Should voters give Brandon Hall another chance?

In baseball, it’s three strikes and you’re out. If the same were the case in politics, Brandon Hall would be walking slump-shouldered back to the dugout.
Aug 28, 2014

The 24-year-old Hall is running as a write-in candidate for a spot on the Grand Haven school board. On the surface, it’s wonderful that this ambitious, driven young man wants to devote his time to helping out the school district from which he graduated just a few years ago.

But Hall has a few strikes against him.

He was first elected to the Grand Haven school board back in 2009, at the ripe young age of just 18. He brought fresh new ideas to the table, but then he was convicted of stealing $750 after organizing T-shirt sales for the school’s Bucs Pride game to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Hall was sentenced to two years’ probation, and he resigned from the board a few months later.

During that time, he threw his hat in the ring as a candidate for the state House 89th District, which includes the Tri-Cities area, while around the same time serving a jail sentence for violating his probation by testing positive for marijuana.

Hall wasn’t done. His appetite for politics proved insatiable, so he latched on with school board member Chris Houghtaling, who let Hall help him circulate petitions during Houghtaling’s run for Ottawa County district judge.

When Houghtaling’s signature drive came up short, Hall was accused of taking matters into his own hands and forging several signatures. Those charges are currently pending.

Now Hall begs forgiveness and wants to work his way back into the good graces of voters across our community.

The Tribune doesn’t support or denounce candidates. We simply urge our readers to do their homework and make sure they understand who or what they’re voting for as election time nears.

To his defense, Hall is still young. Many of the mistakes that he’s still paying for were made when he was a teenager. Perhaps he deserves another chance, perhaps he doesn’t — that will be up to voters to decide.

Unlike baseball, in politics, you can step back up to the plate, regardless of how many strikes you have against you. The question is, will voters in Grand Haven give Hall a free pass for his past transgressions?

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty, Fred VandenBrand and Mark Brooky. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

Comments

agree2disagree

Strike four!

By Tom Gilchrist | The Saginaw News
on December 22, 2011 at 7:30 AM

"CARO — A 23-year-old Caro motorist would face up to five years in prison if convicted of operating while intoxicated causing serious injuries.

Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark E. Reene has charged Brandon Hall with two counts of that crime after police allege a drunken Hall lost control of a pickup truck in a field while driving on private property about 1 a.m. Wednesday, flipping the vehicle on its side and ejecting three people riding in the truck’s cargo bed.

Kyle Schian, 22, of Caro and Abigail Amend, 18, of Vassar remained hospitalized in serious condition Wednesday afternoon, police report. A third passenger in the truck bed, 20-year-old Hillary Ross of Reese, received treatment and was released, according to officers.

Four other passengers were riding inside the truck with Hall at the time of the crash in Juniata Township, police said.

Reene alleges Hall was turning the truck rapidly in a circle with passengers in the truck’s cargo bed, in the privately owned field.

“This situation was entirely foreseeable and preventable,” Reene said. “It’s just one of those circumstances that when you hear about it from a law-enforcement perspective, you wish someone involved would have stepped up. That’s what it takes is one person to step forward and say ‘This is not what you ought to be doing at this point in time given everybody’s condition and where they were at.’

“If someone steps up and takes some small amount of action, you can surely help prevent a tragedy.”

Tuscola County Magistrate Joseph Van Auken released Hall on his own recognizance after arraigning Hall on the criminal charges Wednesday afternoon. Hall awaits a hearing on the evidence, though The Saginaw News couldn’t determine the date and time of the hearing.

As conditions of bond, Hall “can’t operate a motor vehicle right now, and he’ll have to submit to twice-daily preliminary breath tests to make sure he’s not consuming alcohol,” Reene said."

Mark Brooky

Clarification:

The above story is about a different man named Brandon Hall.

peaceforall

Absolutely not.

ohwell

Why isn't he banned for life from any school board, or school function? The guy is a thief/crook. Then again, what politician isn't?

newspaperlawyer

The question is can a felon run for public office???

haroldrezny

Does Tuscola county have an inmate lookup so we can see the mugshot and determine if its the same Brandon Hall from beloved Grand Haven? And not sure how a so called "write in" works? Do people have to physically write his name on the ballot and select the oval also?

agree2disagree

http://www.mlive.com/news/sagina...

There are TWO Brandon Halls? Say it ain't so.....

biped

If he really wants to earn the public's trust, then he should wait at least 10 years before running for ANY office. During that time he could build a solid resume and gain more experience. All the voters have to go on now is his recent poor record, so he needs to prove that he'd be a worthy candidate. Only time and experience will fix that.

OutofCargo

I would say he was young and made some mistakes. Former teacher of mine Carl Treutler ran him off last time. I will not go into detail how he was one of the worst teachers or coach's I ever experienced throughout my high school career. Brandon has a bright mind and quite frankly, the school board is a little stale. I don't think Carl Treutler will agree with me however. That's because he likes to JUDGE everybody except himself!

agree2disagree

Stealing money, (has he paid it back?) violating his probation, and voter fraud charges which are still pending...hmmm, bright mind or criminal mind? What has he done with all his time other than getting into trouble these past five years? I can't find anything positive about this kid, anywhere! At 18 years of age most "teenagers" are considered adults. He didn't just take a couple of bucks from his moms purse and get caught, he stole the $750 from the schools fund raiser! Was on probation and violated that! Then the voter fraud charges! There's a red flag here!

OutofCargo

I appreciate some very valid points you made regarding Brandon Hall. I do think though everybody has some skeletons in their closet. Brandon was just caught with his hand in the cookie jar. There are some Red Flags here though, I agree.

Straightjacket

Flaming red. Don't go near it!!!!!

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