Top Party leaders blame it on "Overzealous" Young Democrats
by Eric Dondero
Oakland County Commissioner Shelly Taub, a Republican, received a letter from a constituent who wrote a very sad letter regarding her lack of health care coverage. The letter writer was begging for help for her "sick child." The Commissioner sprung into action. She did more than a little poking around. In fact, she scoured the entire County to locate the women.
What she found didn't quite match what the letter writer had told her.
The Oakland Press relays the story in "Dems sent out falsified Letters," Fri, July 3:
She felt like she had failed as a mother cause she couldn't afford health care for her ill son...
"I got this letter and it tore my heart apart" Taub said. "I thought My God... I know many people in health care, I'll get this kid some help."
Taub and her husband searched for information about the woman, found out that she actually lived in Fraser, so Taub called the home phone number and left a message.
Taub said she received a phone call that night from the mother of the woman who sent the letter who informed Taub that her daughter was not married and is a student at the University of Michigan.
The woman who sent the letter explained to Taub that she had recently finished an internship with the Oakland County Democratic Party in Bingham Farms, Taub said. The woman said she and two other interns were given sample letters and told to modify them, change the return address and send them out, Taub said.
Other Republican Commissioners get duped by Scam
Another County Commissioner Sue Ann Douglas, comments in a Guest Editorial in the Oakland County Press "Bogus Letter prompts Commissioner's response" July 30:
An employee of The Oakland County Democratic Party instructed interns to send several bogus letters to commissioners claiming that they were in dire need of health care. Those who decided to send Shelley Taub a letter pleading for help certainly did not know her well.
Shelley would work day and night to find help for a constituent with a sick child, and she immediately tried to contact the young lady who was pleading for help. She discovered that the young lady lived in Macomb County, did not have a child, and the return address on the envelope belonged to an unknowing West Bloomfield Township resident.
A blogger in Michigan exposes what happened after the Commissioner went on her search.
From Conservative Teacher blog Aug. 2:
she discovered who wrote a sad letter to her had as a full time job sending out letters such as these... These interns write letters and emails pretending to be people who are very poor, have a severe disability, are faced with extreme situations, or otherwise have really bad problems, and urge lawmakers to vote to pass the healthcare reform that Democrats are proposing based on this evidence. The interns are not these things- they are instead being paid to lie to lawmakers by Democrats.
Conservative Teacher goes on to describe details of the practice, which has become rampant throughout the State:
This disgusting Democrat tactic was easily discovered by Republican lawmakers. Whenever they received these letters and emails, they would try to contact the sender to let them know that our government already provides extensive healthcare coverage that almost certainly covered their problems. You see, we already have government provided healthcare to a large segment of our population, paid for by taxpayer dollars from you and me. And Republican lawmakers care, so when they track down the senders of these sad letters to tell them that they are already covered, they discover that the senders are not sad individuals at all, but paid Democratic interns.
Boy Wonder of Michigan Democrats forced to make publicly apology
Somewhat to their credit, the Oakland County Democrat Party has since issued a formal apology to Commissioner Taub and Oakland County Republicans.
From: Michael McGuinness
Regarding OCDP Internship Program.
TO: leaders of the MI GOP (email addresses deleted)
Date: Tuesday, July 21, 2009, 6:06 PM
To: Republican Caucus, Oakland County Commission
From: OCDP Chairman Mike McGuinness
Subject: Concerns Regarding OCDP Internship Program
It was recently brought to the attention of the Chair and the Executive Board that certain Oakland County Commissioners received letters under false pretenses regarding a proposal that is to come before them in the near future. Further, it was deduced that isolated individuals associated with the Oakland County Democratic Party office and its internship program were involved.
Prompted by the concern raised in a public forum, to which the Chair and Executive Board had no prior knowledge (either of the false letters or the Commissioner’s concern), this issue was further examined in a deliberative manner. Unfortunately, it was learned that an overzealous individual from the county party’s office stepped outside of the realm of acceptable conduct and encouraged county party interns to follow suit.
As a result of this discovery, the Chair and Executive Board have suspended this individual without pay and officially reprimanded them for their unacceptable actions. Misleading anyone and misrepresenting any issue or position is not within the scope of the Oakland County Democratic Party’s mission or practices. We are disappointed and shocked by this incident and extend our apologies to those impacted.
While it important to ensure that those responsible for what has happened are disciplined, it is also important to ensure that future such situations are prevented. The Chair and Executive Board are implementing an Internship Program Code of Conduct, as well as an internal office Standard of Ethics, accordingly. Our organization prides itself upon the successful activism of area youth and college students and, in order for both their experience and the political process to be enhanced, we must strive to protect both them and our organization.
Regardless of these distractions, there is a very real need that exists among our fellow Oakland County residents for improved health care coverage. The County Commission, in concert with the County Executive’s administration, has the power to expand coverage at no net cost to us taxpayers. That is leadership our county needs and this incident should in no way distract from that very real problem for our neighbors.
Please be in contact if I can be of service on this or other topics.
Mike McGuinness, Chairman
Oakland County Democratic Party
Republicans in the County are being gracious and have accepted Chairman McGuinness's apology.
However, Conservative Teacher dryly notes:
In other words, the Democrats are sorry they were caught this time, but they will strike again.
This type of tactic is insulting on many levels, but it's happening all over the nation now, being employed openly by Democrats to win the healthcare debate.
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