After the school board endorsements, our committee decided there needs to be a formal process on the matter. The endorsement committee was formed and started a process. A process was approved at an executive committee meeting. The process is in effect. A questionaire was sent out to judicial candidates. I have not seen this yet and I wish I did. However, I trust that the endorsement committee did a good job on this in their questions. I was at two of the meetings (although I'm NOT on the endorsement committee) and saw that there was major discussion about this and all sides had their say. I did see a template based on a different political race and the questions there were fair. The questions were based on national party platform. I took the template test and got 90%. I didn't get 100% as my views aren't with any platform 100%.
The candidates are supposed to fill out the questions and turn them in if they so choose to do so. The results go to the endorsement committee and any final decision will be voted on by the executive committee. Anything said before final results is speculation.
Apparently, one of the biggest controversies is asking the candidates who they supported. This is an extremely valid question as it shows where the judges beliefs are. Anyone who says that personal beliefs are cast aside when they put on a robe is
lying. That's why the democrats are trying to fillibuster President Bush's judges. That's why Michigan's Supreme Court is split the way it is.
Assuming the questions are those in the paper - I don't see anything wrong with them. The endorsement committee did an excellent job here.
""""What would you call your “core beliefs”?
If you could enact any law that would affect decisions made by judges today, what would it be?
What is your party affiliation?
What does it mean to be a Republican?
Do you personally agree with the following Republican values as defined by the Republican Party platform: (Yes or No)
-- The right for the life of an unborn child to be protected from abortion?
-- Defining marriage as being between one man and one woman?
• Americans should be protected from court rulings that limit the display and practices of their religious beliefs?
-- Americans should not be restricted from their right to bear arms?
-- Government has a right to take someone’s property for financial benefit to the community?
How much money have you donated to the Livingston County Republican events and committees in the following calendar years? (2003-2006)
Have you supported or worked on any of the following Republican leaders’ campaigns in the following designated calendar years (2003-2006):
-- U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers?
-- State Sen. Valde Garcia?
-- State Rep. Joe Hune?
-- State Rep. Chris Ward?
In the past 12 years, in any election, have you publicly or privately endorse, supported (either monetarily, offering resources or through volunteer efforts) or voted for a candidate or organization representing the following affiliations:
-- A Democrat?
-- The Democratic Party?
-- An organization with a racist ideology?""""
I don't see anything wrong with those questions.
As for Mr. Carney's comment
"I think Karl Rove's alive and well and he's coaching people in Livingston County," said Joe Carney, chair of the county's Democratic Party. He was referring to President George W. Bush's political guru.
I think our endorsement committee should take that as a compliment.
As for Bill Rogers comments, I like Bill and he's a good guy, but I disagree with him on this. I think the fact that Theresa Brennan bought her judicial seat is tacky.
I happen to agree with Saul's statement. It's a lot similar to what I've been saying.
"If they wanted to (ask about those things), I don't think that's outside the realm of normal procedures," he said.
He also said the state GOP endorses candidates for state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.
Anuzis added that it was "naive" to think that judges don't hold partisan views, and that it was important to know them because judges tend to move up to higher courts."
Cindy Pine and Allan Filip are saying that candidates should ignore the questionaires. All I have to say is that candidates do so at their own peril as much of the rest of the executive committee is not united on this issue. Many on the committee will not accept that decision. One thing that should be kept in mind is that school board endorsements passed the committee 16-4. Judges are a bigger issue than school boards. All exec committee members as individuals are one person. The committee makes the final decision if any. I do not know what that decision would be. When this issue came up, it should have been discussed with the committee before any statements were made. I should have first heard about this from one of the other officers in the party and not from the Argus. In Cindy and Allan's defense, they were caught offguard, as I was. That said, the process was already approved by the executive committee. We all should have been better prepared in responding.
Lastly, These internal political issues should be kept in-house and these's comments should not be made without executive committee discussion. Cindy had a 1PM deadline to make a comment in the Argus and was caught offguard. I was also caught offguard. That can't happen. Because of this, we have conflicting comments in the party public in the paper. The winners when that happens are Joe Carney and KevinS - not us. We need to be ready as a party for any surprises and take a page out of James Carville and Paul Begala's book - have a warroom ready to go, and respond to anything in an organized matter. Normally I wouldn't make an internal GOP matter public, but when our entire executive committee first finds out about this from the Argus, it's already public.