GUEST COLUMN: Commission candidate appears to have plagiarized press release

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Judy Daubenmier

Infrastructure needs, consolidation of services to save money – those are decent ideas.

That was my thought when I read Mike Randall’s announcement for the Republican nomination for County Commissioner for District 5.

But it turns out, it’s déjà vu all over again.

Randall’s wife, Kristen Hunter Randall, released a virtually identical statement when she ran for county commissioner in District 2 four years ago.

Thanks to the big filing cabinet in the sky, we can compare them side by side. Although the local print newspaper did not print Kristen Randall’s full statement as WHMI.com did with Mike Randall’s, there’s enough evidence to cement a solid case of plagiarism that would warrant an “F” from any high school English teacher.

Here’s what Randall 2020 wrote (or says he wrote) in his statement published Tuesday on WHMI.com:

“One of my top priorities as a County Commissioner would include evaluating our current infrastructure and ensuring that it is adequate for future development.”

And here is what Kristen Hunter Randall wrote (or says she wrote) in her statement to the Livingston Daily Press and Argus published July 7, 2016.

“Randall said one of her top priorities is ‘evaluating our current infrastructure and ensuring that is sufficient for future growth’ as the economy and development bounce back, she said.”

There’s more.

Randall 2020 went on: “One of the critical tasks of the Board of Commissioners is to ensure that the County’s infrastructure (which includes such things as the County’s court system, jail, drain system, buildings, and public-health and other services) is sufficient to keep up with current and future growth, all while operating within the County’s budget.”

Randall 2016 had remarkably similar thoughts:

“One of the critical tasks of the Board of Commissioners is to ensure that the county’s infrastructure — which includes such things as the county’s jail, court system, drain system, buildings, public health and other services — is sufficient to keep up with future growth, all while staying within the county’s budget,” she said.

Dashes rather than parentheses, but otherwise, pretty similar.

Randall 2020 moves on to government efficiency:

“Another top priority while in office would be exploring the possible consolidation of various governmental services at both the county and local levels to provide better quality services at a lower cost.

“In the past, Livingston County has benefited from the consolidation or centralization of certain governmental services, such as with respect to EMS and 9-1-1 dispatch services. For some time now, Livingston County has provided EMS and 9-1- 1 dispatch services at a county-wide level based upon a county-wide millage for such services.

“This has eliminated the need for each local unit of government within the County to provide its own EMS or 9-1-1 dispatch services (whether through public or private contract), and has enabled them to pool their resources, resulting in better quality EMS and 9-1-1 dispatch services at a lower cost.”

And, like one spouse finishing a sentence started by the other, so did Randall 2016:

“She said she would also explore possibly consolidating some governmental services ‘to provide better quality services at a lower cost.’

“’In the past, Livingston County has benefited from the consolidation or centralization of certain governmental services, such as with respect to EMS and 911 dispatch services,’ Randall said.
“’This has eliminated the need for each local unit of government within the county to provide its own EMS or 911 dispatch service, whether through public or private contract, and has enabled them to pool their resources, resulting in better quality EMS and 911 dispatch services at a lower cost,’ she said.“ She said she would look into whether other services, ‘such as law enforcement or planning,’ could be consolidated.

“’It would be important to make sure that, with any consolidation, staffing levels are not further reduced but are actually brought back up to where they need to be,’ she said.”

Randall 2020 was getting to the bottom of the second page of his press release so he apparently didn’t have room for any more cut and paste.

As the county commission thinks about whether to put Mike Randall (or is it Kristin Hunter Randall?) onto the commission, they might want to investigate which Randall really is applying and who is speaking for whom.

We should insist on old fashioned values like honesty, trust, and authenticity in our public servants. They are missing in Mike Randall.

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About Judy Daubenmier 12 Articles
Judy Daubenmier, a resident of Genoa Township, is chair of the Livingston County Democratic Party.

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