By Charles Sercombe
Do you need proof that this election year is almost non-existent?
Ladies and gentlemen, let us present exhibit “A.”
(Our apologies to Rod Sterling’s “Twilight Zone.”)
Former City Councilmember Scott Klein has filed a complaint that, according to Michigan Gaming Laws, candidate Dilshad Chowdhury should be disqualified from the ballot because he is a casino employee.
Klein has cited an obscure state law that prevents casino employees — or at least some of them — from participating in political activities, which presumably also includes running for office.
Klein wants the result of the August Primary election thrown out, and then to allow all of the candidates, except Chowdhury, to run in the November General Election.
Well, at this point that’s not going to happen.
But since Klein made an official compliant, the city attorney has been forced to weigh in on the matter.
As it turns out, Klein’s interpretation of the law is more complex than it looks on paper.
City Attorney Jim Allen said the matter has also been taken up by Chowdhury with the state Gaming Commission. The commission has told Allen that the law on whether casino employees can participate in political activity is, essentially, so vague the matter has been referred to the state Attorney General’s Office for interpretation.
And that has resulted in City Attorney Allen saying he’s going to wait for the Attorney General’s Office to also weigh in on the matter.
So, now what?
The Nov. 8 General Election will march on.
And that folks, is the highlight of this election year, which has been devoid of anything resembling a normal Hamtramck 9election year. And that’s another way of saying that none of the candidates are actively campaigning or promoting themselves.
Chowdhury is running for one of three seats on City Council. He has told The Review that he checked with his boss about whether he can run for office and was told the gaming law does not apply to him.
Chowdhury has also asked the Gaming Commission whether he is barred from running or holding office.