Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

eWashtenaw Election Results '08

5. November 2008 • Murph
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For those not too riveted to the national races to care, (and not hanging out in person at the Clerk’s office) local results can, of course, be found at

At this moment, the site is reporting 0.64% of precincts reporting (yes, that’s less than 1%), but you can add it to the list of sites to reload obsessively.

  1. The Diane Hathaway upset victory was an absolute shocker in the state supreme court race. Also surprising is that the Libertarian candidate polled over 300,000 votes.

       —Mark Koroi    Nov. 5 '08 - 12:04PM    #
  2. My page of Michigan election results is up, edited late last night. I haven’t updated it with the returns that came in since 2am yet but it should be good reference.

       —Edward Vielmetti    Nov. 5 '08 - 06:26PM    #
  3. The Hathaway victory is great for the citizens of this state. Is that the first time in Michigan an incumbent justice has lost?

    When does Clifford Taylor take his sorry ass back from where he came? Does he leave when Bush leaves, in January? Does he rule on the cases that are now pending before his court?

       —newbiedude    Nov. 5 '08 - 08:09PM    #
  4. All state offices are sworn in Jan. 1, 2009 – sorry, newbiedude! But hey, what a stupendous victory – we can wait! Also we picked up Democratic seats in the state house.

       —Leah Gunn    Nov. 5 '08 - 08:14PM    #
  5. Newbiedude, according to the, this is the first time an incumbent judge has been defeated since 1984.
    Congrats to Leah and everyone else who won!! (I voted for you :))

       —TeacherPatti    Nov. 5 '08 - 09:02PM    #
  6. The Supreme Court races are unusual in that the candidates are nominated at party conventions, but no party labels appear on the ballot. Candidates nominated by smaller parties often do well.

    For example, Zolton Ferency, nominated by the Human Rights Party, received half a million votes in 1972. Of course, he had been the Democratic nominee for governor only six years earlier.

    There’s also my old law school friend Jerry Kaufman, who was legal counsel for a number of small parties. He was nominated for Supreme Court by each of them (including the Libertarians once, though Jerry is no Libertarian), and got a lot of votes — because there are many judges named Kaufman in the Detroit area.

    One candidate, who had a great political name (Charles Levin) as well as a lot of acclaim in the legal community, got elected to the Supreme Court some years back by creating his own party — the “Independent Judiciary Party”.

    I think incumbent Supreme Court justices are defeated more often than trial court judges, perhaps because most voters don’t come into the campaign already knowing them, and are more likely to be open making another choice.

       —Larry Kestenbaum    Nov. 5 '08 - 09:50PM    #
  7. I was stunned by the Hathaway victory. I assumed she was a lost cause when the Free Press endorsed Taylor. Some are saying that the Dems’ TV ad campaign was the deciding factor.

    In any event – good bye to the “Majority of Four” hard core, right wing Republicans on the court!

       —David Cahill    Nov. 7 '08 - 06:39PM    #
  8. I would say the ad campaign was a big role in this. When I was canvassing in Inkster and Westland, I’d first talk about the Presidential race, then if the person I was talking to was supportive, I’d talk about the Hathaway race. A lot of people had heard about the “sleeping judge” and responded to that story.

       —Chuck Warpehoski    Nov. 7 '08 - 08:03PM    #
  9. Judge Hathaway’s husband is one of the most prominent medical malpractice litigation specialists in Metro Detroit(plaintiff’s side). My experience with her is that she is generally even-handed and “middle of the road” as far as judges in Wayne County go. I believe she will make an excellent justice. I believe the recent flap that Justice Weaver disclosed in a dissent on October 8, 2008 about Taylor pressuring Warren District Judge Jennifer Faunce to withdraw from consideration for chief judge appointment in that court also hurt Justice Taylor. Justice Weaver is now the “swing vote” on the high court and had been progressively distancing herself from the conservative four in recent years.

       —Mark Koroi    Nov. 7 '08 - 08:58PM    #
  10. It looks like nobody connected with Dr. Wilkerson’s prosecution, in Washtenaw County, was allowed to get near a judgeship.

       —$700 billion    Nov. 8 '08 - 12:01AM    #
  11. Yes, you are correct. Civil rights leaders in general gravitated toward Chris Easthope as a candidate as someone most closely aligned with their interests. I heard some of Ms. Wilkerson’s supporters state they felt Councilperson Easthope as the most amenable of the candidates. I believe that Margaret Connors’ role as Dr. Wilkerson’s prosecutor likely cost her substantial voter support on August 5th. I know that some questioned whether Eric Gutenberg’s position in the Prosecutor’s Office and the Brian Mackie endorsement would create an appearance of possble partiality toward Mackie’s office, but I believe both he and Mr. Easthope were outstanding candidates and would encourage Mr. Gutenberg to seek to fill the next available judicial vacancy.

       —Mark Koroi    Nov. 8 '08 - 03:23AM    #
  12. I don’t think prosecutors should become judges. It is almost impossible to overcome the belief that everyone is guilty.

    I did consider voting for Gutenberg, but I decided against it because of what was on his website. He included a list (including names) of people he had convicted of serious crimes. That grossed me out.

       —David Cahill    Nov. 8 '08 - 05:48AM    #
  13. Only through the ballot trickery of the “non-partisan” court races are the Republican judges able to remain in office. If a straight-ticket Democratic vote also selected the Democratic candidates for judge, there would be no more Republican judges in Washtenaw.

    The fact that there was no straight-ticket advantage makes Diane Hathaway’s victory over Cliff Taylor for MSC justice even more surprising. Taylor was Chief Justice, had been an incumbent for 11 years, and had outspent Hathaway nearly 5 to 1. Hathaway also had a late start with her campaign. Yet Hathaway won by 10 points!

    As the Michigan Supreme Court race is listed on the second page of many Michigan ballots, Hathaway’s campaign slogan, “Vote all the way; Vote Hathaway” was intended to remind prospective voters to fill out the entire ballot.

    According to the Detroit News, this was the first time a Michigan Chief Justice has ever been defeated.

       —Michael Schils    Nov. 9 '08 - 05:43AM    #
  14. It was good voter education by the Washtenaw County Democratic Party by having poll workers remind voters just before they entered polling places that a straight-ticket Democratic vote did not affect the state supreme court race and they had to pull down the Diane Hathaway lever in order to have a vote for Hathaway count. In the precinct I was at this was done and Hathaway won by a better than 2-1 margin there over Taylor. Aggressive voter education by the Democrats in the “non-partisan” county and local judicial races in the future could tip the balance in favor of Democratic Party members vying for those positions and rid the courts of Engler appointees who could have never been elected on their own in the first place.

       —John Dory    Nov. 9 '08 - 11:32PM    #
  15. Does anyone have any opinion thus far on the performance of the new council members i.e. Tony Derezinski, Sandi Smith, Chris Taylor, and Carsten Hoenke. Mr.Derezinski has a long history of appointed and elected offices in his career, but the others I am less familiar with.

       —Mark Koroi    Dec. 7 '08 - 08:59AM    #
  16. (As you can see, I’m playing catching up, so I apologize for my late responses to outdated prior comments).

    I disagree with Mark Koroi’s statement from 11/7/08 that Margaret Connors’ role in the Wilkerson prosecution played a role in the primary (or even general) campaign for 15th District Court Judge. As Chris Easthope’s campaign manager and treasurer, I can tell you the number of times that the issue was brought up by a voter (on their doorstep, at an event, through e-mails, etc.): zero. The issue played no material role in the campaign.

    The four new Councilmembers were sworn in less than one month ago; they’ve attended only two regular sessions of Council. In that short time, however, they’re all working hard. Councilmember Derezinski has taken on numerous committee assignments, including the grueling Planning Commission. Councilmember Smith is working on the Police/Courts project to ensure it remains a green project and on budget, and she is also working with the LGBT community on some issues. Councilmembers Taylor and Derezinski helped broker a nice compromise on the Village Green project that was supported by both the developer and a neighbor. Councilmembers Hohnke and Taylor are both working with Councilmember Teall and me on a graffiti ordinance that is scheduled for first reading on 12/15.

       —Leigh Greden    Dec. 8 '08 - 06:37AM    #
  17. Councilperson Greden: I was a volunteer and registered contributor to Chris Easthope’s committee and in fact remember your presence at the September 10th and November Election Night dinners and even have a snapshot of you at the November event. I also have been a vocal supporter of Dr. Catherine Wilkerson, as evidenced by my name on petitions on her defense committee website. I recall hearing the issue of Margaret Connors’ candidacy for District Court Judge being raised in March of this year in a conversation I had with Huron Valley Greens Co-Chairperson Dr. Aimee Smith and her telling me it was a topic of discussion to be raised at a future meeting of Dr. Wilkerson’s defense committee and it was so raised; Dr. Smith was a key organizer of that committee. There was, not unnaturally, discussion of some dissatisfaction or disapproval with Margaret Connors’ prosecution of Dr. Wilkerson and that support of alternate candidates may be appropriate; Mr. Easthope was one of those alternate candidates that had been discussed by attendees of that meeting. Prior to the August 5th primary, I spoke with a number of Catherine’s supporters urging them to support Chris as an alternate candidate and it had been stated to me that they were comfortable with Chris as a judge. I can even recall at least one Internet posting where one of Dr. Wilkerson’s supporters mentioned prior to the conclusion of the criminal trial that they believed Margaret Connors was planning a run for judge. A key reason I supported Chris Easthope was that I believed he was a good alternative to Margaret Connors and that I did not believe Margaret Connors should be elected due to, amongst other things, her performance in the Catherine Wilkerson,M.D. proceedings. I agree that you were a diligent administrator of Chris Easthope’s campaign and one of the key reasons he was was able to beat Eric Gutenberg in a fairly close election; I express my appreciation of your efforts as a fellow volunteer and supporter of Chris.

       —Mark Koroi    Dec. 8 '08 - 09:24AM    #
  18. Is it possible that the prosecution of that doctor was viewed as a normal thing in Ann Arbor? Does Councilman Greden feel that it was a proper thing to do? Would the prosecutors do it again?

       —Dirt Road Man    Dec. 8 '08 - 10:10PM    #
  19. I (gasp) agree with Leigh. The Council newbies are doing well so far.

       —David Cahill    Dec. 9 '08 - 06:57PM    #
  20. I believe that’s two points where David and I agree (gasp), the first being the issues related to the AADL and the bond market.

    I have no opinion about the Wilkerson prosecution. I know nothing about it other than what I read in the NEWS. What I do know is that neither Chris nor I ever heard it brought up by even one voter out on the campaign trail. When something is an issue with the voters — even a few voters — it usually comes up. This issue never did.

       —Leigh Greden    Dec. 10 '08 - 03:19AM    #
  21. It is remarkable, after all the trial publicity, that Councilman Greden’s sense of civil liberties is still set on “mute”. The doctor was almost jailed and stripped of the ability to earn a living, simply for verbally complaining about the treatment meted out to a Palestinian human rights activist. How can the good Councilman have “no opinion” about such a high-profile case being pushed so far by the County prosecutors?

       —Dirt Road Man    Dec. 10 '08 - 03:59AM    #
  22. The appellation “Dirt Road Man” was bestowed upon country and western singer Alan Jackson when the State of Georgia attempted to dub a stretch of improved highway in his honor; Jackson, known for his humility, replied that he would prefer a dirt road be named for him.

    The term “newbie” is a contraction of “new boy” and was initially used in Britain to apply to schoolchildren or military peronnel; it gained currency among U.S. soldiers in Vietnam to denote a newcomer to a combat unit. Today the term is employed to describe any newcomer without implying anything adverse.

    In any event, I welcome Councilperson Greden’s continued input to Arbor Update to impart his knowledge of City Council’s progress on matters and that his professed neutrality on the criminal prosecution of Dr.Catherine Wilkerson may stem at least partly from the fact August 5th primary election loser Margaret Connors and her husband endorsed Chris Easthope in the general election; I understand and respect his apparent diplomacy in these regards.

    I, also, look forward to Judge-elect Chris Easthope’s ascension to the 15th Judicial District Court bench on January 1st and expect him to peform in the fine tradition of jurists on that court.

    Lastly, I am adhering to the advice and criticicm of prior posters to insert more “white space” in my verbose posts herein.

       —Mark Koroi    Dec. 10 '08 - 04:59AM    #
  23. Paragraphs! Hooray!

       —Bruce Fields    Dec. 10 '08 - 08:33AM    #
  24. The unacceptable malicious criminal prosecution of Doctor Wilkerson certainly should have been an issue with voters, if it was not. I would never vote for anyone who insisted it was not an issue, or who claimed they had “no opinion”, as I would assume that would indicate a view that the political prosecution was not improper.

    Your new “white spaces” are a relief, Mark, but I’m still going to sue you for the cost of my glasses. I should probably wait a few weeks to file the papers until after sleepy Cliff Taylor vacates his seat to go home and get some needed rest, and the “new” MSC starts in on overturning some of the Gang of Four’s decisions. Watch out for CT’s return in 2010, though. (I’m not really going to file a lawsuit against you; I just needed an excuse to include those links.)

       —Michael Schils    Dec. 10 '08 - 10:36PM    #
  25. It seems obvious to me from her first person account

    that Dr. Wilkerson didn’t have a very well grounded perspective of her role in the situation. Was she a vehement protester or a doctor rendering aid? Not surprisingly, blending the roles caused problems.

    I am glad she was acquitted, it does seem like a Mickey Mouse charge, and the behavior of her employer was disgraceful, but the degree of outrage expressed seems disproportionate to the lack of common sense she exhibited. At some point we need to hold grownups responsible for their actions during inflamed and physically dangerous situations.

       —Fred Zimmerman    Dec. 11 '08 - 01:29AM    #
  26. I had always thought that the First Amendment means never having to say you’re sorry, for your free speech. Does it really means “hold grownups responsible” for plain old free speech?

    Please bear in mind that when you criticize Israel, you will probably find yourself in the middle of “inflamed” situations. Does that mean you should be held responsible (i.e., arrested) for the hurt feelings of Israel’s “inflamed” friends?

       —Dirt Road Man    Dec. 11 '08 - 02:21AM    #
  27. As I interpret her first-person account, when she switched gears from protester to doctor seeking to render assistance, her previous behavior as a protester, and the manner in which she attempted to render aid, undermined her effectiveness as a doctor and made her less credible to some of the other human beings on the scene. I’m not saying sthat you cannot be a protester and a doctor at the same time, or that she should have failed to offer assistance and warnings, but the negative outcome was entirely predictable.

    So it’s hard for me to see her as a poster child for free speech, or as a victim of a malicious criminal prosecution. I don’t see where upholding law enforcement’s need for control of a crime scene is “malicious.”

    (Cue vehement explanations why it is malicious…)

       —Fred Zimmerman    Dec. 11 '08 - 07:13PM    #
  28. Fred has pointed out an exception to “free speech”. It appears that when Israel is criticized on campus, then Israel’s supporters become very fearful and call the police. That makes the entire area a crime scene. After that, if anyone speaks, it is no longer “free speech”, but a crime, committed at a “crime scene.”

    Does this theory make sense? Can you veto free speech simply by calling the police?

       —Dirt Road Man    Dec. 11 '08 - 09:21PM    #
  29. Fred, could you be more specific on how you determined that Dr. Wilkerson exhibited a “lack of common sense” and how “her previous behavior as a protester, and the manner in which she attempted to render aid, undermined her effectiveness as a doctor and made her less credible to some of the other human beings on the scene”?

    Are you talking about her specific behavior as a “vehement” protestor, or just the fact that she WAS a protestor? Did her status as a “vehement” protestor make her “open game” for the abuse she received, in your eyes? In what “manner” did she attempt to render aid and how was that wrong to you? Who on the scene considered her “less credible” because of her behavior and manner? You concede that the charges brought against Wilkerson were “Mickey Mouse” but you disagree that they were “malicious”. What exactly is the difference to you?

    Did you form your opinion exclusively from Wilkerson’s account of the incident at the link you provided?

    Your comments are entirely too vague for a meaningful response. Your further explanation is appreciated.

       —Michael Schils    Dec. 11 '08 - 10:23PM    #
  30. Dirt Road Man #28 and Michael Schils: instead of straw-manning my positions and asking me rhetorical questions designed to display how misguided I am, why don’t you explain to me why the prosecution was malicious? I am open to learning.

    From what I’ve read so far, I see a protester who happens to be a doctor yelling “you’re hurting him” at police officers in the midst of an arrest. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know exactly what the atmospherics were, but it seems possible to me (not knowing the elements of the crime) that her tone and body language crossed over into interference with police business.

    (Can I yell “you’re hurting him” at top volume two inches from a police officr’s face? If you concede no, then there must be a line that can be crossed).

    I am not trying to be unpleasant about this, but I see a borderline case with a sympathetic defendant. Not exactly a slam dunk to prosecute, but not a malicious prosecution either. Is it only malicious because it was directed at an anti-Israel protester?

       —Fred Zimmerman    Dec. 12 '08 - 11:35PM    #
  31. Didn’t mean to “straw man” you, Fred, but your comments were rife with conclusions you had drawn, but with none of the facts from which you formed these conclusions. You wrote that Dr. Wilkerson exhibited a “lack of common sense” but you gave no clue as to how you came to that conclusion. You included vague phrases like “her previous behavior as a protester” and “the manner in which she attempted to render aid” without giving any explanation of what you meant by such. If you are sincerely “open to learning” about the matter, then the logical first step would be to get to the bottom of these conclusions you had drawn, which I considered to be incorrect.

    Fred, you presented your opinion as coming exclusively from your reading of Wilkerson’s account, yet you somehow concluded that her actions “made her less credible to some of the other human beings on the scene”. The article authored by Wilkerson that you linked to didn’t include anything about witnesses doubting her credibility. You obviously got this view from somewhere else, which is why I asked the question.

    That’s interesting how you admit you are relatively uninformed regarding this matter, but then when you’re asked how you came to your conclusions, you complain about “rhetorical questions designed to display how misguided” you are.

    I also found your use of the adjective “vehement” peculiar, as if that designation changed the level of rights that should be afforded to the protestor. (Do “passive” protestors deserve more rights?) You also used that word to describe ‘explanations’, which I took to mean some kind of knock against those who complain of abuse by Law Enforcement as exaggerating or being overly dramatic.

    I was curious as to how—from reading Dr. Wilkerson’s account of the incident—you seemed to have concluded that she pretty much got what she deserved, which was the opposite of my conclusion. But then I see you now describe Dr. Wilkerson as “anti-Israel” at the end of your last comment. Your use of that term is a dead giveaway, Fred. Now I know exactly where you’re coming from.

       —Michael Schils    Dec. 13 '08 - 02:43AM    #
  32. Michael,

    You are absolutely correct in deducing that I am (for a variety of reasons) a strong supporter of the Zionist Occupying Regime in Israel, but you are incorrect in assuming that somehow tips you off to my “real” views or agenda. I am not involved in Ann Arbor’s “vehement” pro-Israel/anti-Israel debates, and I have a feeling that the Israel issue is more important to you than to me.

    You are correct that my initial reaction that Dr. Wilkerson pretty much got what she deserved, but, as I have said each time, it seems to me that the facts as described in her account paint a picture that could be interpreted either way.

    Of course, you have a different view, but that difference of perception is a good argument for bringing the case to trial.

    (And, as I noted in my OP, I am not upset that she was acquitted—it is a weak case and she seems like a well intentioned person who is hardly a threat to society, and I certainly don’t feel that her employer should have fired her).

    To repeat, I am sincerely willing to hear why you regard the prosecution as malicious. Without additional information illuminating the prosecutors’ motives, I don’t see that you have explained why you see the prosecution as malicious.

       —Fred Zimmerman    Dec. 13 '08 - 03:08AM    #
  33. Yes. Somebody is trying very hard, to say “anti-Israel protesters” are “less credible”. Somebody wanted very badly to put them in jail. Why? The jury was quite clear that Dr. Wilkerson did not deserve to be prosecuted for her free speech. The electorate overwhelmingly rejected the one judicial candidate who had been in the news supporting Israel. And something like 1,000 people signed petitions at the local co-op to boycott Israel.

       —Dirt Road Man    Dec. 13 '08 - 03:13AM    #
  34. #33: my comment that Dr. W made herself “less credible” has nothing to do with the Israel issue; it would apply to anyone of any ideology who participated on one side in a protest in a charged environment and then stepped forward to present herself as an unbiased professional (although her self-image seems to have been more along the lines of “righteous witness”).

    that’s what I’m talking about as a lack of common sense, or lack of empathy, on Dr. W’s part: when we act with “polarity”, if you will, in a charged environment, it is unrealistic to expect that we will at a moment’s notice be accepted as credible, even by parties who are obliged to be neutral. It’s a failure to understand that others have very different yet also legitimate perceptions of the same scene. A defective theory of mind.

    as far as wanting very badly to put her in jail, it seems more likely to me that prosecutors & police wanted to put her in jail because anti-Israel/pro-Palestine protesters have historically been a thorn in the side of local law enforcement than that the prosecutors and police have ideological motivations focused on Israel.

    Unfair? Maybe. Predictable? Entirely. Malicious? Show me the transcripts where the prosecutor’s office is saying “Bwahaha, let’s bring a frivolous case to torment our local protesters.” To me, it still looks like an ambiguous situation that was reasonably submitted to a jury. As for the electoral verdict, I’m ok with that. the prosecutor’s office made a debatable use of their discretion and paid the price. that’s pretty much what Dr. W did.

       —Fred Zimmerman    Dec. 13 '08 - 04:08AM    #
  35. I would like to impart my understanding of both (1)the evidence available and (2) the arguments of the respective trial counsel to illustrate that their may have been malice involved in the prosecution of Dr. Wilkerson.

    Firstly, I wish to point out that one of the key pieces of trial evidence that had been publically available on YouTube is no longer available; this was the videotape of the arrest scene taken by Dr. Aimee Smith. In that sequence of events Dr. Wilkerson is questioning the arrestee who eventually responds “I can’t breathe.” Dr. Wilkerson then proceeds to advise the officer that the arrestee could not breathe and that he had better let him go. At one point the officer turns around and yells “Don’t film me!” at Aimee Smith. This chain of events demonstrates that there was a legitimate basis for Dr. Wilkerson to express her concern and that the officer was intent on ensuring that no audio-visual record be made of the incident. Smith also procured the names of independent witnesses who later became trial witnesses.

    Secondly, there still remains on YouTube Laurel Federbush’s four-part interview of Dr. Wilkerson’s version of events. In that interview she claims she identified herself as a doctor and had opined that there was an unacceptable risk of positional asphyxia.

    Thirdly, the website at has a downloadable video of the closing argument of Hugh “Buck” Davis, the Harvard Law alumnus and constitutional law scholar that represented Dr. Wilkerson in her trial.

    Davis’ summation to the jury covered two primary themes:(1) the lack of evidence of any physical confrontation by Catherine toward the officers; and (2) the circumstances upon which the the charges were filed.

    Under Michigan law, malice can be inferred from lack of probable cause for purposes of a civil action for malicious prosecution; no direct evidence need be introduced. In the Wilkerson case the prosecution only introduced one witness – a U-M custodian – who testified that Dr. Wilkerson initiated direct physical contact with an onsite officer; Davis argued that the custodian’s versions were inconsistent (“the fish gets bigger” every time he tells it) and none of the officers or Huron Valley ambulance personnel ever testified to any such physical contact. Without the custodian’s shaky testimony the attempted obstruction count may have been disposed by the trial judge upon a motion for directed verdict. Thus the prosecution’s proofs were undoubtedly weak, by virtual all observers; this leaves us with the circumstances surrounding the belated filing of the criminal complaint.

    During closing arguments Davis touched upon the fact that at the scene Dr. Wilkerson, though briefly detained by police, was never asked to produce identification, never taken into custody, nor was there any mention of any offense being committed on her behalf in the police incident report in the section of the report requiring the officer to identify what infraction was committed (it was left blank). Moreover several prosecution witnesses expressed surprise during cross-examination that they were identified as complainants on papers filed by the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office.

    Davis argued it was a police brutality grievance filed in mid-January of 2007 each by Dr. Wilkerson and a U-M history professor as to the November 30, 2006 incident which triggered the institution of criminal proceedings against Dr. Wilkerson and the U-M professor thereafter in February. Davis claimed in his jury summation that Dr. Wilkerson’s identity was known the day after the Tanter conference when her husband informally complained to the police department about the incident. The grievances by Dr. Wilkerson and that professor, Dr. Babayan, were dismissed. Davis argued that it was the University of Michigan, not the onsite police, who had been the impetus behind the criminal charges.

    You are absolutely correct in that we do not know who exactly was or were the person(s) who was/were responsible for ultimately making the decisions to criminally prosecute Dr. Wilkerson. And we, the public, may never know the motivations of those persons. It is worthy of note however that Dr. Wilkerson had filed a sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the University of Michigan that was pending before the Michigan Supreme Court at the time of these events in connection with her former employment as a doctor there. The prior Court of Appeals opinion in 2006 is downloadable in that case at the Court of Appeals website section at; its Court of Appeals case number is 265220.

       —Mark Koroi    Dec. 13 '08 - 05:50AM    #
  36. Fred, you say you are “a strong supporter of the Zionist Occupying Regime in Israel”. That’s exactly what I thought when I saw you use the term “Anti-Israel” because nobody else would have used that term to describe what Dr. Wilkerson was protesting at the event.

    As far as your claim that this is no tip off to your “real” views, if you show me just one of your fellow Pro-Zionists who disagrees with your view that the “Anti-Israel” protestor got what she deserved—then I will accept your claim that your politics did not dictate your view on this matter. But right now, the firmness with which you are clinging to your opinion is disproportionate to your professed lack of knowledge of the facts. Such an imbalance would be expected from someone who feels Dr. Wilkerson was protesting against a country he “strongly supports”. Your comment that Dr. Wilkerson has a self-image of being a “righteous witness” is hardly an indication of your objectivity, either. I also question your seeming justification for the prosecution because you say, “anti-Israel/pro-Palestine protesters have historically been a thorn in the side of local law enforcement”. That’s an interesting statement for which I need to see some support for.

    Mr. Koroi put together a good summary of the facts that show that the prosecution was both malicious and political. IMO, the most glaring fact being that the prosecution didn’t file charges against Wilkerson until a week after she filed her complaint against the cops, three months after the incident. I haven’t seen you mention the timing of the charges.

       —Michael Schils    Dec. 13 '08 - 08:58AM    #
  37. Michael wrote: “show me just one of your fellow Pro-Zionists who disagrees with your view that the ‘Anti-Israel’ protestor got what she deserved…”

    You’re forgetting about me. As you know from past discussions, I’m critical of Israeli policy but I support Israel’s continued existence as part of a two-state solution. And I found the prosecution of Dr. Wilkerson to be just incomprehensible. I was pleased and relieved (but not surprised) that she was acquitted.

       —Larry Kestenbaum    Dec. 13 '08 - 09:20AM    #
  38. Mr. Z. says that “anti-Israel/pro-Palestine protesters have historically been a thorn in the side of local law enforcement”.

    I think he means they are a thorn in his own side, which is legal.

    That is because local law enforcement would never even know about those human rights protesters, except that Israel’s local supporters frequently call the police against anyone who holds up a sign in favor of Palestinians.

    That is exactly how Dr. Wilkerson was “apprehended” and prosecuted.

    This video seems to show that Ann Arbor police are not always enjoying these “emergency” calls to dash off to “crime scenes”, which consist of people holding signs for Palestine.

    Video of man trying to call police, against people calling for boycott of Israel

    Can Mr. Z. define “thorn”?

       —Dirt Road Man    Dec. 13 '08 - 11:06AM    #
  39. Larry, my definition of “Pro-Zionist” doesn’t include you because I recall you saying you were against attacking Iran. Therefore, I doubt if you would characterize Dr. Wilkerson’s protest of the Tanter lecture as “Anti-Israel”, because she was actually on the same side of the issue as yourself (and other supporters of Israel who are against attacking Iran). Correct me if I’m wrong.

    So maybe I should amend my challenge to Fred to, “…if you show me just one of your fellow *Rightwing Pro-Zionists who disagrees with your view that the “Anti-Israel” protestor got what she deserved…”. With “Rightwing” meaning those not opposed to Israel nuking its neighbors. I presume Fred meets this definition as he has called himself a *strong supporter, whereas you have indicated some disagreement with Israel’s far-right policies. Again, correct me if I’m wrong.

    Mark, that’s interesting that the videotape of the arrest scene taken by Dr. Aimee Smith is no longer available on YouTube. Is there a reasonable explanation for this or should I get out my tinfoil hat?

       —Michael Schils    Dec. 13 '08 - 08:29PM    #
  40. Mark, thanks for the good summary of the facts & timing. That is enlightening and it makes me more sympathetic to your perspective, although it seems to me that you effectively concede that a malice charge couldn’t be proven with the facts on the table today.

    Michael, I could find you a zillion pro-ZOG people who think far more harshly than I do that Dr. Wilkerson is a loon who got what she deserved, but not here on Arbor Update! that’s my point … it’s a big world out there, guys, don’t assume that we’re all in the same self-referential bubble where everyone agrees with you.

       —Fred Zimmerman    Dec. 13 '08 - 08:55PM    #
  41. Fred, you seem to have just contradicted your earlier point that your stance on Israel was not a “tip off” to your “real” views. Now you say you can find a “zillion” other Zionists who have a harsher opinion of Dr. Wilkerson than you, which was exactly the point I was trying to make—your politics, by definition, prevents you from considering the Wilkerson matter, objectively. So I was right that your use of the term “Anti-Israel” was a tip off that your mind was already made up.

    Well that was easy. Your point is well taken that there are a “zillion” others out there like yourself. It sounds like Dr. Wilkerson ran into a few of them. I’m just glad that for her sake, she didn’t run into one sitting behind the bench.

       —Michael Schils    Dec. 13 '08 - 09:31PM    #
  42. > Your point is well taken that there are a
    > “zillion” others out there like yourself.

    No. As you stated in your previous paragraph, my point was that there are many others who have much harsher, and therefore by definition, different, views than I do.

    >your politics, by definition, prevents you from >considering the Wilkerson matter, objectively.

    Ack! That is the point I am trying to make about you. Infinite loop! Time to move on. ;-)

       —Fred Zimmerman    Dec. 13 '08 - 10:07PM    #
  43. Fred, that’s interesting how you say that your learning of the facts “enlightened” you and made you “more sympathetic” to the other perspective. But apparently these same facts did not change your viewpoint — the same viewpoint you had before you learned the facts.

    Because the facts are biased against your viewpoint, right?

    Also interesting is the way you shifted from questioning whether the prosecution was malicious, to suddenly declaring that it could not be PROVED that the prosecution was malicious. You raised the bar when you saw the facts.

    > Your point is well taken that there are a
    > “zillion” others out there like yourself.

    No. As you stated in your previous paragraph, my point was that there are many others who have much harsher, and therefore by definition, different, views than I do.

    Fred, your Rightwing Zionist friends all have generally the same view as you — that anyone protesting US/Israeli militarism is a “loon”. The only difference being by what degree they feel Wilkerson should have been punished — some feeling that being roughed up and losing her job wasn’t enough.

    >your politics, by definition, prevents you from >considering the Wilkerson matter, objectively.

    Ack! That is the point I am trying to make about you. Infinite loop! Time to move on. ;-)

    This reminds me of a pickpocket who, when caught in the act will yell, “Thief!” at the intended mark. The moment of stunned confusion this creates is sometimes enough for the REAL thief to slip away into the shadows.

       —Michael Schils    Dec. 14 '08 - 06:11AM    #
  44. Re Post #20: To be fair to you, Leigh , I believe that Dr. Wilkerson received her most enthusiastic support from civil rights activists and patients of the Packard Clinic where she was employed and as to them the Margaret Connors candidacy was likely an important issue in the judicial primary election; I believe, however that criminal prosecution was not nearly as important issue for the voters of Ann Arbor at large and can understand why the issue may not have been mentioned during your campaigning. The magistrate position that Margaret Connors did not get and the circumstances surrounding that event were the subjects of numerous postings on Arbor Update and also may have damaged Mrs. Connors’ candidacy. I believe the most “chatter” I had heard regarding the Connors district court candidacy was the lack of support she was receiving from her longtime boss Brian Mackie and the district court judges, who were supporting either Gutenberg or Easthope.

    Can you, Mr. Greden, share with us what in fact were the key issues that were voiced to you and the Easthope campaign by local voters? I would be interested in finding out.

       —John Dory    Dec. 14 '08 - 11:29PM    #
  45. Michael —

    >Also interesting is the way you shifted from >questioning whether the prosecution was >malicious, to suddenly declaring that it could >not be PROVED that the prosecution was malicious. >You raised the bar when you saw the facts.

    You are absolutely correct. Mark’s post did change my mind.

    > The only difference being by what degree they
    > feel Wilkerson should have been punished — some > feeling that being roughed up and losing her job > wasn’t enough.

    As I repeatedly stated, I thought the case was weak and that her employer was wrong to discharge her for a minor offense for which she was in the end acquitted.

    >your politics, by definition, prevents you from >considering the Wilkerson matter, objectively.

    I still think Dr. Wilkerson chose an unwise course of action at the demonstration, I still think it was within the bounds of prosecutorial discretion to bring a case against her, and I am still a supporter of a strong pro-Israel policy, but I now understand why there is a suspicion of malicious prosecution. I think I have done a much better job than you of being objective.



       —Fred Zimmerman    Dec. 15 '08 - 07:50PM    #
  46. My favorite law and order candidate Eric Gutenberg did not win however he ran a good race on a shoestring budget and received many endorsements. He had an impressive primary showing and came close to beating his opponent in the general election despite being outspent by a significant margin and never having run for public office before.

    Does anyone have ay information on Eric’s future plans? I hope he runs in the future.

       —Kerry D.    Dec. 21 '08 - 03:52AM    #
  47. What did Eric Gutenberg do, when Dr. Wilkerson’s prosecution was being discussed? And would he do it again?

       —Dirt Road Man    Dec. 23 '08 - 02:21AM    #
  48. Kerry D…you sure have a way of spinning for your judicial candidate. State records show Gutenberg was one of, if not the biggest fundraiser in the judicial primary and raised the same as Easthope in the general. Your terms “shoe string budget” and “being outspent by a significant margin” are patently false. He also lost by about 6-7% pts, which apparently in your world equates to “came close to beating his opponent.” If he runs again you could be his PR agent.

       —Nobody important    Dec. 23 '08 - 10:47PM    #
  49. Nobody important: I dispute your assertions regarding campaign funding. In the primary the candidate with the most expenditures was Margaret Connors at about $25,500; Eric had been the second highest spender with Joan Lowenstein the least amount spent. In the general election, Chris Easthope far outspent Eric. The final numbers for the entire campaign was $51,000 for Judge Easthope and $37,000 for Mr. Gutenberg. These figures are a matter of public record at the Secretary of State, Bureau of Elections Division and downloadable at won my respect during the campaign and I would support him in any future election.

       —Kerry D.    Jan. 28 '09 - 02:24AM    #