Evidence Surfaces That Ward 1 Council Candidate Committed Election Fraud in 2010
by P.D. Lesko
A2P Notes: This is filed under “Scoops & Scores” because you read it here first!
First Ward Council candidate Eric Sturgis often tells voters his political resume includes involvement in politics since the age of 18. It’s an impressive story. However, a closer look reveals disturbing patterns, and a young man who, in 2010, committed election fraud, according to officials in the Oakland County Clerk’s office. When asked, an official in the Washtenaw County Clerk’s office remarked that officials there had been made aware that Sturgis’s name had appeared on the ballots in two different counties in 2010, in violation of state election laws.
This, combined with Sturgis’s record of supporting opposing candidates in the same races, make it’s tough for anyone to know where the 26-year-old really stands on any issue, or whether he is being truthful about the issues in his campaign platform. Who is Eric Sturgis, and what does he stand for, really? He’s a Democrat, he says. The Environment, he says. Transit, he says. Parks, he says. Public Safety, he says.
However, campaign donation records and letters to the editor show that as early as 2002 and as recent as June 2012 Sturgis (pictured, left) has supported both the Republican and the Democratic candidates in the same Michigan political races. He once gave his support to all three Democratic candidates running in the same primary. In 2010, Sturgis donated to the campaign of Republican Rick Snyder, as did Second Ward Council member Stephen Rapundalo. Rapundalo was turned out of office in November 2011 by Democratic voters it is thought, in part, for his support of Michigan’s GOP governor. At a recent candidate forum Sturgis told voters he would be “able to work with John Hieftje.” A few minutes later, Sturgis admitted he had signed the nominating of petition of Hieftje’s Republican opponent. At the same event, Sturgis told the audience he “regretted” supporting Republican Jane Lumm for mayor. Then, a few minutes later, in response to another question, told audience members he was of the opinion that “Jane Lumm is great on City Council.”
Playing both sides, rather ham-handedly, is 26-year-old Sturgis’s political record. So is making unfounded accusations against his political opponents, as he did at a recent candidate forum. There, he accused his opponent Sumi Kailasapathy of supporting “Republicans” for office. In response, Kailasapathy, the former Treasurer of the Ann Arbor Democratic Party, simply pulled from her binder a sheet of paper that showed Sturgis’s 2010 campaign donation to Snyder.
In 2011, when Sturgis ran for student congress at Oakland University, he filed three formal grievances against his opponents Benjamin Eveslage and Elisa Malile, who ran on the same ticket for president and vice president. According to the Oakland Post, the student newspaper:
Sturgis…asserted that the Eveslage/Malile ticket left campaign materials in the OUSC office and also used a printer located in the office for campaign purposes.
“We’re focused on what’s best for OU,” Sturgis, an OUSC legislator, said. “I have been around for four election cycles and never have I seen something this dirty….Sturgis…was also pushing for the impeachment of Eveslage from his current OUSC executive board position. Sturgis expressed concerns to OUSC judiciary committee chair Darrell Boyd via an e-mail sent Tuesday afternoon.
The charges were investigated and found baseless. Eveslage and Malile beat Sturgis and his running mate easily. During this 2011 campaign for student congress, Sturgis told the student newspaper: “It’s my belief that anyone representing OUSC should hold themselves above the standards.”
However, Eric Sturgis has not been holding himself anywhere near the standard required of those who run for office. A2Politico recently uncovered voter registration and election information that shows in 2010 Ward 1 City Council candidate Eric Sturgis ran for election in two different counties. He filled out a notarized Affadavit of Identity in each county in order to have his name appear on the ballots in both localities.
Records available on the Oakland County Clerk’s web site show that Sturgis ran for the position of Precinct Delegate, stating that his address was 2656 Lantern Ln. Apt. 303, Auburn Hills MI 48326. The following link is to the Adobe Acrobat file that includes this information (at page 9):
In the same August 2010 election, Sturgis also ran for Precinct Delegate in Washtenaw County. For that race, he provided a Scio Township address – 6655 Jackson Road, #600 Ann Arbor MI 48103. That information is included in the Adobe Acrobat file found at this web address:
Sturgis did not win the Oakland County Precinct race, but did win the Washtenaw Precinct contest (tip o’ the keyboard to Glenn Thompson). He submitted conflicting Affidavits of Identity and failed to make timely withdrawal from either election, thus fraudulently appearing as a candidate on both ballots.
It’s unclear whether Sturgis’s political handlers and backers, including County Commissioner Leah Gunn, Fourth Ward Council member Marcia Higgins, Old Fourth Ward Vice President Ray Detter, DDA Board member Joan Lowenstein, and Ward 1 Council member Sandi Smith knew their candidate has a penchant for seeing his name on the ballot by hook or crook. It’s also unclear whether Sturgis’s local Democratic backers knew that he had supported Republican Rick Snyder in 2010. Then again, none of the Dems mentioned above backing Sturgis donated to Democrat Virg Bernero in the 2010 gubernatorial election.
During the past 7 years, Ward 1 Council candidate Eric Sturgis has registered to vote 11 times in 9 different cities. You’ll see his name twice on the Washtenaw County 2012 August ballot. As he did in Oakland and Washtenaw counties in 2010, county records show he is running as a Precinct Delegate.
Short URL: http://www.a2politico.com/?p=14050