Newspaper makes a mockery of electoral process by printing candidate’s ridiculous questionnaire

Libertarian candidate James Weeks.

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James Weeks is a Tyrone Township resident who’s running as a Libertarian for the Livingston County Board of Commissioners in District 7. He’s trying to unseat Republican incumbent Carol Griffith.

He’s a harmless wacko who has been in the news before, particularly in 2016, when he was banned by the Libertarian Party for performing a strip tease at its national convention. He also made news in 2014, when he organized a rally in Brighton in support of a teenager who was ticketed for cursing in public.

He’s apparently been on the ballot in Livingston County before, running as the Libertarian candidate for sheriff and U.S. representative. I don’t believe I’ve ever met him, but he seems like an entertaining oddball, and there’s nothing illegal in America about being an entertaining oddball. Some might even say we need a few more of them.

What you DON’T do, though, is treat these wackos like they’re serious candidates, which is exactly what the Livingston Daily Press & Argus did this week. And in doing so, the newspaper totally disrespected the electoral process.

As it does every election cycle, the Press & Argus sent out questionnaires to all the candidates, asking for their opinions on a variety of topics. James Weeks filled his questionnaire out and sent it back in, and when the editors (or whoever is left there) received it, they should have had a good laugh, and then threw it in the garbage can.

Instead, they printed it. They printed his obviously ridiculous answers right alongside the very serious and well-thought-out responses that Carol Griffith provided. Here’s a sample:

Q: What are your top three priorities if elected?

CAROL S. GRIFFITH, REPUBLICAN: The Livingston County Board of Commissioners has a history of fiscal responsibility. Policy has been instituted to reduce long term expenditures, operational/organizational restructuring and collaboration to live within our financial means and economic challenges.  A balanced budget, public safety and essential services without endorsing tax increases remains top priority.

JAMES WEEKS, LIBERTARIAN: There is only one – to bring strip clubs to Livingston County.  

Q: What more needs to be done to improve the county’s roads? 

GRIFFITH: County government is a complex, interrelated system of constitutionally, statutorily, contractually and service-oriented activities, programs and services.  Some levels of activities may be the discretion of the Board of Commissioners, the obligation to provide services may not.  State imposed mandates is one the County’s biggest challenges.  The State may impose additional mandates without funding to support efforts. Therefore, local government needs to be mindful and plan for mandates imposed on our County.  Roads need to be addressed at the State level with a realistic strategic plan without more tax increases. 

WEEKS: They need to lead to strip clubs that are located in the county. I support no taxes as taxation is theft. The state should not invest money they have taken through taxation and should return all funds to those it extracted the funds from, as Friedrich Nietzsche said, “everything the state says is a lie, and everything it has is stolen.” This will free up more money for the citizens of Livingston County to be spent at the brand new strip clubs.

All of his other answers related to how we need more strip clubs in Livingston County.

Hilarious, right? Yes. BUT YOU DON’T PRINT IT IN THE PAPER!

The Press & Argus disrespected the process and certainly disrespected Carol Griffith by putting this joker’s responses right alongside hers. We all can use a good laugh, but this was not the time or the place.

I was an editor at that paper for 26 years, and I can’t ever remember getting a candidate questionnaire like that. If I had, I would have laughed my butt off, and then thrown it away. Every candidate has a right to be heard, but if they aren’t taking it seriously as a candidate, you shouldn’t take it seriously as an editor.

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Longtime Livingston County journalist Buddy Moorehouse is director of communications at the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.

29 Comments

  1. So, what is the current number of strip clubs in the county? How many can be sustained, I see a huge potential for a strip club tourist industry to spawn, and as a result may increase local population to help provide other services the the area. I really think Weeks is on to something here.

  2. You know what makes a mockery of the electorial process? Thinking your opinion of a Candidate’s answers on a questionnaire trumps the public’s right to hear from all the candidates on their ballot. You are a prime example of why people don’t trust the media.

  3. So now the elite say what the great unwashed can here? You get to tell Mr. Weeks what his campaign is or what he wishes to do? I am not worried about potentially trolling or “unserious” answers getting posted. I am deadly concerned about a journalist arguing that they get to censor candidates and thereby exercise control over the ballot.

    And taxation is theft. I have no opinion on whether or not the quality or quantity of strip clubs in that location is sufficient to meet demand.

  4. We need to get back to the important issues, like pretending we live in a democracy, and keeping people just informed enough to vote for the people who control them, without becoming so informed as to understand the negative externalities of supporting organizations which extort people at gunpoint for “the greater good”.

    Sure, the responses were flippant, but let’s not pretend that the tone makes the arguments less valid. Taking money from people for “roads and schools”, which is then mostly wasted on projects and policies which enrich so-called public servants, is a major cause of the wicked problems we face in this country.

    If programs and services were required to perform or exit the market, many of the things we do an OK job at with government would be provided at better quality at lower cost.

    Also, we could get rid of things like child concentration camps, which I’m not in favor of funding via omnibus tax revenue streams over which politicians have unfettered control.

  5. I’ve been a journalist for 40-plus years. The candidate’s thoughts are the candidate’s thoughts. Once as a police reporter, I asked a state trooper about a case and where the individual was arrested. He said “i don’t know where he was arrested.” I printed it because he repeatedly said he didn’t know even though the report he was reading from to me over the phone obviously indicated where. That’s what he said, so that’s what I reported.

  6. James Weeks is a brilliant thinker and a living legend. Taxation actually *IS* theft and using the puritan morality controls that suppress strip clubs with violence to call attention to the grossly invasive abuses of state is genius. This kind of serious look beneath the surface rare makes the pages of any newspaper much less in a conservative midwest stronghold. What a proud day for rational thinking and economic freedom in America!!

  7. Pretty easy to determine that you were not a professional editor, but a partisan hack during your time in the newspaper business Buddy.

    Guess it is best you moved on as back in the 70s we were taught to report the facts, and let the readers decide for themselves.

    Guess an informed electorate is too scary for you however.

  8. You don’t have a clue about what is or is not serious in this world.

    The theft of taxation is the number one issue facing humanity. It is by far the most serious topic anyone can address. Taxation is history’s largest property crime. Trillions of dollars are being stolen from the people of this planet. Once a crime gang, such as a state, gets a hold of trillions of dollars, they can use it to bring about other tyranny.

    262 million people lost their lives to their own states (that means not counting war) in the 20th century alone. The states killed them with gunshots to the head, gas chambers, and by starvation. The Ukraine was encircled by the military, their food stolen, and the people literally starved to death. People were eating their own babies.

    In our own country, we have more people living in jail than the Russians sent to the Gulags during this time. The vast majority of people in jail have no identifiable victime to give reason for them to be there.
    In fact, if someone where to try to start a strip club, in Livingston country; they would join the ranks of those in jail. None of this tyranny would have been or would be possible without taxation.

    Taxation is the lifeblood of the state and all mass tyranny and democide. I can’t think of anything more serious than that.

  9. I would have to side with James. It’s really hard to find an honest politician that understands true American values. Taxation Is Theft\

    • Then i goes y’all like driving on mud roads, having no social security. no medicare for your parents. no highways. no sewers. no clean water. no game to hunt (look up pittman-Robertson) no safe cars. no safe aircraft. no safe ships…no schools because there’d be no teachers because they’d not get paid…and if you do, then GIVE BACK anything you take from government, including your parents social security and medicare coverage, and all the rest of the benefits you enjoy BECAUSE you pay taxes.

      • Oh, and if you enjoy fishing and outdoors in our state, then without taxes, there’s no hunting. no fishing. No camping. No state parks. I’m suggesting you think first a bit before answering.

        • Let’s also add: No army. no Navy. No marines. No air force. No police. No fire dept. I’m sure there are others who would gladly add to this list. Again, THINK before opening mouth. You will thank yourself later.

      • Bill, not having government provide these things is kind of the point. As a group, we’d gladly not have them provided by the government and instead have them provided through voluntary exchange. Then we can choose the things we want and don’t want.

        • what i’m curious about, is how we managed to have Roads, Schools, public parks, fishing, hunting, clean water, safe cars, safe ships, police, fire departments, and an imperial army and navy that had won numerous colonial wars around the globe prior to ever having this thing called an income tax…

  10. So the guy likes strip clubs and doesn’t like government. That describes a lot of guys. I’d actually say most. Have you spent even one moment analyzing why his responses are so odd?

    Well, here’s why in a nutshell: No soap? Radio.

    Try asking questions that don’t involve ruling others and try asking questions that don’t involve spending other’s money and perhaps you’d find more valuable answers. As it stands, your 26 years in journalism is looking like 26 years wasted, since you took what could have been a good opportunity and threw it down the toilet by asking the equivalent of “How can we increase the output of coal power plants?” to Greenpeace. I find it difficult to believe a seasoned editor such as yourself can’t understand when the wrong questions are being asked, but, as they say, we can all use a good laugh.

  11. You really have no clue whatsoever what he’s really saying. He’s not joking around. He’s showing you how vulgar and absurd your whole coercive enterprise governance model is.
    It’s hilarious to see how badly you’ve missed the astute points he’s made.
    Your prim and proper “decency” response only helps to amplify his message.
    Interestingly, you ended up printing his responses as well. WINNER!

  12. Is this an editorial piece? Because it reaks of bias. He’s a candidate, report it and leave the snide remarks on your tablet.

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