Friday, July 29, 2005

S 397 passes senate!!! Bans junk lawsuits against firearms manufacturers (No thanks to Stabenow and Levin)

NRA STATEMENT


Some good news for tort reform and Second Amendment Activists. With a vote of 65-31, the senate passed a ban on junk lawsuits against gun manufacturers. We tried to pass this last year, but some bad amendments poisoned the bill so it was defeated. With some new senators, we fought again for this. This time, only one bad amendments was included, and isn't major. It requires locks sold with all pistols. That is already the law in Michigan, so there's no change here.

The worst amendment in that bill was from our friend Ted "The Swimmer" Kennedy. This failed by a vote of 64-31. It was one of the poison pill amendments of 2004. Kennedy tried to sell this bill as a "cop killer" Amendment, but his comments in 2004 explain his true purpose - pages s1634 and s1635


Another rifle caliber, the 30.30 caliber, was responsible for penetrating three officers' armor and killing them in 1993, 1996, and 2002. This ammunition is also capable of puncturing light-armored vehicles, ballistic or armored glass, armored limousines, even a 600-pound safe with 600 pounds of safe armor plating.....

..It is outrageous and unconscionable that such ammunition continues to be sold in the United States of America..


For those who do not know, the .30-30 is one of the most basic deer hunting rounds in America, and is less powerful than the .30-06, so that would be banned as well if Kennedy's amendment passed.

The bad news though is that our two senators both failed once again to support freedom, the constitution, and the Second Amendment. Mr. Levin and Ms. Stabenow voted for the Kennedy .30-30 ammo ban, and against ending these junk lawsuits against firearms manufacturers. This is unacceptable extremist behavior and must be dealt with as soon as possible.

We need to make sure Ms. Stabenow is fired in 2006, and Mr Levin retires in 2008.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

(Future) Senator Butler comes to Livingston County


I just got back from the TAR's meet the candidate's night in Oceola Twp between Howell and Hartland. The featured speaker is our next senator - Keith Butler. We had a good turnout of about 100 people - especially since there was NO media coverage whatsoever beforehand. WHMI and the Detroit News did show up there. I'll update this post when the reports are in.

Keith Butler is an excellent speaker. You can hear Butler's announcement tour speech at his website. What also impressed me is that unlike most federal candidates, he opened the floor for questions and answered all of the in an straightforward matter without the usual "politaspeak". He'll be a great senator and has my vote.

Kudo's to the Livingston County Teenage Republicans(TAR's) for putting on this great event, and a Thank You to the Life Christian Church for hosting this event for us.

(Edit 2/25 - this was before I met Jerry Zandstra who I currently endorse. While I still think highly of Butler, Jerry's economic policy is what is needed in Washington)

Petition Drive to increase school funding yearly by inflation rate

In today's Ann Arbor News.

""""K-16 to start petition drive
Group wants state to make annual funding increases for schools mandatory
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Ann Arbor News Bureau
LANSING - Five weeks after 11,000 people marched on the Capitol for more stable school funding, the coalition behind the rally is preparing to ask voters to guarantee inflationary increases for education.

Tom White, the head of the K-16 Coalition that represents more than two dozen education groups, said they are finalizing plans for a petition drive aimed at putting an annual inflationary increase for schools, community colleges and universities on the 2006 ballot.""""


This is a response to the defeat of the last school millage here. On May 3, Livingston County voters defeated a 3 mill tax increase by 9000 votes. The school officials across the state

I'm not against education, or even appropiate educational funding, but I staunchly oppose this at this time. This is a CYA due to poor fiscal mismanagement by the school boards across this state. Our school disticts are in debt, and now they want us to help them spend their way....into more debt.

And administrators and board members need to take their arrogance down a peg or two. I have even seen this in my own town. Howell schools had two elections for Headlee Overrides. In 2004, there was a June election for school board members, and for a Headlee Override. Shortly before the election, the Howell School Board gave 4% raises to their eight top administrators. This was while the Howell Superintendent, Charles Breiner, was a finalist for a job with another school district. This was a fiasco. The Board was asking for our money while raising salaries, and threatening budget cuts at the sane. This caused a quick write-in campaign by some citizens for school board positions during the 2004 school elections. The write-in candidates did not win, but the Headlee Override was defeated. That did not end this. Howell Schools implied to the Daily Press and Argus that the voters were uneducated about the tax increase and said they were going to ask the voters again.

"We believe that our voters - once they become educated about the potential for deeper cuts - will want to see the school system pass the override and avoid making additional cuts that have already been made to cover the shortfall in state funding," Breiner said.


We had a second election on September 20, 2004. This was on a Monday, and was shortly after the August primary and shortly before the November general elections. The school could have chosen to have this election on either of those other two days for much less money, but wanted to spend the money for this election in order for a low turnout. The second time was the charm for the tax pushers. On a ten percent turnout, the measure passed by 649 votes. This same school district tries to tell us that a rainbow flag that was flown in response to the defeat of proposition two (which passed with over 60% in Livingston County) was a “diversity flag,” and not a gay pride flag. What kind of a smokescreen is that? I don't like being lied to.

I moved to Howell from Brighton in 2003. In the short time here, I have voted on four tax issues related to schools. In 2003, we had a bond issue for Parker High School. In 2004, we had the Headlee Override election twice. Last May 3rd, the school districts in county had a county millage election which was trounced. What has caused the costs to raise so much money to ask the voters to raise taxes four times in three years? The schools blame lack of funding in Lansing. The truth however is lies with the health care plans of the faculty there. The Michigan Education Special Services Association (MESSA) health care plan is what the Mackinac Center calls a “Rolls Royce” plan. MESSA is an intermediary between the MEA and Blue Cross. It is the insurance arm of the MEA, and does not even provide their claims history. The Mackinac Center estimates a 20% savings of school districts if they no longer go with MESSA and go with a common private insurance arrangement. The MEA however has MESSA as the third rail of contracts, and will threaten strikes over any attempt to change MESSA. Unfortunately, we do not know how much MESSA costs exactly. They only report regional claims to get around a 1994 law, which gives school districts the right to view claims histories and open up insurance to competition.

The Mackinac Center has extensively reported on MESSA. Michigan employers paid an average cost of $6,400 for full family benefits. The average cost in school districts for full family benefits is over $10,000. Why is there such a cost difference? We don't know, since MESSA refuses to release the health-care claims history of individual districts. Why is that? MESSA does not report their claims so we don't know their exact cost difference. I encourage all readers to click on the link to the Mackinac Center report on MESSA. It explains things much more clearly than I could.

If the districts want my vote for this, they need to prove to me that they have taken every measure possible(short of hurting the kids) to cut costs and fiscally manage themselves. MESSA needs to go, and the money there needs to go to classrooms more than the administrators.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Keith Butler in Livingston County Tomorrow 7-28

US Senate Candidate Keith Butler will be here in Livingston County on July 28th at a Meet the Candidate night sponsored by our Teenage Republicans. The event is from 5:30-7:30 at:
Life Christian Church
5202 E. Highland Rd. (M-59)
Howell, MI (Between Howell and Hartland)

This is a FREE event, and I hope we have a large turnout there.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

RED ALERT to all Gun Owners - From the NRA

S. 397 On Senate Floor!--Final Vote Expected This Week!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

This afternoon, the U.S. Senate invoked cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 397, "The Protection of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act." S. 397 will now be debated on the Senate floor over the next few days.

Now is your final chance to contact your U.S. Senators and urge them to pass S. 397 without any anti-gun amendments!

Some of the possible anti-gun amendments expected to be offered to S. 397 include:

.50 caliber rifle bans
Semi-auto bans
Bans on gun shows
Amendments to gut the provisions of the bill
Please help us finish the job in the U.S. Senate by contacting your U.S. Senators IMMEDIATELY and urging them to support S. 397 without any anti-gun amendments. Be sure to tell your Senators that you consider any votes for any anti-gun amendments as a vote against S. 397 itself.

(For more complete information on S. 397, and to contact your U.S. Senators, please go to http://www.nraila.org/stoprecklesslawsuits.aspx. You may also call your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121. Please IMMEDIATELY share this information with everyone you know who supports the Second Amendment!)

BUSH WHITE HOUSE ONCE AGAIN SUPPORTS S. 397

Below is the Bush Administration's "Statement of Administration Policy" in support of S. 397 released today:

"The Administration strongly supports Senate passage of S. 397. The Administration urges the Senate to pass a clean bill, in order to ensure enactment of the legislation this year. Any amendment that would delay enactment of the bill beyond this year is unacceptable. The manufacturer or seller of a legal, non-defective product should not be held liable for the criminal or unlawful misuse of that product by others.

"The possibility of imposing liability on an entire industry for harm that is solely caused by others is an abuse of the legal system, erodes public confidence in our Nation's laws, threatens the diminution of a basic constitutional right and civil liberty, sets a poor precedent for other lawful industries, will cause a loss of jobs, and burdens interstate and foreign commerce. S. 397 would help curb frivolous litigation against a lawful American industry and the thousands of workers it employs and would help prevent abuse of the legal system. The bill would also safeguard our national security by preventing frivolous lawsuits against an industry that plays an important role in fulfilling our military's procurement needs. At the same time, the legislation would carefully preserve the right of individuals to have their day in court with civil liability actions. These civil actions are enumerated in the bill and respect the traditional role of the States in the Nation's Federal system with regard to such actions."

Brighton Township Residents send extremist treehugging measure to referendum


Some local news in nearby Brighton Township. Great work by Lana Theis to get this on the ballot. The Sierra Club and a bunch of RINOS on Brighton Township's board of trustees tried to sneak this through on the residents. Excerpt From the Livingston County Daily Press and Argus:

"""Tree ordinance goes before voters
By Jim Totten
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS

A controversial tree ordinance opponents have called far-reaching and an infringement on their property rights will be put to a vote in Brighton Township.

Ann Bollin, township clerk, said more than the necessary 1,094 signatures calling for a referendum on the tree ordinance have been verified. She said the next step will be for the township attorney to draft the ballot language, get it approved by the township Board of Trustees and have it submitted to the Livingston County Elections Commission by Sept. 9.

Bollin said the referendum could then be placed on the ballot for the Nov. 8 election. The township board will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. today to discuss ballot language. At this time, she said, the tree ordinance would be the only item on the ballot for township voters."""


This is much more restrictive than an anti-clear cutting measure. If you want more information about this, go to the Care for Brighton site.

For the source of the NO RINO's stamp - go to Ocents.com

Good luck to the pro-freedom residents in Brighton Township.

Heads up to all I-75 Drivers North of Detroit

Heads Up to all I-75 drivers. From WDIV in Detroit.



"""'Speed Trap' Targets I-75 Motorists
Police Address Concerns Over Excessive Speeds, Aggressive Drivers

POSTED: 2:25 pm EDT July 25, 2005

Motorists on Interstate 75 should be aware of a "speed trap" established by Michigan State Police Monday, Local 4 reported.

Michigan State Police said troopers will conduct a focused enforcement effort to address concerns over extreme speeds and aggressive drivers on I-75 in northern Oakland County and southern Genesee County. Motorists have reported "hazardous" and "scary" conditions on the freeway in the past few months, police said.""""



I have to wonder if Oakland County or Genesee County has budge problems currently and needs more tickets.......

Monday, July 25, 2005

2008 - Santorum is NOT running for President

From the AP wire at the Washington Post



""""GOP Sen. Santorum Rules Out 2008 Bid

The Associated Press
Monday, July 25, 2005; 4:59 PM

WASHINGTON -- Republican Sen. Rick Santorum said Monday he has no intention to seek the presidency in 2008.""""


Good luck against Casey, senator.

Affirmative Action group loots..."By Any Means Necessary"

I think Luke Massey of BAMN had more than he bargained for here. From the Detroit Free Press.

"""Poli-bytes: A behind-the-scenes look at state and local politics
July 25, 2005
DETROIT

Students loot Lansing cafeteria while at rally
Some of the 400 or so Detroit students who attended a boisterous rally at the state Capitol for affirmative action came away with more than a civics lesson last week.

They swiped $600 worth of snacks and soft drinks from a cafeteria across the street, according to the owner.

"They just stampeded in here," said Patrick McGlinchey, who owns the State Plate cafeteria.

He said he and his staff watched helplessly as between 20 and 30 youths from the rally cleaned out entire shelves of pop, chips and candy without paying.

"We couldn't get to them; there were too many," McGlinchey said, adding that most of the students were well-behaved.

The high school and college students were bused to Lansing by the group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) to protest a proposed ballot issue that would end racial preferences, i.e. affirmative action, for university admissions and government jobs.

Some in the group attended a meeting of the state Board of Canvassers, which debated whether the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative petition drive had enough valid signatures for a spot on the 2006 ballot.

The cafeteria in the House Office Building, where the meeting took place, is operated by McGlinchey through the Michigan Commission of the Blind. He said he hopes his insurance covers his loss.

But he said he might send a bill to BAMN.

BAMN organizer Luke Massie said Friday he'd heard of the incident, and intended to call McGlinchey, but had not spoken to the students.

By Chris Christoff

Teamsters and service union to quit the AFL-CIO

UPDATED - AP STORY - John Sweeney rips critics calling them anti-worker. There's also this quote....

"""This split is a deep concern to Democrats everywhere," said Democratic consultant David Axelrod of Chicago"""


---------------------------------


A major change in Big Labor is on the way. From the Free Press.



""""Teamsters and service union to quit the AFL-CIO

CHICAGO -- Jolting organized labor, the Teamsters and a massive service employees union decided Sunday to bolt the AFL-CIO, paving the way for two other labor groups to sever ties in the movement's biggest schism since the 1930s.


The four dissident unions, representing nearly one-third of the AFL-CIO's 13 million members, announced they were boycotting the federation's convention that is to begin today, a step that was widely considered to be a precursor to leaving the federation.""""



The United Food and Commercial Workers and UNITE HERE(Textile and hotel) are also boycotting.

"""Two other boycotting unions signaled similar intentions: United Food and Commercial Workers and UNITE HERE, a group of textile and hotel workers. But they were not scheduled to take part in today's news conference, officials said."""


Maybe if the union leadership pushed more for keeping jobs home here instead of just blindly supporting the democrats 24/7, they wouldn't be in this position.

GET READY FOR SOME ENJOYABLE SUPREME COURT OPINIONS

A tip of the hat to Daly Thoughts who found this at the National Review and NY Sun

"""GET READY FOR SOME ENJOYABLE SUPREME COURT OPINIONS [John Podhoretz]
John Roberts is, it appears, a genuinely witty man -- as documents unearthed at the Reagan Library dating from his time in the White House counsel's office reveal. In one, dated 1983, he takes on the idea that Supreme Court justices just work so very, very hard: "Whiel some of the tales of woe emanating from the court are enough to bring tears to one's eyes, it is true that only Supreme Court justices and schoolchildren are expected to and do take the entire summer off."

Another quip: "The generally accepted notion that the court can only hear roughly 150 cases each term gives the same sense of reassurance as the adjournment of the court in July, when we know the Constitution is safe for the summer."

I'm starting to love this guy. These nuggets were unearthed by the enterprising Josh Gerstein of the New York Sun."""


I like hearing that "safe for the summer" quote. It raises my confidence that Judge Roberts may be strict constitutionalist.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

City Council Drives Freedom and NRA Out of Columbus

Columbus passes an idiotic law that is symbolic and does nothing to reduce crime or illegal guns, and it costs them over $20 million. Good job, geniuses.

"""""City Council Drives Freedom and NRA Out of Columbus

Monday, July 18, 2005

Council’s Decision to Ban Guns Prompts Exodus

Columbus, OH -- As a direct result of the Columbus City Council decision to ban semi-automatic firearm ownership for law-abiding citizens, the National Rifle Association (NRA) announced it will move its 2007 Annual Meeting and Convention from Columbus, OH. Speaking at a press conference at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre stated that the NRA would return to Columbus when the Legislature enacts a preemption law that would override the Columbus ban.

“Two months ago, I was pleased to announce that the National Rifle Association chose the great city of Columbus to host our 136th Annual Meetings and Exhibits in May of 2007,” said LaPierre. “The NRA is not coming to Columbus in 2007. The convention is canceled because last week your City Council unanimously voted to revoke the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens in Columbus by banning perfectly legal firearms.”

The City Council’s decision will have a negative economic impact on businesses in the greater Columbus area. Earlier this year, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce said it estimated $20 million in revenue from hotels, restaurants, entertainment and other NRA convention related spending. In addition, Columbus would have received free publicity from major national and regional new organizations covering the NRA Annual Meetings.

Past conventions brought significant economic boon to NRA Annual Meeting host cities:

· NRA’s 2005 convention brought $20 million in revenue for Houston, TX, and an overall $50 million impact for the local economy. The 450 exhibitors and 60,000 attendees sold out a total of eight hotels.

· In 2004, NRA’s convention in nearby Pittsburgh, PA, brought 61,000 attendees and 360 exhibitors to the city, resulting in $12-15 million for local merchants.
LaPierre announced the NRA will push for preemption legislation in Ohio to protect the lawful gun owners by making gun laws uniform across Ohio. Ohio is one of only seven states that does not have this law to protect gun owners from a confusing and dangerous patchwork of firearms laws.

“The NRA is going to work with the people of Columbus and the Ohio Legislature to pass state preemption legislation and restore freedom to the people of Columbus," continued LaPierre. “When the Ohio Legislature enacts preemption, freedom will be restored to the people of Columbus. And when freedom comes back to Columbus, we will come back to Columbus.”""""


As someone who has never been able to attend an NRA convention, I don't like the decision, but I can certainly understand it. Why should gun owners pay money that is taxed and goes toward a city that elects jokers completely opposed to our views? The NRA made the right decision. As legendary firearms instructor Massad Ayoob says, "I don't go where I'm not wanted."

And one last thing, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman is running for governor(as a democrat of course). Good luck derailing him. I'd much rather see Ken Blackwell win.

2008 - Michigan GOP Going to caucus system??

The Hill released this story on the 14th. I have some excerpts from it here, but I recommend the article.

""""Michigan bucks McCain
By Peter Savodnik

Michigan Republicans want to bar Democrats and independents from the GOP’s 2008 presidential primary — a step that would present a major hurdle for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), should he decide to run for the White House in 2008.

In 2000, McCain’s campaign against then-Gov. George W. Bush gained momentum after he won the Michigan primary by appealing to voters outside the GOP. Should McCain run, Michigan would be a critical component of his strategy to win the Republican presidential nomination.""""


We had closed primaries before in 1992 for presidential elections. They were ruled are unconstituional under state law. I remember that well as my mom became a democrat to vote against Bill Clinton since she couldn't stand him even back then.

"""Michigan party officials hope the new system will give grassroots activists a greater role in the selection process. Republicans said the process could include caucuses or a nominating convention."""


I actually like open primaries when both sides have them on the same day. The problem is that an open primary for presidential elections is against democrat bylaws, which leads to our current system. The democrats operate a caucus and the republicans have an open primary which democrats can vote in. This opens the door for shenanigans which are nothing new in Michigan politics. We still have open primaries for elections outside of the presidency, attorney general, secretary of state, and education boards. The democrats got us good with McCain(although I actually voted for Alan Keyes then). I voted for Jim Blanchard in the 2002 primary since I though he was easiest to beat. Some of us I'm sure voted for Geoffrey Fieger back in 98.

""""But other Republicans said the new system would undoubtedly hurt McCain by helping his rivals. “Caucuses would be best for the most conservative candidates,” a Michigan Republican with ties to party officials said. “A convention would be next. Open primary would be the least desirable.”"""


If both sides can't have open primaries, I support caucuses as they are the most accessable. It was not that hard for democrats to vote in the Michigan caucuses. Almost anyone could show up providing they sign an oath saying they are a democrat. A nominating convention will cause a LOT of political infighting though the games which would be played. If we go that route, it does raise the stakes and importance of the usually unopposed precinct delegate position. I ran for it twice and was unopponed, even in a strong GOP area. The precinct delegates can be appointed or elected, and decide who gets to be a delegate at state convention. State conventions are how the party nominations for Attorney General, Secretary of state, Supreme Court nominations, and education boards are decided currently.

"""Miller said that the rules dictating who can vote in a primary would not play a leading role in deciding who wins the primary. But she conceded that it is party regulars — conservative activists who show up to vote, attend rallies and canvass precincts, rain or shine — who dominate caucuses.""""


That's how it should be. Those who do the work and are the most active should have the most say. The ones I usually see active are right to life, tax hawks, and gun owners.


“Michigan is another example of the far right taking over the Republican Party,” Democratic consultant Peter Fenn said. “It is their way or the highway. They want to remove any chance or remote possibility that a moderate Republican who appeals to independents and, heaven forbid, some Democrats might win an election. It is all about McCain and others like him who don’t kowtow to their extremist agenda. It is all about control, control, control and more control.”


That is flat out nothing more than a giant hypocritical pile of horse manure. The democrats here already use a caucus. They didn't want an open primary with someone like Joe Lieberman or Dennis Kucinich winning.

I'd like to see an open primary in both sides myself, but if we can't do that, let's use the caucus system so we vote in our own, and the democrats vote in their own.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Kwame, Detroit, and Urban Sprawl


From the AP

"""DETROIT - Former deputy mayor Freman Hendrix has raised about $1.5 million so far this year for his campaign for mayor — three times the amount raised by incumbent Kwame Kilpatrick.


Kilpatrick raised $482,051 from Jan. 1 to July 17, according to campaign finance reports obtained by the Detroit Free Press for Saturday's editions. He started the year with about $1.7 million and spent nearly that much in those seven months.

In recent polls of likely voters, Hendrix has been leading Kilpatrick, whose first term included a $300 million budget deficit, hundreds of layoffs, scrutiny over his use of a city credit card and city lease of a luxury SUV for his family."""


I think business has found its candidate. It's not Mayor Navigator.

It looks like Mayor "Navigator" could very well get the heave ho. He's certainly in a bad position. The reform vote will likely go to Hendrix, as they never liked McPhail. Sharon McPhail is well known for playing racial politics (Going back to Dennis Archer's first campaign) and will likely get most of that vote, making it tougher for Mayor Navigator to play the "White outsiders are out to get me" card that Former Mayor Coleman Young was a master of playing. I hope Hendrix wins, and I hope every incumbent there gets tossed out, and that there's a house cleaning. What happens in Detroit affects all of us in Michigan, including Livingston County.

Which gets me to another somewhat related issue. Urban Sprawl. Livingston County is the epicenter of sprawl and it was rural and is now an exurban county of about 175,000 people. I'll go on the record right now and say that I am not a supporter of sprawl and am a bit of a NIMBY. This may break from some of my party. I am a native of Livingston County, and remember the pre-Walmart days. I grew up outside of Brighton and remember when all the new subdivisions were woods and swamps. There was some good hunting area that no longer exists, and as a hunter and outdoorsmen, I believe that unless we keep our rural areas rural, we are going to lose our sport in a few years.

Livingston County started to boom heavily in the 1980s, and skyrocketed in the 1990's, particularly after the passage of Proposal A which dramatically slashed property taxes. We are also within an hour of four major cities(Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Flint). Crime is low here, and there is a rural atmosphere and a bit of a frontier attitude out this way.

I don't have a problem with people moving out here. This is a free country, and while I am a native of the county, my parents are not. I do have a bit of a problem when people move out here and try and change this area to the area they came from. If you want the small town and country way of life out here, please join us and become one of us. Please don't change us to Ann Arbor. If individuals who move here want to be Novi, then they should stay in Novi. Or Farmington Hills. Or Redford. Ann Arbor. Southfield, etc. Why are the individuals who want to create a replica of those cities moving out here and not staying there? Schools? Those areas have good schools as well. Taxes?

By evidence of all of the development the past 20 years in this county, there certainly is a large group of individuals who want to bring the city out here. New subdivisions, gated communities, McMansions, new commercial developments, boxstores, Walmart, Costco, all of which was not here 20 years ago.

In contrast, Detroit was once a city of 1.8 million people in the 1950's and still had about 1.6 million people in the 1960's. However, between the 1967 riots, Coleman Young's disaster as mayor, white flight, job losses, poor schools, high taxes, poor city services, a struggling Big 3, and crime - it is now down to about 900,000 people. Detroit is not the only city though losing population and battling blight. In the last census estimate Redford, Livonia, Warren, Dearborn, and Westland are dropping population. Novi, Sterling Heights, South Lyon, are all gaining. The inner suburbs of Detroit are losing population, as is Detroit. Those who left Detroit before, are now leaving those suburbs, continuing the migration cycle further away from the city.

If something is going to be done about urban sprawl, it has to start with fixing Detroit. Many people want to live in the city or in a city environment. It'd be nice for them to have a good city to live in, so we can keep a rural character here. Fixing the city has to start with good schools so families with kids are able to live there and develop roots. Jobs are needed, and we all know the state of jobs in Michigan right now. The insanely high taxes and low service model that Detroit follows currently is not getting the job done. If I was mayor, my priorities would be.

1. Lower Property taxes. Some people who want to live in the city can not afford it because of the insane property taxes.
2. Zero tolerance of crime. I am usually not a fan of zero tolerance, but if Rudy Giuliani can clean up NYC in the 90's, the same can be done with Detroit. Dennis Archer tried and did help cut the murder rate in half there. It's not impossible.
3. Schools. The mayor can not do that much there, but he can use his political power to help clean house with the school boards. If the schools are going to be truly fixed, it has to start with Detroiters cleaning house. They won't listen to Lansing as they don't trust outsiders.
4. Jobs. The infastructure is there. 3.5 million in the Metro Area. High unemployment compared to the rest of the country. Just cut the red tape, don't make it a closed shop business, and cut the taxes.

Lastly, if Detroit can make a comeback, we may be able to keep what is left of our rural character here for another 20 years - without governmental intervention that restricts our property rights and does not solve the underlying problem. A fixed Detroit is good for all of Michigan, including Livingston County.

Two new Judges (Roberts and Brennan)


President Bush made his decision for SCOTUS(US Supreme Court). DC Appeals Judge John G. Roberts is his pick.

I really do not know enough about him to have an informed opinion. By all accounts, he's a very skilled lawyer and qualified in the competency department. He clerked for Judge Rehnquist, was Solicitor General for the first President Bush, and argued several cases before SCOTUS.

The real question is ideological grounds. Where does he stand. Manuel Miranda of the Wall Street Journal believes he is another Rehnquist. Ralph Neas of the leftist "People for the American Way" doesn't like him. Ann Coulter thinks he's another David Souter. He and his wife are both Catholics(as I am). His wife was the head of a Pro-life organization, Feminists for Life. Judge Roberts has said that Roe V Wade was settled law at one point, and opposed it at another. I'm also concerned in that I have no idea where he stands on the Second Amendment, Eminent Domain, and on free speech issues such as banning the pledge of allegiance.

I hope he is a strict constitutionalist and follows the constitution as it is written. The biggest problem in our entire country is with judicial activism by unelected federal judges who make law.

I do believe he deserves an up or down vote in the Senate and not a filibuster. My gut feeling tells me that he'll be similar to Judge Rehnquist. I can handle that, if that is the case.

I'm cautiously optimistic on Judge Roberts. I'm not completely sold on him yet though.

Closer to home, Jennifer Granholm as appointed a new district judge to replace conservative Judge Michael Hegarty. Theresa Brennan who donated thousands of dollars to Debbie Stabenow and also donated to MI List(Pro-abortion) and Planned Parenthood. She also supported John Kerry and marched in Bob Alexander's anti-war rallies. The judgeship is at the 53rd district court in Brighton.

However despite Brennan's appointment, It's not all bad news for the conservative majority here in Livingston County. First off, Ms. Brennan must face the voters here in 2008 and should expect a race. District Judges also only have limited roles to display judicial activism. The district court handles small claims, civil cases under $25000, landlord/tenant, misdemeanors, felony arraignments, civil infractions, weddings, and divorces without children. Most of those are straightforward cases. The major concern is if she is appointed to Circuit Judge. They handle all major cases and have much more power.

Granholm and Stabenow Campaign lit

One of our major county events is the Fowlerville Fair. At the fair, there is always a GOP and Democrat booth. I stopped by the democrat booth to see the spin that they always throw at us. The Michigan Democrats have these fliers out titled "Fighting for Michigan" that tout the "accomplishments" of Ms. Granholm and Ms. Stabenow.

Granholm:
Eliminated $3 Billion in deficits...

She had to eliminate the deficits because she had no choice. By law, Michigan can not run a deficit. She also raised taxes and fees to do so, with the help of the democrats and some RINOs.

"""Has a comprehensive Jobs Today, Jobs Tomorrow economic plan..."""

That's a joke, right? Where has the plan been the last three years? You're not the challenger for governor, but the current governor. We're still losing jobs.

"""proposed an economy-stimulating tax cut..."""

While also supporting a tax hike on services. That's not a tax cut, but another "tax shift".

"""Focused on education for all of our people...."""


She cares so much about education, that she has failed to vote in seven straight school board elections(at least until 2002)

As for Stabenow:
"""Authored the first ever ban on oil and gas drilling in the Great Lakes"""

A bald faced lie. Go to the Thomas website, and look up every bill that Stabenow has sponsored and how many have become law. You won't find any. Zip, Zilch, Zero.

"""Mobilized thousands of citizens to stop the dumping of Canadian Trash in Michigan and sponsored a law requiring inspections of Canadian trash trucks crossing the border"""

As to the first, that's just talk and not action. Congressman Mike Rogers as a state senator DID take action. As to the second part, again, look it up on Thomas. That's the real answer.

"""Authored and helped pass legislation in the Senate to lower prescription drug prices by allowing states to negotiate lower prices........."""

We're fact based here, so I'll give her this one. She did get this passed the senate in 2002. It didn't get passed the house or a conference committee though so nothing did happen.

"""Led efforts based on her More Jobs bill, to pass a 2 Billion tax cut giving manufacturers incentives for job creation in the US rather than overseas."""

How did she lead? By sitting there and only voting when the time came? It certainly wasn't her bill that did it since not one of her bills became law.

Time for these two to go. We can do better than these two incompetent individuals.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Michigan Gubernatorial Race 2006

* UPDATED 9-18-05 - All candidates except Dick DeVos have dropped out. He's now the man.

On to the gubernatorial race

All the democrats have been doing are blaming President Bush and Governor John Engler. While I do believe some of the blame falls to NAFTA and GATT(Signed by one Mr. Clinton), The rest of the country is recovering economically. As for John Engler, we have had three years of Granholm now. It is time for the excuses to stop. It is time for the “tax shift” gimmicks to stop. The problem is Ms. Granholm, the democrats in the house and senate, and about 10-15 Republicans who break party ranks and are not fiscally responsible. It is time to toss the bums out and inject the legislature with some new blood. We made some improvements in 2004 with a change in Republican leadership that is more willing to take on Granholm and her tax gimmicks

I am currently undecided in who I am supporting in the primary. What I hope to see is a gubernatorial candidate who will push for the following issues:



1. Elimination of the Single Business Tax. Period. Most job growth in this country is among small businesses. This should be a no-brainer.
2. No more taxes. No more fees. No more shifts. No more tax gimmicks, which are nothing more than a band-aid over the budget problem.
3. A diversified economy. We still live and die with the automobile industry here. Most of our jobs are still tied to the Big Three.
4. A cut in the red tape bureaucratic nonsense. I was recently at a CSE/Freedomworks event which sharply pointed out the differences in how Michigan and the South deal with businesses moving into their states. In short, the South is much more progressive than we are because they eliminate the red tape and permits to make things easier for the business.


So who is up to bat?

1. Dick DeVos. He’s currently the frontrunner and is a long time activist for the party. He’s a Grand Rapids area businessman who has given his time and money to several conservative causes, especially in educational matters. His campaign is just starting, and we will soon hear more about his plan for Michigan.

Judge tosses California Redistricting Reform off of the ballot due to Blunder

Arnold needs to go out and terminate some campaign workers. With friends like that, who needs enemies. From the AP:

Judge Gail Ohanesian ruled Thursday that the initiative's supporters violated the state constitution by using two versions of the measure in the qualifying process.


DOH!

Michigan Senate 2006

We will start with the Senate Race. Currently, there are two official challengers to Debbie Stabenow. There are several reasons why Ms. Stabenow needs to be sent back to the private sector.

On a non-ideological argument, she has not sponsored one law in the ten years she has been in Congress. For someone who is considered the number three Democrat in the Senate, that is not a record of effectiveness. All she has done is TALK about Canadian Trash, without DOING anything about it. This has been the case for at least six years. She is worthless.

Secondly, she is an obstructionist who blocks President Bush's judges from even coming up to a vote. Until this year, she's "blue slipped" four judges from our own state of Michigan from being seated to the appeals court. If President Bush wanted to, he could have snubbed our entire state and seat judges from other states instead to the court reducing our representation there. Way to represent our state, Debbie.

Third, she is excessively liberal for this state. She voted to ban .30-30 ammunition (but still claims to support hunting...go figure). The .30-30 is the basic deer-hunting round. She supports partial birth abortion. She opposes tax cuts. She supports socialized medicine.

Fourth - I will let this quote from a letter to one of the members of Michigan Gun Owners speak for itself.
"""I share your support for Second Amendment rights. However, law enforcement agents across the state have made it clear to me that keeping guns such as uzis and semi-automatic machine guns off our streets will help make our communities safer"""


I own guns. I shoot guns. I have no idea what a semi-automatic machine gun is.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Since Senator Stabenow is worthless, let us look at her opponents. So far, three opponents are officially in this race. One of them is Bart Baron. Mr. Baron is a frequent candidate who ran against Democrat Sander Levin in 2000, and Republican Joe Knollenberg in the 2002 primary. He switched parties, became a Democrat in 2004 to run against Knollenberg again, and lost in the primary. Now he is a Republican again? Next!

Another more interesting opponent is Jerry Zandstra of the Acton Institute over near Grand Rapids. He was recently profiled in the American Spectator. Zanstra has many good ideas and arguments. He should add much to the debates.



However, my support barring any major surprises goes to Keith Butler for three major reasons.

1. He's won a previous election. He's the only Republican to win an election in the city of Detroit in the past 40 years. That in itself is an amazing accomplishment. When he won, the city was 88% Democrat. Today it is 93% Democrat. Butler has the ability to reduce the losses in the City of Detroit. If he can do so, and keep the white republicans in his camp, he wins. Can he do so? That is the question. I think we’re more racially progressed in Michigan since the Bill Lucas disaster in 1986.

2. He is also a strong conservative. We do not have to go "RINO" (Republican in Name Only) to win. We do not beat somebody with nothing. What we have to do is communicate our ideas in an effective manner to win. President Reagan was a master at this. Keith Butler is an excellent communicator with strong opinions and ideas. He is pro-life, pro-jobs, pro-small business, pro-Second Amendment, and pro-secure borders. You can hear him for yourself at his Website by clicking on the events and watch announcement areas.

3. His campaign organization is impressive. He already has an office opened up in Lathrup Village(Southfield). He has a strong volunteer base, and he's already been campaigning hard all across the state at various Lincoln Day Dinners(Each County Republican Party has one).

In fact, he'll be here in Livingston County on July 28th at a Meet the Candidate night sponsored by our Teenage Republicans. The event is from 5:30-7:30 at:
Life Christian Church
5202 E. Highland Rd. (M-59)
Howell, MI (Between Howell and Hartland)


You can hear him for yourself then.

Let's Get it on!

We're now kicked off and ready to go.


It’s time for all of Michigan to hide the women and children, since the Republican Michigander is now in town and ready to kick butt and take names.


This blog is dedicated to get first and foremost the "Blue" out of Michigan. Our state has gone democrat in every presidential election since 1988 and has two democrat senators. This blog will also call out politicians, liberals, Hollywood, the press, George Soros, and anyone else deserving of scorn. It will also praise the good ideas out there as well. We do not want to be strictly negative here at the Republican Michigander.


However, if you are a democrat, liberal, member of the "mainstream" media, New York Times reader, gun control activist, tax lover, bliss ninny, unsupportive of property rights, Jennifer Granholm, Carl Levin, Debbie Stabenow, Chuck Schumer, or Ted Kennedy fan, you will not care much for this site. This may be more of your liking instead


That doesn't mean we will blindly support every proposal by every politician who happens to be a republican. The Republican Michigander is conservative first, and Republican second. It is not an "establishment" blog, but from the grass roots. It is pragmatic enough to the effect where we are not so purist to abandon candidates we agree with 70% of the time, but we do have our breaking point. Bob Taft, the Governor of Ohio, would never get our support due to his corruption, tax-raising, and hostility to the Second Amendment. We're happy to see him term-limited.


This blog will also focus on the current events and stories across the country, with special emphasis on Michigan Politics, Livingston County, Judicial issues, taxes, and the Second Amendment.


We are aggressive, hard hitting, blunt, and are not afraid to tell it like it is. Unlike some of the Republicans in the Senate, we are unafraid of taking on the democrats, liberal special interests, and are willing to promote our issues and what we believe.


So in the words of Big John McCarthy of the UFC – LET’S GET IT ON!