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Brave Gesture By Commissioner Tainted By Longtime Political Activist’s Rant (January 23, 2011)

The Insider extends kudos to county Commissioner Toni Moceri for making the brave move to invite a Muslim imam to deliver the invocation at Thursday’s Board of Commissioners meeting. But the Warren Democrat’s decision was not without controversy.
The choice of a religious leader to speak at the beginning of monthly full board sessions is rotated among the commissioners. In the past the invocation was delivered by local Christian ministers or priests.
Imam Steve Elturk of the Islamic Organization of North America’s Warren mosque broke new ground.
Minutes after he performed the duty, longtime political rabble rouser Don Lobsinger spoke during public participation, denouncing the Martin Luther King holiday, as he does every year, and claiming that King was a communist. Then he turned his sights on Elturk, essentially asserting that Muslim beliefs are a crime against God and the imam will be going to hell.
So much for that civil tone in our politics that the president and Congress have been preaching.
Gov. Rick Snyder’s unorthodox decision to speak from notes — not a written speech — at his first State of the State Address on Wednesday certainly inconvenienced reporters and politicians alike.
Reporters had to actually pay attention and take copious notes, rather than simply follow the script. Elected officials who often receive advanced copies of the speech’s text weren’t able to prepare remarks ahead of time for immediate release afterward.
But that didn’t stop new Attorney General Bill Schuette. A fellow Republican, he released a statement at 4:30 p.m., 2½ hours before Snyder’s talk, praising the governor’s speech. Schuette’s comments were distributed to reporters with the caveat they couldn’t be made public until 8 p.m., after the speech.
Of course, it’s pretty difficult to comment on an address that you haven’t heard. But he did.
Schuette may be flying high these days as Michigan’s top law enforcement officer. But even he can’t avoid some turbulence.