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Commissioner 'Stumps' for Fairbairn During Public Meeting

Updated: Jun 1

Well, well, well. Parker Fairbairn has a high-profile fan.


At a recent Special Meeting of the Health Dept. of NW Michigan Board, which convened to decide whether to appeal a COVID-19 judicial ruling related to the Iron Pig Smokehouse and unconstitutional lockdown mandates, a health board member stole the show by wearing a “Fairbairn” t-shirt and baseball cap.


Fairbairn, the chair of the Emmet County Republican Party, is primarying the incumbent Rep. Neil Friske, for the 107th State House seat. Two counties that belong to the health board consortium – Charlevoix and Emmet – are also part of the 107th.


Charlevoix Commissioner Joshua Chamberlain, also a Republican, sat through the entire health board meeting, which was recorded, wearing the Fairbairn apparel while executing his public duties.


The political fashion statement made Brett Gooding - who is running for a seat on the Emmet County Board of Commissioners and is a retired Michigan state trooper, and was at said meeting - uncomfortable.

Gooding, respectfully and privately, asked Chamberlain to ‘educate him on why you think you can do this.’ Chamberlain, according to Gooding, became belligerent and told him he had the right to wear anything he wanted to.


Gooding then queried Fairbairn, who was also in attendance, who offered little in the way of a substantial comment.


Commissioner Scott Hankins, who also represents Charlevoix County and chairs the health board meetings, listened to Gooding’s concerns, said he would investigate further, and assured him “it won’t happen again.”


That's the right call, Chair Hankins.  You, as well as Commissioner Chamberlain and Candidate Fairbairn, may want to become familiar with the following …

In 2021, a formal complaint was filed by one L. Kip Smith to the Michigan Dept. of State/Bureau Elections against Muskegon County Commissioner Zach Lahring for wearing a “Trump 2020” hat during a county commission meeting. Smith posited that “at no time may a public official campaign while being paid for work.”


The Bureau of Elections eventually ruled, communicating via correspondence, that campaign finance law had been violated by Laring: “The display of materials that expressly advocate for or against a candidate or ballot question by a public official engaged in the conduct of their public duties will be considered a violation of the MCFA [Michigan Campaign Finance Act].” The letter, written by Adam Fracassi, also stated that “a formal warning is a sufficient resolution to the complaint” and that it should “serve as notice to other public officials.”


Good on you, Mr. Gooding, for politely complaining. Democracy, it’s been said, dies in darkness.

Photo credits: Screenshot of Josh Chamberlain provided by "Trucker Randy" 97.7 FM, WCHY

YouTube Screenshot of Health Dept. of Northwest Michigan meeting

responds to a constituent (who also complained about a possible violation of Sec. 57 of the MI Campaign Finance Act) via Facebook: "I was made aware of this, I made sure to have an extra shirt in my vehicle. I will make sure this never happens again."


2 comentarios

28 may

Commissioner Chamberlain is almost as high profile of a fan of a candidate or political cause as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito! Perhaps they both ought to apologize and explain their recent displays of shameless politicking from high, trusted places. The rules are the same for Supreme Court Justices as they are for County Commissioners, right? (Maybe Chamberlain is just calling balls and strikes...)

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T Michael Banks
T Michael Banks
28 may

Boldness with humility. That’s how we win. Tom Banks

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