Archive for November 24th, 2010

The Dirty World of Dearborn Politics

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

The unfortunate part about any person seeking public office is that politics is ugly business. We saw it this year in Dearborn in the State House race between council members George Darany and Suzanne Sarini.

Tom Tafelski

It was also ugly during last year’s general election. In the city council race, Dearborn Council President Tom Tafelski became the target of an anonymous attack/smear campaign both on the Internet and in the mail.

We approached Tafelski when the mailings began, providing him the opportunity to set the record straight last November but he declined. Instead, he said he would speak openly to us when this investigation was done.

True to his word, Tafelski took time out to discuss the results of the investigation, which are now public. There are many tails to the origins of the Tafelski attacks.

While it isn’t yet crystal clear who actually penned the mailing or email, an investigation did reveal that the email was forwarded by a Dearborn councilwoman. The investigation also turned up evidence that one of the mailings was stamped from the company of a Dearborn councilman to-be, Tafelski tells DeepsaidWhat. And, a Wayne County commissioner apologized to Tafelski for forwarding the email once.

Worth noting is that Tafelski had this information ahead of the November election. But he decided against releasing it because he said he didn’t want to stoop to the negative campaigning he so despises, which was a good call on his part.

While it is unlikely anyone will be charged for any of this, Tafeslki tells DeepsaidWhat he is going to refer the information to the city’s ethics board, along with the county and state election commission. He also said he is evaluating filing civil lawsuits. So this has the potential to live on and get a littly messy.

“What they all did was unconscionable. The fact remains it hurt my family because they wanted to get ahead in politics. And shame on them. Now they are scurrying behind the scenes. When you start talking to attorneys and possible charges . . . people dime out people pretty quick,” Tafelski said.

But first a recap from last November.