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Bitter Divide: Dueling Addresses In Oakland County

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(WWJ Photo/Pat Sweeting, File)

(WWJ Photo/Pat Sweeting, File)

PONTIAC (WWJ) – For the first time in Oakland County history, there will be two State of the County addresses this year. Democratic County Commissioners will give an alternative State of the County address just prior to County Executive L. Brooks Patterson’s annual address scheduled for Wednesday.

Commissioner Craig Covey told WWJ’s Florence Walton the Democrats decided to prepare their own address once Patterson decided not to invite them to his speech.

“Remember that the Republicans passed a law, just for Oakland County, that reduces the number of commissioners and allows the current sitting Republicans to redraw the district lines,” Covey said. “And once that kind of stuff starts happening … you get this bitter political divide.”

Covey said this kind of thing is unprecedented.

“I just ask the listeners today to think about whether President Obama, when he gives his state of the nation report, if he would ever consider, you know, having half of the Congress not attend.

“Or if Governor Snyder presented his State of the State, if he would try to bar the Democrats from going into the State Capitol,” Covey said.

Patterson said he refused to invite the Democrats because they have filed a lawsuit against him and the state for his involvement in legislation that reduces the number of commissioners to 21 and puts the GOP in charge of re-drawing the districts.

A ruling on the lawsuit is expected this week.

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