Michigan

Michigan official once honored by Dems now facing election fraud charges

A Michigan official who earlier this year received an award from the state’s Democratic Party is now facing six felony charges for allegedly forging records and falsely marking absentee ballots as invalid during the 2018 election. Sherikia Hawkins, 38, city clerk for the city of Southfield, was arrested Monday after the Oakland County Clerk’s office noticed discrepancies in voter counts while certifying absentee ballots from Southfield. State police investigated and found that records had been altered so that nearly 200 voter files were improperly listed as invalid. “Our elections are the foundation of our democracy, and under my and Attorney General [Dana] Nessel’s administration there will be no tolerance for any actions that undermine that foundation — anywhere, anytime, by any person or official,” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in a statement. According to court documents, Michigan police found that 193 absentee voter files were changed in the city’s computer system to say they either had no signature or no return date, when they had both valid signatures and return dates. Police stated that after Oakland County Election Director Joseph Rozell found that Hawkins had submitted altered reports, his staff found the original ones in a trash can at the election division office. Benson insisted that the alleged fraud did not affect the outcome of the election. “All valid votes in the election were ultimately counted and the final official vote total was accurate,” she said, according to The Detroit News. Hawkins’ arrest comes just months after she was honored May 18 at the Michigan Democratic Party’s Legacy Dinner, where she received the Dingell/Levin Award. In 2017, she was listed among the “40 under 40” by the Michigan Chronicle, according to a government bio from her previous role as Pontiac city clerk. Hawkins was charged with falsifying records in violation of state election law, forgery of a public record, misconduct in office and three counts of using a computer to commit a crime. The top count carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison. She was arraigned on Monday and released on $15,000 bond, according to a state press release. Hawkins has a probable cause conference set for Sept. 30, and another hearing scheduled for Oct. 15.

Another corrupt Democrat busted.  Ms. Hawkins is, of course, presumed innocent until proven guilty.  And, we will wait til she’s had her day in court.  However, if she IS guilty of this, she should be made an example of and sentenced accordingly.  That said…  Isn’t it curious how often we hear Dems say there isn’t any voter fraud?  And yet, we see example after example of voter fraud happening all the time!  Thankfully this one didn’t mean a change in the outcome of the election.  But, sometimes voter fraud DOES affect the outcome, which of course, is the goal of such fraud..  With that in mind, we support voter ID laws and other efforts to ensure voter fraud doesn’t happen, and that each legitimate, valid vote is counted….but not the votes of dead people, dogs, and illegal aliens.

Michigan women accused of stealing at Target during ‘Shop with a Cop’ event

 

Criminal masterminds they are not. Two Michigan women have been accused of stealing from a Target store that was filled with police at the time for a “Shop with a Cop” event. Keiana Wilson, 40, of Burton, Mich. and Dana Johnson, 18, of Flint, Mich., were arrested on “felony retail fraud charges,” WXYZ reported. On Wednesday, the Bloomfield Township Police Department along with Sylvan Lake, Keego Harbor and Orchard Lake police departments hosted a “Shop with a Cop” event at a Target in Bloomfield Township. Some 15 officers were at the store helping disadvantaged children choose a gift for their family members when the two women were seen by the store’s security officers loading a cart filled with $1,900 worth of electronics, the Detroit Free Press reported. The women allegedly walked out of the store with the cart without paying but did not make it too far. “The loss prevention (officers) actually apprehended them, then they asked for police assistance,” Sylvan Lake Police Sgt. Michael Mondeau said. “The police officers were only about 20 feet away when they tried to walk out of the store.” Bloomfield Township Police Sgt. Dan Brown said the women were aware the officers were at the store at the time because Johnson complimented an officer on their generosity. The Keego Harbor Police Department posted about the event on Facebook and mentioned the women accused of stealing in a tongue-in-cheek reference. “On a side note, there must have been a special episode of ‘Dumb Criminal Minds’ being filmed live as a person tried to shoplift a bunch of electronics right in front of about 10 cops,” the Facebook post read. “They didn’t get far. DON’T TAKE WHAT IS NOT YOURS, it’s a simple rule that everyone should abide by and the world would be a better place.” The two women were arraigned and bond was set at $250,000 for Johnson and $20,000 for Wilson.

You really can’t make this stuff up, folks…

Michigan hunters told orange, not pink, is safer choice

As hunting season rolls around, those looking to enjoy the sport in Michigan must wear “blaze orange.” A ruling this week by the Michigan Natural Resources Commission rejected a proposal for hunters to have the option of wearing “hunter pink” as their primary safety color in the woods, the Detroit Free Press reported. “The commission has retained the blaze orange requirement for hunter safety,” Ed Golder, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, told the Press. With the decision, Michigan joins Illinois, Maine and Montana in rejecting “hunter pink,” an option that has been touted as a way of encouraging more women to take up hunting. “Hunter pink” has been embraced in Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, New York, Virginia and Wisconsin, the Press reported. “We don’t know for certain whether the introduction of blaze pink camo will encourage more women to take up hunting, but many people do, so let’s hope it’s true,” Mike Bazinet, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s director of public affairs, told BearingArms.com earlier this year. “The broader trend of more clothing designed and tailored for women involved in the activity is definitely here, however,” Bazinet added. “Go into a Cabela’s or Bass Pro or virtually any other outdoor retailer, and you will find a wide selection of hunting apparel for women.” Michigan hunters can still wear pink to compliment an outfit, as long as one prominent piece of clothing — such as a hat, jacket or vest — is blaze orange and is “the individual’s outermost garment and be visible from all sides,” the commission ruled. “To be clear, this doesn’t mean that people can’t wear the pink. If you want to wear hunter pink, if you want to wear green, that’s fine. But you have to comply with our blaze-orange requirement,” Golder added. The blaze orange color, an international standard for safety, has resulted in fewer hunting-related injuries and deaths, according to the report, and has been a requirement in Michigan since the 1970s. The report also argued not everyone is in support of switching to hunter pink, and “many claim it divides the hunting community.” That certainly seemed the case earlier this year in Virginia, when state lawmakers debated the question. “There are women who like to hunt, but it’s not about fashion,” Sen. R. Creigh Deeds told Bearing Arms.com. “It’s about being in the woods. And the purpose you wear a color is so somebody can see you and they don’t shoot in your direction. I mean, blaze pink — I just think it’s silly.” Seems that some people in Michigan agree.

Indeed…   The whole notion of “blaze pink” is patronizing toward women, and is putting some trendy fashion sense ahead of common sense.  Blaze orange is universally accepted as the color that hunters should wear, and I’ve already heard from women who think the whole “hunter pink” think is ridiculous.  The smart course of action would be to make “blaze orange” the standard for all states, to erase any confusion and make hunter safety the priority.

Big Wind Gets Spanked in Michigan

Big Wind’s lobbyists and promoters love to claim that their projects are being welcomed by rural communities everywhere. The reality is rather different. Last Tuesday, voters in 20 rural towns in Michigan went to the polls and rejected or restricted the expansion of wind energy. Furthermore, those same Michigan voters soundly rejected two projects being promoted by the world’s largest producer of wind energy, NextEra Energy — which, as I discussed on this site last week, has been suing rural governments in multiple states (two of them in Michigan) while at the same time collecting billions of dollars in federal tax subsidies. Big Wind’s worst drubbing occurred in Sand Beach Township, in Huron County, where voters approved modifications to a township ordinance that will effectively ban wind development. The vote tally: 413–80. In addition, Lincoln Township voters approved an initiative that will allow it to form its own planning commission, a move that will make it far more difficult for wind projects to be developed in the township. Sand Beach and Lincoln were among 18 townships in Huron County that gunned down Big Wind’s expansion plans. (Huron County is about 130 miles due north of Detroit.) Voters in the other 16 townships went to the polls as a group and rejected two projects, including a 60-turbine project proposed by NextEra and a 70-turbine project being pushed by DTE Energy. Both proposals lost by a margin of 63 to 37 percent. I recently talked to Kevon Martis. He is the founding director of the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition, a group based in Blissfield, Mich., that works with rural governments in the Midwest that are resisting the encroachment of Big Wind. He was exultant. “Huron County has more than 400 turbines,” Martis said. “If wind energy is so great, why didn’t the county voters choose to have more of them?” Martis went on, saying that NextEra and DTE probably spent more than $500,000 on their efforts to get voters to approve their projects while the anti-wind forces “might have spent $3,000 or $4,000.” Big Wind also lost on ballot questions in Marlette Township in Sanilac County and in Almer Township in Tuscola County. In Marlette, voters approved, by a margin of 53 to 47 percent, a zoning amendment that will toughen an ordinance governing wind-energy projects. To be sure, these results haven’t been reported by mainstream media. But then, the fact that rural communities from Maine to California are rejecting Big Wind doesn’t fit the popular media’s narrative that wind energy is “green.” The Michigan results expose the fictions being peddled by Big Wind’s multitude of lobbyists. Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, who has refused to answer my e-mailed questions regarding the backlash against the wind industry, recently claimed that wind energy “boosts rural American economies in unmatched ways” and that “83 percent of Americans support more wind.” In March, Kiernan’s AWEA colleague Susan Sloan claimed that “the idea that rural America doesn’t want wind power, that’s just not what we’ve experienced.” Perhaps Kiernan and Sloan should visit Almer Township, where voters rejected a NextEra-backed ordinance that would have weakened the town’s zoning ordinance. As I noted in these pages last week, Almer is one of five rural governments that have been sued by NextEra since last October. Almer residents, who are defending themselves against NextEra’s lawsuit in federal court, voted against the wind giant’s proposal by a margin of 55 to 45 percent. NextEra can afford its courthouse mugging of small towns like Almer and Hinton, Okla. (population: 3,000), because it is gorging on federal tax subsidies. Between 2008 and 2015, according to a recent report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, NextEra accumulated profits of $21.5 billion but didn’t pay a dime in federal income taxes. Nor does it appear that NextEra will be paying federal taxes anytime soon. In its 2016 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company reported $3 billion in tax-credit carryforwards, an increase of $143 million over its 2015 numbers. Norm Stephens, a retired schoolteacher who lives in Almer and opposed the project, told me of the vote total, “It’s huge. We are sending a message.” But he quickly added, “NextEra is not going away. There’s too much money involved.” The vote totals in Michigan add to my ongoing tally of the rural backlash against Big Wind. Thus far this year, 37 government entities in ten states have moved to reject or restrict wind-energy development. More rejections and restrictions are coming.

And well they should!  The folks are tired of NextEra, and other so-called “green” companies, coming into their small communities and bullying them in court, as they’re funded by we-the-taxpayer with slush funds received by Obama and his cronies.  Remember Solyndra and that whole fiasco?  Exactly..  If wind energy is so great, then it should do just fine in the open market.  But, the reality is that it isn’t all that.  It’s a scam…and it’s costing us with skyrocketing energy bills, and littering perfectly (otherwise) gorgeous rolling hillsides across America.  At some point, I’m sure they’ll be worth it.  But, until they can stand on their own two feet without federal tax subsidies, and without bullying small communities into using their service via court edicts, we’ll continue to support those communities standing up to their bullying tactics.  Thanks to Robert Bryce for bringing us that report.

Early and often? 31 people voted twice in Michigan election

At least 31 people in Michigan could face felony charges for voting twice during last November’s presidential election. Chris Thomas, state elections director, said the residents voted twice, first with an absentee ballot and then in person. Their names were turned over to the attorney general’s office for possible prosecution. Voting twice, or even attempting to do so, is a felony.”It’s not acceptable,” Thomas said. Fourteen of the 31 were in Detroit. Officials believe Detroit poll workers didn’t catch the double votes because they weren’t given an updated list of voters who had used an absentee ballot.It’s not known which candidate got the votes. Ballots are anonymous.”There are processes in place to stop this. In these 31 cases, they didn’t work,” Thomas said. Separately, the state Bureau of Elections said human error, not fraud or equipment failure, caused mismatches between the number of ballots cast in some Detroit precincts and the number of voters. The agency’s investigation followed a partial statewide recount of the presidential race, which raised questions about the safeguarding of ballots in Detroit. A judge stopped the recount after three days, although officials said it would not have changed President Trump’s slim victory in Michigan over Hillary Clinton. Before the recount was halted, there was an attempt to recount ballots in 263 Detroit precincts. But 68 precincts didn’t qualify because the number of ballots didn’t match the number of people who showed up to vote. Some ballots, for example, were left in a tub below an electronic tabulator and not transferred to a secure box on election night. In one polling place, there were 300 voters but only 50 properly sealed ballots. While many precincts couldn’t be part of the recount, all ballots cast on Nov. 8 still were part of the final official result. “There was no pervasive fraud in our audit of Detroit,” said state elections director Chris Thomas, who instead cited “widespread performance issues” related to a lack of sufficient training for poll workers. He said his elections staff looked at 136 precincts and was able to balance the number of ballots and voters in 65 and greatly reduce mismatches in others.

Wait..  I’m confused..  The dominantly liberal mainstream media, and scores of Democrat politicians, have been telling us for years that there is NO voter fraud..  So, I don’t understand how this could be possible!   🙂

Michigan driver ticketed for warming car in his own driveway

A Roseville, Mich., man is becoming Facebook famous after he posted a picture of a ticket he received from a Roseville cop for warming up his vehicle in his own driveway. Nick Taylor posted the sarcastic Facebook post on Thursday, thanking the officer who gave him the ticket. According to the picture, the ticket is for his car that was left running in the driveway with no one around. “I’ve never heard of any city ordinance of law like that,” Taylor said. On Thursday, it was frigidly cold and he wanted to keep his car running while he ran into his girlfriend’s house. But he left it unlocked with the key in the ignition. Chief James Berlin said that’s a problem. “This is purely a public safety issue. You can’t do it. You see it all the time, people hop in a running car and Steal them. Something bad happens when that occurs,” Berlin said. The post received thousands of comments and shares since he posted it. “I mostly just put it online to see what people thought of it and see if it’s happened to anyone else because I’ve never heard of this,” Taylor said. The ticket shows ordinance listed as 99006 but there is no ordinance in the city or state that corresponds to 99006. Under the description of the offense, it lists VEH/MOTOR ON UNATTENDED 895. Ordinance 895 is listed as being part of ‘rodent control’ on Roseville’s website. FOX 2 contacted the Michigan State Police for more information. Lt. Mike Shaw says there is no state law that prohibits letting your car idle with the keys in the ignition. At this point, it seems difficult to decipher which code the officer was enforcing. Either way, Nick has an appointment on January 26th in District Court in Roseville.

Hopefully the judge will dismiss this silly nonsense.  To begin with, the officer put in the wrong ordinance code, which makes the ticket null and void legally.  So, even if he acted in “good faith,” the officer was inaccurate.  This is the sorta thing that makes otherwise well meaning cops look bad.  And, the Chief’s pathetic defense made it even worse.  To somehow suggest that leaving the keys in the ignition is a “public safety” concern is ludicrous.  By his logic, there oughtta be a law or ordinance to prohibit doors and windows on homes to be left unlocked…so as to prevent home invasion temptations.  That, of course, is ridiculous…and the same applies here.  This is just big government fascism by little town cops seeking revenue from the little guy.  That’s all this is.  But, the cop issuing the ticket made an error.  Again, hopefully Nick will fight it on the 26th, and it gets dismissed.

Man gives phony $50 bill to girl’s charity lemonade stand

Police are calling it the “lowest of the low:” A man gave a fake $50 bill to a southeastern Michigan girl who was running a lemonade stand to raise money for Alzheimer’s disease research. The Monroe News says the man on a bike didn’t buy anything last Sunday in Monroe. He presented a note that said he was deaf and wanted to break the $50 bill into smaller bills. Maya Leachman says she was a “little mad” over the incident. She and her mother didn’t look closely at the phony bill until they counted donations later that day. Police Cpl. Terese Herrick says, “Hopefully, we’ll be able to get him.” Maya, a fourth-grader, raised slightly more than $1,100 after accounting for the $50 loss.

What’s wrong with some people?!?

Starnes: ‘All-American City’ confiscates elderly man’s American flags

Ken Dabelstein is a proud American. He owns Ken’s Country Produce – a bedding plant business in Westland, Michigan –which has the distinction of being an “All-American City.” Folks around Westland have been getting their marigolds and petunias from Ken for 42 years. “I’m a member of the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce,” he told me. “I started working when I was 19 years old. I do not collect Social Security. I pay for my own Medicare and health insurance. I’m a working American man.” The 72-year-old business owner is also a patriot. “We have the greatest country in the world,” Ken told me. “That’s why everybody wants to come to America.” And for the past 30 years he’s been honoring our veterans on Memorial Day weekend by lining the front of his store with 24 small American flags. But on May 24 a city worker dropped by and told Ken the flags had to come down. He was told the city considered the American flag to be a violation of the town’s sign ordinance. “I told him the American flag is not a sign. It’s part of being a proud American,” Ken told me. Ten minutes later, the city worker determined the Red, White & Blue could stay. But on Thursday a city ordinance officer showed up and confiscated every single flag. “She tore all my flags out – and brought them up to the counter,” Ken said. There were several dozen customers inside the store and several attempted to retrieve the flags from the worker. But she bolted out the door. “She took the flags and ran to her truck and threw them in the pickup truck,” he said. Ken posted a message on Facebook – alerting his customers that “the city of Westland removed my flags from my property – saying its signage.” He also reminded folks that Westland is supposed to be an All-American city. By Thursday afternoon the mayor and a council member had apologized and vowed to return the flags. “What it sounds like to me is that it was probably a misunderstanding,” council member Kevin Coleman told Fox 2 in Detroit. “Some of these things that seem like common sense can get overlooked. On behalf of the city council I want to apologize to Ken here.” Ken graciously accepted the apology – but there was just one problem. No one could find Ken’s confiscated flags. Old Glory was gone. But let not your heart be troubled, patriots. This Memorial Day dispatch has a Hallmark resolution. Early Friday morning a good-hearted stranger showed up at Ken’s Country Produce – and restored Ken’s tribute to our troops. It must have been quite a scene this morning when Ken discovered by dawn’s early light that the flags were still there. And so on this Memorial Day weekend, the Star-Spangled Banner waves once again in Westland, Michigan – an All-American City. -Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is “God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.” Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook

Drunken Illegal Alien Arrested for Trying to Snatch 13-Year-Old Girl: ‘Come With Me’

Detroit police arrested 43-year-old illegal alien Elias Lopez for harassing a 13-year-old girl while intoxicated, but U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) agents picked him up only after outraged community members learned he had been released. According to the Detroit Free Press–which first identified the illegal alien as “man”–Lopez began yelling at the girl in Spanish from across the street, then walked over, telling her “come with me.” She said no, but Lopez tried to hand her $100, and made a grab for her arm. Terrified, the girl fled until she reached aa friend’s house, crying and “nearly hyperventilating.” Someone called 911 and police found Lopez as the victim described him. He blew a .19 on the breathalyzer, twice the legal limit for driving in Michigan, and had urinated on himself. He worked as a cook in at a local Mexican restaurant called MiZarape, but a manager said he couldn’t comment on whether it had knowingly hired an illegal alien. Police said Lopez never actually touched the girl, so they charged him for being disorderly. They notified ICE agents, who declined to pick him up, forcing them to release Lopez. “We’re actually obligated to treat [an illegal alien] same as everyone else. We can’t detain them any longer than we could detain anyone else,” said local police chief Tom Lindberg. But ICE agents returned to the town and frogmarched Lopez out of the restaurant. He now faces deportation. “I’m very proud ICE did the right thing,” Lindberg said, adding that the initial story sparked “a lot of negative comments” from the community. “I think the community will appreciate that [ICE] came out to get him. We don’t want this person lurking around Milford. I wanted him out of here.” Michigan taxpayers will pay for Lopez to be housed in a county jail while awaiting a federal hearing. Restaurants get the cheap labor; citizens pay for the real costs of importing a criminal class to work for lower wages.

Packing heat in Detroit: Motown residents answer police chief’s call to arms

Detroit resident Darrell Standberry doesn’t navigate streets of the Motor City without his licensed handgun, and it already has saved his life once. “I never leave home without my weapon,” he said. “You never know when or what you’ll encounter.” It was 2011, when Standberry stopped at a gas station on Six Mile Road after attending his son’s football practice. After filling up the tank of his SUV, he left the car running and went inside to pay, only to spot a man jumping in behind the wheel. “I went back over and told him to get out of my car,” said Standberry, 46, aformer bar owner who is now a college student. “He told me to get the hell out of there and drove off.” Standberry stood frozen as the bandit peeled away, but then felt his heart pound when the thief doubled back. His hand moved down to his hip and gripped a holstered, .45-caliber SIG Sauer as the man who had stolen his car bore down on him. “I saw him pulling out his gun to shoot me,” Standberry recalled. “So I pulled my gun out and shot him.” The shot went through the windshield and hit its target, a criminal with a long record who made a short-lived getaway before crashing into a tree and dying. Standberry’s claim of self-defense was never questioned by local cops. In a city plagued by chronic unemployment and crime and guarded by a dwindling police force, residents of Detroit are increasingly taking protection of themselves, their families and property into their own hands. Those who do so responsibly have the blessing and backing of Detroit Police Chief James Craig. “When you look at the city of Detroit, we’re kind of leading the way in terms of urban areas with law-abiding citizens carrying guns,” Craig said recently. The chief’s call to arms, which first came in December, 2013, has been answered by thousands of men and women tired of being victims and eager to reclaim their beleaguered city. In 2014, some new 1,169 handgun permits were issued, while 8,102 guns were registered with Detroit’s police department – many to prior permit holders who bought new firearms. So for in 2015, nearly 500 permits have issued by the department and more than 5,000 guns have been registered. “There’s definitely been a “Chief Craig” effect,” Rick Ector, a firearms instructor who runs the blog Legally Armed in Detroit. “His support and endorsement has been helpful.” Obtaining a concealed-carry permit in the state of Michigan is not difficult compared to states with stricter gun laws. Eligible citizens can meet the state’s training requirement in eight hours, and firearms academies and gun shops within the city offer one-day courses for as little as $99. Ector said that he and other instructors have seen a steady rise in locals looking to get a permit, to protect themselves either on the street or in their homes. While data showing a relation between increased gun ownership and the crime rate is not available, Ector said legally armed residents are having an effect. “Home invasions have gone down,” he said. “A huge reason was that there was a huge spate of homeowners using their guns against intruders. More people have guns and it’s making burglars cautious.” The firearms instructor said women are driving growth in his business. “It used to be that we would only have one or two women in a class,” he said. “Now we are seeing much, much more. This past May, I held a class where we trained 300 ladies.”

How great is that?!? As for the intial story… Gotta love that! Another happy Sig Sauer owner (mine is a P228, oh yes)protecting himself lawfully, and putting down a worthless piece of garbage in the process. It almost brings a tear to my eye… 🙂