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Posted on Sat, Jun 23, 2012 : 6:42 p.m.

Judge candidate called out for Republican leanings at Democratic Party judicial forum

By Ryan J. Stanton


Jim Fink, one four attorneys competing for an open Washtenaw County Circuit Court judge seat, was asked to explain his Republican leanings at a Democratic Party candidate forum on Saturday.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Jim Fink was put in the hot seat Saturday afternoon at the Washtenaw County Democratic Party's judicial candidate forum in Pittsfield Township.

Fink, one four attorneys competing for an open Circuit Court judge seat, was asked to explain his Republican leanings, while the three other candidates made it known they're Democrats.

Before the forum started, someone anonymously placed dozens of copies of a homemade attack flier carrying the headline "What Washtenaw Democrats should know about Jim Fink" in the chairs, waiting for the 50 or so audience members who showed up.

The fliers described Fink as anti-choice and anti-gay and said he supported the 2004 Right to Life petition drive to ban partial birth abortions in Michigan and the successful 2004 petition drive to amend the Michigan Constitution to prohibit gay marriage.

It also called him out for contributing money to the campaigns of a number of Republicans, including Rick Snyder, Rob Steele, Dick DeVos, Mike Cox and Mark Ouimet.

"Those of you who know me know I have been associated with the Republican Party. If you didn't know, you can read this. It's partially true," Fink acknowledged.

Fink declined to specifically address any of the allegations, saying only that he's running a nonpartisan campaign and he has support from both Democrats and Republicans.

"If you look at my website, you will find that I am supported across the board, which is what a judge should be," he said. "A judge should not be political."


Erane Washington

Ryan J. Stanton |

All three of Fink's opponents — Carol Kuhnke, Doug McClure and Erane Washington — denied having anything to do with the attack piece.

The four attorneys are competing in the Aug. 7 primary for the seat being vacated by Washtenaw County Circuit Judge Melinda Morris, who is retiring.

It's a nonpartisan race, so party affiliations won't be shown next to candidates' names on the ballot. The top two vote-getters will go on to compete in the November general election.

McClure stressed to Saturday's audience that he's a lifelong Democrat.

"In a room full of Democrats, you can trust that I share your values," he said. "And also that I know the law and that I would work very hard to make sure that our values are represented in court, and that the law is efficiently and correctly applied in a way that's compassionate."

Kuhnke said the four-way race for an open seat is exciting because it's been a long time since Washtenaw County voters have been able to elect a new judge.

"This is our opportunity," she said. "Judge Morris is the only judge sitting on the bench right now who was elected to her seat. The rest of our judges were appointed by governors."

Kuhnke, McClure and Washington all said they're pro-choice. Fink had a longer explanation, saying many people would classify him as pro-life, but as a judge he would follow the law.

"The Supreme Court has said there's a constitutional right to an abortion," he said. "And as a judge, I will follow the law because it's not up to a judge to make the law or to insert his or her personal opinions into things. We have to follow the law."

All four candidates were asked to state their opinion on whether same-sex couples should be able to adopt children.

"Same-sex adoptions are not currently allowed by court rule, I believe," Fink said. "If the law changes, I would follow the law."


Carol Kuhnke

Ryan J. Stanton |

The three others said it should be allowed.

"If a child can be placed in a loving relationship — whether it's lesbian, gay, bisexual, whatever — there shouldn't be any legal impediment," McClure said. "And if there is, I would hope our Legislature would do something about that."

Kuhnke said she represents a same-sex couple that's trying to get both parents' names on a birth certificate. One of the mothers was an egg donor and the other mother carried the child to birth, but only the mother who carried the child is on the birth certificate.

"And the other one who is a biological parent of this child has not been allowed to have her name on the birth certificate, even though the two of them are raising this child together in a committed relationship," she said. "I think that's wrong."

Washington recalled there was a point in time when same-sex couples were allowed to adopt children in Washtenaw County.

"And I think that's why the people who are voting should be very aware of who they elect as judge, because the judges have the ability to go and speak with the Supreme Court justices and to speak with the Supreme Court administrators and set up rules that are specific to a court that would prevent this from happening," she said.

"And that's what happened in this county," she said. "There was some lobbying by some of the judges … so I think that it's important that the citizens of this county are aware that the views do affect the outcome of the way the courts operate."

Fink repeatedly asserted that a judge must set aside his or her own opinions while on the bench and that's what he would do.


Doug McClure

Ryan J. Stanton |

"No matter what path someone takes to get to the bench — whether they're appointed by a Republican governor, a Democratic governor, or elected — it stops at the bench and everyone gets equal treatment," Fink said. "That's my pledge."

McClure agreed with Washington that understanding a judicial candidates' values before voting them into office is important.

"You want someone who shares your values, because in the hard cases, the judge's values are going to inform what they do," he said. "And I want to bring that to the bench."

Washington said she'd set aside her Democratic leanings if elected, but she would apply the law fairly to each and every individual that comes before her courtroom.

Fink acknowledged most Democrats wouldn't even think of voting for him if this was a partisan state House race. But he said it should be different in a nonpartisan race.

"It's a judicial race and I am supported by many, many Democrats, including pro-choice Democrats, because they trust me to be who I say I am, which is someone who will follow the law and set my personal opinions aside," he said.

Fink worked for the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office for two decades, including as a deputy, sergeant, lieutenant and commander, before becoming an attorney in 1998.

"In my law practice, I represent municipalities and small businesses, some criminal defendants and people with real estate transactions," he said.

Washington, a University of Michigan law school graduate, said she's been practicing law since 1993.

"I also have a very diverse background in the practice of law. I handled a lot of criminal defense work as a public defender for seven years and then I worked for a judge as his judicial attorney," she said. "I've been in private practice now for the past five years."

Kuhnke has been on the Ann Arbor Zoning Board of Appeals for 12 years and is president of the Washtenaw Trial Lawyers Association.

"I grew up in Milan and I have lived in Ann Arbor for 16 years," she said. "I've been practicing law for 18 years and I've spent those 18 years pursuing justice for my clients in the court. It's a great occupation, it's one that I love, it's one that I feel very passionately about."

McClure has been a partner at the Ann Arbor law firm of Conlin, McKenney & Philbrick PC for more than two decades. He talked about his experience as a volunteer for Legal Aid and the Washtenaw County Public Defender's Office on Saturday.

"I want to bring that type of commitment to the bench," he said. "I truly believe your shot is at the trial court level to get justice or not. Most people can't afford the time or cost to appeal."

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Sat, Jun 30, 2012 : 11:51 p.m.

Jim Fink should not be labeled as a Democrat or Republican!!!!! He is an independent PERSON!

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.

With supporters like this, Mr. Fink doesn't need any enemies:


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 4:19 p.m.

I'm a long time liberal Democrat, but I've been an acquaintance of Jim Fink for over 30 years. Jim and I disagree on a lot, but I am glad to support Jim. I've already donated to his campaign. He is about integrity, period. I'm also looking forward to a court which, I hope, will start to enforce some law and order in the county, instead of approving light plea bargains and even lighter sentences. I'm also ready for Brian Mackie to go. His office looks for the easiest way to not go to trial, even if there is no justice done for the victim.


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 3:47 p.m.

So he interprets the law based on the information there rather than adding information to it?

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 12:59 p.m.

Fink is just the picture postcard snapshot of a Republican who is anti-gay, anti-choice and will be nothing but a tool for the right wing hacks who've highjacked the Republican Party. Shame on 'democrats' like Borbrin (with her own very checked past), and Sherriff Jerry Clayton for showing their true colors.

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

"Chris Easthope, Jan Bobrin and Rolland Sizemore all appear as endorsers on the campaign website for JIm Fink." What is Mr. Fink's view on drunk driving and taking County vehicles?


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 2:18 a.m.

I've been an attorney in Ann Arbor for over twenty years and know all of the candidates, all of whom have very strong qualities that would benefit our bench. But, as much as I admire and enjoy the others (especially Jim), I feel compelled to say that Carol Kuhnke has exactly the right temperament for circuit court and is exactly what Washtenaw County needs right now. All of the candidates have sufficient knowledge, integrity and experience. But a circuit court judge must be able to withstand and help resolve a constant flow of complex human conflicts - an absolutely grueling job - and one that demands a particular kind of emotional stamina, generosity, and depth of insight. Carol has it all, in spades. The position of judge is too often awarded as a pre-retirement bonus for the most congenial, the most politically connected, the most socially saavy... If that was ever what was needed, that time has passed. The conflicts now are more complex, the consequences more severe, and the community more diverse than ever. We need someone with the stamina to work it through in that complicated context - without the old assumptions and for the long haul - and who will not get fatigued by the process, emotionally or otherwise. My 20 cents.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 9:07 p.m.

Also, there is a reason why Mr. Fink has the conservative vote locked up. It is because they know he will support their agenda.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 7:56 p.m.

A Judge's political leanings are important and do influence their decisions. People can say all day and night that they will follow the law and not let their personal beliefs get in the way of their judgement. However, let's be honest with ourselves, a judge's political leanings affect their rulings, because they are human. Furthermore, a sitting judge has a strong influence when it comes to lobbying politicians. A Republican judge will lobby for Republican laws just as a Democratic judge will lobby for Democratic ones. Like it or not a judge has a lot of power/influence and their philosophical and political affiliations decide how they will use their power and influence. Fink is a Republican and he will promote the Republican agenda, end of story.

Unusual Suspect

Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 2:10 a.m.

"Fink is a Republican and he will promote the Republican agenda" Not that there's anything wrong with that.

sinead o'rebellion

Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 7:11 p.m.

What is sad is that the people who made that flyer are trying to show Fink's political leanings, but really all they did was make him a martyr. This article could have been about all the candidates and their participation in this forum, but because of the flyer it is now an article about/supporting Fink with small soundbites from the other 3 candidates.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

I think we should adopt this though-process in the business world. Interviewer: "so, Interviewee, what qualifications do you have to work here?" Interviewee: "what I've done in the past and my qualifications aren't important, what you should really focus on are the shortcomings of my competitors." Interviewer: " first I thought your lack of experience / education / qualifications / ambiguous and non-committal answers would disqualify you, but heck, you're right. You're Hired!" Welcome to (insert your company name here)!

Alfred Edward Newmann

Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 4:56 a.m.

If you believe that the US Constitution was designed to subjugate the Judicial Branch to the Legislative Branch then voting for "conservatives" who believe Judges "have to follow the law" this attitude emasculates the very foundation of American Democracy which is the separation of powers. Mr. Fink is a former police officer who probably felt handcuffed by a judiciary he viewed as hostile....well sir as an officer of the law you were (and still think like one) an agent of the Executive branch and thus their job was to "second guess" you and "hamstring" your fellow officers in the performance of their jobs as agents of the Judicial branch of power. If you want a judge to be a lapdog of the legislature then perhaps you should check out CHINA. I have seen Mr. Fink in action and he is not above his old cop tricks of perjury and slander whenever he can get away with it. A vote for this man is a vote to enable a Police State.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 5:41 p.m.

Alfred Edward Newmann. You could not have picked a more appropriate name. "What, you worry?"


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.

Alfred, I guess you hit comment length limit before you were able to give your examples of Fink's "perjury and slander" as an attorney or police officer. Can you give them now?


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 6:28 a.m.

Nobody who really knows Jim Fink would believe such slander. I would bet all that I own that Jim Fink has never committed perjury.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 5:47 a.m.

Roman Gribbs and William Lucas had long and distinguished judicial careers despite having law enforcement backgrounds.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 3:54 a.m.

Funny but a lot of prominent Democrats have not heeded to the attacks on Jim Fink. Chris Easthope, Jan Bobrin and Rolland Sizemore all appear as endorsers on the campaign website for JIm Fink. God bless Washtenaw County and Jim Fink.

Joe Baublis

Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 3:38 a.m.

Many republicans often favor a so-called "rule of law" on the bench because claimants in cases can read the law - both statutory and case law - and have a pretty good idea what the judge will do. This helps claimants on both sides to settle their disputes. On the other hand, liberal judges will ignore the law and apply whatever rules they want in order to achieve so-called "social justice". But that could mean anything, and places a burden on the appeals courts which we already can't afford. Both the county and the State are deeply in debt so it's imperative that we administer justice as efficiently as possible. That means "rule of law", case closed.


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 4:24 p.m.

Joe, I assume you don't mean Scalia, and the GOP on the Supreme Court who favor "rule of law"...On the same day, Scalia discussed how important the 10th amendment was in the Arizona case, and dismissed it in the Montana case, just because he is so partisan. By the way, how many Supreme Courts have made a ruling like Bush v. Gore, and then said, "but this can not be applied in any other cases", stare decisis my a**!

Basic Bob

Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 3:16 a.m.

Ex-cops can be lawyers, but never judges. It's begging for summary justice.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 3:34 a.m.

Roman Gribbs, the Wayne County Sheriff, was a judge before and after his tenure as sheriff. William Lucas was also a Wayne County Sheriff who became a judge later.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 1:38 a.m.

It is funny how things work. A provacatuer leaves incendiary fliers at a political vetting hoping to ambush a single candidate. Instead, it only sullied the names of the other three candidates who must disavow the fliers while generating scores of testimonials for the targeted candidate.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 11:57 p.m.

Mr. Fink is indeed a Republican. He is a fine man who lives in downtown Ypsilanti and cares about our county. National issues like abortion and gay marriage are going to be adjudicated at a level far beyond our county. We need effective local government, does anyone really think our city council proclamation against burning the Koran made any difference in he grand scheme of things?

Unusual Suspect

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 10:07 p.m.

Oh, no! Republican leanings! Quick, call the police!


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 7:39 p.m.

And the three democrat candidates knew nothing of the attack flyer. Yeah, right.

martini man

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 5:09 p.m.

Judge Fink got "called out" for having a mind of his own, and not being in lock step with the far left agenda . Real diversity of thought , is not allowed in liberal circles.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

Thats exactly why he can't get the votes in this town!

Superior Twp voter

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 4:40 p.m.

"Before the forum started, someone anonymously placed dozens of copies of a homemade attack flier carrying the headline "What Washtenaw Democrats should know about Jim Fink" in the chairs" Nice hit job, Dems. It is so you.

David Cahill

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

Every case goes before a local judge first. You can never tell which cases will go up on appeal. Cases of great public significance often revolve around squishy constitutional terms like "due process" and "equal protection". Which way a local judge squishes these terms can matter a lot.


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 2:29 a.m.

David is correct... The legislature and the appellate courts grant the trial judge enormous discretion in very substantial matters. By the time the trial judge is finished excluding certain evidence (a purely discretionary decision, for example) or refusing to enforce discovery rules, there may be little left of the more substative issues. The temperament of the individual judge is often a determinative factor for case outcome.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 9:10 p.m.

rarely on big issues. No court of appeals or state supreme court is going to defer to the lower court's interpretation of the Constitution or state law. Come on now. "local" judges as they are being referring to in the string primarily get deference on questions of fact and credibility of witnesses. "Abuse of discretion" standard does not typically apply to interpretations of significant rights or laws.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 4:11 p.m.

As with any other profession, not all of those in the legal profession have the same personal characteristics or levels of integrity. There are attorneys and, unfortunately, judges at all points on the spectrum. You can get a pretty good idea of this by spending some time in and outside of our Washtenaw County Court Rooms. Or, by being involved in legal processes. Not all attorneys behave with integrity. Some lie or mislead in court. Some yell at their client outside the court room for causing them to loose their case. Some are unethical "behind the scenes". On the other hand there are those who have a great respect for the law and strive to behave with integrity and decorum. Who realize that they may not agree with or particularly like parts of the law but, when it comes to the actual practicing of it, not the making of it, that is irrelevant. This is the kind of attorney I want to become Judge. Just because which Judge you draw can make a difference in the outcome that doesn't mean all Judges consistently allow their personal biases to get in the way of a straight forward interpretation of the law. Or that we should just accept that as being unavoidable. People, including Judges, have personal biases that go beyond politics and the law. I would much rather have somebody be a Judge who outright states that they do not believe it is right for their personal opinions to affect their legal decisions.

Tom Todd

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 5:25 p.m.

quite a lot of adult professionals are not pillars of the community.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 3:58 p.m.

This is about a local election. Not the supreme court. These judges are not going to overturn Roe v. Wade or make same sex marriage legal. Interpretations that have law changing implications are not made by a single judge. That is why there is more than one judge in court of appeals and supreme court cases. They are usually difficult topics and the results should reflect society (rarely, maybe never, unanimous). A local judge should know the law and demonstrate a high degree of integrity. Looks like these candidates all have good legal experience. Integrity to me means being honest and doing your job to the rules of the law without prejudice from your own views or those of others. Based on this article, ask yourself (without prejudice) which candidate best meets this standard. Vote for that one.


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

Dead on! Wish I had written this post!


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

It really is surprising the that the two big issues for Jim Fink is Abortion and Gay rights? Abortion is the number one killer of African-Americans in the US and according to the Gallup poll Co., only 3.5% of the US population practices a "Gay Life Style" Sounds like emotion instead of thinking!


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 6:16 p.m.

Actually, miscarriage is the number one killer of all "babies." And I'd love to see the link for the Gay Life Style poll.

Michigan Man

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 3:06 p.m.

xmo - fine logic, sound mind and right on target. No mention of public safety, crime or any other more pressing/relevant/average american matter of life mentioned by the Ann Arbor elite legal crowd. If I were running for public office, one platform I would espouse is reducing the number of law school admissions thereby reducing by a ton the number of lawyers running around telling us average americans how to think, what to do and how to live our lives.

Mr. Ed

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:58 p.m.

I never took it as an issue for Mr. Fink. Someone else tried to make it an issue for Mr. Fink.

Dog Guy

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:19 p.m.

"Republican leanings" were outlawed around here decades ago. I find Fink in contempt of our one-party system.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 10:44 p.m.

For a one party town, Ann Arbor has nothing on Havana.

Jimmy McNulty

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

Haha! My thoughts exactly. That's what I love about Ann Arbor and most of Washtenaw County- everyone gets along fine long as you claim to be a liberal democrat.

David Cahill

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:08 p.m.

I also am an attorney. Which judge you draw often determines the outcome. Judges are people. So while they may sincerely believe that they set aside their own values when making decisions, they are wrong. It is an impossible task to ignore your background and views. Judges are elected in Michigan precisely so that the popular will on policies and personalities can control the third branch of government.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

Dave, thanks for your online resume......I am not an attorney.......

Mr. Ed

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

That is always why we have the Court of Appeals.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 12:54 p.m.

In this era of activist judges, I think the context of Mr. Fink's other political views and activities are important information to have. I will be consider when I vote. This is that simple. I'm all for him having opinions and participating in political life and I don't think "Republican" is a bad word per se but it does help to know where he is coming from because it does indicate to me where he is heading to. I will vote accordingly. I think non-partisan elections are a sham anyway. It hides information from the voters rather than promotes transparency and these candidates do tend to have partisan views so we as voters should know about them.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.

Seeing as the GOP is running a RINO for their presidential candidate, why not a DINO locally?


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 4:23 p.m.

@clownfish - I see these cut and pasted from Maddow/MSNBC all the time... "stock market went from 6500 to near 13,000" Interesting. Directly related to companies NOT participating in a recovery that includes capital investments and jobs. Companies holding cash in the form of stock raises stock prices and the $1.4T held is often cited by the left as "evil". Nice weave. "4 million jobs created since Jan 2009". Care to expound on how many lost? "Unemployment down from 10.2% to 8.2%" That's good news? Really? You actually bought the "private sector economy is doing fine" line? If you ponder back to the last major recession and the unemployment rate in 1981 and then in 1984, that's called a recovery Clownfish. "No terrorist attacks in the US". This is usually the "got" Bin Laden line so: an eleven year effort (longer if you count inept Clinton efforts) with solid leads only in the last two. Merits for saying yes to the raid, the only call available to fit the strategic goal of a body without rubble. De-merits for the leaks, pushing for a movie to be made before the election, and blowing the cover of a Pakistani Doctor attempting to help us - now facing imprisonment. "Oil/gas production at near record highs". Washington Post Factchecker calls this one dubious. Increase in Private/State production, significant decrease in federal leases. Care to cite the PRICE of a gallon of gas? Doubt it. "interest rates at record lows, along with federal tax burdens". You mean as the result of the Bush tax cuts? Note: partial credit for Obama EXTENDING them. "Record deportations of illegal aliens, with a focus on criminals". Directly resulting from more border patrol/ICE agents. Hiring began after 9/11. Does your "focus" on criminals include fast and furious?


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

Black Stallion: do you like Romney because of his pro-choice or pro-life positions? His support for Planned Parenthood? His pro-gun or anti-gun positions? How about his cap and trade positions, you have a multiple choices there. Do you like his support for gay rights? His belief that global warming is real and man-made? His choices of more dems than repubs when he picked judges? Romneycare? "For those who are so willing to jump on the Mitt Romney band wagon let me remind you what this RINO did when he had the opportunity to govern in an executive position which many believe gives him the experience to be President. He failed on almost all accounts as a conservative and his record in the Massachusetts Governors mansion as with any State Chief Executive who moves to the Oval Office will follow suit. The crowning achievement during the Romney years in Massachusetts was his push and passage of health care reform which has been tagged Romneycare after the passage of Obamacare on the national level. Romneycare also assessed an annual, "fair," fee to business not exceeding $295 dollars per employee for every business in the state with more than ten employees who did not voluntarily contribute to the state health care fund." It goes on and on, tax raises, fee raises, new taxes on businesses... "The bottom line is this. Romney is not a conservative he is at best a moderate who has shown that as a Chief Executive his governing policy will be more liberal than conservative. "


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

I gave you facts, not fairy tales, BS. Where are your facts? Which SPECIFIC polices of Romney are different than Obamas? Not generalities and platitudes, policies.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

Some people still believe in Santa, some in BHO....what can I say? Fairy tales are just that.....fairy tails.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:08 p.m.

Tell us BS, what are the specific policies of the RINO that you like? If you can cite some that would be cool, because I cannot find any specific policies that "Romney says he will implement. Obama cut taxes for millions of people via the "stimulus", do you think more of that will balance the budget?


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:03 p.m.

"Country falling apart" Stock market went from 6500 to near 13000. 4 million jobs created since Jan 2009. Unemployment down from 10.2% to 8.2% No terrorist attacks in the US under BHO's watch (so far) Housing starts up, exports up, manufacturing up, inflation steady (not the 10% we were told would come with the "Marxist") W. Michigan adds 4000 jobs due to auto industry bailout. Oil/gas production at near record highs. interest rates at record lows, along with federal tax burdens Record deportations of illegal aliens, with a focus on criminals. Mr RINO made 6 million in 2009, $20 million in 2010 Yep, we are falling apart!

Middle America

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:53 p.m.

"The only reason the country is falling apart"? You think there is one single reason? If I really had to come up with a single reason, it would be people like you. You claim that citizens who vote only based on "party lines" are the problem while you do exactly what you complain about. Also, how was "BHO" not a good community organizer? Did you hear that on your precious cable news shows? Had you even heard of community organizers prior to the 2008 elections?

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:42 p.m.

The only reason the country is falling apart, we agree on this, is because some people only vote on party lines and vote people like BHO into office. BHO has no idea how to run a country and he wasn't even a good community organizer.

Middle America

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:20 p.m.

"A wimp of a nation"? How so? By being hawkish and murdering innocent people via drone strikes?

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:13 p.m.

And you can vote for the one selling America down the drain......the one who is making America into a wimp of a nation.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:11 p.m.

Honesty seems to be optional for the RINO as well. Not only does he lie about his "values" (changing them faster than the wind changes) he cannot be truthful about current conditions in America. To listen to Mitt one would think we lived in Russia circa 1949. As his income went from 6 mill to 20 mill in two years, I think things must be doing OK. But, you go ahead and vote for the pro-choice, anti-gun, pro-TARP, Wall Street supported cap and trade insurance mandating RINO, Blackie.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 12:49 p.m.

Honesty is not an option for the incumbent is it?


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

Oh, only about 20 folks attended based on the cars in the parking lot.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

Ok ask all four this......Who thinks it is ok for gays to act like jerks and be disrespectful in the White House? Further ask WHO will end the destructive gay agenda from advancing????????? I'll base my vote on those answers.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

Destructive gay agenda....oh no the gays are coming to convert us!! That is laughable

average joe

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.

"In a room full of Democrats, you can trust that I share your values," he said. "And also that I know the law and that I would work very hard to make sure that our values are represented in court, and that the law is efficiently and correctly applied in a way that's compassionate."(Doug McClure) I'm not sure I would want a Judge to "represent"a specific political party, and certainly wouldn't vote for one who admits it before elections.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 3:06 a.m.

Unfortunately, in the real world many judges represent or are beholden to a political party. In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court shut off ballot counting in Florida and put George W. Bush into office, despite the fact that the vote count carried out completely could have put Al Gore into the Presidency. Al Gore did win the popular vote and might have won in Florida. IMHO, it's disingenuous to say the Supreme Court Justices were non-partisan. It's disingenuous to ignore the fact that the wife of Justice Thomas had accepted money from a group favoring the Citizens United case before her husband voted in favor of Citizens United, which even gives corporations outside the U.S. the ability to influence the U.S. democratic processes. It's equally disingenuous to say that judges who side with the rights of hospitals and schools and have employees and customers of all faiths and beliefs are in accordance with the U.S. Constitution and the separation of church and state. When a school or hospital is a major employer of people of all backgrounds, yet wants to control benefits or behavior based on religion beliefs, it is dangerous to put on the November ballot even one judge who doesn't understand how such action violates the U.S. Constitution. Nobody writing positively about Mr. Fink has answered these questions. What is in this discussion that makes me think many posts are not typical of people who will vote in the August primary and then the judicial election in November?


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 11:57 a.m.

"This is our opportunity," she said. "Judge Morris is the only judge sitting on the bench right now who was elected to her seat. The rest of our judges were appointed by governors." Based on that I would argue judges should be appointed!


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 2:19 a.m.

Judges Hine,Pope and Easthope were all elected.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 11:43 a.m.

While on the surface it would appear siding with "the law" is always the right thing. I believe we would all agree there are laws that need to be changed. For example: Many in this town would say all the laws against the use of drugs are bad. It would be hard to find anyone that does not think the Jim Crow laws were bad. How many would think women not having the right to vote was a good law? My point is that if case law were ALWAYS the deciding factor we would still have many archaic laws on the books. So challenging a law because of personal beliefs is what changed these and other bad laws!


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 9:03 p.m.

You are citing to things that were in the US Constitution at one time. That same Constitution has very specific mechanisms for amending it and thus there are many Amendments by the people and and States. Judges have zero to do with that as well they shouldn't. Once again, legislating from the bench sounds good to someone who wants to do drugs w/o worry for the laws and a sympathetic judge is exactly the cure. Why don't we hear about right wing judges "making law" or finding "rights" that are nowhere in the Constitution or in the state laws? I wonder? Who is more dangerous -- One who enforces the laws or one who makes up the law to serve their own vision of what's fair or right. You might find yourself on the otherside of that left-wing equation one day where your actual existing rights are subordianted to some judge making up some new "right" for your neighbor at your expense. be careful what you crave.

Joe Baublis

Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 3:24 a.m.

I respectfully disagree. If people find laws - or lack of laws - intolerable then they are obligated to contact their legislators for the purpose of enacting new law (or repeal). The court's job is not to write new law, and is not to ignore law. Liberal judges ignore law in order to create a new system of justice, to create new rights and new wrongs. So it's very difficult when your lawyer tells you "we don't know what the judge will do even though we do know what the law requires...." The judiciary becomes unreliable.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 11:31 a.m.

We see who the Democrats have for a leader in our capital and now we can clearly see that they are on the wrong track for America . At least Mr Fink is honest which the current administration can not claim to be.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 8:08 a.m.

Never fails to amaze me how lost some people are, especially when confronted with fact.

Middle America

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 8:44 p.m.

You have absolutely no clue what socialism is.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 6:34 p.m.

Just remember that the current group in power in DC is leading us in the evolution of becoming a socialistic society. Just remember this as our debt grows, we increase the percentage of the population that is not working but receiving a handout, as well as our shrinking personal wealth. If we continue down this path, there will come a day when we wish we changed direction.

Middle America

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

Who are you talking about when you say "they"? You sound quite delusional calling others "brainwashed".

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:03 p.m.

I guess they are right when they say the left win liberals are brain are proving their point beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Middle America

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:54 p.m.

Please explain, The Black Stallion3.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.

The old saying "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink" is fitting you nicely....sorry.

Middle America

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.

I am not watching anything. This is a website with words forming a story. I never pledged my allegiance to this ridiculous website and if you think this site is left-leaning, you are really lost.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

MA.......Sorry that you can't see it but your local news is so biased that it is brain washing many people......stop watching it and get a clue

Middle America

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

The Black Stallion3, if you really think there is a difference between Obama and Romney, you are sorely mistaken. Look beyond partisan nonsense you see on cable news shows.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 12:57 p.m.

And you will vote for the one hiding information .....Fast and Furious......what else is he hiding?


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 12:54 p.m.

So you will vote for the RINO? Mitt is no more conservative than Obama, he just plays one on TV.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 10:54 a.m.

Sounds like a cheap shot at Fink. He is the best candidate and it is a shame that "someone" thought this was the way to degrade him......he took the high road, which is not surprising......

G. Orwell

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 4:19 a.m.

It appears Mr. Fink likes to think for himself rather than trembling to the wishes of his party. I like that. The constant bickering between Democrats and Republicans is manufactured anyways. Leadership of both parties want their constituents to fight one another by exaggerating the differences rather than pointing out similarities. They do not want us to come together as one. Classic divide and conquer.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 4:06 a.m.

Vote for Michael Woodyard in the other race, he is running against incumbent Tim Connors, another APPOINTEE.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 3:36 a.m.

Joe: He ran unopposed in several elections before a write-in candidate opposed him in 2006 See

Joe Baublis

Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 3:17 a.m.

I thought Connors has been on the circuit court for 15 years? If he was appointed, then the appointment expired long ago and he retained his seat by the peoples' favor.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 6:25 a.m.

Michael Woodyard is the better choice!


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 3:59 a.m.

I was reading the Twitter feed for Woodyard4Judge and noticed that Michael Woodyard mentioned that he was also at the Washtenaw Dem forum debating with the incumbent circuit court judge Timothy Connors. Yet nothing is mentioned about that in this article. Why not? Timothy Connors was appointed by conservative GOP Governor John Engler and made a $1,000.00 donation to the Michigan GOP on August 6, 1991 - the same month he received his initial bench appointment. The fact of this donation is verified by Federal Election Commission records downloadable at Connors also donated to the campaigns of right-wing GOP Michigan Supreme Court Justice candidate Clifford Taylor in both 1998 and 2008, which is confirmed by Secretary of State records at I respect and support Mr. Fink as he has a proven track record of integrity. I cannot understand why Jim Fink's political leanings are relevant in this article while Connors gets a free pass.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 3:31 a.m.

@Joe: Timothy Connors has not faced a contested election other than a write-in candidate in 2006 as set forth in His wife, Margaret, finished a diappointing distant third place in a 2008 judicial primary. Margaret is currently a vice-chair of the Ann Arbor Democratic Party.

j hampton

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 4:54 p.m.

Jamie, You need a new hobby other that stalking the Washtenaw Judges.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

Thank you! My vote for Connors has been solidified. God Bless Governor Engler.

Leah Gunn

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 12:25 p.m.

Woodyard is probably not mentioned in this article because there are only two candidates in that race - Connors & Woodyard. It will be decided in November. These four other candidates are vying against one another in the August Primary, and the two peole who get the most votes will appear on the ballot in November.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 3:27 a.m.

I can't hold my tongue any longer, this is ridiculous: Fink gets skewered for his Republican bias, while the other three candidates are lauded for their Democratic bias? And Fink is the only candidate to repeatedly state that the law takes precedent over a judge's personal beliefs? Washtenaw County Democratic Party, please slap yourself in the face repeatedly.


Mon, Jul 2, 2012 : 10:43 p.m.

I agree!


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 4:31 p.m.

james1, I support Jim, will be voting for him and have donted to his campaign, and am a DEMOCRAT, but jeez dude, Jim showed up to a DEMOCRATIC PARTY event. What do you expect? If Barack Obama showed up to a Tea Party or GOP event, how do you think he'd be greeted?


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 8:52 p.m.

right on -- the double standard is sickening. And its the left who want judges to "enforce" their views on rest of society through the courts. Have judges make up "laws" and "rights" that would never pass at the ballot box. This sad process has chipped away at the America our Founders sought to create - the last 40 years have been devastating and we are one "straw" away from become Europe.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.

I guess this whole discussion involves how much trust we have in our citizens. Do we allow people to make their own moral decisions or do we legislate morals by banning things like contraception? I believe that in most cases, people will make good decisions and don't have to be told what they have to do. The legal system is how we deal with people who make bad decisions.

Mr. Ed

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

Mr. Fink was the most honest and made it clear he would follow the law regardless of his beliefs. The other candidates expressed there views and would support the views of the the democratic party. Mr. Fink has my vote and I'm a democrat. Let me start the slapping. This is and should be a non-partisan race. Voting for the best person with the most experience, both in the law and experience in life with a diverse background. That person would be Mr. Fink.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 10:57 a.m.

I agree, the other three candidates seem to be in the race to show how liberal they are, like that is the most important thing for this position.....


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 3:55 a.m.

Well said. Clearly the Democrats have done the math, to the best of their ability. Two slots, four candidates = Democrat vote split three ways with odd man out. Lob anti-Republican grenade in a liberal county to put one horse out of the race. Shenanigans.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 3:36 a.m.

now yo uknow what unethical discrimination is all about. good on you.

Use Logic

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 3:17 a.m.

Let's not forget that the Judicial Branch's role is to 'interpret' the law, not to inject their own personal politics into the law. That's why we have nonpartisan elections for judges. As such, Fink gave the right answer whenever asked - basically, existing case law/Supreme Court rulings say such and such is legal/illegal; he would follow those rulings. The others did not do so, and instead favored their own personal opinions over existing case law. Wrong answer for a potential judge.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 2:22 p.m.

Use Logic - It is not true that only Mr. Fink said he would set his political and personal views aside when interpreting the law. In the article Ms. Washington is quoted as saying "..she'd set aside her Democratic leanings if elected, but she would apply the law fairly to each and every individual that comes before her courtroom."


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 5:28 a.m.

Anything that is INTERPRETED is base don personal belief. If a law is passed that a judge BELIEVES doe snot pass the US or MICHIGAN constitution test, they MUST consider it a bad law and strike it down. If a judge believes a law that prohibits same sex marriage or adoption is constitutional, and another does not, it is clear which way to vote. I would also point out that once Fink gave his money to somebody he showed a bias. The fact that the state has made judge an ELECTED position, their beliefs are VERY important.

Tom Wieder

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:59 a.m.

Although I am an attorney, I met Jim Fink for the first time today at the forum, so I have no first-hand knowledge of his personal qualities or legal abilities. I am quite concerned that he is clearly anti-choice and anti-gay rights, and that, according to the material handed out today, he has given thousands of dollars to some of the most conservative Republican candidates in this state, including Congressman Tim Walberg and former Supreme Court Justice Clifford Taylor. Anyone who thinks that a judge's personal views and political affiliations don't matter, that they leave these things behind when they put on the judicial robes, is kidding themselves. It's not an accident that so many important cases are decided by 5-4 votes of the U.S. Supreme Court and 4-3 votes of the Michigan Supreme Court, with the GOP-appointed or nominated justices voting in one block, and the Democratic ones in the other. Every judge says that he or she is just applying the law, but each one does so through the filter of their own subjective viewpoints. That's why so few decisions are unanimous, because every judge has a different view of what "the law" is. If you think a judge's personal views don't matter at the Circuit Court level, you'd be wrong, and whether the soon-to-be-elected new Circuit judge is pro-choice or anti-choice is directly relevant. Under Michigan law, a minor who wants to get an abortion must have the permission of a parent or legal guardian. If she can't get that, or is afraid to ask, she can go to court to get approval. The new judge may well decide some of these cases, and the law doesn't have any clear guidelines. On this point alone, if you are pro-choice, you should vote for Kuhnke, Washington or McClure, but not Fink, who was the only one of the four who said he would accept support from Right-to-Life.

Joe Baublis

Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 3:14 a.m.

Hogwash. Chief justice Young has been telling us for years that they will enforce the law as written. That means the people who get involved in the judicial political scam can at least rely on statute and precedent as opposed to the democrats ever changing social theory.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

It is sad that we have become so polarized that we can't trust candidates to compromise for the greater good or for the law. We have had some amazing legal scholars on the Supreme Courts who tried very hard to listen to both sides of a legal issue, put aside their personal biases, then make their decision. I see Lyndon Johnson as a person who rose above many personal biases to do what was right for the country, especially in the matters of civil rights.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:23 p.m.

Interesting how all the voices against Tom Wieder do not challenge his facts. I imagine that the entire Republican constituency of Ann Arbor has been spurred to Fink's defense. Both Republican and Democrat campaign coordinators agree that one reason winning the Presidency is so important is that the President appoints federal judges. If political partiality were not an issue then this Presidential privilege would not be so important.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 11:57 a.m.

You will Never and I mean Never be my attorney.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 5:22 a.m.

@Machine, That is utter nonsense, Anybody who believes that ANY person does not bring their beliefs into their job is delusional. A judges job is to INTERPRET the law. They bring all their beliefs into that. If you want proof of that, read the Gore V Bush decision of the SCOTUS. It has no basis in the LAW of the state of Florida or that pesky CONSTITUTION of the US.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 4:30 a.m.

Mr. Fink is a man of his word. If he says he will uphold the law where it conflicts with his personal beliefs, I have no doubt that he will do so. Mr. Weider's assertions are specious and politically motivated. Personally, I want judges who uphold the law, not ones who interpret the law to suit their political agenda. Judgeships are meant to be, and should be, non-political positions.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 3:35 a.m.

soooo. >you< would substitute your prejudices for the law. adn you don;t know how unethical taht would be? /faint!

Albert Howard

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:53 a.m.

The fact that there are no judicial candidates in the Ann Arbor election who are pro life, pro family or pro marriage is not acceptable. True christians should pray that God raises up righteous judges and leaders and lower/remove wicked rulers.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 7:38 p.m.

You can't be serious! Our nation and legal system were founded on separation of church and state. Nothing is so dangerous as a judge who bases the court's decisions on the Bible.

Albert Howard

Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.

@MichiganMan Thank you

Middle America

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 8:51 p.m.

Michigan Man: If this info is accurate, I don't think Albert agrees with you on churches.

Michigan Man

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 3:32 p.m.

bus - Albert is pushing nothing down your throat. Albert, like all Americans, is expressing his opinion like Ann Arbor Christians do daily in the churches and other venues of faith/ worship in Ann Arbor. Get over it! Albert's comments are honorable, commendable and are worthy of serious consideration by readers of this medium. Making fun of and attacking them is just silly and unbecoming.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.

Albert, it is amazing how you can try to push your religious views onto others who son't have the same opinion about God. Notice I said opinion. There is no proof that God exists, most of the Christian myths expoused in the Bible came from earlier non-christian religions, like the Hittites. I support your right to your views, but don't want them shoved down mt throat as universal truths because they aren't.

Michigan Man

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

Albert - I am with you 100%. You seem to be a man of honesty, wisdom, courage and conviction. Love people who stand tall for their convictions. Living in this new version of the cool Ann Arbor anti-religious bubble can be a challenge. Please know that millions of fine Americans, especially those surrounding Ann Arbor, have your back!

Middle America

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

Anyone that Albert Howard opposes is most likely a great candidate.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 5:17 a.m.

"True christians should pray that God raises up righteous judges and leaders and lower/remove wicked rulers." I guess that part of the constitution was missed by most of us. THIS is why I would NEVER vote for man like Fink, Of course, YOU are free to run and be humiliatied in public


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:52 a.m.

Ryan thanks for the article. This independent voter is voting for Jim Fink.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:37 a.m.

Jim Fink is a man of the highest integrity. He will always take the high road and will uphold the laws as written.

martini man

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:19 a.m.

If Judge Fink appears on the ballot , he'll get my vote . Way too many liberal judges nowadays.

Chase Ingersoll

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:15 a.m.

Such prejudice - did any have a problem with Bill Ayers coming to town to sell his book? No. In Washtenaw County you can be an admittedly guilty associate to murder, and they will give you the keys to the University library. But admit you voted for conservative causes and it is doubtful that you could defeat a pedophile as long as you had an R by your name and they a D.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 3:06 p.m.

Partisan politics has tainted all levels of the legal system. Remember Justin Ravitz in Detroit? He was a radical as far as his politics, but went on to be a very good judge. I really worry about the right wing God driven social agenda. We can see legislation all over the country driven by this agenda. I believe that is why you see resistance to Mr Fink. I admire his presence at this forum and do trust him when he says he will follow the law with his rulings. But, then again, few who voted for Snyder ever thought that he would start war with Unions, womem, and teachers and let his merry bad of pranksters start pushing out their social agenda. I can't say today that I would vote for Fink, but he remains one of four possibilities fo me.

Matt Cooper

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:52 a.m.

Last time I looked, Bill Ayers wasn't running for a judgeship here in Washtenaw county.


Sat, Jun 23, 2012 : 11:40 p.m.

Judges should be following the law, as fairly and impartially as humanly possible. If you want to change law, vote for legislators who can do that. Judges who legislate from the bench are dangerous. They lead to judicial dictatorship. Fink seems to understand that.

Sandy Castle

Sat, Jun 23, 2012 : 11:35 p.m.

I count myself an independent politically. I believe in fiscal responsibility, but I strongly support gay rights. In fact, I most often vote based on a candidates' stance on gay rights alone because the issue of equal rights for all citizens is that important to me. I vote Democrat more often than I vote Republican. I voted for President Obama (and fully intend to vote for him again in November), but I also voted for Rick Snyder for governor. I worked for the 15th District Court in Ann Arbor for 15 years, a number of those years when district court offices were housed in the Washtenaw County Building alongside circuit court offices and I know several of the people who are running for this circuit judge position. In my opinion, based on my experience working in the court system in this county, I believe the most important attributes in a judge at the circuit court level are integrity, honesty, and a good work ethic. Jim Fink has all of these. He has never hidden his conservative leanings, and in the years that I saw him interact in the court system I never saw his personal beliefs intrude upon his representation of his client's best interests. We need a judge who will work hard for the people of Washtenaw County; honestly and with integrity. Jim Fink will do this job well and that's why he has so many supporters from all political parties.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

Talker - Contrary to popular rhetoric, America was founded, not as a "democracy," but as a constitutional republic--a political structure under which the government is bound by a written constitution to the task of protecting individual rights. "Democracy" does not mean a system that holds public elections for government officials; it means a system in which a majority vote rules everything and everyone, and in which the individual thus has no rights. In a democracy, observed James Madison in The Federalist Papers , "there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention [and] have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property." Thus, "the will of the people" is a misnomer - it only applies in a democracy. Judges are to uphold the law, not make law or find a way to create rights that the legislature or the Consitution have did not envision.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 2 a.m.

You wrote about valuing civil rights. You wrote about having voted for President Obama and planning to vote to re-elect him. That's consistent with valuing civil rights. But so many things that Governor Snyder and Jim Fink believe in, such as limitations on women's health care issues and civil rights for people with preferences other than their groups aren't consistent with valuing civil rights. This is a dangerous time for civil rights. Chipping away at women's access to contraception and other health care needs is chipping away at civil rights. This is not a theocracy. It's supposed to be a democracy. We the people, can't afford any more chipping away at democracy and the separation of church and state. When one of the two large medical centers in our area accepts taxpayer money to pay the bills of people on Medicare and Medicaid and then states that as part of its mission, they neither prescribe nor dispense forms of contraception, then that' not democracy and separation of church and state. Unfortunately, IMHO both Governor Snyder and Jim Fink don't oppose or criticize such attacks on our democracy.

Middle America

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

What do cartoons have to do with this conversation? You should stick to your weak, prior insults like that time when you responded to one of my posts by saying "You are".

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.

MA........are you watching cartoons this morning?

Middle America

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:14 p.m.

A well thought out and insightful opinion from Sandy Castle and a single word response from The Black Stallion3; welcome to!

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 11:59 a.m.