Defining Characteristics of a Fascist State – Number 13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption

Sun, 19 Mar 2006 07:30:54 -0600
Asset B13802 Posted By GWHunta
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

In February of 1990, I became an employee of the State of Michigan, specifically, the Michigan Department of Corrections. It was an unlikely career path for a person with libertarian political views and strong beliefs regarding basic human rights and racial equality.
Had it not been for the fact that my hometown was chosen as the site for the first of Michigan’s new “supermax model” prisons and the lack of any alternative substantial employment in the area, it is unlikely I’d have ever even considered such a career.
I had the rare opportunity to meet the presiding Governor of the State, James Blanchard at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction and was later interviewed by the local TV news station, for the fact that I was being educated for a career at the facility, as it was being built.
The next time I’d shake hands with the Governor of the State of Michigan, it’d be on radically different terms.
Many changes in policy and attitudes were happening in America during this era. George Herbert Walker Bush was then President and John Engler was sworn in as the new Governor of Michigan just prior to my first anniversary as a Corrections Officer.
The institution where I worked was the model for implementing changes throughout the MDOC. We were the first to don the new paramilitary style uniforms and our level of training and the use of new technology was to revolutionize the operation of Michigan prisons and set the standard for the planned expansion of the system.
August 1998. Nearly a decade has passed since the groundbreaking.
My career is over.
I was fired in March when I was medically unable to return to work after a cervical spine surgery at the Mayo Clinic in November 1997.
It’s Governor’s Day at the U.P State Fair, and my wife and I are RSVP’d for “Breakfast with the Governor” sponsored by the Delta County Chamber of Commerce. Once again TV6 is there to cover the event.
This time however, I’m not a welcome guest. I’d signed the RSVP list for my wife and me the day before, but apparently nobody had noticed or bothered to check the list till just before we arrived, or maybe they didn’t believe we’d show.
Engler’s private security team was there to meet us in the median of US 2 and followed us into the parking lot of the Best Western in Wells where the event was being held.
I timed our arrival for the scheduled beginning of the Governor’s speech, since I had little interest in hob knobbing with the local politicians. I was simply interested in an opportunity to look the Governor in the eye and see if he’d blink. He didn’t have to. The security people gave it away before he ever entered the hall.
Engler’s entrance was delayed by approximately 20 minutes while they called in available uniformed local law enforcement.
In the interim one of the Engler’s security team had an aside with Maura Corrigan, an Engler appointee who would soon gain prominence as the Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court.
She came to our table, introduced and seated herself with us, and began questioning my wife and me in a fairly polite, but somewhat forced conversation as to from where and why we had come and what our interests might be regarding the event.
After the arrival of 18 to 20 uniformed officers that lined both walls adjacent to the corner where they had placed the Governor’s podium, the Governor finally made his entrance into the hall and came directly to our table and reached out to shake my hand.
I believe the strategy was that if there were to be a confrontation of any sort, it’d be immediately or not at all. The Governor was visibly anxious and his palms sweaty, he knew, it was in his eyes.
We both just stood there for a minute or so after the handshake locked in a stare, each of us waiting for the other to speak or act, till the Governor twitched, broke eye contact and turned away. I had what I’d come for.
He didn’t do much mingling after he left our table, since the program was now about twenty minutes or so behind schedule, he left almost directly to the security of the podium.
To his credit, he seemed to regain his composure several minutes into his speech and didn’t pull any punches regarding his third term agenda and plans to take Michigan even further to the right.
The Governor announced the essential end of extended welfare, unemployment, and State disability benefits as they had previously existed in Michigan, looking directly at our table while he proclaimed that in Michigan’s future there would be but three options for the unemployed.
Social Security for the disabled, find or return to work, or confinement in one of Michigan’s many new prisons. This three pronged strategy would reduce labor costs and the State’s budget, enabling new small business tax cuts.
The Delta County Chamber of Commerce applauded with enthusiasm.
My wife and I left shortly after Engler’s speech concluded. Maura returned to the hob knobbing and joined Engler as he began making the rounds.
We were followed to our vehicle and watched till we drove away.
Later that afternoon we ran into the Governor again on the fairgrounds.
Engler looked somewhat distraught as he recognized us coming his way and at first tried not to make eye contact. We had our three sons with us and were planning to simply walk on by after spotting him.
Being the consummate stereotypical politician in an awkward situation, he sidestepped the adults and attempted to warm up to my youngest boy as we passed and walked up to him and took his hand.
My son, Peter who was then but eleven years old, looked the Governor of the State of Michigan straight in the eye and said, “I don’t know why you’re shaking my hand Mr., I don’t vote.” The Governor was taken aback, I laughed out loud, and we continued walking on down the midway.
It was Fieger we had come to see.
Geophrey Fieger and his wife Keeney were there to make an appearance and I wanted to meet him. His meteoric rise to prominence in State politics and the Democratic nomination as the gubernatorial candidate was unprecedented in Michigan politics.
He’d previously never run for or held public office.
I didn’t fully understand it at the time, though I harbored some suspicions, but this campaign was not beginning or heating up as reported in the press. The fix was already in.
Engler would legally be able to run for a third term, but in spite of his influence and popularity with the Republican majority in the State legislature, John Engler lacked popular support among the citizens of the State.
His approval ratings were so low near the end of his second term it was highly improbable that Engler would be able to garner the support necessary for re-election. With the exception of his loyal Republican base, Engler faced widespread opposition.
“Anybody but Engler” became the call to arms for the movement against his getting this third consecutive term.
You’ve got to be careful for what you wish for in politics.
The first step in assuring victory in this election was an organized plan for crossover voting in the primaries. Taking advantage of the near even split between Owen and Ross the Democratic frontrunners, both in contention for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, registered Republicans came out in high numbers to vote in the primary election.
Their candidate was not in dispute; he’d of course be John Engler. A large portion of the core Republican base cast their ballots to help the Democrats choose their candidate.
It was a simple choice. Pick the man that Engler could most easily beat.
Geophrey Fieger was the wildcard in this strategy. Straight to the forefront of State politics in one fell swoop. His political career was exactly three months old, when allegedly funding his own primary campaign with full knowledge of the impact that this “open” or “blanket” primary would have, he came from nowhere to steal the Democratic nomination.
Fieger wasn’t an unknown personality. Fieger had gained national prominence as Jack Kevorkian’s lawyer. He had strong support in and around Detroit, not of a traditional political nature; so much as it was a fan base. He was seen as a maverick and was an in your face, headline grabbing plaintiff’s attorney.
Fieger’s defending Kevorkian automatically insured Engler of the high moral ground regarding the professed Republican conviction regarding “the right to life”.
The truth is they are absolutely adamant about the State’s rights over individual choice regarding who lives and who doesn’t. Matters of life and death aren’t to be entrusted to individuals, even over their own bodies, only the State can “taketh away”. Death penalty, O.K. Doctor assisted patient suicide to ease the suffering of the terminally ill, immoral and illegal.
This bifurcated policy is a dichotomy I’ve never been able to comprehend.
The next critical linchpin in the strategy was a ballot initiative, called Proposition B, which could have legalized physician-assisted suicide in Michigan. Proposal B insured that Fieger and Kevorkian would remain inseparable throughout the campaign.
Kevorkian had created waves of negative press by continuing to assist suicides without so much as a medical license and was charged time after time with a variety of crimes, only to be acquitted of each charge.
In September 1998, Kevorkian crossed the line by administering a lethal injection with his own hand, albeit into a willing victim, and was charged with a crime that stuck and for which he remains in a Michigan prison to this day.
You might remember the 60 minutes piece that aired after the election in November, 1998 that actually showed this man die in front of the camera.
The last guarantee of an Engler victory was Fieger himself. He’s an actor, and a fair one. It’s part of his success in the courtroom. He loves the limelight. To almost everybody who witnessed his personal appearances, Fieger came across as a straw man candidate.
His campaign wasn’t regarded as a serious attempt at winning the race; it was deemed self-promotion at great cost to whatever integrity remained in State politics. But for the political experience and established creditability of his running mate James Agee who agreed to join him on the ticket as Lt. Governor, Fieger would have been unable to gain the endorsement of any legitimate political entity.
The Engler administration and the insurance industry were so entangled during his administration; you couldn’t tell who was on top. In the late summer of 1998, rebate checks from the auto insurance companies were mailed to nearly everybody as tangible reminders of Engler’s success in reforming the legal and healthcare system and saving the insurance companies vast sums of money.
These same “reforms” however were leaving accident victims across the State without the coverage and actual support they believed was behind them when they had paid their premiums.
By Labor Day 1998, Engler’s numbers were rising. He was the consummate incumbent, remaining disengaged from the political fray; he avoided debate and rarely so much as mentioned Fieger’s name.
The Democrats on the other hand were stunned and distressed.
It went something like this…
Geoffrey Fieger, Jack Kevorkian’s mouthy advocate and lead attorney, is currently fighting for his political life in Michigan.
Fieger stunned the Democratic Party faithful on 8/4/98 by winning the primary and the right to carry the party banner in the governor’s race against incumbent GOP Gov. John Engler. Since that time, Fieger has had to woo his own party members and leadership as much as the state’s voters. And it hasn’t been easy.
Even finding a running mate proved difficult, if not embarrassing. Early on, each person to whom Fieger publicly offered the job declined. He even tried to sign on former Republican National Committeewoman Ronna Romney, who also declined.
Engler’s press secretary, John Truscott, took advantage of Fieger’s predicament, saying, “It’s like asking for a date for the prom over the school’s public address system.” [Detroit News, 8/24/98]
Finally, State Representative Jim Agee of Muskegon accepted the job as running mate. According to Fieger, the more politically savvy and experienced Agee could “guide me through shark-infested waters.” [Detroit Free Press, 8/29/98]
But Fieger also knew that Agee had his own solid following. Formerly a teacher, high school principal, and district superintendent, Agee had proven to be a close ally of the Michigan Education Association (MEA) in the state legislature. By bringing Agee on board, Fieger was able to get the MEA’s endorsement for governor. [Detroit News, 8/29/98]
He also garnered the endorsement of the United Auto Workers Union (UAW), which issued a press release stating that Fieger and Agee were “progressive candidates who are right on working family issues such as education….” [AP, 9/13/98]
But despite Agee’s political acumen, Fieger has repeatedly put his proverbial foot in his rather loud mouth—like the time he announced plans to slash the state’s sales tax, a cut which would have resulted in schools losing $2.3 billion or $1,400 per student. Agee had to proclaim publicly that he could not back Fieger’s proposed tax cut, adding, “That’s something we (he and Fieger) need to talk about.” “There will be issues during the campaign we don’t agree on,” he added. [Detroit News, 9/3/98]
Another member of his party’s ticket, Jennifer Granholm, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, also had to publicly disagree with Fieger. This time it was over his plan to release 7,000 drug offenders from prison and place them in boot camps or other programs. Granholm told the press, “I am absolutely opposed to that. I have spent too many years putting drug dealers in jail to see them released.” [Detroit News, 9/16/98]
Then there was the time Fieger had to backtrack on his proposal to repeal a 4-cent gas tax hike earmarked for road repairs. Fieger changed his mind after a coalition of farm and business groups called a press conference denouncing his plan as being “crazy” and “irresponsible.” According to a spokesman from the Road Builders Association, “Geoffrey Fieger doesn’t know his asphalt from a hole in the ground.” [Detroit News, 9/22/98]
To add insult to injury, the party big wigs and most of those running for other offices have tried to distance themselves from the brash newcomer. The Detroit News reported, “At least eight well-known Democrats—and possibly many more—are fleeing Fieger in hopes of saving their political skins.” When Vice President Al Gore went to Michigan to campaign for his party’s candidates, he never once mentioned Fieger’s name at any public event, and, while they both met privately, absolutely no photos were taken. [Detroit News, 9/24/98; Washington Post, 9/24/98]
And the polls have not been favorable to Fieger since the primary. Experienced pollster Steve Mitchell said, “Never have I seen anyone with such a low rating.” He’s off the charts—plowing new ground in unpopularity.” A recent newspaper poll showed Engler ahead by 61% to 24%, with 15% undecided or noncommittal. [Detroit News, 9/27/98]
It remains to be seen if a last minute Fieger campaign blitz will affect the outcome on November 3rd. But one thing is for sure: if Fieger loses, it will be an unassisted political suicide.
…By October the electorate was buzzing over wayward remarks Fieger had made regarding religion and religious leaders.
The Republicans pounded away at Fieger framing him as an intolerant extremist. They spent $750,000 on a September ad calling Fieger a bigot.
When Fieger’s poll numbers really began to plummet, he pulled them in over his head with demeaning remarks about the Governor and his triplets.
Fieger’s campaign was so loaded with personal attacks that even I, who despised Engler and most everything he stood for, was offended.
By the time Election Day arrived it was a forgone conclusion that Engler was a shoe in and when the votes were counted it was a landslide victory for the incumbent Governor and though the general public wasn’t necessarily happy with the outcome, they were grateful for the fact the whole mess was finally off the front page.
Now here’s where the rubber meets the road.
Today Fieger is thriving, at least financially. He and his law firm of Fieger, Fieger, Kenney & Johnson of Southfield, Michigan have seen major growth since the “unsuccessful” election of 1998.
The firm is a clearinghouse for potential lawsuits as Fieger is without a doubt the most famous, or better said infamous, plaintiff’s attorney in the State.
This rapid climb to the top tier of Michigan’s legal strata was in no small part due to the addition of Jerimiah Kenney to the Fieger partnership.
Having obtained his law degree from the University of Detroit in 1974, Kenney spent most of his career working as a defense attorney with the Kitch, Drutchas law firm in Detroit representing doctors and hospitals in medical malpractice lawsuits.
When Kenny left to team up with Fieger in April 1999, he was supervising 7 offices and 125 attorneys for that firm. Kenney signed on as partner with the Fieger Firm, working as a plaintiff’s attorney on medical malpractice and civil rights lawsuits.
Go figure. A defense attorney, with an a small army of associates, teams with the most notorious plaintiff’s attorney in the State and the firm is probably screening more potential claims than any other law firm in the State.
I can tell you from first hand knowledge that the chaff doesn’t always go to the most scrupulous of attorney’s.
Fieger, Fieger, Kenney & Johnson referred me to one who asked that I assemble my medical records and mail everything I had so a friend of his, who he straight up told me was a defense attorney, could go through the case and decide if it had merit.
If so, then he’d sign on and work the case. Of course, he gave me these instructions over the phone and when I asked he put them in a letter to me, he politely declined. That was that.
Gives you a little insight into how this scam “might” work.
You screen more caseload than you could possibly take to Court, skim the cream and farm out the rest to stooge lawyers who give the “home” team the heads up.
The “defense” industry doesn’t mind the fact you hit it big with a few “front page” verdicts, because that’s what keeps the cards and letters coming in.
Cynical? Maybe. Am I saying it’s so, definitely not?
It’s just highly probable in the climate of moral entropy that has devolved the ethical standards in this State.
The only thing stranger than one of the most highly regarded and successful defense attorneys in the country switching sides after almost a quarter century “so he can spend more time in the courtroom” and join what was then just a tiny firm that Fieger worked out of, is the career path of Jim Agee, the only Democratic politician that was willing to team with Fieger in an act of political suicide to insure the re-election of John Engler.
March 20, 2003
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced the appointment of James G. Agee to the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Board of Directors. “Jim is someone I admire and for whom I have a tremendous amount of respect,” Granholm said. “I know that he will serve on the board with pride and that he will work hard to protect health care for our families and our children.”
Agee, 62, of Laingsburg, is the President of J.G. Agee Consultants L.L.C and Co-Director of the Michigan Political Leadership Program (MPLP) at Michigan State University. MPLP is a multi-partisan leadership program that helps students develop skills in the areas of personal leadership, effective governance, public policy analysis and process, practical politics, and campaigning.
Agee previously served as the State Representative for the 92nd District from 1992 to 1998. During his time in the Legislature, Agee was vice chair of the Taxation and Education committees as well as a member of the Corrections, House Oversight and the Urban Affairs committees.
He also served as a member of “Team Fourteen,” a select group of legislators that redesigned Michigan’s tax and school finance structure. Throughout his career as a State Representative, Agee was the recipient of numerous awards for his achievements.
In 1998, Agee accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for Lieutenant Governor.
After the election he went on to become First Vice President for Public Finance at Banc One Capital Markets. Agee started his career as a teacher in 1962 with Pontiac Public Schools. He continued his career in education as principal of Muskegon High School and became superintendent of Muskegon Public Schools in 1983. He earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Michigan State University.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Board of Directors develops policy that benefits the quality, cost, and availability to Blue Cross Blue Shield members. The board meets eight times a year. This position is subject to State Senate confirmation.
How’s that for a cushy job for a schoolteacher who worked his way up to become a small time politician, crashed running for Lt Governor and had the pieces picked up by Banc One Capital Markets and made enough quick cash to establish his own consultant firm.
20 years teaching followed by 10 years managing in the Pontiac school system, 6 years in the State House, steps up to give Fieger enough creditability to garner the support of the MEA and the UAW, but loses in an inevitable landslide.
Becomes Banc One Vice President, President of his own consulting firm and appointed to the Board of Blue Cross Blue Shield of MI in addition to a high paid multi-partisan leadership role at Michigan State University.
Incidentally, Michigan’s current Governor Jennifer Granholm was the Attorney General for Michigan while Engler sold off Accident Fund to BCBS of MI and was saving the State millions by screwing workers out of their compensation and denying their benefits.
The biggest and dirtiest of these state agencies was the Michigan Department of Corrections over which Agee then held an oversight position.
I can’t tell you how much money BCBS of MI gives Mr. Agee for his duties on the Board of Directors, but if you only have to show up for meetings every 6 weeks or so, it can’t be too tough a gig.
Am I saying that Agee and Fieger are both unethical and have done unusually well for themselves in the past 8 years since they “crashed”?
No. Sometimes when you lose, you win, cloud with a silver lining so to speak.
My question is did somebody point out or put the pot at the end of the rainbow?
Owen or Ross either one could have easily beaten Engler.
It seems to me the whole process was rigged, that Fieger and Agee are players and political opportunists and Engler’s third term was part of a larger national strategy.
You have to question the motives of a non-politician exploiting a supposed rift in the Democratic Party and on three months notice, which is a blink politically speaking, winning the nomination.
Had he truly been motivated by his sense of outrage over how the Engler administration had done this state and it’s citizens, he’d have entered the arena a lot sooner than he did. Fieger would have been looking for a running mate and prepared a viable platform on which to run before winning the nomination.
Part of the reason Fieger’s run against Engler turned into a public laughing stock was he didn’t have a clue regarding matters of public policy.
Although he’s a fair actor, he hadn’t fully prepared his script.
Agee’s political capital was the only factor that prevented Fieger from taking down the whole Democratic ticket. Granholm was re-elected as Attorney General in 1998 and went on to become Governor in 2002.
Regarding the Department of Corrections and proper oversight in the 1992-1998 period, I was employed by the Department from February of 1990 till March of 1998 and knew first hand that people were literally getting away with homicide and the AG’s Office was doing it’s level best to keep the lid on it.
Not turn things around.
4 years ago

Think Harriet Miers. No prior judicial experience excepting a stint being a clerk for one till Engler appointed her to the Michigan Court of Appeals in 1992.
Incidentally, Justice Maura Corrigan was on President Bush’s short list for the U.S. Supreme Court when Miers withdrew from the process. Chief Justice Roberts was chosen instead and became the nominee to gain the approval of the Senate and now heads the U.S. Supreme Court.

Justice Maura D. Corrigan
Biographical Profile
Justice Maura Corrigan was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court in 1998 and served two terms as Chief Justice from 2001-2004.
She graduated from Marygrove College in 1969 and from the University of Detroit Law School in 1973. She next worked as a law clerk to Michigan Court of Appeals Judge John Gillis and as a Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor. In 1979, she became an Assistant United States Attorney, serving as Chief of Appeals and later Chief Assistant United States Attorney. In 1989, Justice Corrigan became a partner at Plunkett & Cooney, a venerable Detroit law firm. In 1992, Governor John Engler appointed her to the Michigan Court of Appeals. She was twice elected to that court and was appointed as its Chief Judge from 1997-1998 until her election to the Supreme Court.
Justice Corrigan participates in numerous community and professional activities. Currently, she is President of the American Inns of Court at MSU Law School and holds memberships on the Boards of the International Center for Healing and the Law of the Fetzer Institute, Vista Maria, and the Pew Commission investigating foster care issues in the U.S. She recently completed a term as vice-president of the Conference of Chief Justices and co-chaired the Conference of Chief Justices Problem Solving Courts Committee. Justice Corrigan was appointed to the Michigan Law Revision Commission, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Attorney Advisory Committee, and the Local Rules Committee of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. She held posts on the executive board of the Michigan Judges Association and the Judicial Advisory Board of the Center for Law and Organizational Economics at the University of Kansas Law School. She also served on the board of Boysville of Michigan (now Holy Cross). She is a long time member of the Federalist Society, Michigan Lawyers Chapter, and was president of the Incorporated Society of Irish American Lawyers and the Federal Bar Association, Detroit Chapter.
Justice Corrigan has won numerous awards for her achievements including: The Metro Detroit Beat the Odds Award Organizing Committee’s 2005 Metro Detroit Service to Children Award (2005), the Detroit News Michiganian of the Year Award (2005), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OCS) Award for significant improvements to Michigan’s Child Support Enforcement Program (2002), the Federal Bar Association’s Leonard Gilman Award to the Outstanding Practitioner of Criminal Law (1989), and the U.S. Department of Justice Director’s Award for Outstanding Performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (1985). She holds honorary doctorates from five Michigan colleges and universities: Eastern Michigan University, Michigan State University/Detroit College of Law, Northern Michigan University, University of Detroit-Mercy, and Schoolcraft College. She has been chosen as the Outstanding Alumna of UD-Mercy Law School and Marygrove College. She has coauthored a treatise on civil procedure and has published articles in professional journals and books, including the Wayne Law Review, University of Toledo Law Review, NYU Law Review and the Texas Review of Law and Politics. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Wayne State University Law School and at programs of the Michigan Judicial Institute, the American Bar Association Appellate Practice Institute, the Federal Bar Association, and the U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute.
Justice Corrigan is the widow of Wayne State University Distinguished Professor of Law Joseph D. Grano and is the mother of Daniel, a Wayne State University law student, Megan, a comedian with Second City in Chicago, and the mother-in-law of Michael Canale, business manager of Chicago’s Annoyance Theater.
Post Modified: 01/04/07 12:31:02
4 years ago

President of the National Association of Manufacturers John Engler

“Gov. John Engler has had more impact on the lives of Michiganians over the past decade than any other single person, and his deep imprint will be evident well into the new century.”
The Detroit News, April 9, 2001

Formerly Michigan’s 3 Term Governor of the State of Michigan and a career politician on the state level, this position as head of the NAM makes John Engler one of the most powerful voices in the country outside of government on the national level.
The National Association of Manufacturers not only is one of the nations most powerful political lobbies in the country, but serves to educate and inform the business community on how to best exploit new legislation and technology as it becomes available.
The NAM is a critical and powerful link between business and government.
Now CEO’s across America can benefit from the wealth of experience John Engler gained managing the State of Michigan regarding tort reform, insurance, benefits and labor issues.
Post Modified: 04/01/06 02:56:04
4 years ago

Geoffrey Fieger is an American attorney.
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Based out of Michigan, he represented Dr. Jack Kevorkian in his doctor-assisted murder trial, and later ran unsuccessfully as the Democratic nominee for governor of Michigan in 1998.
Most recently he appeared as one of the attorneys on the reality TV show Power of Attorney. He is also in the works to start another reality show, Fieger and Associates.
…on the issue of entertainment, does anybody remember the movie the Devil’s Advocate where Al Pacino starred as the devil in an effort to take over the world with lawyers as “the new priesthood”.
Can you say “prophetic”.
Geoffrey Fieger
Trial Practice Institute

Attorney Geoffrey N. Fieger has made a gift of $4 million to Michigan State University-Detroit College of Law (MSU-DCL) to initiate and sustain the Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice Institute.
The Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice Institute is for students who have a strong desire to be trial practitioners and want to learn what it takes to win in the courtroom.
The nation’s first trial practice institute for law students provides selected MSU College of Law students with the experience, skills, and knowledge to become outstanding trial attorneys.
The Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice Institute offers a unique way to blend education with skill, theory with application, and the classroom with the courtroom. Graduates will enter the job market with clear evidence that they have experience being lawyers, ready to help clients through their litigation.
…hmm, MSU, that rings a bell isn’t that where…Justice Corrigan is President of the American Inns of Court at MSU Law School.
Complete Interview

TRIUMPH: During the 1998 Gubernatorial race I had the opportunity to interview Governor Engler. I asked him if he was concerned about you becoming Governor of Michigan. He responded: “I am not the least bit concerned with Mr. Fieger winning this election. He has the most self-destructive personality I have ever seen. I don’t have to beat him, he will beat himself.” Do you think that you, your personality was the main reason you lost the election?
FIEGER: My only comment on that would be… consider the source. He’s a racist. He says nothing and then goes behind the backs of people and work for his corporate and fat-cat sponsors who promote him. Today in politics you need duplicitous under-handed, fairly stupid, crook-like people like John Engler running because he doesn’t say anything. He says nothing. Primarily he is rather stupid. Then you get what you get. Okay? But I am certain that there is a place for the truth. The truth eventually will be spoken. I am sure they probably would have said that about Martin Luther King.
I wouldn’t listen to anything John Engler says because he is a racist, hate-mongering commercial trying to define me. They say that about anybody who isn’t a part of their status quo and that is how they try to define you. I have no excuses or explanations. This is who I am and what I am. This is the way I will always be.
…Now on that tip, he wasn’t lying, If you any doubt about what I’ve implied regarding the ethics of Geophrey Fieger just follow the dots…
dotdotdot … dash…..dash…..dash….. dotdotdot … Will Fieger run for the Democratic nomination and challenge Cox for the Attorney Generals Office in 2006?
Or will Fieger go to jail?
Neither one is likely…It’d mean the end to the Fieger ATM machine I was eluding to as a “possibility”
Or to break it down,
Fieger said the timing of federal agents appearing at the accountants’ office shows a close relationship between the state and federal authorities.
Steinberg also said that Fieger’s attorneys met with the state investigators to discuss the tax returns “and volunteered evidence that cleared their client. The attorney general decided to continue the investigation anyway. And now the FBI is tromping over the same ground.”
“And still there was no evidence of any crime and there will be none, either,” Steinberg said.
Post Modified: 04/01/06 03:21:03
4 years ago

Sometimes no Peace,
Post Modified: 06/26/06 19:24:04
4 years ago

Yup… both party’s should just be referred to as “The line our own pockets party”
3 years ago

Can you say? “Conflict of Interest.”
Accident Fund? Google me that.
If you get hurt at work and your Worker’s Compensation Carrier and your Doctor are both either directly accountable or financially dependent upon Big Blue, is anybody really working for or concerned about you?
Or is it all about the bottom line?
What if your insurance company say,
BCBS of MI was also a major contributor to the political campaigns of your elected representatives in Congress?
Non-profit doesn’t mean nobody gets paid.
3 years ago

Miers resigns as White House counsel
“Harriet is one of the most beloved people here at the White House,” Snow said, adding that she was a scrupulous lawyer who aggressively defended the Constitution.
“Not much point in her hanging around here anymore.”
~GWHunta (I’m personally going to miss her.)
Post Modified: 01/04/07 12:47:38
3 years ago

Oy, oy, oy gevalt.
That is not a definition of fascism.
What is it then, this list of things of which this post listed number 13.
Someone wanted to disparage the US and the Administration. He decided that his main mechanism would be to call them fascists. He gathered up a list of drivelous insults that he could remember from memory. He tried to find a connection of each with the word fascism.
Ok I will bite.
Cronyism is the force that goes against fascism. They can coexist. No doubt Hitler’s appointment of Meyer (Goering) as his Luftwaffe Reich Marshall was cronyism. They were buddies from the Putsch and Meyer was as stupid and incompetent as they come. Nobody is there right mind would put Meyer in charge of anything.
Post Modified: 01/04/07 15:47:49
3 years ago

she was a scrupulous lawyer who aggressively defended the Constitution.
“Not much point in her hanging around here anymore.”
3 years ago

3 years ago

That it is,
that opposition to democracy and individualism says it all.
3 years ago

Interesting how you cherry-pick information Izzy.
It also says opposition to socialism and liberalism.
You might make a fine fascist fellow someday.
3 years ago

Justice Maura D. Corrigan: Campaign Endorsements
Alger County Prosecutor Karen A. Bahrman
Post Modified: 02/14/07 10:55:33
3 years ago

Victim of his own success.
Following my circle tour around Lake Michigan in April, 2005 with visits to the Chicago Tribune, the Sun Times, Lansing’s Accident Fund, Fieger, Fieger, Kinney & Johnson and of course Blue Cross Blue Shield of MI corporate headquaters in Detroit.
DETROIT, May 12, 2005 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s president and chief executive officer, Richard E. Whitmer, has announced the resignation of James (Jim) C. Epolito, president and chief executive officer of the Lansing-based Accident Fund Insurance Company of America (AFICA), effective May 13, 2005. AFICA is the workers’ compensation subsidiary of the Michigan Blues.
Epolito has been with the Blues since 1978 and was appointed to his current position in 1995. He brought extensive leadership experience to AFICA, having formerly served as president and CEO of Blue Care Network-Health Central, the HMO subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
As president and CEO of AFICA, he grew AFICA into one of the largest workers’ compensation organizations in the country. As a member of the Blues family, Epolito also has a long history of supporting many charitable organizations across the state of Michigan.
Elizabeth (Liz) Wiesner, executive vice president and chief business development officer with AFICA, will assume on an interim basis the responsibilities of the AFICA president and CEO.
“He has been a strong leader at the Accident Fund over the last 10 years, growing the company from a single-state carrier into the national company it is today,” said Whitmer. “His contributions to our enterprise are valuable and most appreciated.”
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is nonprofit and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
Post Modified: 04/09/07 13:06:03
3 years ago

That cast the cloud.
When nothing came from the shadows, the sun again shined, illuminating the next pot of gold at the end of his rainbow. Again, sometimes when you lose, you still win in the end.
A cabinet post, President and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation working for the two term Democratic Governor Jennifer M. Granholm.
Today James C. Epolito continues what he’s done best for the past two decades, giving Michigan businesses the upper hand over the rights and best interests of its citizens.
Sometimes no Peace
Post Modified: 04/09/07 18:14:21
2 years ago

2 years ago

2 years ago

2 years ago

1 year ago

1 year ago

Fieger testifies in campaign cash case
He says reimbursing donors not unlawful
3 months ago

Post Modified: 08/24/09 04:37:28
2 months ago

“UPDATE: U.P. judge jailed for drunk driving”:
Judge gives statement to TV6 Monday, July 27, 2009 at 3:53 p.m.
Tuesday July 28, 5:15 a.m.
Statement from Judge Nebel to TV6:
“I made a series of bad and inappropriate decisions and I accept full responsibility for those decisions and will address this matter in a straightforward manner. There’s no justification for my behavior and I am prepared to face the consequences of my actions.”
Judge Charles Nebel
Tuesday July 27, 4:15 p.m.
An Upper Michigan judge was in jail over the weekend after being arrested for operating a motor while intoxicated.
Alger and Schoolcraft County Probate Judge Charles Nebel was stopped Friday night around 9 p.m.
Michigan State Police from the Newberry Post were in pursuit of Nebel, who was traveling at speeds in excess of 100 miles an hour through Luce County. Troopers finally caught Judge Nebel in Schoolcraft County.
Nebel was arrested after showing a blood alcohol content above .08. That’s above the legal limit for being drunk.
Nebel was taken to the Schoolcraft County Jail Friday night.
Schoolcraft County officials are asking the attorney general’s office to handle their portion of the case since Nebel is a sitting judge there.
There’s no word on any court appearances at this time.
Post Modified: 08/24/09 04:45:12
2 months ago

Nebel in Schoolcraft County Court
Better to address the end of the story and the Judge pulling over in Schoolcraft County, than to have to explain, under oath, the beginning of the “chase” in Luce County.
Sometimes no Justice
Post Modified: 08/24/09 04:56:17
1 month ago

Craig Coccia’s homage to the democratic process.

16 Responses to Defining Characteristics of a Fascist State – Number 13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption

  1. gwhunta says:

    Coccia, Craig T. MD



    Primary Election


    Coccia, Craig

    Marquette General Hospital/Neurolog



    Primary Election


    Will he become Michigan’s next Governor??????

    Sometimes no Peace

  2. gwhunta says:




    General Election


  3. gwhunta says:




    General Election


  4. GWHunta says:

    Obama to Veto Any Attempt to Roll Back Automatic Cuts After Committee’s Inability to Reach Debt Deal

  5. GWHunta says:

    James G. Agee
    The chair of Accident Fund’s board of directors, James Agee is the president of J.G. Agee Consultants, LLC. Previously he was the first vice president of public finance at Banc One Capital Markets and retired in 2007 as co-director of Michigan State University’s Michigan Political Leadership Program. From 1992 until 1998, Agee served as a member of the Michigan House of Representatives and in 1998 was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor. Prior to working as a state representative, Agee was a principal at Muskegon High School and then a superintendent of Muskegon Public Schools. In addition to his chair position with Accident Fund, Agee sits on the board for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

  6. GWHunta says:

    Revolving door — Granholm rep goes to work for Rio Tinto

    Matt Johnson, Gov. Granholm’s Upper Peninsula representative since 2003, will now serve as manager of governmental and community relations for Rio Tinto, the Marquette Mining Journal reports.

  7. GWHunta says:

    Governor’s UP Director Resigned to Work for Kennecott

    I know this is old news, but Matt was all the “go to guy” I had during those tough times between 2003 and when Mr. Johnson bailed on State government to make hay for himself.
    The farm boy gets it.
    Read the story. “Smart Bart” was his mentor.


  8. GWHunta says:

    Rio Tinto Centre for Mine Automation

    10 billion dollars worth of nickel for them and jobs for the UP. Ahem, wake UP!

    At least they got beads for Manhattan.

    Sometimes no Piece

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