe Asst. Dean of Students Tony Voisin again?) ruled that Lennox was guilty of the 3 things he was accused of: 1) providing false information to a university official, 2) identifying himself as Dick Cheney to a professor, and 3) improperly posting fliers, by putting them on benches in the hallways.  Lennox was then issued a letter of reprimand.

Lennox has since stated that he will appeal the finding that he violated the school’s code of conduct.

Steve Smith, CMU’s media representative, in response to questions about Lennox saying that he could have been expelled, responded that he cannot comment on Lennox’s case specifically, due to privacy laws, but that the purpose of the code of conduct is to “[educate students] with punishment and sanctions as a secondary measure.”

So, we’ll see what happens if Lennox appeals – but I think that this case is pretty much done now.

Although it’s not ideal, I think that Dennis’s “punishment” is as close to ideal as he’s going to get – so I would personally just leave it alone, but the appeals process is there for a reason. 

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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