Tom Barrow (center with son in front) and supporters after Appeals Court hearing Nov. 2

I am convinced that they tampered with the election and that we beat Dave Bing which is why they had to do what they did.”–BARROW 

By Diane Bukowski

Breaking news: The Detroit News reported Nov. 22 that Mayor Dave Bing’s “Winter Magic” fund-raiser set for Dec. 7 (see Opinions page for text of fundraiser demands) is meant to pay off $80,000 in legal bills incurred by Barrow’s suit.

“We have a lot of legal bills, and the mayor wants them paid off — and not by taxpayers,” the News quoted Catherine Govan, finance director of the Committee to Elect Dave Bing Mayor. “That is all this is about — paying off legal bills.”

The News said further, “Govan said the bills were incurred by legal challenges mounted by Barrow in six weeks of recounts of the election, up to a recent 13-page opinion from the Michigan Court of Appeals that found no irregularities.”

 Winter Magic with Mayor Dave Bing
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Cobo Hall, Detroit
VIP Reception: 5 p.m.
Strolling Dinner: 6 p.m.
 Further details at: Winter Magic with Mayor Dave Bing

DETROIT – Not unexpectedly, a Michigan Court of Appeals (COA) panel ruled Nov. 9 against former mayoral candidate Tom Barrow’s challenge to Mayor Dave Bing’s right to hold office. (See link to COA opinion at bottom of article.)

Barrow has said he is considering an appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Barrow had requested a new election after a recount by the Wayne County Board of Canvassers found that 100 percent of the absentee ballots cast in Nov. 2009, along with several thousand others, were unrecountable due to breaches of ballot box seals and other irregularities. The total ballots in question amounted to 54 percent of the vote.

“Plaintiff alleged that 59,135 ballots were found to be ‘tainted and or deemed not recountable,’ but did not state how or why,” the COA panel ruled. “Plaintiff expressed his belief that ‘an additional unknown number of the countable ballots have likely been tampered with and manipulated,’ but again failed to state how or when . . .  . Plaintiff alleged that, given the number of unrecountable ballots, there was no certainty concerning the outcome.

“We conclude that the trial court correctly held that plaintiff failed to allege specific facts warranting further inquiry by quo warranto and properly denied plaintiff’s petition. . . . the irregularities plaintiff alleges do not tend to show that any unrecountable ballots were not valid as originally cast or that Mayor Bing usurped the office of mayor.”

The panel was comprised of Appeals Court Judges Deborah A. Servitto, Brian K. Zahra, and Pat M. Donofrio. 

Judge Brian Zahra, a member of the Dearborn Hts. Kiwanis, as well as the Federalists, speaks to Kiwanitalk host Gary Gar

Judge Brian Zahra, a member of the Dearborn Hts. Kiwanis, as well as the Federalists, speaks to Kiwanitalk host Gary Gardner

Servitto and Donofrio are originally from the Macomb County Circuit Court system. Servitto was appointed to the appeals bench by Governor Jennifer Granholm, while Donofrio was appointed to the Circuit bench by Governor John Engler then to the appeals bench by Granholm.

Zahra, from the Wayne County Circuit Court, clerked for U.S. District Judge Lawrence Zatkoff, who overturned the second-degree murder conviction of former Detroit police officer Larry Nevers in the beating death of Detroiter Malice Green in 1992. Engler appointed Zahra to the appeals bench. Zahra is also a member of the ultraconservative Federalist Society.

Judge Pat D’Onofrio participates in “Dancing with the Judges Event”

The judges  heard arguments from attorneys representing Barrow, the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, the City of Detroit, and Mayor Dave Bing on this year’s Election Day, Nov. 2,  as a room packed with Barrow’s supporters listened.

Barrow said after the decision that since his attorneys were only filing an application for leave to appeal based on “quo warranto” law (alleging that a public officer has usurped his position by whatever means), they did not specify how the ballots were manipulated. He said that although they have those facts, they were reserving them for the actual complaint.

I am convinced that they tampered with the election and that we beat Dave Bing which is why they had to do what they did,” Barrow told a supporter in an email. 

“I am considering (even though I know it is a long shot) going to the Michigan Supreme Court as the case law they used was from the 1800’s and early 1900’s.  Because the case law has never been revisited, it may be of interest to the Supreme Court to revisit it now.  It is just not in me to readily ‘give up’ when I know a crime has been committed and the crooks are getting away with it.  The crooks know we know and they know we know how they did what they did and that we KNOW how to bust them in the future.”

Barrow said his attorneys are also considering the possibility of refiling his application, including the actual facts related to the how’s and why’s of the ballot tampering.

 “The facts are clear, the election was manipulated and rigged by one person by hacking the computer and then simply popping and breaching the seals on the cases which then prevents their recount and thus requires the manipulated computer count to stand under Michigan law,” Barrow said.

His attorneys contended that the law allows an election to be overturned if “there is so much uncertainty that the vote cannot stand.”

Bing kicks off Angel’s Night Oct. 30 after DTE and city caused numerous Detroit homes to burn to the ground Sept. 7 and afterwards

During the hearing, attorneys for Bing, the county and the city argued essentially that Barrow had not presented specific facts demonstrating fraud. They also said that according to election law, election results stand no matter what the outcome of a recount.

Barrow has had broad support from most city unions, along with numerous community groups and individuals, during his campaign to overturn the election. His supporters have cited Bing’s imposition of “draconian” contract concessions, his plans to “down-size” the city’s population and services, the privatization of the Public Lighting Department by contracting to purchase 100 percent of the city’s power from DTE, and his service on a “business leadership” group meant to pave the way for privatization and/or regionalization of the city’s Water Department, among other issues.

Full text of COA opinion on Barrow appeal: COA ruling on Barrow election appeal 11 9 2010.

Related article at Voter fraud in Detroit DB MC.

Related article at Barrow to challenge Detroit mayoral recount


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