August 24, 2006, - 7:09 am
Chutzpah, Inc.: Michigan GOP Recruits Fieger Associate, Trial Lawyer for Supreme Court; Promises Appt. After He Loses
By Debbie Schlussel
**** UPDATE: Michigan GOP Supreme Court Candidate Marc Shulman filed a Pro-Abortion, Wrongful Birth Lawsuit. ****
Desperate Republican Party officials do desperate things. Or rather stupid ones do stupid things.
Take Saul Anuzis, Michigan Republican Party Chairman.
Republicans are supposed to be against trial lawyers and the litigation explosion, right? Apparently, Anuzis didn’t get the memo.
He recruited Marc Shulman to run as the GOP nominee to the Michigan Supreme Court.
Michigan GOP Supreme Court Candidate Marc Shulman:
Flanked by Trial Lawyer Buddies Geoffrey Fieger (left) & Sam Bernstein (right)
Problem is, Shulman’s a trial lawyer and an associate of Geoffrey Fieger–Michigan’s most prominent trial attorney and former Michigan Democratic nominee for Governor. Close associates of Geoffrey Fieger say Shulman referred at least one case to Fieger–the former lawyer to “Dr. Death” a/k/a Jack Kevorkian–and likely referred several more. Several prominent trial lawyers in the Detroit area say Shulman referred them several cases . . . and always cashed his checks for the referral fee.
And Shulman’s taken thousands of dollars from Michigan’s second most famous trial lawyer, “1-800-CALL-SAM” a/k/a Sam Bernstein. There is a Sam Bernstein in every state–the sleazy guy who is the biggest advertiser on television, enticing people to call him with their frivolous lawsuits against American businesses via commercials about the millions he’s won for others.
Bernstein’s son, Mark, garnered national attention when he gleefully announced to Michigan Trial Lawyers Association dinner guests that Karl Rove was indicted. (It wasn’t true.) From a Detroit Free Press account:
Sunday, an embarrassed Acker told me he’d passed along the report of Rove’s indictment after hearing it from Mark J. Bernstein, an Ann Arbor lawyer whose resume includes a stint in the Bill Clinton White House.
Bernstein told me he was meeting with Hillary Clinton and several members of her staff in a Hyatt Regency reception room early Saturday evening when “everybody began reaching for their BlackBerrys at roughly the same time.” . . .
He learned the rumor had been disseminated only when his father, prominent personal injury lawyer Sam Bernstein, phoned from the banquet hall downstairs with an excited bulletin: “Karl Rove has just been indicted!”
When Shulman ran for the Michigan House, Sam Bernstein and other far-left trial lawyer fixtures of the Democratic party–Harvey Chayet, Bernie Mindell, and Jules Olsman–headed his Finance Committee and hosted a fundraiser for Shulman. Their names aren’t just in a Phone Book Yellow Pages section near you, they’re also all over Marc Shulman’s campaign finance reports (Sam Bernstein & Family contributions to Shulman here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Bernie Mindell’s contributions to Shulman here, here, here, here, and here; his wife, Judi’s contributions to Shulman here and here; Other Mindell family contributions here, here and here. Chayet contributions here and here. Olsman contribution here.)
That’s why Shulman’s Supreme Court announcement sounds just a tad hypocritical, when it attacks Fieger and the Trial Lawyer bar:
We cannot lower our guard should the Fiegers of the trial bar raise and spend large amounts of money in hopes of altering the election by an 11th hour sneak attack.
Well, it’s highly unlikely the “trial bar” will raise money to “alter” the election against Shulman. Because over the years, he’s taken tens of thousands of dollars from the falsely-named “Michigan Trial Lawyers Association ‘Justice’ PAC” (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) and the partners of Sommers, Schwartz, Silver & Schwartz, which bills itself as “Michigan’s largest plaintiff law firm.” (The Sommers firm even has its site translated into Arabic, for the many Islamist plaintiffs its taken on in the litigation jihad.)
All three of these parties gave in the tens of thousands to Shulman every election cycle during his tenure in the Michigan House, with the Sommers Schwartz firm giving Shulman almost $30,000 in campaign donations. Why would the “trial bar” oppose Shulman when he’s been their man in the Michigan Legislature for years?
And Shulman, himself, is a failed trial lawyer. A doctor who lost his nose to cancer hired Shulman to sue the doctors who failed to find the cancer. Shulman missed the deadline to file the case, and the man–who has no nose–was unable to afford reconstructive surgery. A Black woman who lost her eyesight to glaucoma hired Shulman to sue her eye doctor who missed it. Shulman again missed the deadline. Ditto for a woman whose plastic surgeon disfigured her hand. All three sued Shulman.
Sound like a “Republican” candidate for the Supreme Court to you? More like a Democrat. And that’s the case with many of his most prominent contributors.
Would a Republican candidate for the Michigan Supreme Court take money from Jesse Jackson for President’s Michigan Campaign Manager? Well, Marc Shulman did. He accepted hundreds of dollars from Ismael Ahmed (here, here, here, and here) and his wife Margaret (here). Ahmed, a prominent far-left Democrat, ran Jesse Jackson’s campaign in Michigan. He was a Howard Dean delegate to the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
But his full-time job is far more disturbing. He founded and heads ACCESS–the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services–which sponsored the 2002 University of Michigan Divestment (from Israel) Conference, with taxpayer money Shulman helped ACCESS acquire as Chairman of the Michigan House Appropriations Committee.
ACCESS opposed Bill Clinton’s counterterrorism laws against giving money to terrorist groups. The group actively helps Muslim illegal aliens come to America and stay here. And in 2002, under Shulman contributor Ahmed’s leadership, ACCESS was raided by FBI agents for helping pregnant Muslim female foreign nationals defraud Medicaid to have their children delivered here and obtain U.S. citizenship. Still ACCESS continued to get increasing amounts of state money doled out by Shulman’s Appropriations Committee.
Shulman got paid back in spades with a free propaganda trip to the United Arab Emirates, sponsored by ACCESS and the American Arab Chamber of Commerce. Shulman also took money from the husband of Maha Freij, ACCESS’ Chief Financial Officer and head of the anti-Israel Arab American National Museum. (More on ACCESS & Ismael Ahmed here.)
And Shulman took money from Ali K. Jawad and Allie Berry. The two co-own Armada Oil, which distributes gas to many gas stations in town. They and their company have sponsored many pro-Hezbollah events in town, and Berry’s wife whined to the Detroit Free Press about having to pay her own way through Syria during the recent war between Hezbollah and Israel. We wonder if Shulman shares their views about Hezbollah. As he’s done with trial lawyers and every other issue, we’re sure Shulman will find a way to take either side of the issue . . . depending on the audience and which way the wind is blowing that day.
Then, there are Rick Weiner (other contribution from him, here), wife Raj Weiner and Faylene Owen. Shulman took hundreds of dollars from them, too. But Rick Weiner was Chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, and Owen’s husband was Michigan Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Larry Owen.
Oh, and Marc Shulman has close ties to Michigan Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm, too. That’s why she recently appointed him to an obscure board. Strangely, he didn’t mention that appointment in his announcement for Supreme Court. Some Republican.
And then, there are questions about whether or not Shulman broke the law to help his wife Lois Shulman become a State Representative when she ran for his term-limited seat (she lost). He has not run for re-election. Yet, thousands of expenditures in 2003 and 2004 on printing, photos, consulting, campaign staff, and other items that Shulman paid for were all made at the time of Lois Shulman’s campaign and strongly appear to be items purchased for her campaign. Yet, the expenditures are not recorded anywhere as donations on Lois Shulman’s campaign finance reports. Even if they were, they appear to far exceed Michigan limits for donations to another campaign.
Apparently, conniving and scamming is a family affair. In her unsuccessful campaign, Lois Shulman claimed that she was an attorney. Problem is, she isn’t one–she flunked the Michigan Bar THREE(!) times. When confronted by a local newspaper, she claimed she was too busy raising children to pass the bar. One little problem: At the time of her three failed bar attempts, she didn’t have any children. She lied about being pro-life to get the Right to Life endorsement. But Right to Life was shown her statement to the Detroit Jewish News that she’s been strongly pro-choice her entire life. She also claimed that she was a researcher for the University of Michigan, but the school has no record of her ever working there.
Shulman’s father-in-law, Meyer Warshawsky, served as a drug judge in Michigan’s Oakland County. He was removed from the bench over allegations that he colluded with prosecutors to fix trials against drug defendants, and claims that he sought dates with female jurors (he is married). At the time he was living in Shulman’s basement.
If trial lawyer and trial bar best buddy Marc Shulman is the best Michigan Republicans can do for the Supreme Court, why have a Republican Party? In Shulman’s case, there is clearly no difference between him and any trial lawyer the Democrats would nominate.
But that’s not why Shulman is running or why Anuzis recruited him. Both know that he cannot possibly beat Justice Michael Cavanaugh, against whom he is running.
Shulman is running as a good Republican sacrificial lamb, with reported promises from Anuzis and other Republicans that President Bush or Dick DeVos (if he wins the race for Michigan Governor) will appoint him to something. Shulman barely lasted a year at his last job at a Detroit area law firm and desperately wants a judgeship, where his lackluster performance won’t matter. And for his run at the Supreme Court, he will get to the bench. It’s Republican cronyism at it’s finest.
But, whether appointed or elected, “Judge Shulman” is a frightening phrase. A phrase the hypocritical Republican Party is trying too hard to make into a reality.
Saul Anuzis did not respond to requests for comment about this very questionable GOP Supreme Court recruit.
Full Disclosure: In 1998, I ran against Marc Shulman in the Republican primary for the Michigan House of Representatives. At the time, he told doctors he was for tort reform and lawyers he was against it. He collected money from all of them. Some things never change.
NOT PAID FOR BY ANY CANDIDATE OR CANDIDATE COMMITTEE.
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