Detroit, MI – Scotty Boman lost Detroit’s District 4 Police Commissioner campaign to the incumbent on November Second. Boman was one of two Libertarian Party of Michigan candidates on the ballot in 2021. The other was Alex Avery who unsuccessfully ran for the 28th District Michigan Senate seat. His campaign reached out to every household in the district. It included targeted mailings using professional quality literature. His campaign used phone banks, robo-calls, and a strong online presence.
Most notably, Boman personally knocked on every door in his district (over the past 4 years). Also he revisited about half of them in the 2021 election cycle. He also reached out to senior citizens living in residential communities. When contrasted with the campaign of his opponent, many of Boman’s local supporters were surprised (and even shocked) that the incumbent won. Boman commented,
While I was never smugly assuming I would win, I was surprised that I lost by a greater margin than in 2017; my activities in the past four years should have drawn more support.
In 2017 he earned over 39% of the vote, but only received 36% this time. He won the election for Community Advisory Council in 2020 with over 97% of the vote, but voter turnout was more than twice as great.
Boman will redirect his political activities to address constituent concerns, as Community Advisory Council Chair, for the remainder of 2021. After that he hopes to redirect the efforts of Team Boman to better understanding why he lost. Libertarians interested in helping him, with this research, should contact him directly.
The one factor that seemed to work in the incumbents favor was the support of an organization called “Our Neighborhoods First.” Their most visible action was a single 8.5” by 11” Mailer sent throughout the district. They sent it shortly after the City of Detroit sent out its last wave of absentee ballots. That piece highlighted The opponent’s many years of service in the Detroit Police department. Boman commented that
If this is what gave him more support, then it points to a failure of both my campaign and Detroit Residents Advancing Civilian Oversight (DRACO), to educate Detroiters on what the purpose and mission of the Board of Police Commissioners. Anyone, so informed, would not see this as a qualification, but rather a source of bias that he would need to overcome. Those commissioners (who were also former Detroit Police Officers) who have done a good job, did so IN SPITE OF (NOT BECAUSE OF) this experience. Their core duty is to evaluate complaints against police officers (after a thorough review by the Office of the Chief Investigator), and impose disciplinary action where necessary.
According to Deadline Detroit, “Our Neighborhoods First” is a heavily financed source of so-called “dark money” that supports Detroit’s Mayor Mike Duggan and candidates he favors. They’re run by mayoral appointees (former and current) and were, also, incorporated by a lawyer for the Duggan campaign. Boman noted, “It seems like we stepped up the quality of our campaign, but the opposition’s supporters stepped things up to match us.”
Boman told supporters,
I won’t blindly run against this candidate, for this office again. I value the support each member of the team has provided, and I won’t ask you to waste time, talent and treasure on an enterprise that has no reasonable chance of success. Please be assured that if I reach out for your support in the future, that I am doing so with informed confidence.
In addition to being challenged by financiers of Detroit’s political establishment, Boman found his campaign to be targeted by Detroit’s government, itself.
At approximately 12:30 PM on Friday October 15th, homeowner Wendy Clark initially saw one of three women step out of a pickup truck. They then attempted to steal political signs off her lawn. Mrs. Clark told the woman to stop, but she continued to take the last sign off her property, and threw it into the back of the pick-up truck. When the Mrs. Clark asked the perpetrator why she was doing this, the perpetrator said she her supervisor told her to do it.
The victim (Wendy Clark) retrieved the signs from the back of the truck, and put them back on her lawn. One of the women shouted obscenities at Clark and had a threatening tone.
Shortly after that, they returned and stole the signs. Based on the fact that the entire strip of roadway (East Outer Drive between Gratiot Ave. and I-94) was devoid of “Scotty Boman 4 Police Commissioner” signs after this encounter, and that this was the roadway where most of Boman’s signs were posted, this had the effect of suppressing peoples vote for this candidate, and their ability to use signage to encourage others to do the same.
Wendy Clark said the perpetrators made her fear for her safety. She also felt the city workers intimidated her for her political choices.
Neither Boman nor Clark know the identities of the three women, but they were using a City of Detroit vehicle (White pick-up truck) with markings on it: A Spirit of Detroit logo and the numbers 206208. Mrs. Clark took some photographs as the three perpetrators departed. They were three masked women with black outer wear and some orange T-shirts showing.
Clark and Boman filed complaints with the Detroit Inspector General and the US Justice Department. An investigator responded to CAC Chairperson Boman on behalf of the Inspector General. Investigator Jacqueline Hendricks-Moore, confirmed that the thieves were city employees. She also defended them with claims that the easement of a residential property is public property. She implied that the City can legally confiscate private property (without compensation) from those portions of residential front yards.
CAC Chairperson Boman has repeatedly asked for links to specific laws that support her assertion. The laws she provided, however, were not germane to the specific situation, nor did they support any of her claims.