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E-M:/ Say "NO" to Ingham Circuit Judge Thomas L. Brown

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>



On November 3rd, Ingham County voters will chose two circuit judges.

There are three candidates running:   Incumbent Judge James R. Giddings, 
Williamston Attorney Norman Shinkle and incumbent Judge Thomas L. Brown.

Ingham County judicial races are important to the entire state since
these judges hear litigation brought by or against state agencies.   Many
important statewide environmental cases are decided by these locally elected

Ingham County environmentalists and conservationists should reject the 
candidacy of  Republican incumbent Judge Thomas L. Brown.

It was Judge Brown who walked away from the Michigan Environmental
Protection Act when Roger Connor, Attorney and former executive director 
of the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, brought an action to 
protect the Pigeon River Country State Forest from the oil drillers.    The 
dispute over oil development in the wild Pigeon River Country State Forest
was one of the defining, and most prominent environmental issues of the 
late 1970's.

It was Judge Brown who issued the idiotic order to the Michigan Department 
of Natural Resources that MDNR stop the migration of salmon up the 
Platte River, over the objections of fishermen and professional natural 
resources managers in MDNR.   In a related case concerning the Platte River
Fish Hatchery, it was Judge Brown who appointed a "special master" to 
help monitor the cleanup of a MDNR fish hatchery on the River. 
But the master billed Michigan's taxpayers $1.8 million dollars of fees and
for his  monitoring!!!  And the master owns a business that is trying to
force cleanup 
technology it owns on the State and taxpayers over the objections of 
professional managers in the DNR.  Talk about Brown being asleep 
at the switch!!!

It was Judge Brown who ruled for the beverage industry and the
Michigan Soft Drink Association when he threw out the beverage container
deposit "escheats" law  in 1991.   This law allocated unclaimed beverage 
container deposits as publicly owned financial resources and created a fund
to spend these millions in unclaimed deposits on environmental and conservation
programs.   Passage of this law was a hard fought victory by the Michigan
United Conservation Clubs and the Michigan Environmental Council, and 
Judge Brown threw it out with a stroke of a pen over the objections of 
Attorney General Frank Kelley and MUCC.   Ultimately Brown was reversed.

It was Judge Brown who refused to prohibit Consumers Power Company
from transferring assets to CMS energy where they would no longer
be allocated to the improvement and reliability of the CP electric power 
system, over the objections of Attorney General Kelley.

It was Judge Brown who meddled in an attempt by Michigan DNR to 
set legitimate ground rules for the hunting of bear on public lands by 
private guides using public resources, including certain legitimate 
limits on the use of dogs and baiting stations maintained on public 
land by private guides.

Other reasons to say "NO" to Judge Brown....

Of all Michigan circuit judges, Brown was named as the second most likely 
to have his civil judicial orders thrown out by the Court of Appeals 
according to a 1996 Detroit Free Press investigative report.  

This  means Judge Brown makes many errors that deny justice.   The same 
report found that more of Judge Brown's civil decisions were appealed  
than any other Ingham County judge.   This is because Brown's bench
rulings can be murky and his findings vague and incomplete.    Judge
Brown's decisions 
are overturned when he ignores the law, when he abuses his authority, 
when he fails to make required fact findings or when he  asserts facts that are 

Brown is known as the judge in Ingham County who divorces children
from fathers, by denying joint physical custody after divorce and 
paternity when there is any disagreement.   Children who don't
have a parental relationship with fathers are not brought up with 
Michigan's outdoor hunting and fishing traditions, and such parental 
alienation is one of the reasons for decline in participation in these

Brown has issued rulings that benefit cigarette smugglers and the 
tobacco industry.   He has hired his relatives as public employees
before this practice was banned by the Michigan Supreme Court.
In over two decades in office, he never reported any campaign 
contributions until just a few days ago on October 22.

At nearly 67, Brown is almost too old to run for judicial office under
Michigan law and he is clearly past his prime.


I personally will be supporting Judge Giddings who shows 
independence and follows the law.   I urge all Ingham 
county voters to reject the unfair attacks made on this 
conscientious and dedicated judge by Governor Engler.

I am also supporting former Republican State Senator 
Norman Shinkle, who promises to strictly construe the law.   Replacing 
Brown with Shinkle would mean replacing one Republican 
judge with another.   After talking with Shinkle I'm 
convinced that his commitment to follow theletter of the  law and his
support from conservationists near his
former residence in the Monroe area, mean that he
will be a better judge than Brown.

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com
Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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