March 18 2013 12:00 AM

Bernero calls for Martinez; Quinney punches the mayor by radio

Wednesday, Nov. 2 — Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero has gone to bat for one candidate for City Council through a robo call — and has become a target of another candidate in a radio ad.
Bernero’s call on behalf of 1st Ward candidate Lynne Martinez went out Tuesday.
“The mayor offered to do it for us,” said Martinez, who is facing Jody Washington in Tuesday’s general election. 1st Ward Councilman Eric Hewitt is not running again.
In the call, Bernero says:
“Hello, this is Mayor Virg Bernero. I’m calling to let you know that I’m supporting Lynne Martinez for City Council.
“Lynne has always been a strong advocate for our neighborhoods and for public safety.
“I’ve known Lynne for years, and yes, she even ran against me once, but I know Lynne will always put Lansing residents first.
“I’m disappointed that Lynne’s opponent is campaigning with negative attacks and false accusations. We already have too much of that kind of divisive politics on our City Council and we certainly don’t need any more.
“You can trust Lynne Martinez to be a strong voice for the Eastside and for growing Lansing.”
Reacting to the call, Washington said today, "I laughed because he called me negative, divisive and a liar — and that was supposed to be a positive campaign.”
“I kind of viewed it as a pathetic last attempt,” Washington added. “I wasn’t hurt, I wasn’t angry. I guess I was rather amused.”
Meanwhile, At-Large Councilman Derrick Quinney went after Bernero.
“Mayor Virg Bernero is supporting my opponent,” Quinney said. “He says I am voting with the ‘no’ caucus, but I am not a member of any faction. I vote my conscience and I work to bridge the divide on Council. Under our charter, Lansing City Council is supposed to be independent. I respect the Office of the Mayor. On Council issues, Virg Bernero has the right to his opinion, but he is not my boss. The people of Lansing are.”
Quinney also reacted to the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce’s attacks on him, saying:
“As a Council member, I’ve insisted that developers that get tax breaks fulfill a commitment to our residents and keep work here. As a result, the Chamber of Commerce is spending thousands of dollars to destroy my voting record. But Lansing is not for sale — not to big-time donors who want tax breaks and special favors with no questions asked.”
Quinney is seeking to keep his seat in a four-way race for two At-Large seats against incumbent Carol Wood and challengers Rory Neuner and Tom Stewart.
To hear Bernero’s call, click here.
To hear Quinney’s ad, click here.