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Lawyer's Pig Campaign Draws Attention to ... Political Issues

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By Peter Clarke, JD on June 16, 2015 3:55 PM

Bad news for Giggles the pig: her race for mayor in Flint, Michigan has come to an early end.

The "Giggles for Flint Mayor" campaign on Facebook was led by Michael Ewing, a trial lawyer in Michigan. Ewing launched the campaign in response to a mistake by the city clerk that would have denied several candidates from being listed on the ballot. After a short-lived campaign, Giggles' point was heard and it's back to pig-free business as usual in local politics.

Sometimes It Takes a Pig to Clean up a Political Mess

In response to the Giggles incident, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder took action to fix error in the clerk's office. Would Michael Ewing have had this level of success if he had launched a regular Facebook campaign? Or a paper petition? Perhaps not. No one will care about your complaint if can't achieve a certain level of awareness.

Giggles' Social Cause Carries On

Although Ewing took Giggles out of the mayoral race, the pig's social media presence continues to promote awareness of the political process. Specifically, Ewing hopes to draw the public into the discussion of local politics, bring attention to the race, and educate voters about important issues in their community.

Several of the candidates in the Flint mayoral race have less than ideal histories. One candidate served in prison for 19 years from second-degree murder. Another pleaded guilty to a felony assault charge.

Perhaps in response to these realities, the Giggles campaign emphasized the sort of values that are important for mayors to hold. For example, the pig highlighted her strengths as follows: no criminal history; has never been fiscally irresponsible; will take no money from special interests. How does your favorite candidate compare?

Another Reason Lawyers Should Get Involved in the Community

The Giggles campaign is a great example of how attorneys can get involved in the community. Trial lawyers are especially skilled at combining creativity and persuasion. Outside the courtroom, why not apply these skills to local politics or other community activities?

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