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.