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Campaign Sign Complaint Filed in Farms Council Race

Write-in candidate Elizabeth Vogel's yard signs have drawn a complaint filed with the Michigan Secretary of State by Grosse Pointe Farms City Council member and candidate Joseph Leonard, who says the signs don't have the proper funding designation.

Grosse Pointe Farms City Council member Joseph Leonard, has filed a complaint with the Michigan Secretary of State's Office against write-in candidate Elizabeth Vogel, according to a report in the the Detroit Free Press.

Leonard says that candidate signs must have a "paid for" notation on the sign to indicate how the signs are funded. "Hers has no identification whatsoever," Leonard said in the Free Press story. "So I sent a complaint form to the Michigan Secretary of State's Office."

"The omission of the ‘paid for…’ verbiage on my lawn signs was a simple oversight and was remedied immediately," Vogel said in a written statement.

". . . .It is time for a breath of fresh air on our City Council, where clarity and vigilant communication are the hallmark. This is what my campaign is all about. My commitment to bring these skills to Kerby Road will not be distracted by petty politics. The people of Grosse Pointe Farms deserve better.”

Vogel was spurred to launch a write-in campaign for the Farms council after the city's   Her write-in campaign means there are four candidates for three seats on council.

The include Vogel, two incumbents, Leonard and Therese Joseph, who are are seeking re-election to the council, and newcomer Lev Wood.

Also in the Farms' November election, current Mayor James Farquhar is seeking re-election for the mayoral seat. He is running uncontested.

Editors note of disclosure: Elizabeth Vogel is a contributor for Grosse Pointe Patch. She writes a history column about the Grosse Pointes.

Sara Lolar October 27, 2011 at 09:26 PM
You have got to be kidding me. EXACTLY why I'll vote for Ms. Vogel and not Mr. Leonard.
Amber Henness October 27, 2011 at 09:53 PM
Honest Mistake! I like the label idea. If I were a Farms resident I would vote Liz all the way!!!!! I have admired this campaign from the get go! GO Liz!
Connor Borrego October 27, 2011 at 10:01 PM
Vote 4 Liz!!!!
Nancy Hames October 27, 2011 at 10:03 PM
Liz: Just rally your friends and add stickers to all of your signs, no big deal at all. This is GREAT press for you, hopefully Joe Leonard is stupid enough to call Ruth to the Rescue and then you will be all over the news. Cute young gal just trying to make a difference vs an ineffective washed up local politician acting like a little b@#ch! You go girl!
John from GP October 27, 2011 at 10:06 PM
It gets worse. Try living next to the guy!
Lisa Pinkos Howle October 27, 2011 at 10:12 PM
It happened to me in my first election way back when...a female council member who shall remain nameless went after me for the same thing. It's a honest mistake when you are using all your own money. I had to put "paid for" stickers on all my signs (after they were on the lawns). Don't worry about it too much-just fix the problem. Good luck! BTW- it just made channel 2 news. Ha! Now I'm sure you will have plenty of help!
Sara Lolar October 27, 2011 at 10:16 PM
Can I just write "Paid for by Liz" on mine? Heck, we can all just put sticky notes on them! Someone made a good point on the Free Press article: If running as a write-in candidate, do the same rules apply? There has been no formal declaration of intent to run with the state and her name doesn't appear on ballot. Therefore, do campaign finance laws actually apply?
Robin Hartnett October 27, 2011 at 10:23 PM
Go Girl... I will be voting for new ideas... Feel free to put a BIG sign on MY lawn... 271 Moross!
Bill IV October 27, 2011 at 11:02 PM
Free publicity. Totally backfired on the guy. Go Liz!
Mike Woolsey October 27, 2011 at 11:54 PM
Sara - Liz did file a Statement of Intent to declare her candidacy. However, due to the Farms' early filing deadline (April), she had to do so as a write-in candidate.
Stacey Fuller October 28, 2011 at 12:52 AM
You are getting the Fullers' vote Liz! Mr. Leonard, your pathetic action in the name of "following the rules" speaks volumes to why the Farms needs change.
John F Martin October 28, 2011 at 01:23 AM
I soooooo wish I lived in the Farms so I could help oust this kind of pettiness.
John from GP October 28, 2011 at 01:33 AM
Joe: How is your basement?
Mark Van Osdol October 28, 2011 at 03:17 AM
JFM: if you live in GP Woods there's plenty of pettiness to oust there too! Liz, I noticed the new sign on my lawn, I thought you changed them just to make the "Write In" part larger, never noticed the "paid for" mumbo jumbo (nor do I care).
George R. McMullen Jr. October 28, 2011 at 10:32 AM
I'm not sure who Ms Vogel bought her signs through but they should have mentioned it to here.....an exiperienced supplier would have done so.Now its up to the voters best of luck to all candiates....
Elizabeth M. Vogel October 28, 2011 at 12:33 PM
Dear Farms Resident & Supporters: Thank you for your comments. Yesterday was, needless to say, a very interesting day. This is the only comment I will leave due to the fact that I am a Patch contributor and wish to respect this forum. I would welcome all further contact though my email, elizabeth.m.vogel@gmail.com or my facebook page (mini URL tiny.cc/LizVogel). Farms resident has asked a very good question that I do want to answer. In 1972 there was a Michigan Supreme Court case, Petrie v. Curtis. To summarize, Petrie was the official write-in candidate against the lone incumbent, Curtis. Petrie lost by a small margin because som of the votes for him were tossed out. The election officials threw them out because voters had only written his last name. This decision was over-ruled by the Supreme Court because, according to the opinion, a voter's intent should never be incumbered by a legal technicality. "The court granted the motion for summary judgment, basing its decision on the fact 'that a voter's intention should not be frustrated by a legal technicality,' and concluded that 'there can be no other logical explanation of those votes.'" A vote for Liz Vogel and a vote for Elizabeth Vogel all count. See the full ruling here: http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=4434182844377701600&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr See also: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/sos/IV_Write-In_Candidates_265989_7.pdf Best regards, Liz
James Gerardi October 28, 2011 at 03:47 PM
Yes, all of you are right: We need Liz Vogel -- and other clear heads who will think about the FUTURE of this community. The pretense that it's still 1958 in the Farms and all is well must end if we want to preserve the best of what we have and build on it. That means facing challenges openly, it means planning, and it means DOING things, not just sitting in council meetings and issuing statements of pride about balancing the budget. Thank goodness Liz stepped up. May other young people with a sense of urgency join her in seeking leadership roles in this beautiful community.
Lisa Pinkos Howle October 28, 2011 at 04:04 PM
Well said James! Your comment is right on the money. Much of my time on council was spent listening to how we have no problems. No vacancies on Mack. No spending issues. No crime. We need to face change and deal with it. DO something. Thanks for your insight. Hopefully others will finally see the light!
Brittany Paquette October 28, 2011 at 06:11 PM
It's really a shame that Leonard feels the need to play tit-for-tat, albeit a legitimate complaint, it is founded in an ideology that doesn't quite match up with what any Grosse Pointe parent hopes to see their child pursue ... Here we have a young Grosse Pointe Farms native, who is both driven & well-educated, willing to devote her time & efforts to bettering her own community, the very same community that instilled in her this incessant need to give back... Rather than Leonard amicably commending Liz on her decision to run for city council, even with the odds against her, he is trying to derail her. As a community, aren't we trying to retain standout individuals like Liz, rather than thwart them off [with a complaint that reeks of desperation]? We have someone who clearly wants to make a difference, her ambitious & fresh perspective would benefit us all. She's fighting an uphill battle because she sees the imminent need to transform a community, from the bottom up, whose political agenda is impeded by the petty nonsense showcased in Leonard's actions & subsequent "spill" to the press. ASk yourselves this, ladies & gentlemen... do you want Leonard's next impulsive & petty move to be "paid for by YOU"?
Tommy October 29, 2011 at 12:19 AM
Joe Leonard is using dirty politics and slinging mud. Something you would expect from Kwame Kilpatrick. What a shame. I was at the September Meeting at the Grosse Pointe War memorial and the majority of the individuals there want NEW leadership and not the same good old boy slap me on the back and I will slap your back. I have lived in GPF for over forty years and it is time to vote in new people with new ideas...Go Liz....You Got My Vote ! ! !
Chris K October 30, 2011 at 01:06 AM
It is impressive to see the support the write-in candidate has here. What ever the outcome of the election in the Farms and elsewhere in the Pointes, those of you who are truly interested in new leadership now or in the future should demand that your city government, your city council meetings are televised. It is the best way to educate yourself on what the "old guard" is doing while you look for new leadership.
Chris K October 30, 2011 at 11:39 PM
Harry Kurtz and Robert Lee: Can you get a room and work this out or start your own blogs and whine away? Leave the rest of the reader of the Patch out of this.
dave bourgeois October 31, 2011 at 02:45 PM
Thanks, this needed to be said..

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