GUEST COLUMN: Omission of word “officer” falsely portrays me as against all Democrats

In your April 29, 2021, column titled, “Mr. Nakagiri: Have You No Decency, Sir?” you make several statements regarding my unwillingness to support the appointment of Mr. Dane Morris, a Democrat, to the Livingston County Jury Board. You referred to my decision as “hyper-partisan” and said that my statement to WHMI makes me, “sound more like infamous commie-hunter Sen. Joseph McCarthy than the top elected official in Livingston County.” You also suggested that I “turn the reigns of the commission” over to someone else.

While I appreciate your point of view, your column did not include some key information that is central to this story.

Your column advances the narrative that I would never appoint a Democrat to any position in Livingston County just because they are a Democrat. This is not true as I supported one of the two Democrat candidates being considered for appointment to the Jury Board. I supported Nancy Sauvage (D), while declining to support Dane Morris (D).

Additionally, you did not inform your readers that I was not the only Commissioner who declined to support Dane Morris (D). Rather, all nine Republican Commissioners declined to support Mr. Morris. In fact, no Commissioner made a motion to approve Mr. Morris, thereby rejecting Mr. Morris’ nomination without a formal vote being taken. I even provided Mr. Morris with the courtesy of repeating my request for a motion to approve his nomination. Both requests were met with silence, thus causing Mr. Morris’ nomination to be rejected.

In your column you demand that I “do the decent thing and turn the reigns of the commission over to someone capable of running the county for all its residents and taxpayers, not just the ones who subscribe to your own radical views.” Your demand is puzzling given that all nine Commissioners were unanimous in rejecting Mr. Morris’ nomination.

A third fact you omitted is Mr. Morris is a vice-chair in the Livingston County Democrat Party. In other words, Mr. Morris is not an average citizen who happens to vote Democrat, rather, Mr. Morris is an officer in the Party that pushes policies which are not supported by a majority of citizens. In fact, a super-majority of county voters, 60-65% oppose policies supported by today’s Democrat Party.

Given his role as an officer in today’s Democrat Party, your demand that I support his nomination is as non-sensical as me demanding that Gov. Whitmer support a staunch Republican for an appointment in her administration.

The three facts above are at odds with your narrative that I am “hyper-partisan.” Giving you the benefit of the doubt, it is possible that you were not aware of these facts.

However, there is one more item that suggests it may not be appropriate to give you the benefit of the doubt. In your column’s first paragraph, you presented a parody of my statement to WHMI. In your parody you stated, “. . . it is difficult to envision a card-carrying Republican being appointed to any board or commission in Michigan.”

Later in your column, you described your parody quote this way, “The quote I made up above really isn’t much different from what Wes Nakagiri, chairperson of the Livingston County Board of Commissioners, said . . .”

I believe that many reasonable people would not agree with your assertion that your made-up quote “really isn’t much different” from what I actually stated.

Here’s the key difference. I actually said: “It is difficult to envision a card-carrying Democrat officer being appointed to any committee in our county.” I did not say, “it is difficult to envision a card-carrying Democrat being appointed to any committee in our county.”

Your omission of the word “officer” is an example of ethical shortcomings which are all too common in today’s media. Omitting the word “officer” significantly changes the meaning of what I actually said. Your omission falsely portrays my opposition as being against all Democrats, rather than a specific Democrat.

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Wes Nakagiri is chairperson of the Livingston County Board of Commissioners.


  1. Let me confirm that I am NOT an officer in the Livingston County Democratic Party. Further let me confirm that Mr. Nakagiri did not attempt to contact me to confirm his incorrect statement.

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