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Wayne County Clerk: Conyers didn't qualify for ballot

by: Eric B.

Fri May 02, 2014 at 15:16:07 PM EDT


This is disturbing.

DETROIT -Veteran U.S. Congressman John Conyers does not have enough signatures to get on the Aug. 5 primary ballot, according to Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett.

Garrett told Local 4 on Friday that the signatures of two of Conyers' circulators appear to be invalid.

Submitted without comment.

Eric B. :: Wayne County Clerk: Conyers didn't qualify for ballot
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Why couldn't this have happened in 2012, (0.00 / 0)
when we had some qualified people running against him?

I was truly shocked (0.00 / 0)
that no one challenged his signatures in 2012. I predicted he would be booted off the ballot, but I was one cycle too early...

Great Lakes, Great Times.

Well then. (0.00 / 0)
He could try a repeat of Duggan, but even with his name recognition he'd need a very well disciplined campaign. I'm not seeing that happen (though you never know).

And what about Sheffield? I haven't heard much good about him. Will Democrats warm up to him, or will people want him run out of office in 2016 like Republicans are hoping will happen to Bentivolio?

Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott


Something (0.00 / 0)
about beating his wife, I don't think will sit well with Dems....

[ Parent ]
If (0.00 / 0)
IF he wants to continue, I predict he would put up fifteen to twenty point on Sheffiled even in a write-in.  I think folks don't realize how dug in this guy is.  For however rusty his politics have become, he has such a wellspring of support and political infrastructure on the westside, his supporters will pull him across the line every time.  They will lead him if they have to.  That's what really makes this all the more embarrassing.  It's not that he's lost any support, this is the result of pure laziness and carelessness.

Sheffield has been, is, and always will be bad news.  He represents the worse kind of Detroit politics, the politics the city has been trying oh-so-hard to rid itself of since the Kilpatrick era.  I'm not sure they are quite a bad as the Kilpatricks (or as political savy), but they're generally another local family in politics for most of the wrong reasons.  As much as I think Conyers has overstayed his welcome, as distracting as his wife has been, Sheffield would not be an improvement, and he wouldn't even be neutral.  I would predict some type of scandal within a year of his election were he to make it to Congress.

As far as I'm concerned, Horace is a walking scandal.


[ Parent ]
If Conyers has (4.00 / 1)
"...such a wellspring of support and political infrastructure...", why didn't he use some of that infrastructure to get his petitions on a volunteer basis -- like most of us do?

OK, I was just intimately involved with the Clements for Congress petition effort in the 6th. We did not pay a single circulator. As Chair, I got 167 signatures. We had 54 circulators, who got an average of 25 signatures each. This is for a guy who has never run for office before.

Conyers is one of the most senior Congressmen around. He must have 1000s of people owe him favors. So none of them can pass a sheet around the restaurant during lunch?

The nub of my question is: What does 'political infrastructure' mean, if it doesn't mean this?


[ Parent ]
Reading your comment again, I guess your answer is -- (0.00 / 0)
"pure laziness and carelessness" -- that is, those folks simply were not asked to help.

[ Parent ]
Horace Sheffield, Jr - a tool of Maroun (0.00 / 0)
Whenever Matty decides his rent-a-crowd would be improved by the presence of a minister, he hires Sheffield to join it.

[ Parent ]
There is a very big difference between Mike Duggan and John Conyers. (0.00 / 0)
Mike Duggan surrounds himself with competent people, who get the job done, and know Mike cares about their efforts.

John Conyers hasn't run a serious campaign effort in at least twenty years, and the political instincts of people around him are rusted and brittle with age.  Conyers' situation isn't hopeless - at least on paper - but salvaging it through a write-in campaign would require reaching out to outsiders, and giving them power to get rid of the people surrounding Conyers.  Not likely to happen.


[ Parent ]
Against Term Limits, But... (4.00 / 2)
...this is what happens to a guy who has clearly been around far too long.

When term limits were on the ballot in the '90's, I actively opposed them, and still do. After all, we have term limits already...they're this pesky thing called elections.

In the case of Conyers, it is likely that he will see his career end with a whimper. And how sad that one of the nations' earliest African-American Congressmen ends up late in his career with a wife who goes to prison and an inability to submit adequate petitions in his 26th Congressional bid.

And who did he beat in his initial primary in 1964? None other than Richard Austin.


Too many conclusions are jumping ahead of the facts (0.00 / 0)
Here's the thing.  It appears from news reports that the two people circulating petitions for Conyers may have registered to vote in December, 2013 but were never entered into the voter file by the Detroit City Clerk's office.  This is based on statements from Conyers' lawyer, so you have to factor that in.  But given what's being said--and what's not being said--out of Wayne County and Detroit elections, it's entirely possible that hundreds of petition signatures are being disqualified on the bases of a clerical error in Detroit, not anything the Conyers campaign has done.  

Moreover, there are several federal court cases involving ballot questions and the Nader presidential campaign--reported in today's Freep--that may rescue Conyer if the legal logic is extended to federal congressional candidates.  


Days (0.00 / 0)
You're repeating the facts as we knew them as of Wednesday when this broke, when the circulators were being given the benefit of the doubt.  Each day, it's becoming more likely with what we know that this is not a clerical error and rather the circulators trying to game the system after the fact.  Cathy Garrett was damn-near in tears, today, realizing what this is looking like.

Your second point is worthy of note, however.  Still, Conyers campaign is even in question is an embarrassment.  Whether he's actually makes it on the primary ballot, or not, there was a general and relative sloppiness, here, that can't be denied, and it's not his first time, recently, in mucking up this very basic requirement for running for Congress.  If it's found that enough of the signatures are not valid, and this isn't won in court, his supporters have every right to be pissed.

I'm not sure why you're so dismissive of what seems to be a real issue.


[ Parent ]
The Wayne County Clerk isn't a source of information. (0.00 / 0)
She's a source of mis-information.  They once hired an honest person, probably by mistake, and then fired him when he insisted on telling law enforcement officials about bribe-taking by co-workers.  They said he was fired for violating his supervisor's instruction to mind his own business.

I don't know how much they paid him, since the settlement included a provision he not talk about it.  But he seems much happier running a brew-pub in T.C. than he was working for the County Clerk.

I only include this tidbit to indicate that if they have any reason to lie, you shouldn't expect anything else.


[ Parent ]
Sheffield (0.00 / 0)
As was stated above, I wish this would have happened in 2012 when we had some decent candidates running against him.

It is definitely a result of laziness, however, with Conyers' career, I feel bad for the guy. Even if I do wish he had retired 6-8 years ago.

If he does lose out and Sheffield becomes the rep (I'm not sure Conyers would even be willing to mount a write-in campaign), I think we will see another Bentivolio situation. Sheffield will serve the two years while a ton of people will gear up to run in two years.

Who those people may be? I'm not completely sure, but I would be interested in hearing some possibilities.  


I'm told that (0.00 / 0)
State Sen Glenn Anderson lives in MI-13.

[ Parent ]
He did (0.00 / 0)
I can see why he didn't want to challenge Conyers again this cycle, but I'm sure he will be kicking himself if Conyers is disqualified.

I think Anderson has a legitimate chance in an open field, say in two years, if he can keep other individuals from the western wayne county part of the district out of the race. With a big chunk of Detroit in the district, it could be a crowded primary. Current elected officials in the Detroit part include: Rose Mary Robinson, Rashida Tlaib, Fred Durhal, Thomas Stallworth, David Nathan, Harvey Santana, Coleman Young, Morris Hood, Virgil Smith, and Tupac Hunter. Plus, any other Detroit residents/city council members/etc. who decide to run.

However, it might be easier in Anderson's area. The only other elected officials that I could see running are Bill Wild or Phil Cavanagh (depending on who loses Wayne County Commissioner), David Knezek, and Robert Kosowski.

-  With Kosowski only representing the western-most part of this district and his senate seat opening up the year he is term limited in the house (Hopgood's seat) I don't see him running.
- If Knezek wins Senate, he might take a hard look at the seat since all of his district would be in the congressional district, but with 6 years left in the Senate, it would be a big risk to take.
- I can see Wild or Cavanagh being interested but they might not be up for it after a loss this year in the Wayne County Commissioner race.  


[ Parent ]

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