Thursday, September 9, 2010

F. Anthony Lubkin, Canfield delivers brief at 10 pm Lubkin finishes this response by 3 am and takes to court.

originally uploaded by terrybankert.
Defendants’ briefs are riddled with gaps, in coverage of subject matter,

in the logic of their conclusions as to the limited areas that they do address, and

as a result, in their overall credibility. Nothing in those briefs, nor in any argument

genuinely arising from them, should give this Court any reason to withhold the

relief of a preliminary injunction as requested by Plaintiffs herein.



DAVID DAVENPORT, author of Recall Language, and Volunteer for


DAN PARKS, in his capacity as Committee Chairman

CRAIG SMITH, in his capacity as Committee Treasurer.

ALEX HARRIS. in his capacity as its Committee Vice-Chairman,


Case No.:




CITY OF FLINT, a Michigan Municipal Corporation

MICHAEL CARR, Genesee County Clerk and

INEZ BROWN, Flint City Clerk


F. Anthony Lubkin (P32740) Plunkett & Cooney

Attorney for Plaintiff Committee Attorney for Defendants Carr

Recall Dayne Walling and its Officers and County of Genesee

4844 Apache Path 111 E. Court Street

Owosso, MI 48867 Flint, MI 48502

(248) 496 5222 (810) 235 5100

Miller Canfield Peter Bade (P47546)

Attorneys for Inez Brown Attorney for City of Flint

One Michigan Avenue, Suite 900 1101 S. Saginaw, Third Floor

Lansing, MI 48933-1609 Flint, MI 48502

(517) 485 7020 (810) 766-7146




The Statement of Facts from the original Memorandum of Law in support of the

Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction, citing the seventeen (17) ways in which

Defendants violated due process and statutes, is incorporated herein by reference as if

repeated herein in its entirety. In addition, Plaintiffs note that Defendants, consistent with

their pattern of marginally civil conduct of their defense herein, delayed responding to

either of Plaintiffs’ Briefs/Memoranda of Law until an outrageously late hour, filing their

responsive briefs in the night hours of September 8, 2010, less than sixteen hours before

the scheduled hearing for the morning of September 9, 2010. In those responsive briefs,

there were citations which were inapposite, and arguments which either missed the mark

or which were grossly incomplete in failing to address all of the issues at bar. This brief

is provided to simply bring this Court’s attention to the deficiencies of Defendants’

presentation of law, with respect to (1) incompleteness of responses, in failing to even

address in anything approaching a comprehensive or orderly fashion, all of the points

raised in the original and supplemental brief of Plaintiff and (2) inapposite nature of

responses, in making arguments which are either flawed, or based upon completely

unwarranted leaps of logic, which resulted in Defendants taking positions which are

in fact inimical to their own arguments.


Plaintiffs incorporate by reference the Index of Authorities set forth in their

Supplemental Memorandum of Law dated September 4, 2010, as well as the

Controlling Authorities cited in the Responsive Briefs of Defendants Carr and

Genesee County, and that of Inez Brown, as if each is repeated herein in its entirety.


I. Incomplete Arguments by Defendants; Failing to Address Most Key Issues

Defendants acknowledge Plaintiffs’ argument citing seventeen ways in which

Defendant Clerks violated due process and/or statutes, but in their responses, they only

address a mere handful of these flashpoints (Defendant only addressed violations set forth

in Paragraphs #3, #6, #7, and #14 of the original Statement of Facts). Specifically,

Defendants completely ignore the following acts committed in violation of due process:

#1. Pre-judging the outcome of the recall election, abrogating outcome-neutral role

#2. Announcing outcome pre-judgment publicly, compounding derogation of neutrality

#4 Striking signatures without objective standards, abridging substantive due process

#5 Striking signatures without cognizable procedures, abridging procedural due process

#8 Striking signatures based on unfounded findings of forgery, by untrained operatives

#9 Making purportedly complete rounds of review, only to follow with additional rounds

#10 Giving direction to another Clerk’s office, tainting independence of the other Clerk

#11 Giving direction to the other clerk which tilted net toward one side (disqualifying)

#12. Accepting direction from another Clerk, tainting independence of servient Clerk;

#13 Accepting direction from other clerk which tilted toward one side (disqualifying)

#15 Publicly ridiculing as “unheard-of” (as if to nullify) 2007 amendment on challenges

#16 Announcing artificially (non-state-mandated) close deadlines to exclude from ballot

#17 Engaging in violent resistance to process server; failing to address theft of signatures

Each of the foregoing acts might have raised serious due process concerns by itself, and

taken in combination all the more so. Still, Defendants only chose to address the others.

Defendants first urge that Plaintiffs are “only” criticizing the “signature validation

process itself”, as if this somehow differs from criticizing how that process was applied

by these Clerks. The fact is that there is no significance in the distinction. The process as

applied by these Defendants – involving all of the flaws listed above, and the few which

they have seen fit to address – is indeed fatally flawed. If the election law is construed to

require certain protocols, then these must be followed by all county clerks, and any

deviation from those standards would violate those standards and hence, due process.

If, on the other hand, the law allows such wide latitude for local Clerks’ manipulation,

then the law either on its face, or as applied by these Clerks, would be unconstitutional.

Compare the tight regulations in Lemons v Bradbury, 538 F3d 1098 (9th Cir, 2008),

where due process was found to exist. That case showcased not one but four (4) major

procedural and training safeguards against due process infringement which are wholly

absent here: (1) public involvement in signature review process; (2) extensive training

of Clerk operatives in handwriting analysis; (3) multi-tiered signature rejection processes

in which supervisors reviewed any initial decision to strike a signature and (4) warnings

on petitions cautioning signers to try to match their voter registration card signatures.

Though Defendants claim Plaintiffs cite no authority for the proposition that there is a

right to public involvement in the signature review process, the Bradbury case makes

clear that safeguards such as public involvement are favored by reviewing courts,

especially combinations of safeguards, Thus, even though that particular safeguard may

not be mandatory to avoid due process concerns, some safeguards have to be present,

Bradbury makes clear there are two ends to the due process spectrum, the favored end

where Clerks in that case stood tall, and the dishonorable end where ours duck and cringe

II. Defendants’ Inapposite/Misleading Arguments as to Remaining Issues on Merits

Defendants claim that Plaintiffs cite no authority for mandating specific state codes.

Plaintiffs do not make that argument; instead, Plaintiffs only note that if codes are to be

the standards set by state election officials, either by expressly preferred practices or by

promulgated rules, these codes should be consistently applied by all county Clerks. If no

such codes are binding on any Clerk, then their use by some and not others becomes

arbitrary and whimsical, raising equal protection as well as due process concerns.

Defendants claim that they advised Plaintiffs what “NHS” meant, that Plaintiffs

acknowledged knowing what it stood for, and that as a result, Plaintiffs had been duly

“advised” why signatures bearing that code were excluded. Defendants also made much

of their argument that Plaintiffs supposedly had done nothing to show that the code was

ever wrongly applied by the Clerks. But these arguments are both false and empty.

Plaintiffs have proven that the “NHS” code was arbitrarily and wrongly applied, by

having obtained Affidavits from numerous voters whose signatures had been marked up

with this contrived “rogue code” by Defendant Clerks, but who nonetheless affirmed

the signatures so marked as having in fact truly been their own. Indeed, using a strictly

random sample of signatures marked with the wrongful “NHS” code, fully100 percent

of those voters whom Plaintiffs could locate to query as to signature genuineness did in

fact affirm their having signed. See Affidavits of Dan Parks, Committee Chairman and

John Carpenter, Volunteer, confirming that EVERY voter whose signature was marked

“NHS”, and who was thereafter reached to affirm their signature, did so and swore to it.

Plaintiffs have also proven that another rogue code “CD” (meaning “cannot

determine”), arbitrarily applied by Defendant Clerks to purportedly signify illegibility,

was also wrongfully applied to dozens, if not hundreds of otherwise valid signatures.

See Affidavits of Chairman Dan Parks, Volunteers John Carpenter and Mike Killbreath.

also making clear that Defendant Clerks’ machinations of rejecting signatures using their

contrived “rogue code” known as “CD” had also caused widespread wrongful exclusions.

Defendants go on to address Violation #3, the referral of complaints to prosecutors.

Defendant Carr claims that he merely referred an isolated act of wrongful certification of

a petition sheet (a cognizable misdemeanor) to authorities for investigation. This is a

disingenuous and ridiculously partial description of what Defendant referred, and how he

did it. Defendant Carr didn’t confine himself either to referring specific, technical acts

violating petition laws, but instead openly admitted to making referrals of “complaints”

about what petition circulators were saying (not merely signing or certifying) and what

they were saying generally (not just specifically in isolated instances). Worse yet, Carr

made these gratuitous “referrals” for prosecution conspicuously and with much fanfare

in local print media, so that his words would be a powerful, amplified tool to intimidate

petition circulators during the height of the signature gathering process. This was an

act of widespread voter intimidation and election interference funneled through the media

and contrasts wildly with Carr’s prim portrayal of himself as having discreetly referred

a singular, technical act of wrongful certification.

Addressing Violation #14, Defendant Carr than states that he did not err in accepting

challenges because there is “no requirement that the challenge be directly made by the

official, only that it be made by the official.” In language that echoes former President

Clinton’s infamous parsing of the word “is” (wherein he said an answer depends on what

the meaning of ‘is’ is”), Defendants have raised a classic distinction without a difference.

The statute makes clear that its language makes no allowance for actions by proxy.

Defendants claim that the Mayor’s campaign committee could act on his “behalf”.

but that committee, and its “record keeper” (whose statutory job description is limited

to finance issues) has no role as signer of non-finance documents. The same concerns

regarding genuineness of signatures and the signer’s intention (in this case, that of the

officer facing recall) which underlie laws about petition signatures underlie the challenge

law amendment whose clear language Defendants hope to avoid, and ask this Court to

nullify by fiat. In its wisdom, the Legislature saw fit to require the subject officer to

personally vouch for any claimed challenges, so as to ensure that no one with an agenda

separate from, or at cross-purposes with that official (or unauthorized by that official)

were to interfere in the process. Statutory recall procedures invariably involve only three

parties: the sponsor (here, Plaintiff), the officer subject to recall (here, the Mayor) and

filing officials (here, the local Clerks). No fourth party is included in any recall procedure

Defendants make much of the 2004 case of DeLeeuw v State Board of Canvassers,

263 Mich App 497 (2004), in which Republicans signed petitions to nominate Ralph

Nader for U.S. President, over strenuous objections of Democrats, who claimed that such

action by proxy violated statutory language referencing prospective new candidates as

“a person”. The argument advanced in that case was that only a particular “person”, the

candidate himself could sign his own nominating petition, but the argument was rejected

and proxy action by members of another party was permitted to go forward.

Whether by oversight, careless analysis or outright deception, Defendants’ reliance on

DeLeeuw is horribly misplaced. That case is the exact opposite of the present one, and

critical factors which compelled the Court to rule as it did in that case are absent here.

Indeed, applying the standards of Deleeuw to the present case mandate the opposite result

In DeLeeuw, proposed action by proxy stood to ADD options to the ballot for voters:

“Although the challenge to the petition argued that allowing third persons to file petitions ‘opens up unlimited opportunity for mischief and manipulation, all the examples cited involve an attempt to keep a candidate off the ballot. In this case, the object was to get Nader on the ballot, which vindicates the voting rights of the voters who would prefer to vote for Nader. The expression of political preference is the bedrock of self governance’ (citation omitted).” There is a fundamental difference between actions to get a candidate’s name on the ballot and actions to prevent it from appearing. Associating for the purpose of getting a candidate’s name or legislative proposal on the ballot is protected activity under the First Amendment; conspiring for the purpose of having it removed is not…” Id.

Contrast the present case, where honoring the official’s action (a challenge) by proxy

will have the opposite, disfavored effect of narrowing the options available to city voters

who may prefer to address recall issues sooner rather than later. This applies even more

forcefully when one considers the plight of city voters looking ahead to bleak times of

badly compromised public (and hence, personal) safety, record levels of assault and arson

and disastrous budget woes, all looming in the upcoming winter of their discontent. For

this Court to indulge the Clerks’ cynical ploy to overlook statutory flaws of challenges

would inevitably lead to the canceling of an election, narrowing electoral choices for all.

A second major distinction between the present case and DeLeeuw was that the ballot

issue being affected (nomination for US President) was a federal office, whereas the issue

at hand in the present case is at the other end of the geographical spectrum, a uniquely

local (city) issue. The Court in DeLeeuw focused on the impact on a federal candidacy:

“A requirement that any candidate for public office file his petition in person would be unconstitutional as a severe

burden on a qualified individual’s right to seek public office, at least with respect to federal positions, which burden

could not be justified by a compelling state interest” Id.

The prospect of forcing a candidate for US President to sign a nominating petition in each

of 50 states in person would indeed have created extreme burdens on such candidates,

and would surely discourage candidates from coming forward to broaden voter options.

Contrast the present case, where a mere one-time requirement for an isolated office-

holder (subject of a recall), already sitting in office, to simply acknowledge and sign for

any challenges to his recall, would add no comparable burden to his routine. More

importantly, enforcing the requirement of signing personally for challenges would

normally raise no barrier to the broadening of electoral options (though in this case,

not doing so would in fact foreclose all options of having voters visit recall issues).

Curiously, DeLeeuw contains language which is hauntingly apropos to this case:

“The myriad laws passed to protect the sanctity of petitions and the public measures that incorporate the petition into

the decision making process provides ample support for the proposition that petition signers possess a legally

protected interest in having their signatures validated, invalidated, empowered or disregarded according to

established law – not the political whimsy of a rogue signature counter, clerk or delivery man “.Petitions are a vital

means of gathering the collective assent of the people, and if the law will not protect a petition signer’s interest in a

proper use of the signature, then those opposed to the petition may quickly find themselves without an adversary.” Id.

Defendants wind up their comments on the Mayor’s challenges by claiming that

allowing them was simply “harmless error” because almost all signatures challenged

were “duplicates”. This argument is false, because the signatures challenged went

beyond “duplicates”.; but more to the point, there would never have been any exclusion

of these signatures had the flawed and improper challenges been properly rejected.

It is worth noting that Defendants never cited any authority for their act of striking BOTH

signatures of a confirmed pair of duplicates, but even if they had, since the issue arose

solely as a result of defective challenges, it was allowance of these which became critical.

In short, wrongful indulgence of flawed challenges was hardly “harmless” to Plaintiffs

III. Deceptions in Defendants’ Arguments About Harm to Parties and Public

Defendants’ analysis of the prospective merits of case (Parts I and II, above) is

incomplete and off-point, but their arguments as to prospective harm to the parties

are far worse. As to irreparable harm which could result if the injunction is denied,

Defendants raise just two claims: (1) that issues of the November 3 ballot are moot

and (2) that deferral of the election from November to February would be harmless.

Both of Defendants’ claims as to this issue reek with falsity. The first claim is a

complete contrivance. Defendant Carr alone has announced and since adhered to his

hand-picked, artificial “deadline” of September 3 to place the subject recall on the

November ballot. This deadline, announced just after Plaintiffs filed their Emergency

Motion for Injunction in state Court, was interposed by Defendant strictly to foil this

litigation. Defendant Carr acknowledged that his self-styled deadline of September 3

was subject to change if a court were to so order. In point of fact, the State is the only

entity untouched by these proceedings, and its actual deadline for ballot inclusion is

September 17, which though still very close (next week) remains manageably in the

future, so that there remains prospect of printing November ballots including this recall.

The matter is simply not moot, and Defendants should be upbraided for this false claim.

Second, there is nothing about a deferred February recall election which would be

comparable to one in November. Voters who signed for recall in June and July were

demanding a prompt consideration of their issues; a delay of four months unto the

autumn was called for, but a delay twice that long, solely to accommodate brazen anti-

recall manipulation by local political operatives, would cause irreparable harm to the

principles of the rule of law, and deference to the expressed will of the voters. Meanwhile

Flint continues to be showcased as the city with the highest assault and arson rates in the

nation, since the Mayor’s policies reducing public safety staffers took effect. Murders

are running several times faster than in the years before the Mayor’s public safety

policies were implemented. Based on these considerations alone, a prospect of irreparable

harm to voters and citizens on the street appears to augment harm to the electoral process.

Defendants next claim there will be harm to others, citing the cost of printing ballots

and the costs to the Mayor in having to defend against the recall. But nothing in

Defendants’ facile arguments shows how there is any greater cost for printing or

defending against a recall which is held sooner (November) rather than later (February).

Either way, ballots will have to be printed, and the Mayor will need to raise funds.

Finally, in addressing the interest of the public, Defendants make the same hollow,

wooden arguments cited above with respect to “harm to others”, namely that there will

be a cost of printing ballots and for the Mayor to defend against recall. Again, no clue is

offered as to why the costs of each of these factors would be any greater if the election

were held promptly versus having it be held several months later. Defendants add one

final twist to their claim as to public interest, lamenting that the Mayor would face

serious distraction from City issues once a recall is certified for election. Still, Defendants

again offered no clue as to why these levels (or, for that matter costs) of purported

Mayoral distraction would be any greater or more costly if they were to be caused by

an election in November rather than in February.

In short, Defendants have offered no honest, coherent argument supporting their

side as to ANY (let alone all) of the four factors examined in deciding on whether to

issue a preliminary injunction.


Defendants’ briefs are riddled with gaps, in coverage of subject matter,

in the logic of their conclusions as to the limited areas that they do address, and

as a result, in their overall credibility. Nothing in those briefs, nor in any argument

genuinely arising from them, should give this Court any reason to withhold the

relief of a preliminary injunction as requested by Plaintiffs herein.

Respectfully submitted,

Date: September 8, 2010


F. Anthony Lubkin (P32740)

Attorney for Plaintiffs

4844 Apache Path

Owosso, MI 48867

(248) 496 5222

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