Duke Energy’s volunteer, Allan O’Shea, is the chief proponent of turning large portions of Benzie and Manistee County into a giant industrial wind generation facility. Now he is running for the Michigan House of Representatives’ 101st District seat, which represents Mason, Manistee, Benzie and Leelanau counties. It is reasonable to assume that if elected to the legislature he will continue his agenda of bringing an industrial wind generation facility to Manistee and Benzie counties, which he has described as one of his “lifelong goals”.
But wait, is that really the case? According to the Michigan Secretary of State’s office, Bernard Allen O’Shea is running for this seat. We do make spelling mistakes, but this is not one of them. Is it Allan, or Allen? From all the available evidence, Mr. O’Shea used the name Allan until sometime between February and April of this year. Then he suddenly changed the spelling of the name he uses in public in connection with his campaign. Why would someone after seventy years of living with one spelling of his middle name suddenly decide to change it by one vowel? And who is this Bernard Allen O’Shea? Is he a registered voter in the state of Michigan?
In referring to Allan O’Shea as Duke’s volunteer, we are being ironic. We do not believe that Mr. O’Shea, founder of the American Wind Energy Association, was a volunteer for Duke Energy, America’s largest publicly traded power company. We believe that he was paid agent of Duke. Or perhaps, he had an expectation of being paid by Duke Energy, and then Duke changed its mind.
To say that Mr. O’Shea has given contradictory answers on his relationship with Duke is putting things charitably. For example, at a panel session that took place in December 2010 to discuss the proposed industrial wind power project, panelists were asked to identify any monetary conflicts of interests they may have had. Mr. O’Shea, who was identified on the panel as Duke’s “Regional Representative”, responded coyly that he expected to receive “over $500” if the wind project went ahead, clearly communicating to all in attendance that he was working for Duke and expected to benefit financially from the project. On other occasions, for example, in testimony before the Benzie County Board of County Commissioners, Mr. O’Shea denied that he had ever been compensated by Duke in any way. Mr. O’Shea has given similar contradictory statements in private conversations of which we are aware. When politicians make two incompatible statements one of them is usually referred to as a “misstatement”. When normal citizens do this it is called lying. Here is the business card that Mr. O’Shea used while he was representing himself as Duke Energy’s regional representative:
By referring to Mr. O’Shea as Duke’s volunteer we are making a comment about Duke Energy. They are actually enough of a untrustworthy company that they just might have allowed Mr. O’Shea to serve as their “representative” — leading him on as if he would someday be compensated — without actually ever compensating him. Were this to be the case it would say something about both Mr. O’Shea and Duke. Duke is not beneath screwing over its business partners, even if they are other Fortune 500 companies. Do a Google search for “Duke Progress merger scandal” and read more.
But we digress. Michigan law does not require that Mr. O’Shea disclose his financial arrangement with Duke Energy. We have always said that Mr. O’Shea has had a moral obligation to come clean about his relationship with Duke, especially since he had just stepped down from being the chairman of the Manistee County Board of Commissioners. If he does choose to make statements about his relationship with Duke Energy, citizens expect him to be honest.
However, as we have now learned, Mr. O’Shea seems to have trouble with more basic questions, like the spelling of his middle name. Is it Allen or Allan? The evidence suggests that the person previously known as Bernard Allan O’Shea suddenly decided in February or March of 2012 to use a different spelling of his middle name, “Allen” instead “Allan”. “Allen” is the name used on his election posters and sign, and is the name that appeared on the August primary ballot and that will appear on the November general election ballot.
However, Mr. O’Shea has run for office previously. From 2006-2010, “Allan” O’Shea served on the Manistee County Board of Commissioners. Previously he served as Supervisor of Marilla Township. On each occasion, he was listed as Allan O’Shea on the ballot, and in all public records, documents and minutes referencing him during his terms that we have been able to find. You can still see “Allan O’Shea” bumper stickers on cars in Manistee and Benzie counties. Here is a picture of an Allan O’Shea placard from one of his previous campaigns:
Note the spelling of “Allan”. Now here is an O’Shea placard from this year’s campaign from a parade this summer:
As you can read in the AWSG’s previous post, Allan O’Shea, Volunteer, when Mr. O’Shea signed the articles incorporating the American Wind Energy Association in 1974, he spelled his name Allan. When Mr. O’Shea was recognized at the June 2012 annual conference of the American Wind Energy Association as its founding president, someone forgot to tell them to spell his name differently, and he was identified as “Allan“. However, by the time a press release was sent to the Record-Patriot, the spelling had been changed to Allen.
We would all like to think that we are at the center of the universe. We can only think of one reason for Mr. O’Shea’s sudden switching out of a vowel. Our guess that Mr. O’Shea started using a different spelling of his middle name in order to make it difficult for citizens to know about his relationship with Duke Energy and his service as its number one volunteer.
Mr. O’Shea registered the domain name allanoshea.com in January of 2012, and on his original campaign website he spelled his name Allan. This was his website. However at some point in the spring, and unfortunately we weren’t taking notes, he changed his primary website address to osheaformi101.com, which was registered in February 2012. However, allanoshea.com still redirects to osheaformi101.com. The contact e-mail for Mr. O’Shea’s campaign is still listed as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allan O’Shea’s personal facebook page used to be public. It is no longer publically accessible, and he has changed the spelling of his name to Allen. However the URL handle for his name is still spelled using what we think is the legal spelling of Mr. O’Shea’s middle name:
When Allan O’Shea announced his candidacy on February 7, 2012, he was still spelling his name Allan. The press release, with the Allan spelling, was still available on his website as of the time this post was made. Do you want to guess how little time it will be before he changes the spelling in it as well?
On the web page of Mr. O’Shea’s business, Contractors Building Supply, Inc., available at http://windowswindandsolar.com, Mr. O’Shea is identified as Allan. (Watch how quickly it changes.) Here is a screenshot of Mr. O’Shea’s company’s webpage showing a profile of Allan O’Shea:
In all of the public filings for this business, Mr. O’Shea’s middle name is spelled Allan. Mr. O’Shea serves as the resident agent of his business, Contractors Building Supply, Inc., and in the records of the State of Michigan, the Resident Agent is: B. Allan O’Shea. Here is the most recent annual report filed by Allan O’Shea with the State of Michigan. Again, note that he is listed as B. Allan O’Shea:
So Mr. O’Shea just changed a vowel in his middle name. What’s the big deal, you ask? Mr. O’Shea is not just an ordinary citizen. He is running for public office. When and whether Mr. O’Shea properly changed the spelling of his middle name is a big deal. Here is a question. Is the person who is listed on the November ballot actually a registered voter in Manistee County? If he is not, could the Michigan House of Representatives decline to seat Mr. O’Shea, in the event he is elected in November on the grounds that the person elected does not exist.
Is it legal for a candidate to spell his name differently on the ballot from the legal spelling of his name? Yes, but Mr. O’Shea must do it properly. He still has to properly declare his full legal name in the proper manner. Below are excerpts from the Affadavit of Identity Mr. O’Shea filed with the Secretary of State’s office in April 2012 when he declared his candidacy for the Michigan House of Representatives’ seat:
You can download the whole document here.
As you can see, in this document on April 11, 2012, Mr. O’Shea swears under penalty of felony imprisonment that his true legal name is “Bernard Allen O’Shea”, and more importantly, he swears that he has not changed his name for reasons other than marriage during the last 10 years.
Then, on April 27, he filed another document with the State of Michigan — the annual report for his business — indicating that his name was “B. Allan O’Shea”.
As far as we can see, there can be number of explanations:
1. Around February of 2012, Mr. O’Shea legally changed the spelling of his middle name from “Allan” to “Allen”, but on his Affadavit of Identity filed with the Michigan Secretary of State, he made a false statement when he stated that he had not changed his name “in the last 10 years for reasons other than marriage”, potentially subjecting him to a felony prosecution under MCL 186.558, 933, and 936.
2. Mr. O’Shea did not legally change the spelling of his middle name. He used a different spelling of his middle name when filing to run for office. The Michigan Secretary of State’s office failed to verify the proper spelling of Mr. O’Shea’s middle name with the proper spelling of Mr. O’Shea’s name on the voter rolls. The “Bernard Allen O’Shea” running on the Ballot does not actually exist. Can a person who doesn’t exist run for office, be listed on the state ballot, or win an election? Will the Michigan House of Representatives vote to seat Mr. O’Shea in January, if he were to win the election? Would the person who signed Mr. O’Shea’s Affidavit of Identity be subject to felony prosecution under MCL 186.558, 933, and 936?
3. For nearly his entire life, and on numerous official documents, Mr. O’Shea has been using an improper spelling of middle name, and has now only come clean about the proper spelling of his name. What is the statute of limitations for making a false statement to the State of Michigan? If Mr. O’Shea has been lying to us about the spelling of his middle name for nearly his entire life, about what else has he not been telling the truth?
If you have another explanation for Mr. O’Shea’s change in middle names, we are eager to know what it might be. If our analysis is erroneous, we would be happy to correct it.
But if we are correct, and if Mr. O’Shea can’t be straight with us about his relationship with Duke Energy, and he can’t be straight with us about the spelling of his middle name, what else is there that he doesn’t want us to know about him?