We are just weeks away from the primary and it looks to be ramping up. Early voting has begun and some of us have done the deed. Others are still undecided.
Today, we’re going to talk about the Democrat mayoral candidates. They have five on the ticket. A current city employee, former law enforcement officer, businessman, perennial candidate and one citizen (not sure of his occupation).
The BSU Democrat student organization sponsored their debate. Hats off to the students for their hard work. Below is the audio of the debate.
If you want to get a well-rounded view of the election, we would recommend you listen to all the candidates. This is often a political blog, and in case you didn’t know, there is an election on the horizon. We follow all of the candidates. We visit social media to get our fingers on the pulse of citizens’ thoughts on the candidates. We carry on conversations with the people and sometimes we even interact with the candidates. If they have a history, we review it, too.
After introductions, the candidates went into corruption. Oh, boy, do we have it. How many of those candidates voted for Dennis Tyler? How many knew the history of Tyler and his cohort Nichols and still chose to place the corruption in the main seat of Muncie governance? Until they need your vote, they stand silently by. The opportunity was there in 2015 to get the city under control. That primary saw only two city council districts up for grabs. District 2 (R) Conatser vs. Ridenour and District 6 (D) Anderson vs. Ivy. Both parties fell short that year. The corruption was just beginning to come to light. It was going to be messy. Thoughts on the lack of candidates…for another time.
Just a brief history. In 2003, Dennis Tyler ran for mayor. One of the biggest concerns was how much involvement would Phil Nichols have in Tyler’s administration? Tyler said none. However, after Tyler lost it was believed he and Nichols joined forces and set their sights on dismantling Center Township Fire Department and behind manipulating the 911 call center. Some of the old-timers would remember. Not unlike what we are seeing from the Tyler administration today. A leopard doesn’t change its spots.
Tyler and Nichols have been joined at the hip since birth. In 2012 Tyler immediately appointed Craig Nichols as the Building Commissioner. Well, we know the rest of the story. Phil Nichols was privy to the private meetings with Mayor Tyler and others as they schemed to hide the crimes committed.
Oops, I digress…
One area of this debate centered on blight. The interesting part of this is the previous mayor, Sharon McShurley, also campaigned on the blight. She addressed the blight head on, looking for monies and the newspaper did “Blight Watch” keeping the people informed of the status and the challenges of the blighted community. That all ended when Tyler took office. Why?
We wrote about the Hardest Hit Fund program. When Muncie received notice we were selected, the city sat on the funds. Mayor Tyler claimed the requirements were so stringent the city had a hard time implementing it. Most of us believe Tyler was trying to find a way to funnel the monies to Nichols’ companies, et al. Other communities were well into the program demolishing properties, and Muncie was not. Everyone was on a level playing field yet Tyler’s administration just couldn’t get the program going. Hmmmm.
That being said, here is our synopsis of the candidates:
Dale: Maybe the best of the bunch if being well spoken was a prerequisite for mayor. He was involved in city government during the McShurly administration. Not sure if he continued the same involvement under the Tyler administration. He was part of the UNISON group which wanted to engage Commissioner President Todd Donati and the Commissioners as part of the Tuhey Pool plan in 2010. Fortunately, that went nowhere. Would he continue the MRC with Donati as president?
D. Smith: Focused on corruption. Yes, this administration is filled with corruption and there are two Tyler appointed department heads on the ballot. The first step in ridding the city of corruption would be to never place any person affiliated with Tyler in a position of power. Mayor or council both would still be governed from 214 N. Walnut.
Bailey: Appointed to the Community Development office by Tyler. In charge of the Hardest Hit Funds. Consider looking at Larry Riley’s FB post and at the State Board of Accounts audits. Bailey said she did the duties of the deputy mayor with no added pay. Bailey is the only mayoral candidate that has a history with the current administration and would be privy to the inner workings of this administration.
Riley: Saul is someone you would like as a neighbor, but not for mayor.
Davenport: Was vacationing in Urbana, Il and couldn’t make the debate. (just kiddin’)
In closing: Not much dialog on the current public safety issues or how they would address the issue once in office. No mention of the debt. Or how they would improve upon the paving. Candidates are fluffy nowadays. They have lots of words but no concrete solutions.
Bad company corrupts good morals.
One who runs from corrupt people is wise indeed.
Birds of a feather, flock together.
Be sure, your sins will be found out.
Here we are nearly three weeks into 2019 and finally, the sentencing memorandum of Muncie’s ex-building commission has been made available. So, let’s begin with the persons named in the memorandum.
(Full text of the memo is located at the end of the post.)
The names have not been changed to protect the innocent. Some of the people were doing their jobs – their consciences could not be seared. Those would be the ones who resigned or perhaps fired.
One name, Aaron Kidder, was a rising star in the city’s administration. He was the right-hand man to Mayor Tyler. Intelligent, well spoken and to his detriment (at least in this administration) honest.
“Nichols asked Kidder if he would be willing to say that he acquired quotes from Gibbs even though he had not. Kidder refused.”
And then there is Audrey Jones, the city controller. She complied with an FOIA.
Jones gave Marsh copies of the original invoices, and then approached Nichols to inform him that she had turned them over during the FOIA request.
What exactly did Dennis Tyler know and was he aware of the bid-rigging, demolitions? The answer would be yes. Although when issues came up, he blew them off with a “nah” and a smile. How could average citizens, people not privy to the inner workings of his administration, have information and the mayor didn’t know?
Note Ross Bater’s comment:
- Brater states that had they been competitively bid instead of awarded to Nichols through fraud, it would have cost the Muncie taxpayers between $8,800 and $9,200 on average to demolish each property. Nichols (according to his own calculation) billed on average $19,500 per property. Source: Muncie Star Press 1-18-19
Local columnist and what he knew
Three years ago Larry Riley wrote about the cost of demolitions done by Nichols’ company. We might presume Gibbs Construction would be the one and the same. Just a wild guess. Amazingly, Riley had all the facts, figures and names and the column published in the local paper yet Mayor Tyler did nothing. Larry was on top of it and the FBI confirms it.
Certainly having him give quotes to compare with Advanced Walls helped the latter immensely, as each Gibbs Construction quote was even higher, usually a few hundred bucks, than the unduly high Advanced Walls quote. Thus a cost conscious administration went with the lower quote.
The four demolitions averaged $20,375 each, or more specifically:
— 527 W. Wilson, an 850 square-foot house with no basement, razed for $22,000 by Advanced Walls.
— 424 S. Proud St., 1,700 square feet, two stories, plus 400 square-foot detached garage, for $19,500.
— 320 S. Beacon, 1,216 square feet, no basement, for $19,500.
— 909 S. Wolfe St., 964 square feet, half basement, for $21,500
Source: Muncie Star Press March 6, 2016
Check-out the full column below.
No one would notice or no one would care
Given his powerful allies, Nichols figured that either no one would notice or no one would care, and he quietly submitted $81,500 in invoices to the City between August 7, 2015, and October 5, 2015 for work he didn’t perform. Nichols used his company, Advanced Walls and Ceilings, for this.
Did no one notice or did no one care? The administration did notice and no one cared. It’s amazing all the channels put in place and Nichols slipped by? The public didn’t seem to care and so it continued. But yes, considering all the information we have received in the past 24 hours and past articles, State Board of Accounts audits, and the continuous presence of the FBI should have been a wake-up call and instead, it was business as usual.
To read the full report click the link below (pdf).
As you all know, Mayor Tyler is speeding towards a city-owned EMS. Yes, if you haven’t yet heard, he is doing everything in his power to destroy a well-oiled County EMS service. Why? Of course, we know why. Politics before people.
You may be thinking, “No way would Mayor Tyler even consider putting the citizens in danger. He loves this great city per all of his public speeches.” Would he destroy DCEMS because of politics? Let’s take a walk down memory lane.
Immediately after Tyler lost his mayoral bid in 2003, he and his pal, Phil Nichols, were right back to the political games. In a 2004 editorial “Lack of proper plan for fires scandalous” the editorial board was referencing a letter two Democrat County Commissioners authored, The editorial states:
On Dec. 31, Stonebraker and St. Myer signed a letter to the city-county 911 dispatch center, ordering that Center Township trucks not be dispatched on emergency runs within the Muncie city limits. “(Some old-timers will remember) .
Stonebreaker, according to the editorial, said it wasn’t political at all. Never mind they did everything in their power to make Republican Dick Shirey’s life miserable. Definitely not political. (ROLLING EYES)
The editorial continued:
To deny political implications of the letter is to ignore the fact that chief architects of local Democratic policy are current party chairman Dennis Tyler and immediate past chairman Phil Nichols , both Muncie Fire Department officers. Their fingerprints are all over the letter, and they appear to have done little to discourage the animosity that exists between Muncie and Center Township fire departments.
Further evidence of political or government leaders being irresponsible is the report of five instances last fall when the Center Township department was not notified of 911 calls within its own territory.
Take note, MP Readers:
Shirey, Crouch and other local officials have said they believed the best dispatching procedure would be to send the emergency response order to the department that is closest to the emergency as well as to the department with official jurisdiction.
That would best guard the safety of citizens and their property. Anything short of that devalues human life and is a dereliction of duty.
Dual-response is recognized policy in well-organized fire districts across the country. Firefighting experts, consulted last year by The Star Press, agreed that dual-response is a must for Muncie and Delaware County.
‘It’s not rocket science,” said one of the experts.
Everywhere, that is, except Muncie.
Source: Lack of proper plan for fires scandalous Star Press, The (Muncie, IN) – Sunday, January 25, 2004 Author/Byline: StaffSection: EditorialPage: 2D
So, if you think for one moment Mayor Tyler is all about keeping you safe and that his EMS service will be top-notch, dear friends, think again. Tyler campaigned in ’03 and one of the big issues people had with him, among many, was Phil Nichols. Tyler hasn’t changed since then. The difference between then and now it was much easier to hide his involvement prior to being mayor. Not so much today.
To be continued…
The first meeting of the Land & Traffic committee since 2007 circa met at Muncie City Hall Auditorium Wednesday. The meeting got off to a slow start and some of the candidates/committee members/council members mingled with the crowd.
Mary Jo Barton, council representative for District 3 spoke with a couple and said “I have lots of questions to ask.” One wonders who wrote the questions for her and would she understand the answers once given? After 16 years on city council, current land & traffic committee person and past member of the finance committee, she was clueless on understanding incoming revenue and outgoing expenditures. She also believed the city should spend $30,000.00 for fireworks to make $2,000.00. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this a loss of ($28,000.00)?
Julius Anderson appointed council person for District 6 (he took Council Murphy’s place after the voter fraud guilty verdict) stopped by and told the citizens there would be no public input allowed.
Giving volume to your voice.
Alison Quirk, eight year veteran of city council and past president, looked uncomfortable as she took her place on the stage, and Jerry Dishman looked solemn. He is asking for four more years.
Sitting in the audience was ex-councilman and former Democrat Party Chair Phil Nichols. I don’t recall seeing him at any public meetings except for election board. Probably wanted to make sure his candidates and council members adhered to his instructions for this meeting. Just surmising, perhaps this is why Alison Quirk was nervous. What she does could impact her brother-in-law Mike Quirk’s continued reign as Democrat Party Chair.
Mayor Sharon McShurley along with some faces which looked familiar, but their names escape me, were there. You knew she would be.
The tone, a little tense as there seemed to be some pre-meeting conversations, it was already 6:10 PM the meeting hadn’t even started. Mayor McShurley was talking with Council person Anderson and then she stepped back. Puzzled looks, a bit of confusion and Mr. Anderson began to apologize.
The meeting had to be postponed due to the fact there was no notice posted on the door. It was a waste of time for the citizens of which there seemed to be plenty.
The committee consisted of four Democrats which immediately gives one the sense of a confidence this will be a non-partisan group working for our city. (O.K. that’s not true if you have followed their votes and actions for the past four years.)
Seriously folks, with 29 years of combined experience and they forgot the notice, makes one nervous to think of what is going to come from this committee.
The next meeting will be Monday August 29th at 6:00 PM. Muncie City Hall auditorium 300 n. High St. There will be no giving volume to your voice at this meeting, public input is not allowed. NOTE: Paper said it is 7:00 PM not 6:00 PM as the previous article states. Sorry. Meeting tonight on closings of crossings
September 14th will be another meeting at 7:00 PM and you will be given the opportunity to speak.
Read the articles here for seven days:
The more I study the office of County Clerk, the more I realize the importance of the department and how it affects our daily lives both directly and indirectly.
You see, the office is more than performing marriages or routine distribution of fishing licenses. The County Clerk must prepare budget estimations for the operations of the office, courts and elections. In addition, the County Clerk must budget for out of county court expenses due to change of venue. It is imperative to have a clerk which both understands budgets and is fiscally responsible.
The Clerk must possess excellent administrative ability as the Clerk is responsible for receipts of and payment of all support monies for dependants. The Clerk files and maintains birth records, administers oaths to appointed officials, and maintains public records and laws. The administrative duties are too long to list without boring the reader to tears.
Although, I take little exception to the current Clerk’s ability to administer the basic office duties, an extremely important aspect of this office is woefully lacking. Election duties…
The Clerk plays an important role in our election process.
The Clerk serves as ex officio and secretary of the County Election Board. The Clerk appoints other members to the County Election Board and receives filings of candidates seeking a public office. The Clerk is responsible for issuing certificates to the local candidates.
Current County Clerk, Steven Craycraft, has indicated his office has saved $8,000 when the office stopped outsourcing and returned the function back to in-house operations. (I believe he was referring to scanning of documents.)
However, as a Member of the Election Board which voted to send a misdemeanor violation to the prosecutors’ office more than likely offset any real savings. We all know the outcome of that case and how the Election Board blatantly used their power for selective political prosecution.
Lest anyone should believe this is just an isolated case, please allow me to spend time on describing how our Election Board and County Clerk have disregarded the very laws which were designed to instill confidence and protect our voting system.
In 2007, Mr. Craycraft and Mrs. Wenger agreed and initialed AVBs they both considered should be voided. Yet at the election board meeting, Mr. Craycraft did not show. An account of this incident was recorded on Larry Riley’s blog.
Wenger and Craycraft both initialed several absentee ballots that they agreed should be voided. Some of those ballots were ones mentioned above that the board eventually approved counting.
Craycraft’s convenient absence meant he couldn’t confirm Wenger’s explanation for voiding the ballots, which led the board to count them. blog 11-17-07
Another incident involving Commissioner John H. Brooke. Election Board meeting video.
The Election Board Has Lost Its Way by John H. Brooke“ The Delaware County Election Board under the leadership of Phil Nichols and Steve Craycraft has lost sight of its mission and purpose. The mission of any election board is to help conduct elections so that voters are confident the entire process is fair and honest. Delaware County’s Election Board has decided that its real purpose is to serve as a weapon to beat down political opponents under the guise of “protecting the election process.” Muncie Star Press Letter to Editor 2-8-09
Continuing on in the same spirit, we arrive at the most obvious and blatant disrespect and disregard for the legal and proper use of the Election Board. Do we need a refresher on how a citizen was prosecuted based upon his political views? I think we do.
Election board has no credibility
” It’s obvious, especially after Thursday’s vote to dismiss the complaint, that the election board, which has a sacred public duty to ensure elections are free from fraud, is not capable of performing this function as it is now constituted.” Muncie Star Press Editorial 2-6-09
Next stop, 2010 Primary.
Can any citizen forget the influx of candidates on the Republican ticket affectionately dubbed “Ghost Candidates”? My favorite was Luke Jones, candidate for Center Township Trustee. Mr. Jones filed the same day he registered to vote. Mr. Jones never made public appearances, including the election board meeting to determine if his application was valid. The election board cited another similar case in Marion County as their basis to let the application stand.
The only similarity between the two cases entailed, both candidates lived in Indiana. The Marion County case dealt with the Voter’s Registration office being remiss causing a late filing of the application. Of course, we never knew too much about this particular case and neither did the Delaware County election board members. Yet the election board with limited knowledge of the Marion case cited that as a basis for the decision to circumvent or interpret State Election Laws according to their political agenda.
There is more to the 2010 primary filings.
None of the candidates which filed had ever voted in a primary, never made any public appearances, never contacted the Republican headquarters and all the applications appeared to be the same handwriting.
Yet despite the obvious, the Delaware County Clerk failed to follow through on the questionable candidates.
We hope these are genuine candidates who really want to hold office. If it turns out, however, that they are ringers with Democratic backing, then shame on officials for making a sham out of the bedrock of American democracy — elections.
What happens in the voting booth can set the stage for years on taxes, ordinances, reassessments and a host of other issues.
Should any of these candidates prove to be ringers, that should be taken as an indication the party backing them considers voters stupid, unable to tell the difference between real and fake candidates.
Star Press 2-28-10
As a parting reminder of how the election board governs, please remember the aggressive prosecution of a missing disclaimer initiated by the Delaware County Election Board.
And the absence of such prosecution when committed by the prosecutor.
Something extraordinary happened today for Delaware County. Justice was served on a golden platter.
As some of you know, Chris Hiatt of Citizens of Delaware County for Property Tax Repeal was indicted in April of ’09 on changes of election violation. (This blog has a few posts covering this topic in more detail.) Today, Special Judge Jay Toney dismissed the charges. Let’s do a quick background on how this all came about.
In November ’08 CDCPTR took out an ad in the local newspaper, The Star Press. The ad endorsed candidates from both parties which were believed to be citizen and taxpayer friendly based upon their platform and campaigns.
Within weeks of this ad, another group, ECIBT (East Central Indiana Building Trades) took offense and filed a complaint with the election board. Their chief complaint was the ad had no disclaimer. One would consider this a possible violation, of sorts, except for one little pesky detail. ECIBT did the same. They endorsed all Democrats, had no disclaimer and in fact they had no address.
After weeks of delay, the election board finally decided to serve papers notifying Mr. Hiatt he was summoned to appear before the election board. What happened at the hearing was just a lot of legalities and twisting and turning of Indiana State law until it became apparent to most, there was some hanky panky going on with the current election board.
In turn, a complaint was filed against ECIBT for the exact same violation. Lo and behold, the Delaware County Clerk recused himself, since he was trying to avoid the conflict of interest “thingy”. Of course, he sat on the board during Hiatt’s hearing. I am having a hard time understanding the definition of “conflict of interest” as it was presented by Mr. Craycraft.
The Delaware County prosecutor, Mr. Mark McKinney convened a grand jury and sure enough, but no surprise, Hiatt was indicted.
Some of you may be wondering what happened to the complaint against ECBIT for the exact same violation. One word. NOTHING.
Today however marks a milestone in Delaware County. Justice was served and served properly. Of course, we had to leave the county and get a special judge. Nonetheless, it is a good day.
Just for fun, I pulled together some quotes from the local newspapers on this dark time in our county’s history.
Judge Throws Hiatt’s Case Out
“In granting the motion to dismiss, the judge said the law as described to grand jurors by McKinney was the “exact opposite” of what actually exists.” Star Press 4-21-10
Attorney: McKinney Misled Grand Jury
“Two days before his client is set to stand trial, the attorney for a local government critic on Tuesday fired back at Mark McKinney, accusing the beleaguered Delaware County prosecutor of “deliberately and intentionally misleading (a grand jury) about the law.” Star Press 4-21-10
Criminal Acts and Selective Prosecution
“Politically based selective prosecution is wrong.” Larry Riley Star Press 4-21-10
Election board has no credibility
” It’s obvious, especially after Thursday’s vote to dismiss the complaint, that the election board, which has a sacred public duty to ensure elections are free from fraud, is not capable of performing this function as it is now constituted.” Muncie Star Press Editorial 2-6-09
The Election Board Has Lost Its Way by John H. Brooke“The Delaware County Election Board under the leadership of Phil Nichols and Steve Craycraft has lost sight of its mission and purpose. The mission of any election board is to help conduct elections so that voters are confident the entire process is fair and honest. Delaware County’s Election Board has decided that its real purpose is to serve as a weapon to beat down political opponents under the guise of “protecting the election process.” Muncie Star Press Letter to Editor 2-8-09
Another Menace Nabbed
“What was his great crime against humanity? He placed a newspaper ad endorsing candidates for the 2008 election. The ad listed the CDCPTR as the source of the endorsements and featured the group’s logo, but did not — get this recklessly dangerous practice — “have a formal disclaimer.” The man had the gall to exercise his First Amendment Rights — throw the bum in jail. While the clown princes of the political world and the punditocracy mull whether nude dancing should be “protected free speech,” this is the kind of crap that goes on almost without protest.” The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Indiana 4-21-09
Election Board Members:
On Monday, March 1, 2010, I was contacted by phone by Steve Craycraft, Delaware County Clerk, and informed that Will Statom of Voter’s Registration filed a challenge (based on an address discrepancy) against my application for candidacy (District 3, County Council). A meeting was scheduled by the Election Board to address this issue for 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 3, in the Clerk’s Office. The following information is presented, and I ask that it be read and/or included into the record of today’s proceedings.
The previous week, on Wednesday, February 24, 2010, I was contacted by Shareen Wagley, Republican Vice-Chairman, to advise me that my candidacy for a seat on the County Council, District 3, was withdrawn due to an address mismatch, a discrepancy discovered by Voter’s Registration. At that time, it was already too late for me to “formally” withdraw from the campaign (deadline of 12 noon on February 22), but I understood that I was no longer a candidate. In other words, to my knowledge there was no issue and nothing else needed be done by me, and as I am given to understand by Mr. Craycraft, this Election Board meeting is merely a formality.
In 2008 I moved to my now current address in the south end of Muncie, a move which allowed me to remain in the Precinct 22 area. In the fall of that same year, my Mother (who lived on the north edge of Muncie) was deemed terminally ill and required my presence as a full-time caregiver. Even though I was with her constantly at her home, I continued to maintain (including payment of utilities) the south side residence where all my belongings remained with the exception of a few items of clothing. From time to time, when my own “free” time and health situation would allow, I would spend the night at my south side residence. In fact, I rested there for several days following surgery in mid-December 2009. Until this very day, I have remained a resident of that south side property.
However, because it was becoming more difficult to leave my Mother for a length of time (to travel across town to retrieve my mail), sometime late last summer I placed a temporary change of address with the U.S. Post Office, asking that my mail be delivered to my Mother’s residence. Again, the request for change was marked “temporary.”
Then in November 2009 I renewed my driver’s license. I was told by the BMV clerk that I needed to reflect the address where I was living and receiving mail currently (temporary or not), so I changed my license address to reflect that of my Mother’s residence, and I agreed to an update of my Voter’s Registration.
I thought no more about it in the period that followed—Thanksgiving, Christmas—culminating with the death of my Mother at the very end of December. After boxing up and moving her belongings, I returned full-time to my south side residence, and around mid-January placed a change of address with the Post Office to receive mail here once again. In the mental fuzziness that surrounds one after the loss of a loved one, I never once thought about changing my driver’s license to again reflect my south side address—an action which evidently would have carried the key to ‘unlock’ the door to District 3 candidacy.
And then I filed as a candidate for District 3, County Council on February 19.
Understanding the nature of politics, and as a student of politics in this town, it’s possible that some will try to make much more of this than is true or even necessary. But, the bottom line is this…my Precinct 22 residence did not change, in spite of temporary mailing and driver’s license addresses. However, I do not believe there needs to be any question in potential voters’ minds of anything untoward in the campaign of a Republican candidate in a heavily Democrat district. Therefore, I will not challenge this issue.
While I believe my personal situation was unique, I do caution citizens and hopeful candidates alike to remain ever mindful of keeping up to date all address/voter registration information.
Carol A. Bouslog
Two people were removed from tha ballot today at the election board hearing. Democrat Justin Mitchell was removed as the candidate for assessor. He does not have the required certification by the State to be eligible.
Republican candidate, Carol Bouslog had some issue with the residency.
We shall see where this election takes us. Hopefully, within the next four weeks, there will be some information on the history of elections in Delaware County.
Delaware County Election Board; Jim Mansfield; ECIBT Vs, CDCPTR; CDCPTR Vs. ECIBT; Citizens of Delaware County Vs. The Old Way Of Conducting Government Business.
Whew! It sure gets complicated. All this over just a simple ad. One complaint against a citizen group and we may see a series of very real election violations surface.
I mean, we have group which filed a complaint with the election board over a lack of disclaimer in an ad. Then we find out the same group who filed the complaint didn’t have a disclaimer in their ad, has no address, no phone number, no website and their ad was paid for by an entity other than the group printed on the ad. To boot, the group is not even registered as anything in the State of Indiana.
If any of you reading this blog have been following the election board’s recent decision and are shaking your head in amazement, this column will make your head explode (as my dear friend always says). Little confused on the legal name of ECIBT, so please forgive me if I left a letter or two out.
I certainly hate to be so negative about Delaware County, believe it to be a wonderful place with wonderful people. Yet, until we get rid of the corruption this county will never be able to move forward. We need and we want to move forward. There is never a better time than now, folks!
The Election Board is out of control:
On Friday, April 17, the political persecution of citizens willing to stand up and speak out against their government moved from the kangaroo court of the Delaware County Election Board to the embattled offices of the Delaware County prosecutor. Most recently, officers of the Citizens of Delaware County for Property Tax Repeal Inc. (CDCPTR) were summoned to testify before a grand jury, which resulted in an indictment against President Chris Hiatt.
Remember that for the first two months of this year over the course of four hearings, the Delaware County Election Board publicly berated the CDCPTR for placing an advertisement in The Star Press endorsing candidates running for various offices in the 2008 general elections. The complaint against the CDCPTR was levied by Joe Evans, president of the United East Central Building and Construction Trades Council and Carpenters Local 1016. In response, the CDCPTR filed its own reciprocal complaint, alleging that the Trades Council had published an advertisement of their own that mirrored the issues involved in the allegations brought by Evans.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, certain members of the election board — Phil Nichols, Steve Craycraft and Mike White — were predisposed in their narrow-minded objectives, virtually ignoring the complaint against the labor council while deciding to pursue criminal charges against the CDCPTR. Craycraft, in particular, demonstrated his agenda by sitting as a presiding officer and casting the deciding vote against the CDCPTR and then turning around and recusing himself from the complaint against the trades council because of his direct association with the solidarity cause. Imagine that.
Subsequently, Prosecutor Mark McKinney apparently took up the charge of trying to quash the citizens that would speak out against public officials and denying them their right to free speech and expression. We find that extremely disturbing on several fronts.
The use of political offices and appointments to conduct tribunals against the citizenry is not only a waste of time, public resources and an abuse of power, it’s simply absurd. And while certain political offices appear beyond the reach of the average citizen, make no bones about it, those officials can be tried in the court of public opinion, and the jury can cast their final and un-appealable verdict via the polls.
We find it more than hypocritical that McKinney, who touts that his many issues are a result of a political vendetta, is now allowing his office to be used as an inquisition orchestrated by Phil Nichols and his henchmen. Serious issues of alleged voter fraud have languished mysteriously in the shadows for well over a year, yet McKinney feels compelled to expeditiously seek a misdemeanor indictment against the voters and taxpayers that butter his bread and are merely exercising their rights.