Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Who is running in Livingston County for 2014 partisan elections?

The filing deadline is in. I'll update this if data comes in late.

Before I get to the rest of ballot, there are no primaries for  Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Board of Education, the education boards of trustees/regents for MSU, UM, and Wayne State, or Supreme Court. These are decided in state conventions. Convention nominations are elected by state delegates. State delegates are elected at county conventions by precinct delegates. Preinct delegates are elected in the August primary. The filing deadline for those are May 6th and interested parties file at the County Clerk's office. In Livingston County, that's at the courthouse in downtown Howell.

For the offices:
Rick Snyder (R - Superior Twp)
Mark Schauer (D - Battle Creek)

Anybody but Schauer. Gun grabbing, partial birth abortion, Granholm's taxes, Obamacare, and Cap and trade.

Terri Lynn Land (R-Byron Township)
Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township)

We have an actual shot here and the pundits are finally starting to figure this out. I met Land in 2002. She was not supposed to be the nominee and ended up winning due to hard work on the campaign trail. Land will work hard and give us a chance.  As for Peters, that boy will do whatever Reid tells him to do.

Congress - 8th District (MI-08)
GOP - Bryan Barnett (R-Rochester Hills), Mike Bishop (R-Rochester), and Tom McMillin  (R-Rochester Hills)
Dem - Ken Darga (D-Lansing), Eric Schertzing (D-East Lansing), Jeffrey Hank (D-East Lansing), Susan Grettenberger (D-Lansing)

This district leans slightly Republican because of Livingston County and North Oakland County. However, all of Ingham County is in the district, and anything with Lansing, East Lansing, and Meridian Twp isn't completely safe. Schertzing has won countywide in Ingham County, but how many people know who the treasurer is? It's an important position, but behind the scenes more than a prosecutor. In a 3 and 4 way primary, a lot of things can happen.

State Senate - 22nd District (SD-22)
GOP - Joe Hune (R-Hamburg Twp)
Dem - Shari Pollesch (D-Hartland Township)

Redistricting did make this seat more difficult as it swaps the swing areas of Shiawassee County and slightly Republican parts of Ingham County for most of Western Washtenaw County. Shiawassee County voted for Obama twice, but it's also friendly territory for Joe Hune. About 2/3 of this district is still Livingston County, and the most democrat parts of Washtenaw stay with Rebekah Warren. This is still safe. Chelsea and Scio Township can not carry a district for Pollesch. Even McCain won this district, and Joe's not going to be outworked.

State Rep
42nd District (HD-42)
GOP - Nick Fiani (R-Genoa Twp), Rich Perlberg (R-Brighton Twp),  Dale Rogers (R-Putnam Twp), Lana Theis (R-Brighton Twp)
Dem - Timothy Johnson (D-Genoa Twp)

I'm not worried about the general here. Johnson already put his foot in his mouth with his guilty white leftist comments as well as his anti-2nd Amendment comments (guns for me, not for you).  I think even a certain recalled Hamburg Township official would win this district without much of a problem. That may be a little cocky, but I'm usually cautious in my predictions. If I'm Nick, Rich, Dale, or Lana, I'd keep the dem talking. Beyond all of that, Johnson is a Wayne County guy who just moved here in 2012. While we're open to transplants including Wayne County transplants (like most of my family), many of us, including the transplants, don't want people to turn our county into the county the transplants left, especially Wayne County. People left Wayne County for a reason.

The main battle will be in the primary. The primary will be interesting. All bring their own backgrounds to the election. Nick Fiani is the president of the Brighton School Board. Rich Perlberg was the publisher for the local paper for years. Dale Rogers is a teacher. Lana Theis is Brighton Township treasurer and past GOP Chair. 

47th District (HD-47)
GOP - Phil Campbell (R-Howell), Wendy Day (R-Marion Twp), Harold Melton (R-Howell Twp), Ted Ring (R-Hartland Twp), Dr Hank Vaupel (R-Handy Twp)
Dem - Jordan Genso (D-Marion Twp)

This is on paper one of the five safest districts in the state. The biggest problem for Jordan Genso is that there are only 3 places in this district that even voted for Carl Levin (who won nearly 2-1 statewide) against a sacrificial lamb candidate. Howell, Handy Twp, and Unadilla Twp. Stabenow in 2012 only won Howell against a weak nominee (due to lazy campaign). With a five way primary however, the potential is there for a disaster if (and a big if) a candidate emerges heavily wounded compounded with other candidate supporters skipping the race. That's Genso's ghost of a chance. I don't expect Jordan to beat himself, unlike Johnson who frankly already has beaten himself. This is a 60%+ district in almost all years, so when I mean ghost of a chance, I'm referring to Scott Brown level.

The primary will be big here. Phil Campbell is Mayor of Howell, Wendy Day is a tea party activist and former Howell School Board member. Harold Melton is an activist and retired construction worker. Ted Ring is a former teacher and business owner. Dr Hank Vaupel is a veterinarian and Handy Twp Supervisor.

County Commissioner
Right now, there are the following contests. In Livingston County, it takes a disaster for a democrat to win any partisan contest. That does not mean that Republicans don't need to work. Lazy candidates contribute to a disaster. If our candidates are smart, work hard, and do not beat themselves, they will win. Some areas are safer than others. Our job is to not beat ourselves and to continue to do good work. The dems are bragging about finding 9 people to put $100 in (or 20 signatures) to run for the commissioner spots. Congratulations. They did what anybody should be able to do. That doesn't mean they have good candidates. It means they have names on the ballot. That's it.

District 1 (City of Brighton, most of Brighton Twp)
GOP - Kate Lawrence (R-Brighton)
Dem - Bruce Schneider (D-Brighton Twp)
This is a rematch. Lawrence won with 67% in 2012. The only way a dem wins here is by a massive win in the City of Brighton. Brighton Twp doesn't vote for dems, and Lawrence was Mayor of Brighton City. She's a matchup nightmare for any dem.

District 2 (Deefield, Oceola, small part of Hartland)
GOP - Bill Green (R-Deerfield Twp)
Dem - Jeanette DiFlorio (D-?)
This is also a rematch. Green won with 65% in 2012.  Deefield and Oceola don't vote for dems.

District 3 (Tyrone, most of Hartland)
GOP - Dave Domas (R-Tyrone Twp)
Dem - Ronda Trouse (D-?)

Tyrone's moved a bit to the right in the past 20 years. Stabenow won it years ago (96?), but lost it bad to Hoekstra who was a bad candidate (fundraising and inactivity). Levin lost it to Hoogendyk and he's done the best of any dem in the county since Frank Kelley (who was the last dem to win the county).  Hartland doesn't vote for dems.  

District 4 (Conway, Handy, Iosco, Unadilla, part of Putnam)
GOP - Ron Van Houten (R-Iosco Twp) Doug Helzerman (R-Handy Twp)
Dem - Donald Pushies (D-Conway Twp)

This district has a large number of independents. Conway's a 60%+ area at the top of the ticket, but had a dem township supervisor not all that long ago. Handy Twp likes their locals and while it's fairly strongly Republican, it fluctuates heavily based on candidate quality. Hune got 80% there before, but Stabenow also got 46% against Hoekstra, 6% ahead of Obama. Iosco is a more conservative version of Handy Twp in voting habits unless the GOP'er has strong ties to Handy Twp.  Unadilla will still vote for some dems, although it's now Republican at the top of the ticket. The part of Putnam in the district leans democrat.  Romney did very well in the district, but Hoekstra barely won it. The dems have what is likely an MEA connected candidate here. There's a couple of names that would really concern me here, but they didn't run. I don't see the MEA selling here, but we have to take this race seriously. The SW part of ths district sometimes goes dem, but they prefer their locals there. Pushies is 20 miles from there.

District 5 (Cohoctah, Howell, Howell Twp)
GOP - Don Parker (R-Howell)
Dem - Mike Tipton (D-Howell Twp)

Mike "34%" Tipton wants a rematch. Tipton couldn't crack 35% in a special election where there were no straight ticket voters hurting him. We were worried about Tipton last time since we were somewhat blind to his chances in a special election. We're not blind now. This time, we know what he's about. This time, it's a regular off year election. He's got a big mouth and will throw a lot of bombs, and we'll be ready for him. His big city style doesn't work in Livingston County.

District 6 (Marion Twp, most of Putnam Twp, small part of  Hamburg)
GOP - Steve Williams (R-Marion Twp), Steven Hart (R-Marion Twp?)
Dem - Lesa Doa (D-Marion Twp)

Steve Williams has a primary against Steven Hart. I don't know anything about Hart except that I think he may be a Pinckney cop. Interesting primary. Hopefully it doesn't get nasty.

Lesa Doa is Jordan Genso's wife. Genso is running in the 47th. This district could get interesting depending on matchups but it's a major geographic mismatch for Doa. Genso's geographic base is Hartland. For the 47th, that's not a big deal as Hartland's in the district (Joe Hune lives in Hamburg, but he's a Fowlerville guy)  Here, Hartland is not in the district, so Genso's base can't help her. I went to school with one of the Doas. Their base would be in the Brighton area, particularly the Brighton part of Genoa Township. Why is that important? The only way any democrat wins in Livingston County is with a large number of crossover voters. Steve Williams doesn't make a lot of mistakes or put his foot in his mouth. 15-20 years from now in an open seat matchup, this matchup would concern me much more than it does now if Jordan and Lesa stay in Marion Twp. The southwestern part of the county is quite independent and more apt to split their ticket, but it's also very geographic provincial. They'll vote for Hune/Donahue. This isn't a completely safe district due to Putnam's independent streak, but Steve Williams is a good candidate here.

District 7 (Genoa Twp)
GOP - Carol Griffith (R-Genoa Twp)
Dem - Jim Delcamp (D-Genoa Twp)

Safe R. Genoa Township doesn't vote democrat, unless it's a closet dem running as a Republican (not referring to Carol). I'll safe that story for another day. Carol's a very good commissioner and shouldn't have any troubles. This is one of the three most Republican district's in the county. Delcamp's run several times for office and hasn't been successful.

District 8 (most of Hamburg, small part of Green Oak)
GOP - Dennis Dolan (R-Hamburg)
Dem - Jim Katakowski (D-Hamburg)

This is a rematch. Dolan won last time with 58%, basically running with the top of the ticket. This could be a tough district if we have a bad matchup, but I'm not worried about a rematch here as long as we are prepared. We will be.

District 9 (Most of Green Oak, part of Brighton Twp)
GOP - Gary Childs (R-Green Oak)
Dem - Barry McBride (D-Green Oak)

Green Oak's heavily independent, but has moved our way some since the 70's. McBride ran a few years back against Jack LaBelle. This is the first time Childs faced a dem, although he beat Jack LaBelle which shows a lot of strength in his own right.

Conway Twp Treasurer:
GOP - Debbie Grubb (R-Conway Twp)
Dem - None that I know of. (Called Clerk's office earlier today)

Conway's heavily independent but conservative.

When I say "Safe R", it means Safe R barring a disaster. It doesn't not mean that we should get arrogant and do nothing but have a name out on the ballot. That's an easy way to lose. We have the facts on our side. We have a good track record in this county. We don't want to turn into Wayne County.

The field is set. It's time to get to work.  

Howell Mini-Circles are going the way of Crystal Pepsi

The only thing good about Crystal Pepsi was the song for the commercial. The only good thing about those minicircles is that they are on their way out. Right now, the Howell mini-circles are on its last legs.

From the Argus:

Days are numbered for Howell’s mini-traffic circles after a divided City Council voted Monday to have them removed within 150 days.
It remains unclear whether $35,000 in undesignated city budget funds would be enough to cover the removal of all 16 circles.
But those who supported the removal said the project could be amended as needed.
“It’s a starting point, it may not be an ending point, but at least we have a framework,” said Councilman Doug Heins, who supported the removal.


Streets affected by the traffic circles include Center, Chestnut, East Washington, Fleming, Griswold, Isbell, Jewitt, Lake, Madison, McPherson, North Barnard, North Court, North Tompkins, Prospect, South Barnard, Spring, Summit, West, West Clinton, West Sibley and Wetmore.
The council voted 4-2 to remove the traffic circles.
Councilman Jeffrey Hansen joined Niblock in voting against the measure. Councilman Steven Manor was absent from Monday’s meeting.
 Out of all the controversial projects with the streetscapes, those damn minicircles are probably the most controversial. While I don't care for the cost in removing them, spending the money on those things in the first place was worse. They obstruct vision, are confusing, make it tough for emergency vehicles to get through if needed (Howell had a fire last night), and aren't needed when there's already a four way stop at many of the minicircle intersections.

Vote to remove - Allen Schlittler, Doug Heins, Nick Proctor, Phil Campbell

Vote to keep - Scott Niblock, Jeffrey Hansen

Didn't vote - Steve Manor (probably supported the circles)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter, Everyone

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter.

Good luck to the Red Wings as well.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Why should I support this guy for anything?

As the top of the blog says, opinions are my own and not that of LCRP. I'm not speaking for the party here.

That all said, another Todd Courser email came out that's all about him. There's a quote from one of the greatest movies released. Heat. (Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro). I'll edit it instead of posting clips because of the f'bombs involved.

"Don't waste my (m-bleeping) time" - Pacino to the informant.

That's about my feelings on any "Courser challenge" for Lt Governor. 

I always wonder how Todd Courser supposedly because this super spokesman for conservatives as he claims to be. He ran for state rep and lost. He ran for state senate and lost. Both of those losses were in the primary and with a Republican primary electorate. He lost for State Board of Education in the general. He ran for State Party chair and he lost with a Republican activist electorate. He's 0-4. He's 0-3 among Republican party electorates. To the best of my knowledge although I may be wrong here, he's never had a party leadership position. He is not a spokesman for Republicans, and not a spokesman for the Republican base of conservatives. This isn't about the liberty movement. This is about being a big fish in a small pond. Cliquish games.

Here's some of what he said.

Is a challenge to the LtGov important to the cause and if so why?
There are lots of very good reasons to secure the right to challenge the Lieutenant Governor; there are very very few reasons for not securing this options for the convention. We, as political pioneers, only have so much energy to devote to the cause of liberty; we must be thoughtful and discerning on where we place our energy, money, and finally our time. For me this is always a consideration, as it is for all of you.  In this case, we as a cause, have to decide if we want to see a challenge to the Lieutenant Governor.  If so, will we work to secure or preserve the right to challenge the Lieutenant Governor?  At this point there is no challenge; no candidate has secured the right to challenge.  Regardless of what you have heard, there is not a challenger to the Lieutenant Governor for the upcoming convention.
That's semantics. In Todd's opinion there is no challenge. Wes Nakagiri has been out campaigning for the position. Courser has been running his mouth. He's sore about Wes endorsing Schostak. There's reason for the endorsement. Courser would have been a disaster. He had no plan except talking about how principled he was. Talk is cheap, and talking about principles doesn't win elections, nor does it mean that you actually HAVE principles. Repeating talk about principles and the constitution does nothing. Get constitutional conservatives elected, and I'll start listening to what you have to say. Talk "was yesterday, today you're wasting my (bleeping) time."

Republicans should not be denied the access to run...
 If we are going to be “The Big Tent of Politics,” then we need to be the free market of political ideas and energy.  We can’t keep out people who are wanting to run in elections.  We must be a party that participates in the free market process.  We claim to be the party of the rule of law and process.  In this case, there are rules which state the party leadership will not influence a primary, and yet, that is exactly what they are doing.
 To me, in my small, but statesmen like view, Mr. Nakagiri and myself should be allowed to run.  We are both Republicans, who shouldn’t be kept out of the process because some in leadership do not like the rule of the delegates having a voice in choosing their Lieutenant Governor. Some of those, whom I have approached even in the “more conservative corners, where the state committee members are open to challenging party power,” we find state committee members saying they don’t think it’s right to have a challenger to the Lieutenant Governor or they think there should be only one challenger. Well, at this point, THERE IS NO CHALLEGER.  Mr. Nakagiri has had 8 months to gather the signatures and has not at this point secure the signatures, which may not give the cause even one challenger. At this point, Mr Nakagiri and I are not candidates to challenge the Lieutenant Governor nor will we be allowed in the convention as candidates. 

I don't think you're much of a statesman considering the things you've said. Arguments about the permission slips aside, Todd, you don't even have a Campaign Committee for Lt Governor.  Wes Nakagiri has been running an actual campaign. While you mention head to head between Brian and Wes, at the last straw poll in my county, you finished dead last. You finished behind Calley, Wes, Undecided, and the write-in of governor's choice. You had literally ZERO votes.

My assessment of the Nakagiri situation.
Many will see my words as self serving, but I believe we need to be good stewards of our time and talent.  I explain the facts to encourage you to do your own investigation, but I do not see a serious challenge in him.  My intention with this email is that we, as a cause, take on efforts where we can win and more importantly move the ball forward for the cause of liberty. In this case, the polls and the obvious visible actions don’t lie, We must think about the reality of a challenge such as this and whether it is advisable and prudent.  Who is the best choice to make the challenge? 
Here is the run down, in my opinion, to consider and then decide how to proceed. I definitely believe preserving a challenge of the Lieutenant Governor makes sense and I explain that part in a paragraph down a little lower.  This is what I have seen and know regarding the Nakagiri situation…

 It's a grudge match because Wes didn't support Todd Courser. What Todd doesn't say is that he's polling less than Wes in during everything I've seen.
 1. Mr. Nakagiri is not a candidate for Lieutenant Governor until he has the permission signatures, and at this point he does not have them. (So he is not a candidate.)
2. Mr Nakagiri announced his candidacy late summer last year. (This alerted the GOP to the challenge and set off the firestorm of establishment precinct delegate recruitment.)
3. Mr. Nakagiri has not in any meaningful way moved his poll numbers to show he has gained traction. In no way has his last 8 months translated into a change in the outcome.  Right now he is not in any way a threat to the current Lieutenant Governor.
4. Mr. Nakagiri has yet to win any poll that I have seen in the head to head. ( It’s a tough, really hard, road through the convention, but for him, Mr. Calley clearly is the winner in every head to head.)
5. Mr. Nakagiri has acted like the candidate, and raised money to support his campaign, but he has not in any way secured the right to run.
6. Mr. Nakagiri backed Schostak in the last Chairman’s race and his entire inner circle are or were, in fact, Mr. Schostak supporters.
7. Mr. Nakagiri did not actively participate in fighting for right to work in the last election.
8. Mr. Nakagiri has not explained who he has employed as his convention consultant and who he intends to use to run his convention team. (The Calley team has the best convention consultant in the country, who has won 34 out of 35 conventions.)
9. Mr. Nakagiri won’t say if he has the funds to do mailers, polls, robocalls or put forward a conventnion team to win the day.
In order:

1. Wes has run a campaign. Courser hasn't. Wes may or may not get enough permission signatures. He doesn't have them either.  

2. Todd doesn't like his early announcement. That means he wants a sneak attack and surprise campaign, because he knows he does not have a majority of people on your side. Then when the campaign is going and he loses, it's due to the "evil establishment" supposedly rigging the game. 

3. Wes did not win the two straw polls at the Lincoln Day Dinner. However, Todd Courser got ZERO votes at our Lincoln Day Dinner, and ONE vote at Ingham. 

4. See three. Same thing.

5. That's more than Todd Courser has done. 

6. That's because Courser had no plan and would have been a disaster due to incompetence. 

7. Bullshit. I saw him there in the middle of the battle. I didn't see you. I was right by the AFP tent when it went down.

8. Who gives a damn what consultant he's hired? 

9. Why would he tell Todd Courser - a potential opponent - his plan?

 There is more strategy, and this is really important, without a challenger then there will be; First, little to no voice in that convention for the conservative activist wing of the party. Second, if we have one or two with the right to challenge then the establishment has to deal with that reality. Finally, and most near and dear to my heart, if we have the right to challenge, then it will create a potential of some sort of threat in the convention and this threat could cause the party to be a bit more careful in the steps leading to the convention. If they attempt to drown our conservative activists who are running in these open house seats, it is very easy for the establishment machine to throw $100k into a tipping house seat race and kill one of our 15 candidates who are running to fill these open house seats, then we will have a possible spot to bring some sort of challenge to their power in the convention 3 weeks later. It can be a bit of an insurance policy on fair conduct in the primary.  That can only happen, in any meaningful way, if we have preserved the right to challenge the Lieutenant Governor, and as I have said there is no challenge that has been preserved. I am not sure that Mr. Nakagiri has really any understanding of what a serious challenge looks like and appears to have no one on his team to put on a serious convention effort.
As the famous line from Top Gun says......

"Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash!" Again, this from a guy who is 0-4 in his election career. His closest challenge was a sneak attack that cause some folks looking. He had that set up, and he still lost. That's Todd Courser. His campaign for chair is what woke up "the establishment" much more than Wes Nakagiri's challenge.

Open house seats vs Lt Gov is apples and oranges. Courser talks about these 15 house seats and Lt Gov as this either/or thing. That has no basis in reality whatsoever. That is part of the reason you are 0-4. There's no "insurance policy" here. That's bluster and talk. "Uh oh, I better not support candidate x, or Todd Courser will do something." It doesn't work that way. House seats and Senate seats are a higher priority than conventions. Calley is a high priority for Snyder regardless of what happens with primaries. 

In addition, each individual election is its own campaign, with its own bases, and own supporters. It's not "establishment vs tea party" in these campaigns here. That's what Todd Courser wants to portray, It's that talk by Courser that alienates ALL sides who are tired of this schiessen. Back your candidate and work to get that candidate elected. I've voted for "establishment" candidates. I've voted for "tea party" candidates. I've voted for both. I'm not the only one who has voted for both. Campaigns are about matchups between individuals and geography as much as they are about ideology.

Here in Livingston County, we have three state legislature elections. For State Senate, as it stands Joe Hune is unopposed. Hune has a lot of support from both establishment and tea party. In the 42nd District, four people are running so far. Some tea party folks I know are split between two candidates. Some establishment folks I know are split between at least two candidates, maybe 3. In the 47th District, five people are running so far. Some tea party folks I know are split between at least four candidates. Some establishment folks I know are split between three candidates.  Among LCGOP base folks I know, it's split three ways (to varying amounts) with one district and four ways in the other. 

In other words, neither the "establishment" or "tea party" or "base" is a monolithic creation. There's various disagreement within those entities.

While I have not given any endorsement for Lt Governor, I know one person I will not be supporting. Since by his own definition he said he was not a candidate or a challenger, I'll just say that Courser won't get my support for anything he decides to run for - now or in the future. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Argus story on Ted Ring

From the Argus:

Retired math teacher and Vietnam War veteran Ted Ring wants to bring “common sense” representation to Michigan’s 47th House District seat in Lansing.
Ring, a Hartland Township resident, has created a six-person GOP primary field for the office representing most of Livingston County.
Ring, who is making his first run for public office, said his background in education and military service make him stand out in the large GOP field.
“I think I can appeal to a lot of people like that. I’m common sense,” he said. “I’m a likable guy.”
Ring said he’s concerned the new Common Core State Academic Standards in K-12 schools could be misleading students at least in math.
The new math and English standards are intended to encourage critical thinking in the classroom, and were conceived through a coalition of governors and school administrators with input from teachers, parents and business leaders.
Ring said he’s concerned the Common Core standards are making math a matter of debate rather than fact.
“That really concerns me. I think we’re screwing up our kids with that,” he said. “Everything I’ve seen doesn’t look good.”

I don't know Ted Ring so I can't comment on him one way or the other.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

HD-47 - Aberasturi ends campaign, endorses Dr. Hank Vaupel

Press release from Charlie Aberasturi, now a former candidate of the 47th District

April 16, 2014
Aberasturi endorses Dr. Hank Vaupel for the 47th District State House of Representatives
HARTLAND, MI - Charlie Aberasturi has announced that he is ending his campaign for the 47th District State House of Representatives.
Aberasturi, of Hartland Township, who has served as a Hartland Board of Education trustee for 16 years, has been actively campaigning for the open position of 47th District State House of Representatives. He will now put his effort toward electing Dr. Hank Vaupel.
“I appreciate the support that has come my way from the Knights of Columbus, Pregnancy Helpline , Right to Life, others in the prolife movement, HAYAA, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, TRW employees and from school district parents, staff and children,” Aberasturi said.
Aberasturi said he has gotten to know Dr. Vaupel during the campaign and believes Dr. Vaupel is the candidate that is most closely aligned with his philosophy, on how to treat people properly and yet maintain a fiscally conservative outlook.
Aberasturi said. “I encourage my fellow knights, those in the prolife movement, employees and former employees of TRW , those with a concern for children and public schools, to support Hank Vaupel.”
For over 30 years, Aberasturi worked as a manufacturing financial manager for TRW and Kelsey-Hayes. In addition, he has volunteered for Pregnancy Help Clinic, Knights of Columbus, St. John the Baptist Church in Hartland, LACASA, as a coach and board member for the Hartland Area Youth Athletic Association.
Those who would like to volunteer to help Aberasturi in support of Dr. Vaupel may contact the voteVaupel team at VoteVaupel@gmail.com or by calling (517) 375-3904.

We'll see what the fallout is from this.Obviously it's good news for Vaupel on two fronts. One is getting a Hartland endorsement, and the other is leaving the Hartland area wide open.  Aberasturi won Hartland in his 2008 primary against Cindy Denby.Theodore Ring seems to be from the Hartland area, but I have literally no idea who he is. He'll have to get activist if he wants a chance to win.

For ideology, it helps Vaupel with RTL and Catholic votes, although the other candidates are strong with RTL, and Phil Campbell is a very active Catholic in Howell.

This now leaves five people running. Handy Twp Supervisor Dr. Hank Vaupel, Former Howell School Board member Wendy Day, Howell Mayor Phil Campbell, activist Harold Melton, and Theodore Ring.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

In dishonor of tax day

I had to pay the feds. Again. Four years in a row. "Thank you sir, may I have another!"

Pink Floyd - "Money, it's a hit. Don't give me that do goody good bullshit"
Kid Rock - "All you bastards at the IRS"
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Taxman
Cheap Trick - Taxman, Mr Thief. 

Skubick column on Joe Hune

Interesting column from Tim Skubick

From Mlive

When state Sen. Joe Hune stepped off the plane from a European vacation, he did not scramble for the phones to consult with his campaign team. Instead he immediately went to the side of a rare male albino two-humped camel that was born while he was gone and was struggling to stay alive.
That was a clear indication this guy was not running for Congress, although having a camel raiser in the U.S. House with Michigan’s former reindeer herder Congressman would have made headlines.

I've known Joe Hune since he ran for the then brand new 47th district back in 2002. At 22, he won a race he had no business (on paper) winning by taking his farm work ethic and strong organization,  and applying it to the campaign. It was a grassroots farmer and Fowlerville based victory.

I wasn't sure he was going to run or not. I've heard rumors of both, by good sources. The official word until the news came out was that there was no decision and that the rest of speculation.

It's well known that Joe's not a DC guy, which is why I think he would have done a great job there. He would have given DC a dose of much needed Fowlerville common sense, particularly on spending. Joe treats our tax money and our company time like he treats his own time. He doesn't like to waste it. As a constituent, I hoped he'd run. I also respect his decision to stay where he is. It wouldn't be me paying the price of the job in DC.

It would be a real high price if he ran. While I think he would have won the primary (no offense to Mike Bishop, Tom McMillin and Bryan Barnett, but they are all from the same area and a geographic mismatch to Hune) and the general (Hune wins independents and keeps the base), it still was not a sure thing. He's also be running every two years. While nothing is an absolute sure thing, Joe's the winner barring a disaster in the 22nd for re-election. His opponent will not catch him sleeping on the election. He'd give up a four year term if ran for Congress. He and his wife would leave home and the farm to go to DC if he won. DC politics is a nasty business and getting nastier.

Best of luck to Joe in re-election. As far as the 8th District goes, I'm keeping my powder dry for now and want to hear more from the candidates and refresh my research on their voting records and statements when they weren't dealing with a re-election. I also want to see who places an emphasis on Livingston County. While we're the 3rd most GOP county in the state by percentage, and 2nd among counties over 100,000 people, we're sometimes still viewed as a shadow of our surrounding counties. With three Rochester area candidates, we could very well choose the winner. 


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Joe Hune running for State Senate, not Congress

From the Argus

State Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg Township, will not seek the GOP nomination to succeed U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Howell, in Congress, Hune announced today.
Hune said he will instead focus on his reelection bid in the state Senate.
His announcement follows Monday's news that Rogers is endorsing former state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop of Rochester for the GOP nomination for the 8th Congressional District seat, which represents all of Livingston and Ingham counties, and a portion of Oakland County
In a statement, Hune said he wants to contribute to “strong conservative leadership” in Lansing and spend time with his family.
“Marcia and I are really touched and overwhelmed by all of the people who have contacted us about the possibility of running for Congress. We took some time and thought very carefully about what it meant for us as a family at this point in our lives,” Hune said in his statement.
“Just like everyone else, this situation came as a surprise to us. At a time when we want to grow and enjoy more family time, adopting a congressional lifestyle just doesn’t make sense,” he added.

The bad news is that my first choice for the Congressional seat is not running. The good news is that I have a very good state senator.  No, I'm not saying that to avoid getting spit on by his camels. He does good work. His office does good work. They all put with me when issues come up.

In the 8th District, that leaves State Senator Mike Bishop and Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett. Others may be jumping in. We'll see. The filing deadline is April 22nd, and 1000 VALID signatures are needed, so the window to jump in is extremely narrow.

MEA threatens a recall of Nick Fiani

From the Argus

Under his leadership as school board president, Nick Fiani said Brighton Area Schools board meetings have been short, calm and efficient.

Others, however, said the 26-year-old Fiani has been brash, disrespectful and is only using the school board as a steppingstone for higher political office. They also don’t like him requesting a police officer to be present at board meetings to prevent disorderly behavior, and they want him gone.
Retired Brighton teacher Millie Quinn told Fiani at the Board of Education meeting Monday that he needed to resign or she would start a recall. Quinn is a former president of the Brighton Education Association, the teachers’ union.
Jo Hurshe, a retired Brighton paraprofessional, also wants to see Fiani gone.
She said Fiani is using the school board as a steppingstone and is “stirring the pot to get some name recognition.” Fiani is a candidate for state representative in the 42nd House District.
“I think he lacks the maturity to understand what he’s really doing,” Hurshe said.
“I think he has a very adversarial tone,” she said. “In my opinion, it’s very immature.”

You're going to start a recall due to an MEA temper tantrum? This stuff is why the MEA leadership is disliked so much. Bullying. Intimidation. Political hit pieces, like the mailing against John Conely. Lawbreaking. There are many good teachers out there, but the leaders the union picks are among the the worst of all unions. That's bad company. 

The MEA loves recalls. They were the ones pushing the recalls in the past, and got Paul Scott's scalp after Paul had some unrelated unforced errors. However, Paul Scott was replaced by Joe Graves, another Republican. In addition, redistricting wasn't kind to Scott to begin with as it gave him a democrat district based in Burton. In short, they wasted a ton of taxpayer's money. The good news is that they wasted their own political coffers as well since they lost.

I do support the right for recalls. I don't think they should be judicial questions like many politicians. On the same note, I think BS recalls due to the MEA having a temper tantrum needs to be twarted if they go up for a vote. If you just don't like someone, vote them out at a regular election.

I get tired of Mike Tipton's comments in the papers all the time. Now I could probably get enough signatures to force a recall election in Howell Township, especially as he's twice run for higher office now before even serving 1/2 of a term. Am I going to do that? No. I'll wait until he's up for election in 2016, and then we will send him back to being a private citizen and end his electoral career. While I don't like it, I can live with it for two years and save taxpayer's money.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

More State Rep Candidates

There's been more State Rep Candidates who have announced since the last update so I'll mention this.

We have a long list of candidates here running as Republicans for State Rep including two very recent announcements. There may be more. So far the announced/filed candidates are in alphabetical order.
42nd District:
Nick Fiani
Rich Perlberg
Dale Rogers
Lana Theis

47th District:
Charlie Aberasturi
Phil Campbell
Wendy Day
Harold Melton
Theodore Ring
Hank Vaupel

Some of these folks we know. Some we see consistently or at least occasionally at our events. Some we have met once or twice. Some we've never met at all. One candidate I know literally nothing about. Most of these candidates have some sort of records. They have records of statements, donations, writings, and/or voting decisions at their local public offices. I encourage everybody to do their due diligence and look up these records of statements, donations, writings, and/or voting decisions on issues and make your decision based on that. Also make these be known to your primary election voting friends and family who may not be informed. While the 42nd and 47th Districts are considered on paper safe republican, nothing is 100% safe as Joseph Cao showed us in New Orleans, and John Espinoza showed us in Sanilac County (nearly as GOP as Livingston County). We must take this election seriously and nominate the best candidate, one who works hard, will get the base to vote, and also get enough independents to win without alienating the base.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

MI-08 - Mike Rogers endorses Bishop and the latest

There's a lot of crap stirring going on out there with this race and a lot of conspiracy theories I'm hearing about. Some of that is being pushed by the dems. That's not a surprise. They want a split party with this primary. Some of it is pushed by those with axes to grind against certain individuals. Some of it is those who want to put strong candidate or potential candidates and their teams against each other to open things up for an alternative.

From the Argus:

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Howell, on Monday endorsed former state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop of Rochester to be his replacement in Congress next year.

This should be read no more and no less than what it is. Mike Rogers and Mike Bishop served together in Lansing. They are friends. Mike didn't serve with Joe Hune or Bryan Barnett.

“We have two good people running so far,” county GOP Chairman Dan Wholihan said. Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett has announced his candidacy for the party’s nod for the seat.

“If Senator Hune runs, we’ll have a third good person as well,” Wholihan said.
“I’m biased, being a Livingston County guy, so I’d like to a have a good candidate out of Livingston County personally, but we have several good people running and I don’t think any of the two running, or if Senator Hune runs, would do a bad job,” Wholihan added.
He said he’ll support the party’s nominee regardless if that person is Joe Hune.

I didn't like the phrasing of "regardless if that person is Joe Hune" as it is contradicting sounding. My exact comment I believe was "regardless of who wins."  While being a Chair tempers my advocacy to a degree, everybody know who I'm voting for if a certain candidate runs. At the same time, that's not to say that I'd be voting against the other two or whomever else runs. This would be a race between "Good" and "Best." If Bishop or Barnett is the nominee, I'd have no problems voting for them.  

I doubt this would factor one way or the other on what Joe Hune decides. Hune is a grass roots candidate who won by knocking on doors of voters. He has the information he needs to make his decision and is discussing that with his family.

But state Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said he will endorse Hune if Hune decides to run, regardless of the GOP candidate list.Jones and Hune served three two-year terms together in the state House before serving together in the Senate. Jones said Hune has shown leadership on agricultural and insurance issues and would be a perfect fit in Washington, D.C.

Much like how Bishop and Mike Rogers served together, so do Rick Jones and Joe Hune. It speaks well of candidates when colleagues step up to the plate.  I've worked with Joe's office several times going back to 2002. Good work is done there.

Judy Daubenmier, chairwoman of the county Democratic Party, said Rogers has chosen to “meddle” in the GOP primary for his office. Daubenmier questioned if Rogers was attempting to eliminate Hune as a “tea party” alternative to a more mainstream Republican.

She said Rogers’ endorsement suggests Rogers has little confidence in Hune despite being a fellow county resident serving with Rogers’ brother, state Rep. Bill Rogers, R-Genoa Township, in Lansing.
“It certainly looks like he is trying to hand-pick his successor rather than let the voters have their say first. It smacks of a bid to push Hune out of the race before he even has decided whether to get into it,” Daubenmier said.
“It’s also surprising that Joe Hune is held in such low regard by a fellow Livingston County Republican, given that he serves in the county’s legislative delegation alongside Mike Rogers’ brother,” she added.

That's wishful thinking. There's nothing better the dems want than a split party and a nasty primary.

Wholihan said he doesn’t foresee a “tea party” rift in the GOP nomination for the seat. He said Bishop demonstrated the fiscal responsibility “tea party” Republicans demanded while serving in Lansing.Wholihan said many “tea party” Republicans supported Bishop over now-state Attorney General Bill Schuette in Bishop’s 2010 state attorney general campaign.

The tea party groups like Joe Hune. They split their votes between Mike Bishop and Bill Schuette back in 2010. I don't know how they felt about Bryan Barnett, but anyone who gets 77% of the vote doesn't do it by accident. "Establishment" people like Joe Hune. They split their votes between Mike Bishop and Bill Schuette. Oakland County establishment like Bryan Barnett quite a bit.

There's no coronation here. Mike Rogers has his opinion. I like Mike, but it doesn't affect my opinion one way or another. I'd like to see a candidate go after the spending and not raise taxes. I know for a fact that Joe Hune will do that.

There still may be more candidates. I've heard two or three more Oakland County individuals may run, along with someone who lives just outside the district. Things aren't in stone here. 

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Speed Limit proposals - a mixed bag

I saw this in the Argus. My view on speed limits is the same as my view on profanity. Time, place, and manner.

From the Argus

Road officials and advocates for construction workers fear a plan to increase speed limits on state and county roads could further endanger road crews.
Legislation introduced in late March would prohibit speed limits to be lowered more than 10 mph below the normal limit, with the total limit no lower than 30 mph, in local construction zones.
On expressways, the speed limit could not be decreased to lower than 60 mph in construction zones unless workers were in close proximity to barrel lines or not protected by barriers under the proposal.
The construction-zone component is one of many in the bill package, which also would create a maximum 80 mph speed limit on rural expressway segments.
State law currently enforces a 55 mph speed limit on unposted county roads. That would increase to 60 mph on unposted county roads under the bills.
If the proposed rules were in place last year, the speed limit could only have been reduced to 50 mph at Grand River Avenue and Burkhart Road in Howell Township during emergency repairs, noted Mike Craine, Livingston County Road Commission managing director.
 “There’s no freaking way that we could have let people go through there at 50 mph, which is what this law would seem to require,” Craine said.“It doesn’t really address the full range of conditions that road construction’s likely to present for safety of the motorist and safety of the worker,” he added.

My attitude regarding construction zone is this. Are people working at the site? If nothing is going on there and no people are there, I don't see a problem going 65-70. If there's work being done at the site, then going 60 is crazy. The other question is what is the definition of "close proximity?" 

I fully support 80mph on rural expressways in good weather.

As far as unposted county roads, that needs to be time/place, and matter. A road like D-19 or Chilson is one thing, but Cunningham Lake is another. I grew up on Cunningham Lake near the old Brighton Recreational Area on an rural unposted county road. The speed limit on that dirt road is currently 55. That's insane. Making it 60 is more insane. One of my complaints about the paving proposals from Genoa Township was the speed increase. Going 60 on that road is a good way to hit a deer, turkey, crane, dog, cat, hunter, jogger, walker, someone's grandkid, or another pedestrian.  During the last snow dusting, I saw the mailbox post get smashed due to a car hitting it. It was probably a total job or close to it. Hopefully the driver wasn't hurt too badly. 

I support this, although will this get rid of the 0 point 5 over tickets on the expressway when the cop gives a driver going 84 a semi-break?

The bills also would prohibit speeding tickets for driving 5 mph or less over posted limits.

Jones said there are several roadways statewide with low speed limits intended to catch motorists as they exit higher speed zones. The end result is often a costly ticket for the average commuter, he said.
“That’s just horrible, because what you’re doing is you’re writing a ticket for the average guy trying to get to work. His auto insurance goes up for three years,” he said.
“We’re trying to clean up the abuses,” Jones added.
Speed limits in Michigan are set based on the speed that 85 percent of traffic moves on a given road. The idea is to promote smooth traffic and target the 15 percent of motorists who drive too fast.

I like a lot of the IDEAS here. I despise speed traps as much as the next person, but not every speed limit drop is a speed trap. That's why I mentioned time, place, and manner.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

MI-08 - Saul not running

Waiting to see what Joe Hune decides. 

Via Twitter

Congress MI-8: I'm out for at least 3 practical reason:) Just can't afford it. Thanks to all who offered support!

Monday, March 31, 2014

MI-08 - Poll calls are out (Updated - Poll from Murray Communications)

I got a call from one of the county folks here. He said he was receiving a poll that listed five potential candidates for the 8th District. This was likely paid by the candidate or a "friend of the program" and it listed five names. We both expected it was paid for by someone not yet in doing a poll for a starting point.

Going in alphabetical order

Saul Anuzis
Bryan Barnett
Mike Bishop
Steve Hantler
Joe Hune.


The poll was from Murray Communications, a consulting firm that works for Marty Knollenberg. It's a wide open race. Joe Hune hasn't decided. I've heard Hantler is unlikely and he doesn't live in the district. Anuzis hasn't decided.


PORTABLE INSIGHTS: (401) 352-4005 x210    
COMBAT DATA: (517) 449-7058


OKEMOS, MI – Former State Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop (R-Rochester) holds a 22.96% to 17.65% lead over State Senator Joe Hune (R-Fowlerville) in the race to succeed retiring Congressman Mike Rogers, according to a survey of Republican primary voters conducted by Murray Communications-Portable Insights-Combat Data. Nearly half of respondents were undecided.

In addition to Bishop and Hune, the following Republicans were included in the survey: Saul Anuzis (R-Lansing), Bryan Barnett (R-Rochester Hills), and Steve Hantler (R-West Bloomfield).

The automated survey of 884 likely 8th District Republican primary voters was conducted on Monday, March 31 and has a margin of error of 3.29%. Full results follow:

8th District..............100.00% (884)

Mike Bishop................22.96% (203)
Joe Hune...................17.65% (156)
Bryan Barnett...............5.66%  (50)
Saul Anuzis.................3.51%  (31)
Steve Hantler...............1.58%  (14)
Undecided..................48.64% (430)

“Bishop’s numbers initial numbers are good, but there may be dark clouds on the horizon as other Oakland County based candidates ramp up their campaigns. So far, Hune has Livingston County all to himself and next door Ingham County is wide open,” said Mike Murray of Murray Communications.

“Aside from the loud ticking coming from nominating petition clock for the potential candidates, this primary is still in it primordial stage. Geographically, Hune’s centralized location should give him vote momentum opportunities in both directions fairly quickly if he gets in the game,” said Brian Bellgowan of Combat Data.

“The field is still pretty fluid and voters are up for grabs,” said Christopher Mark of Portable Insights. “Nearly half of voters are not settled on any of these candidates, meaning that any one of them -- or perhaps someone else -- has a chance to break out, but they’re going to have to act quickly.”

The poll is a collaborative effort between Murray Communications, a Michigan-based Republican political consulting firm; Portable Insights, a Rhode Island-based opinion research company; and Combat Data Inc., a Michigan-based political data and voter outreach services company. 

Murray Communications can be contacted by phone at (517) 505-0447, by email at contact@murrcomm.net or on the Internet at www.MurrayCommunications.com. Facebook: facebook.com/murrcomm Twitter: @MurrComm.

Portable Insights can be contacted at (401) 352-4005 x210, or by email at chris@portableinsights.com or on the Internet at www.PortableInsights.com. Facebook: facebook.com/portableinsights Twitter: @VoteMiner.

Combat Data can be contacted at (517) 449-7058, by email at listdp@comcast.net, or on the Internet at www.CombatData.com.
Facebook: facebook.com/combatdatainc

None of the companies currently represent any of the individuals named in the poll.

# # #

884 identified Republicans who have voted in at least two out of the last three primary elections.

8th District Congressional Robo Poll - Script
March 31, 2014
884 Sample, MOE 3.29% @ 95% Confidence

This is an automated survey of Republican Primary voters. This one-question survey will take approximately 90 seconds to complete. 

Current Republican Congressman Mike Rogers announced last week that he would not seek reelection. There are five Republicans who’ve either announced they’re running, or expressed an interest in running.

In August, Republicans will vote in a Primary Election to select their party’s choice for the November General Election.

I will now read you the names of these five Republicans -- twice. I will then ask you to use the touch-tone on your phone to select the individual you prefer THE MOST. If you are undecided, you will have the option to indicate that.

Please listen carefully, the Republicans are:

Saul Anuzis
Bryan Barnett
Mike Bishop
Joe Hune
Steve Hantler

Those Republicans, again, in a different order, are:

Joe Hune
Mike Bishop
Steve Hantler
Saul Anuzis
Bryan Barnett

If you would like to hear those names again, please press ZERO now. If you’re ready to choose, please wait for prompt, as the names will be read, again, in a different order.

Q1 If your choice is Steve Hantler, please press ONE NOW
If your choice is Bryan Barnett, please press TWO NOW
If your choice is Joe Hune, please press THREE NOW
If your choice is Mike Bishop, please press FOUR NOW
If your choice is Saul Anuzis, please press FIVE NOW
If you’re Undecided, please press SIX NOW.

This concludes our survey. This survey was paid for by Murray Communications, Portable Insights and Combat Data, and is not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.



Oakland County.............45.02% (398)

Mike Bishop................42.96% (171)
Bryan Barnett..............10.55%  (42)
Saul Anuzis.................3.27%  (13)
Joe Hune....................1.76%   (7)
Steve Hantler...............1.51%   (6)
Undecided..................39.95% (159)

Livingston County..........34.95% (309)

Joe Hune...................44.34% (137)
Mike Bishop.................5.50%  (17)
Saul Anuzis.................1.94%   (6)
Steve Hantler...............1.94%   (6)
Bryan Barnett...............1.29%   (4)
Undecided..................44.98% (139)

Ingham County..............20.02% (177)

Mike Bishop.................8.47%  (15)
Saul Anuzis.................6.78%  (12)
Joe Hune....................6.78%  (12)
Bryan Barnett...............2.26%   (4)
Steve Hantler...............1.13%   (2)
Undecided..................74.58% (132)

MI-04 - Dave Camp retiring

From Detroit Free Press

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, a Republican from Midland who has in recent years chaired the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, will not seek re-election this year, adding to the growing number of Michigan members of Congress heading toward the exits.
Camp, 60, made the announcement official late today, saying the decision was “reached after much consideration and discussion with my family.” He did not give a reason for the decision.
In recent years, Camp has been a fervent proponent of changing and simplifying the U.S. tax code but there seemed to be little enthusiasm for making such a change in advance of the midterm elections. Because of House Republican rules, Camp will be forced to step down as Ways and Means chairman at the end of this year

My old description of MI-04 is here:

Right now, there's one Republican candidate who was challenging Camp in the primary, Peter Konetchy, a businessman from Roscommon. Konetchy ran for Senate and nearly got 15000 signatures basically himself until Gary Glenn's people challenged his petitions and got 700 knocked off. Peter's a strong tea party activist, but unlike many didn't make the gaffes others have made in his Senate run.

I don't know who's going to go for it besides Konetchy who stepped up to the plate early. There are a lot of reps are in this district. Midland punches well above their numbers downticket and there are several potential candidates from there. (Stamases, Moolenaar). Kevin Cotter run ahead of the ticket in Mt Pleasant, as do the Cauls. Bruce Rendon and Tim Moore are Up North. Dr Roger Kahn in Saginaw County. Tom Leonard and Alan Cropsey in Clinton County. Judy Emmons in Montcalm County.

There's two Democrats that I can see making things real difficult, and that's the Sheltrown brothers. Dale and especially Joel were state reps out of Ogemaw County. They carried tough districts there and were outspoken 2nd Amendment supporters who ran well ahead of the ticket.

As I see this currently, if the dems run Sheltrown, lean R. If not, safe R. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The bogus email parades are back

I'll just say the old convention classic pastime is back, now for my primary. There's a bogus email being sent out with a bunch of stuff written by someone that "doesn't exist." I also don't particularly care for people who crap in my backyard.

If you are trying to help a certain person with that email, you aren't. This stuff doesn't play well in Livingston County. If you are receiving this email, put it in the circular file where it belongs. If the person can't list their (actual) name and something about who they area, then it's not that important to begin with.

Everyone has an agenda. Let's remember that.

MI-08 - Who's going to be my next Congressman?

Update 3-31-14 - Former State Senator Mike Bishop and Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett, both from the Rochester area are running. 

A new era is beginning here in the 8th District. 

(Full disclosure, I did some work for Sen. Joe Hune in his 2010 campaign)

With Mike Rogers retiring, things have significantly changed here. The 8th District leans Republican, but isn't a safe district with Mike Rogers retiring. It went for the dems at the top of the ticket in 2006 and 2008, and went for the Republicans in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2010, and 2012. I went over the presidential numbers in depth here and explored an open possibility here. I'm not going to rehash the presidential numbers much or the top of the ticket numbers much here. In an Republican year, we win. In a neutral year, we probably win, but candidate quality will matter more. In a bad year, we better have a damn good candidate. The top of the ticket will have its own variables. We have to control what we control, and that means voting for a good candidate in this August primary, whomever it may be.

There's a lot of rumors going on about candidates who are and who aren't running. I'm not going to do a lot of speculation except  to say that oftentimes the national reporters don't have any idea what they are talking about. If the person doesn't live in the district or have ties to the district, the person won't be a serious candidate more than likely. Especially if the districts don't all run together (like the Bloomfield area in the 9th, 11th, and 14th). The 8th isn't like that outside of a small part of Rochester Hills which is in both districts (mostly in the 8th).

Politics 1 mentions Saul Anuzis, Bryan Barnett, Mike Bishop, Mike Bouchard, Craig DeRoche, Gail Haines, Joe Hune, Rick Jones, Jim Marleau, Tom McMillin, Barb Byrum, Sam Singh, and Peter Spadafore as possible candidates (In addition to the two announced dems Ken Darga and Susan Grettenberger).  There was very little research done there and by the national press. Mike Bouchard and Craig DeRoche both live in the 11th District nowhere near the 8th. Birmingham and Novi. Jones is in Grand Ledge, in the 7th District. He's never represented any of the 8th. Gail Haines is in the 11th, and only represents a small part of the 8th. I don't expect many of those to be serious contenders. This is not a carpetbagging friendly area, especially away from Oakland County. One better have some good ties here at minimum. Bill Rogers has announced he's not running. Joe Hune and Mike Bishop are significant names who would be contenders if they choose to run.  They are considering. Saul Anuzis who lives in Lansing (although the Eaton County side - barely) announced he is considering.  Bryan Barnett (Rochester Hills Mayor) has apparently announced he's running.  If Brad Jacobsen, Tom McMillin, or Jim Marleau run, they certainly can't be counted out. I have not heard interest expressed by them, but this is a very recent announcement. On the dem side, I expect Barb Byrum to run. The other names I've heard there are sacrificial lamb candidates. Byrum would be a tougher candidate.

The filing deadline is April 22nd. This is significant. I'll be real blunt here. There's a petition requirement of 1000 valid signatures. That means 1500-2000 are more likely needed, and not "McCotter campaign staff" style. That means there isn't much time.  Three weeks. Whoever jumps in now has to have serious organization, or the ability to raise enough money to hire petition circulators.  Anyone that doesn't have instant organization to do that is wasting their time, their money, staff time,  and volunteer time.  I don't want to lose this seat to a democrat. The easiest way to see that happen is for there to be poor organization on the R side and a bad candidate due to that.

So who would be the strongest candidates?

That's a question where we would need an educated guess. I'm going to look at four potential Republican candidates for now in alphabetical order as these the names I've heard the most.  Saul Anuzis. Bryan Barnett. Mike Bishop. Joe Hune.  On the dem side, the only potential with any chance that I can see at this point is Barb Byrum. (Gretchen Whitmer isn't running).

I'll start with the democrat, Byrum. Barb Byrum won three races in a borderline swing/slightly democrat district in Ingham County, along with the Ingham County Clerk position. Byrum's old district, the old HD-67 covers rural Ingham County, Mason, Delhi Township, and Southwest Lansing.  I believe she's in the Mason or Leslie area. Dianne represented Onondaga. The Byrums have some strength in rural Ingham County, although their real base in the portion of Lansing in their district. This is the least democrat state rep district in the county, as the other two districts are all of Lansing or overwhelmingly East Lansing/Meridian Twp based.
Unfortunately, most of the analysis is through wave elections (06, 08, 10) so it's of limited use. However, Byrum probably has to match 2006 Granholm or 2008 Obama numbers to have a chance to win. 

Overall, she'll need to get numbers similar to Obama/Granholm in 06/08 if she's going to have a good shot winning. That means about 57% or better in the district. Mike Rogers always won this state rep district.  Byrum got about 58-59% in 2006 and 63% in 2008. 2010 was a scare for her, but she survived. 2012 was countywide and she got 68%. Lansing turnout will be the biggest key for her.

Saul Anuzis has never held elected office. He's been a Legislative Chief of Staff, a consultant, a State Party Chair, and an RNC Committeeman. He's been very active behind the scenes, but this would be new territory. 

I don't know much about Bryan Barnett. He won his Rochester Hills mayoral election easily in 2011. 77.29% to 22.46%. He won in 2007 with a similar margin.  Most of Rochester Hills is in the 8th District, but only as of the 2012 election. It's a big jump from mayor to Congress, even in a city of 71,000. It's slightly smaller than a state rep district.

Mike Bishop is former Senate Majority Leader and State Rep. He ran for St Senate in 2002 and 2006 winning easily. He ran for AG at a convention and lost a tight race to Bill Schuette. No shame there.  He lost to Jessica Cooper in the 2012 election for prosecutor by 5%. Straight tickets in places like Pontiac and Southfield did him in. The area he lost was not in the 8th district.
Bishop had mostly wave elections as well during his career, although 2000 and 2002 weren't waves.  In 1998, John Engler was an incumbent and had Geoffrey Fieger  as an opponent. Todd Akin post gaffe would win against Fieger.  Bishop ran 5% behind Engler, but got 70%+ in his district.
In 2000, he ran 8-10% better than Bush across the board. Nothing overlapped with Mike Rogers as none of his district at the time was in the 8th. Bishop was in the 1990's incarnation of HD-45 which was Addison Twp, Orion Twp, Oxford Twp, Oakland Twp, Rochester, and part of Rochester Hills. It was a blood red district and still is today. North Oakland outside of Holly Twp is as Republican as Livingston County (Rochester area less R, but still safe)

In 2002, Bishop ran for State Senate and won.  SD-15 at the time has much of the North Oakland part now in the 8th at the same period. The district has Addison Twp,  Clarkston, Independence Twp, Oakland Twp (now 8th, wasn't then), Orion Twp, Oxford Twp,  Rochester (now 8th, wasn't then) , and Rochester Hills (most now in 8th, wasn't then).  It also had Auburn Hills, Keego Harbor, Lake Angelus, Pontiac, and Sylvan Lake which is in other districts. He ran ahead of Posthumus  across the board, by major numbers outside of Pontiac. He ran slightly ahead of Mike Rogers (1-2%) in most of the district outside of Independence and Clarkston which was within 1%.

2006 was a bad year, but Bishop won easily, albeit with 56% instead of 62%. He ran well ahead of DeVos outside of Pontiac and Keego Harbor, and by 10%+ better in his home turf of Rochester/Rochester Hills. Like 2002, he ran slightly ahead of Rogers outside of Independence/Clarkston (less than 1% variation). Pontiac is a straight ticket graveyard without base areas outvoting it. Auburn Hills is tough territory. They don't matter in the 8th.
2012 was a little different. Bishop ran slightly ahead of Romney in the 8th District part of the district when going for prosecutor. He ran behind Rogers across the board outside of Rochester and Clarkston. That's due to Rogers facing Lance Enderle who was a sacrificial lamb. Bishop challenged a strong incumbent in Jessica Cooper (was a judge before prosecutor).  Not surprising, Bishop was much stronger in the Eastern part of Oakland County in the 8th district.  Here's a map, because it has probably the best comparisons. The red is where he ran ahead of Romney by over 2%. The  "dark salmon" is where he ran ahead by 0-2%. The light blue is where he ran behind by 0-2%. He didn't run behind Romney anywhere by a significant margin.

Bishop12 Romney

This is the only time where Bishop was held to what is slightly better than "generic R." Bishop got 59.92% in North Oakland compared to Romney's 58.35% (and Rogers 63.42%). Even so, he's still quite strong in Orion Twp, Oakland Twp, and the Rochester area. That's his base.

The last potential  candidate here is Joe Hune.  In 2002, Livingston County went big for Republicans overall.  Rogers was at his height in popularity, and also had a D- opponent.  Hune ran well behind Rogers in his first race - except in his home base of Handy Twp where he ran ahead of even Mike Rogers breaking 80% there.  Hune running 7% behind Mike Rogers isn't to be confused that with weakness. Hune won the general election with 68% to Rogers  75%. Both ran ahead of the top of the ticket by significant margins. Posthumus  got 61.28%, Hune 68.85%, and Rogers 75.85%. 

In 2004, Hune has his best year by percentage. He ran 9% ahead of Bush, and even ahead of Rogers, although by less than 1%. He ran strongly ahead of Bush everyone. The red is where he ran  ahead of Rogers by 2%. The black is where he ran ahead by 5% or more. The "dark salmon" is where he ran ahead 0-2%.  Light blue is where Rogers ran 0-2% ahead. The blue is where Rogers ran 3-5%+ Keep in mind that in his weaker areas, he still ran well ahead of Bush - and Bush won the district with 61.85%. Hune and Rogers  broke 70%.


2006 was a rougher year. DeVos was held to 55.82% in the district. Hune had 61.56% and Rogers 62.15%. He didn't run ahead of Rogers this time, but here's the map with the same codes.


2010 was a wave year and Rogers and Snyder both got over 71%. Hune ran behind them a bit for an open seat (ran almost even in his base area), but still got almost 68%. Rogers is originally from Brighton Township, so that factors into the difference with Rogers.  This is the first time Hune represented that part of the county. 

Again, the thing to remember is that Mike Rogers is generally the gold standard of Republican electoral performance in this district. In all except one race, Mike Bishop ran well ahead of the ticket. In all races, except the 2010 wave, Joe Hune ran well ahead of the ticket.  Neither of these two would drag down the ticket. This is not measuring "weakness", but extra strength needed to go into a congressional run in case of trouble against a democrat. 

If Hune, Bishop, Anuzis, Barnett, or someone else gets numbers ahead of the top of the ticket in a neutral or wave election, we'll be fine. If we have someone that underperforms, we're in trouble. 

The announcement about Rogers not running is two days ago, so there's a lot of behind the scenes rumors, measuring, jockeying, and organization going on right now. There is not a major window with the quick filing deadline. Expect some decisions to be made fast, and for a lot of people to get behind a candidate (or two) quickly so this person gets on the ballot. 

Let's hope for a good clean primary with minimum mudslinging, and hope the best candidate wins.