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Posted on Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 1:36 p.m.

Ypsilanti mayoral candidate Pete Murdock hasn't changed his stripes

By Letters to the Editor

I am writing to urge you to do a little digging into the election for Ypsilanti's next mayor. It bothers me that you have not yet brought up even the slightest detail about Pete Murdock's very public past in his roles as city council member and mayor.

Murdock is not some old activist returning to the fray. He is a cynical long-time politician who once again thinks he can get away with anything. He was charged with voter fraud but not convicted in 1985. He was the campaign manager for Lois Wells’ city council campaign in the early 1990s when she was convicted of voter fraud.

I haven't seen any coverage of Murdock's terrible relationships in the past with our surrounding townships, including Ypsilanti Township, which got so bad that Ypsilanti Township tried to change its name to get away from being associated with the city. No mention of the appalling way Murdock handled both the building of the EMU College of Business in downtown (now bringing needed students to live downtown) and the Marriot out in Ypsilanti Township. Nothing about Murdock’s dust-up with EMU Regents. Do you have anyone on staff or in your network who remembers how absolutely crazy things were here? How a city that leans overwhelmingly to the Democrats elected a Republican mayor to be done with him?

I’ve seen no coverage or mention of Murdock’s public take-over of the independent recycling project and, later, as a council member, pushing for the creation of a department within city government so he could run it. No mention that when the city refused to hire him, he sued and, when turned down, appealed. He was told by the courts in those decisions that they would have had a problem if he had been hired, because it was clear he’d used his council seat for personal gain.

I’ve seen no mention of Murdock’s current role in nearly demolishing our relationship with AATA by first trying to reduce the routes and now putting a tax increase on the ballot that will make or break all of the busing in Ypsilanti. AND, because he presented this to council less than twenty-four hours before the meeting, it didn’t get proper review and it now looks like we’ll have to vote twice.

There has been no mention of the sham committee Murdock created to handle Water Street, which excluded representation from the ward it sits in. No mention that this committee either hasn’t met or hasn’t complied with the requirements laid out by the city attorney to comply with the open meetings act. I’ve seen no mention of the money spent for the non-sale of a parcel of that land to Burger King - money that was wasted on attorneys’ fees and staff time for no good reason.

I haven’t seen anything about how Murdock held up the work of our commissions because he doesn’t want anyone to be re-appointed before the election that he doesn’t want to work with. How about publishing something about the accomplishments of our current mayor’s patient but strong push for a better Ypsilanti? Or something about how he is creating the foundation for Ypsilanti’s transformation into a city based on education, arts, entertainment, and new technologies. You could mention Mayor Schreiber’s many years of hard work on Parkview’s redevelopment, which will result in $12 million coming into the city. Or you could say something about all he's done to get consensus on tough budgets and his continued push for proper zoning for Water Street.

I’d like to read something about Mayor Schreiber’s attempts to reason with an opponent who continually dreams things up, gets the majority of council votes counted before a meeting, and then springs his plan on the other council members less than twenty-four hours before a council meeting.

It is my hope that these reminders of our past will help Ypsilanti voters to understand that Peter Murdock is very much the same person now as he was back in the 1980s. Friends don't let friends “re-pete” their mistakes.

Finally, I think it is important to note that Paul Schreiber has been a great mayor at a terrible time.

Lorie Thom Ypsilanti



Tue, Aug 3, 2010 : 7:26 a.m.

Steve, will you stop using the term "Ypsi Haters", please? You are a grown man. Not everyone that votes against your BFF is a "hater". I, for one, am pleased that Lorie has brought this info to the forefront. I think Pete (and Brian) are both shady characters and will not be voting for either. You are out handing out your cute little cartoon attacking Paul with 3 of 4 statements being called misleading or distorted and then start accusing others of being "attack dogs". What are you? Some sort of moral compass? Please... If I ever was going to vote for Pete, it would've changed just based on your behavior to a vote for Paul.


Sun, Aug 1, 2010 : 10:59 a.m.

Hey folks - read for yourselves This is a link to an article about the Appeal Court dismissal of Murdocks appeal: This is a copy of the original decision by Judge Sheldon:

Steve Pierce

Thu, Jul 29, 2010 : 11:46 a.m.

Dirtgrain, I know, I never saw the actual quotes either. DirtG, like you, I heard the same crud you heard and this was from influential and former elected people I trusted so I assumed it must all be true. None of it was true. The only way to find that out was for me to go do my own research. The article the Ypsi Haters keep dredging out was when the prosecutor, a Republican that was unhappy that Pete had beat the Republican candidate for mayor, filed the charges. Of course he is going to talk about how awful and a travesty and all the other crud. Prosecutors always do that. The have the perp walk and then add up each charge times max years and claim they poor guy could go away for 350 years. That is what elected prosecutors do to show they are tough on crime. It is that article the Ypsilanti Haters keep reprinting. The Ypsi Haters never tell you about the other articles and they conveniently skip the judges decision where Judge Justin, heck Lorie probably didn't even know the judges name, dismissed every charge or where the judge rebuked everything the prosecutor claimed. The quotes from Judge Justin were reported in the Ypsilanti Press back in 1985 and they were stunning. The judge said no crime was committed or intended. The judge was quoted in a separate article again in the Ypsi Press where Judge Justin dismissed the charges and said the state law, cited by the Republican Prosecutor, was unconstitutional and a restriction of free speech and a violation of the First Amendment. By the way, the Republican candidate in that same election that lost, she plead guilty to unrelated election fraud charges. After Judge Justin's decision, the candidate that plead guilty had the opportunity to set aside her guilty plea and go to trial. A trial where the Republican was the prosecutor and so was the defendant. She declined and left her guilty plea stand. The charges against Pete were politically motivated and were filed by a Republican Prosecutor trying to unseat a Democratic Mayor. This was Bush v Gore and the Florida elections 15 years earlier So while politics, and the worse kind of politics, seemed to be the original reason for filing the charges, this case was a very important first amendment free speech case and that fact was not lost on Judge Justin. This case was a landmark case for free speech rights and was being watched carefully by Unions and Business groups across the state because it had far reaching ramifications. The election law as it was written back then, made it even illegal to tell people what was the law. It was a terrible law. Not long after the case was dismissed, Lansing overhauled the election law so as to not restrict the free speech rights of the electorate. Our election law today is nearly the same and greatly shaped by the decision of this case which protected the rights of free speech and put Lansing on notice that the law needed to be changed. If you only looked at the attack pieces the Ypsi Haters sent out in 2008 or listened to this same stuff now, gosh, it would be hard to refute anything these folks are saying. But when you actually go back and read the decision, read the reporting and talk to the to the people involved, you get a very different picture. Yet some in this community are still bitter 25 years later because Pete and Grace stood up for their free speech rights and WON and the Republican candidate in that very same city election plead guilty and had to do community service. I would like to say Cheers and Clink! but this sort of gotcha attack politics is jut more Swift Boating so there isn't much to cheer about. - Steve


Wed, Jul 28, 2010 : 9:33 p.m.

"There is so much wrong in Lorie's Op-Ed piece it is hard to know where to start. So I will pick just one." Steve, that's ridiculous. You don't have time, is that it? Yet you took some time to write lengthy posts. Or is it that you don't feel the truth is important in elections? What troubles me is the lack of sources on these two sides. Can Lorie and Steve support their claims? That would be helpful to a voter. These un-sourced claims are a waste of time. Can somebody dig up the truth?


Tue, Jul 27, 2010 : 11:59 p.m.

I just think it's fun that Steve, the undisputed heavyweight of Ypsilanti online media, is referring to someone as a "blogger attack dog" like it's a bad thing. See "ypsinews" (smirk) or a thousand well spread blog posts for attack dog 101. That he pounced on this post is a familiar display of his own doggedness. And he always does it with a toast. Clink!

Steve Pierce

Tue, Jul 27, 2010 : 1:11 p.m.

Hey Ken, I want to first thank you for your service to the country and the Navy. My father was career Air Force and my wife is a 17 year reservist in the Army having served two active duty tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. I will never be able to do enough to thank you, and all the military and their families, for serving their country. As far as Prospect Park, there are new signs and new trash cans in Prospect Park. And thanks to Pete and him pushing to keep funding going for parks, the trash is emptied on a regular basis and the parks are mowed. Pete was very instrumental is doing the work at Luna Lake in Prospect Park. Helping to secure money and arrange for the mulch and equipment to move it. But it wasn't just Pete, it was the hundreds of neighbors that have worked so hard over the past couple of years to help renovate Prospect Park to make it look better than it has in years. The work paid off. All of the volunteers including Pete and Grace received an award from the Keep Michigan Beautiful for their work. They also received an award from the Chamber via Ypsi PRIDE for their outstanding efforts. Schreiber even gave them a proclamation for the hard work. And Schreiber in one of his campaign pieces praises the work done at Luna Lake as one of the Big Accomplishments in 2009. The southern half of the Prospect Park is now covered by Wireless Ypsi making it the 5th park in Ypsi to have free WiFi, that was Brian Robb that got that working. Brian Robb also worked very hard at Luna Lake and is deserving of your vote and support in August. As far knowing the telephone number of Building and Ordinance department, I am afraid I failed that pop quiz too. But I looked it up on the City's website and the number is 482-1025 and officers are there to answer calls from citizens from 8-9 and 1-2 each day, M-F. If your neighbor isn't mowing her yard or shoveling her sidewalk, give them a call. Hope this helps, Cheers! -= Steve

ken hildebrandt

Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 7:49 p.m.

having only been living in ypsilanti for 15 yrs, let me say i'm not pleased with any of the choices that represent us, but lets just discuss what i do know, that's pete murdock, he is about as uninformed as one can be, example, phone # to ordinance officials, lack of knowledge of bus route (had no concept of #10 bus overcrowding) lack leadership in getting simple task done (getting my eyesore neighbor's yard cut or snow removed, he promised signs and trash can at prospect park as well as renovation, where is it? he's is a sloppy old retiree with no heart! in the navy we decomish the derelict, please send your message next tuesday and pass on this kwame wannabe, thank you for the time in reading the truth, remember if you can't handle small tasks you can't handle large challenges like getting ypsilanti thriving and safe! kennyh

Steve Pierce

Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 6 p.m.

Ypsilanti; Lorie burst on the scene a couple of months ago and has become the official blogger attack dog of the Ypsilanti Haters. Sadly Lorie has most of her facts wrong. Pete Murdock tried to talk to Lorie and even offered to meet with her so Lorie could get both sides of the story. Lorie refused to meet with Pete. Apparently Lorie subscribes to that old adage, "Don't confuse me with the facts, I have already made up my mind." That is quite alright, when I first came to Ypsilanti, I heard these awful things that Lorie and the former Mayor kept spreading about Pete. Then I got to meet Pete and Grace and I realized I hadn't been told the complete story. So I did what many folks in Ypsilanti have done. I didn't just listen to the Haters, I did my own fact checking. And the facts don't add up. There is so much wrong in Lorie's Op-Ed piece it is hard to know where to start. So I will pick just one. The Judge didn't just dismiss the voter fraud charges against Pete, the Judge took the extraordinary step to say from the Bench that Pete did nothing wrong and that the charges were politically motivated and not based on any facts. The Haters never tell you what the judge said. They don't want to, they want to distort the truth to support their guy. If you are undecided, do what Lorie and the rest of the Ypsi Haters won't do. Call Pete and meet with him for a cup of coffee. And then judge for yourself. Cheers! - Steve


Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 1:01 p.m.

Is this what has stooped to? Providing a forum for character assisination for a self-professed hater of a local elected official? The writer omits that Schreiber advocated cutting public safety to pay for public transportation rather than working to raise the money to do both (as Murdock has very effectively done). Schreiber has been asleep at the wheel while council has been running the city, in spite of his lack of accomplishments, not because of them. Puh-lease.