By Mike Randall
When I filed this week to run for County Commissioner, I expected some push-back from a few constituents and your online keyboard tough guys who hide behind a veil of anonymity. I also expected partisan politics and conflicting views to come into play. Heck, turn on any news channel and witness the never-ending circus of federal partisan politics at its finest. Unfortunately, that same partisan sentiment has trickled down to the local county elections.
So when I was openly accused of plagiarizing my press release by Judy Daubenmier, chair of the Livingston County Democratic Party, I thought to myself, “Oh boy, here we go.”
That in itself is a pretty serious allegation and I’m not happy about it. It’s one thing to attack me on actual political issues, but it’s a whole other issue to personally attack the character of my wife and me.
So now it’s my turn.
Let me start by saying, I have always prided myself on running a clean campaign, never personally attacking my opponent, no matter who they are or their political affiliation. I make that same pledge for this election year. So with that out of the way, let’s get to it.
Judy, you accused me of plagiarism, specifically, that I used parts of my wife’s press release form 2016 in her bid for County Commissioner. That in itself is true; I did in fact use some bits and pieces of that statement. Having previously served on the Livingston County Board of Commissioners, I helped author her press release in 2016. Kinda what husbands and wives do, don’t ya think? We mostly share the same political views and ideology, so my candidacy pretty much mirrors what we both believe.
So when I drafted my press statement, I decided, why reinvent the wheel, I will use some of the same language we drafted in 2016. I guess my question to you is, since I helped write it in 2016, where exactly is the plagiarism? The answer is, there is none.
This is nothing more than an attempt to discredit my candidacy. I know what your political motivation is, but there is a fine line when making unfounded allegations. Do you really think that I’m the first candidate to receive help or assist another person in writing a press release or speech? It happens every day in all levels of government. I guess I’m just happy you didn’t accuse me of some type of Russia collusion.
So now that you have my attention, let’s talk about the issues, not your Democratic talking points.
I see that you are no stranger to sharing your opinion and taking digs at the Livingston County Board of Commissioners. That in itself is fine and somewhat expected by someone in your position. But when you write for a guest column, and say things like “Our county commission can’t manage to fix our roads, provide services to our veterans, or provide decent transportation,” it’s always wise to have a basic
understanding of county government, statutory mandates and the role that the county board plays in each of those issues.
For example, you may want to direct your concerns related to the roads to the Livingston County Road Commission, not the Livingston County Board of Commissioners. The Road Commission is the governing body charged with road funding, repairs and maintenance.
As far as issues concerning veterans and transportation, try having a reasonable conversation with your commissioners; it does not always have to be an attack. Do a little checking, you will see that as a former commissioner, I did not always agree with my colleagues. But at the end of the day, we always treated each other with respect and refrained from personal attacks. This is why the Livingston County Commissioners have been able to work together collectively and actually get things done. As a candidate I’m willing to sit across the table from anyone to resolve issues facing our County and the delivery of services.
I have spent my whole career helping people in need, many times risking my own life in the process. I know firsthand how important an efficient and well run local government is to the community. So, Judy, if I am elected to the County Commission, my door will always be open to you and anyone else that has a concern or issue with the delivery of county services.