Saturday, December 05, 2015

America does not have a gun problem. A handful of areas have a murder problem.

The anti-2nd Amendment prohibitionists are running their traps right now about how "America" has a gun problem. In reality, the murder rate overall (ALL weapons including firearms) in the US is at a 50 year low, while the number of firearms and conceal pistol licenses are at an all time high. That does not necessarily mean that the CPL's are stopping murders, although one can argue that. It does mean that more guns does not increase the number of murders.

About 2 1/2 years ago, the Center for Michigan, a left-leaning group, ranked the number of CPL's per capita for each county. One of the things I do for my work is to look at data, read it, and find out what's going on out there.

I compared the murder (and non-negligent manslaughter) rates (per MSP) for each Michigan county over the last five years. I used the 2014 census estimates for population.  I used a five year average because there are some fluctuations in each year. A bad year (my county in 2013 had 5) or a good year (my county in 2012 had none - and I believe 2015 is at zero so far) can skew data.I haven't done this for every state, but at least in Michigan, there is no correlation between the number of CPL's and number of homicides. The correlation is that three counties have the most homicides, by a large number.

12 Counties had no murders in the past five years. That includes numbers 1 (Keewenaw), 4 (Oscoda), 8 (Mackinac), 10 (Dickinson), and 15 (Luce) in CPLS, along with  number 72 (Leelanau). All of those 12 counties are in Northern Michigan and similar culturally.

11 Counties had an avg rate between 0 and 1 per 100,000 over a 5 year period. Most of these were also small counties including CPL ranks 9 (Lapeer), 13 (Roscommon), and 14 (Iosco), but also included Ottawa (CPL rank 82), Eaton (28), and Allegan (65) Counties. Ottawa's low rate would even be lower if it wasn't for a bad 2014 with 5 homicides after 4 in the previous 4 years.

17 counties had an avg rate between 1 and 1.5 per 100,00 over a five year period.  These were mostly small counties, but also includes Macomb (Cpl rank 51), Livingston (CPL rank 12), and surprising to me, Berrien County (CPL rank 79). Macomb and Livingston's data were skewed by two aberrations. Livingston would have had a rate of under 1 if it wasn't for 2013. Macomb only had one murder in 2012 after having 10-15 the other four years (although still would have had a rate slightly under 1.5 with an avg 2012). Shiawassee (CPL 19) and Delta (CPL 20) are in this category. 

1.5 is comparable to Canada's rate (1.44). Livingston (1.18), Macomb (1.16), and Berrien's (1.28) rate are lower than Canada's. The most recent I've seen for Australia is 1.3.

35 Michigan counties had a murder rate lower than Australia and 40 have a lower rate than Canada, favorite comparisons used by prohibitionists (which never use Mexico's 21.2 rate as a comparison). That is out of 83 counties.

13 counties had an avg rate between 1.5 and 2. These were mostly small counties, but include Bay (CPL rank 52), St Clair (CPL 21), and highly fluctuating Washtenaw (CPL 81). High CPL counties here are Alcona (3), Gladwin (11), Ogemaw (16), and Lake (20). Those four had 1 or 2 homicides over the past five years, but low populations skewing them to the middle of the pack.

16 counties had a avg rate between 2 and 3. These included Oakland (CPL rank 41), Monroe (CPL Rank 31), and Kent (CPL rank 83). Alger (CPL 5) and Crawford (CPL 17)are high CPL counties in this category skewed by population as they had one and two murders in the past five years. 

Four counties had an avg rate between 3 and 4. These were Ontonagon (CPL 24) , Benzie (CPL 47), Kalamazoo (CPL 77), and Muskegon (CPL 75). Ontonagon was skewed by population as it had one murder in five years. Benzie had 3, but a small population. Kalamazoo and Muskegon are larger counties and fluctuate, although the rates are increasing a bit in Muskegon.

These are all well below the US average (around 4-5).

Those around the avg 4-5.2 are Montmorency (CPL 2), Ingham (CPL 78), Calhoun (CPL 36), Jackson (64), Schoolcraft (CPL 6), Gogebic (68), and Iron (CPL 7). Population skewed Montmorency, Schoolcraft, Gogebic, and Iron counties as all four of those counties averaged less than one murder in a year. Calhoun County had a bad 2012 impacting its numbers. These are still all around the average of the US, but high for Michigan if you measure by median county. They are all lower than the Michigan average - which is skewed by three counties.

The three counties with significantly high rates are Saginaw (cpl 17), Genesee (CPL 27), and Wayne (CPL 45) Counties. Saginaw's rate is 9.23, Genesee's 12.73, and Wayne's 19.69 (which is still lower than Mexico). Wayne County alone has 61% of the murders (and 17% of the state population). Genesee has 9.3% of the murders and 4% of the population. Saginaw has 3% and 2% of the population. Almost 3/4 of all the homicides murders in these three counties.

The lesson for this is that America - at least most of America - does not have a gun problem. A handful of counties and communities have a murder problem. You take these communities out of the equation, and the murder rate is little different than Canada or Australia. The commonality isn't the guns. 

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Dems lost due to Gerrymandering? BS!

The leftists and their media allies are blaming gerrymandering for their 2014 losses in the state house. From the Macomb Daily's Chad Selweski

State House

1,536,711 (51.2%) total votes cast for state House Democratic candidates that resulted in 47 Democratic House seats (43%)

1,464,983 (48.8%) total votes for state House Republican candidates result in 63 Republican House seats (57%)
 That's their talking point. That's pure BS in the lies, damn lies, and statistics area. What Selweski doesn't get is the following.

1. Candidate quality.
2. Geography.
3. Self-packing.
4. APOL standards

1. Candidate quality. Candidates vary from district to district. 

2. Geography. Obviously, votes aren't spread out evenly across the state. State rep districts range from about 77,000-91,000 per district.

3. Self Packing. This is the big one and relates to geography. Most of the Michigan democrat vote in this state is clustered. Detroit. Upper Downriver. Metro Airport area. South Macomb. Southeast Oakland. Pontiac. Ann Arbor/Ypsi. NW Ingham County. Flint and Northern Genesee suburbs. Saginaw. Kalamazoo. Grand Rapids (City). Muskegon. Marquette. Bay City, Battle Creek and Jackson to a lesser extent. That covers most of it. When these democrats pack into an area on their own, funny districts don't need to be drawn to get skewed results.

Here's the straight ticket vote from Oakland County as an example, by precinct. Straight tickets went 50-49% dem in Oakland County this year. The vote is clustered. Pontiac, a little of Auburn Hills, and a small part of Waterford (competitive, more GOP than not overall). Then you have Southern West Bloomfield, Wixom's village area, some apartment areas of Novi, and Eastern Famington Hills in one area. Then there's Southfield roughly east to the county line. This is self packing. All of Pontiac is in a district. Auburn Hills is with Pontiac. That makes perfect sense. Farmington Hills is in a district to its own (with Farmington), as is Southfield. Royal Oak I believe has next door Madison Heights. The SE cluster is all together as well in a neatly shaped district. That's gerrymandering?  Some of those districts haven't changed for years.

4. APOL Standards.
Here's the general guidelines for state legislature districts.  You also have federal issues regarding race, etc that factor into some of the Detroit district shapes.

4.261 Redistricting plan for senate and house of representatives; enactment by legislature; guidelines.
Sec. 1.
By November 1, 2001, and every 10 years thereafter, the legislature shall enact a redistricting plan for the senate and house of representatives. Except as otherwise required by federal law for legislative districts in this state, the redistricting plan shall be enacted using only the following guidelines:
(a) The senate districts shall consist of 38 single-member districts.
(b) The house of representatives districts shall consist of 110 single-member districts.
(c) Senate and house of representatives districts shall be areas of convenient territory contiguous by land. Areas that meet only at the points of adjoining corners are not contiguous.
(d) Senate and house of representatives districts shall have a population not exceeding 105% and not less than 95% of the ideal district size for the senate or the house of representatives unless and until the United States supreme court establishes a different range of allowable population divergence for state legislative districts.
(e) Senate and house of representatives district lines shall preserve county lines with the least cost to the principle of equality of population provided for in subdivision (d).
(f) If it is necessary to break county lines to stay within the range of allowable population divergence provided for in subdivision (d), the fewest whole cities or whole townships necessary shall be shifted. Between 2 cities or townships, both of which will bring the districts into compliance with subdivisions (d) and (h), the city or township with the lesser population shall be shifted.
(g) Within those counties to which there is apportioned more than 1 senate district or house of representatives district, district lines shall be drawn on city and township lines with the least cost to the principle of equality of population between election districts consistent with the maximum preservation of city and township lines and without exceeding the range of allowable divergence provided for in subdivision (d).
(h) If it is necessary to break city or township lines to stay within the range of allowable divergence provided for in subdivision (d), the number of people necessary to achieve population equality shall be shifted between the 2 districts affected by the shift, except that in lieu of absolute equality the lines may be drawn along the closest street or comparable boundary.
(i) Within a city or township to which there is apportioned more than 1 senate district or house of representatives district, district lines shall be drawn to achieve the maximum compactness possible within a population range of 98% to 102% of absolute equality between districts within that city or township.
(j) Compactness shall be determined by circumscribing each district within a circle of minimum radius and measuring the area, not part of the Great Lakes and not part of another state, inside the circle but not inside the district.
(k) If a discontiguous township island exists within an incorporated city or discontiguous portions of townships are split by an incorporated city, the splitting of the township shall not be considered a split if any of the following circumstances exist:
(i) The city must be split to stay within the range of allowable divergence provided for in subdivision (d) and it is practicable to keep the township together within 1 district.
(ii) A township island is contained within a whole city and a split of the city would be required to keep the township intact.
(iii) The discontiguous portion of a township cannot be included in the same district with another portion of the same township without creating a noncontiguous district.
(l) Senate and house districts shall not violate the precedents established in Miller v Johnson, 115 S Ct 2475; 132 L Ed 2d 762 (1995); Bush v Vera, 116 S Ct 1941; 135 L Ed 2d 248 (1996); and, Shaw v Hunt, 116 S Ct 1894; 135 L Ed 2d 207 (1996).

This stops the dems from baconstripping districts from Detroit to Livonia or Livingston County for that matter to get these districts to fit the results they want. This goes back 20 years due to some of the 1970's and 1980's era democrat gerrymanders out there. Some of these aren't "perfect" in their breaks, but county breaks and municipal breaks are fairly uncommon in these maps.

As long as democrats self pack into places like Detroit, there's going to be skewed results between popular vote for an office by party, and the winners by district. There's nothing wrong with that as we have DISTRICT offices as well as state wide offices.

In depth elections report - 2014

It wasn't quite as much of a blowout as some thought. A lot of the education board seats were thought to be won by the GOP until the next morning - when Wayne County came in. Melanie Foster won her seat back on MSU, but that was about it. Jeff Sakwa's loss hurt (and surprised me). He would have done a great job there. I'd like to see the straight ticket level taken out. End it. It helps to an extent in Livingston County, but hurts us all statewide.

Snyder won with 50.92% Schauer got 46.86% 128,130 vote spread. It was 54% most of the night, but Wayne County came in and made it closer than it looked - and made the spread in the end close to a lot of the actual pills. 4%. Bill Schuette and Ruth Johnson both won re-election as well.

Totals  1,605,034 1,476,904 3,151,835 50.92% 46.86% 128,130

  Snyder  Schauer  TOTAL  Snyder Schauer Vote Spread
70 OTTAWA 65,889 21,954 89,543 73.58% 24.52% 43,935
47 LIVINGSTON 47,110 21,484 70,019 67.28% 30.68% 25,626
03 ALLEGAN 23,301 11,187 35,452 65.73% 31.56% 12,114
57 MISSAUKEE 3,209 1,541 4,884 65.70% 31.55% 1,668
08 BARRY 12,821 6,757 20,057 63.92% 33.69% 6,064
76 SANILAC 7,986 4,288 12,642 63.17% 33.92% 3,698
12 BRANCH 7,044 3,905 11,283 62.43% 34.61% 3,139
30 HILLSDALE 8,308 4,598 13,312 62.41% 34.54% 3,710
41 KENT 116,969 67,293 188,381 62.09% 35.72% 49,676
24 EMMET 8,065 4,580 13,023 61.93% 35.17% 3,485
62 NEWAYGO 8,980 5,031 14,528 61.81% 34.63% 3,949
05 ANTRIM 5,880 3,406 9,517 61.78% 35.79% 2,474
75 ST. JOSEPH 9,127 5,310 14,909 61.22% 35.62% 3,817
56 MIDLAND 17,699 10,607 29,056 60.91% 36.51% 7,092
32 HURON 7,141 4,378 11,831 60.36% 37.00% 2,763
64 OCEANA 4,999 3,045 8,284 60.35% 36.76% 1,954
69 OTSEGO 4,777 2,972 7,969 59.94% 37.29% 1,805
67 OSCEOLA 4,337 2,642 7,238 59.92% 36.50% 1,695
15 CHARLEVOIX 6,255 3,998 10,549 59.29% 37.90% 2,257
22 DICKINSON 5,053 3,376 8,603 58.74% 39.24% 1,677
83 WEXFORD 5,868 3,835 10,041 58.44% 38.19% 2,033
28 GD. TRAVERSE 19,461 12,992 33,366 58.33% 38.94% 6,469
34 IONIA 10,422 7,091 18,005 57.88% 39.38% 3,331
40 KALKASKA 3,330 2,202 5,779 57.62% 38.10% 1,128
59 MONTCALM 9,866 6,686 17,166 57.47% 38.95% 3,180
44 LAPEER 17,023 11,613 29,625 57.46% 39.20% 5,410
42 KEWEENAW 639 444 1,114 57.36% 39.86% 195
01 ALCONA 2,529 1,806 4,466 56.63% 40.44% 723
45 LEELANAU 6,172 4,600 11,006 56.08% 41.80% 1,572
14 CASS 7,520 5,425 13,419 56.04% 40.43% 2,095
55 MENOMINEE 3,634 2,728 6,498 55.92% 41.98% 906
20 CRAWFORD 2,656 1,962 4,758 55.82% 41.24% 694
11 BERRIEN 24,173 18,042 43,479 55.60% 41.50% 6,131
63 OAKLAND 247,863 191,341 446,616 55.50% 42.84% 56,522
54 MECOSTA 6,491 4,854 11,697 55.49% 41.50% 1,637
38 JACKSON 24,881 18,995 44,854 55.47% 42.35% 5,886
74 ST. CLAIR 28,399 21,306 51,232 55.43% 41.59% 7,093
80 VAN BUREN 12,310 9,250 22,228 55.38% 41.61% 3,060
16 CHEBOYGAN 5,288 4,007 9,582 55.19% 41.82% 1,281
79 TUSCOLA 9,412 7,188 17,142 54.91% 41.93% 2,224
19 CLINTON 15,939 12,722 29,109 54.76% 43.70% 3,217
48 LUCE 1,046 810 1,913 54.68% 42.34% 236
53 MASON 5,455 4,330 10,063 54.21% 43.03% 1,125
60 MONTMORENCY 1,912 1,497 3,540 54.01% 42.29% 415
68 OSCODA 1,498 1,158 2,778 53.92% 41.68% 340
35 IOSCO 5,089 4,054 9,442 53.90% 42.94% 1,035
31 HOUGHTON 5,581 4,449 10,358 53.88% 42.95% 1,132
50 MACOMB 142,830 116,644 265,090 53.88% 44.00% 26,186
13 CALHOUN 20,425 16,704 37,962 53.80% 44.00% 3,721
46 LENAWEE 15,574 12,664 29,071 53.57% 43.56% 2,910
36 IRON 2,262 1,839 4,223 53.56% 43.55% 423
49 MACKINAC 2,231 1,870 4,190 53.25% 44.63% 361
26 GLADWIN 4,579 3,735 8,606 53.21% 43.40% 844
10 BENZIE 3,823 3,183 7,227 52.90% 44.04% 640
72 ROSCOMMON 4,861 4,070 9,204 52.81% 44.22% 791
21 DELTA 7,070 6,051 13,414 52.71% 45.11% 1,019
77 SCHOOLCRAFT 1,507 1,321 2,889 52.16% 45.73% 186
71 PRESQUE ISLE 2,743 2,365 5,264 52.11% 44.93% 378
65 OGEMAW 3,621 3,095 6,982 51.86% 44.33% 526
29 GRATIOT 5,667 4,983 10,933 51.83% 45.58% 684
58 MONROE 24,275 21,447 47,003 51.65% 45.63% 2,828
66 ONTONAGON 1,295 1,156 2,535 51.08% 45.60% 139
39 KALAMAZOO 41,407 37,523 81,156 51.02% 46.24% 3,884
78 SHIAWASSEE 12,269 11,252 24,289 50.51% 46.33% 1,017
17 CHIPPEWA 5,590 5,166 11,077 50.46% 46.64% 424
18 CLARE 4,660 4,210 9,249 50.38% 45.52% 450
06 ARENAC 2,708 2,459 5,377 50.36% 45.73% 249
04 ALPENA 4,810 4,546 9,620 50.00% 47.26% 264
43 LAKE 1,745 1,656 3,520 49.57% 47.05% 89
23 EATON 19,989 20,049 40,785 49.01% 49.16% -60
37 ISABELLA 8,031 7,871 16,433 48.87% 47.90% 160
07 BARAGA 1,180 1,249 2,487 47.45% 50.22% -69
51 MANISTEE 4,360 4,650 9,252 47.12% 50.26% -290
09 BAY 17,471 18,902 37,347 46.78% 50.61% -1,431
61 MUSKEGON 22,879 24,749 49,070 46.63% 50.44% -1,870
02 ALGER 1,520 1,643 3,280 46.34% 50.09% -123
27 GOGEBIC 2,306 2,628 5,048 45.68% 52.06% -322
73 SAGINAW 30,264 35,370 67,142 45.07% 52.68% -5,106
81 WASHTENAW 50,393 68,260 120,895 41.68% 56.46% -17,867
52 MARQUETTE 9,265 12,466 22,263 41.62% 55.99% -3,201
33 INGHAM 35,445 50,131 87,202 40.65% 57.49% -14,686
25 GENESEE 48,894 79,573 131,602 37.15% 60.46% -30,679
82 WAYNE 177,678 323,685 509,792 34.85% 63.49% -146,007

Closer to home, we had some blowout wins here, despite spirited challenged by the dems.

Our new Congressman is Mike Bishop.

Congress  Bishop Schertzing Total GOP Dem
33 INGHAM 29,314 52,374 84,273 34.78% 62.15%
47 LIVINGSTON 43,330 21,623 67,544 64.15% 32.01%
63 OAKLAND 59,801 27,194 89,902 66.52% 30.25%
Total 132,445 101,191 241,719 54.79% 41.86%

Bishop was very strong in his home area and did well in Livingston County where he worked quite hard. I didn't see or hear much of Schertzing working outside of simple "Generic D" push in Livingston or Oakland. I did hear he worked hard in his home county and it showed. Bishop's campaign folks wanted Mike Rogers numbers out of Livingston County, but that's tough to do. He did get about the same Rogers got in 2000 however. Putting it into that perspective, means there's plenty of room for growth. I like Mike going back to his 2010 Attorney General campaign and think he'll do a good job for us.

State Senate and State Rep
Joe Hune was easily re-elected despite an $80,000 challenge and high profile (locally) mudslinging from Shari Pollesch, assisted by LC Dems. He won all municipalities except two in Washtenaw County - City of Chelsea and Scio Township (and the one vote in the City of Ann Arbor). Shari Pollesch's campaign is crowing about winning the Washtenaw County portion of the district, but that's due to Scio Township's votes. Scio Township is Ann Arbor west and has been democrat for about 20 years. It's also the largest part of the Washtenaw portion of the district.

Joe Hune got 64% in Livingston County, 48% in Washtenaw County and 59% overall - which was better than Romney. In Livingston County, he got 43591 votes to Pollesch's 22408 votes.

Dr Henry Vaupel easily won his open seat against Jordan Genso. Vaupel and Hune worked together on the campaign quite often, especially in the primary (for Vaupel). Vaupel got 20,995 votes and 69% in his district to Genso's 8086 votes. Genso didn't run a very active campaign from what I've seen, and didn't nearly have the campaign money that Pollesch had. Lana Theis easily won his open seat against Timothy Johnson. She got 23477 votes and 65%  to Johnson's 12544 votes. Johnson ran a more active campaign than Genso in regards to signs and money, but Lana outworked him quite heavily and hit thousands of doors. It showed in the results.

Going back to Joe's senate election. Pollesch worked hard. She claimed to hit 19,000 doors. I have a hard time believing that number (due to bragging about 100 doors in at least 1/2 of a week), but I could be wrong. She raised money, and got a bunch of signs out (although signs don't vote). She didn't outwork Joe (nobody does), but she ran a tough campaign. How much did that move the needle? Not much. You have to know your district and your county. To put it bluntly - if the product sucks, the people aren't going to buy it.

Pollesch's 22408 votes in Livingston County are 1778 votes higher than the combined total of Johnson and Genso. Pollesch campaign spent $72000+ more than the combined total of Johnson and Genso. Hune's 43591 votes in Livingston County are 881 votes less than the combined total of Vaupel and Theis, two strong campaigners. In other words, it barely moved the needle.

Why? The product sucked. Bigtime. After that slime campaign, you can better believe that I'm gloating. From an ideology standpoint - Higher taxes. Higher spending. F rating from NRA. Massive regulations in the name of global warming. Tax funded abortions. That isn't in the mainstream of this state, nor is it the mainstream of center-right Livingston County. From a non-ideology standpoint, negative bashfests and slime campaigns are almost never rewarded in this county. That stuff works in Eastern/Central Oakland and Macomb, not here. There is a very strong "Don't crap where you live." mentality in these parts. We have a good community, worked hard to keep it that way, and don't want this crap to contaminate it. The people saw through that as I expected, and the results are what I expected.

On the commissioners level, no democrats broke 40%. Katakowski came close in the 8th district (Mostly Hamburg). He ran the strongest campaign and from what I've heard didn't really go negative. Mike Tipton barely cracked 35% despite the most active campaign. He has some of the same problems that Shari Pollesch had on the trail and got similar results (Pollesch got slightly under 33% in the county).

I'll have more on a macro level regarding the state later. On the county level, we did well, especially considering three open seats. It starts with candidates. Mike Bishop, Lana Theis, and Doc Vaupel are good recruits for the open seats. Bill Schuette, Ruth Johnson, Joe Hune and the Commissioners are good incumbents. Rick Snyder came through in the end to get enough coattails - at least outstate, to get a few of our folks over the line.

On to the presidential cycle. .

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

GOP wins. Union leadership lost a ton of money

After this election cycle, I'm spiking the football Gronk style, and I'm not even a New England Patriots fan.

It wasn't perfect. I wish Terri Lynn Land, Dennis Brewer, Judge James Robert Redford, and Jeff Sakwa (and rest of education boards) all won, but the results were overall good.

Mark Schauer can go back to getting pepper sprayed at Right to Work Protests.

Shari Pollesch's slime campaign against Joe Hune and his family got the results that were warranted. 80K was wasted and it wasn't all that much closer than Chuck Fellows campaign in the 2010 wave year. That's worth the spiked football alone.

Doc Vaupel and Lana Theis won their open seats for State Rep.

All nine County Commissioners were re-elected. Don Parker got 60% against Mike Tipton, the loudest critic of the board. That's worth a spiked football on its own as well.

Tom Barrett won a tough state rep district out in Eaton County (which Mark Schauer won)

This is despite the union leadership spending a ton of money on political hit pieces, "member communications" that were expensive hit piece mailings, and annoying phone calls (both sides guilty of those damn calls). That deserves a spiked football as well. 

I'll get to the details later with a full report.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Last minute 2014 General Election updates (Livingston County)

Sorry for the lack of updates. Between my real job and county party duties, I haven't had the time to update this. I wish I did so before the absentee votes came out.

First off, I'll say that these are my opinions and not those of LCRP.

Secondly, some predict a wave election in the bag because it is an off-year. I don't see it. This ain't 2010. This ain't 1994. This isn't 2008 or 2006. I think it's somewhere between 1990, 2002, 2004, or to a lesser extent 2012. Not quite a status quo election, but close. Obama's an issue, but this is a state level election were state issues dominate.

Governor - I've had my ups and downs with Rick Snyder at times. He's a helluva lot better than Schauer. I give my reasons of voting for him in the previous post. I think he wins, but it's going to be close. It depends how many conservatives show up and vote - and how many union folks vote.

Senate - I hope Terri Lynn Land wins it. I've known her since her first run in 2002. She's a good person who did a very good job as Secretary of State. I also think a lot of consultants and pundits (I never cared for "That's Criminal" Frank Beckmann - go Spartans!) have done her a disservice by running their mouths to the press instead of trying to help her win. There was no primary. When some were begging for someone (Mike Rogers and Dave Camp were heavily recruited) to run, she stepped up and did it. Gary Peters simply has a history of doing what he's told (like Schauer). Whatever Pelosi wants, Peters delivered. The same goes for leadership back when Peters was in the State Senate. Easy vote for me. I'm voting for someone that actually ran a department. It'll be an upset if Land wins, but I think the polls are off a bit. I don't see this going double digits, and expect it to be about 5% or less. With the right turnout, I can see an upset.

Secretary of State and Attorney General - I don't see Ruth Johnson or Bill Schuette losing this.

Congress - I think Bishop has this by about 10% or so. I'm starting to see more from Schertzing, but I haven't seen much (surprisingly) - especially for 30%+ of the vote already in. Nothing with Lansing and East Lansing in the district is safe, but I don't see this flipping. Schertzing will be strong to an extent in Ingham County, but is virtually unknown in the rest of the district.

State Senate - Joe Hune's doing what he has to do to win and will do so Tuesday, much to the wailing of the local dems. His two-faced opponent raised and spent 80K and is running ads sounding like a "no labels" candidate when in fact she's an extreme leftist who supports higher taxes (services, vehicle registrations, and property taxes), is against industry in the name of global warming, and supports late term taxpayer funded abortions. I don't think it will work. In one blog interview she had, she bragged about knocking on around 100 doors so far in the week she gave the interview (3-4 day period). That isn't going to cut it. Her data of the partisan makeup of the district is also incorrect (and I have the same data list that she has)  She also wasn't aware of Joe Hune being in Washtenaw County until the candidate forums. Joe's worked the entire district and that started long before the candidate forums. The dems are going after Joe and firing off nasty attacks, but that's a good way to join the ranks of Frank McAlpine, Jim Marcinkowski, and Mike Tipton. Nasty political attacks results in an ass kicking.

State Rep - Safe for Lana Theis and Doc Vaupel. Both candidates worked extremely hard in the primaries and are still running their campaigns. Tim Johnson is so far out of the mainstream to have a ghost of a chance, and Lana's outworking him in a big way. Lana will do well, both here and in Lansing. Jordan Genso's a nice guy, but he's got about as tough of a matchup as it gets. Vaupel's going to be a great rep who will do the county proud.

Supreme Court - Zahra, Viviano, and Redford. All of them do a great job. The dems are pushing Richard Bernstein. Nothing against him, but I can't vote for someone for Supreme Court who does not have judicial experience. While ideological issues get the hype, most of the work is with procedural issues, and that's where the judicial experience really matters.

District Court - Dennis Brewer, hands down. I couldn't vote for Theresa Brennan even if she was a Republican. I'll just let Attorney Linda Walker explain one of the biggest reasons. I don't know Linda well, although I've met her a couple of times this year. As someone who has argued a PPO case in court (not in front of Brennan), I was flabbergasted the first time I heard that story. I remember the actual crime, but didn't know about this hearing beforehand. Dennis Brewer had my vote.

County Commissioner - The Republicans have done a good job there. The budget is balanced, every year and the taxes are low. They dealt with some tough situations outside of their control and have done a good job there. I see two seats that I'm keeping an eye on that could be close. One I don't see close but want to mention is District 5. Make sure Don Parker gets your vote. His opponent would embarrass the county with his mouth. 

University Boards
MSU - Jeff Sakwa is a great guy. He works extremely hard, is a good businessman, and cares heavily about the Spartans. Melanie Foster also has my support.

UM - Dr Rob Steele is a good guy I've crossed paths with on several occasions. Ambassador Ron Weiser was a very good state chair for our party and also has my vote. 

School Board:
Brighton - I'd support two. John Conely and Miles Vieau. Conely especially is doing a great job there. I'd short vote to help their chances.

Howell - There are two "unopposed" and a write-in who will win. I know of two of the people running there. Deb Drick did a good job on the board previously. If I still lived in Howell, I would FILL IN THE CIRCLE and vote for Deb Drick. Don't forget to fill in the circle. I've met Adam Hukkala a few times. Nice kid, but he goes to college in Grand Valley. Grand Rapids is two hours from Howell. Will he have enough time to do the job?

 Hartland - Charlie Aberasturi is a good guy.

 NOVEMBER 4, 2014  BALLOT PROPOSALS (offered without comment)

Shall a special assessment district be created, encompassing all of Tyrone Township, for purposes of purchasing public safety services and general operations for fire protection, and annually assessing each parcel of land as follows:
a) Vacant parcels, $85;
b) Parcels with residential structures, $175;
c) All other parcels, $300;
d) For those parcels containing structures or manufactured homes with multiple units, an additional sum of $20 per unit will be assessed,
with the assessments levied for a period of 6 years commencing in 2015 and continuing through and including 2020? The first year of the assessment shall generate estimated revenues of $684,880. During the term of this assessment, the assessment may be increased in an amount not to exceed 10% of the original assessment or decreased by an amount deemed appropriate by the Tyrone Township Board.

This proposal will allow the school district to levy the statutory rate of 18 mills on all property, except principal residence and other property exemp
ted by law, required for the school district to receive its revenue per pupil foundation allowance and renews millage that will expire with the
2015 tax levy.
Shall the currently authorized millage rate limitation of 19.0495 mills ($19.0495 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, in Howell Public Schools, Livingston
County, Michigan, be renewed for a period of 12 years, 2016 to 2027, inclusive, to provide funds for operating purposes; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and levied in 2016 is approximately $11,540,141 (this is a renewal of millage which will expire with the 2015 tax levy)?

Is Hamburg Township, Livingston County, Michigan, authorized to levy against all real property in the Township an amount not to exceed 2.00 mill ($2.00 on each $1,000 of taxable value) for a period of five (5) years, 2014 to 2018 inclusive, and 1.00 mill ($1.00 on each $1,000 of taxable value) for a period of 10 years, from 2019 through 2028 inclusive, for the purpose of improvements, repair and maintenance of public roads in Hamburg Township? Improvements would include repaving of paved roads, chip sealing of paved roads, adding gravel to gravel roads, and related drainage improvements. If this new millage is approved and levied in December 2014, the estimated amount of revenue that would be collected in the first year would be approximately $1,831,500.

This proposal is only effective if the electors of the Public Schools of the City of Ann Arbor on November 4, 2014 approve the assumption of the bonded indebtedness of Whitmore Lake Public School District.
Shall Whitmore Lake Public School District, Washtenaw and Livingston Counties, Michigan, be annexed to Public Schools of the City of Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, Michigan effective July 1, 2015 and on the effective date of annexation, assume the bonded indebtedness of Public
Schools of the City of Ann Arbor?

Shall the Cromaine District Library, County of Livingston, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Twelve Million Dollars ($12,000,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor, payable in not to exceed twenty (20) years from date of issuance exclusive of refunding,
for the purpose of paying all or part of the costs of acquiring, constructing, furnishing and equipping an expansion and improvements to the Cromaine Library, including related parking and site improvements? The estimated millage to be levied in 2015 is 0.85 mills ($0.85 per $1,000 of taxable value) and the estimated simple average annual millage rate required to retire the bonds is 0.76 mils ($0.76 per $1,000 of taxable value).

This proposal will allow the school district to levy the statutory rate of 18 mills on all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, required for the school district to receive its revenue per pupil foundation allowance and renews millage that will expire with the
2014 tax levy.
Shall the currently authorized millage rate limitation of 18 mills ($18.00 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, in Pinckney Community Schools, Livingston and
Washtenaw Counties, Michigan, be renewed for a period of 6 years, 2015 to 2020, inclusive, to provide funds for operating purposes; the estimate
of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and levied in 2015 is approximately $3,728,530 (this is a renewal of
millage which will expire with the 2014 tax levy?

To provide funds, One Point Four One Three Three (1.4133) Mills ($1.4133 per $1,000.00 of State Taxable Valuation) for the improvement, maintenance, and dust control of public roads in Iosco Township for a period of five (5) years beginning December 2015.
Shall the expired previous voted increases in the tax limitations imposed under Article IX, Sec. 6 of the Michigan Constitution in Iosco Township, of 1.5 mills ($1.50 per $1,000.00 of taxable value), reduced to 1.4133 mills ($1.4133 per $1,000.00 of taxable value) by the required millage rollbacks, be renewed at 1.4133 mills ($1.4133 per $1,000.00 of taxable value) and levied for a period of five (5) years from 2015 through 2019 inclusive for funding road maintenance, road improvements and dust control for the public roads of the Township of Iosco, Livingston County, Michigan, raising an estimated $178,000.00 in the first year the millage is levied?

Shall the tax limitation imposed under Article IX, Sec. 6 of the Michigan Constitution on all taxable real and tangible personal property within the Township of Hartland, Livingston County, Michigan, be increased for said Township in an amount not to exceed 1.5 mills ($1.50 on each $1,000 of
taxable value) for a period of ten (10) years, 2014 to 2023, inclusive, to provide funds for the purpose of road maintenance and improvements, including grading, storm water drainage and chloride treatment; and shall the Township levy such new additional millage for said purpose; the
estimate of the revenue the Township of Hartland will collect if the millage is approved and levied by the Township in the 2014 calendar year is approximately $873,000?

This proposal will allow the school district to levy the statutory rate of 18 mills on all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, required for the school district to receive its revenue per pupil foundation allowance and renews millage that will expire with the
2014 tax levy.
Shall the currently authorized millage rate limitation of 23.2595 mills ($23.2595 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, in Stockbridge Community Schools,
Ingham, Jackson, Livingston and Washtenaw Counties, Michigan, be renewed for a period of 4 years, 2015 to 2018, inclusive, to provide funds for operating purposes; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and 18 mills are levied in 2015 is approximately $1,650,000 (this is a renewal of millage which will expire with the 2014 tax levy)?