This article is one of a series of editorial articles that express personal opinions and views. They are written with no pretensions to be error free. I will gladly correct substantial errors of fact. My opinions can change, depending upon my awareness of changes in factual information. It is my intent to remain focussed on specific public issues, regarding the personalities involved. For all I know, all the characters are saints, concerning their private lives and other public business...
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Please read the following paid public notice advertisement published in the 10/28/04 edition of Manistique's Pioneer Tribune newspaper. Keep in mind that newspaper management must juggle its interests between money, topics and truth, and what prevails, in the long term, reflects the basic philosophy of the newspaper management, its advertisers, and its subscribers.
TO THE VOTERS OF DISTRICT 4, Mr. Erickson stated that he was endorsed by people working for UPCAP, CUPPAD and the State Association of County Commissioners, which is not true. I contacted all three agencies and their policy is NOT to endorse any candidate for county commissioner, as they work for the present commissioners and any future commissioners. Lindsley Frenette Paid advertisementWithin the limits of my knowledge, regarding historical Schoolcraft County public government business, I have every reason to believe that Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners Chairman, Lindsley Frenette's published statement, quoted above, is untrue. To the best of my knowledge, Commissioner Erickson never stated, or implied, that "...he was endorsed by people working for UPCAP, CUPPAD and the State Association of County Commissioners."
I have no reason to believe that Schoolcraft County Board Chairman Frenette can produce a tape recording of, or a written statement of, any public claim by Commissioner Erickson to any endorsement by any of the organizations referred to by Chairman Frenette. Having witnessed a substantial part of Frenette's and Erickson's public political history, I am willing to risk a great deal of legal misery by stating, in print, here and now, that, to the best of my knowledge, the published notice above is nothing more than vindictive lies, attributed to Frenette, and published by the Pioneer Tribune.
The necessity to risk my health and well being, in a legal hassle, is due to the timing of Frenette's ad that limits Commissioner Erickson's options to mount an effective denial, before the November 2 election, some 5 days hence. From my perspective, Commissioner Erickson needs as much help as possible to deal with the potential voter alienation that is likely to result from apparent malicious lies, created, from my perspective, for the sole purpose of destroying Commissioner Erickson's chances for re-election.
Lindsley Frenette's unsubstantiated claims are similar in style to the cowardly unsubstantiated accusations of David McNeil, used to initiate a failed recall attempt against Commissioner Erickson. The significant differences being, the source of the current unsubstantiated published accusations is now the Chairman of the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners, and the Pioneer Tribune was paid to publish them.
The published "advertisement", attributed to Schoolcraft County Board Chairman Frenette, has its power to destroy due to the necessity, in everyday life, for Commissioner Erickson, and anyone else damaged by apparent lies, to "prove" that the basis for the apparent lies does not exist. Having to prove one's innocence of false and unsubstantiated allegations, made through the press, is a very basic manifestation of a totalitarian philosophy that, in theory, should be alien to the U.S.A., but is, apparently, alive and well in Schoolcraft County.
Frenette's apparent lies are a political variation of that great one line conundrum of logic, "Do you still beat your wife?"
Out of court, and disregarding the option of guns and knives, a blanket denial, and a request for substantiation, is all that is available as a civilized "defense" against an unsubstantiated accusation, whether the accusation is in the form of an unsubstantiated declaration of fact, or implied in an unwarranted accusatory question. Regardless of what "defense" Commissioner Erickson chooses, the degree of damage from false and unsubstantiated accusations can never be fully determined, or undone. Beyond generic denial, there is no real defense, during or after the fact, because there is no substance to defend against.
To reduce the likelihood of similar future assaults with specious claims and arguments, there is little choice but to attack the source, or roll over and die. To ignore destructive lies is to ask for more.
It is part of human nature to justify uncivilized means to an end; a likely consequence of millions of years of evolution that cannot be undone by a few centuries of civilization, unless an individual makes a conscious effort to do so. From my perspective, Chairman Frenette has chosen to be uncivilized, which, in the same context, elsewhere in the world, might warrant the response of a bullet in the head.
Regardless of what is done to resolve the unwarranted and unjustified attack upon a Commissioner in one district by a Chairman of the Board from another, the damage cannot be undone before the election, even if the will exists to do so.
In civilized disputes, to be settled by facts, logic and reason, the burden of proof is always on the person asserting something. Shifting the burden of proof, a special case of "Argumentum ad Ignorantiam", an argument from ignorance, is the logical fallacy of putting the burden of proof on the person who denies or questions the assertion. The source of the fallacy is the assumption that something is true unless proven otherwise.
"Argumentum ad Ignorantiam" is a common tool of Schoolcraft County's political "finest", and its use has been sanctioned by all local media, by default silence, since Leanne Trebilcock sold the Pioneer Tribune newspaper. The silent media has provided ignorant deceivers and cowards power, derived from a typical ignorant listener's choice to attribute the truth of a statement to the listeners perception of the integrity of the statement's source, rather than the integrity of the statement's content and context.
The argument from authority, coupled with the argument from ignorance, is a disease that has corrupted Schoolcraft County to its core, primarily because those with the responsibility to keep the disease in check let it spread, uncontested.
If you read the only public statement that I am aware of, quoted below, that may be remotely connected to Chairman Frenette's apparent lies, you might notice that no one endorses Commissioner Erickson, and there is no statement by Commissioner Erickson that any of the quotes are endorsements of him, or his political goals.
If you read the only public statement that I am aware of, you will find no reference to a "State Association of County Commissioners"
If you read the only public statement that I am aware of, you will read quoted complements from employees of UPCAP and CUPPAD that grant recognition of Commissioner Erickson's professional competence, and are NOT endorsements of any political candidate running for office.
Regarding the quoted public notice, above, if it is the work of Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners Chairman, Lindsley Frenette, then, as far as I am concerned, it reinforces a substantiated conclusion I reached, years ago, that Schoolcraft County Board Chairman Frenette is lame in the head, and, consequentially, is a danger to the current and future welfare of Schoolcraft County.
Regarding the quoted public notice, above, the context in which it was published is a betrayal of what little confidence I had in the tenuous objectivity of the Pioneer Tribune's interest in local government.
The paid political advertisement, quoted below, was published in the 10/25/04 edition of The Advisor, and is the only public "statement", that I am aware of, that might be remotely associated with Schoolcraft County Board Chairman Frenette's claims, quoted above.
Voters need to know about their candidate's ability to work with other governmental agencies. This ability is essential if our community is to stay in touch with the fast-paced changes in our governing bodies. Here are just a few quotes form individuals from other areas on their experiences in dealing with incumbent County Commissioner, Doug Erickson: "Commissioner Erickson is a professional that is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in. He is a true professional and his goals are headed in the right direction." - Regina Keskes, Grant Analyst, Michigan Association of Counties Service Corporation. "As a member of the UPCAP Board of Directors, Mr. Erickson has been supportive, reliable, and professional. It has been a pleasure working with Mr. Erickson." -Jonathan Mead, UPCAP Director. "Doug - You and I have served together for a year now as Chairman and Vice-Chairman, respectively, of the Michigan Association of Counties Transportation Committee. You are always at our monthly meetings and are always ready to take, up and complete any task that the Chair asks you to do. It's always a pleasure to work with you and I think that we've made a difference in focusing on Michigan's transportation problems. I wish you great success in your re-election campaign! Sincerely," - Bob Rinck, Chairman, Michigan Association of Counties Transportation Committee. "The voters of Schoolcraft County have a unique opportunity to cast their write-in ballot for Doug "Hawk" Erickson. I have worked with Hawk and find him to be an outstanding worker in local politics. Hawk is the right man for the job and his talent and services should be retained. Sincerely," - Joseph VanLandschoot, Alger County Commissioner, Past Chairman for three years, Vice-Chair of Pathways, Chairman of LMAS, Vice-Chair Judicial Council, Alger Max Prison Liaison Committee. "Mr Erickson has been a board member of the CUPPAD Commission for over two years. During his time on the board, Mr. Erickson has regularly attended our monthly meetings, actively participated in our board discussions on project initiatives and policies, and continues to be a valued member of the CUPPAD Commission representing Schoolcraft County." - Dave Gillis, CUPPAD Executive Director. "I have had the opportunity to work with Mr. Erickson on several state and local issues. I find Hawk to be a professional that works hard in the best interest of Schoolcraft County. I own property in Schoolcraft County and had a problem, and Mr. Erickson helped to resolve this matter. If Mr. Erickson is not re-elected this would be a great loss for Schoolcraft County. So please help me to support Doug "Hawk" Erickson as your county commissioner." - Gerald W. Derks, Jr., Newaygo County Board Chairman. "From my experience, Hawk tirelessly devotes himself to the county's well-being with the utmost integrity." - Thomas Hickson, Jr., Director of Legislative Affairs, Michigan Association of Counties. Please vote for the only candidate with proven experience in dealing with today's tough financial conditions. With sources of funding becoming less and less available, it is imperative that we use every bit of knowledge we have available to make sure Schoolcraft County survives and thrives. Cast your vote for, Doug Erickson, Schoolcraft County Commissioner, District Four. Paid Political AdvertisementSo, what is it that appears to be the root of my discontent?
Dementia? Lies? Lamers? Alienation? ...?
What appears to be the root of Chairman Frenette's discontent?
Dementia? Jealousy? Incompetence? Lunacy? Tangled strings? ...?
What to do?
Vote for candidates that would run Schoolcraft County in a similar fashion to a business in which you, and all your relatives and neighbors are stockholders, for life. Vote for competent administrators, not special interest puppets.
In the 11/01/04 edition of The Advisor advertiser, I found this political ad, authored by Lindsley Frenette, Chairman of the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners, from District 1, bashing fellow Commissioner Erickson of District 4. It is, basically, the same nonsensical ad, quoted at the beginning of this article, that Chairman Frenette had published in the 10/28/04 edition of the Pioneer Tribune newspaper.
The significant difference between the two ads is that Chairman Frenette's lie, concerning a non-existent statement by Commissioner Erickson, was changed to a less malicious lie that Commissioner Erickson's ad implied endorsements for his re-election.
Not willing to accept a lesser lie from Chairman Frenette, in the context of his libelous allegations, I suggest that he note the significant difference between "implied" and "inferred". Commissioner Erickson implied no endorsements. The reader may infer whatever he wishes.
I have no reason to believe that this brief vocabulary and logic lesson will have the slightest effect on Chairman Frenette. From what I have witnessed, for years, he has danced to others' tunes with little understanding of what he is doing. This is scary stuff, when you think that Chairman Frenette is the official "top dog" in Schoolcraft County, responsible for far more than his failure to "get right" his vindictive political advertisement, aimed at Commissioner Erickson.
TO THE VOTERS OF COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 4 SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT. One of Commissioner Erickson's ads last weak contained statements from people who work for UPCAP, CUPPAD and the State Association of County Commissioners. The ad implied that these statements were endorsements for his re-election. I contacted all three agencies and was informed that they policy do not endorse any candidate for commissioner as they work for present and any future local officials. Llndsley Frenette Paid Political Advertisement