Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Updates

Added State Senate districts 30-32.

Judicial Races Endorsement Updates

From the Argus
The county's top law-enforcement officials are choosing sides in the upcoming judicial races, but whether their endorsements will sway voters is an open question.
On Friday, Howell attorney Jay Drick, candidate for 53rd District Court judge in Brighton, announced he has been endorsed by Sheriff Bob Bezotte and a statewide police organization.

Bezotte has already endorsed Carol Hackett Garagiola in the seven-person race for Livingston County Probate Court judge. Garagiola is legal and policy director of Michigan's Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Board.


County Prosecutor David Morse also endorsed Garagiola in the probate race, and Judge Theresa Brennan in the Brighton District Court campaign.
Drick and Brennan will face Christina Heikkinen, a Howell attorney, in the Aug. 8 primary.

Garagiola and six others — attorney and Hamburg Township Treasurer Roberta Balon-Vaughn, attorney Robert Parker, Juvenile Court Referee Kathleen Oemke, Brighton attorney Suzanne Dugas, Howell attorney Anthony Kandt and Marion Township attorney Lyle Dickson — also are competing in an August primary.


We have a split in endorsements for the Circuit race. David Morse is backing Theresa Brennan. Bob Bezotte is backing Drick. Considering that Morse has to be in her court all the time, I'm not that surprised by it. We'll see what affect this has as it unfolds.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Updates

The district profiles have been updated. State Senate districts 1-29 are completed. Congressional districts are also completed. New districts will be added throughout this election year. Ones completed will have updates as developments occur in those races.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Jay Drick endorsed by law enforcement

In the 53rd District Court (Livingston County) race, Jay Drick has been endorsed by the Michigan Association of Police, as well as Sheriff Bob Bezotte. Congratulations to Jay, and good luck to him this August and November.

Brighton Fire chief concerned about millage's fate

We have eight tax questions on the ballot this fall in Livingston County. One of the more controversial will be the Brighton Fire Authority. Former County Commissioner Dave Hamiliton is strongly opposing this. He's the chair of the Livingston Taxpayers Association.

Is Marty DeLoach, chief of the Brighton Area Fire Authority, worried about seeking a quarter-mill increase for fire services?
You betcha.

Many people are struggling in this down economy, and this isn't the ideal time to up the millage — even if the .25-mill increase only means an additional $25 per year for the owner of a $200,000 home, or a $50 increase for the owner of $400,000 home.

Does DeLoach firmly believe this increase for a five-year-period is needed for the department to continue to provide quality services and replace old equipment?
Definitely.

(Snip)


Hamilton said the following.

Hamilton said if the Brighton authority is successful in getting a millage increase, other fire authorities in the county will do the same.

"Birds of a feather flock together," Hamilton said.

Using 2006 property tax values, Hamilton said the increase millage would boost the authority's revenues by 40 percent. The department's revenues would jump from $2.2 million to almost $3.2 million. His figures were based on taxable values provided by the Livingston County Equalization Department, and he provided an analysis to the Daily Press & Argus and DeLoach.

"He doesn't need any increase now," Hamilton said.


We're going to keep an eye on all of the tax questions on the ballot. The Concerned Taxpayers Group will be active in one or more of them. Hamilton's going to be active in at least one with his organization. All in all, it should make for an interesting August.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Recall in Clawson over taxes

From the Daily Tribune

Resident seeks recall of city council

CLAWSON -- While city officials make another stab at securing funding for road rehabilitation, a bond opponent has filed petitions with the county to recall the entire city council.

"Paul Garfield filed the request," said City Attorney Jon Kingsepp at Wednesday night's special city council approving new ballot language for a road bond proposal Aug. 8. "He is seeking the recall of all five council members."

Garfield, who heads clawsontaxpayer.com, earlier this week submitted to the Oakland County Election Commission petition language requesting the recall of council members. He said he did this on behalf of clawsontaxpayers.com


This was due to the previous millage/bond proposal in Clawson. Paul Garfield and Clawson Tax Payer defeated a millage last May. In response, the City Council there is trying again after losing last time. That is the reason for the recall effort.

The city participated in a lot of misinformation ... .," said Garfield by telephone Wednesday night. "We felt this would be a way to clarify their misinformation they used toward the voters. Before the election took place, we said if we defeated (the bond proposal), that should stand. If it didn't stand and they weren't going to listen to the opinion of the taxpayers, we would have to do a recall. It's our money."


I encourage everyone to visit Clawson Tax Payer. Paul Garfield is a good guy and always has his facts in order. Chances are, Clawson's repeat requests after a loss has happened before in your community (Howell Schools headlee override in 03). If it hasn't, it's bound to at some point.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Jerry Zandstra may not have enough signatures

An unofficial report has him 88 signatures short. Again, this is unofficial.

From the AP

Zandstra struggling to qualify for U.S. Senate ballot

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An initial, unofficial review has found that Jerry Zandstra may not have filed enough signatures to qualify his name for the U.S. Senate race, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Secretary of State said Tuesday.


If Jerry stays on the ballot, he has my vote. The major reason is because of his stance and knowledge on economic issues. His campaign is the only one I've seen emphasize economics first. Butler's campaign is based on moral issues and Bouchard's campaign is based on security. Those aren't unimportant, but economics is the big key here in Michigan.

If Jerry is not going to be on the ballot, it is unfortunate and will hurt the senate race. However - the worst case scenario is that Jerry's issues have been brought to the debate and the senate race. Bouchard and Butler both want to earn the support of Jerry's backers. I can't speak for all of them, but I'll speak for myself. My support and endorsement will go to whoever has the best economic plan, and who best emphasizes that plan. Security (outside borders) and gay marriage are not unimportant, but they are second and third tier issues to me - well behind the economy, judges, and the 2nd amendment.

Lastly, I will support whoever is the GOP nominee against Debbie Stabenow. Stabenow is a complete joke and embarassment to my state over the past ten years. She's done nothing except vote wrong on 99% of the issues. That's unacceptable, and she needs to be sent home.

Livingston County Tax Increases on the ballot

This fall we will have many tax issues on the ballot. I'll list the increases first, and renewals second.

INCREASES

Countywide, there's going to be a "911 charges" millage. If passed, this will increase our landline phone bill $1 a month until 2011. If defeated, the commissioners have the authority to increase charges 80 cents a month. This will be on the August ballot.

The Brighton Area Fire Department is asking for a 1.25 mill increase for operations this August. This covers the City of Brighton, Brighton Twp, and Eastern Genoa Township.

Hamburg Township is asking for a 10 year 3.5 million dollar bond for a new fire station. It will cost a $250,000 home assessed at $125,000 about $40 in 2006.

The Howell area Parks and Recreational Authority is asking for a 1 mill tax increase over 20 years to pay for a recreational program in the City of Howell and the townships of Marion, Oceola, and Genoa(not sure if all of Genoa or Western Genoa is covered). It will cost $100 a year for a $200,000 home.

RENEWALS:

Cohoctah Township is asking for a renewal of 1.4404 mills for dust control and road maintanence.

Green Oak is asking for renewals of 1.55 mills for police and 1.45 mills for the Fire Dept. The current millages expire at the end of this year.


Hartland Township
is asking for a renewal of 1.8905 mills for five years for fire department operations and equipment. It is to pay for fire department expenses with the Hartland-Deefield fire authority.

Howell Township is asking for a .9532 mill renewal for road improvement and mainance.

Obviously, our municipal governments think we are made of money.....

Chris Dodd in 2008? (God help us)

From the Political Wire

Dodd Gears Up for White House Bid

Sen. Christopher Dodd (DC) said today he has "decided to do all the things that are necessary to prepare to seek the presidency in 2008," the Hartford Courant reports. He "will hire staff, raise money and travel around the country in the next few months as he tries to enlist support."


Another gun grabbing New England liberal. The only thing good I can say about Chris Dodd is that he's not his dad Thomas Dodd who wrote the draconian 1968 gun law.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Family Firearms Day makes the Argus

Here's a good story about kids and guns that made the Argus



Kids get the message: safety first

For 10-year-old Nicholas Borchardt, Saturday's Family Firearms Day at the Howell Gun Club taught him a few important rules to handling a gun.
For starters, always keep it pointed in a safe direction and, second, don't keep your finger on the trigger unless you intend to shoot.

Of course, Nicholas had other interests at the safety-focused event.

"It's cool because some of the guns I've never gotten to shoot before," Nicholas said, adding that firing the shotgun made his arm sore.

(snip)


This event was organized by SAFR, a pro-2nd amendment organization well worth joining. It's main focus is state level legislation which protects our 2nd amendment rights, but we also have nonpolitical events like Family Firearms Day as well to teach gun safety.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Latest news

Sorry for the lack of updates. I was Up North and had no internet access up there. Regular updates should return soon.

In the upcoming days before August, election profiles will be added to the sidebar and the currently listed election profiles will be updated with the final list up. There will also be local election information as well.

Also - The Argus has an editorial about the trouble with Howell opening Parker High School

Lastly, Go Pistons!!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Another waste of money

From the AP

Michigan's blue license plates to be phased out

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — It's been 24 years since the state introduced the "Old Blue" license plate, and some residents say they'll have a tough time saying goodbye.

(SNIP)
It will cost about $11 million to reissue the plates, according to an analysis from the House Fiscal Agency. But the state could break even or even get some extra revenue if motorists choose to buy other plates that carry a special fee or if motorists driving vehicles with blue plates and expired or fake tabs are forced to get new, legal plates.


We don't need to replace the blue plate. It's works perfectly fine for what we need. That money can go towards a SBT cut instead.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A lesson from Pennsylvania to all reps - "Don't forget where you come from"

Over in Pennsylvania, one incumbent's arrogance may have cost him re-election. A 21 year old website business owner and college student named Mark Harris is leading incumbent Tom Stevenson. Harris is best known for being a writer for the strongly conservative "Save the GOP" website.

Currently the results are as follows there.
REPRESENTATIVE IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 42ND DISTRICT
Vote for NOT MORE THAN 1
(WITH 64 OF 66 DISTRICTS COUNTED 96.97%)
TOM STEVENSON . . . . . . . . . 2,089 35.78
DANIEL A HACKETT . . . . . . . . 1,116 19.12
MARK HARRIS. . . . . . . . . . 2,620 44.88
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 13 .22
Total . . . . . . . . . 5,838


Stevenson got in trouble for voting for Democrat governor Ed Rendell's budget and pay raises for the current Pennsylvania legislature. Harris is running against Stevenson with this message. "Republicans in Harrisburg should stop signing off on Ed Rendell's failed agenda and start voting like Republicans." Stevenson is running negative ads against his opponents, and Harris got some help. Former Congressman Pat Toomey from Club for Growth and the Conservative leaning Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper endorsed him.

Over here, I'm happy with the job Joe Hune(as I am with Rogers and Garcia) has done, and will be voting for him again barring any major surprises. That said, I have no problems voting for a primary challenger if an incumbent forgets where he's come from. Any future rep who follows in Stevenson's footsteps - raising their own salaries during tough economic times while increasing other spending will lead to at least one vote for a primary opponent.

Livingston County - Election 2006

The filing deadling is passed. In Livingston County, we have the following.

8th District Congress - Mike Rogers faces Patrick Flynn in the primary and Jim Marcinkowski in the general.

22nd Senate - Valde Garcia faces Barton Hellmuth in the primary and Donna Anderson in the general.

47th House - Joe Hune faces Mary Andersson in the general election.

66th House - Chris Ward faces Mike McGonegal in the general election.

County Commissioners:
1. Maggie Jones (R) faces Pamela Green (D) in the general (Most of Brighton Twp, small part of Hartland Twp)
2. Mike Randall (R) is unopposed (Deerfield, Oceola, parts of Howell and Genoa Townships)
3. Dave Domas (R) faces Jan Vogel (D) in the general (Tyrone and part of Howell Twps)
4. Ronald Van Houten (D) is unopposed (Unadilla, Iosco, Handy (including Fowlerville) and parts of Howell and Marion Twps)
5. Don Parker (R) faces Susan Spagnuolo Charron (R) in the republican primary. No general election opponent. (City of Howell, Cohoctah, and Conway Townships)
6. Steve Williams (R) is unopposed (Putnam (including Pinckney), and parts of Marion, Genoa, and Hamburg Townships)
7. Bill Rogers (R) is unopposed (City of Brighton and part of Genoa Twp)
8. Dennis Dolan (R) is unopposed in the primary. Nick Bosak (D) and Dave Buckland (D)have a primary election on the democrat side. (Part of Hamburg Twp)
9. Jack LaBelle (R) faces Matt Evans (D) in the general. (Green Oak and part of Brighton Twp)

The Township races I'll find out later when I have more time.

Precinct Delegates - Today's the deadline to run

For all the Republicans here who want to get involved, please run for precinct delegate. Precinct Delegates choose delagates who go to state conventions. That's where the nominees for Attorney General, Secretary of State, University Trustee Boards, and most importantly - Supreme Court Justice - is decided.

Today we find out who is running

Candidate List - constantly updated
Campaign season has now started. Today is the filing deadline for all partisan elections. The rumors about who is running and who isn't are going to be over at 4PM. They'll be some last minute filings. I'll try and get the local list as well from the clerk's office later today.

So far in federal races:
Governor - DeVos and Granholm have filed.

AS OF 9:16AM this morning.

Senate - Butler and Bouchard have filed. Zandstra and Stabenow have not.
1st District - Rematch between Bart Stupak and Don Hooper
2nd District - Rematch between Pete Hoekstra and Kimon Kotos
3rd District - Vern Ehlers is challenged by James Rinck
4th District - Dave Camp is running against an unknown democrat. Mike Huckleberry is expected to file.
5th District - Dale Kildee is challenged by Eric Klammer
6th District - Fred Uptron is challenged by Kim Clark
7th District - Joe Schwarz faces Tim Walberg in a primary. Chuck Ream is running for the democrats. Others are expected to file.
8th District - Mike Rogers faces Patrick Flynn in a primary. Jim Marcinkowski is running for the dems.
9th District - Joe Knollenberg is challenged by John Ashcraft. Others are expected to file.
10th District Candace Miller is challenged by three dems. Anthony America, Rob Casey, and Robert Dennison all have a primary.
11th District - Thad McCotter is challenged by Tony Trupiano
12th District - Sandy Levin is facing an unknown Republican.
13th District - Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick is facing an unknown Republican
14th District - John Conyers is facing an unknown Republican. Chad Miles is expected to file.
15th District - John Dingell is facing an unknown Republican. Vincent Venucchio(sp) is expected to file.

Livingston County area races.
22nd Senate - Valde Garcia is challenged by Donna Anderson.
47th House - Joe Hune is challenged by Mary Andersson.
66th House - Chris Ward is challenged by Mike McGonegal.

While I have a lot of business to take care of here so I won't be able to be on a computer much in the next few days - after the deadline, I'll be addressing all of the state senate and state house races for profiles similar to the county profiles. The Livingston County races will also be featured, especially the judicial races which are expected to be the most competitive.

Monday, May 15, 2006

President Bush's borders plan - Unacceptable

President Bush unveiled his borders plan today in a speech. The Readers' Digest version is here. From the White House



1. The United States Must Secure Its Borders

Securing Our Borders Is The Basic Responsibility Of A Sovereign Nation And An Urgent Requirement Of Our National Security. President Bush's proposals to better secure our borders include increasing the number of Border Patrol agents, ending the practice of "catch and release" along the southern border, eliminating bureaucratic obstacles to returning illegal immigrants to their home countries, and sending National Guard members to the border for temporary assignment to assist the Border Patrol during the transition as new Border Patrol agents are added and new technology comes online.

Since President Bush Took Office, We Have Increased Funding For Border Security By 66 Percent And Expanded The Border Patrol From About 9,000 To 12,000 Agents. Over the past five years, we have apprehended and sent home more than 6 million people entering America illegally.

By The End Of 2008, We Will Have Increased The Number Of Border Patrol Officers By An Additional 6,000. When these new agents are deployed, we will have more than doubled the size of the Border Patrol during the President's Administration.

We Launched The Secure Border Initiative, The Most Technologically Advanced Border Enforcement Initiative In American History. We will construct high-tech fences in urban corridors and build new patrol roads and barriers in rural areas. We will employ motion sensors, infrared cameras, and unmanned aerial vehicles to detect and respond to illegal crossings.

The President's Plan To Increase Border Security Will Take Time To Fully Implement, So The President Is Announcing Several Immediate Steps To Strengthen Border Enforcement During This Transition:

In Coordination With Governors, Up To 6,000 National Guard Members Will Be Sent To Our Southern Border. The Department of Homeland Security, and specifically the Border Patrol, will remain in the lead. The Guard, which will be deployed in shifts, will assist the Border Patrol by operating surveillance systems, analyzing intelligence, installing fences and vehicle barriers, building patrol roads, and providing training. Guard units will not be involved in direct law enforcement activities -- that duty will be done by the Border Patrol.

This Initial Commitment Of Guard Members Would Last For One Year. After that, the number of Guard forces will be reduced as new Border Patrol agents are added and new technologies come online. These 6,000 troops account for less than 2 percent of the total National Guard force of more than 440,000. We have enough National Guard members to secure our border while continuing to respond to natural disasters and to win the War on Terror.

The United States Is Not Going To Militarize The Southern Border. Mexico is our neighbor and friend. We will continue to work cooperatively to improve security on both sides of the border, confront common problems like drug trafficking and crime, and reduce illegal immigration.

We Will Increase Federal Funding For State And Local Authorities Assisting The Border Patrol On Targeted Enforcement Missions, And We Will Give Them The Specialized Training They Need To Help The Border Patrol And Other Federal Officers Apprehend And Detain Illegal Immigrants.
We Will Work To Ensure That Every Illegal Immigrant We Catch Crossing Our Southern Border Is Returned Home By Ending The Practice Of "Catch And Release." For many years, the government did not have enough space in our detention facilities to hold illegal immigrants while the legal process unfolded. Most were released back into society and asked to return for a court date, but did not show up when the date arrived.

To End "Catch And Release," We Will Continue Expanding The Number Of Beds In Our Detention Facilities And Continue Expediting The Removal Process To Cut The Average Deportation Time. We are making it clear to foreign governments that they must accept back their citizens who violate our immigration laws. As a result of these actions, we have ended catch and release for illegal immigrants from some countries. The President will ask Congress for additional funding and legal authority to permanently end catch and release at the southern border once and for all.


That's not good enough. What are the National Guard troops going to do? Change the oil of the border patrol as Arizona's governor did? Do they have arrest powers? We need two things. We need a wall on our border. We also need to go after the businesses who hire illegals. Let's stop undercutting the min wage and let's stop the tax evasion. There's one other problem that doesn't get mentioned. A terrorist from Hezbollah came here illegally. He was caught in Dearborn and came here from Nogales, Arizona on the Southern Border. That needs to stop ASAP.

2. To Secure Our Border, We Must Create A Temporary Worker Program

President Bush Supports A Temporary Worker Program That Would Create A Legal Path For Foreign Workers To Enter Our Country In An Orderly Way, For A Limited Period Of Time. This program would match willing foreign workers with willing American employers for jobs Americans are not doing. Every worker who applies for the program would be required to pass criminal background checks, and temporary workers must return to their home country at the conclusion of their stay.

A Temporary Worker Program Would Meet The Needs Of Our Economy, Ease The Financial Burden On State And Local Governments, And Add To Our Security. A temporary worker program would give honest immigrants a way to provide for their families while respecting the law, would replace illegal workers with lawful taxpayers, and would enable us to make certain we know who is in our country and why they are here.


This "jobs Americans won't do" is a crock of BS. While I have no problem with LEGAL immigration, Americans will do the jobs. They've done so for years.

3. We Need To Hold Employers To Account For The Workers They Hire

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Must Include A Tamper-Resistant Identification Card For Every Legal Foreign Worker So Businesses Can Verify The Legal Status Of Their Employees. This card should use biometric technology, such as digital fingerprints, to make it tamper-proof. This would leave employers with no excuse for violating the law, and it would help us enforce the law.


All talk and no action. Where has the crackdown been the last eight years?

4. We Must Deal With The Millions Of Illegal Immigrants Already Here

The President Opposes Amnesty. President Bush opposes giving illegal immigrants an automatic path to citizenship because it would be unfair to those who are here lawfully, would compromise the rule of law, and would invite further waves of illegal immigration. The President supports increasing the annual number of green cards that can lead to citizenship, but for the sake of justice and security, the President is firmly opposed to amnesty.

President Bush Believes That Deporting Every Illegal Immigrant Is Neither Wise Nor Realistic. There is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant and a program of mass deportation.

President Bush Believes Illegal Immigrants Who Want To Stay Should Have To Pay A Meaningful Penalty For Breaking The Law, Pay Their Taxes, Learn English, And Work In A Job For A Number Of Years. The President also believes that there are differences between an illegal immigrant who crossed the border recently and someone who has worked here for many years, and has a home, a family, and an otherwise clean record. Those who meet our conditions should be able to apply for citizenship but approval will not be automatic, and they will have to wait in line behind those who played by the rules and followed the law.


This IS amnesty. As Mr Clinton says - "It depends on the definition of IS". None illegal here should be allowed to become citizens unless they return to their home country and apply from there. This is a slap in the face to all of those who came here legally.

5. We Must Honor The Great American Tradition Of The Melting Pot

The Success Of Our Country Depends Upon Helping Newcomers Assimilate Into Our Society And Embrace Our Common Identity As Americans. Americans are bound together by our shared ideals, an appreciation of our history, respect for the flag we fly, and an ability to speak and write the English language.


This is about the only thing I agree with.

The House And Senate Must Pass A Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill

All Elements Of This Problem Must Be Addressed Together. The House has passed an immigration bill. The Senate should act by the end of this month so that the House and Senate can work out their differences and send the President a comprehensive bill to sign.

America Needs To Conduct This Debate In A Reasoned And Respectful Tone. Feelings run deep on this issue and as we work it out, all of us need to keep some things in mind. We cannot build a unified country by inciting people to anger, or playing on anyone's fears, or exploiting the issue of immigration for political gain. We must always remember that real lives will be affected by our debates and decisions, and that every human being has dignity and value no matter what their citizenship papers say.


What needs to be done is for the house and senate and president to stop worrying about political correctness, stop worrying about being called racists, and to do the RIGHT thing. We tried amnesty before. It failed then, and this "amnesty lite" with a slap on the wrist will fail again and reward illegals for coming here.

Lastly, kudo's to Mike Rogers for doing the right thing on this issue.

Tancredo: "Come home Mr. President"

Rep Tom Tancredo, possible 08 presidential candidate writes in Human Events.

Come Home, Mr. President
by Rep. Tom Tancredo
Posted May 15, 2006

President Bush will deliver a televised address to the nation tonight on immigration policy. It is his first address from the Oval Office on immigration, and if it not successful, it may be his last.

In this speech, the President needs to do three things to accomplish his goals. There is a road to consensus and success if the President will take it. It is not only a path to consensus -- it is a path to success for the Republican Party in November

(snip)

NO CAMERAS!!!

Big Brother makes the Detroit News.

Bill would OK cameras at 10 red lights

Legislators consider using the technology to improve safety at intersections, schools and construction zones.


A law now under consideration by state legislators would OK the installation of cameras at 10 locations throughout Michigan to see if they could help keep drivers from running red lights and from speeding through school and construction zones. What do you think of the idea?

Would everyone who knows about Senate Bill 1098 please raise their hand?

Almost nobody, just as I thought.

The proposed law would OK the installation of cameras at 10 locations throughout Michigan to see whether they could help keep drivers from running red lights and from speeding through school and construction zones.

The bill, which was introduced in February by state Sen. Beverly Hammerstrom, R-Temperance, is cooling its heels in the Senate Transportation Committee. Red-light cameras are automated devices installed near traffic signals to take photographs of vehicles that run red lights. The cameras can capture the image of your car and license plate as you fly through the intersection. Using the plate numbers to look up home addresses, officials then mail citations to the drivers who are expected to pay fines or face prosecution.


This is well on the way on the slippery slope to England where speed cameras are on the way. This isn't about traffic safety. This is about city/county coffers making a killing on traffic tickets. Revenue enhancement.

I encourage our state senators to vote NO on 1098.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Great. Just what we need. Another Levin.

From the Detroit News.

LANSING, Mich. -- The son of Democratic U.S. Rep. Sander Levin is running for the Michigan Senate.

Andy Levin, whose uncle is Democratic U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, plans to announce his candidacy Monday at a restaurant in Oakland County. The 13th Senate District in that county will be an open seat because Republican Sen. Shirley Johnson of Troy is term-limited.


Will his last name be enough or is he too leftist for the district? It's a 51% GOP area.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Dems think they'll take 3 congressional seats here - ain't gonna happen.

Pravda aka the Free Press, wrote a cheerleading piece for the dems. They think they'll win three congressional seats in Michigan - the 8th, 9th, and 11th. I got news for them. It's not gonna happen.

The 9th - Four democrats want a shot at Joe Knollenberg. This will be a very competitive district when it is open, but Knollenberg never has a problem here. He always wins with 58% and polls well in democrat leaning areas like Farmington Hills and West Bloomfield. Pontiac is a problem, but most of the district isn't there. The dems frontrunner is Air America leftist talk show host Nancy Skinner, who finished LAST or near last in the 04 primary as a US Senate candidate - in Illinois. All Joe needs to do is go back in the archives of her show and find her greatest hits.

The 11th - Another leftist talk show is running, this time Tony Trupiano. He's taking on Thad McCotter. McCotter is a plain spoken, but very intelligent congressman who fits the district well. He runs well in Livonia and in the Wayne County portion which leans democrat. Unless Trupiano gets super big margins as in near 70% in Westland, Wayne, and Redford, no chance. All McCotter needs to do is find Tony's greatest hits in his show archives as well.

As for the 8th - 61-39 Mike Rogers wins. You can quote me on that. I'll post my reasonings closer to the election.

Monday, May 08, 2006

GOP's numbers down due to conservative discontent

Kevins here always rips this blog for not reporting bad news very often. This site is like the NY Times. Very biased to one side. Unlike the Times, this blog doesn't claim to be unbiased.

Well, here is some bad news from John Fund of the Wall Street Journal titled "Democrats may not be able to win the House, but Republicans could lose it." I agree with it 100%. The problem is NOT that Republicans are too right wing. In fact, the problem is their move to the left. Republicans haven't been truly right-wing since 1994. That's why I refer to myself as a 1994 Republican as opposed to the "big government conservatism" to today.

Some polls show public disapproval of the GOP among conservatives reaching dangerously high levels. A new Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll found that only 66% of Republicans now approve of President Bush's performance. A new Associated Press/Public Affairs poll found 45% of self-identified conservatives disapprove of Mr. Bush's job as president, and 65% disapprove of the GOP Congress. The disapproval numbers are probably exaggerated because of an oversampling of Democrats, but even if somewhat lower, the numbers are still toxic.

"[What's] happening is a breakdown of the coalition that elected and re-elected the president," says pollster John Zogby. He told the Washington Times that in his surveys he found Mr. Bush pulling in less than 45% support among people invested in the stock market, Nascar fans and gun owners. His standing among born-again Christians was just over 50%.


Today, I give President Bush a weak grade. The reasons are due to spending and the amnesty he supports on immigration. Again, the poll numbers drop when he moves left-wing. I was never very enthusiastic about supporting him, but when the other choices are Al Gore and his hostility to the auto industry and Hanoi John Kerry, then there is no choice. At least Bush appoints good judges for the most part.

The one saving grace for the GOP right now is that as they move left, the competition from the democrats is from those even further left of the George Soros variety, not moderate conservative populists. I don't see Jim Barcia leading the democrats, I see San Francisco's Nancy Pelosi. Harry Reid caved and moved left at leadership's demands committing the same mistake in Libertarian leaning Nevada that Tom Daschle did in South Dakota. The right flank is the major problem for the GOP, and the democrats frankly have no credibility at exploiting it. They only win today if conservatives stay home, which many did in 1996 after the NRA refused to endorse Bob Dole. (Although Dole couldn't have won nationwide anyway, he could have made it closer)

So if I was Dennis Hastert and Bill Frist, this is what I'd push.

1. No amnesty immigration. Heavy fines and jail terms for businesses who break the law and hire illegals. Enforce current laws, particulary tax evasion against them as well. I don't care where the ILLEGAL immigrant is from, whether it be Mexico, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, China, or Canada. Illegal is illegal. Let's quit being afraid of the race baiting charges and do what's right.

2. Secure our borders. Two years ago, a terrorist was busted in Dearborn raising money for Hezbollah. He came here illegally through the Southern Border. Government is telling me to give up my rights in the Patriot Act (which I opposed from the start)while failing to secure the borders.

3. Balance the Budget. Grow a pair and pass Mike Pence's budget.

4. Confirm President Bush's judges.

As Dick Armey said - "When we act like us, we win. When we act like them, we lose." It's time for us to stop pandering to democrats and remember where we came from and what we got elected on, instead.

Else conservatives will stay home, and that will be some bad news in November.

Dick DeVos endorsed by Michigan Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce endorses Republican DeVos

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos on Monday picked up the endorsement of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce


No surprise here. Granholm's push for tax and fee increases over the last four years is unacceptable to businesses and working families alike.

It's time for the SBT to go, and not with some BS "revenue neutral" rhetoric pushing for a new tax. DeVos will do that. Granholm will give us the same old song and dance we've been having for the last four years. "Cool Cities" and "Engler's fault" is not getting the job done.

DeVos in 06.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Jay Drick for District Judge

It's time to Pick Jay Drick for District Judge.



Jay's website is up, and I encourage everyone to take a look at it.

Jay's a strict constitutionalist, and that is my number one reason for supporting him. The other major reasons are experience and judicial temperment. In the case of judicial temperment, I've never seen Jay lose his cool in any situation. He's always stayed calm, and that is needed in a judge.

Coming soon - more district profiles

With the May 2nd election behind us, and the filing deadline approaching on May 16, more district profiles are on the way, as well as updates for the current ones. These will start sometime around May 17.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

NEW BRADY CENTER PRESIDENT TO TAKE THE HELM-KE

From an NRA email. As far as I'm concerned, gun grabbers are gun grabbers. Helmke, a RINO, was rated worse than even anti-2nd amendment Democrat Senator Evan Bayh. That's bad.

NEW BRADY CENTER PRESIDENT TO TAKE THE HELM-KE

"Transition" seems like a good word to describe the Brady Bunch's trials and tribulations over the past few years. First, based upon focus group polls, the group changed its moniker from Handgun Control, Inc., to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. That change in semantics didn't achieve the desired results. Then, it was hiring former Maryland Democratic U.S. Representative Mike Barnes as its President. Again, a big flop, as since the Barnes's tenure began in 2000, the group suffered a series of legislative and political losses. Perhaps, the third time's a charm for the group that is still struggling to maintain some semblance of relevance.

This week, it was announced that, effective July 1, former Ft. Wayne, Ind. Mayor, Republican Paul Helmke, would replace Barnes as the group's president. This is a rather transparent attempt to appear "mainstream," as the Brady press releases played up Helmke's Republican affiliation. With more than 90 percent of the Brady Center's campaign contributions going to Democrats, you might wonder at the apparent shift, but all that's really relevant for gun owners is that as a political candidate Helmke received "F"-grades from the NRA-PVF. If you wonder why Helmke would leave Indiana for the mean streets of "gun free" Washington, D.C., just consider Helmke's 2002 Republican primary challenge to Representative Mark Souder (himself a champion of gun rights and a sponsor of H.R. 1288--legislation to repeal the D.C. gun ban). Souder won in a landslide, proving that Helmke's anti-gun views weren't nearly "mainstream" enough for the folks back at home.

An anti-gunner by any other party affiliation is still an anti-gunner. With the hiring of an anti-gun Republican to steer its ship, the Brady Bunch has made clear that the only litmus test one must pass to be a member of the team is unfailing support for more gun control. And on this front Helmke passes with flying colors.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Chris Ward pushes free ID for poor (to defeat poll tax arguement from vote fraud pushers)

Right now, SCOTUS is revisiting Frank Kelley's (most overrated AG in history) AG opinion blocking requiring a photo ID to vote. Chris Ward's bill would stop any poll tax arguement.

Free IDs For Indigents Bill Moves
The House passed 63-43 today a bill allowing the Secretary of State to give free photo identification cards to the poor, apparently as part of a Republican push to bolster the constitutionality of a law that requires voters to show photo ID at the polls.

Democrats opposed the legislation on what appeared to be a variety of grounds. They said they didn't know how the state would pay for. They said there are no rules on who would qualify for the ID. They said those who do qualify for the free ID would still need to come up with identification such as birth certificates in order to prove their identities, which could be problematic for some.

At one point this afternoon on the House floor, House Majority Floor Leader Chris WARD (R-Brighton), the bill's sponsor, gave a pointed reaction to a speech made against the bill by Rep. George CUSHINGBERRY (D-Detroit). Cushingberry claimed the legislation would disenfranchise 350,000 Michigan voters and then he made some reference to the Confederacy.

"The issue of requiring voter IDs is in the court," Ward responded. "If you're worried about disenfranchising people, you should vote for this bill."

Rep. Andrew MEISNER (D-Ferndale) said he was opposing the bill because of the funding issue.

"I have grave concerns about where the funding would come from to carry out this project," Meisner said.

Meisner offered a floor amendment to the bill that would have tie-barred it to several Democratic-sponsored bills. The amendment failed. Ward offered an amendment that said the Secretary of State would be required to do everything within reason to inform the public about the program and its requirements. This amendment passed.

This morning, the House Oversight, Elections and Ethics Committee, chaired by Ward reported out the legislation along with other election reform measures. Republican members voted for the legislation while Meisner and Rep. Matt GILLARD (D-Alpena), the only Democrats on the committee, voted against it.

"Since we can apparently know how many there are, would this include an outreach effort to seek these people out?" Gillard asked in committee after Ward stated that it's estimated that there are more than 350,000 Michigan citizens to whom the legislation would apply.

"If you have any ideas along those lines I'd be happy to entertain a friendly amendment," Ward responded.

Later in the discussion Ward suggested that Michigan should take a look at what Indiana has done in regard to outreach.

"I think it would be good to look at the state of Indiana on that since the same federal court Michigan's law would ultimately have to go before has already ruled that Indiana's law is constitutional."

Meisner then pointed out that Georgia has passed legislation requiring voters to show photo IDs and also included a provision that the state would provide the IDs for those who couldn't afford them, yet the federal courts had struck down the Georgia law.

Ward responded that today's issue wasn't the photo ID requirement.

"The photo ID issue is now in the hands of the State Supreme Court," Ward said. "This is about providing IDs to those who otherwise couldn't get them."

Both Gillard and Meisner then asked how the free ID program would be funded.

"Have you identified a funding source for this?" Gillard asked.

"I believe a placeholder has been put into a supplementary budget," Ward responded.

Then Gillard asked what a person would need to do to get such an ID.

The Secretary of State representatives said they'd have to meet the same standards as everyone else by providing proof that they are who they say they are.

"I certainly wouldn't want to be supporting counterfeit IDs," Ward quipped in support of the standards.

Bureau of Elections Director Chris THOMAS quoted former U.N. Ambassador and civil rights advocate Andrew YOUNG, saying that anything that can be done to help provide IDs for people should be done.

Currently an applicant for a state identification card pays $10 to the Secretary of State for each original and renewal ID card issued. The card expires on that person's birthday four years after it's issued. The Secretary of State is required to waive the fee if the applicant is 65 years, had their driver license pulled because of a mental or physical disability, is blind or presents other good cause to not be charged.

HB 6007 would retain all of these provisions and add a person who presents evidence that he or she is unable to pay the fee required, to the list of reasons for fee waivers.

Two other bills (HB 6022 and HB 6026) that are part of Ward's overall election reform package were also reported out today. HB 6022 would allow election officials to create an inactive voter file. If a voter whose name was in the inactive file remained completely inactive for two presidential election cycles the name would be removed from the system.

Gillard asked Thomas (who supports the bill) if other states had instituted longer periods.

"No," Thomas responded. "In fact some have put in shorter periods and been more aggressive about having inactive names removed."

Gillard and Meisner voted against reporting the bill out.

HB 6026 consists of technical amendments to the revised school code concerning school elections.



Lastly, if I need an ID to buy a firearm, then there's no reason we shouldn't require ID's for voters to maintain election integrity. The only reason the democrats really oppose this is because they support voter fraud as it benefits them. We don't need illegal aliens voting. We don't need people voting twice.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

JUDICIAL RACES

While the big news May 2 was the school board elections across the county, there was also another major political development. The filing deadline for judicial candidates was also May 2.

This August and November should be very interesting here in Livingston County. Every judicial seat based in Livingston County is contested. The candidates are as follows according to the Secretary of State site. Online polls will be up shortly.

Circuit Court (44th District)
Stan Latrielle - incumbent
William T Russell - challenger

District Court (53rd District)
Open Seat - all challengers
Bill McCririe
Carol Sue Reader
Linda Walker

District Court (53rd District)
Theresa Brennan - appointed incumbent
Jay Drick - Challenger
Christina Heikkinen - Challenger

Probate Court
Open Seat - All Challengers
Roberta Balon-Vaughn
Lyle Dickson
Suzanne Dugas
Carol Hackett Gargiola
Anthony Kandt
Kathleen Oemke
Bob Parker

The top two in the primary will have a runoff in November.

May 2 Election Results Updated

There has been a change in results. Over in Hartland, Nora Kessel took 2nd at the last minute with the few precincts remaining. The results there are as follows.

1032 - Cynthia Sinelli
669 - Nora Kessel
620 - Dennis Tierney
545 - Write ins (Lynn Burill)
197 - Cari Sinke

The main issue here was privatization of the janitors and health care costs. We got one of the two here as we (Taxpayers Group) supported Kessel and Tierney.

Pinckney Schools
Laura Burwell - 1148
Marcia Jablonski - 948
Richard Gass - 380
Write-in - 11

Little surprise. Burwell had the MEA's support and at the Taxpayers Group did not get involved in this race. Jablonski wasn't supported by either the MEA or the taxpayers' group. Trying to have things both ways tends to lead to defeat.

Howell's results are the same.

Wendy Day - 2506
Phillip Westmoreland - 2147
Valerie Webster - 2058
John Arthur - 1768
Jim Pratt - 1658
Write In (Dennis McGuire mostly) - 103

The numbers were fairly close between 2nd and 5th. Wendy had almost as much of a lead over Westmoreland, and Westmoreland had over John Arthur.

I think the conservatives split the vote here among Wendy Day, John Arthur, and Jim Pratt. McGuire as a write in didn't get much support, so there wasn't a three-way split among the others. Most Westmoreland votes voted for Webster as well, with Wendy's voters splitting between Pratt and Arthur. If John or Jim took 500 votes from the other, we would have finished 1-2. However, it didn't happen.

I was glad to see Wendy win. She'll be a voice of fiscal responsibility there. The LOVE Group will have a voice on the board as well. Maybe the flap over the gay pride flag and Christian flag (I'm calling them exactly what they are, not the PC terms) there will start to die down. As far as I'm concerned, all flags need to be allowed, or none outside of the US flag should be allowed. No picking and choosing. The biggest issue facing Howell however is the fiscal issues and current spending problems that left the school with little operating money to open Parker High School. She'll do more than just pass the buck, whine, and blame the state like the outgoing treasurer did. Our schools sign the contracts.

As for Westmoreland, I was surprised that he beat Webster. I did not see any signs from him unlike Webster. That leads me to believe that he won mostly based on his contacts with football programs in a "vote for coach" campaign. Youth football is huge in this county, and gives Westmoreland a strong base to start with outside of the MEA endorsement which Webster also received. I thought Westmoreland would finish 4th, behind Webster. I was dead wrong in that prediction.

Webster did not surprise me and finished third. I expected her to finish 2nd or third. I just didn't expect her to finish behind Westmoreland.

John Arthur and Jim Pratt were 4th and 5th. I figured one of these two would catch on and finish 2nd or 3rd, with the other finished 5th, but with 900-1000 votes out of 2nd place, not 500 votes for each of them. Comparing Wendy's totals to John and Jim's, it suggests to me says that conservatives split their votes between these two individuals. If this was two on two instead of three on two, we would have won. However, we only had a partial win. That happens. That's politics.

McGuire finished last which was expected as he's a write-in candidate with little name recognition.

Overall, we didn't do bad, but could have done better. I think endorsements do matter, but the most important thing is how candidates run their own campaign. Wendy ran one of the best campaigns I've seen in a long time, and her win was no surprise. I saw many people from the LOVE PAC and Taxpayers' Group both working the polls all day.

Good luck to both Wendy Day and Phil Westmoreland on their tenure on the board. I hope they do a good job there running the education of our kids and spending our money wisely.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

May 2 Election results

I'll post an analysis tomorrow. We (Concerned Taxpayers) went two for four. The LOVE PAC and GOP went one for two. Congratulations to Wendy Day. She ran about as good of campaign as one could run. The biggest surprise to be was Westmoreland winning (2nd) since he had no signs. It shows how popular football coaches are in this county. As a former coach myself, hats off to him. I think he'll be an improvement over the current two who are stepping down.

Good luck to Wendy Day and Phil Westmoreland in their terms.

I think Pratt and Arthur split the conservative vote which hurt both of them.

Brighton and Fowlerville - Joyce Powers and Charles Docusen are unopposed.

Hartland Schools (Two precincts still need to be counted)

Cynthia Sinelli - 670
Dennis Tierney - 448
Nora Kessel - 431
Cari Sinke - 138
Write In (Lynn Burill mostly) - 320

Howell Schools

Wendy Day - 2506
Phillip Westmoreland - 2147
Valerie Webster - 2058
John Arthur - 1768
Jim Pratt - 1658
Write In (Dennis McGuire mostly) - 103

Pinckney Schools (two precincts remaining)
Laura Burwell - 1129
Marcia Jablonski - 938
Richard Gass - 372
Write-in - 11

Howell Library Millage
NO - 3394
YES - 2247

Howell Library Bond
NO - 3438
YES - 2123

Pinckney's non-homested proposal
Yes - 1931
No - 630

Monday, May 01, 2006

May 2 Tomorrow - Time to Vote

Tomorrow is election day. On the ballot tomorrow are contested school board races in Howell, Pinckney and Hartland. Brighton and Fowlerville have uncontested elections.

In Hartland Schools, Cromaine Library trustee candidates are up for election.

In the Howell School district, on the ballot is a millage and bond proposal (TWO seperate votes) for the Howell District Library.

In the Pinckney Schools, on the ballot is the a renewal of a millage.

The Concerned Taxpayers' Group PAC endorsed John Arthur and Wendy Day in the Howell district. They have my vote. While any of the candidates there will be an improvement over at least one of those stepping down, John and Wendy will send a message to the establishment and work to change the "old boys club" that goes on there. The Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC also endorsed Nora Kessel and Dennis Tierney for Hartland Schools.

Election Districts are found here
Polling Locations are here

Endorsements:
John Arthur:
Livingston County Republicans
Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC of Livingston County
Livingston Organization for Values in Education (LOVE PAC)

Wendy Day:
Livingston County Republicans
Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC of Livingston County
Livingston Organization for Values in Education (LOVE PAC)
Right to Life of Michigan
Michigan Campaign for Families

Dennis McGuire:
No endorsements

Jim Pratt:
Right to Life
Daily Press and Argus

Valerie Webster:
Howell Education Association (MEA's Howell affiliate)

Phil Westmoreland:
Howell Education Association (MEA's Howell affiliate)
Daily Press and Argus

Also - in Hartland the MEA's Hartland affiliate endorsed Cindy Sinelli and Lynn Burrill. The Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC of Livingston County endorsed Nora Kessel and Dennis Tierney for Hartland Schools. In Pinckney the MEA's affiliate endorsed Laura Burwell. The Concerned Taxpayers Group did not endorse anybody for Pinckney Schools.