Sunday, August 24, 2008

Republicans Replace Democrat Suarez with Far Right Winger and McCain Vice Chair, Glenn Clark

In an outrageous move, the Republicans on the Oakland County Commission replaced Democrat, George Suarez, who recently passed away, with far right wingnut, Glenn Clark, from the Tom McMillin wing of the Oakland County Republican Party. The Democrats were honoring Suarez with a black drape over his chair and the Republicans use the opportunity to make the shameful move of appointing Clark to the commission to replace Suarez until January, when the person elected to the seat formerly by Suarez will take over.

Democrats, let's use this outrageous move the the Republicans as motivation to make sure we do even more than we would have before, knock 100 more doors on behalf of a Democrat, make 100 more phone calls. If you haven't volunteered, do it now. Not one Republican deserves to be in office on the county commission. Not ONE!

If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.

Dem chair: GOP commission appointment 'outrageous'

By Steve Kowalski • ECCENTRIC STAFF WRITER • August 24, 2008

The appointment of a Republican to the Oakland County Board of Commissioners to replace Democrat George W. Suarez, the District 24 representative who died of cancer Aug. 12, has quickly drawn fire.

"I think it was outrageous what they did; it was a stealth appointment, not on the agenda, nobody was interviewed," said David Coulter, Democratic caucus chair.

Troy Republican Glenn Clark, the 9th Congressional District GOP chairman and a party delegate, was appointed at Thursday's commission meeting with a vote that followed party lines. Republicans had held a slim, 13-12 majority on the board before Suarez' death. With the appointment of Clark, the GOP majority now becomes 14-11.

Coulter, a Ferndale resident who represents District 25, said the appointment was not on the agenda. Robert Gosselin, another Troy Republican from District 13, nominated Clark during the "new business" portion of the meeting, Coulter said.

"George reflected the views and values of that district - working class, Democratic values. Glenn Clark is the opposite, very conservative, a Republican operative," said Coulter, who also represents Hazel Park and the southern end of Royal Oak.

"The most appropriate thing would have been to pick a Democrat nominee in a Democrat seat or to leave it vacant and let voters decide (about) 80 days from now (in the Nov. 4 general election)."

County commission vacancies may be filled by appointment within 30 days of the elected official's death or by special election, according to Judy Cunningham, corporate counsel for Oakland County. A special election was ruled out because elections may only be held in February, May, August and November, according to the state consolidated elections law, passed in 2005.

Coulter said nominees are supposed to be interviewed by the government committee. Gosselin said the interview process is optional.

"(The Democrats') tactic was to stall us, stall us, not have the people of the 24th District represented," Gosselin said. "We're elected to do our job. We have to remove the emotion out of it, basically do what we're elected to do. We have an agenda, they have an agenda and they conflict sometimes."

Coulter said the appointment of Clark, who will serve until Dec. 31, when Suarez's two-year term was due to expire, will increase Democrats' support for Gary McGillivray, the party's nominee in the November general election.

"We'll make sure we work hard to let voters of the district know what happened and know who shares your values and I believe that's Gary McGillivray," Coulter said.

Suarez's seat was unoccupied except for flowers and a photograph of him in his honor in the commissioners' first meeting since his death, Coulter said.

"We spent the first part of the meeting reminiscing George and remembering his legacy," Coulter said. "And at this meeting (the Republicans) choose to disrespect that legacy, replacing him with someone who doesn't share George's or the district's views."

McGillivray could not be reached for comment.

The Republican nominee, Daniel K. Milz of Madison Heights, said he wasn't offended another Republican was appointed instead of him. He said he didn't actively pursue an appointment.

"I think right now we just needed someone to fill the seat," Milz said. "Glenn's a good guy and will do a real good job until we have a candidate.

"I am the underdog, I guess you can see, and will work hard, hoping to get to people every day."


Another resolution by Gosselin passed unanimously that names John R Road, between 10 Mile Road in Madison Heights and Big Beaver Road in Troy, as the George W. Suarez Gentleman's Highway until Dec. 31.

The commissioners will pay for the cost of the signs made by the Road Commissioners of Oakland County, according to Gosselin.

"George was an exceptional man and he worked with Republicans and Democrats," Gosselin said. | (248) 901-2571

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