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Posted on Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 12:44 p.m.

Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber's record under attack in campaign literature

By Tom Perkins

Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber is accusing Steve Pierce - a man he defeated in the mayoral race four years ago - of distributing misleading campaign literature in an attempt to get Schreiber's opponent elected on Tuesday.

Schreiber faces off Tuesday in the Democratic primary against Council Member Pete Murdock, who has Pierce's support. The winner will be uncontested in the November election.

Schreiber said he crossed paths with Pierce while campaigning in Ward 1 over the weekend, and Pierce was distributing flyers with misleading statements about Schreiber’s record.

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Paul Schreiber

Pierce was passing out flyers for the Committee For Better Government on the city’s south side. The flyer lists Pierce’s residence as the committee’s address and states it has no affiliation with either candidate. Pierce declined to disclose the committee's membership.

A copy of the flyer obtained by contains four statements about Schreiber’s record and actions as mayor. Fact-checking by shows three of those statements appear to be misleading or distort what happened.

Pierce said he stands by the accuracy of the flyer's statements.

"I don't believe the facts are wrong. They're well-researched and well-referenced," he said. "More importantly, no one from the campaign has contacted us to dispute any of these facts."

The flyer also included a political comic strip of Schreiber and former mayor Cheryl Farmer in which they - drawn as children - go over a short list of accomplishments.

Murdock said he had no knowledge of the flyer's content and didn't know Pierce was distributing it. After learning of it from, Murdock said he called Pierce and asked him not to distribute literature on his behalf.

Murdock said his campaign literature has focused on his own accomplishments and has not attacked his opponent.

“We talk more about me and that’s the way I want it,” he said. “There’s obviously a contrast there, but we’re talking about me.”

The flyer distributed over the weekend says a resident upset over water rate increases cursed at Schreiber and claims the mayor's solution to the problem was to seek a personal protection order and demand a special police protection detail that cost taxpayers hundreds of dollars in police overtime.

Multiple phone messages in which the resident harassed the mayor were provided to Documentation and e-mails with former Police Chief Matt Harshberger show several city staff also requested a restraining order. The resident is prohibited from entering city hall for the rest of the mayor’s four-year term, Schreiber said.

Schreiber said the resident made a threatening call in which he indicated he would show up at the next council meeting. That prompted Schreiber to request an officer at the next two meetings because he feared for his, residents’ and council’s safety.

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Pete Murdock

The flyer also claims Schreiber "was told about problems with police dispatch, including dropped and misrouted calls since dispatch was taken over by the county.” It says Schreiber’s solution to a resident who was unable to reach police was to provide his personal cell phone number.

The flyer says the exchange took place during a June 18 mayoral debate, but a review of the debate’s video, available on, shows Schreiber wasn't suggesting residents call him if they have an emergency. Additionally, Schreiber wasn't asked about problems with dispatch and was instead responding to a question about crime.

In his response, Schreiber said residents are key in fighting crime and can call the police upon seeing suspicious activity. He also said if residents encountered problems with dispatch, they should call the city manager and ultimately him if needed, and he provided his cell phone number.

“If it’s not working to somebody’s satisfaction then I want to know about it, and that was the point of my comment,” Schreiber said Sunday.

The flyer also says residents in the city's public housing units lived in sub-standard housing during the 10 years Schreiber was on the Ypsilanti Housing Commission, with the bulk of units failing repeated rental inspections. Schreiber argues the housing commission had serious issues when he began working on it and improved during his tenure.

The flyer accuses Schreiber of cutting a deal to exempt public housing from all city rental inspections and forgiving $25,400 the housing commission owed the city for past due inspection fees.

Schreiber said the situation was much more complex, noting the housing commission can't pay for the city's inspections with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds if the commission has a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement with the city. He said the housing commission was doing its own inspections, in addition to a HUD-approved third party.

Schreiber also pointed out the final resolution was approved by council.

Finally, the flyer claims Schreiber said he would rather make $140,000 in cuts to police and fire than eliminate the city's bus service. The flyer said that statement came during a Sept. 20, 2008, council meeting after the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority indicated it would be doubling its rates.

Schreiber confirmed he made the statement, but said it was during a discussion in which officials were talking about cutting 50-percent of the public transportation budget, which he opposed.

Murdock hasn’t been spared an attack from a third party's literature either.

Registered Ypsilanti voters received a mailer last week from the right-wing Ypsilanti Populist Caucus. The literature compared Murdock to Richard Nixon and theorized Murdock’s anti-income tax campaign in 2007 was actually a launching pad for his mayoral bid.

Schreiber said he had no involvement with the mailer.

The polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Tom Perkins is a freelance writer for Reach the news desk at or 734-623-2530.



Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 4:34 p.m.

@Inside MI GOP - Ypsilanti is not crime infested. It's a fantastic place to live that has its hard ships. Shut your mouth if you have nothing pleasant to say about the area. No one needs your lies.

Captain Magnificent

Mon, Aug 9, 2010 : 1:14 p.m.

This article makes it obvious that our decision here isn't as complex as issues, or policies, or even platforms- it's much simpler than that: Belt(Schreiber) vs. Suspenders (Murdock). I'm a belt man myself, so Schreiber will be getting my vote. In any case, it's been a mostly clean contest so far and I'll feel satisfied if either candidate wins- May the pants of both candidates stay securely in place! Speaking of attire, I saw Steve Pierce riding one of those goofy Segway things around while passing stuff out over near the Metropolitan Church. It kind of reminded me of that picture of John Kerry windsurfing that everyone thought was so funny, except Pierce isn't running for anything this time. What struck me as odd wasn't his zany choice of transportation, but his choice of clothing- He was wearing a scarlet shirt and grey helmet. I don't know about the rest of you, but I bleed Maize and Blue and don't trust anyone who wears OSU colors. That was enough information for me to stay the heck away from him and his so-called future machine. He could ride a donkey for all I care, but if he's wearing Maize and Blue then he's with me and you. Scarlet and Grey he can go eat hay!


Wed, Aug 4, 2010 : 12:20 p.m.

It's nice to know that people who have nice things to say about our public figures don't use aliases, and the people that want to muck about with name calling and questioning of motives cling to false personae like an infant does to a security blanket.


Tue, Aug 3, 2010 : 5:23 p.m.

I think Paul Schrieber has done a fine job at making the City of Ypsilanti better under extreme circumstances. While the millions of dollars Michigan has spent have only moved us up from 50th in unemployment to 49th, Ypsilanti remains an oasis amidst the devistation. We have issues and probles, yes - but Paul has circumnavigated a minefield of problems and we Depot Town and Downtown are better for it. I also like Pete Murdock - but I do not think we should move Ypsilanti back to a strong Mayor system as Pete wishes. We do not need one single person making all the decisions - we checks and balances. As for Steve Pierce, he is a good egg, too. We are lucky to have these folks in Ypsilanti.

Inside MI GOP

Tue, Aug 3, 2010 : 3:10 p.m.

It appears that Ypsi, again felt that the Ann Arbor Mayor's race was getting all of the attention. I doubt Steve Pierce's conservative/republican bonafides. If he were really so inclined, he would have custom built in a new subdivision in the peaceful, right wing community of Saline, rather than throwing hard earned dollars into a money pit located in crime infested Ypsilanti. "But my wife works at the hospital, so we had to live close." Sure Steve. Your Ford Hybrid... couldn't get her there fast enough? Tell it to all of your sympathetic liberal friends that hang out with you each week at Eastern Accents on 4th Street. You and your wifi crusade. You're as Republican as Steve Jobs. And this "let me buy the first round bit"....right out the Obama playbook, in Chapter "How do I pull my foot out of my mouth"


Tue, Aug 3, 2010 : 2:17 p.m.

I think that Paul Schreiber and Pete Murdock are both hard working and decent people that sometimes get caught up in the passions of electioneering. I think Steve Pierce is a private citizen that loves his community and may sometimes go too far in his support for an issue or candidate. I also think that we are damn lucky to have all three of them.


Tue, Aug 3, 2010 : 10:37 a.m.

@Cash: Steve inserted himself in this with a bogus flier. His terrible "news" website is without integrity. YpsiDem is right on. So is Lorie.


Tue, Aug 3, 2010 : 9:59 a.m.

I support the idea of a Truth Squad, too. Instead of these stories that are hit-or-miss, a daily update would work wonders. I realize it's labor intensive for the staff, but I think it would increase your daily "hits" on the site enormously. And what a public service it would provide!


Tue, Aug 3, 2010 : 7:43 a.m.

I think Cash's idea about the Truth Squad is awesome!! AANews should setup an address where all the campaign literature can be sent and then they can research them each. I promote that idea!!!


Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 10:30 p.m.

To the editors: You call yourself reporters? I can not believe that you allowed Edward Veilmette to post: "if you can shed any light on the "Caucus" I'm all ears. I don't have a physical copy of the letter in question..." Really? Really? We received 2 copies of the Ypsilanti Populist Caucus flier (that slams Mr. Murdock) at my house five days ago, many people have blogged about it...but you and Tom Perkins couldn't get your hands on one copy? Really? Really? And by the way Tom, if you are offended that readers don't find you very credible then your first move should be changing your byline photo to a more respectable one...or start writing only about tennis.


Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 5:44 p.m.

Ironyinthesky2, using your logic, Schreiber is also tarnished, because the prominent supporter I talked with clearly lied to me about why the charter issue was on the ballot (calling it a "secret ballot initiative" perpetrated by Murdock) and, as I said, should have known the real reason behind its presence. In fact, I know there were other Schreiber supporters spreading the same garbage. It was as clearly a negative campaign trick as what Pierce has been accused of. So, why is it only Murdock who gets compared with Nixon? By your own logic, both are guilty of smearing the other. I understand the nagative reaction to the smears. Honestly, a Murdock sign went up in my yard within days of hearing from the Schreiber supporter, because I don't appreciate being lied to. I don't believe either Schreiber or Murdock knows everything that is being said to try to sway people to their respective sides. And maybe they each decided it would be best not to know. But, to say one is guilty when the other isn't shows either an enormous naivete or extreme bias.


Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 5:37 p.m.

One thing to consider for the November elections, instead of running an article here and there about one candidate's flyer or ad, have a "Truth Squad" section where you run each flyer and ad through the Truth Police. Perhaps have readers send you the mailers that they receive or send a You Tube ad to you....for evaluation. Granted there might be some complaints about fair or foul decisions, but at least you'd be reviewing each candidate's ad or flyer.


Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 5:10 p.m.

Tom, I never considered that you might have an agenda. The fact is the headline on the front page addresses one brochure, and the article seems to research it well! But if the anti Murdock flyer was researched, there seems to be no information about it other than a brief mention of Richard Nixon. I don't know if you make the choices of presentation or not. But it seems to me a more appropriate title might be "Flyers fly in the Ypsi Mayor's race" or something similar. Because as I read the end of the seems there were negative flyers on both sides.

Tom Perkins

Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 5:01 p.m.

Sam and Cash, I have zero to gain by either candidate winning this election and my coverage has been balanced. To think I have some sort of agenda is ridiculous. Schreiber and Murdock are solid candidates. Best of luck to both of them. Tom

Steve Pierce

Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 4:49 p.m.

YpsiDem, You don't have your facts correct. I had only met Pete once in 2006. That was the first time I met him and that was days before he left for his big road trip. Pete was on the road the entire summer of 2006 and didn't get back until long after the 2006 election. Hard to be my biggest supporter when he was in Alaska with the love of his life. But YD, never let the facts get in the way of a good accusation. Midtowner, thanks for bringing up that sad affair from 2006, but it is true. When I called Schreiber about the smear piece after he publicly pledged to to run a clean campaign. Schreiber said he can't control his supporters. When I said he can control the attack piece, his name is on it and his campaign paid for it entirely, Schreiber said he had nothing else to say. Sadly the same stuff has been going on with the Schreiber camp this year accusing Pete of wanting to dissolve the historic district. Pete helped support the legislation creating the Historic District over huge opposition from the local Chamber of Commerce. Oh wait, we aren't supposed to talk about facts in the comment section. Sorry I forgot. Cheers! - Steve


Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 4:16 p.m.

Paul Schreiber is no stranger to smear tactics. Four years ago his campaign paid for a piece that smeared Pierce as anti-gay. Schreiber has also been running around saying if Murdock is elected he'll eliminate the historic district. This town would be lucky to have both Pierce and Schreiber out of the picture for good.


Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 4:14 p.m.

Hard to tell what the truth is, but I've really enjoyed the positive campaign before the weekend. Smear campaigns close to the election that don't allow for rebuttals always steer me toward the smeared candidate. Schreiber has my vote. Murdock is in a similar position as Nixon with Watergate: What kind of a candidate is he if he knew about the negative flyers, and what kind of candidate is he if he didn't know?

Woman in Ypsilanti

Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 4:12 p.m.

Ypsilanti is lucky to have two decent politicians running for mayor. I'm voting for Paul Schreiber but I have to admit that it was a tough decision. I wouldn't believe this propaganda about either candidate.


Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 4:02 p.m.

Pete Murdock has a long history of dropping "smear" pieces such as this one on the weekend before an election -- usually full of lies and mistatements designed to anger and confuse voters. Likewise, Pete Murdock was one of Steve Pierce's biggest supporters when he ran for Mayor in 2006, and Pierce has been actively supporting Murdock's campaign this time around -- so, frankly, it is hard for me to believe that Murdock had no clue about what Pierce was up to with this latest smear.

Steve Pierce

Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 1:44 p.m.

If Lorie ever wants to sit down and talk politics or reminisce about our favorite city, Ypsilanti, I think she would find while we don't agree on who would be the best mayor, we agree on about 95% of the rest of issues we face in our community. Lorie, first round is on me. And to any of the other regular posters here, I make the same offer. Get in touch, and lets meet for a beer, soda or coffee at one of our great establishments in Downtown Ypsilanti. I will buy the first round Cheers! - Steve


Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 1:37 p.m.

I'm displeased at the way both Steve Pierce and Mike Eller have insinuated themselves into this campaign. Eller was Murdock's opponent in the Ward 3 city council race of two years ago and is, as I understand it, the source of the "Ypsilanti Populist Caucus" letter. He should have put his name on his letter (or not sent it at all), and Pierce shouldn't have played loose with the facts. I think it's to the credit of both Murdock and Schreiber that their campaign literature has been informative, positive, and free of personal attacks. Even though the tone of the mayoral campaign has been a bit rough on the Internet and in other venues, I appreciate the civility with which both candidates have conducted themselves, particularly at the debate at the Dreamland Theater (for which, incidentally, I was the timekeeper...I've only lived here a year and a half and I've already been involved with a mayoral cool is that?).


Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 1:34 p.m.

Amazing people here can just state that a person, who is not a candidate for office but is a regular citizen has "no integrity". Wow.


Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 1:31 p.m.

Sam Fink, I know Tom Perkins and I believe he tries very hard to provide fair and balanced reporting of Ypsilanti issues and events. Don't blame the messenger for the message. There have been dirty tricks on both sides, from the sound of it. I was approached by a Schreiber supporter a couple of weeks ago with a story that Mr. Murdock had gotten a review of the city charter on the ballot so he could try to change the way the city is run in his favor. This story is a totally cockamamie twist of the fact that the city charter, itself, mandates it come up for review every eight election cycles. The person I was talking to had to have known this fact, being as this person was on the charter commission that wrote it. It would behoove all candidates to rein in their supporters and keep close tabs on what they are doing and saying. People judge candidates not only on what they say, but on the company they keep.


Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 1:14 p.m.

Steve is just being Steve, nothing new here. its just like his news website where he claims to be both a reporter and the editor all at the same time. No integrity.


Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 1:09 p.m.

I do. He is a dedicated, loyal and wise citizen and friend. I've known him personally since he moved into the committees headquarters, and was proud to campaign and vote for him during his run for mayor. I don't know Tom Perkins, or his credentials, but I guess it seems safe to say who he favors in this election. I only have one suggestion to make to him though: It is not helpful to Mayor Schreiber to say that something he has done was approved by Ypsilanti's city council; it only raises more red flags.


Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 1:06 p.m.

Thank you Edward! My concern is that one day before the election a large headline is posted on Ann's front page : ____________________________ Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber's record under attack in campaign literature ____________________________ Mentioning the Caucus in the political blog isn't really going to have the impact that this front page article might have. It's all about the presentation.


Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 12:44 p.m.

Lumberg48108, I do. It sounds as if we have two 3rd party groups taking potshots at the other candidate. Wow, that's never happened before. Where is the big headline about the Ypsilanti Populist Caucus and who is behind it?


Mon, Aug 2, 2010 : 12:30 p.m.

yet another reason to not respect Steve Pierce... does anyone like this guy?