Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Scrooge changed, so did the Homeowners' Association in Novi

This is good to see here. From the Detroit News


NOVI --Baby Jesus will sleep in peace in the front yard of a Novi family after all.

In the face of a deluge of support for the Samona family on Web sites and reaction from people throughout Metro Detroit, the United States and abroad, the homeowners association that sought to ban the nativity scene backed off.

"We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or distress this confusion has caused you and your family," said a letter from homeowner association manager Dean Williams to homeowners Betty and Frank Samona.

The change of heart came after The Detroit News published a front-page story about the plight of the Samonas and their son Joe, who were ordered by the subdivision management group to remove the holiday display.

"As a demonstration of our regret over this incident, we would ask you to please accept a holiday gift basket as a token of our remorse, in the spirit of this holiday season," the letter said.

"We hope you understand that, on occasion, mistakes in proper intrepretation are made and we have learned from this mistake."



I still wouldn't want to live in a homeowners' association since I don't care much for busybodies, it is good to see them back off over this. Merry Christmas to the Samona family.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

When we act like us, we win. When we act like them, we lose

I got this in an email from state party and agree with it 100%

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

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113323286871708780-email.html

It's My Party . . .

By DICK ARMEY
November 29, 2005; Page A18

In all my years in politics, I've never sensed such anger and frustration from our volunteers -- those who do the hard work of door-to-door mobilization that Republican candidates depend on to get elected. Across the nation, wherever I go to speak with them, their refrain is the same: "I can't tell a dime's worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats." Our base rightly expects Republicans to govern by the principles -- lower taxes, less government and more freedom -- that got them elected. Today, with Republicans controlling both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government, there is a widening credibility gap between their political rhetoric and their public policies.

What will happen to Republicans if these freedom-loving, grassroots activists don't show up for work next fall? The elections earlier this month may be an indication of the answer.

Colorado Governor Bill Owens, once the future presidential nominee of choice among smaller-government conservatives, teamed up with liberal Democrats in the legislature to expand the state budget by billions of dollars and grab taxpayers' refunds for years to come. The Democrat big spenders got what they wanted, but it has left the Republican Party fractured and effectively ended Gov. Owens' future as a Republican leader. Here is one of Armey's Axioms: Make a deal with the devil and you're the junior partner.

At the national level, where President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress are presiding over the largest expansion of government since LBJ's Great Society, things are no better. Our political base expects elected leaders to cut both tax rates and spending, because they know that the real tax burden is reflected in the overall size of government.

Instead, we have embarrassing spectacles like the 2005 highway bill. Costing $295 billion, it is 35% larger than the last transportation bill, fueled by 6,371 earmarks doled out to favored political constituencies. By comparison, the 1987 highway bill was vetoed by Ronald Reagan for containing relatively few (152) earmarks. Overall, even excluding defense and homeland security spending, the growth rate of discretionary spending adjusted for inflation is at a 40-year high.

* * *
All of our leaders are complicit in this spending spree. President Bush has yet to veto a single spending bill. The House leadership refuses to reign in appropriators, claiming, as one of them preposterously put it, that "there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget."

I have always believed that good policy is good politics for Republicans. Reagan won against an incumbent president in 1980, declaring in his first inaugural address that "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." I beat an incumbent Democrat in 1984, against the dire predications of my party's political experts, on an aggressive agenda of smaller government and Social Security reform based on large personal retirement accounts. In 1994, Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years, running on the "Contract with America," a clearly articulated public policy agenda based on smaller, smarter government.

Conversely, when we let politics define our agenda, we get in trouble. The highway bill is one example, where the criterion of choice was politics. An even better example was 2003's expansion of Medicare to cover prescription drugs. This was an explicitly political effort to take health care "off the table" for the 2004 elections. I said at that time, on this page, that the proposed legislation was "a case where bad politics has produced a bad policy proposal." I predicted that the deal was "bad news for senior citizens and possibly even worse political news for the Republican Party." Here is another one of Armey's Axioms: You can't get your finger on the problem if you've got it in the wind.

Bad policy is bad politics. The 2003 expansion of Medicare enacted by Republicans has dramatically increased the financial pressures on an already broken program, and it has become a political albatross around the necks of Republicans who voted for it.

As the party of smaller government, Republicans will always have a more difficult job governing than Democrats do. Government naturally wants to expand. It is always easier for politicians when both you and your political base truly believe that there is a new government program to solve any problem, real or imagined. We will always have to work harder and be more entrepreneurial than our political opponents when it comes to implementing reforms.

To succeed in the future, the Republican Party must get back to basics. We need, in effect, another Republican takeover of Congress, reaffirming a commitment to less government, lower taxes and more freedom. As in 1994, this revolution will be driven by the young Turks of the party -- the brave backbenchers more inspired by Reagan than the possibility of a glowing editorial on the pages of the New York Times. Indeed, this is already happening.

A serious effort to slow the growth of the federal budget is being driven by a small group of House Republicans led by Reps. Mike Pence, Jeff Flake and Jeb Hensarling. Against their own leadership's wishes, this brave group and others from the Republican Study Committee gathered outside the Cannon House office building in September to kick off "Operation Offset," a modest proposal to pay for the extraordinary costs associated with Hurricane Katrina with savings from other parts of the budget. Top on the list: cuts in highway pork and a suspension of the soon-to-be-implemented expansion of Medicare.

It would have been easier not to have overspent in the first place, but the Republican Congress must reestablish its credibility as the party of spending restraint and fiscal responsibility.

Likewise, the Republican Congress must make the most important elements of the Bush tax cuts permanent, particularly repeal of the death tax, lower income tax rates and dividend tax relief. These proposals deserve substantial credit for the current strength of the American economy. Success would represent real steps toward our ultimate goal of tax reform and a simple, fair and flat income tax.

While prospects for retirement security seem unlikely before 2006, I'm counting on able legislative entrepreneurs like Sen. Jim DeMint to drag his colleagues, kicking and screaming, into a serious, adult debate about the most important policy challenge facing our generation. Personally, I've never quite understood the bed wetters' fears when it comes to Personal Retirement Accounts. How could you possibly lose by saving future retirees -- our children and grandchildren -- from another broken government promise?

None of this will be easy. The good news for Republicans willing to do this heavy lifting is that the "ideas" of the left are bankrupt. Notice that the brightest liberal politicians, like Hillary Clinton, always move toward our policy ground as they prepare to run for national office. Why would Republicans want to act like them when they act like us in order to win?

One final Armey Axiom: When we act like us, we win. When we act like them, we lose.

Mr. Armey, House Majority Leader from 1995 to 2003, is chairman of FreedomWorks, a national grassroots advocacy organization.

Scrooge lives in Novi

The Detroit News shows that scrooge lives in Novi, under the name of a homeowners' association.

NOVI -- The multicolored nativity scene on the Samona family's front yard is under attack.

The Samonas' neighborhood association has ordered the Novi family to remove its seven-piece plastic display or face possible fines of $25 to $100 per week.

The family isn't budging and neither are its three wise men. The Samonas have vowed not only to keep the display, but also are threatening to enhance it."If you take this out, it's not Christmas anymore," said Joe Samona, 16, as he reached down and scooped baby Jesus from the creche on his parents' front lawn.


That's just wrong.

Note to self, call an attorney before signing on the dotted line. Some of the restrictions on homeowners' associations are legendary. My parents made the smartest decision of all - not living in a subdivision which has one.

Undecided voters dominate GOP Senate race

The AP released a story on the senate race's latest poll.

The democrat leaning EPIC/MRA polling firm released a poll on the Senate Race.
Currently, it is anyone's race for the primary. Their margin of error is 5%, so this is a very rough estimate.

Bouchard 27
Zandstra 12
Butler 11

With brief bio
Bouchard - 35
Zandstra - 35
Butler - 23

Against Stabenow so far
Stabenow - 56
Bouchard - 36

Stabenow - 57
Zandstra - 33

Stabenow - 56
Butler - 36

The Oakland Press Reports on another poll, this one by Strategic Vision which is a GOP polling firm. Their numbers shows this:

23 - Bouchard
19 - Butler
17 - Zandstra


Before anyone presses the panic button, Stabenow was trailing Abraham by similar margins at this point in 2000. This is still very early, and a very winnable race once it becomes campaign mode.

That said, there has been a downward trend for Butler. What's happened to Butler is surprising to me since he had all the momentum early, and most of the endorsements. Zandstra came on strong after the Mackinac Conference. Bouchard has the early name advantage being Oakland County Sheriff.

The primary election is not until August, so there is sample time for candidates to make up for lost ground and gain the undecided votes necessary to win the primary, and use that momentum to take out Stabenow.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Mooch Fired, Millen somehow still has a job there

As all football fans know by now, Steve Mariucci was fired as the head coach of the Lions. I can't complain about the move since changes needed to be made, buy why is Matt Millen still there? This guy had three of the worst seasons in NFL history, and Bill Ford gives him a contract extension?

Under Matt Millen's leadership, the Lions have had seasons of 2-15, 3-13, 5-11, and 6-10. This year, they are 4-7. During Millen's leadership, they went 0-8 on the road for three straight seasons. The won loss record of Millen rivals the atrocious Darryl Rogers years.

If I was the Lions owner, this would be my plan:

  • Fire Millen.

  • Fire Joey Harrington.

  • Hire a defensive first coach, and one who adjusts his offensive skills for the team. Mooch was a West Coast Offense, circa 1980 coach with the Lions. With a QB like Harrington, why didn't he run the ball more, and impliment more power running? Kevin Jones is a capable back.

  • Develop an offensive line - this is the backbone of any offense. They have the least amount of hype, but without a line blocking for the QB and backs, there's no offense. The line is the weakest point on the team. You could have Joe Montana there, and he's still struggle with this line.



  • Until there are fundamental changes with the team, I'm not optimistic about the Lions, and it doesn't matter who is coaching them. I wish Bill Ford would sell the team. That's been the one constant of bad Lions teams. One playoff win in team history under Bill Ford's leadership.

    That's also a reason why I haven't been to a game since Sterling Sharpe's infamous wide open TD catch in the playoff game. They haven;t shown me anything.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2005

    Happy Thanksgiving all, and here's a wild turkey story

    Happy Thanksgiving, all. Go Lions.

    With Thanksgiving tomorrow, here's a great story to share. I'm a turkey hunter, and wild turkey is one of my favorite meals. Maybe we'll have a longer season after more stories like this piece from the Wall Street Journal via Chicago Tribune.



    One for 'The Birds': Wild turkeys attack people

    In April, Will Millington was riding his dirt bike down a narrow trail in Norman, Okla., when he stopped before a flock of wild turkeys. The hens scattered, but two toms flared their feathers and stalked toward him. Then they suddenly leapt in the air, beat Mr. Millington with their wings and tried to scratch him with the sharp spurs on the backs of their legs.

    Mr. Millington frantically revved his bike's motor. Thirty yards down the trail he looked back. "They were running after me," says the 46-year-old property manager. "That was kind of spooky."

    As Americans prepare to eat some 46 million domestic turkeys slaughtered for Thanksgiving, their wild cousins are fighting back. The explosion of the wild-turkey population to nearly seven million from just 30,000 in the 1930s has put a growing number of humans in the face of angry gobblers.


    The more they are around us, the less they are afraid.

    Wild-turkey flocks have a pecking order. If they live around humans, some of the dominant toms may begin to include people in that order — at a level below themselves, says Jim Cardoza, a turkey expert at the Massachusetts wildlife agency. Wild turkeys "get used to people and incorporate them into their view of society," he says. Some behavior, such as putting out bird food and slinking quietly away, can encourage these lordly males to think that humans are a subservient life form, believes Mr. Cardoza.

    Biologist James Earl Kennamer, senior vice president of the National Wild Turkey Federation, an Edgefield, S.C., hunters' group, has studied wild turkeys for 40 years. "When they think you're one of them, they'll fight you to show who's dominant," he says. "If you turn your back, they'll take it to mean they're dominant."

    Tom turkeys in suburban woods can be 4 feet tall, weigh 25 pounds and run 20 miles per hour for short bursts. Mr. Cardoza advises people to show the birds who's boss. One tip is to carry an umbrella to poke at the turkey. Ms. Huckery tells people to "get your broom and swat the turkey away." Other tips for discouraging turkeys include spraying them with a garden hose, yelling and banging pots and pans, and having a dog in the backyard.


    I disagree. I think you all should fatten them up with good bird feed, and send them to my hunting area in the fall and spring so I can get a good Thanksgiving meal!!

    Sunday, November 20, 2005

    Washtenaw County State House races

    The Ann Arbor News also covered some state house races which will be a factor in 2006.

    Washtenaw County is shaping up as a key battleground for control of the state Legislature in the 2006 election.

    At least two of the four state House seats represented in the county will have strong candidates from both major political parties, and a third in Democratic-heavy Ann Arbor will be open for the first time in six years because of term limits.

    Ann Arbor City Councilman Leigh Greden, D-3rd Ward, and Rebekah Warren, former head of MARAL Pro-Choice Michigan, have declared their intentions to run for the 53rd District state House seat being vacated by Chris Kolb, D-Ann Arbor,


    The Ann Arbor centered 53rd district is solid democrat. Chris Kolb is termed out and will be replaced. The real fight is in the primary there.

    The 52nd District was a pickup for the democrats in 2004. Gene DeRossett was termed out in 2004, and had a close fight in a slightly democrat leaning district in 2002 against Pam Bynes who is the current representative. County Commissioner Mark Ouimet (R) from heavily democrat Scio Twp could give Byrnes a strong challenge. This district covers most of the county. The rural parts are Republican, while the Scio, Ann Arbor Twp, and Ann Arbor City portions are democrat. It went 54% for John Kerry, so Byrnes will be tough to beat.

    The 55th District should be a close contest. Kathy Angerer defeated libertarian Republican Matt Milosch in a populist district some of the more Republican parts of Monroe County, as well as part of Washtenaw. There is a clash of conservative Republicans, "Dingell Democrats", and "Ann Arbor Democrats" in this district. It went 50.22% for John Kerry. The Monroe Part was 52.66% for Bush, Washtenaw 54.83% for Kerry due to Pittsfield Township near Ann Arbor and Ypsi. Milosch may want a rematch.

    The 17th Senate District is a tough open seat. Bev Hammerstrom is termed out. This district went 50.89% for Bush, and covers all of Monroe County, as well as parts of Jackson (Leoni Township, Grass Lake, Norvell and Summitt Townships) and Washtenaw County (Saline, York, Milan, Manchester, Lodi Twp, Bridgewater Twp, and Pittsfield Townships). Former Reps Randy Richardville and Gene DeRossett would be strong candidates. The democrats may be running Robert Schockman, Bedford Township Clerk.

    It'll be interesting to see who runs. These all (outside of Kolb's district) should be strongly contested races.

    Joe Schwarz in primary fight with Tim Walberg

    The Ann Arbor News reported on two primary races in 2006. One was Mike Rogers matchup with frequent commenter Patrick Flynn. The other is liberal republican Joe Schwarz's challenge by Tim Walberg.

    Primaries draw challengers
    GOP congressmen face opposition from within party

    Two area Republican representatives to Congress will likely face primary election opposition next year.

    Both Joe Schwarz and Mike Rogers already have opponents from within the conservative wing of their party ready to oppose them for the GOP nomination. The first-term Schwarz is considered more vulnerable than Rogers, who is in his third term in Congress.

    The moderate Schwarz survived an open-seat party primary with five bona-fide conservative candidates in 2004. He then went on to beat first-time Democratic candidate Sharon Renier with 58 percent of the vote in the 7th Congressional District, which includes western and northern Washtenaw County and sprawls across much of central southern Michigan


    I'm not a fan of Mr. Schwarz. This goes back to his days in the state senate where he was a frequent critic of gun owners, pro-lifers, and tax hawks. I can respect honest disagreement, but when I'm told that I'm a "bubba who straps on and packs a 9mm" because I support the right of law abiding citizens to carry concealed pistols or that I am a "zealot" because I am pro-life, well I'll be supporting his primary challenger. I will give Schwarz credit for some honesty where he said that he "didn't give a shit" (exact quote) if he got the votes of pro-lifers and 2nd amendment supporters. That much is obvious by his mouth. In the 2002 primary debate in his gubenatorial campaign, he stated that he was not opposed to tax increases. He also brought up his anti-gun views there.

    I will concede that Schwarz hasn't been terrible as a congressman, even surprisingly supporting the gun lawsuit ban, but I have to look at a 16+ year record over two years. He is unrepentantly anti-gun. He was one of the anti-conceal carry leaders. He is also pro-abortion and ran on that in the 2002 gubenatoral primary. Add the tax support, and it's three strikes and yer out.

    In the 2004 Primary. Joe Schwarz took advantage of a six way primary where each all of the conservative groups split endorsements. The Chamber's choice was Clark Bisbee, who was unacceptable to gun owners and a weak campaigner. Right to Life also supported Bisbee, but the membership did not accept their endorsement. Many of the gun owners supported Gene DeRossett(although I believe the NRA was neutral), but business did not like him since he was more pro-union. Tim Walberg had a large number of religious conservatives backing him, but little financial backing. Paul DeWeese was strongly pro-life and a doctor who had a practice in Eaton County. Brad Smith was the congressman's son who was backed by Club for Growth. All except Smith were former or current representatives.

    The results showed in the split. Combine Smith's votes with any other and he wins. Walberg and anyone except DeWeese wins.

    Bisbee - 14.02% - 10301 votes
    DeRossett - 11.41% - 8379 votes
    DeWeese - 6.65% - 4886 votes
    Schwarz - 27.82% - 20440 votes
    Smith - 22.44% - 16488 votes
    Walberg - 17.66% - 12978 votes

    Democrat Sharon Renier was a sacrificial lamb opponent, so there was little contest. 3rd Parties did gain 5% of the vote in the general election, which is much higher than normal.

    I'm not surprised that Walberg wants a rematch. Schwarz is prepared for one as well. Club for Growth is already involved, and I expect gun groups to jump in as well. Schwarz is much tougher as an incumbent, but I think conservatives have a shot here - as long as it is a one on one primary, and not a three way race.

    Good luck to Walberg.

    Friday, November 18, 2005

    Good luck, Bulldogs.

    Taking a break from politics here.

    While I'm currently in Howell, I'm a Brighton native and BHS alumnus so my home team will always be the Bulldogs.

    I would like to wish the Brighton Bulldogs the best of luck in their game tomorrow against perennial rival Rockford.

    While the Bulldogs are a perennial playoff team (10 in a row), this time they are in the state semifinals, and this team has gone further in the playoffs than any Bulldogs team has gone before. They get a rematch with Rockford, and the winner goes on to Ford Field for the state title.

    Good luck, and go Dogs.

    Soldier Responds to State News Cartoon

    Over on the Smash Left Wing Scum site, Soldier Rob Walter responds to the offensive snews cartoon.
    After seeing Mike Ramsey's Veterans Day cartoon (SN 11/11), I felt compelled to write to you.
    I am a soldier currently stationed at Baghdad Central Correctional Facility, better known as Abu Ghraib. Comparing us to the Nazis who ran torture camps is patently offensive to us and to everyone who has ever worn an American military uniform.

    We are here fighting for the freedom of the Iraqi people, and part of that is keeping those who would destroy that freedom locked up so they cannot kill American soldiers, or innocent civilians.

    We do not torture the people here. In fact, the detainees here are treated much better than they would be in an American prison. They all have access to lawyers and are tried for their crimes under Iraqi law, by Iraqi judges.

    So, Ramsey I suggest in the future you draw what you know something about. Like being a sheltered, rich college liberal in East Lansing, for starters.

    Robert Walter
    East Lansing resident


    Rob also posted on what really goes on at Abu Gharaib. I encourage everyone to read it.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    Jim Marcinkowski to Challenge Mike Rogers

    I heard this rumor for a few days, and suspected something awhile back when the county democrats organized a speaking event featuring Marcinkowksi. It's time for a post now that this is out in the open. From the AP



    LAKE ORION, Mich. (AP) — A former CIA agent who has criticized the disclosure of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity said Tuesday he is planning to run as a Democrat for the 8th Congressional District.

    Jim Marcinkowski, deputy city attorney for Royal Oak, would face U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, in the 2006 general election if he wins in the Democratic primary. Marcinkowski said he is planning to run for Congress, but has not yet filed necessary paperwork.

    Marcinkowski, 50, of Lake Orion, said he was Plame's classmate at the CIA, where he went on to be an operations officer in Washington from 1985-89.

    "The Valerie Plame exposure was certainly personal for me ... but more important is that it is indicative of how this White House is conducting foreign affairs," he said in a telephone interview. "It's a very important issue to national security."


    Jim, you're not running against Bush. You're running against Mike Rogers. Why should the people of the 8th district vote for you over Mike Rogers? I don't care about President Bush since he's not running again.

    "Mike starts with a particularly large money advantage, but his money advantage will be offset by his positions on the issues," Marcinkowski said. "It's going to be money versus message."


    We'll be waiting for your message, Jim.

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

    This is a district that's becoming more and more republican. It's not a gimme district, but the odds are certainly in the GOP's favor. It went 53.71% for Bush, and Rogers took it with 61.08% of the vote against a low funded, but spirited challenge by Bob Alexander.

    The 8th district consists of all or parts of five counties. Ingham County is a democrat stronghold. Shiawassee County is marginal GOP. Livingston and Clinton County are GOP strongholds, as is the portion of Oakland County in this district. I took the two party% from the Orion Township precincts, so both the Bush and Kerry %'s are slightly inflated. These numbers are close however.

    Municipality Bush, Kerry, Bush% Kerry%
    TOTAL 191658, 161634, 53.71%, 45.30%
    Clinton 21989, 15483, 58.16%, 40.95%
    Ingham 54734, 76877, 41.14%, 57.78%
    Livingston 58860, 33991, 62.79%, 36.26%

    Shiawassee County:

    Antrim Twp 680 432 60.82%, 38.64%
    Bennington Twp 1106 712 60.24%, 38.78%
    Burns Twp 1054 688 59.85%, 39.07%
    Durand 773 914 45.10%, 53.33%
    Laingsburg 327 279 53.26%, 45.44%
    Perry 584 432 57.03%, 42.19%
    Perry Twp 1255 908 57.60%, 41.67%
    Sciota Twp 535 425 55.04%, 43.72%
    Shiawasse Twp 804 719 52.21%, 46.69%
    Vernon Twp (pt) 1374 1329 50.39%, 48.73%
    Woodhill Twp 1258 905 57.55%, 41.40%

    Oakland County:

    Addison Twp 2403 1113 67.53%, 31.24%
    Brandon Twp 4852 3030 60.70%, 37.91%
    Clarkston 322 252 55.52%, 43.45%
    Groveland Twp 1988 1204 61.76%, 37.04%
    Holly Twp 2813 2442 52.73%, 46.77%
    Independence Twp 12199 6847 63.50%, 35.64%
    Oxford Twp 6155 3557 62.63%, 36.20%
    Rose Twp 2139 1337 60.70%, 37.94%
    Springfield Twp 4946 2710 63.99%, 35.06%
    Orion Twp (Part) 8505 5048 62.75%, 37.25% (of two party vote)

    My early predictions have this being another 60-40 race. Marcinkowski seems to be a one issue candidate. He also plays right into the hands of Mike Rogers. Rogers was an FBI agent. He's on the intelligence committee. National Security is his strongpoint and is what Marcinkowski is running on. He also seems to be running against Bush and not Rogers. This may work in East Lansing, but will cost him votes in the deep red areas. Bush won big everywhere outside Ingham County, and ran ahead of most republicans in Shiawassee. Rogers won Ingham County in 2002, and almost won it in 2004, despite a strong anti-Bush view there. Bush hatred may get him the East Lansing, Lansing, and Okemos vote, but that's about it.

    We'll see what happens here. Mike should be safe as long as he isn't complacent. He should run this race just as he did in 2002. Ran like he was down 10%, while winning with 68%

    Monday, November 14, 2005

    Bastards!!!

    Over on Smash Left Wing Scum, I found this.



    So this nasty cartoon ran in Michigan State University's campus rag. Tomorrow from 1-3 Young Americans for Freedom and MSU's College Republicans will be demonstrating against the State News.



    I thought even the "Snooze" had limits.

    If anyone's in the Lansing area during that time, I encourage you to make it and show your distaste for this trash being paid for by tax money and tuition money.

    Sunday, November 13, 2005

    Ballot count draws scrutiny

    The Detroit News once again spreads more doubt on the integrity of Detroit's elections. This is old news for many of us, but needs to be publicized. I certainly hope the new clerk Janice Winfrey cleans house and replaces all of Jackie Currie's buddies there who aren't doing their job properly.

    Ballot count draws scrutiny

    Tally takes place amid reports of vote mishandling; mayoral win likely to stand, Detroit officials say.

    Top-level representatives of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and challenger Freman Hendrix stood watch Saturday as the official canvass of more than 220,000 votes cast in last week's mayoral election began amid new reports of mishandling of ballots by city poll workers.

    (snip)

    On Friday, city officials found that one election worker had taken home two electronic devices that store vote tallies and those votes weren't tallied on election night. In addition, some results weren't tabulated correctly because of a computer programming error.

    Some city workers also failed to subtract dummy votes that are cast -- 20 in each precinct -- to ensure voting equipment works properly.

    Less than 3,000 votes were affected by the errors, Chesney said. She said election workers have many ways, including an examination of the original ballots, to check the final tallies.

    No irregularities had been discovered with absentee ballots, Chesney said.

    (snip)

    On Election Day, the FBI obtained a court order to preserve absentee ballots and other records for investigation. Earlier, a Wayne County circuit judge handed supervision of the election to state Bureau of Elections director Chris Thomas and Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett. The court also appointed two prominent Detroiters, Charlie Williams and Elliott Hall, as monitors. The orders came in a lawsuit challenging City Clerk Jackie Currie's handling of Detroit's August primary. Currie was cited for contempt of court after she disobeyed a court order not to distribute absentee ballot applications.

    On Oct. 30, a Detroit News report outlined how legally incapacitated people were voting, that people had voted who listed addresses at vacant lots and in abandoned buildings and that a significant percentage of Detroit's voter rolls were inaccurate. The story raised questions about how Currie manages absentee voter ballots.


    Just another day in Detroit elections. The Free Press also had a story on this.

    Saturday, November 12, 2005

    County updates - added Oakland

    With Mike Bouchard's recent announcement for the senate race and the recent spotlight on Oakland, I skipped ahead of a few counties and added Oakland County to the profiles list.

    Thursday, November 10, 2005

    Special Election Time

    One of the side effects of Virg Bernero's election as Lansing Mayor is a special election for his district - the 23rd Senate seat. Granholm will likely announce one soon as this a strongly democrat leaning seat.


    From MSU's State News

    With Virg Bernero's election as Lansing's new mayor on Tuesday, defeating incumbent Tony Benavides, an empty seat will be left by the Democrat in the state Senate.
    State Rep. Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, said she is looking to fill his spot.

    "I think that I have a contribution to make in the state Senate," Whitmer said. "We need to have a strong voice for the people within Ingham County, which includes MSU."

    It is not known whether a special election will be held to fill the vacated seat or if it will remain unfilled until the general election in November 2006. Bernero will be sworn in as Lansing's mayor in January.


    The district went 59.01% for Kerry, although Paul DeWeese held Bernero to 53.36% in 2002, which was strongly democrat in the Lansing area due to an anti-Engler vote by state workers. Anything can happen in a special election, so I hope we contest it and not give Whitmer or anyone else a free pass. Whoever runs needs to make big inroads in Lansing itself as well as Meridian Twp(Okemos/Haslett) while racking up big wins outcounty.

    The first Number is Bush votes. The second is Kerry Votes. The third is Bush%, last is Kerry %.

    Alaiedon 1088 838 56.08% 43.20%
    Aurelius 1222 771 60.83% 38.38%
    Delhi 6831 6105 52.25% 46.70%
    E. Lansing 5119 12647 28.40% 70.16%
    Ingham Twp 734 463 60.66% 38.26%
    Lansing City 16101 32102 33.03% 65.86%
    Lansing Twp 1707 2436 40.76% 58.17%
    Leroy Twp 1103 674 61.28% 37.44%
    Locke Twp 657 361 63.97% 35.15%
    Meridian twp 9589 12378 43.25% 55.83%
    Onondaga 768 568 56.60% 41.86%
    Wheatfield 624 375 62.09% 37.31%
    White Oak 378 247 59.62% 38.96%
    Williamston 1065 869 54.48% 44.45%
    Wmstown. Twp 1824 1373 56.56% 42.57%
    Total 48810 72207 39.89% 59.01%

    The expected candidate for the democrats is rich leftist Gretchen "Liquor Tax" Whitmer (D-BlueCross). There may be others however.

    Wednesday, November 09, 2005

    FREEDOM!!!

    "Every man dies. Not every man really lives." From my all time favorite movie.

    -----------------------------------------------------
    You scored as William Wallace. The great Scottish warrior William Wallace led his people against their English oppressors in a campaign that won independence for Scotland and immortalized him in the hearts of his countrymen. With his warrior's heart, tactician's mind, and poet's soul, Wallace was a brilliant leader. He just wanted to live a simple life on his farm, but he gave it up to help his country in its time of need.


    Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
    created with QuizFarm.com

    Here's a shocker. 18 year old write-in candidate becomes mayor

    Here's a shocker from the AP.



    18-year-old write-in candidate elected Hillsdale mayor
    11/9/2005, 8:30 a.m. ET
    The Associated Press

    HILLSDALE, Mich. (AP) — An 18-year-old high school student has been elected mayor after mounting a write-in campaign to oust the 51-year-old incumbent.

    With all the votes counted, Michael Sessions had 732 votes to 668 for Mayor Doug Ingles, according to unofficial figures posted on the city's Web site.

    A cheer went up in the Sessions home when the results were announced over the radio. The Hillsdale High School student lives with his parents and 13-year-old sister Sarah.


    Congratulations, and good luck. State Rep Chris Ward won his first race at 18. John Engler was 21 when he first won.

    San Francisco bans all pistols

    From the Chronicle.

    SAN FRANCISCO
    MEASURES: Voters take stand against guns, recruiting at schools
    Cecilia M. Vega, Chronicle Staff Writer

    Wednesday, November 9, 2005

    San Francisco voters took a stand Tuesday against military recruitment on public school campuses, voted to keep firehouses open and approved the nation's toughest ban on handguns by making it illegal for city residents to possess them.

    Proposition H, which requires city residents who already own guns to turn them in to police by April 1, was winning 58 percent to 42 percent with 98 percent of precincts counted.

    The measure also makes it illegal to buy, sell, distribute and manufacture firearms and ammunition in the city.


    Since this is in San Francisco, I figured this would pass, and am surprised it wasn't 80-20.

    I'm actually glad this passed. While I'd certainly vote against it (and also refuse to turn my gun in to the government) if I lived there, this can wake up gun owners across the country to the fact that the gun grabbers and hoplophobes are still active, and that we need to stay vigilant. Join the NRA. Join the Second Amendment Foundation. Join groups like SAFR on the state level. (MCRGO however has been worthless since they changed leadership in 2002).

    Fraud Blog - Michigan GOP

    State Party has a Fraud Blog for 2005 elections.

    It's a sad, but needed read

    Mayor Navigator Survives, Election results



    In a shocking come from behind win, Mayor Navigator apparently defeats challenger Freman Hendrix 53%-47% 117,354 to 103,446. Expect another population drop in the city, and some more urban spawl.

    However in good news, Detroit City Clerk Jackie Currie probably gets sent back to the private sector. She loses to Math teacher Janice Winfrey 53-47% This is a big win for fair elections. Good luck to Winfrey as clerk. I hope she cleans house and hires a bunch of new people.

    Over in Lansing, State Senator Virg Bernero soundly defeats incumbent Tony Benevides, 12,925 to 8,052. Lansing also has a new city clerk as well as Chris Swope defeats Debbie Miner by a similar margin. The Bernero win opens up special election next year.

    In Williamston, Republicans Michelle Hyne and Brian O'Connell win. Congratulations to them.

    Closer to home:

    The Byron Schools bond issue failed. 1467 to 523. The Morrice Schools bond issue failed 562-387. The Dexter Library proposal and bond both passed narrowly. 1438-1317 and 1434-1313.

    The winners in Howell (9.4% turnout) were Paul Rogers, Scott Niblock, and Dawn Cooper. The winners in Brighton (18% turnout) were Kate Lawrence, James Muzzin, Ricci Bandkau, and John Tunis.

    Lastly, in a smacktown to the arrogant (exception to Murphy and Slaton) Brighton Township Board of trustees, the poorly written Brighton Township tree ordinance was defeated 2418 to 1465.

    Monday, November 07, 2005

    Election Day 2005 - November 8

    Tomorrow's a big day for elections. While we don't have gubenatorial or presidential elections this year, there are still many important races here in Michigan, as well as the rest of the country.

    New Jersey and Virginia both have their gubenatorial and state elections. If megabucks ultraleftist Jon Corzine wins in Jersey, he gets to appoint his own replacement in the senate. If Lt Governor Tim Kaine beats AG Jerry Kilgore in Virginia, watch Mark Warner in 2008.

    California and Ohio have votes on several referendum issues including redistricting which may have national impact. Partisanwise, it's best that California's passes, and Ohio's fails. Personally, I'd like to see national redistricting reform, or we are going to have major redistricting battles every single time a state government switches power. That may not be popular here in Michigan, but Mark Brewer would burn us in a minute on this if the dems take all branches of state government.

    The City of San Francisco gets to vote on a Chicago-style total handgun ban.


    In our own state, we have two significant mayorial elections. Over in Detroit, Mayor Navigator, also known as Kwame Kilpatrick, has a very difficult re-election battle against Deputy Mayor Freman Hendrix. Needless to say in 96% democrat Detroit, both are democrats. Mayor Navigator was trailing in the polls all year, but has tightened them up at the end. While a Kwame victory would help the republicans (since it's almost a universal feeling outside of Detroit that he absolutely sucks), it's bad for the city, and the state of Michigan, so I'm hoping the voters of Detroit toss Mayor Navigator out on his arse.

    Lansing has an interesting race as well that hasn't drawn much coverage outside of their local media. State Senator Virg Bernero has a good chance at ousting current mayor Tony Benevides. Both are democrats. Since Lansing is 65% democrat and Bernero is more moderate (For a democrat) on economic issues, he's probably the best we can get for Lansing mayor, and I hope he wins. It has statewide implications, as it opens up a state senate district if Virg Bernero wins. While it is a very difficult district, anything can happen in special elections. If a state rep runs and wins Bernero's seat, that opens up another seat in another special election, where anything can happen.

    Over in Williamston, the Republicans are running a slate. Hyne, O'Connell, Moody and
    Degarmo.

    Over in East Lansing, Kevin Beard and John Fournier are challenging the current jokers on the council. I don't care what party they are, as they can't be more anti-student than the incumbents.

    Close to home in Livingston County, we have many local races on the ballot. There are three major races. The one with the most coverage has been the Tree Ordinance in Brighton Township.

    Should the Charter Township of Brighton adopt Ordinance No. 227, Article 11 of the Zoning Ordinance, entitled “Land Clearing/Tree Preservation”?


    The Livingston County GOP's statement is below. I agree with it (and seconded its motion) 100%

    "Whereas the Livingston County Republican Committee, while not opposed to reasonable environmental protections, has found the Brighton Township Land Clearing/Tree Preservation Ordinance #227 a representation of irresponsible and intrusive government and an assault upon individual property rights,

    Therefore, be it resolved that the Livingston County Republican Committee urges Brighton Township to vote NO on November 8th."


    The Howell City Council (Mayor is unopposed) nonpartisan elections are tomorrow. There are three openings. My votes will be going to Debi Drick (Both Jay and Debi Drick are good people) and Paul Rogers. Dawn Cooper is too liberal(Gave money to Bob Alexander and Geoff Fieger's gubenatorial campaign), and the others I do not have enough information on to make an informed decision, so I will be leaving one blank. I'll also leave the Board of Review spots blank, since I do not know anything about the individuals there. The blanks are partially my fault for not finding out more about the individuals, but I am active enough where more candidates should make an effort to try and earn my vote. I don't blindly vote, even in partisan elections, let alone a non-partisan race. While I always show up at the polls, If I don't have the information, I leave it blank or write in someone.

    Brighton's City Council elections are tomorrow. Sue Walters-Steinaker and Ricci Bandkau are both republicans.

    There are several bond and millage issues across the county. While none of the Livingston County based schools are up, several other districts have territory in the county. Dexter schools have a library millage and bond issue. Byron and Morrice schools has a bond proposal. Linden Schools have a Headlee Override.

    I don't know enough about these to have an informed opinion on them, although my guard is sure up with the number of mills asked by Byron schools.

    More information on the Livingston Races are found here.

    The Polling Locations are below.

    Brighton Charter Township
    Precinct 1 Brighton Township Hall, 4363 Buno Rd., Brighton
    Precincts 2, 4 & 9 Hilton Elementary, 9600 Hilton Rd., Brighton
    Precincts 3 & 8 Spencer Elementary, 10639 Spencer Rd., Brighton
    Precinct 5 VFW Hall, 10590 E. Grand River, Brighton
    Precinct 6 Brighton Twp. Fire Hall, 1580 S. Old US-23, Brighton
    Precinct 7 Hartland Farms Middle School, 687 Taylor Rd., Brighton

    Cohoctah Township (Byron Area Schools Registered Voters)
    Precinct 1 Cohoctah Township Hall, 10518 Antcliff Rd., Fowlerville

    Conway Township (Byron Area Schools Registered Voters)
    Precinct 1 Cohoctah Township Hall, 10518 Antcliff Rd., Fowlerville

    Conway Township (Morrice Area Schools Registered Voters)
    Precinct 1 Antrim Township Hall, 12014 S. Bancroft Rd., Morrice

    Deerfield Township (Byron Area Schools Registered Voters)
    Precinct 2 Cohoctah Township Hall, 10518 Antcliff Rd., Fowlerville

    Deerfield Township (Linden Community Schools Registered Voters)
    Precincts 1 & 2 Deerfield Township Hall, 4492 Center Rd., Linden

    Green Oak Township (South Lyon Community Schools Registered Voters)
    Precincts 1 & 3 Fellowship Baptist Church, 10774 Nine Mile, Whitmore Lake
    Precincts 4 & 6 Brummer School, 9919 N. Rushton Rd., South Lyon
    Precinct 5 Green Oak Township Hall, 10001 Silver Lake Rd., Brighton
    Precinct 7 Green Oak Fire Station #82, 11411 Grand River, Brighton

    Hamburg Township (Dexter District Library Registered Voters)
    Precinct 4 Hamburg Township Hall, 10405 Merrill Rd., Hamburg

    Tyrone Township (Linden Community Schools Registered Voters)
    Precinct 1 Tyrone Covenant Presbyterian Church, 10235 White Lake Rd., Fenton
    Precinct 4 Fenton Church of the Nazarene, 11075 Runyan Lake Rd., Fenton

    Brighton City
    Precinct 1 Brighton District Library, 100 Library Dr., Brighton
    Precinct 2 Brighton City Council Chambers, 200 N. First St., Brighton
    Precincts 3 & 4 Brighton Education Community Center (BECC) Building, 125 S. Church St., Brighton

    Howell City
    Precincts 1 & 2 Howell Recreation Center, 925 W. Grand River, Howell
    Precinct 3 Howell City Hall (second level), 611 E. Grand River, Howell

    Don't forget to vote.

    Friday, November 04, 2005

    Livingston County GOP passes resolution opposing Brighton Township tree ordinance



    In breaking news, tonight at the GOP meeting, the Livingston County GOP passed a resolution opposing the Brighton Township tree ordinance. This is bad leglislation that deserves to be defeated on November 8.

    This ordinance is flawed and is intrusive on property rights. I'm not opposed to tree ordinances if they are grounded in science and isn't just big government. Genoa Township has had a tree ordinance for 20 years. This one in Brighton Township on the other hand is unacceptable for the reasons given by CARE for Brighton.

    And in a shamless plug, I was the individual who seconded the motion and helped push this through. So blame me, democrats. :)

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

    Previous posts on Tree Ordinance

    September 29th Post


    July 26th Post

    I also added Macomb County to the profile list. I'm currently working on Oakland off and on, and should finish that by next week.

    Thursday, November 03, 2005

    (Candidate) Sen. Biden stumps in Kentucky

    John Kerry II, I mean Biden (All Northeast/Mid Atlantic dems seem the same to me) attempts to campaign in the South.

    Sen. Biden stumps in Kentucky

    SAYS DEMOCRATS NEED TO TAKE BACK 'RED STATES' IN 2008

    ASSOCIATED PRESS


    NEWPORT - If Democrats are to retake the White House and Congress, they must be more active in and win states like Kentucky, U.S. Sen. Joe Biden said.

    The Delaware Democrat, feeling out a possible 2008 presidential run, used Northern Kentucky as a testing ground Saturday in two fund-raisers for the state Democratic Party.

    "We have to turn (Kentucky) back into a blue state," Biden said. "We've got to be competitive in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Colorado, Florida. ... If we can't be competitive in all those states, we can't unite this country."


    And Biden will do it? "Banning guns is an idea whose time has come" (AP: 11/18/93) Biden? Bring it on. Then there is this classic quote from the same article.

    "If I'm the nominee, Republicans will be sorry," said Biden, a Roman Catholic who ran for president in 1988. "The next Republican that tells me I'm not religious I'm going to shove my rosary beads down their throat."


    Well, Joey. I'll tell you that you aren't religious. You can't be Catholic and pro-abortion. Period. End of Story.

    Patrick Flynn challenging Congressman Mike Rogers

    Mike Rogers will be having a challenger in the primary for the first time since maybe 1994 when he first ran for state senate.

    From the Argus



    Lawmaker faces election challenge — House hopeful questions GOP congressman's conservative credentials
    By Dan Meisler
    DAILY PRESS & ARGUS

    The business manager of a Green Oak Township church plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, in the August 2006 Republican primary election.
    Patrick Flynn, 46, said Rogers has joined moderate Republicans and embraced the philosophy of attracting social liberals to the party, threatening the GOP's platform of traditional moral values.

    "Their goal is to bring social liberals into the party," Flynn said. "That's not pro-life or pro-family."


    Flynn's proof for that allegation is Rogers' participation in helping bring Christine Todd Whitman to Michigan for a speech in May. Whitman, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush, was promoting a book calling on moderates to exert more influence in the GOP.


    I've met Patrick Flynn twice, and he seems like a good guy. He's an Irish Catholic like I am. He also has a good grasp of the issues, and isn't a "typical politician". I certainly can not question Patrick's guts, since he is going to take a lot of initial heat from this.

    I also happen to know Mike Rogers. While like Patrick I disagree with him having the event with Whitman, his voting record is good on most of the issues that matter to me. I'm pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, support lower taxes, and oppose McCain/Feingold. Congressman Mike's been very good on those issues voting wise. When push comes to shove, I can count on him. Mike's also given me a straight answer on questions every time I've asked him something.

    On a competency level, Mike's staff in Michigan does an excellent job. There is very little turnover at his office, and most of them have been there for years. That says a lot about a congressman. It will hurt our county and our state losing that. Unless things change dramatically and Mike turns pro-abortion, anti-gun, or pro-tax, my vote stays with Mike.

    That said, while I disagree with Patrick's decision to primary Congressman Mike, I'm glad he's active, and I hope he stays active. I know Patrick has posted here before, and I invite him to respond to my comments here.