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james fouts

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts
Jim Fouts Facebook page

Jim Fouts will get to stay mayor of Warren longer than some residents might like. 

 

 

The Macomb County Election Commission has rejected all six recall petitions against Mayor Fouts, despite ongoing controversy.

 

 

Fouts has been surrounded by controversy for alleged audio recordings of him saying disparaging and mocking things about mentally ill children, women and black people, and for potentially breaking campaign finance laws.

 

 

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts
Jim Fouts Facebook page

Warren residents and their elected officials are sharply divided in their opinions about the fate of the city’s longtime mayor, Jim Fouts.

That was on display at heated and sometimes wild city council meeting Tuesday night.

Leaked audio tapes seem to show Fouts mocking and degrading African Americans, disabled people, and others.

But many people defended Fouts, who claims the tapes are fakes concocted by his political enemies.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts
Jim Fouts Facebook page

Tuesday, members of the Warren city council will meet for the first time since more audio tapes allegedly containing the voice of Mayor Jim Fouts were leaked.  

The tapes purportedly show Fouts making disparaging comments about African-Americans and women.

Fouts says the tapes are fake. The source of the tapes is unknown.

Warren city council secretary Robert Boccomino says council members will discuss the tapes and try to uncover more information about their source and when they were recorded.

The Big 4 on the big screen at Cobo Center. Left to right: Mark Hackel, L. Brooks Patterson, Mike Duggan, and Warren Evans.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Metro Detroit’s “Big Four” had their annual public gathering at Detroit’s auto show today.

The four leaders are the Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb county executives, and Detroit’s mayor. It’s usually a mostly feel-good conversation about regional cooperation.

And indeed, they did talk about that and a range of other issues. But the leaders also couldn’t avoid the topic of the hour: Warren Mayor Jim Fouts.

Leaked audio tapes seem to show Fouts making incredibly degrading comments about African-Americans and disabled people, among others.

From left to right: Macomb County County Executive Mark Hackel, Warren Mayor Jim Fouts, and Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller
From left to right: Macomb County government, City of Warren, GOP.gov

Metro Detroit's infamous Macomb County might be "the most politically craziest county in Michigan, if not the planet."

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts
Jim Fouts Facebook page

“I will not resign,” says Warren Mayor Jim Fouts on Facebook this morning, just an hour after several Democrats – including Congressman Sander Levin, D-MI, – called on Fouts to quit over racist, sexist audio tapes that are allegedly of Fouts.

Here's his Facebook post:

There is a leaked audio tape that has caused a sensation in political circles in the Detroit area. The language is raw, shocking and horribly vile, and, for once is not about sex.

A voice that sounds very much like that of Warren Mayor Jim Fouts complains that quote, “while on Fridays in the past I would be going to meet some women, tonight I am meeting with a group of retards. Tonight is retard night.” 

morguefile.com

It could be a long, hot, NOISY summer in Warren, Michigan, along with many other communities.

The city's mayor, Jim Fouts, is one of the most vocal critics of the state's one-year-old fireworks law, which permits individuals to purchase commercial-grade fireworks, and set them off the day before, the day of, and the day after ten major holidays.

He says a modification to the law being considered by the state legislature will do no good.

Warren's Office of the Mayor

A national nonprofit group for atheists and agnostics wants to display a sandwich board with an anti-religion message inside Warren City Hall.  A nativity scene erected by the Warren Rotary Club is on display in Warren City Hall, something the "Freedom From Religion Coalition" takes issue with.

On one side, the group's sign reads:

  • "At this season of the Winter Solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."


On the other, it reads:

  • "Keep State & Church Separate."


The Macomb Daily News reports the group has tried to put the sign up in past years:

From the Macomb Daily:

For the second consecutive year, the Freedom From Religion Coalition has taken exception to the crèche located in the atrium of the municipal building, saying other viewpoints on religion should be permitted. According to a Fox 2 Detroit (WJBK-TV) report, the group has threatened legal action against the city...

According to the Freedom From Religion Coalition's website, their "demand letter to Mayor James R. Fouts, of Warren, Michigan, gave him until 10 a.m. today to agree to place their “equal time Winter Solstice sign" in the atrium of Warren City Hall.

Mayor James Fouts sent a letter to the group saying he would not allow their sign to be displayed because the sign is "antagonistic toward all religions and would serve no purpose during this holiday season except to provoke controversy and hostility among visitors and employees at city hall."

Fouts says he's allowed displays in city hall celebrating Ramadan, a month-long Muslim holiday, but could not support the Coalition's sign because "your non-religion is not a recognized religion."

From Fouts' letter:

If you requested permission to put up a sandwich board saying that there is no Santa Claus, you would be met with the same response. Santa Claus lives in the minds and hearts of many millions of children. The belief of God and religion lives in the hearts and minds of hundreds of millions of people and is as much a part of the fabric of America, as the belief in democracy and freedom.

Attorney Danielle Hessell of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan is representing the Freedom From Religion Coalition in the dispute. Hessell says the group is planning to sue.

From a FFRC press release:

“To date, the mayor has engaged in flagrant viewpoint censorship. As the city’s top government official, he has created a public forum for religion and only for religion. We hope reason will prevail, but if he does not permit our member to place the Winter Solstice display in the atrium tomorrow, we are planning to sue Mr. Fouts in federal court.”

Warren Mayor James Fouts cruised to any easy primary victory Tuesday night.

The five-person primary in Michigan’s third-largest city got downright nasty at times. Candidates lobbed personal attacks, and there was a strange battle over whether Fouts had to reveal his age.

In the end though, Fouts was the clear winner, garnering more than 70% of the vote.

Fouts says he’s fought blight, demolishing about 600 dangerous homes. He also reorganized the city’s police department, and brought back EMS services.

He says the vote shows Warren is happy with his efforts.

“I think hard work, and effort, and recognizing the taxpayers are your boss, has allowed this success to take place.”

Fouts and City Councilwoman Kathy Vogt, a longtime political opponent, will face off in the November general election.

Despite finishing a distant second, Vogt says she’ll continue to hammer on what she calls Fouts’ lack of fiscal discipline.

“There are places where costs can be cut. And that’s what we’ve got to do. There’s got to be drastic cuts at this point. And the people at the top cannot continue to take top dollar all the time.”

Fouts calls Vogt’s assertions of fiscal irresponsibility “preposterous.” He says Warren has more money in its general fund than any other city in the state.